Christian, Know Your Enemy

 

Paquil Fight

Christian, Know Your Enemy

I Peter 5:8, “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

The Child of God must come to terms with a truth that is of paramount importance. The Christian life is not a playground, it’s a battleground. The Christian is a very definite target in the center of the battlefield, and yet most aren’t even aware that there’s a spiritual war going on. We have an enemy to face every day that we live.

Our greatest adversary, Satan, is on a mission to destroy God’s people and discredit the Cause of Christ. He is as a roaring lion and not as some playful pet. He wants to devour you, so you must be aware and alert at all times. 

Paul, in writing to the Church at Ephesus warned: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,” (Ephesian 5:15).  But who is this enemy hat has waged war on the Believer? 

 

Three Facts About Your Enemy

 

First, Ezekiel 28 makes it clear that Lucifer was a Created being, an angel, given the assignment of guarding the mountain of God, and had somewhat to do with music. He is created, and thus is limited. He is not like God. He is not all knowing, all powerful, and cannot be every at the same, as can God.

Second, Satan is not only a Created being, but he became a Corrupted being.  Ezekiel 28:15,  “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”  Ezekiel 28:17  “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness… “    He is a fallen powerful angel who led a rebellion of a third of the angels of Heaven and now seeks to destroy all that is good and God ordained.

 

Finally, Satan is also a Condemned being.  Ezekiel 28:16, “I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God…”   Isaiah 14:15: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

As a believer, you have a choice to make. You may choose to live a life of victory, or you may choose to live your life in defeat.  Satan’s goal is to have the Christian live a life of continual defeat.

 

WHAT IS A DEFEATED LIFE?

 

  • It is a life without fruit. We are commanded by the Lord to bear fruit. Jesus said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8).

 

  • It is a life without power. If the power were present, the life would not be defeated. Jesus said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me. . .” (Acts 1:8).

 

  • It is a life dominated by the flesh. The Corinthians were defeated Christians. Paul called them “babes in Christ.” They were carnal, not spiritual.

 

  • It is a life directed at times, by Satan. Are you saying that a Christian’s life is never directed by the evil one? If so, you are speaking against the Word of God. Simon Peter said to Christians, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. “—I Peter 5:8,9.”

 

The defeated life is dominated by the world, the flesh and the Devil. These are the three enemies that work for the constant defeat of a Christian. The devil will continue to put pressure on in different forms. He does this in three ways.

 

Christians Must Understand How Satan Uses Two Main Tactics to Defeat Them

 

Our EXTERNAL enemy is the World, society apart from God. Our world is in no way friendly to the cause of Christ. Rather, Christians are viewed by the world as the problem, not the solution. The world caters to the lust of our flesh, our eyes, and pride. Media caters to these three, as does entertainment, and certainly advertisers.

One fast-food chain in America desires to appeal to what they call, “Thee Young Hungry Guy (YHG).   Their target in advertising are the men ages 18-40. Therefore, in their attempt to draw them into their restaurants, they often use semi-nude women in their commercials, who at times moving around with sexual gyrations to capture the interest of this ‘YHG’. This is what our External enemy does.

 

Our INTERNAL enemy is our Flesh, the old sin nature. Once we got saved, the Spirit of God came to live within us (Romans 8:9), and now there’s a war going on inside us! The battle is over control of the new Believer. Our text states that each Christians faces the world, the flesh, and the devil. Let me describe our enemies in the following manner:

The lust of the flesh is an overwhelming desire to do something. The devil preys on the Christian’s mind here. Paul said, what I want to do I don’t do, and what I don’t want to do I find myself doing!   The pride of life is an overwhelming desire to be someone or something. The devil preys on the Christian’s emotions here. The lust of the eyes is an overwhelming desire to have something.

The Devil preys on the Christian’s will here. So Satan focus on the Christian’s mind, will, and emotions in order to defeat him. Satan knows that he cannot take away a Christian’s salvation, for this is an Eternal transaction (Romans 6:23; Matthew 19:16; John 3:15-16; John 10:28; Titus 1:2). Therefore, he goes after the next best thing, the Christian’s testimony.   This is what Paul seemed to fear in I Corinthians 9:27 when he penned these words, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

 

Our INFERNAL enemy is the Devil. He’s real, he’s on the earth, and he has quite a following, both demonic and human, (I Peter 5:8).

 

Avoiding Two Common Mistakes as You Deal with the Devil

 

First, do not maximize his influence. Don’t pin everything on him. Satan can tempt, but he cannot FORCE you to do anything against your will. Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Second, do not make the mistake of minimizing his influence. Many Christians become easy prey because of ignorance of the devil’s devices. He does not possess the same powers as God. He is powerful, but he is limited.

 

 The first time Jesus came to earth, there was a flurry of demonic activity everywhere. And Jesus is coming again, and Satan knows his days are numbered, and his time is short. No wonder the Bible predicts another big surge of demonic activity, increasing up to the end! His eventual fate is sealed. Revelation 20:10 makes it very clear where the Devil will spend his eternity, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

 

 

 

The News You Never Expected To Hear: Allowing God To Walk You Through The Devastation!

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The News You Never Expected To Hear:  Allowing God To Walk

You Through The Devastation!

(Part Two of Two)

 

Facing devastation, tragedy, catastrophic situations of any kind, can be extremely difficult. But in the midst of heartache and pain, you can find the hope and courage to go on. With God’s help, and the encouragement found in the Bible, you will receive the necessary strength to overcome.

You may be thinking, I just do not believe that I can get through this. How will I be able to possibly face this devastation?  This can trigger a series of emotions fear, depression, even feelings of despair. 

Questions may inevitably begin racing through your mind.  Why me God?  God why has this happened to me?  To my Family?  Why at this time of our lives?  God, will I die from this?  Is there any possible way that we can recover from this grave set of circumstances?  What will happen to my family if I do die?  How will they be cared for?  

Each one of these questions were honest questions that my wife Cathy and I had to ask during the early days of our hearing the news that we never thought that we would ever hear.  As I said before, she never once complained about what God allowed to come into her life for her, her concern was always for me and the three children.  

God Never does anything TO us; God Always did things FOR us

 Cathy knew that God Never did anything TO us; God was Always doing things FOR us.  She knew that God would have a clear purpose in allowing cancer to strike her body.  She refused to resist and fight God.  II Corinthians 4:8-9 was a great comfort to her.  “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”

Her faith was completely in the one that able to deliver her if it would His will, yet she had the attitude of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:20-21. “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  She wanted to live, as we all do.  Yet she was focused on her eternal life with Jesus Christ.  No, you could not threaten her with heaven! 

You must focus on God’s Promises rather than Man’s Explanations

No one really knows why God has allowed this tragedy to enter into your life. Like Job’s friends some might say it is because of some sin that you are being punished for.

I have learned in my nearly 45 years of being a Christian that I cannot live by mere explanations, I must have Promises from God’s Word to comfort and encourage me as I pass through the deep waters of life. Explanations have little value by way of satisfying the soul, yet promises are what will sustain you you’re your darkest moments. Let us take note of some precious, yet very powerful promises from God’s Word.

1.  You must understand that nothing takes God by surprise. He Sees and Understands Your Pain.   

  •  Psalm 34:15: “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” If God’s eye is on the sparrow, He’s most certainly watching you, watching your every step, feeling your deep hurt, ready to walk you through the devastation.
  • Isaiah 43:2-3 reminds us, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.”

2.  You must understand that God invites you to pour out your heart and soul unto Him.

  • Hebrews 4:16; “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  God invites you to approach Him boldly, or confidently.  He promised that at his throne of Grace that he will provide you with the grace you need to help in your time of need.
  • Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry , and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”
  • Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
  • Jeremiah 29:13: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

What wonderful and precious promises we have before us. As someone once said, “God’s Word provides a soft pillow for our troubled hearts.” You’re probably hurting so badly that all you really want to do is cry. And that’s okay! Even the Lord Jesus Christ wept when faced with the tragedy and sorrow of death (John 11:35). He was so deeply moved within because of the sorrow resulting from Lazarus’ death that He began to weep.

3. You must understand that while friends and family may Help, you must recognize that God is Your Real Hope.     Psalm 73:26 reminds us, “My flesh and my heart faileth : but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.”

When you consider all that you are facing, ask yourself, “Is there anything too hard for God?” (Jeremiah 32:17). Absolutely nothing! No matter what is going on in your life, you can trust that He is in control, and is working everything out for your good (Romans 8:28).

When you wake up in the morning and wonder how you will face the day, God is working it out. When you wonder how you can get through and overcome this difficult time, God is working it out. And when you lay down at night, wondering how you will face the challenges of tomorrow, whatever they may be, God is already working it out. God knows intimately the concerns of your heart (Psalm 139:1-3), and can provide all the peace, strength, and courage you need. So don’t give up! Confidently hope in Him. Hope … and persevere!

You must focus on asking the Right Questions of God

 1. God, how can I use these devastating circumstances to truly Glorify you? Matthew 5:16 exhorts us to, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” I Corinthians 10:31 states, “Whether therefore ye eat , or drink , or whatsoever ye do , do all to the glory of God.”       This takes the focus off of us and places our focus where it rightly belongs, focusing on God.

2. God, what are you trying to teach me from this adversity?

3. God, how can I use this these upsetting circumstances to become a blessing to others? A song I often sing as I face dark dismal days is the hymn, “Others.”

Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.

4. God, are you trying to provide me with a new ministry?  In 1939, Dr. Bill Rice and his wife Cathy had their baby girl, Betty, became gravely ill with spinal meningitis. Betty survived a close call but lost her hearing as a result of the high fever.

In the following years, Dr. Bill preached the gospel across the country, but even his own daughter could not hear it. The Rices were dismayed that they could find no one who could help them communicate the gospel to Betty. So, with the aid of pictures and a black board, Cathy Rice began to teach her daughter the Bible, beginning with the creation story and culminating with the gift of God’s Son.

God used Betty’s salvation to open their eyes to the great need of unreached deaf people across the country. The Lord convinced them that if they had a burden to reach deaf people, they should do something about it. They would reach out to the Deaf as they “did the work of an evangelist” in churches across the country.

This is a great example of allowing God to use your devastation for HIS glory. God does have His reasons for allowing adversity in our lives (Romans 8:28-29). Our role is to work with God rather than against his plan in our problems.

Many years ago a little girl was totally blind. She was blinded as an infant as the result of an accident. She lived to be over 90 years old. She became well-known in the American church. She wrote many popular Christian songs and choruses. Her name was Fanny Crosby. When she was only eight years old, she wrote:

Oh, what a happy child I am, although I cannot see.
I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy that other people don’t.
To weep and sigh because I’m blind–I cannot and I won’t.

The News You Never Expected To Hear: Allowing God To Walk You Through The Devastation!

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The News You Never Expected To Hear:  Allowing God

To Walk You Through The Devastation!

Part One of Two

Facing devastation, tragedy, catastrophic situations of any kind, can be extremely difficult. But in the midst of heartache and pain, you can find the hope and courage to go on. With God’s help, the help of caring family members and friends, and the encouragement found in the Bible and other resources, you will receive the necessary strength to overcome.

You may be thinking, I don’t know how I could ever get through this. Or you may be battling powerful feelings of despair, suffering, confusion, fear, worry, and even anger. These are all normal responses to tragedy.

The First News That I NEVER Expected To Hear

The words that my wife and I NEVER expected to hear came during 1991. My wife was doing a breast exam and was shocked to feel a lump during her examination. Needless to say, it was the longest night of our lives.

The next day, Cathy called the doctor, and scheduled her appointment. They got her in and a few days later the results of the testing came in. We were at home together when the telephone rang. It was someone from the doctor’s office.

I was standing close by waiting for Cathy to relay the report that all was well. Then I saw a look of absolute horrific look that paralyzed her face. Then there was a blood-curdling scream that came from my wife as she dropped the phone, and stumbled back six feet, hitting the wall, then sliding to the floor in obvious agony of soul.

The news that she had just been told was, “Mrs. Kilgore, you have Cancer!” Oh my, our lives were about to be changed forever. This was definitely news that we NEVER expected to hear at a relative young age of 37. My wife handled the news, after this initial shock in a way that I can only wish that I would had. She was my life.

Cathy truly honored and glorified the name of Jesus Christ each step of the way following this life-changing news. She never once uttered a word of complaint against God not doubted God’s love and personal care to her. Her faith was unshakable! She became a exceptional example for our children, and myself as to how to allow God to walk a person through the devastation that enters into their life.

Was it difficult? Absolutely. Was it hard on her? Unquestionably! But as difficult as this life storm was for Cathy, as well as your current circumstances, please remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! God is with you always. Hebrews 13:5 says, “…for he hath said , I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Jesus Christ loves you, and He cares about what is going on in your life. He hears your cries; He sees your pain; He understands your fears. Moreover, God is very near to those that are of a broken heart. Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

You Must Focus on God’s Promises Rather than Man’s Explanations

No one really knows why God has allowed this tragedy to enter into your life. Like Job’s friends some might say it is because of some sin that you are being punished for.  I have learned in my nearly 45 years of being a Christian that I cannot live by mere explanations, I must have Promises from God’s Word to comfort and encourage me as I pass through the deep waters of life. Explanations have little value by way of satisfying the soul, yet promises are what will sustain you you’re your darkest moments. Let us take note of some precious, yet very powerful promises from God’s Word.

1.  You must understand that nothing takes God by surprise. He Sees and Understands Your Pain.    Psalm 34:15: “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” If God’s eye is on the sparrow, He’s most certainly watching you, watching your every step, feeling your deep hurt, ready to walk you through the devastation.
Isaiah 43:2-3 reminds us, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.”

You may be wondering, Who can rescue me from this? Be encouraged! Even in the deepest of waters, God promises to be with the one who trusts in Him. He alone can truly rescue you and keep you from drowning.

Just as Jesus rescued Peter when He invited him to walk on water in the midst of a storm (Matthew 14:22-33). At first, Peter trusted Jesus and joined Him on the water, but as soon as he began to focus on the storm, and give in to the fear of it, he began to sink. Still, when he cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 12:30), Jesus stretched out His hand and rescued Peter.

What a great encouragement this should be to you today! Jeremiah 32:27 asks the question that perhaps you are now asking, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” The answer is found in Jeremiah 32:17: “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:” There is Absolutely NOTHING too hard for our God to do!

He can rescue you too from the deep water of despair! Jesus can still do the seemingly impossible! Matthew 19:26: “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

When you feel as though you are sinking deep in your sea of devastation, please look to the One that Walks on Water!

Untold Billions REMAIN Untold: A Case For Global Evangelism!

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Untold Billions REMAIN Untold: A Case of Global Evangelism!

 

The unreached are dying without ever hearing the good news! Why? Romans 10 provides the Biblical basis for our vast failure. Romans 10:12-15: “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard, and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach , except they be sent as it is written , How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Consider the Following Facts About Missions

The facts I am quoting come from a great missionary Book, written by my friend, Jon Nelms. The book is titled: “The Great Omission.”   He says on pages 53 and 54 the following: “This planet, at least in missionary terms, has been divided into what is called “The Three Worlds”: World A, World B, and you guessed it–World C. Allow me to define them:

World A

• The truly “unreached world” of people who have never even heard the name of Jesus.
• Percentage of the global population: 28 percent.
• Percentage of missionaries targeting World A: 2.5 percent.

World B

• The “unevangelized world” of people who have limited access to the Gospel but are not yet considered Christian nations. The Gospel has penetrated their borders but has not reached the majority of the people. Given time, the majority of the people will be reached—perhaps within two or three generations.
• Percentage of the global population: 39 percent.
• Percentage of missionaries targeting World B 17.5 percent.

World C

• The “evangelized world” of people who have full and unrestricted access to the Gospel, regardless of whether or not they choose to hear or accept it.
• Percentage of the global population: 33 percent.
• Percentage of missionaries targeting World C: 80 percent.”

Does God still love the Lost? Has He changed or abandoned His plan for Global Evangelism? These are obviously rhetorical questions. God loves the World and every single person in it. He desires that all might hear the truth of the Gospel. God desires that EVERY person know that there is only one way to Heaven, and this way is ONLY through His Son, Jesus Christ. John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Acts 4:12 likewise makes this very clear, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved .”

Amazing Statistics Showing the Trail of Those Trying To Get To the Field

The last 15 years has revealed a 50% reduction in Americans ENTERING the mission force. “Of those who answered the call, 43% NEVER completed fund-raising “deputation.” WHY? There are many “Reasons.” Sometimes the Missionary grows frustrated and discouraged by what they face while on deputation. 75% of those who made it to the field came home within three years, and only 17 of every 100 who began the process, actually arrived and remained,” Gil Anger, Researcher. This of course greatly concerns me.

Yet, the latest estimates suggest that approximately 7,000 people groups are considered unreached. That means over 43% of the world’s people groups have no indigenous community of believing Christians able to evangelize the rest of their people group. Over 41% of the world’s population live in these over 7,000 people groups.

It is important to note that this does not mean every individual within an unreached people group has never heard of Jesus or understood the message of salvation. There is often a small percentage (less than 2%) Christ-followers in these groups, but the vast majority of the group has minimal, if any, exposure to the person of Jesus Christ and the Good News of God’s free gift of salvation.

In spite of lots of excitement about large numbers coming to Christ around the world, the fact is that 25% of the world which historically has had little or no contact with the gospel, (made up of mostly Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists) has not changed, and is not anticipated to change, unless something changes in the way we do things. The reasons for this are numerous, but the following statistics surely have something to do with it:

• “Only 2-4% of Christian Missionaries go to serve the 2 billion least reached”
• “Of foreign mission funding: 87% goes for work among those already Christian, 12% for work among already evangelized, but Non-Christian, 1% for work among the unevangelized and *unreached people. (Baxter 2007, 12).

Why Are So Few God-Called Missionaries, Actually Getting To the Field?

The easy answer is that they were probably never called in the first place. Or, that it “must not” had REALLY been “God’s will” for the Missionary to go in the first place. Really? Are we truly serious by accepting these shallow explanations? Let me share some of the “reality” that faces the average missionary trying his best to get to the place of God’s calling.

Missionaries often face an avalanche of non-returned phone calls while seeking to introduce themselves, and their ministry. Of the relatively small amount of those reached, there is an overwhelming number of church leadership that will immediately say, “Brother, I would love to help you, but the economy is tight and we just cannot take on any more missionaries.” A Missionary simply wants the opportunity to come and share God’s calling for their life.

Our ministry is a Global ministry in which we travel all over the world, evangelizing, and we then start Churches from those saved. Last year God graciously allowed us to also help start two Bible Colleges as well. I can truly say, that without generous support, and those that are giving financially each month that this type of ministry would not be possible. God knows how to bring people together to accomplish HIS ministry.

I thank God that He has provided different Churches and Families that have helped me get to the field to win souls. They have come from the most unexpected sources. Three Families from Indiana and Georgia have purchased flight tickets and most, if not all the expenses of the Missionary Journeys. At other times, Sunday School classes from our sending church have raised money. We have a few different individuals that faithfully give each month, as well as three Churches. At other times, a one-time gift that was exactly what we needed was given to make the difference. We have even had three Facebook friends faithfully assist our ministry as they are able. Truly I can say as one great missionary once said, “God’s work, done in God’s way, will not lack supply.”

Missionaries are so varied in their looks, schooling, and church size they are coming from. Even their personalities are diverse. Some are shy and introverted, which may actually become a barrier in getting selected to share their call in a church. While others are very out-going and extroverted and may find a much easier time to receive “the invitation” to present their calling in a local church. Yet God is able to use us all for His Glory!

Yes, God uses many different personalities in missions and ministry. He used Peter that was quite the extrovert, while using Moses that had a speech impediment. He used a Jack Hyles that was often loud and highly motivating, yet he used a Jonathan Edwards that was a man that had poor eyesight and held his sermons close to his eyes as he read them. All were greatly used of God, yet we may make a decision to have or not to have a Missionary based on his personality.

No missionary I know of, is expecting a church to completely understand their exact calling, or be as ecstatic and exhilarated as they are with the call. However, they do expect each local church to give prayerful consideration of this calling, so they might present the need and their call.

The Great Commission has long become the Great Omission! Imagine the shame Hudson Taylor felt when a new Chinese convert raised the question, “how long ago did you say Jesus died??? NONE of my ancestors had ANY idea.”   This is completely unacceptable and we must ALL work together to reach the World for Jesus Christ!

We That Possess the Truth MUST Become Possessed By the Truth

 Here is what the Bible teaches that we must allow our hearts and minds to become possessed with, as we strive TOGETHER to win the multitudes to Jesus Christ.

1. We must really believe that all people are sinners. Romans 3:10; 3:23.

2. We must really believe that all people deserve to die and go to hell. Romans 6:23.

3. We must really believe that Jesus Christ died in every person’s place, shed His blood as the only payment of man’s sin, died, and was buried, and three days later, Jesus rose from the grave. Hebrews 9:22, I Corinthians 15:1-4.

4. We must really believe that Jesus Christ desires every single person to hear the Gospel and come to salvation which is only through him. II Peter 3:9; I Timothy 2;4; I John 2:2.

5. We must really believe that God has called each Church and Christian to take this Gospel of Salvation and teach it to the World. Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8.

6. We must really believe that if any person will come to Jesus Christ, that He will saved them and take them to Heaven. John 3:16-18; Romans 10:9-13; I Timothy 1:15.

7. We must really believe that EVERY one without Jesus Christ WILL spend eternity apart from Jesus in the Lake of Fire. Revelation 21:8; Revelation 20:14-15.

8. We must really believe that God Takes No Pleasure in The Death of the Unsaved. Ezekiel 33:11.

9. We must really believe that God will hold the Believer, as well as the Church accountable for failing in Global Missions. Romans 14:11-12; II Corinthians 5:10.

10. We must really believe that our time is short. II Corinthians 7:29. Therefore, we must do all that we can while we can for the Cause of Christ!

The Calling and Command is clear and concise: Take the Gospel to the Entire World. What reason will you use for not Giving or Going in obedience to the Commands of Jesus Christ? Yes, Untold Billions REMAIN Untold!   This is not an Option to Consider; it is an Order to be obeyed!  

Will you allow the TRUTH to grip your heart this day so that it leads you to do more for Missions?  You possess the truth, but does the truth really possess you?  Until it does, the sad plight of those without the Gospel will continue to plunge into an everlasting hell.

 

The Mission of Jesus is to be the Mission of the Church!  

 

Jesus Praying for His Persecutors

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The Last Words of our Saviour:  Jesus Praying for His Persecutors
Luke 23:33, 34

This morning we come to Calvary. CALVARY was a place of curse as well as a place of blessing. It was a place of curse for our Saviour; yet a place of eternal blessing for us. CALVARY is where we see man at his Worst and see God at His BEST. Calvary is the place where the sinless Lamb of God was slain, and the very place where God shed His precious blood to pay for the sin of the world (John 1:29). Calvary, the place where each sinner must come if they desire to gain entrance into heaven.

As we approach Calvary, or Golgotha’s Hill, and as we stand gazing at this hill which was in the shape of a skull, we will immediately see three crosses outlining the sky. As we walk nearer, we learn of who is hanging on those crosses and the reasons why.

Two thieves occupy the first and third crosses. On the middle cross we see the greatest person that would eve live, for here we are viewing the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Jesus had been born in a stable, just 33 years before this horrific event. He had been raised in Nazareth. He had lived a PERFECT and completely SINLESS life. Yet here we see the innocent dying in the place of the guilty. Here we witness Perfection dying in the place of Imperfection.

The crowd had already clamored for His crucifixion. Now, at this point in history, the hatred for Jesus Christ had risen to its hellish heights. Jesus has already been condemned, even by one government official that had said, “I find no fault in this just man.” The cry, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him” has already been echoed throughout the great gathering of people. The long agonizing march to Calvary has ended. People watched and listened as the nails had been driven into the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. The cross has long since been lifted heavenward. Those that remained at the foot of the cross were watching with the sinful smirks upon their faces as they were well-pleased that Jesus was dying such an excruciating and painful death.

In the midst of this, we hear Jesus Christ speak seven different sentences. This day, let us hear the first words which Jesus spoke from the Cross. With all that Jesus had already endured, were His first words lashing out against His enemies? No, He is praying for them. He just prayed for those that had placed the crown of thorns upon His head; for the Roman soldiers that beat him mercilessly; He prayed for those that had condemned Him; for those that mocked Him; for those that clamored for His crucifixion.

What did Jesus pray, “Father, forgive them?” Who else but God’s Son could had prayed a prayer such as that and under those circumstances? His public life began with prayer and now He closes His public ministry in prayer.

As Jesus is ending His earthly life, he could no longer use His hands to serve the sick, for they are now nailed to a wooden cross. No longer would His feet be able to run errands of mercy and compassion, for they as well have been nailed to the cross. No longer could Jesus teach His disciples, for they have ALL abandoned Him. What then could Jesus do in Hid final hour? He could pray. In fact, the first, fourth and seventh words were all prayers. In the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of His suffering did Jesus pray.

When did Jesus Pray?

The Bible says, “THEN Jesus prayed.” Then, when wicked man was at his worst; THEN, when Satan was laughing in his wicked glee; THEN, when the demons of hell were rejoicing and mocking at what APPEARED to be a triumph for evil! THEN, when the physical pain was at its worst, then Jesus prayed for his enemies.

In this prayer we see Jesus practicing that which He had previously taught from Matthew 5:44, We are …”to PRAY for them which despitefully use you.” We see here man’s greatest need—the need for the forgiveness of his sins. This is why Jesus prayed this prayer for His tormentors. This is why Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
In this prayer, Jesus was asking His Father to withhold Divine punishment until these people could understand the real spiritual significance of what he was doing. Father, they are ignorant now, but they will soon learn of the Gospel as it will be preached. Then they will have the opportunity to repent and receive me as their Saviour. Give them one more chance Father.

Yes, this prayer was answered and many gathered here would be saved as Peter preached to this same basic gathering in Acts chapter two. Three thousand were saved after Peter’s sermon. Can you not imagine the people passing by Peter saying these words?

I spat upon Jesus, but now I understand and repent of my sins. Another rushes up and says, I was the one that drove the nails through His hands. I just asked Jesus for forgiveness. Another sheepishly edges closes to peter and asks, “Can I be forgiven? I drove the crown of thorns deep into the scalp of Jesus. Peter would simply say, Repent and believe and you will be saved! Another runs up to Pewter asking with tears streaming down his face, “Can I receive forgiveness? It was I that slapped His face and pummeled His face until you could not even recognize that His was the face of a man.

Read my words carefully, they did not understand what the true impact of that day was. But you and I do! We know what Jesus did on that crosses and by placing your faith in Jesus Christ, and Jesus alone, you will be forgiven of all!

If you would like to know 100% sure that you have the Complete forgiveness of God, please take a minute to respond and I will show you more from God’s Word how you CAN KNOW this great truth.

Look at Your Hands: How Much Blood Is Dripping From Your Hands!

Sinner

Ezekiel 33:1-8

Look at Your Hands: The Blood Is Dripping From Your Hands!

Ezekiel was a prophet that was a watchman to the house of Israel. His business was to warn sinners of their misery and danger. He must warn the wicked to turn from their way, that they may live. If souls perish through his neglect of duty, he brings guilt upon himself.

Ezekiel 33:7 reminds us that it was God that gave Ezekiel this responsibility of watching and warning: “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.”

The business of every Christian to remains the same. We are to share the Gospel (I Corinthians 15:1-4).   The last words of Jesus Christ, as He was about to ascend into Heaven was to take the Gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8).

Every believer will one day stand before Jesus Christ (Romans 14:12; II Corinthians 5:10), and will be held accountable for the opportunities that one had to win the lost to Jesus Christ.

God made it clear concerning the personal accountability of each watchman (Christian) with regards to soul-winning. Ezekiel 33:2-6 says, ” Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:  If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;  Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning ; if the sword come , and take him away , his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning ; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.  But if the watchman see the sword come , and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned ; if the sword come , and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.”

 

We Can Draw Two Lessons From This Passage 

First, If he sounds the warning and is not heeded, then he is not responsible for defeat. Then he would be free from the blood of this man. When we share the Gospel, the unbeliever has a decision to make. They may either receive the Gospel or they may in fact Reject it, (John 1:11,12). Our responsibility is to share the Gospel.

The second lesson we find is for the Believer to fail to sound the warning makes the watchman accountable for defeat or death. This is when their blood will be upon our hands. Oh the bloody hands that we must all have. Look at your hands. See the blood dripping from those hands that could had witnessed to so many souls that died, or will one day die without Jesus Christ.

 

Paul made a bold assertion in Acts 20:26 when he could honorably say, “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.” How could he make this claim? Because of Acts   Acts 20:31 tells us how he could make such an unflinching proclamation, “Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years, I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”  Paul further said in Acts 20:27: For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Paul reminded the people in Ephesus that for over two years he had shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them, Acts 19:8, 10 says, “ And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.   10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks”.

 

Paul could truthfully say that he believed in what I call, “Everyday Evangelism.”    Acts 20:20 says, “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house.”     Notice the broken heart Paul had for the souls of men in Acts 20:19, “Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears…” Truly his desire is best seen in Romans 10:1: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”  Daily Paul was teaching the Word of God. Daily he was preaching the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. Daily he was out soul-winning.

Christian, how often are you out sharing the Gospel? Preacher, how many times a week are you out trying to bring the lost to Jesus Christ? Christian leader, when was the last time that you asked God to break your heart for the lost people that you know? Sunday School Teacher, have you asked God to help you witness to EACH student in your class to ask them personally the most important question that could ever be asked? That question is, “If you were to die today, are you 100% sure that you would go to Heaven, or would you have to admit, I just do not know?”   Then you could share the glorious Gospel with them.

 

Paul clearly understood that warning in Ezekiel 3:18 where it reads: “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die ; and thou givest him not warning , nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life ; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”

 

A lady recently visited a Church and during the invitation, she raised her hand saying that she would like to know that she was going to Heaven when she died. However, she did not come forward to have someone take the Bible to guide her through God’s plan of salvation.

The pastor approached this lady following the service and asked her the following question. “Do you know the Lord?” Her immediate reply was, “I am working on that.” The pastor then said, “If I can be of any help, let me know.” And with that, he let that that young lady walked into his Church not knowing that if she were to die , that she would go to heaven. And he let her leave the same way!  

She provided the pastor with a golden opportunity to win her to Jesus Christ, yet he for whatever reason, let her walk out of his church without asking if he could have a few extra minutes of her time to help her to KNOW that she was going to Heaven.

She did not leave a visitor’s card and he may never have this young lady come back. Ezekiel 33:8 says, “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”

 

Who do you need to go to before this week is over and present the Gospel to? Do you really want them to go to hell?  Do you really want their blood staining your hands spiritually? My dear Christian, remember there is no escape from hell once a sinner dies without Jesus Christ.    Preacher, will you commit to “Everyday Evangelism?”   Can you not schedule 2 hours each day to winning the lost in your field of service?

Charles H. Spurgeon said, “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

We MUST Have Revival in America

jeremiah-weeping

We Must Have Revival in America: When God Judges a Nation

 

 

Jeremiah 9:1 describes what is needed in the Men of God and from the people in the Church, “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!”

Psalm 85:6 should become the constant cry of each Church in America, “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”

Isaiah 57:15:. revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

Habakkuk 3:2 we hear Habakkuk pouring out his soul unto God when he prays, “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid : O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known ; in wrath remember mercy.”

There once was a time in which revival was a good thing to have. A time in which having a revival meeting was something the people actually looked forward to. A time in which Christian would gather around the old altar late into the night, and into the early morning hour crying out for a personal and national revival.

I remember some of those days. The crying, the agonizing, the souls panting after God wanting to get a glimpse of the Glory and Majesty of God. America today is unrecognizable to me from those days of yester-year. We live in a nation on the verge of collapse. Oh my soul cries out to God to allow me to do my part in turning over a better world for my Grandchildren to live in.

Our American families have been shattered. Our faith has been compromised where you can enter a church and not even hear the name of Jesus even mentioned except at the close out each prayer. Yes, we MUST have revival in America.

Look at the Condition of our Country, Church, and Christians

 

We are living in days similar to the times of Isaiah the Prophet. He described his nation this way in Isaiah 5:20, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

 

  • We have ALLOWED Jesus Christ to be kicked out of American schools for years, with nothing more than a whimper from the Church. We now live in a world where Christians and the Church has ALLOWED Jesus Christ to be removed, while actually allowing and promoting Islam in schools across America.

 

  • We allow Islam to be taught and studied, yet a child cannot even read his Bible during recess time in America without severe repercussions. Why has this happened? Because we have grown cold and complacent in America. In the Pledge of Allegiance to America, God. We must have revival in America!

 

  • Since the Row vs Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973, America has stained the blood of 58 million BABIES! God help us! During the last 30 years, our countries combined have brutally murdered 1,322, 372,570 precious babies. During the first 22 DAYS of January, 2015 America has already butchered 65,000 innocent babies, with 2.2 billion priceless babies already murdered in our world. We MUST have revival in America! We have got to have a National revival. A return to godliness.

 

  • We have ALLOWED, as a result of our spiritual weakness, and because we have lacked the courage, and spiritual back-bone to take a strong, uncompromising stand for Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:11, 13).

 

  • Our average American Church is lukewarm at best, hearing the preaching without the Word of God making any deep, abiding spiritual impact upon our lives. We have preachers that REFUSE to obey the admonition of Isaiah, in Isaiah 58:1 when he said rather strongly, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”

 

  • Where do you go in America to hear a preacher passionately pouring out his heart against sin while promoting the holiness of Jesus Christ? The average pulpit has been stripped of its spiritual power when it quit preaching against Biblical sin! This is why we MUST have Revival in America. America will never experience revival until the preacher starts lifting up his voice to bring people back to God.

 

Last year while reading through the Books of Jeremiah and Lamentations, I was reminded of a man that likewise was very concerned about the spiritual condition of his country as some of us are this morning.

His name was Jeremiah. He was a true Man of God. Let me give you some background into the days in which Jeremiah lived and see if you can see America, or your country in the Biblical account of the nation of Judah.

Around 975 B.C., the nation of Israel had divided. Jeroboam I led the 10 northern tribes to become insurgent against King Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. The Northern Kingdom came to be known as Israel. Its capital was eventually located in Samaria. All of the kings who ruled over the Northern Kingdom were wicked, godless men. Israel was conquered by Assyria in 721 B.C. Nearly all of the people were taken into Assyrian captivity.

The Southern Kingdom was known as Judah. Judah was made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Their capitol city was Jerusalem, where the temple was located. Although most of its rulers were wicked, they did have a few that were faithful to God. However, Judah became a godless nation. Because of this, God allowed Babylon to conquer it in 606 B.C. Some of the leading citizens, including Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, were taken to Babylon at this time. When Judah rebelled against Babylon in 596 B.C. others, including Ezekiel, were taken as captives to Babylon. Finally, in 586 B.C. , in what was a preview of what I believe could very well happen to our blessed country of America, the army of Babylon destroyed the city of Jerusalem. Solomon’s temple was torn down. Most of the remaining people were carried away into Babylon. During Judah’s last days, Jeremiah served as God’s spokesman to them.

Jeremiah, like many in America, was born during a troubled time in his country’s history. As we face in our world of the 21st century, great nations were struggling for control of the world. Does this sound familiar with the modern day terrorists trying to seize control of the world, infiltrating one country at a time?

The powerful Assyrian Empire was slowly dying, as is some of the truly great countries in our lifetimes. Babylon became a superpower once its army defeated and conquered Nineveh. Nineveh was capital of Assyria Empire, in 612 B.C.

Egypt had been a world power for more than one thousand years. It was striving to maintain its power against threats from Babylon. The little nation of Judah was located directly between these two global giants or superpowers. When the armies from the Babylonian Empire marched to fight the armies from the Egyptian Empire in the Nile Valley, they had to go through Judah. Many times, battles were fought on Judah’s territory. Its people suffered greatly as a result. Kings of Judah were tempted to make alliances with either Babylon or Egypt as protection against the other one. Jeremiah and the other prophets warned them to trust in God instead of these alliances.

Spiritually, the people of Judah had sunk very low. After the death of Hezekiah, a good king, his wicked son, Manasseh, came to the throne (2 Kings 21:1-9). Manasseh was followed by his son, Amon, who was also wicked (2 Kings 21:19-22). When Amon was killed by his own servants, his eight year old son, Josiah, was placed on the throne (2 Kings 21:23-26). Josiah was the last of the good kings of Judah. He led the people back to God and His Law (2 Kings 22, 23). Sadly, his godly rule was cut short when he was killed in battle at the age of 39 (2 Kings 23:29). It was during these times that God called Jeremiah to prophesy during the rule of Josiah (Jeremiah 1:1-10).

Jeremiah saw what was about to happen to his country of Judah. He knew that unless the people got serious about revival that their beloved city and temple would be destroyed. Further, he knew that many men, husbands and fathers would be killed in the fierce battle. He likewise could see the women and children being carried away as slaves to the wicked Babylonians.

I can visualize the agony on the faces of the Men as they were now fighting a losing battle. Their opportunity to repent and experience a genuine revival had passed. Judgment was now in the form the battlefield where these valiant men were losing.

Judgment could be heard by the weeping and wailing of the women and children as they were being carried away from their homeland forever. The pain on the faces of the surviving men from the battle as they were now bound and absolutely helpless to prevent their women and children from going into a hostile land.

You read of Jeremiah boldly preaching to the nation of Judah to repent and return to God. As with some of you reading or listening to this message, they just do not believe that God would really bring Judah down by using a heathen nation to chasten them. Guess what, neither do you or MOST of America.

We just cannot envision God using terrorists people and countries banding together all over the modern world to bring America. Yet God is allowing this to happen, right before our very eyes. Every night on the news we read or watch of more Christians beheaded; small children and women buried alive at the hand the enemy of Jesus Christ. I believe God is allowing this to happen to create the type of persecution that will drive Christians back to Jesus Christ.

Jeremiah warned his country with tears, to flee to God. They just refused to listen. The agony upon his heart was excruciating. All through the book of Jeremiah, we see the Man of God warning, begging, and pleading for the nation to return to God. They just would not listen!

Once you begin reading the second book which Jeremiah was used of God to write, called the Book of lamentations, the judgment had fallen. Some have described Lamentations as “a funeral chant for Jerusalem. Lamentations is often called “The Tears of Jeremiah.” Each of the five chapters of Lamentations is a poem. It shows clearly that God will punish even His own people if they do not repent of their sins.

Watch the Man of God, with his heart shattered at what he was watching, the captivity had begun. It was now too late to avert the judgment of God.

America, we are very close to destruction. I just lost some of our more liberal Christians. You simply do not want to hear the truth. Therefore you are not willing to help bring America back to God. We are living during days in which the America I experienced for 60 years of my life, is coming to a close.

We have become like the frogs on the stove. If you place a number of frogs in a pan of lukewarm water, and then place that pan of living frogs on a stove, then turn up the heat all at once, and they will all jump out to save themselves. But place those same frogs in a lukewarm pan of water, and SLOWLY turn up the heat, the frogs will become immune to the slow temperature change and remain in the pan of water until they slowly boil to death.

The time has NOW come! America, Don’t Wait, until It is Too Late!

Our time IS Short (I Corinthians 7:29), so we MUST pray, we must repent, and we must GET INVOLVED (Nehemiah 1:11). Christians, we MUST have a Revival in America!

What are YOU Doing to help Save America? What are you REALLY DOING to make a difference? Will you begin by returning to God? Will you confess your sins as David had in Psalm 51:10? Will you confess your sins and receive the cleansing needed in your life as promised by God in I John 1:9?

Jesus Christ is Our ONLY hope. The early Church turned the world upside down for Jesus Christ. We can to! We MUST do all that we can, while we can!

EVERY American will soon say, “I WISH that I would have, or each will say, Thank God that I did!” It is Your Country, so it is your choice. We are living at the midnight hour. Judah let the clock pass midnight and it brought years of devastation. Will American Christians learn from Judah’s mistake? Will we return to God?

Will you contact me by replying to this message letting me know that God has spoken to your heart about revival and returning to God?   Humility is the first step to revival , (II Chronicles 7:14).

We MUST Have Revival In America!

Don’t Say That It Cannot Happen To You

Sinner

A Warning for Believers:

Don’t Say That It Cannot Happen To You

 

I have a 15 year old Adopted Daughter in the Philippines by the name of Rachelle Divino, that revealed great wisdom to me during my first Missionary journey to her country during October, 2013. She said, “Pastor, pray for me, that I would NEVER do anything that would prevent God from using my life for His Glory.” Wow! I was taken back with her words of wisdom.

Throughout the Bible we read of one person after another that had failed to pray a similar prayer each day. Oh, how my heart grieves for those that once served so well, then fell through sin and have left the ministry. I do not believe that we have one that we can afford to lose.

Scripture is filled with such examples of men that said, “I have sinned.”

1. “I have sinned,” said Balaam in Numbers 22:34, as he departed from the perfect will of God for his life.

2. I have sinned,” said Achan in Joshua 7:20 after taking the money and the Babylonish garment from the city of Jericho.

3. “I have sinned,” said Saul in I Samuel 15:24, 30 when Samuel reprimanded him for his disobedience.

4. “I have sinned,” said David in II Samuel 12:13 after his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah.

5. “I have sinned,” said Shimei. It was Shimei who hurled dust at King David. It was Shimei who cursed King David as he came near Mahanaim.

6. “I have sinned,” said Job in Job 7:20. Pride had crept into his heart.

7. “I have sinned,” said Micah in Micah 7:9. He looked at his people and saw their wickedness and realized that they were a reflection of his own life.

8. “I have sinned,” said the prodigal son in Luke 15:18 and 21, as he finally came to himself and returned home to his father.

9. “I have sinned,” said Judas in Matthew 27:4 as he realized that he had betrayed the very Son of God!

10. “I have sinned,” said Pharaoh in Exodus 9:27 and Exodus 10:16, as he saw the hail mixed with fire running along the ground, as he saw the herbs of the field and trees killed and as he saw the locusts and the crops eaten by them.

11. “I have sinned,” said those who desire to return to God. Oh how my heart cries out to remain close to God.

Words of Warning About Our Sin

 

  •  Let me say right now, you and I are sinners by both birth (Romans 5:12), and by choice. There is not one sin that you and I are not capable of committing under the right set of circumstances. We must always remember that we are to, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak,” (Matthew 26:41).

• Lest you think you are above sin, I have a warning to you. When you think you are free from certain sins, there WILL come a knock on your door. It will be Satan coming to see how strong you really are.

• Remember this word of warning, “Better than you and I have Fallen!”

• If you have sinned, it is not too late to return to God.

How to “Get Right With God.”

1.   You must Consider your sin.   Psalm 139:34-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” ‘Search me’ means to “ransack my heart.” It means to search every corner of our hearts as a thief would ransack a home, looking for something valuable. This of course must be prayed sincerely for I can assure you, the Holy Spirit WILL reveal areas that have hindered your intimacy and power with God.

2.    Then you must Biblically Confess your sin.   I John 1:9 says, that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The word ‘Confess’ means “To agree with God.” It means that we are to agree with God about our sins. It further means that we are ready to take sides with God, against our sin.
The closer that I get to God, the Blacker MY sin becomes to ME. However, kit has always been black to God. My sin has ALWAYS been a source of division in our relationship. Unfortunately, we are often like Samson in Judges 16:20, “…And he awoke out of his sleep, and said , I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.” How long must we go on pretending to walk with God while secretly running with the devil and this world?

3.    We must now Cast-a-way our sin. This is Biblical Repentance. Repenting can be described in simple terms: Biblical repentance means that I am now ready to Admit and then to Quit my sin. Proverbs 28:13 reminds us that, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Though we may struggle, the desire to forsake the sin is ever present in our hearts.

This is where Galatians 6:1 should be practiced. I have learned that people are quick to criticize and condemn those that are besieged with sin. Rather than cast the insults, the judgmental attitude, why not pause and ‘Hold That Stone.” Restore! Restore! Restore that brother! He needs us. I have often wondered how many Samsons’ MIGHT return if only we Christians would attempt to restore, rather than backbite and gossip.

Consider the Consequences of Committing just one act of sin

1. No one, even the most godly person today, is invulnerable from sinning tomorrow. Consider the life of Noah for a moment. Several times in the story of Noah, the scriptures speak of his obedience to God. God described Noah in as, “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” (Gen. 6:9). Four different times, God said that Noah did whatever the Lord commanded him (Gen. 6:22; 7:5, 9, 16). All of his obedience, though, did not keep him from getting drunk. Our temptations may be different, but this truth remains the same. Faithfulness today is no guarantee of our victory tomorrow. We must learn to walk circumspectly (Ephesians 5:15).

2. A dominant movement of God does not always prevent us from sin. Contemplate about it. God showed favor to Noah by personally walking and talking with him, warning him about the flood, providing Noah with specific directions about the ark, and then protecting he and his family through the world-wide flood. In fact, Noah’s first recorded act when his family left the ark was to build an altar to the God who had provided divine guidance and protection. Still, that history of the undeniable work of God did not prevent this great man of God from making temporary choices that brought sin and shame on himself. Regardless of what miracles God has worked in our past, we too can still fall today.

3. Even a single act of sin can mutilate the record of years of faithfulness. Again, Noah found favor in the Lord’s sight and demonstrated faithfulness for his generation (Gen. 6:8-9, 7:1). So faithful was he that the book of Hebrews includes him among the Heroes of faith (Heb. 11:7). Our same Bible, however, is not reluctant to expose Noah’s failure in Genesis 9. The account is brief, but the blemish is glaring – and the inspired Word of God does not allow us to ignore Noah’s sin even today. The danger of making a choice today that will affect the rest of our lives is ever before us. It serves as a reminder, “Better than you and I have fallen.”

4. Rarely does our sin only affect ourselves. In Noah’s situation, his sin opened the door for the sin of a son. Yes, even a single failure became a stumbling block to somebody else. Too many of us can tell stories of those whose single acts of sin have left ongoing scars in others, and the risk of that story becoming ours as well.

Here is my caution, my warning, my passionate plea to listen carefully to my words. Even one, single wrong decision can carry significant consequences. Join with me in praying that none of us would make decisions this year that will wreck our lives and testimonies.

How Does Justification Impact My Daily Life? (Part Two)

crying_out to God

How Does Justification Impact My Daily Life?    (Part Two)

 

Romans 5:1-5:  “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

The above verses teach us how our Relationship with God has Been Dramatically Affected because of Justification.  We were once at war with God and was considered the enemy of God.   Romans 5:10: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”  We were at war, but now we have peace with God.  Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Access to God in the Old Testament


In the Old Testament, inside the tabernacle (tent of meeting), and the temple, were the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, (also called the Holy of Holies).  This is where only the High Priest could go once a year to offer sacrifices for his sins, and also the sins of the people. When Jesus died on the cross, three of the Gospels state that the veil separating the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place was torn in two.

This indicated that direct access to the presence of God was now available for all believers. The word access only appears three times in the New Testament. It simply means introduction or entrance. Each time it is written in the Bible it is referring to Jesus and what He accomplished for believers.

 

Justification impacts our Daily Lives by Providing Access to God. 
 

  • Romans 5:2: “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”  
  • Ephesians 2:18: “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
  • Ephesians 3:12: “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”

The unsaved person does not have access to God, because he has no standing before God.  However, those of us  that have placed our faith in Jesus Christ, we were given admittance into the very throne room of God.  We read in Hebrews 4:16 where a gracious invitation has been extended to ALL Believers.  “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”    What a privilege and honor it is to have right of entry as one that has been saved and justified.

What Does Access To God Really Mean For the Believer?
 

 Access means that you can approach God at any time. You now have direct access to God. You don’t have to go through anybody else in order to approach God. You don’t have to confess you sins through anybody else. You don’t have to fellowship with God through anybody else. You must simply read your Bible, talk with the Lord, and fellowship directly with him.

Access means that we can bring any and all our requests to our Heavenly Father with whom nothing is too hard for Him to do.  Matthew 19:26 teaches us of the Power of God. “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”    Jeremiah 32:27 asks a question that you and I have asked when passing through difficult times. “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?”  But the answer is given in Jeremiah 32:17, in which Jeremiah boldly proclaims, “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:”

This Access to God Is INTO Grace


Romans 5:2, “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand…”  What does this mean to the Christian?  It means that our standing before God is one of the Glorious Grace of God and not as a result of keeping the law.

We must understand that grace means that GOD has provided for us; whereas the Law means that we are attempting to DO something in order to please God.     It is a magnificent truth to know, that we are living by grace, rather than by the bondage of the law.

A good friend of mine reminds us, “If you doubt your salvation, it is probably because you think you had something to do with it. News Flash: You didn’t.”  

 

How Does Justification Impact My Daily Life?

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How Does Justification Impact My Daily Life?

Romans 3:26 raises an interesting theological question. “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” This is exactly what we have discussed recently.  We have been teaching about what justification means and the different ways in which our holy God could be just and the Justifier of sinful man.

During our time together today, I would like to look at the doctrine of Justification from a slightly different way.  I want you to understand that though many may look at doctrinal teaching as dull and dry, it should not be so.  Doctrine affects us practically.  It is to impact our daily lives.  How we feel; how we think; how we live our lives.

In these five wonderful verses of Scripture, I would like for us to consider three definite ways that our daily lives are affected by this great and glorious doctrine.

Let us turn our thoughts to Romans 5:1-5.  “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand , and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed ; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”


Our Relationship with God has Been Dramatically Affected because of Justification

We will quickly notice how our relationship with God has been impacted.  We must remember this about our prior relationship to God before we placed our faith in Him.
  • “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away “ (Isaiah 64:6).
  • Romans 5:6 says that we were “ungodly.”
  • Romans 5:8 describes us all as “sinners.”
  • Romans 3:10 says that “there is none righteous, no not one.”
  • Romans 3:23 says that “we have all sinned and come short of the Glory of God.”
  • “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked : who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

It paints a horrific portrait of us, doesn’t it?  In spite of this appalling description of our sinfulness, God by His Grace (Romans 3:24), and through His shed blood (Romans 5:9), and by our faith in that which Jesus Christ has done for us (Romans 4:4-5).   And the moment that we placed our faith in Jesus Christ, He declared (not made) us righteous.
 
Justification Provides the Believer with Peace with God
 
Romans 5:1 says, ““Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Remember, before we were saved, we were described as the enemy of God.  We were at war with God. With our sin nature were raging in battle against the holy, righteous and pure God that created us. In fact, Paul said in Romans 8:7: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”  Enmity carries the idea of a complete hostility towards another.  

 

What does this Enmity with God Look Like?
We can easily see it in the radical Muslims beheading, torturing, burying men, women, and children live, and setting on fire people simply because they are not Islamic. Their enmity has affected the world.
Our Enmity towards God affected Heaven

 It led God to send His only son to pay our sin debt (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). For we could not have peace with God until we first received the righteousness of God. Psalm 85:10 teaches us: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”  As sinners we had no righteousness of our own (Isaiah 64:6).  Yet Isaiah also taught this great truth: “And the work of righteousness shall be peace…”   (Isaiah 32:17).

What does this all mean in our Everyday lives?

Justification means that the Believer is no longer at war with God.  It means that we are at peace with our Creator.   Therefore, we do not have to live in worry and terror.  We need not fear or run from God.  In fact, justification leads us to run TO God rather than FROM Him!  Hebrews 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Justification Leads the Christian to Run TO God Rather than FROM God!

 

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