Have you made arrangements for this yet? Many people seem to be on the most popular wide road but where exactly does it lead? According to any newspaper every person goes “to be with the Lord”. Are you sure of that destination?
Most of our lives, we seem to be heading somewhere but where? Some seem to be bent toward living their lives on fast forward and not really caring about their end of life or where it may lead. Then, of course, there are some who listen to their parents and their teachers and at least try to stay on course during their lifetime. Occasionally they may listen in Sunday school or Vacation Bible school and learn about a Creator and a Savior called Jesus! According to some polls taken in the past few years, there are many young people who are rejecting any affiliation with religion whether it has anything to do with their parents or not.
God loves humanity enough that He came to Earth to live as one of us. Then He tried to teach people how to know Him and show them that He cared. The “priests” were the ones who sought to get rid of Him and they thought that they had, until they found the empty tomb after His crucifixion. The teaching which He brought to us through His disciples and His teachings to them for us is still available, the salvation offered by your belief in Him and the atonement which He gained for you is still available for you…if you will believe in Him. Jesus did this for you and for me knowing that we would need salvation and forgiveness.
He did this for each of us because of His love for us, not because of anything that we do. His provision of forgiveness and grace is not dependent upon anything that we do, it is all a gift from Him to us IF we will believe in Him and receive it! God has loved us from the beginning of time and He knows each of us because He knit us together in the womb. We are His creation, His workmanship, so He knows what we can do and what we are capable of doing. When you feel His call on your life, don’t turn away from Him.
If you are searching for salvation there is only one name under heaven that can bring it to you, if you believe. His name is Jesus (Yeshua) the Christ! God knew a long time ago that mankind could not follow His instructions to the letter. That is why He purposed, far ahead of time, that Jesus would come into the world and be the perfect Sacrificial Lamb for all of mankind!
There is nothing that we can add to His work on the cross to be saved, but once you are you can work for Him to tell others about Him and what He has done for you. Jesus is not a taskmaster who forces any kind of work or burden upon us. He is our Savior. Truly we should do His work on Earth because we owe Him for our salvation and not because we have to do it in order to gain our salvation.
There is nothing which we can do to add to our salvation nor to gain it. It is a gift from God to us through Jesus…period! We should be grateful enough to work for Him because of our salvation and His grace toward us and that is exactly how I tell others about my Savior. God loves each of us in a specific way. He doesn’t have to and for some who refuse His offer of grace and salvation, I do believe it hurts His heart as well.
God loves each of us but He also knows which person will accept salvation through Jesus and which ones will not. But, God doesn’t force anyone to accept salvation. It is an offer through Jesus the Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the cross which has paid for your salvation. Whether you accept it and live in Him and in your salvation is up to you.
Do I need to do anything else for salvation?
In order to gain your salvation, there is nothing that we can do or add to it in order to obtain salvation. The only requirement is that when you feel His touch in your Spirit or your heart, don’t turn away from Him. Accept it as your day to be saved. Walk with Him from that point on and don’t look back for the life you had before. Make sure to keep your life and your spiritual eyes focused on Jesus, no matter what happens in your life.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and for many, it is a day to show their love for those who they love. Whether it is by giving candy or a flower or a bunch of flowers or even a card, it is a day that we are supposed to express our love for those that are the love of our lives.
What about when Love came to Earth for us to know Him?
Jesus is God’s Love expressed toward us and for us and He did this because He loved us! Not because He had to but because He wanted a relationship with all of us who would accept Him as Savior. God had that relationship in the beginning but it was taken away when Adam and Eve, together, disobeyed God. No one can place the blame on one or the other because God had placed Adam in charge and had given him the commandment about the tree of knowledge. But the blame game still goes on today.
God loved mankind then and He still does today, although with all of the things which we are doing which He doesn’t approve of today I don’t think that He likes our choices very much. He blessed all of us with love by giving us a home and a world which is mostly compatible for us and our lives. We have a sun and a moon which don’t overpower the Earth with heat or cold. Yet there are many today who believe that the least little thing can have an effect on our planet’s comfort level.
God loves you and cares for you. Seek Him out and know this before your life ends because if you don’t believe in Him now for your salvation, it will be too late when you meet Him at your judgment day. You will stand and give an account for every word and deed, well-intentioned or not because the Bible says you will! I pray that all who read this will seek Him out as soon as possible because in our world today there is no way to know if you will be alive to make the choice on Sunday or even tomorrow.
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
When you are committed to being and living as a Christian there is a part of God’s Spirit which comes to live inside you. He or She is the Holy Spirit. All of us who are His and belong to Him have a part of Him, as Jesus called Him-the Comforter and He is living in your heart (soul). God’s grace and mercy have been poured out in your life so that you can believe in the One Who has saved your soul, but it is God’s Spirit Who teaches you and helps you to understand His Word.
Without faith, we can do nothing in God’s Kingdom and without His Spirit, we would understand very little of God’s Word. We could read it every day but without His teaching and giving us the meaning of it for our lives the Bible would be just a book of stories and nothing more. For many years before I truly committed my life to Him I read chapters in the Bible and read along with the pastor at church but until I accepted the Holy Spirit into my life it really didn’t make sense.
Jesus’ sermon on the mount was just a bunch of blessings given to those who were looking for the Messiah until I looked at it from His point of view. God loves each of us and He wants the best for you and me. That doesn’t mean that He wants all of us to be rich and wealthy with no struggles, however. God’s best may be our eternal home with Him, not some fancy house with a mortgage here for us to struggle to pay. The same goes for all of the other “stuff” which the world around us sees as symbols of our success.
Seek God and His Son, Jesus, for your salvation because the time which each of us has is very short compared to eternity. Each of us has an eternal soul and you will spend eternity somewhere so make sure of your destination while you can.
This is the very ideal which “Star Trek” was pushing a little over fifty years ago. We are not even close to any kind of utopia at this point, anywhere on Earth, but this is what people would like to see. Will it ever happen? In my lifetime…I doubt it unless Jesus comes back soon and sets up His Kingdom as it is described in the book of Revelation. Humanity is not able to be like those portrayed in the Federation which Gene Roddenberry imagined. There are too many cultural and political differences in our world and in the nations of the world to achieve any utopia without Jesus.
It doesn’t matter how far we go technologically, that advancement won’t bring about a Utopian society because it can’t do away with our differences. We can’t do away with our differences because of our cultural hangups and our own pride which tends to get in the way. While it is true that many of the truths which we hold near and dear to our hearts either can’t be proven scientifically or logically but neither can the theory about evolution. Our only proof of life on this planet is the fact that there is so much of it on our planet.
God placed each of us here with a purpose in His mind which many of us seem to ignore or rather we just don’t care what it is. His purpose for each of us is that we learn to serve Him and His Kingdom by becoming more like Jesus. The problem which most people have with that is this: “I want to do it MY way!”
We are like children who are spoiled and who don’t want to listen to God or learn His ways from His Word, the Bible. Even though Christianity has been around a long time and has survived the many times that it has been outlawed or threatened there are many people in the world today who just don’t want it to be taken as the truth! They don’t want to acknowledge that it is absolutely the Truth because if they did they would have to give a reason for why they don’t live by it!
Humanity doesn’t want any kind of absolute moral compass to guide them. They only want to be their own guide and have their own rules, but the problem with that is that there will never be any lasting peace in the world while each person clings to their version of “truth”. That’s like allowing each person to make up their own laws and only abide by their individual laws, the world would be without rule and utterly without redemption or hope!
It is very true that we like the ideal which states that mankind can overcome his most basic instincts and become better than he is now but it won’t happen. The society portrayed in science fiction was only that way because every person on the planet could use a fictional machine to create as much food and clothing and wealth (gold). While that might bring about more equality between people and countries there would still be the issue of pride and greed.
The only way that the world will be in harmony and peace will be during the reign of Jesus for the one thousand years which God has foretold will come. Since God cannot tell a lie this will happen but until that day an ideal society with equality and opportunity for everyone will not happen just because we feel that it should.
Seek Him for your salvation while there is time to do so.
Would you follow Him as a disciple or a follower or just interested in Him and the “good feelings” which you get when you are attending a meeting? It is not unusual actually. Many of His followers during His ministry did follow Him for the food or for healing or just to hear Him preach because He taught with authority which no other person could claim.
In today’s religious climate whether it is in America or elsewhere in the world, people tend to look down upon Christian beliefs and our faith in Jesus as the Son of God. So do you think that people would follow Him today? Some people would but in large part, I think that many more would either try to get Jesus arrested or killed, just as they did almost two thousand years ago.
Why has nothing really changed in all that time?
Well, Satan is still at work. In the church and in society as well as in every part of every government all over the world. So, the Adversary is very good at what he accomplishes and he is still doing that very thing inside the church, regardless of the denomination!
My question still stands…would you follow Jesus as a disciple or just someone interested in hearing Him speak but not really interested in the sermon itself or the Person bringing the sermon? God does care about each of us in this world but His timing is coming to a close and when the Trumpet sounds for the church to leave, where will you be? Will you be in the company of those taken up into heaven or will you be here watching the news and trying to figure out what went wrong?
There are many who really don’t believe that this will take place. Many people on newscasts and on social media have expressed their views about the Bible and the God of the Bible is a myth or a fabrication and that most of the books of the Bible are just the writings of a bunch of old men and nothing more. If you have studied the Bible as a book of tales and fables I can understand where this kind of thinking comes from. But if you have ever been in a church and heard the sermons and prayed with those in attendance then you know that the Bible is God’s Word.
Since many of its prophecies have come about in history, right up to the reclaiming of Jerusalem in 1967 then God’s Word can’t be “just a book”. It is the Word of God and He cannot lie. I pray that you will seek Him out while there is still time to accept Him into your heart because after the church is “taken up”, it will be harder and much more dangerous for anyone to give their heart to Jesus and live as a Christian during those times.
We see each other as we perceive ourselves, sometimes better and sometimes worse.
Life is that way sometimes and when we look around we do notice it. People are good-hearted if they have been raised that way, if not then they are the product of their upbringing whatever that might have been.
Then there are those who have become bound by their beliefs and at times are bound so hard until they can’t see what others have been through in their lives. They judge people from their own perspective and beliefs and look down on others, just as the Pharisees did during Jesus’ day. Religious “racism” can blind people in life and it causes many fractures in families and in churches.
This is what has happened in the church since the first century and it has become more pronounced as time has moved toward the place where we are now. It is shameful to look at people who were a part of the church and still consider themselves to be more enlightened than they really are because of their perception and “better than you” attitudes.
The world and the church, regardless of which denomination you belong to, is full of people who are part of this group and one day their hypocrisy will come to light. Satan has done his work very well in the deception of those who believe that they are on the road which leads to heaven. He has also influenced much of what is taught in churches today because many churches don’t teach directly from God’s Word, they just pick a scripture verse or two and teach it out of context.
That is not the way that Jesus taught and it isn’t the way that we are supposed to study the Bible or teach the Bible. Context can show a whole new light on verses in a chapter when they are taught with the whole chapter. Please study the Bible as a whole Book of God’s Word. Don’t just pick and choose what to teach or believe because when you do this you are no better than those around you who choose to believe this part and then don’t want to hear the other part.
We hear in churches all over the world that God is the I AM. In Genesis (the Beginning) God says, “Let us make man in our image”. Consider that God has not come down with dementia and that He was actually speaking to other “parts” of Himself for a moment; later we find in the Bible that God has a Spirit or “the Breath of Life”. Then there is the Angel of the Lord and other representations of Yeshua in the Old Testament. What does this all point us to? That God is a Triune Being Who manifests Himself as the Holy Spirit or the Breath of Life, Yeshua (Jesus) the Son of God (the Angel of the Lord) and God the Father.
When we are seeking Him in any book of the Bible, He can be found. It is not a search that is futile. God is there in each book. He may be seen or heard as one of the Three but He is there. The main reason that so many people get confused about finding God in the Bible is that of His Person, He is found in different ways and places. Sometimes His voice is small and sometimes it is so loud that it frightens people who hear it, as it did when He met Moses on the mountain.
God is not only found in the Bible but His influence can be seen and felt all around us, although people tend to overlook Him or give Him silly names when they find His influence in the natural world. People wonder at all of the beauty on the Earth and in the photos of stars and galaxies and nebula which we see through our telescopes and all of it was placed there by God for His purposes.
Seeking a miracle is as close as the nearest nursery in a hospital. Each baby born, with or without a special need, is a miracle of God’s creative design and purpose. He knows what each of us can do and what we are capable of in this life, regardless of how long our lives may be. His purpose for each life will be fulfilled and in our world today many of those lives are snuffed out like a candle before they are able to fulfill His purpose through them. Which is why He keeps sending children into the world so at least one will complete His mission for them and for Him.
Why do I write this little article here today? Because someone needs to know that God has a purpose for your life. It may not be a worldwide ministry and it may not be something which will bring you fame and fortune but whatever it is God gave you the talent and the ability to accomplish it. It may only be to talk to a person about their addiction or to help your grandmother or grandfather with a project. It could be the influence which your life will have on someone you don’t even know and you may not know about it until eternity comes.
Whatever your purpose in this life is, it is preparing you for eternity and the influence you will have on someone somewhere. Maybe during this life or during the Kingdom which will be during the one thousand years which Jesus will reign, you will find your place in His Kingdom and His purposes. Who knows? God does.
Seek Him out while there is time to do so, now…today! Because if you haven’t given your heart to Him yet when the Trumpet sounds and the church is taken to eternity, becoming a Christian during the seven years which follow will be harder and much more dangerous than it is today.
Believe me, they are not the same thing at all! You can religiously do anything from watching the news to fishing or hunting or whatever you really like to do. But being a true follower of Christ, an actual Christian, who has had his heart broken by the Holy Spirit and has repented of his old life so he can live a new life in Christ…that is a whole other dimension of being a disciple.
Are there Christians in the world who actually live that way? Yes, there are but as the Lord, Himself said, “there are few who find it“. I don’t mean that being a Christian is an exclusive club or something but there are few who will follow the leading of the Lord on the way to eternity and that is by His words, not mine. Can anyone be successful at living the life of a Christian? No, at least not on your own strength and ability. If the Holy Spirit is not living in your heart and giving you the will to do what is needed and stay true to the narrow path then you won’t be successful at it…period.
It is not a decision which is made only once and then you go on your merry way back to the life that you enjoy until Jesus comes. Just because a fence is painted white once doesn’t mean that it will stay that way without maintenance. That is the life that you are taking on when you truly repent of your old life and determine to follow the Holy Spirit leading you into a new life. Reading God’s Word, praying about your walk with Him daily, seeking His will in every area of your life, praying for others to come to know Him as you do and keeping your steps on this pathway until He calls you home. Asking His forgiveness for any slip of the tongue or of your way as you do walk with Him and truly repenting of those sins as they dirty your feet on the way.
Can we live this way? As I said earlier, yes we can with the Holy Spirit’s help to focus our spiritual eyes and our ears so that we can see and hear those things which we need to hear and not those which do not help us in any way. Is it a struggle to do these things? It may be for a while, as we get accustomed to His teachings and His leading on a daily basis. But, after that, it will become easier. We will never be perfect at walking without sin but we will be able to avoid it or at least be granted forgiveness for those sins which do get in from time to time.
How will we know? Because, if you are walking this close to the Holy Spirit, any word or thought which is outside of Him will immediately be flagged by your Spirit as wrong and not part of His leading or His teaching. We won’t be perfectly capable of catching these all of the time but as you keep walking with Him it will get easier. The one sin which can creep into a disciple’s life is the oldest of sins and that is pride. That is the one which every gospel and every letter written in the New Testament says to guard against most fiercely because once it gets a foothold it can grow other sinful feelings along with it.
That is why our Lord said to “take up your cross daily” and follow Him. Here is another article which might help clarify some of this as well. I pray that all of you will seek a closer walk with Him.
God called me to be a minister way back in 1983. I was in a “relationship” with a woman who didn’t become my wife and it was a “friendship with benefits”, and I had not been listening to Him very well. I answered the call by going to Oral Robert’s University for a weekend to scope out the place in a way. I felt His call and His Presence touching my life while I was there and I listened, weakly, but I did listen.
But…when I cam home, I decided to reject His call and keep going on with my life like I wanted it and the way that I wanted to do it. Unfortunately, that was not the answer that He wanted to hear from me. It wasn’t but a few months until the woman that I had been in a relationship with found someone else and was planning a wedding until she died in a car accident.
Did that have anything to do with me or my decisions? I don’t know. Could it have been something caused by God or allowed by Him to get my attention? Maybe. But…I still didn’t turn toward Him in the way that I should’ve. My life went through a few more “storms” (to use an overused word) before I finally listened to Him. What kind of storms? Well, a bankruptcy and a divorce and a little while of driving OTR trucks (although driving the trucks was fun).
Actually while driving the trucks I began talking to God while I was driving. I told Him that I had messed up my life by not listening to Him the way I should, so I wanted Him to find my soul mate because I had heard Him the first time I got married but I didn’t listen. This time I wanted Him to find her for me and then make sure I knew it and didn’t walk away this time.
To shorten this a bit I did hear Him and we did get married and we are still married, going on now for twenty-six years now. So, yes, I learned my lesson about listening to God’s “still, small voice”. It is easy to hear if you are listening but it is also too easy to ignore because God’s voice is not loud. He tests your spiritual ears and if you hear Him and acknowledge it then He knows you are listening.
The next time that He got my attention was in ’95 when my grandfather died right around Easter that year and my Mom died on Christmas Eve. It took a year or more before I could continue my college education because I was half-way through my first two years when this happened. God called me again to be His minister about nine years later and this time I listened. I studied His Word during the night shifts while I worked as a Medical Technologist in a lab (during the times when I wasn’t really busy).
In 2011 I was called to be a pastor of a small church close to home and by the grace of God, I am still preaching there. I do realize that this story is about my life but I want to show you that when God calls you to be His minister or His disciple or His follower…don’t turn away from Him and don’t ignore His call on your life!