“Those who are the most heavenly minded are also of most earthly use.”
William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 – 29 July 1833, British politician, philanthropist, and one of the leaders of the movement to ban the slave trade).
Source: Berean Call
“Those who are the most heavenly minded are also of most earthly use.”
William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 – 29 July 1833, British politician, philanthropist, and one of the leaders of the movement to ban the slave trade).
Source: Berean Call
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Lord Jesus in Revelation 2:4
I have a book, Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians, that has a story about Billy Bray, one of God’s quaint vessels. He would offend some Christians today, but he had a real experience of salvation and he did not know what to do except express himself. They made fun of Billy Bray and laughed at him. “Why, Billy Bray, you are so happy, so joyous, all the time. Suppose you discovered you are not saved at all, you are really not a child of God, and suppose when you die you go to hell?” Billy Bray said, “Well, I suppose if I die and I discovered I am not a Christian and I go to hell, Jesus has been so real and wonderful and precious to me in life I will just have to shout all the way to hell. When I get down to hell I will have to run up and down the streets of hell shouting ‘Hallelujah, praise the Lord.’ The devil will come over to me and say, ‘Billy Bray, we cannot stand that down here; we cannot put up with that. We will just have to send you to heaven.” That is the joy of salvation.
Exploring 1.2.3 John – Jerry Vines (1989)
Dear born again Christian, how is your joy level right now?
Is it full and overflowing? Maybe it has been a while since you had fellowship with the Joy-Givers, our Heavenly Father and His Mighty Son Jesus, your First Love. There is real, deep joy around their throne and, as His child, He wants our joy to be made complete. Why not “wash your feet” in the precious blood of Jesus (John 13:3-10) and get rid of that unconfessed sin in your life which prevents your fellowship with the Joy-Givers. After that, spend some time in prayer and Bible readings in His presence. Read I John 1: 4-10 for example and think on the awesome privilege you have in being called into fellowship with the Creator and Sustainer of all things, including you.
In your First Love’s presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Return to your First Love today! Do not be a carnal Christian who is running around on his First Love, loving the devil’s world and their old, stinking, fleshly, sinful ways.
Instead, may rivers of living water, the Holy Spirit (John 7:38), flow out of you today and every day and may the people around you be watered by this spiritual, life-giving, river of God.
Jesus died. He rose from the dead. And the world changed forever.
But what’s the significance of these events? Why did Jesus die, and what does His resurrection mean? How has the world changed?
When we think about someone’s death, we can’t really appreciate its significance unless we know who we’re talking about. The significance of Abraham Lincoln’s death can only be fully felt when we understand who Lincoln was—and the same goes for other historical figures. Their lives changed the world, and their death did too.
From a purely historical point of view, there’s no one in human history whose life changed the world more than Jesus. More biographies have been written about Him than any other person (Lincoln is second). Indeed, the original four biographies of Jesus, collected together in the New Testament gospels, are a large part of why the
Bible is the number-one-selling book every year. In fact, The New York Times Best Seller ignores the Bible; otherwise, it would top the list every week.
No one’s teaching has had a deeper impact on culture, politics, morality, justice, philosophy, and human character than Jesus Christ’s. Two thousand years later, He’s regularly quoted (consciously and unconsciously) even in our increasingly secular world. His moral teaching likewise forms the bedrock for billions around the world –such as the Golden Rule and the importance of compassion, forgiveness, and mercy. Indeed, Jesus continues to set a standard that our modern world fails to live up to. How well do we love our enemies? Do we pray for those who persecute us?
And all of that is only taking into account the Jesus of history. What about when we consider who He was according to His own claims? According to Jesus and His first followers, He wasn’t an ordinary man. He was God’s appointed king who came in fulfillment of promises made centuries before. He came to reveal God to us through His own embodiment of the divine nature. He was, and is, God the Son, who by His own claim existed from the very beginning. He’s the One through whom His Father created the entire cosmos – including the humanity of which Jesus Himself chose to partake. If these claims are believed, there can be no question that Jesus was the most significant man who ever walked the earth.
When we realize that the One through whom humanity was crafted died as a man, we begin to see the depths of this event. In fact, once we understand who Jesus is, we shouldn’t at all be surprised that He would rise again from the dead. The truly remarkable thing is that He died at all! How could the Author of life be put to death? How could the Creator be killed by His own creation?
The answer is love. As the Apostle John says, “God is love.” (I John 4:8) and the gift of His eternal Son is the ultimate demonstration of His love. Jesus chose to take up human life and to lay down His life so that we broken, rebellious, proud human beings might be brought into loving relationship with our heavenly Father –our Maker and our Judge. If Christmas celebrates God’s gift of Jesus into our world, Easter celebrates what that Gift came to do. He came to die that we might live. His death spells our life because of who He is. He’s God Himself come to us as one of us so that He might bring us home with Him.
If Christ’s death can only be appreciated by understanding who He is, so too His resurrection from the dead. Lazarus was raised from the dead (by Jesus), but his resurrection did not change the fate of humanity. So why did Christ’s change humanity? For starters, Lazarus had to die again one day. His resurrection didn’t permanently overcome death. It didn’t destroy death. But when Jesus was resurrected, He overpowered death. He conquered the last great enemy of humanity—death itself. That is why Jesus will never die again, unlike Lazarus. He rose victorious over death, and death no longer has any claim on Him. Death could literally not hold Him down.
While death still has its way with us, Jesus promised through Him death would not have the last word. No one who hopes in Jesus will stay dead. He promised that one day He’ll call each of us by name. He’ll call us out of our graves, and we’ll literally live again. Our bodies will be resurrected like His. Death will have no further claim on us. Death will die.
That is why that first Easter was the most important weekend in human history. God remade humanity in three days through the death and resurrection of one man. The ultimate man died the ultimate death so that our ultimate fate would be eternal life with Him.
This Easter let’s pursue Jesus, the One who first came in pursuit of us.
Source: Con Campbell, vice-president of global content, Our Daily Bread
Dear Reader, this article was written for Easter but I encourage you to pursue Jesus today. If you do not know Him as Lord and Savior, ask Him today to save you from your sins, to forgive you, and become your Lord and Savior. He will not fail you or reject you. Enter His rest and cease from your works to be good enough or religious enough to earn His favor. We all are sinners in need of His mercy. He will not reject you. Turn to the Living Son of God today and be saved for eternity.
All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. Quote from Jesus — John 6:37
“The hypocrite is like the waterman*, that looks one way and rows another; the true Christian like the traveller, that has his journey end in his eye. The hypocrite soars like the kite**, with his eye upon the prey below, which he is ready to come down to when he has a fair opportunity; the true Christian soars like the lark, higher and higher, forgetting the things that are beneath.” A Commentary On The Whole Bible – Matthew Henry (1721)- Vol. 5, page 81
“If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Paul in Colossians 3: 1-3
*The person rowing a boat ** Eagle-like bird of prey feeding predominately on fish
Desire is not merely a simple wish; it is a deep seated craving; an intense longing, for attainment. In the realm of spiritual affairs, it is an important adjunct to prayer. So important is it, that one might say, almost, that desire is an absolute essential of prayer.
A sense of need creates or should create, earnest desire. The stronger the sense of need, the greater should be the desire, the more earnest the praying. The “poor in spirit” are eminently competent to pray.
Hunger is an active sense of physical need. It prompts the request for bread. In like manner, the inward consciousness of spiritual need created desire, and desire breaks forth in prayer. Desire is an inward longing for something of which we are not possessed, of which we stand in need –something which God has promised, and which may be secured by an earnest supplication of His throne of grace.
Desire is the will in action; a strong, conscious longing, excited in the inner nature, for some great good. Desire exalts the object of its longing, and fixes the mind on it. It has choice, and fixedness, and flame in it, and prayer, based thereon, is explicit and specific. It knows its need, feels and sees the thing that will meet it, and hastens to acquire it.
Spiritual desire, carried to a higher degree, is the evidence of the new birth. It is born in the renewed soul:
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”
The absence of this holy desire in the heart is presumptive proof, either of a decline in spiritual ecstasy, or, that the new birth has never taken place.”
“Bless are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
These heaven-given appetites are the proof of a renewed heart, the evidence of a stirring spiritual life…spiritual desires belong to a soul made alive to God. And as the renewed soul hungers and thirsts after righteousness, these holy inward desires break out into earnest, supplicating prayer.
One might well ask, whether the feebleness of our desires for God, the Holy Spirit, and for all the fulness of Christ, is not the cause of our so little praying, and languishing in the exercise of prayer? Do we really feel these inward pantings of desire after heavenly treasure? Do the inbred groanings of desire stir our souls to mighty wrestlings? Alas for us! The fire burns altogether too low. The flaming heat of soul has been tempered down to a tepid lukewarmness. This, it should be remembered, was the central cause of the sad and desperate condition of the Laodicean Christians, of whom the awful condemnation is written that they were “rich, and increased in goods and had need of nothing,” and knew not that they “were wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind.”
Again: we might inquire–have we that desire which presses us to close communion with God, which is filled with unutterable burnings, and hold us there through the agony of an intense ands soul-stirred supplication? Our hearts need much to be worked over, not only to get the evil out of them, but to get the good into them. And the foundation and inspiration to the incoming good , is strong, propelling desire. This holy and fervid [i.e. very hot] flame in the soul awakens the interest of heaven, attracts the attention of God, and places at the disposal of those who exercise it, the exhaustless riches of Divine grace.
The dampening of the flame of holy desire, is destructive of the vital and aggressive forces in church life. God requires to be represented by a fiery Church, or He is not in any proper sense, represented at all. God, Himself, is all on fire, and His Church, if it is to be like Him, must also be at white heat. The great and eternal interests of heaven-born, God-given religion are the only things about which His Church can afford to be on fire. Yet, holy zeal need not to be fussy in order to be consuming. Our Lord was the incarnate antithesis of nervous excitability, the absolute opposite of intolerant or clamorous declamation, yet the zeal of God’s house consumed Him; and the world is still feeling the glow of His fierce, consuming flame and responding to it, with an ever-increasing readiness and an ever-enlarging response. ” Source: The Necessity of Prayer – Edward M. Bounds, p. 44-48
Father, we praise your name. Please increase our desire for You. Set our souls aflame for You and Christ. Forgive us for our coldness and lukewarmness. Forgive us where we have let the “worry of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desire for other things” choke out your word in our lives and make us unfruitful. Cause us to be consumed with your zeal so that we may be pleasing to you and effective in witnessing to this lost and adulterous generation. We ask this in the precious Name of Jesus. Amen.
Dear Reader the following was written by Richard Wurmbrand (1909-2001) who was imprisoned in communist Romania for fourteen years because of his faith in Christ. In 1965, he and his family was ransomed out of Romania for $10,000 and eventually moved to the U.S where he started a global ministry that became known as The Voice of the Martyrs. He testified before the U. S. Congress to the cruel treatment of Christians under communism. Removing his shirt, he showed the Senators and Representatives the stripes and wounds he received from the communist. Pray for those who are suffering everyday for Christ. Pray that the comfort of the Holy Spirit would be with them and they would be faithful unto death if need be. Be encouraged, do your part for the church, and prepare yourself. Carl
“Jesus promised “not peace but a sword” (Matthew 10:34), and ever since He uttered those words, committed Christians have been targeted relentlessly by pagan and religionist alike: crucified, burned at the stake; tortured on the rack; hunted in mountain passes, forests and caves; starved; beaten; brainwashed; tormented.
Only a devil could brew the consummate evil that has been meted out to Christ’s humble disciples over the centuries, reaching a horrendous climax in our own bloody era.
Is suffering, whether intended or circumstantial, a waste, or can it be redemptive? How should Christians respond? Jesus said, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44) — but can you love the devil incarnate in another human being, evil personified?
I would like to propose that today’s Christians in repressive countries can provide a model for those of us in the free world.
Christians in the West often quote the text, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), giving it a positive spin. But Paul had just said he had learned to endure all things –humiliation, hunger and want, as well as the satisfaction of his needs. Persecuted believers take Paul’s words as a promise that Christ will strengthen them to endure suffering, because they know a Christian can’t escape tribulation.
I think of a young girl of our Romanian underground church whose activities were discovered by the secret police. She had been guilty of secretly distributing Gospels and teaching children about Christ. To make her arrest as painful as possible, they decided to wait a few weeks for her wedding day.
When she dressed for the event every woman looks forward to, the police suddenly broke in. Anticipating their intentions, she held out her hands, which they handcuffed roughly, looked lovingly at her groom, then kissed the chains, saying, “I thank my heavenly Bridegroom for this jewel He has presented to me on my marriage day. I thank Him that I am worthy to suffer for Him.”
She was dragged off to prison, leaving behind weeping Christians and a weeping bridegroom. Five years later she was released, haggard, broken, looking 30 years older. She had remained faithful. And her intended had waited for her.
A Soviet prisoner who was mocked unmercifully said, “Many fear suffering: in the past, I too feared. But the presence of the Lord in jail has given me so many happy experiences that I would not have changed them for years of easy living in freedom.”
How impressive is the prayer of a woman in a Siberian camp: “O God, accept all my sufferings, my tiredness, my humiliations, my tears, my nostalgia, my being hungry, my suffering with the cold, all bitterness accumulated in my soul….Dear Lord, have pity also on those who persecute and torture us day and night. Grant them, too, the divine grace of knowing the sweetness and happiness of Your love.”
How do the persecuted view their torturers, who often take fiendish delight in inflicting maximum pain? May are able to look at them with love, knowing that without Christ they are eternally lost. Believers exemplify what Jesus preached: “Love your enemies … pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” And they practiced what He taught: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Once when I was in prison, a pastor was thrown into our cell. He had been horribly beaten and was covered with blood. Some prisoners cursed the communists. Half dead, groaning in pain, he said, “Please don’t curse them. Be quiet! I want to pray for them.”
Once I was in the same cell with a man I had brought to Christ. He left behind a wife and six starving children. I asked him, “Have you any resentment toward me for bringing you to Christ and for the fact that your family is in such misery?”
His reply typifies the attitude of so many martyrs down through the centuries: “I have no words to express my thankfulness that you have brought me to the wonderful Savior. I would not have it any other way!”
In Ukraine, the Christian Terelya was put in a psychiatric asylum. The sadist psychiatrist told him, “The fact that you call yourself a Christian shows already you have a serious and irremediable sickness. Faith in God is a mass psychosis, a kind of schizophrenia.”
But instead of brooding about his suffering, Terelya brought officers of the secret police to Christ. They provided him with paper and pencil and smuggled out a whole notebook of his with joyous poems praising God.
Out of the mire of suffering grows the lily of joy in the Lord. ”
Richard Wurmbrand–faithful witness and pastor under Stalin’s communism, founder of The Voice of the Martyrs
“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” Jonathan Swift –
“Some of the meanest people are church people.” –Anonymous
“Minister, we been praying for revival of religion. And now God poured out his Spirit, we all ‘fraid for it.” –A Believer participating in the 1860 Jamaica prayer revival
Religion is dangerous in the sense that it is unregenerate man’s attempt to reach God by church membership, rituals, sacraments, obeying man’s commandments and teachings and performing other good works. It can only reform man, not change him. Religion can not cause man to be born again; therefore, it does not free man from his enslavement to sin. It still dominates him; therefore, though religious, he still hates and can be as mean as a snake. Listen to Brother Paul writing to the Christian church in Colossae concerning the keeping of religion’s commandments:
“These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.” Colossians 2:23
Religion can not give us victory over our sinful nature. Paul said this about religious people: “…holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…” (2 Tim. 3:5). The power to radically change our sinful life only comes when we are born again by the Holy Spirit (John 3).
Flee to Jesus Christ, and to Him alone, to escape man-made religion s0 you can experience true life. Ask Him to save you today and to forgive all of your sins and be your Lord and Savior. He will cause you to be born again and the Holy Spirit will come to you and be your Comforter and Guide in this life. And He will change you by causing you to will (desire) and do of God’s good pleasure, bringing freedom from the human sinful nature.
Flee to Jesus today!
Thank you for your precious time. God bless! Carl
"When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to thee, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord", and Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin." King David in Psalm 32:3-5
God Almighty is the perfect Father to His children, the born again ones. In love He disciplines us for our good so we can share in His holiness (Hebrew 12: 5-12). He also desires to spend time with us, to fellowship with us. The Creator and Sustainer of all things wishes to spend time with us, His redeemed, yet still flawed creatures.
In this Psalm David describes how miserable he was when he did not confess his sins to the Lord. His body was wasting away through his groaning all day long. The literal translation says ” My life juices were turned into the drought of summer” (v4). All because “day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me” (v4).
Are you groaning? Is your vitality dried up? Are your life juices all dried up? Are you miserable? Is some unseen pressure bearing down on your soul day and night? Could Almighty God’s hand be heavy upon you like it was on King David?
If your a biblically born again believer, before you increase your daily vitamins/ supplements or tack on another 15 minutes of exercise in an attempt to relieve this miserable condition, answer this. When was the last time you confessed your sins to God?
Your choices are to stay proud, rebellious and miserable or humble yourself, confessing and forsaking your sins. I promise you, cleaning the slate will turn your groaning into joy. Do not let any sin come between you and your God. He wants to fellowship with you. We must fellowship with Him. He is our life.
“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3
What say ye?
…attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive arguments.” Colossians 2: 2-4
“In short, he says, “You are fabulously rich in Christ; and don’t you let anyone ever tell you otherwise.”
” Do you know how rich you are? The richest man is the one who understands truths the world’s greatest minds have never understood–that the wise and successful life is one focused on Christ. The richest woman is the one who grasps, that at the heart of all God’s plans for the future is, Jesus. We may read about CEOs on enormous salaries, but we are richer.
Do not let anyone, inside or outside the church, tell you differently with “fine-sounding arguments” (v4). Do not be swayed by entertaining preachers who tell you that life is all about you and your happiness when it is really about Christ. Do not be charmed by highly qualified teachers who try to persuade you that Christ is anything less that the glorious divine being we met in Colossians 1: 15-20. As long as we hold on tight to this Jesus, then our faith will remain strong (v5). I pray that everyone, especially those I love, will never let go of Jesus. ” Journey Through Colossians and Philemon –Mike Raiter
Dear Reader the following Scriptures tell us who this Christ is:
“And He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities –all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church, and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians 1: 15-20
Do you know this Jesus? Are you fabulously rich because you understand who He is? Are you going to spend eternity with Him or do you have reservations somewhere else? I pray you are holding on to Him. If not, why not today? Tell Him all your sins and ask Him to forgive you. Then ask Him to be your Savior and Lord based on what He did for you on His cross where He took the guilt and penalty (death) for your sins and mine. You will never regret it.
Thank you for your precious time. May God’s blessings be on your life. Carl
Suffering – it’s never pleasant, and we do our best to avoid all forms of it, but suffering is inescapable in this fallen world. The biblical view is that believers should expect sufferings, not simply because they live in this fallen world, but because God uses various forms of afflictions to discipline us, test our faith, and cause us to have an eternal perspective. As a result of false teaching, many have the view that all suffering is a sign of deficiency at our end of the equation. What should be seen as a privilege (suffering that God permits us to endure) is seen as a curse. Suffering that God permits his children to endure, is not harmful, but beneficial. “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.”(Psalm 119:67).
—Rick Becker, who with his brother minister in apologetics in South Africa
From Berean Call
“It seemed clear to me from the teaching of the Bible that Christ’s people should be separate from the world in everything which denoted character and that they should not only be separate but appear so.”
― Catherine Booth (17 January 1829 – 4 October 1890, co-founder of The Salvation Army, along with her husband William Booth.
“Entrance into the Kingdom of God is by the new birth, Matthew 18:3; John 3:5, for nothing that a man may be by nature, or can attain to by any form of self-culture, avails in the spiritual realm. And as the new nature, received in the new birth, is made evident by obedience, it is further said that only such as do the will of God shall enter into His Kingdom, Matthew 7:21….
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old And New Testament Words – kingdom, p.344 (Emphasis added)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Lord Jesus Matthew 7:21
Let us pray for ourselves as Paul did for the Colossians: that we ” would be filled with the knowledge of His will in spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that” we ” may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…” Colossians 1:9-10
Since someone not versed in true, biblical salvation may be reading this, let us share what Paul said about not being saved by good works:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
When we come to Christ as lost sinners, trusting only in His finished work on the cross, He causes us to be born again (John 3: 1-16). He gives us a new nature that is radically different from our human, sinful nature. Plus, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. We can now conduct ourselves in “newness of life” (Romans 6:4) and “do the will of the Father ” through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit Who works in us “to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). The good works come after we are born again and not before.
Obedience is now a natural characteristic of our lives and disobedience is unnatural. The Christian is not perfect (sinless) but God begins a process of removing sin from His life which will go on until he departs this earth.
Glory be to God for His great plan of salvation!
If you are not born again as the Bible teaches in John 3:1-16, please ask the Lord to save you from the guilt and penalty of your many sins and to make you a new person in Christ Jesus. You will never regret it.
Blessings of God on each of you! Thank you for your valuable time. Carl
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation — if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. “ Colossians 1:21-23
“In these few verses (Colossians 1: 21-23) we have the most amazing summary of the gospel and, indeed, the most compact summary of the whole Christian life. It can be summed up in three very simple words: once…but…if.
“Once you were alienated” (v21). Paul sums up the entire unbelieving world in these words. They are essentially aliens, and it is a relational alienation due to sin. And like all people, we willfully chose to cut ourselves off from God before we were Christians.
“But now he has reconciled you” (v22). Enemies are now friends, aliens are now family, all because of Christ’s death on the cross. Jesus’ death does not just bring us back to God; it also has a future focus–that he might present us holy in His sight, without blemish, free from accusation. The image here is of judgement day, when the bride of Christ is presented to her husband. The question is: are you worthy to enter the kingdom? The psalmist says only the one with clean hands and a pure heart can ascend His holy hill (Psalm 24:4). The good news is that you can confidently reply, “Yes, I am worthy.” On that day we will not fear any voice challenging our claim, because Jesus has died for us to make us worthy.
“If you continue in your faith (v23). Of course, our salvation is secure, but we must continue in this gospel. We have been reconciled to God, and we must not go back to being His enemy. His death has made us holy , so we do not deliberately or willfully give ourselves to a life of ungodliness.
This is our spiritual biography: once…but…if. “
Journey Through Colossians and Philemon by Mike Raiter, p18
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you….And if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same…But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Jesus The Messiah Luke 6: 27, 32, 35-36
Lord Jesus in Luke is speaking to people who were living under the iron hand of the Roman Empire. These words must of been shocking to them….just as they were to me when I reread them last week. Yes, shocking I say. So against my human sinful nature which wants to rail, condemn and hate the anarchist, Marxist and communist who are working tirelessly to destroy my America.
But Lord Jesus says “And why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)
It is ONLY our responsibility to obey and not argue with Him. To submit to his Lordship and not rebel. Therefore, let us repent of hate and put aside our “old man” or “old self” and put on our “new man” created in Christ Jesus and conduct ourselves in newness of life by the power of His Spirit. Then we can love our enemies just as He loved us …… when we were His enemy, ungrateful and pernicious (evil).
“…that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new self which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth….and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us…” Ephesians 4: 22-24, 5:2
Christians are being pressured into repeating the beliefs of a neo-Marxist, collective guilt ideology that’s incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
— Read on thefederalist.com/2020/06/11/you-can-be-christian-you-can-be-marxist-but-you-cant-be-both/
There are a lot of people whitewashed with religion who are not washed white in the blood of Christ. This is indeed a true saying. Nicodemus was a most religious man, but he needed to be washed white. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee” said the Saviour, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) And when Nicodemus expressed his surprise at the Lord’s teaching, he was met by the solemn declaration, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7) You may be respectable, moral, upright, kind, amiable, and religious, without being washed white in the precious blood of Christ. (I Peter 1:19; I John 1:7).
A professing Christian was awakened out of her slumber of death in a very remarkable way. A high Church dignitary advised her to burn some Gospel tracts given to her by a relative. As she watched the destruction of one of them, her eye caught the words of one of the pages, “I was going respectably and religiously to hell.” The Holy Spirit revealed to her the fact that though she was “whitewashed” she was not washed white; that, in fact, she was “going respectably and religiously to hell!”
The Lord Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7: 13, 14) Multitudes throng the broad way, some on the clean footpath, and others on the dirty footpath. Few find the strait gate; they mistake other gates for the strait one. Some mistake ‘religion’ and ‘churchanity’ for Christ and Christianity.
Which road is the reader traveling — the broad or the narrow? Which class do you belong to —-the whitewashed or the washed white? Are you regenerated? Have you been ‘converted’ to, and by, God? If not, hearken to Christ’s declaration: “Except you be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). If you have never experienced this great change, you are an unsaved, unsanctified, unforgiven soul. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be cleansed from every stain (Acts 16:31). — A.M.
A tract from Pilgrim Tract Society, Randleman, NC 27317. Contributions send tracts to many nations. Send postage for 100 samples of tracts)
For more information on the Narrow Way, please search this blog for the “Narrow Way”. It is our most read post. Thank You.
It causes one to consider his own Christian walk when you read early church history and see how the pagans viewed our Christian brothers and sisters. Most of the time their opinions are based on how Christians endured persecution, even unto death and remained faithful to Jesus. Eusebius of Caesarea (260-339 AD) , the first Christian historian, in his Church History relates the following incident where Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) wrote the Council of Asia concerning the Christians they were persecuting. Note his observations about the Christians.
“The Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antonines Augustus, Armenius, pontifex maximus, holding tribunician power for the fifteenth time, consul the third time, to the Council of Asia, greeting. I know that the gods are also concerned that such men as these should not go undetected, for they would be far more likely to punish those who will not worship them than you are. But you hound them into trouble by accusing them of atheism and thereby add to their resolve to choose apparent death rather than life for the sake of their own god. They, then, become the conquerors when they sacrifice their lives rather than obey your commands. As to the earthquakes that have happened— and are happening— you lose heart whenever they occur and provide a painful comparison between our character and theirs. They repose greater trust in their god, whereas you neglect yours and the worship of the Immortal. But when the Christians worship him, you harass and persecute them to death. On behalf of such people many of the former provincial governors wrote our divine father, and he replied that they were not to be troubled unless they appeared to be plotting against the Roman government. Many have reported about them to me also, and I have replied in accordance with my father’s opinion. But if anyone persists in taking action against one of these people [as a Christian], the accused shall be acquitted of the charge even if it is clear that he is one, and the accuser shall be liable to penalty. Published at Ephesus in the Council of Asia.” (Emphasis and footnotes added)
The Christians were called atheists by the pagans because they would not worship the pagan gods and the Roman emperors.
They were evidently living out Paul’s teaching on persecution. He encouraged the saints in Philippians 1: 28 – 29 to be “in no way alarmed by your opponents — which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake….” He wrote in Romans 8:37 “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”
By being willing to die instead of worship the Emperor and false gods, their great faith in God, the Father, and Jesus Christ was manifested to the pagans. The historical records contain incidences of people being converted while viewing the patience of the saints, as they were being tormented, fed to the wild animals or suffering other forms of gruesome death. Others stepped up and confessed their faith in Jesus Christ and consequently were made to join the Christians in their suffering.
Many of our Christian brothers and sisters in Communist China, Nigeria, Islamic nations and other countries are going through similar persecution TODAY. NOW. May grace be multiplied to them and the comfort of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31) be with them. Please remember them in your prayers.
It is not good for us to trust in our merits, in our virtues or our righteousness; but only in God’s free pardon, as given us through faith in Jesus Christ. —
John Wycliffe (c. 1320s – 31 December 1384, English scholastic philosopher, theologian, biblical translator, reformer, priest, and a seminary professor at the University of Oxford. He was considered “the morning star of the Reformation).
God’s design in butterfly wings is evident in complexity, utility, and beauty, which points back to a glorious Creator.
— Read on answersingenesis.org/creepy-crawlies/butterfly-wings-more-than-just-scales/
Prominent pastor and author Michael Youssef issued a blistering condemnation of the entertainment-driven church, warning that the judgment of God will fall heavily upon the Church if it fails to return to His plan for discipleship.
— Read on www.christianpost.com/news/michael-youssef-warns-entertainment-driven-church-making-people-feel-good-all-the-way-to-hell.html