How many of us run to the store to use a $5.00 off coupon, or get there as quickly as we can for the buy one get one free sale? If you get there too late, they’re sold out! How many people spend thousands of dollars on makeup and supplies that promise youthfulness? Too many! How many people sacrifice their time, energy, and lifestyle for a firmer set of buns or thighs? Lot’s!
But here we have Jesus who gave us Salvation—eternal life that comes with a mansion that has all of the accommodations you could ever want, and then some, crowns made of real gold and rewards, streets of gold, eternity with all of your loved ones who made it there before you, a perfect body, and an infinity of joy and laughter, accompanied by great music. He gives us these things for free, but it cost Him much suffering, and His life. Now, once we accept the free gift, it does cost us something—we must do some sacrificing on our part. He’ll be with us, and He’ll help carry some of the burden; we don’t have to do it alone. Yet still, it’s just not enough for some.
It grieves me deeply when I think of how many people sit through heavy traffic, rain, heat, and everything, paying big money just to go to a pro-football game. Then, when it’s over, they’ll sit there stuck in traffic some more and do nothing but gripe because they can’t get home quick enough. Now, take all of the people who ‘claim’ to love the Lord with all of their heart, and all of their soul…and have churches all around them to go to, but they stay home instead. I’m not talking about the people who aren’t able to go because of health issues, age, or their job; I’m talking about the able-bodied people who just want to sleep or put other things before God. I’ve done this myself, and have been just as guilty; I can’t stand hypocrisy, so that’s why I tell you this.
Now this is even worse; what about those of us who can’t even take a little bit of time out of our day to kneel before the Lord in prayer? And no one has to ever leave their home, or pay anyone anything to do it; but they still forget. Now, did they forget their important hair appointment? Or their favorite television show? Or their engagement with their friend? Heavens no! So why do we NOT have time for the ONE who suffered unfathomably, willingly walked to the place of His death and laid down His life, and gives us our own free will?
Add to that, He’s the only one who will take us back after we’ve cheated on Him as much as we have, lied to Him, made the same mistake yet again and again, and many more, so many times there would be no human way possible to count, and just wants our love?
Let’s think about love. The fact that He wants our love is a deep statement if you ponder it. What does love involve? Love involves correction, and oftentimes we don’t want to hear it. I had an experience tonight where I was lovingly correcting someone who said that they don’t share the gospel with people, especially those who are not saved, because they don’t want to offend. I was very loving, and quoted scripture to these people, but they attacked me, calling me viscous and judgmental. Never once was I viscous, nor did I act in anything but love. I even came straight out and said this. So, as I mentioned, sometimes the Holy Spirit corrects us through the mouth of someone else who has the Holy Spirit within their heart. The devil has so many people in bondage, even those who call themselves Christians.
These two women said that they are called to bring others to the Lord just by being kind and loving, but that they are not called to witness. I explained that we are all called to witness, and we are to be an example with love. Friends, let’s not take passages out of context; the Bible is to be viewed in its entirety and everything that is told to us is to be utilized. Sure, the first reaction of my flesh would be to get angry with these two women; but instead, I am angry with Satan for tying the minds of these people up in bondage to where they cannot receive the correction or instruction of God’s word, or the Holy Spirit. I feel sorry for their great misunderstanding of God’s Holy Scriptures. I did my part, so the blood is wiped clean from my hands. And, when it gets to a certain point in witnessing to others, we must walk away and shake the dust from off of our feet. This is what I did once God’s word was completely and out rightly rejected.
I want to point out that we who call ourselves Christians are all called to witness to other people; and the Holy Spirit leads us in our approach.
Back to the point here, we spend so much time and so much money and so much effort on things that mean absolutely nothing; things that we cannot and will not take with us when we enter into the next life…whether it be heaven, or God forbid, hell. Yet we spend little time, effort, and money on the Kingdom of heaven. Does everyone realize that although God is a God of love, He is also a God of wrath? My oh my how people focus on the loving God, but the Old Testament shows us the side of God who avenges…the side of God who pours out His wrath upon His unfaithful and those who fight against Him. There is a definite contrast in God’s word, and He is perfect, and therefore did everything on purpose. The Old Testament reveals God’s anger, and the message is clear—take God seriously, and promise Him nothing without fulfilling the promise. The New Testament reveals to us the God of love and mercy through Jesus; the forgiving God, ready and willing to erase our trespasses from our records. But wait; does He just sit around up there and erase our trespasses from the record because He’s so full of love, and we don’t even have to truly repent? Do people truly think God is this big joke who just sits around waving His hand all day, “Oh, it’s okay; don’t worry about it! Sin all you want, there are no repercussions whatsoever; I sent Jesus. If you sin, all you have to do is say forgive me, even though you keep doing it, and I’ll just forgive you each and everyday whether you’re sincere or not, or whether you are sorry or not!” This is ludicrous! God is a forgiving God, as I’ve said in previous posts—He is ready to forgive us when we truly desire forgiveness….and this means we must truly be sorry.
I don’t know about you, but when I hurt someone and tell them I’m sorry, I mean it. Overall, I don’t do whatever it is that hurt them anymore. I may have moments where I mess up, and I’m quick to come back and say, “I am so sorry. I know I was wrong, and I know I promised I wouldn’t do this thing tonight. It got the best of me, and I’ll try harder next time. Can you forgive me?” This is how we are to be toward God. We’re not supposed to say, “God, I am so sorry!” And then the next day, go do it again, and again….you’re not truly repentant when you do this.
Friends, I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination…my friends and my family can attest. I struggle with many, not necessarily all, but many of the things I write to you about, this is why I write about them. I’m no hypocrite, and I do sin. But I know it is wrong, and I am not about to sugar coat God’s word because I don’t want to feel conviction in my heart! I will not defile God’s living Word by picking out verses and utilizing them to my advantage. I must look at the entire book in itself, and then see what it means all together. We must stop changing God’s word to conform to what we want to do! We must at least find it within ourselves to admit that what we are doing is wrong; that’s the first step. Whether we change these things or not, at least we must be honest with ourselves, and with God. The only person we’re lying to is ourselves, because God knows that truth.
I see all of these people who profess Christianity, yet they are lukewarm, or else they live by their rules they conform God’s Word to be so that it’s all okay. People, nobody wants to stop sinning these days; they are quick to become angry and offended. The strongholds Satan and his kingdom has over people’s minds is great this day. I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, devil, you remove these strongholds from their minds! Unlock the chains you’ve secured about them and release them, in the name of Jesus Christ! For it is written, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind! I pray the people of the nation will arise in the name of Jesus and rebuke these wicked and corrupt ways. Oh Lord, how is it Christianity when in love you go to your sister or your brother and share the truth, and they spit upon you and reject you in anger and haste? Yes, this is what the Pharisees and Sadducees did to Jesus, and to his disciples. People refused to believe Him, and them, and they scorned, ridiculed, and blasphemed Him for loving them. This is what people have done to me, and many others, Lord, this day in age while trying to in love minister your truths. I pray these strongholds be weakened, and I pray the blood of Jesus upon those who are led astray by false doctrines, and lies of the enemy. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Yes; salvation cost Jesus His life, as well as much suffering…but the gift is to be taken care of while it is in your possession! It is to be fed, cared for, strengthened, and honed daily or else it becomes ineffective, and is cast off into the fire to be burned. Jesus said it Himself in the parable about being fruitful, and the branches that are unfruitful whither, and they are plucked (or pruned) from the tree and thrown into the fire. Jesus could not have been more clear here! Anything in life that is free must be cared for properly, or else in most situations, the thing fails and then finally, breaks, before it rots away.
My brothers and sisters, time IS running out; the Lord is on His way…the special offer is soon coming to a close. If Jesus comes back tomorrow and sounds the alarm, or your heart stops beating this night…do you honestly know where you would go? If you’re even slightly unsure, I want you to sit down and talk with the Lord. Think about repenting for the strongholds in your life, and confess it to Him. Ask Him for His help against whatever it is. And then make the decision whether you’re in 100 percent or not…if you are, ask Him to come in and live within your heart and to rule your life. Salvation is a serious thing, even more serious than a wedding vow. Are you taking yours seriously?