Aside

Grasping the greatness of God’s forgiveness

The moment you accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, God promised that He would never stop forgiving you, no matter what you do.

1 John 1:5-10

A genuine Christian walks habitually in light (truth and holiness), not in darkness (falsehood and sin). Their walk will result in cleansing from sin as the Lord continually forgives his own.

Burn this in your brain: While God wants us to know forgiveness, Satan wants us to feel guilty. Satan the prince of darkness knows our feelings of guilt keep us (in our minds) separated from God.

Revelation 12:10 – While Satan tries to accuse us and make us feel guilty, God declares that we are as pure as Jesus Christ. God said that we are completely forgiven because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins when He died on the cross. Colossians 1:22

God has done a truly awesome thing. Because you have believed in Christ and accepted what He did for you, God sees you as completely pure and holy, without any faults. A lot of what we believe about ourselves is based on our feelings which are easily changed. The weather can affect your feelings!

But nothing can change the facts in God’s word. And that is where we need to put our faith-in the facts revealed in the bible and not in our flawed human feelings. When you struggle with guilt, go back to the facts. Those facts tell you that are loved by God, completely pure and holy through Jesus Christ and constantly cleansed by our heavenly father.

How much does God forgive?

First of all we all sin – Romans 3:23

The fact that you recognize your sin and feel badly about it should give you encouragement for several reasons. First, a lot of people sin and don’t think anything is wrong with it – but God has opened you eyes to see how destructive sin can be. God does not want you to live with guilt. He wants you to know and fully experience His forgiveness.

God does not simply overlook our sin and say “you are forgiven”. God sees our sin but is ready to forgive us because Jesus took OUR sin on himself and paid for our sin by His death on the cross (Isaiah 53:4-6). Our sin is serious and it cost Jesus incredible suffering. But from the moment we received Christ into our lives, His forgiveness is ours. WE CAN’T EVER MAKE UP FOR OUR OWN SIN OR SUFFER ENOUGH FOR IT-nor does God want us to-Romans 5:8.

Writer CS Lewis said: “I think that if God forgives us than we need to forgive ourselves, otherwise it is almost like setting ourselves up as a higher tribunal than God”.  A tribunal is a seat or court of justice.

But, what about when we struggle with an area and keep on sinning? Does God get so weary forgiving us that we, at some point, reach our limit? Will God continue to forgive you if you commit the same sin over and over again? – Matthew 18:21, 22

Understand Jesus’ point here. It’s unlikely that peter could keep track of whether he forgave a particular individual 490 times, so you see Jesus’ point. We are to always forgive, because God always forgives us. God does not have a limit. Christ died for every one of your sins-those you’ve committed and those you will commit – that covers past, present, and future sins.

Because of Christ’s forgiving power, we can always be made clean after we sin if we humbly seek it. At the same time, it must be noted that it is not biblical for a person to sin habitually and continually as a lifestyle and still be a believer (1 John 3:8-9). That is why Paul admonishes us to “examine ourselves to see whether we are in the true faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). As Christians we do stumble, but we do not live a lifestyle of continual, hardened, unrepentant sin.

Those walking in the light hare in the character of God, they will be habitually characterizes by His holiness (3 John 11), indicating their true fellowship with Him (James 1:27). A genuine Christian does not walk in darkness but only in the light (2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:8; Colossians 1:12, 13), and cleansing from sin continually occurs (1 John 1:9).

All of us have weaknesses and can fall into sin, even if we don’t want to (Romans 7:15). Like Paul, the response of the believer is to hate sin, repent of it and ask for divine GRACE to overcome it (Romans 7:24-25). Although we need not fall because of God’s sufficient GRACE, sometime we do because we rely on our insufficient strength. When our faith grows weak and like Peter, we deny our Lord in word or in life, even then there is still a chance to repent and be forgiven for our sin. We have been given GRACE for grace – God’s immeasurable love and favor piled one upon another (John 1:16).

You need to begin looking at your sin the way God looks at it as He has revealed in the bible     (1 John 1:9; I John 2:1, 2; Psalm 103:8-14).

How does God forgive?

God forgives by RemovingPsalm 103:12; Isaiah 38:17

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us –this speaks of the limits of our imagination as to the extent of God’s forgiveness. It means that He has put our sins entirely away. They are removed that they cannot affect us any more-we are safe from all condemnation for our sins, as if they had never been committed – Romans 8:1.

This removing is the utter destruction of something that is written. God erases from His book. There are books in heaven. It is a written record. God promises to eliminate from the book (Revelation 20:11-15). When He forgives He has removed the record (Colossians 2:13-14). The books – these books record every thought, word, and deed/actions of sinful men – they will provide the evidence for condemnation. The Book of Life – it contains the name of the redeemed. It is a divine journal that records the names of all those whom God has chosen to save and who, therefore are to possess eternal life (Revelation 21:22-27).

The ledger is more than balanced by what Christ did Isaiah 53:6. Because of Christ God sweeps away the cloud between us and Him – Isaiah 44:21-22.

God forgives by Forgetting – Isaiah 43:25

He remembers your sins no more. When we are forgiven our sins are no longer on God’s mind. They are rendered to oblivion. This means that God does not meditate or brood over our sins. So we must cease from doing so –Micah 7:18-19.

 

Advertisements
Aside

Why are there so many fake/counterfeit Christians?

A Christian can be defined as a person who has, by faith, received and fully trusted in Jesus Christ as the only savior from sin (John 3:16-18; Acts 4:10-12; 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9). And in the heart of the Christian resides the Spirit of Christ (Ephesians 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 8:11).” Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he/she does not belong to Christ” (Romans 8:9), and this person, then, is not a Christian. So in reality, the terms fake/counterfeit Christian is a misnomer. You are a Christian or you are not a Christian; one is either with God or against God (Matthew 12:30).

This question is certainly a legitimate one. And this is due to the behavior of some true Christians, and because of the behavior of many who think they are Christians or profess to be Christians, but who are not. The reasons many believe they are true Christians when they are not are many and varied. The false teaching from the different gospel that is so prevalent these days is certainly the one major reason.

The gospel in the western world has gradually been changed over the past 50 (or more) years so that what is believed to be the gospel today is no longer the true gospel but a false gospel which differs substantially and dramatically from the true gospel. But because the changes have been brought in gradually (incremental progression), no one seems to have noticed.

So, how does the modern gospel differ from the gospel of Jesus Christ? It differs in that Christ is no longer the center and object of the message but MAN is. It is no longer the gospel of Christ, it is the gospel of SELF, and it is another gospel entirely. Just think about how the gospel is communicated. Those who preach the modern gospel talk about YOU, God’s plan for YOU, how much He loves YOU, how YOU can be happy and fulfilled.  How He wants to bless and prosper YOU, and cause YOU to fulfill YOUR destiny. While many of these things are true, the emphasis is in the wrong place. These preachers feel the need to sell people the benefits of salvation and so it becomes a man – centered message.

Right through the book of Acts we find that the early church preached “Jesus the Christ’. That was their message beginning at Pentecost (Acts 2:22-24) and ending at the last verse (Acts 28:31). There are different gospels that each present a different Jesus. Paul warned the church at Corinth that there would be another gospel (2 Corinthians 11:1-4; cf. Galatians 1:6-10). On the surface this other gospel and Jesus appear very much like the real gospel and the real Jesus, but they are counterfeits empowered by a very different spirit – “the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:1, 3; James 3:13-17; 1 Timothy 4:1).

The gospel of Christ and the gospel of SELF have different messages: the object of the first is Jesus Christ, His person, His work and His glory. The object of the second message is SELF , this message concentrates on what MAN can get from God and how everything Christ has done and does, revolves around blessing MAN. Responses to these gospels produce dramatically different results. The gospel of Christ is unpopular and few respond to it while the gospel of SELF is popular and many flock to it (Matthew 7:13-15).

They also produce very different attitudes in their followers. Those who obey the Gospel of Christ worship Him, and their lives and doctrine revolve around Him – they are Christ – centered. Those who choose the gospel of SELF worship themselves and their lives revolve around themselves – they are self-centered. “Not only do these messages produce very different followers, but they produce entire congregations that are either SELF-centered or Christ-centered”.

These differences are more than a slight difference in emphasis. They are complete opposites. The true gospel produces repentance and faith in Christ alone. The gospel of SELF produces spiritual arrogance and SELF-righteousness. The gospel of Christ leads to eternal life. While the gospel of SELF leads to eternal damnation. The majority of those who have been attracted by the gospel of SELF are not saved – they have put their trust in a false message with a false savior, and not in the Christ of the bible. When churches fail to teach sound doctrine, the end result will be members who do not know the truth of God’s Word (as it is written and correctly interpreted). How can they keep in step with the Spirit, when the truth is not in them? (Galatians 5:24; 2 Timothy 4:1-4)

The clear teaching of the bible is that when someone is saved his/her life will most definitely change as he/she is a new creation (a Christ creation), the old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:28-29; Ephesians 4:24). A true born again believer will strive to bring glory and honor to Christ by living a life that is pleasing to God (1 Peter 1:15-16, 4:1-4). The natural out-growth of true saving faith will be fruit produced by the Spirit of God that will result in good works in the life of the believer (Galatians 5:22; James 2:17, 26).  Thus if there is no fruit of the spirit in one’s life a careful self examination is certainly called for (2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Peter 1:1-12). Any profession of faith that does not result in a changed life and the fruit of the Spirit of Christ is a false profession and such a person is not a true Christian.

The scriptures also speak about people who call Jesus Lord, appear to have the credentials of a Christian, but are told by Jesus. “I never knew you, depart from me (Matthew 7:21-23). And in the book of James we are told about a dead faith that is unable to save (James 2:14).

Throughout the New Testament there is a recurring pattern that Jesus and the apostles lay down for differentiating a true believer from a fake/counterfeit believer: examine the quality and consistency of fruit that a life displays.Examine the back and forth contrasts made in these three example passages that speak to the evidences of true saving faith and that which is fake/counterfeit: (Matthew 7:16-20; Luke 3:8-9; John 15:1-6, 16).

You’ll find the same things stated many more times in the gospels. Jesus talks of four soils, only one of which produces fruit (Matthew 13:23); Jesus tells the religious leaders that the kingdom would be taken from them and given to a people who are producing the fruit of it (Matthew 21:43); Christ speaks in a parable of the a fig tree that would be cut down if it did not produce fruit (John 15:16).

The rest of the New Testament contains similar statements. For example, Paul says we are saved in order to bear fruit for God (Romans 7:4), the writer of Hebrews tells us that a good ground that brings forth a useful harvest “receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and ends up being burned” (Hebrews 6:7-8), and Jude speaks about fake believers who are “autumn tress without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted”(Jude 12).

Time and time again the bible describes the primary difference between genuine and counterfeit believers being the fruit seen in the life of the person. Is it the fruit of the CHRIST life or the fruit of the SELF life?

 

 

 

 

Aside

The rescue mission has begun

(Necessity has come to the body of Christ)

A word to those of you who are struggling with the idea that the shaking of Judgment, that America is experiencing, being first and foremost for God’s children. The only issue before us is this: Does God’s word support such a view? 1 Peter 4:17-18 reads “for the time has come for judgment to begin with the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? (v18) Now if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

The judgment of v17 is not the judgment of condemnation, but the purging, chastening, and purifying of the church by the loving hand of God, the point being: it is far better to endure suffering at the hand of God, as He purges and strengthens the church, than to endure the eternal sufferings of the ungodly and the sinner in the lake of fire.

A careful study of the book of Revelation clearly confirms the truth of this. Before God pours out His wrath on the unbelieving, Christ rejecting world during the tribulation, and the great tribulation in chapters 6-18, He first confronts the churches in chapters 2-3, calling them to repentance. “Why? If the churches are not the proper expression of His truth and righteousness, how can they present God’s message to the world for Christ?” God’s perfect justice will not permit Him to allow falsehood, idolatry, immorality, worldliness, greed and the rejection of His sovereignty in the church, while condemning the world for the same wickedness. We see this same principle in the Apostle Paul’s teaching on the Lords supper (1 Corinthians 11:27-32), which warns us about the danger of eating and drinking the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner.

And then there is the Old Testament record of God’s dealing with the nation of Israel. If we want to understand how God is going to deal with the church in the present, we simply have to look at how God dealt with the children of Israel in the past. What God hated then He hates now. What God judged then He will judge just as severely, or even more so now (Romans 11:17-24). Paul warns us that the things that happened to Israel were an example to us for our instruction (1 Corinthians 10:1-14; Jeremiah 25:29; Ezekiel 9:6; Amos 3:2).

 God must judge the church because Christ is preparing to come back to complete (bring to a whole, entire, unbroken, conclusion) what He finished at His first coming (1 John 3:8; 5:19; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-3). He is coming back to reclaim the throne of His earth (Psalm 2:7-8; Luke 4:1-8). The earth right now is being prepared to that end. But the purpose of God has been distorted. God is being misrepresented and blasphemed, and the gospel has been perverted by being re-interpreted, to include things to feed the carnality of the natural man. When the gospel of salvation is corrupted, the way of salvation is confused, and people are in danger of being eternally lost.

 When the truth is corrupted and distorted in the professing church, it infects the world that is already full of the superstitions, distortions and perversions that come from no true knowledge of God. In the cult of popular church culture, The Truth has been high jacked and perverted by leaders who crave popularity who have turned the GRACE of God into lewdness (Jude 4). The church is being ravaged by the selfish ambitions of men using Jesus’ name (Acts 20:28-35), while people perish in their ignorance and confusion because of the famine of hearing God’s word (cf. Amos 8:11). Over the last few days CNN’S belief blog has received over 10,000 responses to its question “where was God in Aurora”, as readers struggled to make sense of God’s presence or absence in the Aurora Colorado massacre on July 20, 2012. And just like in the aftermath of 9/11 in New York City,  and Katrina in New Orleans; what has been graphically exposed is the true condition of the professing church in America, how far it has strayed from The Truth and the heart of God. How sidetracked and out-of-sync with the true purpose of its presence in this world it has become. And as a consequence how pointless and irrelevant it has become. The necessity that has now begun is a rescue mission, to overthrow the falsehood that is strangling the spiritual life out of God’s people, so that The Truth of God can rise and be heard. Prepare yourself What will you do when what you have believed to be the truth is exposed as a lie? Selah!!!!       

Aside

The time of necessity alert

(Necessity is coming to the body of Christ)

For those who have a finger on the pulse of this world through knowledge of the prophetic scriptures, there is this feeling of the heavy weight of dramatic change hanging in the air. The hand writing is on the wall for America. Open your eyes and look at the obvious staring you in the face; America is being shaken.

Based upon, multiple, fundamental, technical, and timing, economic indicators, many of the economists that accurately predicted the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 that this world is still reeling from, are predicting that a catastrophic, painful, epic meltdown of the American financial system is inevitable.

Based on what they see in those indicators, these economists are predicting (connecting the dots) a crash of the Global financial system that will make the 2008 crash look like a “walk in the park”. They are calling what is to come, “the real crash-America’s coming bankruptcy”, that they expect to begin September/October of this year 2012.

It is when the illusion of prosperity that Americans live under, that is driven by massive debt, insane government spending, and out of control money printing by the Federal Reserve will crumble. If their predictions prove to be accurate, it will mean that the lives of every citizen in this nation will be changed in a dramatic fashion. The time of necessity has already begun even if it hasn’t yet reached your door step. Significant disruptions have already come for many Americans, and those disruptions will come to every American citizen in a way that will literally change the American way of life.

What does all this mean for you as a professing Christian in America? That which is occurring, and is soon to come to America is for the sake of the children of God. What is the difference between living for the Kingdom and living for the American dream? Christian’s in America have become American Christian’s instead of resident aliens from the kingdom of God who are Christian’s in America. American Christians have been shaped by the values of the American dream: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is why the false prosperity gospel-the belief that the external signs of wealth are a key testimony of God’s blessing, is so entrenched in the culture of the American church. It is natural for  American Christians to follow the American trend of moving up financially and materially, because living for the kingdom and success in the American dream are seen as one and the same.

God is going to use the coming financial crisis to forcibly extricate His children from the American way of life that is now ripe for judgment. Consider this: If something of great value to you, say a diamond ring got stuck in a container, your immediate reaction would be to try and shake it free. And if that fails, because that diamond ring is of such great value to you, you would shatter what traps it to get it back. Beloved, God is shaking and is putting to death the American dream, to get back what is of great value to Him.

The severity of the coming time of necessity will be determined by the individual need of God’s children, that is: how full we are of the worthless things of Self and this American world system. Selah!

Aside

WAKE UP, DISENGAGE, AND DRAW NEAR!

  The Lord has impressed upon our hearts that His chastening, purging, and purifying judgment of love is now upon His church (Matthew 5:13; 1 Peter 4:12-19; 1John 3:1-3; 1 Corinthians 11:31-32; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Hebrews 12:5-11; Jude 17-25; Revelation 2:4, 14, 20; 3:2, 14-22). God’s goal in this post 9/11 hour is to create a longing for home in the hearts of His children (Romans 8:18-25; Philippians 1:21-23; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; 2 Timothy 4:7,8; Revelation 22:20). The shaking of the earth that is now occurring, is designed to cause us to see this world of Satan’s dominion and man’s depravity for what it really is: brief, full of trouble, and destined for destruction (Psalm 39:4-6; 90:10; John 16:33; Romans 13:12; 1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:17).  It is to AWAKENthe people of God from our complacent slumber and sleep (Matthew 25:1-13; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 12:35-40; Romans 13:1-12; Ephesians 5:14-17; 1Thessalonians 5:1-11), force us to DISENGAGE from the entanglement of this present, cursed world, that is under the control of Satan’s insane rebellion against God’s sovereignty (Luke 4:5-8; 21:34-36; 1 John 5:19; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31;1 John 2:15-17; Hebrews 12:1; Colossians 3:1-3;  John 17:15; Galatians 1:4; James 4:4; Revelation 18:4; 2 Corinthians 6:17), and DRAW NEAR to Him (Psalm 91:1; John 15:1-17; James 4:7,8; Philippians 3:10; Hebrews 4:16; 10:21,22,24-25; Mark 12:30; Psalm 27:8; 42:1).

We are convinced that a  time of necessity is coming for the church in America, when our only reference point will be our intimate knowledge of God’s love and faithfulness (Jeremiah 9:6-7, 23-24; Psalm 32:8-11; 33:4,18-22; 34:15-22; 36:5; 37:23-29).   The severity of necessity will be determined by how much we are controlled by self and this world. Christ cannot be formed in a life controlled by self and this world (Romans 8:29; 12:1-2). The coming period will be one in which the Lord may seem to you as being distant and silent. Depending on your view of, and approach to Him, It may almost look and feel to you like rejection and abandonment, as He begins to Shake, Topple, and Overthrow, every physical and intellectual monument to self, both personal and corporate, that have been built by the Pride of selfish ambition and empty glory seeking using His name.  The Lord’s purpose in this discipline is three-fold: (1) to correct the correctable and to prepare the wicked for destruction (Isaiah 55:7; Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; Romans 2:4-5; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). (2) Remove every obstacle that hinders intimacy with those whom He loves. (3) To cleanse every spot, stain, wrinkle and blemish, that would make His bride unworthy to be offered. (Psalms 13:1,2; 22:11,19; 27:7-19; 30:6-7; 42:1,2; 44:23-26; 63:1,2; 73:23-28; 102:1,2; 84:2; 143:6,7-11; Proverbs 3:11,12; Isaiah 26:7-11; Jeremiah 29:13; Hosea 5:15; John 14:1-6; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:4; 5:27; Philippians 2:3-11; 3:10; Colossians 1:22; Jude 24; Hebrews 12:1-13; 1 Peter 4:17-19).

Our love, trust, and obedience, must rest on our intimate knowledge of His word that describes His character. It is through His word, as it is written, and correctly interpreted, that He reveals Himself, and we gain intimate relationship knowledge of the Most High God. Without it we cannot know Him. (Hebrews 3:10-11; cf. Proverbs 2:1-7; Jeremiah 9:23-24) His word is who He says He is, and what He promises that He will and will not do. He has promised to never leave, forsake, or to let us fall (Psalm 55:22; Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:11; 1Timothy 6:6-11).  He says to us: “taste and see, which means (know by experience) that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).  It is easy to trust him when things are going our way. But what about when things in our safe, comfortable spiritual lives are spiraling out of our control, and all of our neat, and largely self-centered formulas of faith are shattered in order to be altered? The very foundation of our faith is soon to be shaken, and our belief in the God who says that He loves us will be tried. Why? An untested faith simply cannot be trusted (John 16:33; Acts 14:22; Romans 5:3; 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:3-4; 1 Timothy 3:12; James 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3-7).

You don’t really know that God won’t leave, forsake, or let you fall, until He takes you to the place of falling (Hebrews 13:5; Deuteronomy 31:6-8; Psalm 16:8; 21:7; 37:24; 91:7; 145: 14).

Contrary to some of today’s broad road, self-serving, give to get, cost you nothing preaching and teaching, that is becoming increasingly more hollow, and out of touch with the times in-which we now live (Matthew 7:13,14; 2 Timothy 4:1-4), this is not the time for self centered introspection, the pursuit of our own personal happiness, or worldly full satisfaction and attachment, because, by God’s hand, peace and security are absent from the earth, (Genesis 19:15-26; Isaiah 9:6,7; 45:7;  48:22; 57:20-21; Jeremiah 6:14; Lamentations 2:14; 14:13,14; 23:16,17;  Amos 3:6; Zechariah 9:10; Matthew  10:34-39; 24:1-8; Luke 17:26-32; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)  as the consummation of this age draws near.  (Romans 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 7:29f; 10:11; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 1 John 2:18)

The hour is upon the church for emergency Refocusing (fixing our concentration and efforts on Things above) Ephesians 1:8,9; Colossians 3:1-4; Philippians 3:18-21, examining as well as streamlining our lives (improving the efficiency of our lives, and arranging them to offer the least resistance to the changes that are coming) 1Timothy 6:6-10; Mark 4:19; Luke 21:34-36; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1Peter 1:13; 4:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:12; 11:31,32; 2 Corinthians 5:9,10; 13:5; James 2:14-26, and Gospel Simplicity (faithfulness to the testimony of nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, Risen, and coming again 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 15:20; Acts 2:23-24; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Galatians 6:14; Revelation 19:11-16; 22:7).

During this shaking God will be making a distinction between those who are His and those who are not (2 Timothy 2:19; John 10:14; 1 Corinthians 8:3). He will be confronting, exposing, and calling to account; impure motives, false teaching, false professions of faith, as well as all well meaning ministry efforts based upon erroneous theology and doctrine that have distorted and hindered the clear mission of Christ (Hebrews 12:25-29; 2 Peter 2:1-3, 17-19; Acts 22:1-8; Romans 10:1,2; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 4:19,20; Romans 15:19; Galatians 1:13,14; Philippians 3:4-6; Matthew 15:7-9; Luke 19:10; Isaiah 32:6; Colossians 2:8). He is forcing professing believers to choose between true biblical Christianity, that is narrowroad, kingdomfocused , and Christcentered (Matthew 7:14; Luke 13:24; Ephesians 2:1-10; Colossians 1:5; 3:1-4; 1 Peter 1:4,5; Hebrews 12:2), or the popular worldly churchianity being practiced by the cult of popular church culture, that is broadroad, earth-focused (Matthew 7:13; John 6:15; 18:36; 1 John 2:15-17; 1Corinthians 7:29-31; Colossians 2:8; James 4:1-10; Philippians 3:18-19), and mancentered (Matthew 16:23; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:3,4; 2 Peter 2:1-3).

Just as it is un-natural for church leaders to allow themselves to be glorified (1Peter 5:1-3; Philippians 2:5-11; 3:7-10; Matthew 20:28; 23:11,12; Luke 22:27; John 13:13-17; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 2:1-5; 4:1,2,6,10,13; 9:16-19; 2 Corinthians 1:24; 8:9; 1 Peter 4:10; Acts 20:19; Isaiah 2:11,22; 23:9; 42:8), it is un-natural for a child of God to be broad-road, earth-focused, and man-centered, which is idolatrous personality worship. (Note: the fine line between being honored (valued highly with respect), and being glorified (exalted, magnified, promoted and renowned), has been crossed by some professing Christian leaders. 1 Corinthians 1:11-13; 3:1-9; 4:1, 2, 6, 9-13; Galatians 5:19-24; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 5:17-20; *Hebrews 13:7, 17). The lengths that some church leaders go to in their attempt to give professing believers a different option other than death to this world (John 15:18-21; 17:14-16; John 12:25-26; Galatians 6:14; 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4) and the surrender of self is amazing, because Jesus provided no such option. He always plainly declared the high cost of discipleship to the ignorant, and immature multitudes that followed him (Matthew 10:37-39; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 9:57-62; 14:25-33; John 12:25-26). The fruit produced as a result of the unfaithfulness of these leaders, is pampered, double-minded, self consumed church members, who are preoccupied with the perverted search for acquisition and significance, in this world of the walking dead (Ephesians 2:1,2; Colossians 2:13). And who are tragically ignorant of the cost of true discipleship that our Lord demands (Luke 9:23-26; 14:25-33; John 12:25; Philippians 3:7; Hebrews 11:23-26).

Foreign to the teachings of Christ is the easy believe-ism that is rampant in the professing church today (Matthew 7:13-27). In teaching, we believe a distinction must always be made between receiving Christ, which is totally by the free gift of believing faith (Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 2:16; John 6:44; Acts 13:48), and the consequential demand of true believing faith; the sacrifice of self (Luke 14:25-27; 2 Corinthians 4:11; Romans 12:1,2; Matthew 16:24-27; Phil. 3:7-8; Romans 6:5-8; 8:12-14,17; 12:1,2; 2 Tim. 2:11; I John 2:6; 1 Peter 2:21; John 6:38; 13:5; Matthew 11:29). Jesus denied and sacrificed His life to conquer sin and Satan and gain the risen life. It will cost us our life to live in the full power of resurrection newness of life. (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12-21; Hebrews 10:19-21; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Philippians 2:5-11; Isaiah 53:4-5; Matt. 1:21; John 19:30). He calls on us to deny and sacrifice ourselves, because The consequences of Adam’s sin and rebellion, presents obstacles both to the development of the Christian life, as well as our being vessels fit for the masters use (Matthew 16:23-27; Mark 8:34-37; John 12:23-26; Jeremiah 17:9; Acts 20:24; Romans 3:10-12, 23; 5:12; 6:23; 7:14-25; 8:3-8,13-17; 12:1,2; 1Corinthians 9:23-27; 15:21,22; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15; Philippians 2:3-5; 2 Timothy 4:6,7; Psalm 51:5; Galatians 2:20; 5:16-25; Isaiah 53:6).

We believe that the Lord has impressed upon our hearts, that this is a final call hour. It is an hour for closing doors, settling all issues in our lives, and “choosing this day who we will serve”.

The Kingdom of heaven is preparing for the wedding and coronation day of the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. This present, imperfect world is being prepared for Jesus to come back again, to complete what He finished/accomplished at His first coming. That is the blessed hope of the true believer (Titus 2:13; John 14:1-3; John 12:27-33; 19:30; 1 John 3:8; Acts 1:1-11; 3:21; Romans 8:20-24; Zechariah 14:1-9; Daniel 2:44; 7:14; Phil 2:5-11; Revelation 11:15; 12:10; 19:11-16- 20:1-3, 11-15; Isaiah 65:17-25; 21:1-8).

“Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

The church is the fellowship of the called out ones (John 15:19; 1 Peter 2:9-12).

As God’s children (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1-3); we are called out of this world, which is the kingdom of Satan’s darkness, sin and death (Luke 4:5-8; 1 John 5:19; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:13-14).

We are called out to witness that we are not of this world, but are united to the glorified Christ in heaven (Ephesians 1:18-23; 2:6; Colossians 3:1-4).

BURN THIS IN YOUR BRAIN!!

We are left here in this present, imperfect world, for one very simple reason: as ambassadors of the kingdom of Heaven, we are to submit ourselves as living sacrifices, that can be molded by Christ into useable vessels through whom our Lord can preach the gospel (good news) of the coming of His kingdom (Mark 1:14-15; Luke 4:43; 9:1-2; 19:10; Acts 8:12; 28:30-31; 1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 12:1-2; John 17:14-18; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Philippians 1: 21-27; Colossians 4:2-6; 1Peter 3:15).

(2) The Point

 

Aside

 Incremental progression and the law of divine working 

The focus is God’s word at work in the earth

Isaiah 55:6-11; 45:22-23 (Philippians 2:10-11); Isaiah 53:10-12 (Ephesians 1:9-11)

There are no accidents in divine design-design speaks of purpose-intention-a thing planned and aimed at.

Incremental progression is the accumulative force of related events, which gather and pile up together in small increments, over a specified period of time, that increase in quantity, frequency, and severity the closer we get to the end of the age.

The outcome of God’s plan is already written. Who, why, how, when, where, and the how long, is already appointed (Acts 17:31; Matthew 10:15; 25:31-34; Romans 5:2,16; 14:9,10; 1Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Peter 3:7; Jude 14,15  ). We must prepare ourselves for the inevitable of what has been spoken by God through the prophets, and spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles.

The signs of the times are controlled by incremental progression. When the exact political, economic,  cultural, and spiritual conditions determined and demanded by God’s plan, predicted by the prophets, Jesus, and His Apostles are in place the end will come.

There is no event that is insignificant. All things are working together to bring about the consummation of all things. We are fast approaching the transition between two distinct ages; the age of man and the age of the kingdom.

That which is prophesied to come upon this earth, will not be something new, it will be the fruit, harvest, maturity and offspring of what has been from the beginning and now is. See Genesis chapter 3; Genesis 6:5-13; Matthew 24:37-39

The future is never tomorrow, it is always today/right now. The consummation/conclusion of all things is already set in motion. The end is in the now. What God is going to do is already set in motion by what He has already done.

God the almighty sovereign is the divine conductor of human history (Daniel 4:17). He is leading, guiding, escorting, supervising, regulating, restraining, managing, controlling and orchestrating every detail of life to its predetermined END = goal, completion, conclusion, consummation. (Ephesian 1:9, 10; Philippians 2:9 ,10)  See watchers-Daniel 4:13, 17, 23

Orchestrating = Coordinating, arranging, putting events in their correct, proper, suitable order. It is putting everything into proper harmony and agreement toward His crescendo.

Crescendo is a musical term. It is a gradual increase in force or intensity.

Every event is incidental, and an attendant, accompanying event or circumstance of cause and effect, the consequence of action. It is the Law of the harvest (the principle of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7-8).

If you want to know what’s coming look at what already exists now

Key terms

Consequence = to follow after, the fact of being operative, the logical conclusion of what is already at work. Once things have been set in motion they have to continue on to their predetermined conclusion.

It is a harbinger, herald, forerunner, or precursor = a thing that comes to announce or give an indicator of what is to follow.

Gradual = taking place little by little, by almost imperceptible, sometimes subtle steps or degrees.

To increase = to multiply, the reproducing and creating of offspring.

Progression = to progress, advance in a sequence of events.

It is the fact of succession = moving toward a goal, the development, unfolding of acts and happenings.

Acts 17:22-31 = appointed comes from a word that mean (take counsel together-agreed upon set time) It is the allowable drawn line before God acts.

That which is to come is already at work.

(2)   The Point

This present world is dying. The process of decay and death began at the fall of man. See Genesis 2:15-17 and chapter 3; 1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17

Decay implies a gradual deterioration and decline in soundness, health and vitality. It is a gradual wasting away, progressing by regular controlled degrees.

God’s plan has been deliberate = carefully thought out and formed, done on purpose, premeditated.

Every decision has been carefully considered and analyzed in detail, according to God’s design of incremental progression. God has scheduled the timing of every event according to His plan formed long ago in perfect faithfulness, which will bring about the reversal of the curse (Revelation 22:1-5), the liberation of God’s creation (Romans 8:18-22), and the vindication of His Most High and Holy  name (Matthew 6:9; John 12:28).

Aside

UNDERSTANDING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE FOR LIVING

(Introduction)

The author of one book on purpose says it best:

“The search for the purpose of life cannot begin with the starting point of self. We cannot ask self-centered questions like:

  • What do I want to be?
  • What do I want to do with My life?
  • What are My goals and ambitions for My future? Emphasis added

We cannot discover our life’s meaning by looking within ourselves or at ourselves.”

In fact: questions such as these only serve as distractions from our true purpose and destiny.

(2) The point!

 Our purpose for living has nothing to do with what we do for ourselves in this life.

 

God’s purpose, plan, and destiny for us, is tied to His eternal plan, purpose, and destiny for His creation, which is: The reversal of the curse inflicted upon it because of Adam’s sin, and the restoration and then recreation of all things. (Gen 3:17, 18; Matt 19:28; Acts 3:21; Romans 8:21; Rev. 21:5)

When world history comes to its predetermined end, God’s plan is to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:10)

That is the reason we pray: “your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:9)  This will occur at the second coming of Christ, when He establishes His prophesied kingdom on this earth. (Matt. 24:27-30; 25:31; 1Chronicles 17:11-14; Luke 1:31-33; 2 Timothy 4:1)

At that time the kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our God and His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever. (Rev. 11:5; 1 Co 15:24-28; Psalm 2; Isaiah 2:2,3,9; 9:6-7; 11:6-12; Daniel 2:44; Rev. 19:1-20-20:1-6)

We were made by God and for God. “The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment and happiness. It is far greater than your career, or your personal dreams and ambitions,” which is generally the focus of the questions asked about purpose.  If you want to know why you were placed on this earth, you must begin with God. You were created by his purpose and for his purpose. (See Psalms 138:8; 139:13-16)

Purpose speaks to:

  • Origin = where you came from.
  • Identity = who you are.
  • Meaning = why you are alive.
  • Destiny = Destiny is the end of a matter. Contrary to some of the popular teaching of today, it is where you are going and what you will do, not in, but after this present age.

The only one who can provide the answers to these questions is God who created you, and He has richly done so in his word.

 According to God’s word His Purpose for us is:

  • To be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, which is: There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:3-6; Acts 4:12) (Apart from salvation there is no purpose for living.) This study assumes that you are saved. If you are not sure of your salvation, stop here and take time to read a letter to a friend.
  • God’s purpose for us is to be conformed to the likeness (image) of Christ. (Romans 8:29)
  • Heaven’s purpose is to take people who have lost the image of their creator through sin and re-clothe them in Christ.(Genesis 1:26-27; 2 Cor. 5:17; 3:18; Col 3:10; 1 Cor. 15:53; Eph 2:10; 4:23; 3:18; 4:6; Rom 6:4; 12:2)
  • God’s purpose for us is to know Him and His ways (Jeremiah 9:23,24; John 17:3)
  • God’s purpose for us is to fear Him (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

God’s Plan for us is:

  • That our mortality be swallowed up by life (1 Cor.15: 45-55; 2 Co 5:1-8; Phil 3:21; 2 Peter 1:12-14; 1 John 3:2,3)

Our Destiny is:

  • To be with Christ and to share His glory. (John 17:5,24; Phil 3:20,21; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 3:2)
  • To rule with Christ in His earthly messianic kingdom and throughout eternity in the new heavens and new earth. (Rev. 3:21; 5:10; John 17:24; Matt. 25:19,27,28; 25:21; 1 Co 6:2; Rev. 21,22)

This is the Pure and Simple truth of God’s Purpose, Plan, and Destiny for our lives!

In part 1 of this study we will explore the role, purpose, and use of our life gifts, which are our natural talents, skills, and abilities. But, before we go any further, there are three points that we must grasp and accept that are crucial for a correct understanding of God’s purpose for us in this life.

 Point #1- Life for us on this earth is about God’s business and not our business.

The apostle Paul makes it clear in 2 Co 5:14, 15 “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (Cf. John 4:34; Acts 20:24; Galatians 2:20)

Point #2- This world of sin and death is our harvest field and not our reward.

Here is where the confusion lies for many believers concerning purpose and destiny. Contrary to some of the popular, false and misguided teaching of today, we are not on this earth to achieve worldly success and fulfillment, or to be recognized and remembered for our achievements in this life. This world in its present form is passing away. (1 Co- 7:31)

We are only on this earth to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and to finish his work. Our life on this earth is a trust for which we will ultimately give account to Christ our master, for how we handled our time, intelligence, opportunities, energy, relationships and resources, which includes our life gifts. These are all gifts from God entrusted to our care and management (stewardship), and are to be used for his glory. Warning!! Danger!!  Looking for rewards in this life will lead to loss later. (See 1 Cor 3:10-15; 4:1-5; 2 Cor 5::9-10)

The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Christ’s mission is to be fulfilled through the life of every believer, utilizing all of the gifts and resources he has so graciously provided in our lives.

What is Christ’s mission?

Jesus Christ came into the world to:

  • Reveal the father. (Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 14:9)
  • Destroy the devil’s works. (Heb. 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8)
  • Rescue man. (John 3:16-18; 1 Tim. 1:15)
  • Call sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:32)
  • Reconcile man to God. (2 Co 5:18)
  • To vindicate the glory of God’s holy name.

What is our mission?

God has commissioned every believer to be an ambassador of his kingdom. (2 Co 5:17-21)

Through our Godly living we are to reveal Jesus Christ, who by his death and resurrection has destroyed the devil’s work, in order that men, women and children may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. He has been raised from the grave and seated at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in this age but also in the age to come, which will bring his kingdom rule upon this earth. (Ephesians 1:9, 10;  Psalm 2; 1 Co 15:24-28)

Jesus said: “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt. 28:18)

Based on, in and by his authority, we are to go forth and share with others the gospel of the kingdom of God, and teach them the way to that kingdom, which is by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15; John 1:12; 3:3-4; 14:6; Romans 10::9, 10;  2 Co 5:17-21)

We are to reconcile men to God by calling them to repentance and faith in Christ. We are Christ’s representatives to the world. Everything we do in this life is to be connected to our mission, and done for His glory. Note: (His glory must be our single minded preoccupation.)

Our life gifts are a part of our mission equipment and serve a dual purpose, which we will look at in part 1 of this study. The real issue centers on the reason and motives for our actions. For example: most of us eat food because we feel hungry and enjoy eating. And while there is nothing sinful about that, it is not the purpose for taking meals. Yes, filling our stomachs satisfies our hunger, but that is a benefit of eating, not the purpose. The reason why we eat and drink is to give our bodies the nutrients that are necessary to sustain life, for the purpose of serving God. The ability to enjoy our food and drink is a gracious benefit, but it is not the purpose. As we shall see in part 1 of this study, the same principle applies to the use and purpose of our life gifts.

Point #3- Purpose focuses on an intimate relationship with our creator God and our being led by the spirit of God. (Psalm 91:1; Mark 12:30; John 15:1-5; Romans 8:14; James 4:8)

 THE BEAUTY OF PURPOSE IS IN ITS SIMPLICITY!

Our purpose and destiny concerns the kingdom of God. Just as a life outside of Christ is pointless (devoid of meaning and purpose), so is a life in Christ that is not centered and focused on the coming kingdom of God. (Titus 2:13)  The coming kingdom and the people who are shut out of it because of their sin, is the Goal, Purpose, and Meaning of the Christians life in this world. Contrary to some of the popular, false and misguided teaching of today, God’s purpose for our lives, never, at any time, has success or fulfillment in this present, imperfect world as its focus or motivation. The Truth is: according to God’s word, this present, imperfect world, is under the control of Satan’s rebellion against God, and is designed by him to undermine our true purpose and destiny. (1 John 5:4, 19)

Burn this in your brain:

Just like marriage, living out your purpose is based upon intimacy. At issue is the faithfulness of your Love, Allegiance and Devotion to Christ.

Question: Would you marry someone who was in love with someone else?                      (See the bride of Christ)

Christians are not to love this world because it is under the control of Satan.                           (Luke 4:5-7; 1 John 5:19)

In Luke 4:5-6 what did the devil do and say to Jesus?

________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________

In verse (7) what did he want Jesus to do?

________________________________________________________________________________________________

For further study:

2 Corinthians. 4:4; 1:27; Gal. 1:4; 6:14; Eph. 2:1-10; 1 John 2:15-17; 3:1,13; 3:8; 5:19; John 12:25; 15:18-19; 16:33; 17:14-18; 18:36-37; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Matt. 6:24; 16:26; Mark 4:18-19; Heb 2:10-18; Titus 2:12; 2 Timothy 4:10; James 4:4; 2 Peter 2:20; 1 Corinthians. 2:12; 7:31; Phil. 2:1-15

In John 12:31 and 16:11 what did Jesus call Satan?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In Ephesians 2:2 what is the devil called?

________________________________________________________________________

Who is he at work in?

________________________________________________________________________

In 2 Corinthians 4:4 what is the devil called?

________________________________________________________________________

What does he do to those who are perishing?

________________________________________________________________________