Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"The Persecuted Christian"


“The Persecuted Christian”

 

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you. 

…If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.  If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.        John 15:18, 19, 20b

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.       Matthew 10:38

 

PERSECUTION:  To cause CONTINUAL pain or suffering.  To annoy constantly. 

 

Throughout history, mankind has been PERSECUTED for their faith.  They have been shamed, humiliated, had their children ripped from their arms and fed to hungry, beasts, while they are made to watch.  They have been TORMENTED, TORTURED, THROWN into PRISONS.  They have been BEATEN, STONED, BEHEADED, CRUCIFIED, Their wives and daughters have been BEATEN, RAPED, SODOMIZED, and KILLED.  All because they were BELIEVERS in JESUS CHRIST. 

 

We, here in the United States have NOT been subjected to too much of the intense persecution, I would imagine that the incident at Columbine High School, and a few beheadings here and there are about as brutal as we have had it here, speaking of PHYSICAL PAIN and SUFFERING.  So we can be THANKFUL that we haven’t been INTENSELY PERSECUTED, like some around the word have been.  However, when I think of the PERSECUTION that comes against God’s Children, I ask:  “Why?”  For the most part, Christians are GOOD people, peace-loving, honest, dignified, compassionate, loving, faithful, people of Faith.    So why are they so BRUTALLY PERSECUTED?  Well, Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John, the fifteenth chapter.

 

He says:  “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”  It is because of our RELATIONSHIP with Christ Jesus that we are PERSECUTED.  The closer we walk to Him, the more we are PERSECUTED.  Satan is like a ROARING LION SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR.  He wants to make God’s people SUFFER or DENY their RELATIONSHIP with Him.  

 

Jesus went on to say:  “If they PERSECUTED Me, they will PERSECUTE you also.”  He warns us to be ready, it’s coming.  Do you have a RELATIONSHIP with God?  If so, are you SPIRITUALLY STRONG enough to face the type of INTENSE PERSECUTION that the early church faced?   

 

Jesus says:  “Whoever does not take up their CROSS and FOLLOW me is NOT worthy of me.” If we aren’t willing to face INTENSE PERSECUTION for Christ, even to losing our life, then we are NOT WORTHY of Him.  We are NOT WORTHY of SPENDING an ETERNITY with Him and God in Heaven.   If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God then you will NOT spend ETERNITY in Heaven, but will be spending it in HELL, the place of UNENDING, TORMENT, TORTURE, PAIN, HEARTACHE, AGONY and DESPAIR, with NO WAY OF ESCAPE.  But God in His INFINITE MERCY and AMAZING GRACE is giving you the opportunity NOW, to come to Him with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and be WILLING to take up your CROSS and FOLLOW HIM.  Do it NOW while you still can.  He waiting and coming SOON!!!

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

"The Great Overcomer"


“The Great Overcomer”

 

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”      John 16:33

 

Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.      1 John 5:5

 

In John 16:33, Jesus was giving His disciples words of ENCOURAGEMENT.  He was preparing them for His departure back to God.  He tells them that if they will ABIDE in Him, they will have PEACE, PEACE, NOT like the world affords, but His PEACE.  He tells them that in this world they will have TROUBLE, mainly because they possess two DIFFERENT existences.  They exist in Christ and they exist in the world. 

 

The world brings HOSTILE PRESSURES on the TRUE CHILD of the LIVING GOD, causing a multitude of TROUBLES, but Jesus says that we should “TAKE HEART” or be COURAGEOUS in our walk with Him, because He has OVERCOME the world.  The VICTORY is ours for the taking.

 

So who is able to OVERCOME the world? The TRUE BELIEVER in Jesus Christ, those who have TRULY GIVEN their HEART and LIFE to God, through their FAITH in Jesus Christ.  And that UNDIVIDED FAITH helps them to be able to KEEP God’s COMMANDS. 

 

Living in this sinful, corrupt, depraved world can be burdensome for the TRUE BELIEVER, but the words of Jesus should SUSTAIN us and ENCOURAGE us to PRESS ON in our relationship with God the Father and God the Son.  We might get knocked down, but we are NOT DEFEATED, for we are MORE than CONQUERORS in Christ Jesus, who is the GREAT OVERCOMER!

 

If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God, then you are NOT a TRUE BELIEVER, and you are NOT a CONQUEROR or OVERCOMER, but you are ETERNALLY lost, and will spend ALL of ETERNITY in Hell, the place of UNENDING torment, torture, pain, agony, heartache, and despair, with NO WAY of ESCAPE, unless you come to God with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and become MORE than CONQUERORS, and OVERCOMERS of this world.  Do it NOW, while you still can.  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!

 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

"PRAYER: Our LIFELINE to God"


“PRAYER:  Our LIFELINE to God”

 

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”       Ephesians 6:18

 

I shudder to think what it would be like without PRAYER.  If we had NO WAY of communicating with our Heavenly Father.  For some it would NOT make that much DIFFERENCE, because they have very little, if any communication with Him, to begin with. 

 

PRAYER is the LIFELINE for MOST TRUE BELIEVERS.  The Apostle Paul, knew that the TRUE BELIEVERS, in Ephesus, would come under SPIRITUAL attack because of their RELATIONSHIP with the Lord Jesus Christ, so in the previous verses, Paul instructs them to put on the FULL ARMOR OF GOD, in order to STAND AGAINST the devil’s schemes.  And he also knew the IMPORTANCE of having an OPEN line of communication.  

 

For some, the ONLY time they PRAY is in DESPERATE situations, then they are willing to MAKE time to talk with our Heavenly Father and cry out to Him for HELP.  The rest of the time they are too busy to MAKE time for Him.  Paul knew that PRAYER is TRULY a LIFELINE to God, and SHOULD be a PRIORITY to EVERY TRUE BELIEVER.

 

I believe the MOST IMPORTANT PRAYER, a person can pray is the PRAYER of TRUE REPENTANCE, because, that is what OPENS the LINE of COMMUNICATION, between the Father and His Child.  He will NOT hear the prayers of an UNBELIEVER, until they PRAY that PRAYER of TRUE REPENTANCE, CONFESSING their sins to Him, and SEEKING His FORGIVENESS.  When they become a TRUE CHILD of His, then He will OPEN the LIFELINE of COMMUNICATION.

 

The Apostle Paul instructs the TRUE BELIEVER, to PRAY in the SPIRIT on ALL occasions.  Praying in the Spirit is to allow the Spirit to LEAD you in your PRAYER, and when we don’t know what to PRAY, He will PRAY for us.  We should PRAY at ANY OCCASION, not just when we want or when we are in DESPERATE times, but we SHOULD be in a PRAYERFUL state of mind CONTINUALLY with ALERTNESS and PERSERVERANCE, and ALWAYS PRAYING for ALL of the Lord’s People.

 

Do you have an OPEN LINE of COMMUNICATION with Father God?  Have you come to Him with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him, asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you before God?   Then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and become a TRUE BELIEVER, with an OPEN LIFELINE of COMMUNICATION with God.  Do it NOW, while you still can.  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!

 

 

Friday, July 21, 2017

"The Marks of Jesus"


“The Marks of Jesus”

 

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 

From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

Galatians 6:14,17

 

In the conclusion of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia, he wrote to them concerning his RELATIONSHIP with our Lord Jesus Christ.  Saying that he NEVER wanted to boast of his own merits, ONLY in the CROSS of our Lord Jesus Christ.  To the Judaizers the CROSS was an object of shame, but to Paul it was a GLORIOUS thing, because of the SACRIFICE that was made upon it, for the SALVATION of MANKIND.   Paul GLORIED in the CROSS, and that was what he would BOAST about.  Because the world was CRUCIFIED to Paul, and Paul to the world, he became a SLAVE to the LORD JESUS CHRIST.  WHO or WHAT are you a SLAVE to?

 

Because of Paul’s RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ, he separated himself from the world and ALL of its allurements, fleshly desires, and religions that were spawned by human efforts.  He was BRANDED for Christ, and bore the MARKS of persecution, which showed that he belonged to Jesus Christ, and they demonstrated that he was a SLAVE of Christ, and NOT just a PEOPLE-PLEASER.   DO YOU BEAR the MARKS of JESUS CHRIST?  HAVE YOU TRULY GIVEN YOUR WHOLE HEART and LIFE to HIM?

 

It is the UTMOST DESIRE of GOD that we give to HIM our ALL, even at the cost of having to bear the MARKS of JESUS, MARKS that show we belong to Him and NOT to ourselves, we are His SLAVES, FREE from our SINS, but SLAVES to His will.   We do His will and NOT our own, because of our RELATIONSHIP with Him. 


Do you have a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ?  Can you BOAST in the CROSS?  Are you WILLING to BEAR the MARKS of PERSECUETION for HIM?  If your answer is NO to ANY or ALL of these questions, then you probably have NOT TRULY GIVEN ALL of your HEART and LIFE to Him, and if that is the case, you are BRANDED with the MARKS of SATAN, and will spend an ETERNITY in HELL, the place of UNENDING torment, torture, pain, agony, heartache and despair, unless you TURN AWAY from your sinful lifestyle, and TURN TO God with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your SINS to Him and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making  intercession for YOU, before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and be able to BOAST in the CROSS of CHRIST, and BEAR the MARKS of JESUS.  Do it NOW, while you still can.  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!

 

 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

"The Acts of the Flesh"


“The Acts of the Flesh”

 

The acts of the flesh are obvious:  sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.        Galatians 5:19-21

 

We presently live in a world, NOW, where the ACTS of the FLESH are demonstrated daily, and in a lot of instances, it is flaunted and promoted by society.  The Apostle Paul gives us a pretty exhaustive list of ACTS that are carried out by those who LIVE by the FLESH.  And in some cases are found in our churches.

 

Why or how would ACTS of the FLESH creep into our churches? We know that the church is made up of people, many of who are TRUE BELIEVERS, but there are some within the church, the body of believers, who are NOT TRUE BELIEVERS, but they have a FALSE assumption that they are TRUE BELIEVERS, when they REALLY do not have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Christ Jesus.

 

They may be a product of being brought up in church,  or one of their relatives might have been a deacon, Sunday school teacher, sang in the choir, or even been a preacher.  Well, that does NOT make them a TRUE BELIEVER, especially if they are LIVING by the ACTS of the FLESH.

 

Just because they have walked an aisle, and repeated a prayer, been baptized, and a member of the church for forty years.  It still does NOT make them a TRUE BELIEVER.  You MUST have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with the LORD JESUS CHRIST, and striving to LIVE by the SPIRIT, NOT by the FLESH.  Sure, NOBODY is perfect, even a TRUE BELIEVER will fall to temptation, but they DO NOT CONTINUALLY LIVE in the ACTS of the FLESH.  So this is how some of the ACTS of the FLESH, such as, ENVY, DISCORD, HATRED, JEALOUSY, SELFISH AMBITION, DISSENSIONS, FACTIONS, and the like, creep into the church.  They are brought in by those who are duped into believing they are SAVED, when they do NOT have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Christ. 

 

The Apostle Paul says that those who CONTINUALLY LIVE by the ACTS of the FLESH will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.  Instead, they will inherit HELL and all of its UNENDING torment, torture, pain, agony, heartache, and despair, with NO WAY of ESCAPE for ALL of ETERNITY.  However, God has a plan to keep you from such a HORRIBLE DESTINY, if you will come to Him with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him, asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and TURN AWAY from LIVING by ACTS of the FLESH and TURN TO God, and start LIVING by the HOLY SPIRIT of the LIVING GOD.  Do it NOW, while you still can.  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!

 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Living the Christian Life"


“Living the Christian Life”

 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.       Ephesians 4:29-32

 

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the TRUE BELIEVERS in Ephesus, gives them instructions on LIVING the CHRISTIAN LIFE.  He gives them some advice as to what NOT to do, and then what they SHOULD do as TRUE BELIEVERS.

 

First, he tells them to NOT let ANY UNWHOLESOME talk come out of their mouths, but ONLY what is HELPFUL for building others UP according to their needs, that it may BENEFIT those who listen.  A TRUE Christian should NOT allow ANY UNWHOLESOME, or UNHEALTHY talk come out of their mouths.  They SHOULD be WILLING to use words that will EDIFY other TRUE BELIEVERS, in order to HELP them GROW in their FAITH.  The TRUE Christian, needs to watch closely what they say, so they will NOT cause anyone to STUMBLE, but that their words would BENEFIT those who are listening.

 

Then the Apostle Paul gives a WARNING:  “DO NOT GRIEVE the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD!”  with whom you were sealed for the Day of Redemption.   The Holy Spirit of God is a HELPER to the TRUE Christian, and He helps guard their words.  To GRIEVE the Holy Spirit of God, they would be IGNORING His help and they would NOT be SUBMISSIVE to His LEADERSHIP.  God SEALED the TRUE BELIEVER with the Holy Spirit for the Day of REDEMPTION, or the day when they will receive their NEW bodies. 

 

The Apostle tells them of five vices that they SHOULD get RID of:  BITTERNESS, RAGE, ANGER, BRAWLING, and SLANDER, along with every form of MALICE.   These are ALL attributes of an UNBELIEVER, and has NO PLACE in the TRUE BELIEVER’S LIFE.  So they NEED to GET RID of ALL these vices, and WORK at being COMPLETELY FREE from their HOLD.

 

He then gives them some POSITIVE THINGS that they should incorporate into their lives.  He tells them to BE KIND and COMPASSIONATE to one another, FORGIVING each other, just as in Christ God FORGAVE them.  If we carry the title of CHRISTIAN, which indicates that we are CHRISTLIKE in our WAY of LIVING, then we NEED to exemplify KINDNESS, COMPASSION and FORGIVENESS, ALL of which are attributes of CHRIST.  THIS IS HOW WE SHOULD LIVE A CHRISTIAN LIFE.  ARE YOU?

 

If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God, then you do NOT possess the POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES of Christ, nor do you possess His Holy Spirit and you are NOT SEALED for the Day of REDEMPTION, but you are headed for the Day of Judgment, where you will be CONDEMNED and SENTENCED to an ETERNITY in HELL, with NO WAY of ESCAPE, unless you come to God NOW, with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him, and ask Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and become a TRUE CHRISTIAN living a TRUE CHRISTIAN LIFE, who is SEALED with the HOLY SPIRIT of God for the Day of REDEMPTION.  Do it NOW, while you still can.  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"What is Mankind?


“What is Mankind?”

 

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?        Psalm 8:3-4

 

What is MANKIND? And why is God MINDFUL of them?  Have you ever wondered just exactly what MANKIND is, or why God would be MINDFUL of them and their EVERYDAY, EVERY SECOND, situations, their problems, and their needs? 

 

MANKIND was created in the image, and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26, 27), The Scripture says that God created MANKIND in His OWN image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.  In verse 28, it tells us that God BLESSED them.  Verse 31, says, “God saw ALL that He had made and it was VERY GOOD.

 

But, MANKIND was tempted to DISOBEY God, their creator, and they fell to the temptation.  They SINNED against God by DISOBEYING His Word, and SIN entered the HEART of MANKIND from that time on.

 

From Adam to Noah, MANKIND became more and more WICKED.  In the sixth chapter of Genesis, it tells us that the WICKEDNESS of the human race had become VERY GREAT, and that EVERY inclination of the thoughts of the HUMAN HEART was EVIL ALL the TIME.  So much so that the HOLY, RIGHTEOUS God of this Universe, REGRETTED that He had made HUMAN BEINGS on the earth, and His HEART was DEEPLY TROUBLED.

 

The Earth was so corrupt in God’s sight, and was full of violence, and ALL the people on earth had corrupted their ways.  So God told Noah, “I’m going to put an end to ALL people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.  And He did, with the GREAT FLOOD.  

 

Do you think God REGRETS restoring the earth and MANKIND, after their destruction by the GREAT FLOOD?  Look around you MANKIND is WICKED, and EVERY inclination of the thoughts of the HUMAN HEART is EVIL.  WICKEDNESS, CORRUPTNESS, DISOBEDIENCE permeates the HEARTS of MANKIND from the home to even some churches there is some form of EVIL or DISOBEDIENCE to God’s Word. 

 

The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:7, that the present heavens and earth are being reserved for FIRE, they are being KEPT for the Day of Judgment and DESTRUCTION of the UNGODLY.  Where are you in this scenario? 

 

If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God then you are a part of the UNGODLY who will stand before the JUDGMENT SEAT for the sentencing of your soul. You will end up in the Lake of Fire, unless you come to God with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING, your sins to Him and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and become a part of MANKIND that brings PLEASURE to God, and NOT REGRET.  Do this NOW, while you still can.  He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!