The great commission is a clear and direct command from God. We are to preach the gospel of Christ to all the earth, and make disciples of all men. Every Christian is an evangelist, if they are a Christian. No Christian can in good conscience sit idly by while people walk out of time into eternity without Christ. It is the most unloving, selfish thing a person can do. St. Francis was falsely attributed with the saying, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” This concept is no where to be found in the Bible. I guess if you don’t care that people are going to die and suffer in hell for all eternity you can just be a nice person, and hope that the people in your life convert before they get hit by a buss, and end up in hell, but why would you when eternity is on the line? Simply being nice to people does not give them the gospel. The good news of Christ is the penal substitutiary atonement that He accomplished on the cross of His suffering. He who knew no sin, became sin, for us. He was imputed with sin that was not His, and suffered for it. He paid the price that we could not pay, and makes the repentant sinner just to God by faith. His righteousness is imputed to the humbled sinner. They are saved by grace through faith. “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, so that no one may boast.” Eph 2:8-9. If any of you have not repented of your sins, and trusted in Christ alone for your salvation, do not wait, or put it off. “And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain—
2for He says,
“AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU,
AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.”
Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION”—” 2 Cor 6:1-2.
Romans 10:14-15 (NASB) How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
With recent events in America, one wonders, “Why? Why are people killing others?” Meanwhile the left is using these tragedies as an excuse to shift the blame to an inanimate object. This of course makes the right angry enough to commit murder of the heart, while the left is angry enough to actually commit murder. Their pundits are encouraging it on the nightly news, if that is what you call it. Of course on the right we’ve taken to calling if fake news, because we are tired of all the lies, half truths, and godless, communist, propaganda. Before you run off, assuming this is a political rant, I urge you to keep reading.
Murder is nothing new. Mankind has been killing since the beginning. The agnostic, or atheist left would have you believe it is a matter of education. They assume that people are naturally good intentioned, and if they grow up to be hateful, bigots, evil conservatives, or murderers, it is simply because they were given wrong, or inadequate education. As a Christian, a Father of 4, and a Corrections Officer of 24 years, I can assure you that is not the case.
We are born with one thing on our minds, our own individual pleasure. Our flesh is the most important thing to us. We learn to love our parents, because they take care of us. It still boils down to self. Without them, I would have nobody to feed me, clean me, comfort me. We don’t wonder why they do those things at first. We just accept it. We must have some quality about us that is worthy of that kind of affection, but then the lessons begin. Punishment for doing bad things. Rewards for doing good things. Well the nature of a child loves rewards. The flesh loves goodies, and compliments, but it hates spankings, physical pain, removal of fun things.
Being selfish, and evil is our nature. We have to be taught to be good. We want to be comfortable, and enjoy pleasurable things. That is not necessarily sinful, but when it involves committing a sin, or sins of omission to achieve that comfort, or pleasure, then we are guilty. Read what God has to say about it in His word,
James 4:1-10 (NASB) Things to Avoid
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
It is pretty clear that we murder because we are selfish, sinners at heart. We don’t rightly fear God, nor do we heed his laws. We make up our own to please our flesh. We make up our own gods as well. Some depressed teen surmises that nobody loves him, or they don’t live up to his unrealistic expectations of how they should behave towards him, which further drives him to hate those who don’t participate in his self-pity, so he decides to teach the world a lesson. This by the way is the result of all the self-esteem nonsense pushed down our throats for the last 40 years. People don’t need to feel better about themselves, or esteem themselves more, especially if that esteem is misplaced. We need to see ourselves as God sees us. We need the truth.
You didn’t see this happening in the 60’s and 70’s. We used to drive to school with our rifles in a wrack on our pickup cab rear window. It was common place. Kids would come to school with their dear, or elk in the back of the pickup to show it off after a successful hunt. The problem isn’t guns, kids, or video games. It is the sinful heart of man, and the lies that we are telling our kids. This is a necessary consequence of becoming a godless secular society. You want to blame someone leftists? Blame yourselves.
People seem so shocked by murder partially as a selfish way to virtue signal. We also are shocked by it because we see ourselves as good, and deserving happy lives with many rewards, and pleasures. To think that someone would not value us they way we value ourselves is a shock. Of course there are exceptions to the rule.
There are people who are shocked for the right reasons, most of those people are Christians. They see the value of human life according to the word of God. They understand that we deserve death, and hell, and that every day is a blessing from God where we should seek to glorify Him. They understand the inherent idolatry, and blasphemy of destroying an image bearer of God, and spilling the blood unjustly, the blood of His creatures who belong to him, the blood that contains the life.
What we need is for people to be taught the truth. We are sinners. We need for Christians, the Church, to preach the gospel of Christ. If people come to Christ, and are changed, they won’t become mass murderers. Do you want to see America great again? Preach Christ! More laws won’t do it.
Are you having a difficult time with understanding justification? Do you wonder if you have done enough to demonstrate that you are saved? Do you question whether you are good enough, if there is enough evidence of your faith to be true? Do you tend to be legalistic with yourself? One of the dangers of, “navel gazing” (self-examination) is that we become self-absorbed, we lose proper perspective. We begin to filter incoming information through a set of rules that constantly look at ourselves, and our performance, or lack thereof.
A filter is thing that removes particles from a stream, while allowing the rest of the particles to continue on to their destination. This can be a data stream, electrical stream, light stream, basically anything that flows. As we perceive information streaming in through our senses, we employ filters based on our cumulative view of the world (word view). When that view is built on a solid foundation of objective truth, it will lead us to proper understandings of what has happened, is happening, and will happen. We will filter out the untrue, and allow the truth to continue. When our filtration system is built on a false worldview, we filter out some truth, and we look at the world and ourselves through a lie.
God has given us His word, and like Him it is truth. We on the other hand, are fallible creatures, prone to accepting lies. Even with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and His illumination of the Word of God for us, and to us, we still get things wrong. This is yet another example of God’s grace towards His elect, we don’t have to get it all right, all the time, from the word go. None of us die with all the answers in perfect comprehension. In a sense, even the most spiritually mature Christian you know, will die with notions about God and His word that aren’t perfect.
Our works are tainted, our thoughts are tainted with sin and imperfection. If you are relying on either of those to get some kind of assurance that you are in, then you are going to find your faith shaken on a regular basis. Let’s look at Galatians 3 for a moment together.
Galatians 3 :: New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Faith Brings Righteousness
1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
6 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Intent of the Law
15 Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.
19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20 Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. 21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
Galatians 3 makes it clear that it is not our obedience to the law that makes us just, but rather our faith in Christ. Do you want some assurance? Believe in Christ and His work. Trust Jesus alone, and don’t mix in your ability to know more than someone else, or do more. Because neither of those things actually satisfy the law. The law is intended to be impossible to satisfy so that you are driven humbly to your knees before Jesus with no defense left but Him crucified, resurrected, and ruling for eternity. Repent of sin, and trust the Savior.
The predominate cult determines the culture. Until the last one and a half centuries, Christianity was the predominate, “cult” if you will, in America, and much of the civilized world. Post-modernism, and secular humanism have had their sway for the last 50, or more years. This has culminated in a Post-Christian, atheistic, and ever increasing antichrist cult, and resultant culture. The views of this cult are evident in the dogmatic doctrines of the leftist, otherwise known as socialists/communists. God is replaced by the state, because you shall have no other god than the state according to the enemy. After all, if they knew they were outright worshiping satan, the couldn’t immediately stomach it, or convince others to do so either. Give them the state as god, and they will rend themselves into a bloody foundation for it to set atop as a glorious, and gory crown to their sacrifice of neighbors, friends, and brothers. Its gaping maw ever open, ever consuming the human chattel like chafe tossed into a boiler furnace to further power the all-consuming monster of human suffering.
The god they worship has given them a sliding rule of right and wrong, that is more often than not, an inversion of God’s created order. This blasphemy, rebellion, and idolatry is no accident. It is engineered by the most infamous of totalitarian rulers, the devil himself. Our enemies are not of flesh and blood, but rather are spirit. Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Like unto marionettes dancing on the silken black threads of their malevolent master, they dance the dance of demoniacs immemorial. They have taken what is good, by force, blackmail, coercion, deceit, fraud, and theft, and corrupted it. They have convinced the world of the dead, enslaved to the satanic system that what is good, is actually evil, and that what is evil, is actually good. Good has become such an evil it requires the ultimate humiliation and punishment. They cry for blood, and have swift feat to carry them along to its macabre end. It is a slight of hand that should not work, but does.
For who can blame the deaf, blind, and dead, for not being able to discern the truth from a lie? From their state, there is no excuse. They remain fully culpable for their estate. God is just, and those who remain dead in their sins and trespasses will experience God’s wrath eternal. Would you like to change the world? Are you greatly vexed, as I am with the insanity, and immorality of the leftists? You won’t find the solution as a politique. Much like the politique of 16th century France, if you believe you will find the solution in human policies, and national strength, you will be disappointed.
The solution for our current debauchery lies in the miraculous power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation. It quickens the dead soul to life, true life, life eternal! It makes the word of God come forth and dominate the darkened mind, it illuminates it, bringing light into the darkest man! O there is nothing more grand and glorious than the power of God displayed saving a wretch from his defiled and putrefied body of death except for God Himself! Preach the gospel to all the Earth, make disciples of all men! By His stripes we are healed! God commands all men everywhere to repent! Preach repentance and faith in our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ! For when a dead sinner becomes our true brother, he cannot help but to be changed in spirit, and soul! He will begin to hate the sin that he reveled in, and love the glory of God above all else! [1Co 6:20 KJV] 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. [Psa 115:1 KJV] 1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, [and] for thy truth’s sake.
[Eph 6:10-24 KJV] 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 21 But that ye also may know my affairs, [and] how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: 22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and [that] he might comfort your hearts. 23 Peace [be] to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace [be] with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
[Isa 53:1-12 KJV] 1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
[Act 17:22-34 KJV] 22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, [Ye] men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead. 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this [matter]. 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which [was] Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
[Rom 1:15-32 KJV] 15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
When we come to God to repent of our sins, do we come to Him feeling unsure, and insecure, about our repentance? Are we ashamed that we sinned again? Are we doubtful about our regeneration and justification, because we don’t feel as bad as we should about our sin? Do we put off coming to Him to repent, because we are ashamed of how we failed again, how we sold Him over for some temporary pleasure, not much unlike how Judas Iscariot, who betrayed our beloved Savior for a mere 30 pieces of silver? I want to be careful, so as to not appear to give license to sin, but if you are having doubts, let me ask, is your focus on your sin, how you failed again, and how you don’t feel bad enough, how you don’t deserve any good thing from God? If that is the case let me suggest that you are trusting in yourself, rather than in the finished work of Christ. If it is all about how you do, or don’t do, then it isn’t about who did.
Jesus is our righteousness. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” (Eph 2:8) When you, or I have sinned, we need to come to God, in the name of Christ Jesus our Savior. Come and plead, ask for forgiveness, not because of anything of ourselves, but because of what Jesus accomplished. “Lord, forgive me please. I’ve sinned again. I did “X” and deserve your wrath, but Jesus bled, suffered, died, and was resurrected Lord, for me… Forgive me Lord because of Jesus’ Thank you, Amen.”
Lay hold of what Christ accomplished! Claim it, cling to it, believe it, and live according to the reality of it! It is the most real thing ever done for you, for any of us. No person, has ever offered you any love that could compare.
If you have unbiblical preconceived notions about how you should be treated, or how your life should be going, you are not only in sin, but you will never be content, and you’ll always be angry.
If you are confused about your gender, you need the truth, not lies. If you pretend to be a man, when you are actually a woman, you will always know that you are not a man. It will be with you all the while. You will always know you are a woman pretending to be a man. You will never fit in with actual men. You don’t need people to help you lie to yourself. You need the truth. Your emotions are not tempered with knowledge that is true. This will only lead to more suffering. Accept the truth. The truth is that you have sinful feelings and thoughts. You, along with the rest of us, are perverted. We all need God to grant us repentance, and faith. Pray for God to lead you to actual truth, and free you from your sins. Trust the finished work of Jesus Christ, on the cross for your righteousness. He took our punishment, and satisfied the just wrath of God with His sacrifice. We need to repent of our sins, and trust solely in Him.
Keep in mind, what I am going to be writing about is not a prophecy, nor did I get a, “word from God.” This is just my own personal observations, and thoughts. I have been thinking lately, that we have had an unusual time of learning, and growing for the last decade or so. There have been good teachers, and plentiful resources. Even though there has been persecution around the world, and oppression in other parts of the world, we have been pretty safe here in the USA. We have had a lack of tribulation. We have had plenty of time to mature in Christ. We have been sitting in relative comfort.
I think this time is coming to a close. I think many Pastors, and teachers are headed for a fall. The world system, and the enemy are going to be putting Christians, their faith, and knowledge of Christ to the test. Our sins will seem to come at us with a vengeance, and destructive force that we are not accustomed to. This is where the rubber meets the road. Will we buckle under the temptation? Will we resort to being greedy, selfish, unkind, mean, arrogant, prideful, lustful, adulterous, covetous, abusive, addicted, or fill in the black with whatever sin has been eating at your assurance over the past years, some besetting sin, that you’ve as of yet not had victory over?(1 Peter 1:7, Heb 10:32-36)
We’ve already seen some Pastors/Preaching Elders fall into heterodoxy, or outright apostasy. We have seen marriages end, and abuses happen. I think these are just the beginning of what is to come. We’ve had time to prepare, grow, and learn to fight sin. I think the time has come, and God is going to put us through trials, and tribulations. I’m not talking eschatologically here. It seems the season is here for our good, the Churches good, and sanctification. Those who are left standing after the fire, will be the ones who have persevered. We need workmen who have shown them selves approved. (2 Tim 2:15, 1 Cor 9:24-27, James 1:2-4)
Don’t fret or worry. Rest assured in the God who saves, and sanctifies. He will also glorify. When you fall to sin, repent immediately. Accept Church discipline. It is for your good, and the Churches good. Don’t resist out of pride. Don’t go to another Church, or movement. Don’t utilize a loophole like that to escape what will bring you back to spiritual health in Christ. It is the means He has ordained. (Rom 5:3-4)
Let’s do our due diligence, and submit to our Savior fully, and with all the zeal due Him. Study His word, apply it, discipline your mind and body, make war against sin! Rest in His righteousness, and utilize the weapons, and protections He has given us. (Eph 6:10-18, Heb 12:1-3)
God is omniscient. He knows everything. He cannot learn. He has always known who He would save, and who He would not. He did not have to look down the corridors of time to see who would choose Him. He knew before He made them. It is not evil for God to save only the elect. We cannot judge God. He is the infinite, transcendent Creator. We are small, finite, creatures, with limited faculties as creatures, then add on to that the noetic effect of our sin natures inherited from the fall of original sin. In Adam all die. The wages of sin is death. All of us, even the newborn, deserve death and Hell, but God in His mercy saves some. If there are two doctrines that are seemingly at odds, in your understanding, it is not the truth of God that is wrong. If the Bible says we have a volition, make choices, and suffer the consequence, or reap the rewards of those choices, then it is true. If it says that God has determined, or ordained all things to come to pass according to His will, then that is also true. Just because someone can’t justify the two ideas in their small, finite, creaturely, sin sick minds doesn’t negate the truth of God.
We are limited to an existence in space/time. We only experience life in a linear progression through unfolding time, in space. We see our lives as a series of instances, and of choices, and outcomes. Eternity is not like that. God is bigger than space/time. He transcends His creation. He sees all things, perfectly, as the actually are, forever. God made the construct of this material world for us to live in, and for His story to be experienced in. He made it for His glory.
The Bible, the Gospel of Christ, are theocentric, not anthropocentric. In Eternity, God sovereignly chose who would respond to their sin, and the gospel, with repentance and faith. He grants repentance and faith, to those whom He chose. This does not negate our culpability. He says as much in Romans. It doesn’t mean that we don’t experience choices and the outcomes of those choices. Let God be true.
You can read that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, Israel was chosen, Aaron, and Moses were chosen, Hosea, and Gomer were chosen, even the pagans were chosen to work God’s will in their wickedness they were used to punish Israel when they strayed. Christ chose His Apostles. Paul was chosen, and we see that on the road to Damascus. Romans 9, Ephesians 1, God’s sovereign choices are all over the old and new Testaments. We can’t ignore it, or interpret in a way that makes it anthropocentric. Our purpose is to glorify God, not man.
Sanctification is about being conformed to the Word of God and His likeness. A Christian would love for His sinful will in the unredeemed flesh to be gone. It is one of the things we look forward to in eternity, is being in a glorified body, that no longer desires to sin, but entirely desires to do God’s will only. People make the accusation that God wouldn’t make a bunch of mindless robots, but I would love it if I no longer sinned or were tempted to sin. It doesn’t mean that I would be mindless. Election, and man’s volition are both true. Before a man is saved, his will is enslaved to his sinful nature. After he is saved, it is enslaved to the Christ Jesus His Lord and Savior, who died for his sins.
We see at work in the world, both good and evil. This last weekend, I was reminded of the battle that is being waged in the spiritual realm, and its ramifications in the material world. After a wonderful service at Church, I checked my Facebook account, only to find out about the Church shooting in Texas. I was frustrated at my response. I was not outraged, or shocked. I felt bad for the victims. I prayed for them, but I was not burdened enough by the horror that had occurred. I found myself desensitized by the violence, and the evil that propelled it. Part of this hardening is due to my 22 years as a Corrections Officer, witnessing the doctrine of Total Depravity fleshed out.
I began to think about this in contrast to the wonderful time of worship, prayer, fellowship, and learning, I experienced on the Friday, and Saturday, that preceded the evil that occurred on Sunday. Hundreds of brothers, and sisters in Christ, from different Churches around the area, came together for the Reformation 500 Conference. It was such a joy to see the unity of the body. I was encouraged by news of revival by Dr. Beeke during the Q. & A. session. I could see the results of it in my little corner of the world. I met some brothers, I had not known before. Fellowship in Christ was easy, and familiar like a homecoming. I went home encouraged and uplifted.
The next morning at Church Dr. Dennis exposited the word of God faithfully, it too was a joy. Then to hear about the malignant work of evil in Texas, as I mulled over my lack of significant emotional response, and what it meant about my heart. Then later in the day, news came that struck much closer to home. A teen, who was about my daughter’s age, and the son of a Pastor I know, had committed suicide. This young, well liked, healthy, teen, killed himself. There was some lie he had heard from the enemy, in some shape, way, or form, which moved him to this. I don’t know what it was. The details don’t matter right now, just the fact that they have had their beloved son torn from them by evil, and its lies.
This happened directly after such a wonderful time, which it caused in me to think of how much was going on behind the scenes, so to speak. We live our lives, not considering the battle going on about us, oblivious to it and the effects. Why does it seem the highs and lows of the spiritual life are in constant rise and fall? A wonderful thing happens, and is immediately followed by a horrible thing. An unspeakably evil thing occurs, and then a marvelous event is witnessed. It keeps going on, and on.
Do I believe there will be a great revival in the end times? Yes I do. Do I believe there will be a great apostasy in the end times? Yes I do. I don’t think they necessarily are going to happen separately. I think we can see them happening now. Ebbing and flowing, in increasingly dramatic levels. Like birthing pains, increasing in frequency, and intensity. I don’t mean to imply that in the spiritual battle the enemy ever has victory. What ever back and forth fighting is happening, rest assured, it is all working according to God’s good, and final will.
While we are able, let’s revel in the glory, love, and righteousness of God. Let us love and minister to the hurting, and share the gospel of Christ with the world. They, who are laboring under the burdens of the world system, and the condemnation of sin, have no reprieve, unless by the power of God they be saved. Let’s be bold in proclaiming hope through Jesus. Let’s not neglect the delicate work of soul care. The injured, battered, abused, victims of evil in this world must be led by those justly inflicted, injurious wounds to the only one who can heal, and bring them to wholeness, Jesus Christ.
Absolute truth can only be known totally, perfectly, and absolutely by the transcendent being who is the origin of that truth. His creatures, by their nature as lesser beings, created by Him, can only know what He has made them capable of knowing. This is also true of their ability to perceive, reason, understand, and communicate.
Then we must factor in the effect the curse had on Adam’s progeny due to his sin in the garden. We are born enslaved to a sinful nature, and are destined to suffer injury, disease, and death due to his sin, known as original sin, and our own individual sins. Sin also has affected the way we perceive, reason, understand, and communicate. This is known as the, “noetic effect” of sin.
When we consider these two ideas, it might seem that it is impossible for us to know absolute truth. This would be incorrect. God has made us able to know of absolute truth, just not perfectly, absolutely, or totally. We can know that God exists, fire burns, and the wind blows. We can even understand how combustion works, and what the source of the wind is, but to know them as God does is impossible in our current state and even in our glorified state.
If you look at an apple on a desk, you’ll see an apple. If you use a magnifying glass, you’ll see the pores on the skin as well as the blemishes. If you use a microscope, you’ll be able to see the cells of the apple. Advanced technology allows us to look at the micros and macros of the cosmos in ways that were never before possible for us. No matter what technology we develop, we will never be able to perceive things the way that God does.
God wants us to know Him. He has given us the creation to see His work. He has given us the progressive revelation of His word for us to know Him. In the person of the Holy Spirit, He makes His word understandable to us. In the person of Christ Jesus, He has made it possible for us to be justified to Him, to be adopted as sons and daughters. The Bible says this about Jesus, “…He is the image of the invisible God…” (Col 1:15) It also says, “…For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form…” (Col 2:9)
If you’d like to know absolute truth, in as much as you can, I encourage you to think about your guilt as a sinner. Consider how holy God is as the sovereign Creator of everything. Think about His perfection in all of His attributes. Repent of your sins. Forsake them. Turn from them towards Christ. He is your only hope. “…let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. “He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”…” (Acts 4:10-12) “…Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION”…” (2 Cor 6:2)