The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Posts Tagged ‘obey God’

Knowing God

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 28, 2014

“Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by injustice, who uses his neighbor’s service without wages and gives him nothing for his work, who says, ‘I will build myself a wide house with spacious chambers, and cut out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and painting it with vermilion.’ Shall you reign because you enclose yourself in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Was not this knowing Me?” says the Lord. “Yet your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness, for shedding innocent blood, and practicing oppression and violence.” (Jer. 22:13-17)

This message was given to a son of Josiah, king of Judah. He was promised that he would die a captive and “see this land no more.” Notice God’s complaint about him–unrighteousness and injustice, covetousness, shedding innocent blood, oppression and violence. God compared him to his father, who had done “justice and righteousness,” and asked, “Was not this (doing justice and righteousness) knowing Me?”

All throughout Scripture, knowing God is equated with carefully doing what is right.

For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. (Jer. 4:22)

To know God is to understand right and wrong, and to do good!

Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord. (Jer. 9:23-24)

Wisdom, power, and wealth are nothing in which to glory. Through all of the world’s “wisdom,” it did not know God (I Cor. 1:21). Solomon, even with his supernatural wisdom, still allowed his heart to be led astray to idol worship; if he understood all mysteries, he did not maintain an enduring love for the Lord. Armies with all of their power can be drowned in the sea the moment they have outlived their usefulness in God’s hand. Riches make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven (Prov. 23:5). Let us not glory in any of these things.

To understand and know God is to know that He delights in lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness, and to walk in the same. He keeps covenant and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments (Deut. 7:9), but curses those who do not obey (Deut. 11:28).

The Lord brought a charge against Israel, saying:

There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land. (Hos. 4:1)

Why did He say there was no knowledge of God in the land?

By swearing and lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery, they break all restraint, with bloodshed upon bloodshed. (Hos. 4:2)

He knew by their evil deeds that they did not know Him. And because they “rejected knowledge,” He would reject those evildoers from being priests before Him (Hos. 4:6). Israel would cry, “My God, we know You!” (Hos. 8:2) But their actions showed otherwise–“They do not direct their deeds toward turning to their God…they do not know the Lord.” (Hos. 5:4)

Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. (Dan. 11:32)

Covenant breakers can be corrupted by the flattery of the devil’s servants–they stumble, being disobedient to the Word (I Pet. 2:8). But those who truly know God and know His heart will also know how to behave in difficult times. Even if they should fall by sword, flame, captivity or plundering (Dan. 11:33), they will do no evil, but will overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21).

Knowing God is no small matter. It is equated with having eternal life (Jn. 17:3; I Jn. 5:20). This has been God’s goal from the beginning, that a people would know Him, obey His Word, and be wholly His.

But what happens when what may be known of God is manifest, and the people to whom He is manifest do not like to retain God in their knowledge? They are given over to a debased mind to do things which are evil, and to approve of the evil of others. (Rom. 1:18-31) There are many in the professing church today who approve of and participate in evil! Through deceit, they refuse to know God (Jer. 9:6).

Paul testified that his countrymen had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge–they were ignorant of God’s righteousness. Thinking they could establish their own form of righteousness, they tried to be acceptable to God through traditions, while not truly knowing Him or living pleasing to Him. Many were continuing to reject and rebel against God’s Word even after experiencing His judgments through exile, and His mercy in sending Christ to them (Rom. 10). To such unbelieving Jews, Jesus said, ” You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known my Father also.” (Jn. 8:19) Anyone who knows the Father also recognizes the Son; all who know God keep His Word.

We can know God by looking into the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6). When we see the Son, we see also the Father (Jn. 14:9). What did Jesus teach, how did He teach, how did He respond to people and circumstances? We must deny ourselves (and whatever empty traditions we have received from our fathers) and follow Him. When we abide in Him, keeping all His sayings from our hearts, we also abide in the Father and possess eternal life.

As in Old Testament times, in New Testament times there are still those who claim to know God but follow after sin. Ongoing sin is still the primary evidence of not knowing God.

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (I Jn. 2:3-4)

Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. (I Cor. 15:34)

They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. (Titus 1:16)

Paul admonishes the Church to awake to righteousness, lest we deny Him by our disobedience! With spiritual weapons, we must cast down any argument that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4-5). Through knowledge of Him, we have received all things that pertain to life and godliness, and can be partakers of the divine nature of holiness (I Pet. 1:2-4). A person who knows God will obey the teachings of the apostles who gave us Scripture (I Jn. 4:6), and he will walk in love–“Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (I Jn. 4:7-8) This love always includes keeping God’s commands (I Jn. 5:2).

The Church should be increasing in the knowledge of God–till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). Paul prayed for the Colossians that “you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Col. 1:9-10)

And what will be the end of those who do not know God and do not obey His gospel?

“…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” (2 Thess. 1:7-9)

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Are You Religious?

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 19, 2014

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (Jam. 1:27)

I have heard many people say, “I’m a Christian, but I’m not religious.” What they generally mean is that they have a relationship with God (or at least think they do), and don’t put much emphasis on religious things (however they define that term.)

How we define the term “religious” matters very much. If “religious” means “judging myself by externals while ignoring my internal condition,” I am not religious. But if religious means “careful to obey the Scriptures so as to please my Lord,” then I am unashamedly religious, and hope to always be so!

The apostle James defined “pure and undefiled religion” for us. Its two major components are: mercifully caring for those who have no one to care for them, and keeping oneself unspotted from the world.

These two commands are nothing new.

Concerning the first component, even under the old covenant, God was concerned about how His people responded to the weak among them–widows, orphans, and even “strangers.” Would they leave the extra gleanings in their fields for the poor, or take every bit of food to enrich only themselves? Would they oppress those who couldn’t protect themselves–widows and orphans? (Is it really ok to put our elderly family members in nursing homes? Is it ok to kill our offspring or to ignore it when others do?) Would they mistreat the strangers among them, or would they treat the aliens well? (The uncharitable rants about immigration I have heard from “conservative Christian” mouths suggest most of us do not understand God’s heart for all people, or the responsibility He lays upon those who claim His name. If this is you, I recommend a more careful reading of the parable of the Good Samaritan.)

Concerning the second component of pure religion, God has always been concerned with His people “being unspotted.” He taught the people of Israel how to judge between what was clean and unclean, and reserved the right to decide for them what was allowable. I believe these lessons in discernment were intended to teach them deep spiritual truths that went way beyond food or touching dead bodies. The letter of the law was meant to lead them (and us) to the Spirit of the law. He was teaching them not to “eat” with no discernment, as do unbelievers. Unbelievers watch filth on tv, listen to satan’s musicians perverting truth on the radio, and touch “death” (sin) with no regard for how it will hurt them or others. God’s people were, and still are, to be set apart. Please hear me: Carefully discerning what pleases the Lord and avoiding the things He hates is not legalism. If God’s people become corrupt, how can they bring healing to the nations?

And so we see that God’s definition of “pure and undefiled religion” hasn’t changed, even though a new and better covenant has replaced and outshined the old. As we live in days of greater light, we also bear greater responsibility. Therefore I would challenge the “non-religious Christian” of today with these questions:

Are you defending the fatherless and pleading for the widow? Are you loving the stranger as you love yourself? (Lev. 19:34) If Muslim families from some war-torn country moved into the house to your left and the house to your right, how would you treat them? If you are a Christian, the question is not what their book tells them to do to you. The question is what YOUR BOOK says to do for them (and whether you will obey the Lord or not).

Are you keeping yourself “unspotted from the world”, cleansing yourself from ALL filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God? (2 Cor. 7:1) Note that there is filthiness of the flesh, and filthiness of the spirit. We are to cleanse ourselves from BOTH.

Or do you consider these things too religious for you?

If so, your relationship with God needs to be questioned.

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Gather with Jesus or Be Scattered

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 13, 2014

The following is taken from Luke 11:17-26.

Jesus taught that His kingdom is superior in strength to satan’s kingdom, and demonstrated it by casting demons out of people. He has power in Himself to overthrow the devil’s hold on a person in order to “plunder satan’s goods.” God can and wants to deliver us from the power of darkness and convey us into the kingdom of the Son. (Col. 1:13)

Jesus issued this very black and white statement–

He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters. (Lk. 11:23)

We are either in the kingdom of God or the kingdom of satan. We cannot be somewhere in the middle. The only way to be firmly in the kingdom of God is to be gathering with Jesus (following Him as a sheep follows a shepherd). Any other posture is considered against Him, or treason. And to stop gathering with Him is to begin to be scattered.

Now look at His words in vss. 24-26.

It is not enough to have an emptied and cleaned out spiritual “house.” If we do not gather with Jesus–or fill our “house” with Jesus–we are just empty vessels, still useful to the devil in the future. He has only to search out our weaknesses to gain a foothold in our lives again. We can clean up morally and even profess to be the Lord’s, but if we don’t come to His table and eat His spiritual flesh and drink His spiritual blood, we have no life in us (Jn. 6:53-56). If we do not abide in the Vine, we are still in danger of a fiery destruction (Jn. 15:6). If we are not living according to the Spirit, we are easy prey for the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience (Eph. 2:2). There is no “eternal security” for those who aren’t continually gathering to Jesus.

We must never rest on our past deliverance. The cleaned-up state of our house today does not necessitate that it must always be so. Without active work, what is clean today can be filthy tomorrow. As a matter of fact, a once-evicted spirit can return with seven others more wicked than himself unless a person has filled his house with the Spirit of God! And who is God’s Spirit given to, but to those who are gathering to Jesus by obedience to His Word? (Acts 5:32) And so, to keep firmly in the kingdom of God, we must continue in our active devotion to its King.

Gather to Jesus and actively, decisively follow Him. Incline your ears and heart to His teaching, as recorded in Scripture, and your will to applying it. In Him is Life, and that Life is the light of men (Jn. 1:4). Without Him, the darkness will overtake us. But he who gathers with Him, to follow Him, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (Jn. 8:12)

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Perishing From the Assembly

Posted by israeliteindeed on May 25, 2014

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. (Jn. 10:14)

In the rebellion of Korah, the dissenters falsely declared that the Lord was among “every one of them.” (Num. 16:3) Moses responded that the Lord would show who was His and who is holy, and He would cause the one He chooses to come near to Him (vs. 5). It was clear to Moses that the Lord was not, in fact, among every one of them. The Lord demonstrated who were His and who were not by swallowing the rebels alive into a pit. They perished from among the assembly (vss. 32-33).

Today there are so many who claim that the Lord is among them while they rebel against God’s chosen Leader (Jesus Christ). But what did Jesus say? He knows His sheep, and they know Him. They believe He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, so they follow Him (Jn. 10:27).

I remember telling a young man who unashamedly admitted living in fornication that he was not the Lord’s sheep. He kept telling me how sad it made him feel for me to say such a thing, and he pressed me to confess that he was the Lord’s sheep based on his having prayed a prayer at one time to be saved. I refused. How could I claim he was the Lord’s sheep when Jesus said His sheep know His voice and follow Him, refusing to obey the voice of a stranger? (Jn. 10:4-5) After trying for two years to get this young man to come to a place of repentance, he still defended his sinful lifestyle and wicked heart. He still argued against holiness and obedience to the Lord every chance he got, most often while “fellowshiping” with other Christians. The true sheep do not do these things, and such “fellowship” is worthless, as light is forever divided from darkness. When we figure out we are in the presence of an unrepentant Korah, we need to, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” (Num. 16:26)

The Apostle Paul may have been referring back to the rebellion of Korah when he wrote the following:

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Tim. 2:19)

Despite the deceitful words and conjured-up doctrines of religious rebels, the Lord does know those who are His. He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver, testing and proving and perfecting that which is real (Mal. 3:3). His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matt. 3:12)

Who shall draw near to the Lord? Is the Lord with us just because we insist He is? Can we be close to the Lord while disregarding His Word?

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. (Psa. 24:3-6)

What about the disobedient who insist that God is with them?

To these He says,

What right have you to declare My statutes, or take My covenant in your mouth, seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you? (Psa. 50:16-17)

Just as Korah perished from the assembly, so these will perish from God’s assembly if they do not repent. They may hang around the congregation of the righteous, but they will not remain there. The wheat will be gathered to Christ, and the chaff will be thrown in unquenchable fire. They may fool some people for a time, but they will not fool the searching eye of the Lord. Many will go alive into the pit with choir robes on.

Religious people who feverishly work to draw more disobedient disciples after themselves are often admired and followed by many. They can have the biggest churches and appear to have thriving ministries. Nevertheless, they are late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots…for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever (Jude 12-13). Don’t be fooled by appearances; one day after Korah made his bold claims against God’s authority, he was destroyed. The Lord knows those who are His.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (Psa. 1)

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Whatever He Says, Do

Posted by israeliteindeed on March 3, 2014

So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.” (Gen. 41:55)

Here, Joseph is an Old Testament picture of the Son of God. When all the world is famished and on the brink of perishing, there is only one Savior capable of giving true help. “Go to Joseph” or “Go to Jesus; whatever he says to you, do.”

Mary, falsely worshiped by catholics as co-redeemer and co-mediator, recognized this truth about Jesus.

His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (John 2:5)

Do we have to do the things Jesus says to be saved from perishing? Remember His teaching about the man who hears Jesus’ sayings and does them, versus the man who hears Jesus’ sayings and does not do them. The first man’s life is preserved, while the disobedient man’s life is destroyed. (Matt. 7:24-27)

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Matt. 7:21)

But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? (Lk. 6:46)

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.”’ But they did not hear nor heed Me,” says the Lord. (Zech. 1:3-4)

Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; then the Lord will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you. (Jer. 26:13)

It is wholly true that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matt. 4:4) A man at variance with God’s Word is still abiding in death. It doesn’t matter how religious he is, or how many times he has prayed the prayer, or whether his whole church accepts him as a man of God. If he is not in submission to God’s chosen King–Jesus–he is still dead in trespasses and sins.

Jesus, God in flesh, demonstrated His absolute obedience to the Father’s will, giving us an example of the Spirit-led life. He did nothing and said nothing but what His Father told Him to do and say (Heb. 10:9; Jn. 5:17, 19; Jn. 4:34; Jn. 7:16). The Holy Spirit is given to all who obey God (Acts 5:32) and He leads us into all Truth, both in doctrine and practice. Everything we do and everything we say/teach is to be guided by the Father through the Spirit of Jesus in us. Any other “Christian life” is a counterfeit.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom. 12:2)

Why do we need to prove what is the will of God?–So that we can do it. Peter said–

But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. (Acts 10:35)

Today we have multitudes of teachers saying that we can do as we please, and as long as we give lip-service to God (calling Him Lord but refusing to work the righteousness that is His will), He still accepts us. Or they demonstrate–by accepting anyone into their churches that tithes or signs a piece of paper–that outward conformity is enough to be accepted. Not so. Unless a man is born again, and there is evidence of all things becoming new (as they come into conformity with God’s commands), that man is not yet in the Kingdom of God. He can’t even see it, let alone be part of it. Many attend church on Sunday mornings who don’t even seek out the will of God, let alone set the course of their lives to do it. Such people are not accepted by God.

And how is a man born again?–By the incorruptible Word of God when it is received into an obedient heart (I Pet. 1:22-23). And now we are to be “obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (I Pet. 1:14-16) The holiness required is the fruit that comes from the union of the Word of God and an obedient heart, out of which will naturally flow practical, observable righteousness.

If there is no obedience, there will be no life.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (Jam. 1:21-25)

Therefore, dear reader, whatever Jesus says to you, do it!

*A word of caution: there are some that create a Jesus of their own imagination. This Jesus is always whispering in their ear things that are questionable when held up to the light of the Written Word. Remember we have the “more sure word of prophecy,” the Scriptures. Test the spirits–test all voices in your head–test every voice that comes through a speaker–by the written Word. Jesus Himself demonstrated a reliance on what was already written when He was tempted (Matt. 4:1-11). We must do likewise.

There are many commands already written in Scripture that are easy to understand. There is much–again, already written–to be obeyed. Some run ahead of the doctrines of Christ and seek out “new revelations” so that they can appear more spiritual to themselves and others. They are deceiving themselves by focusing on unclear things rather than obeying what is already clear. They claim to be obeying Jesus, but in reality they are obeying a created idol in their imaginations that keeps them always learning but never knowing the Truth. Beware that the voice you are hearing never contradicts what is already written. (See I Jn. 4:1; Isa. 8:20)

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We Were Once Disobedient

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 13, 2013

For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior. (Titus 3:3-6)

Yes, we were ONCE foolish, disobedient, deceived, and serving various lusts and pleasures.  But now we serve Jesus.

We ONCE walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (satan), that spirit who works in all disobedient children (Eph. 2:2-3). We ONCE conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, but if we are saved, we are not doing these things anymore.

Why?–The kindness and love of God our Savior has appeared to us, and it has not left us unchanged. When we deserved judgment, He offered us forgiveness and reconciliation through Jesus. His kindness, meant to lead us to repentance (Rom. 2:4), has done its work in our hearts. Because He loved us selflessly, we have learned to love Him (I John 4:19).  And because we love Him, we now give Him our willing obedience (John 14:23).

It is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us. What does this mean? Does it mean “works of righteousness” are unnecessary? Are they, as so many claim, “legalism”?

Paul writes later in this same chapter that the saints should be taught to “maintain good works.” (vs. 14)  We are changed and saved by God’s mercy. But beware of those who use Scripture to “prove” that we don’t have to obey God. Anyone who uses Scripture to promote unrighteousness is working for satan. It is one thing to acknowledge that we needed the undeserved mercy of God in order to be reconciled;  it is quite another to presume upon that mercy and continue willfully in unrighteousness.

If you were an employer who just caught an employee stealing from your company, you would have several options.  The most viable options are these:

1) You could terminate the employee immediately without any second chances to protect your company.  This perfectly legal option offers the least risk to the employer, and the least redemptive opportunity to the employee.

2) You could extend mercy to the employee, in hope that this mercy will change his heart and behavior, making him a valuable asset to your company in the future.  This is a risky option. Some people, given a second chance to do wrong, will take full advantage and do more wrong.  They may even mock the employer behind his back for being so gullible. Others may, in light of the undeserved kindness of the employer, feel a new sense of gratitude toward him, and commit to honesty from that time forward. An employer would only choose this option if benevolent concern for his employee outweighed concern for personal risk.

 

Applying our analogy to the Christian life, God has chosen option 2. We should have done everything He asked, but we were disobedient. We squandered His blessings and refused to steward our lives appropriately. We blackened His Name and robbed Him of His glory. He could have terminated us without mercy, and He would have been completely justified. But He chose the riskier course for Himself, in hope that some hearts would be changed by His mercy.Thankfully, some hearts have been changed. Some have responded to His mercy with repentance and willing submission.

Others mock Him by continuing willfully in sin, even after knowing the truth about His sacrifice on their behalf. They have insulted the Spirit of Grace.  The sacrifice of Jesus–which they claim gives them license to continue robbing God–only condemns them because they are still adversaries  (Heb. 10:26-31). They have not been made friends and children of God. They do not cry, “Abba, Father,” and submit to Him in grateful response to His mercy. They instead trample the blood of Christ beneath their feet by continued disobedience.

If you, a merciful employer, forgave the debt of a thieving employee, only to later find that he had continued pillaging you with the understanding that that your mercy gave him every right to do so, how would you respond?

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh, will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit, will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Gal. 6:7-8)

Dear reader, can you say that you were ONCE disobedient, but the kindness of God in Christ has changed you? It is true that no one can be saved by works.  It is also true that no one whose works do not change–in response to the mercy of God–can be saved.

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Pleading for Baal

Posted by israeliteindeed on February 12, 2013

Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years…So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord because of the Midianites, that the Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel, who said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. Also I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.” But you have not obeyed My voice.’”  (Jud. 6:1-10)

Israel–the “people of God” separated unto Himself–had not obeyed His voice.  They loved the idols of the heathen, so they were delivered into the hand of Midian.

American “people of God” need to see that we also are delivered into the hands of God’s enemies because of our disobedience. It is not that God can’t or won’t help us. It is that we will not obey.

I believe God has sent some prophets to the people of America. They are men and women who have the testimony of Jesus and keep His commandments. (Rev. 12:17)  While others are bitterly blaming the Midianites, these are rightly assessing the problem–the problem of disobedience in the professing people of God.

Gideon was not told to start a petition to make the Midianites obey God’s law. Instead, he was told to tear down the altar to Baal that was in his own back yard.

To do so, he would have to stand against his own family, for his father owned the altar and the wooden image beside it. Frightened as he was, Gideon did as God asked. He tore down the false altar and set the wooden image ablaze, and sacrificed his father’s bull to the Lord.

When the men of the city saw what had been done, they wanted to kill Gideon. How does a culture that once declared, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods” (Josh. 24:16) switch to calling for the death of a man who tore down a false altar in their midst?  The deceitfulness of sin!  Israel would go on to kill and crucify and scourge and persecute many of its prophets, including its own Messiah.

Surprisingly, Gideon’s father protected his life by saying that if Baal was a god, let Baal plead for himself against Gideon. Perhaps Gideon’s father was convicted by Gideon’s bold obedience to the Lord and repented.

Today among the people of God, we have many pleading for Baal. If you touch their false altars or their idols, they are angry enough to kill you.  They will brand you a heretic, a legalist, or a Pharisee, in hopes that others won’t listen to you.  When you tell them to love the Lord with all their heart, they confess it perfectly impossible to love the Lord. They cannot love the Lord and they cannot cease from sin because they love their idols. They are doubleminded and unstable in all their ways.

I am not talking about the Midianites, but about the professing people of God.

By and large, the American church is modern-day Laodicea, fully deceived about our condition before God. We don’t know that we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. How can this be? The deceitfulness of sin!

We have called good evil, and called evil good, in an attempt to serve God and idols simultaneously. Sincere obedience is now the new legalism. The gospel message we preach is powerless because we add and take away from the Word of God. We don’t require true repentance lest someone be offended at God. We don’t require endurance to the end in obedient faith, lest we contradict some man-made doctrine in a man-made creed.  We have reduced the “born again” experience to a repeated prayer that changes nothing–the old has not gone and the new has not come. The same old sinners carry their Bibles to church and encourage one another in their evil deeds. Brother, we all sin every day. Thank God for His grace, eh?  So religious, so void of power.

You know it is true. Look at the youth group in your church;  how many young people are living holy to the Lord?  How many are truly set apart from this world?  Where is the power? I will tell you where it is. It has departed, and we are turned over to our enemies. We plant and the enemy burns up the whole crop.  ICHABOD is written across the doors of most churches, but the show goes on. The majority of the people have never known the true power of the Lord, and so they don’t miss it. Those who know something is missing weep in secret.

If you have a heart for the Lord and zeal for His kingdom and righteousness, be like Gideon. Be prepared to obey the voice of the Lord when He asks you to prove your devotion to Him by tearing down a false altar that has been in your family–or your country–for years. Religious people will come out against you. They will destroy your reputation.  They will put you out of their churches. They will unite “Christians” against you, and they will plead for Baal.  Know that it is for the Lord’s sake that you suffer. Know that if you would be the friend of God, you must bear a small portion of His burden. Know that there is only one worth pleading for, and you are His ambassador and witness. Be faithful and endure hardness for His sake.

God bless you.

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Repentance Toward God

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 14, 2012

The gospel for all men, according to the Apostle Paul, includes both repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).  The writer of Hebrews included “repentance from dead works” in his list of foundational, elementary Christian teachings (6:1).  Jesus said He came to call sinners to repentance (Matt. 9:13), and He taught, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3,5)  Thus repentance is foundational and necessary for all who want to be saved. Without repentance there is no salvation.

So what is repentance and what does it look like?

Example 1–The Repentance of Nineveh

Jesus said the following to the Scribes and Pharisees:

The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. (Matt. 12:41)

According to Jesus, the men of Nineveh repented. What did their repentance look like? Read the account of their repentance in Jonah 3.  Jonah walked through the city proclaiming that judgment was coming from God for their sin, and the people believed the warning (vs. 5) and  began fasting. Even the king humbled himself by removing his royal robes and dressing in sackcloth and ashes, and he published a command to the whole city that the people should turn from their evil ways and from the violence that was in their hands (vs. 8).  He had a hope that God might be merciful to them after all (vs. 9).

Look at God’s response to their repentance:

Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. (Jonah 3:10)

This can only mean that the people stopped doing the evil and violence they were accustomed to doing, and God forgave them and withheld from them their deserved punishment.  When Jesus rebuked His own generation for not repenting, He was saying that the people needed to stop doing the evil they were doing, just as the Ninevites had done.

Example 2–The Prodigal Son

Most people know the story of the prodigal son, which you can read in Luke 15:11-32.  This son squandered the privilege of his inheritance on sinful living far from home, being an example of people created by God who waste their blessings living in sin outside of His influence. As will always happen when a sinner follows his flesh long enough, this young man began to be in want. None of his experiences satisfied him at all, he lost everything he had that was good, and the world to which he had joined himself cared nothing for him (vss. 14-16). Then he came to his senses (vs. 17).  Realizing that even his father’s servants had a better life than he had, he determined to leave the filthy pig pen he was employed in, go back to his father, humbly confess that he had sinned and was unworthy of being a son any longer (vss. 18-19), and beg to be a servant to his father (vs. 19).

Most people know the outcome of this choice, how the father saw him coming and with mercy and compassion received him back into the family with great celebration. Clearly this is written to show us that God is merciful and compassionate to the repentant sinner. Indeed Jesus said there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents (Luke 15:7).  But I remind you, before this son received the mercy of his father, he left his pig pen, traveled home, confessed his sin, and was willing to be a servant (obedient). This is a great example of repentance. There are many today trying to bring the pig pen (life of sin) home with them, and refusing to serve the Lord when they get there. It doesn’t work. Unless you repent you will perish, as Jesus taught.

The Goodness of God

The goodness of God leads you to repentance (Rom. 2:4).  God shows His goodness to man in many ways every day–through nature, through His patience while men ignore and rebel against Him; and ultimately He has shown His goodness on the cross–while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  God showed His goodness to the Ninevites when He sent the prophet Jonah to warn them that destruction was coming. Had they not been warned, they would have surely been destroyed as they deserved. But the warning showed that God didn’t really want to destroy them, and gave them a chance to be saved from His wrath. It was necessary that they heed the warning and change their ways if they were to receive mercy.

Please note that the Ninevites still deserved wrath for all the sins they had already done. Stopping their evil did not give them a clean record with God. But God was willing to forgive them (wipe the slate clean) when they repented. Repentance was a condition for them, and it is a condition for us. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin. Obedience to God can not wash away past disobedience. But we must turn from disobedience to obedience if we wish to be forgiven, and then have faith in Jesus Christ our Savior, believing that His blood is efficient to cleanse us from all the unrighteous things we have done, and following His teachings.

Fruit Worthy of Repentance

When speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees, John the Baptist commanded them to bear fruits worthy of repentance, and warned them that every tree that did not bear good fruit would be cut down and destroyed by fire (Matt. 3:8-10).  Repentance then is more than a mental process. It begins in the mind with believing God’s warnings of judgment, it progresses in the mind to a decision to leave the life of sin behind and offer to be a servant of God from this point on, and it continues on until good behavior is produced like fruit is produced on a tree. The Ninevites produced the fruit of repentance when their works changed and their violence ceased. The prodigal produced the fruit of repentance when he left his wicked life, confessed his sin to the father, and submitted himself to humble servitude.  The Pharisees and Sadducees of John the Baptist’s time were professing to be righteous men, but according to Jesus they were wicked men (Matt. 23) who refused to repent & be baptized to signify that repentance (Matt. 21:31-32; Luke 7:30).

The Folly of a Repentance-Free “Christianity”

There are teachers today who water down the gospel so much that it becomes ineffective and worthless. They either leave out repentance altogether, or they portray repentance as being only a mental acknowledgement that you are a sinner. They add insult to injury when they teach that you must sin continually for the rest of your life, and will never be able to obey God until after you are dead. Satan has been busy polluting the church with false teachings so that men will remain in bondage to sin and perish in the end. Most people will acknowledge they have sinned, and unfortunately most professing “Christians” will unashamedly confess they still remain in a life of sin (they have not repented).  Dear friend, do not believe the watered-down message on most “gospel tracts” and preached in most pulpits today. Do not listen to your friends, who soothe your conscience with words like this:  We all sin…nobody is perfect…God understands.   Times of ignorance God may overlook, but He now commands all men to repent (Acts 17:30).   You must be born again, and this will not happen unless you repent.

Repentance Leading to Salvation

After the church at Corinth repented at the preaching of Paul the apostle, he wrote the following to them:

Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.  (2 Cor. 7:9-11)

From this passage, observe the following:

  • The message Paul had written to them made them feel sorrowful over their actions.
  • Their sorrow was godly sorrow, a sorrow that produced repentance. They were not merely sorry they got caught, they were sorry they had sinned.
  • The repentance that is produced by godly sorrow leads to salvation.
  • Their repentance was described in the following terms:  diligence (to change), clearing of themselves, indignation (against sin), fear (of God, and of displeasing Him), vehement desire (to do right), zeal (for doing good), and vindication (of wrongdoing).
  • They proved themselves “clear in this matter,” meaning they have been forgiven and the matter was now settled between them and God. They had produced fruit worthy of repentance, and were no longer in danger of being cut down and burned in the fire.

The Purpose of This Post

My purpose for writing this paper is to show people their need for true, Biblical repentance. Knowing that many are not sharing the whole counsel of God, but only bits and pieces that misrepresent God and His Salvation, I want to fill in the gaps for some people.   I have talked to people who profess faith in Jesus, but they are still slaves of sin and “waiting for God” to come and change them while they continue to do all the wickedness they did prior to confessing faith in Jesus!  Such people have need of repentance, and without it, they will perish.

If you have never sorrowed over your life of sin to the point of real repentance, if you have never believed the warnings of His prophets about the destruction that is coming on all the disobedient, if you have never humbled yourself and turned from your wicked works, if you have never come to your senses and gone to God in full surrender ready to serve Him alone, please do it today.  Do not receive the grace of God in vain. His warnings and His teaching come to turn you from darkness to light, but if you harden your heart, you may yet be lost. If you hear His voice, do not harden your heart, but lay aside all filthiness and wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word of God which is able to save your soul (James 1:21).

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If You Have Faith

Posted by israeliteindeed on March 30, 2012

“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt. 17:20)

“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6)

I must preface this writing by saying that these Scriptures are not a blank check from heaven to order anything you like. A person asking things from God in order to merely gratify the pleasure of the flesh is not under the blessing of God; he is asking amiss (James 4:3).   We know that greed is wickedness and living for selfish pleasure is sin.

However, these Scriptures contain some beautiful truth we don’t want to miss or set aside just because some teachers have attempted to twist their meaning.

Many Christians have mountains and trees in their lives that desperately need to go. And even a tiny amount of real faith can make them go. God has made his empowering grace accessible to the weak.  Only believe.

The mountain has accumulated over a long period of time, and has become of such a monstrous nature, it appears immovable. It is some besetting sin, practiced so consistently it has become a habit. Perhaps it is an ungrateful, negative spirit that blocks others’ view of the sky and casts a dark shadow of gloom upon them.  Perhaps it is a habit of speaking angry words, or being too unyielding and unforgiving of the minor faults of others.

The mulberry tree might be the habit of impatience with the children or spouse or coworkers.  Everything they do gets under your skin, and you quickly snap. You’ve been this way all your life, so you think you can’t change. Sure you quit drinking, fornicating, lying and stealing when you made your decision to follow Christ, but can He really uproot this other thing from your life–this thing that has deep roots in your soul and seems to be an integral part of your personality?  The answer is yes. If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, this tree can be uprooted and planted in the sea of God’s forgetfulness. It can be forgiven and utterly removed from your life and character. Do you believe?

The grace of God that brings salvation teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world (Titus 2:11-12). That means the teaching we need is available to us;  it is for us to submit to the teaching and obey it.  Wisdom in how to apply and work out our own salvation is available for the asking (James 1:5).  We can and must learn to live soberly, righteously and godly in our present-day homes, fellowships, neighborhoods, and work environments.  The mountains and trees that seem they are here to stay must be uprooted and moved, and nothing shall be impossible for the one who believes.  Just as the face of the earth is always changing–deserts become lush gardens and gardens become deserts–so God’s will is for the spiritual wasteland that is our past life to be renewed and replenished and made fruitful in the present. We must become co-workers with God to that end, sowing consistently to the Spirit and refusing to sow to the flesh.  With patient continuance in this endeavor, we can trust a harvest of righteousness will come.  Just as a sinful habit was created by a continual making provision for the flesh, so a holy habit can be made by a continual denial of the flesh and a deliberate sowing to the Spirit of God.

When the twelve spies were sent to search out the land of Canaan, only Joshua and Caleb came back confident that the land could be taken with God leading the way. The rest brought an evil report of giants, and the dismal view that overcoming the land was impossible. Their view infected the whole camp like a disease, and the people rebelled against God, accusing Him of bringing them gloriously out of Egypt only to fail and end in defeat.  This faithlessness was so abhorrent to God that He had a mind to disinherit the people! (Num. 14:11-12)

We need to be like Joshua and Caleb, men of faith in God. If God says the land can be taken, it can. If God says that mountain can be made to move, or that tree can be uprooted and thrown into the sea, they can.  He will lead the way, and give patient instruction and supernatural power; only continue to live by faith in His words and do not draw back, lest He have no pleasure in you (Heb. 10:38).

There are too many teachers who are like the 10 faithless spies. They drum an evil report into the ears of their congregations–“We will all keep living in sin as long as we are in the flesh. Nobody is perfect; the best we can hope for is to have a positional righteousness in Christ even while we are losing every battle in our lives and sin is still our master.”  Don’t give heed to this faithless and wicked report no matter how spiritual the teacher appears to be; he is a hireling who has a form of godliness denying the power thereof. Shun this teacher like the plague; he speaks for the devil to keep you in bondage.  If he has no power in his own life over sin, how can he teach you to overcome anything? The best he can do is preach a message of faithlessness and surround himself with other powerless people who are satisfied with equally powerless lives.   This is deception, and is NOT a manifestation of the true Gospel, which makes men new creatures and sets them free to run in the paths of righteousness. The sons of God have a glorious liberty; their chains are broken. When they recognize an area of bondage in their lives, they know from past experience that this hurdle too can be overcome.

I was gloriously set free from fornication, drunkenness, potty-mouth, and a host of other sins at my conversion. However one besetting sin that I struggled with for a while was losing my temper with my children. I had been short-tempered for so long, I didn’t understand how to ever stop and wasn’t convinced it was possible. Satan would tell me it was just my personality and I had to accept it, and so did they. But the Spirit of God was also speaking to me, calling me to lay aside the weight of this besetting sin so that I could run my race more effectually (Heb. 12:1).  There was alot at stake.  Not only was I a poor example to the children to whom I was working to impart the Gospel, but I was in serious danger of becoming a castaway if I did not get control of my emotions and behavior.  I remember the day I came to this verse, and my whole world stopped. It was as if God’s voice suddenly magnified when I read–

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (I Cor. 10:13)

Leonard Ravenhill once quipped, ““One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it.”

When I read that verse with a heart that wanted deliverance from my besetting sin, I was simple enough to believe the Word of God exactly as it was written. I believed that every temptation I experienced, including the well-established habit of lashing out at my children, was completely withstandable and conquerable.  There was a way of escape provided for me, and it was my duty before God to take that way of escape from now on.  There could be no more excuses, for I had been given precious promises that would enable me to partake of the divine nature of holiness and escape the corruption in which I had been entangled (2 Pet. 1:4).  From that point on, I began to catch myself about to make provision for my flesh, and learned through consistent practice to make my frustrated thoughts obedient to Christ and keep my flesh disciplined and in subjection to the Spirit of God (2 Cor. 9:27; 10:5).  There is truly victory in Jesus to the one simple enough to believe that there is power over sin and death in Him, and persistent enough to practice what He teaches until the victory is complete.

Dear follower of Jesus, allow me to tie together the testimony of Joshua and Caleb with the truth of I Cor. 10:13:  there is no giant in the land of your life except such as commonly faces all men, but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be faced by a giant stronger than you can withstand with the strength of God in you, but in every single case will provide the way to overcome and get the victory. There is neither ominous mountain nor stubborn tree that cannot be made to move out of your way, so that you can run your race with the endurance necessary to reach the finish line–if you have faith as a mustard seed. Grab hold of the precious promises of God and believe them. Make straight paths for your feet to walk in, so that your lameness may be healed (Heb. 12:13). 

Whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith (I Jn. 5:4). Amen. God be with all–and empower all–who love the Lord Jesus in truth.

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A Consumption Determined Upon the Whole Earth

Posted by israeliteindeed on December 3, 2011

The Lord Jesus said the end of this world and His coming will be as the days of Noah were.

For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,  and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matt. 24:37-39)

Noah worked out his own salvation with fear and trembling for 120 years. It isn’t as though he saved himself, for it was the Lord who gave him the plan of salvation by which he and his family could live. But when Noah was warned by God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, he prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Heb. 11:7)  God shut him in the ark at the end, just before destruction came, and watched over that family for their good–BUT, had Noah not dedicated his life to obeying the instructions God gave him for salvation, he and his family would have been finally destroyed with everyone else.

Contrary to the example of Noah, there are many professing “Christians” today who are not moved with fear at the warnings of God, but have been lulled into carelessness by teachers who tell them what their itching ears want to hear. They are in the gravest of eternal dangers. How many warnings in the Scriptures have you passed over, being told by some teacher that the warning does not apply to you?  Be not deceived, dear reader. Every warning in Scripture is for you. Paul wrote that the Old Testament was written for our learning, upon whom the ends of the world have come (I Cor. 10:1-12), and the entire  New Testament was written and preserved for us as well.  The warnings of Jesus are not merely for the Jewish people, and the writings of Paul for only Gentiles–this is another lie designed to rob the fear of God from men. This lie has people avoiding the Scriptures that they ought to simply obey.

When Jesus said to cut off the offending hand or foot rather than risk eternal fire (Matt. 18:8), He meant it, and He meant you to heed the warning and remove from your life the things that are making you stumble.

When Jesus said whoever denies Him before men will also be denied before the Father in heaven (Matt. 10:33), He meant it, and He meant you to heed the warning and unashamedly stand for Him in word and deed.

Paul himself taught that what counts is the keeping of God’s commands (I Cor. 7:19) and only those who patiently continue in doing good will receive eternal life (Rom. 2:6-11).  His message agrees with the teaching of Jesus.

How did Noah condemn the world?–by preparing an ark. Christian, if you spend your life obeying the Lord by preparing an ark, you too will condemn the world. By your fear of God and obedience to Him, you demonstrate that the world is without excuse. If Noah could fear the Lord and obey His instructions for salvation, so could everyone else. If Noah could stand out as a preacher of righteousness before his ungodly neighbors, and if Noah could reject the eat, drink, and be merry mentality; so could everyone else (2 Pet. 2:5).

The difference between Noah and his neighbors was that Noah feared the Lord and heeded His warnings, while his neighbors didn’t fear the Lord nor harken to His warnings.  If you do as Noah did, the world will feel condemned, and they will hate you for it. They wish you would run with them in the same flood of dissipation [intemperance, indulgence in sensual pleasure, wasteful consumption, amusement] they run in, and they will speak evil of you for your careful obedience to God (I Pet. 4:4); nevertheless, deny yourself and follow Jesus, knowing that the ark you are preparing will be to your deliverance in the day of wrath.

I Peter 3:20 says the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing. What was God waiting for?–He was waiting for the people to repent of their wickedness at the preaching of Noah. I believe the longsuffering of God is waiting today for the last few people to repent at the preaching of modern-day Noah’s, and get on board the only way, truth and life there is. But unfortunately for many, because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (Eccl. 8:11)  They mock, “Judgment is coming?–You’ve been saying that for 100 years!”  And even professing Christians mock at the righteous who are laboring in the narrow way, denying themselves and following Jesus. They jeer, “You think you can earn your salvation! You think Jesus died in vain!” Their view of Jesus is that He delivered them from the eternal principle of reaping what is sown, so they can continue to do abominations without judgment! (Jer. 7:10)  Woe to them!

Today, God has His Noah’s before this modern wicked generation. God has given instructions for salvation, and the Ark in which man can be saved is Jesus Christ. The instructions include repentance toward God (turning away from everything God calls sin) and faith toward Jesus (trusting that Jesus is your salvation, and therefore following Him and doing what He says to the end.)  Jesus taught that if a man obeys the Word of God, he will be saved from destruction, but if he doesn’t obey, he will be destroyed when the flood of judgment arrives (Matt. 7:21-29).  Listening to the Word of God is not enough; without obedience to it, a man is only deceiving himself to think he will be saved (James 1:22-25). Going to church, doing some good things, visiting Christian blogs, etc., cannot save you–you must, by faith, carefully obey the instructions of God if you want to be saved. By faith Abraham obeyed (Heb. 11:8).

While the Lord Jesus can come on any day and require the soul of any man (Luke 12:20), the Bible clearly teaches that there is a day coming when the Ark of salvation will be shut for good and the whole earth will be consumed. Final salvation and final destruction will arrive on the same day. Don’t be deceived by the Left Behind lies of some teachers, who say you will have seven years to repent after the rapture. Jesus has stated emphatically that the end will come as in the days of Noah. The same day Noah entered the Ark, destruction fell; and the same day Lot left Sodom, the wicked were consumed (Luke 17:26-27). When Jesus appears with power and glory, He will gather His saints to Himself and destroy the wicked.

Peter wrote the following about the end of this world:

But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.  (I Pet. 3:7-14)

Indeed, in the face of such warnings, what manner of persons ought you to be?  Are you a mocker, living carelessly as the day approaches, or are you like Noah, diligently preparing for the day that will surely arrive?

Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.  (Isa. 28:22)

God bless you.

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