Good morning my friends, it’s finally here, GOOD FRIDAY. The day when Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, are gathering together all over the world to REMEMBER what our Saviour did for us upon the Cross.
But before the Cross came the betrayal. Judas was the one.
John 13:22-27 (NIV) 22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.” 25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him,
What struck me from this passage this morning, that I’ve never seen before, if you want an answer to a riddle ASK THE SAVIOUR. John, the Disciple whom Jesus loves, was sitting right next to Jesus and prompted by Peter asks the Saviour who it is that’s going to betray Him.
“It’s the ONE to whom I give this bread after dipping it in the wine.”
The Bread (Jesus body) The Wine (Jesus blood)… He was putting his life in Judas’ hands.
WOWzer! Praise the Lord for revelation.
We can draw near to Jesus every day; in Prayer and Reading His Word; be like John the Apostle, get closer to Jesus and get your answers. Peter needed to ask John to ask Jesus, because he was not as close to Jesus as John. Be like John and get closer to Jesus than ever before in your life. You too can be THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED.
Today, as we Walk in Witness through the Streets of London, let’s Praise the Lord Jesus.
If you’ve got a question upon your heart today, then why don’t you just get close to Jesus and ask the Creator of all things, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Get Your Answer By Asking The Saviour: The Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Have an awesome weekend.
Stay close to Jesus, be filled afresh with God’s Spirit today,
NOTE: Walk of Witness: Gathering at Tulse Hill Methodist Church @9.45am. Walk begins at 10.00am and finishes at St Luke’s Church, West Norwood @11.15am. Then into the church for fellowship afterwards.
It’s the Sacrificial Lamb that takes away the sins of the whole world, the Lord Jesus Christ was that innocent, spotless, pure and holy Lamb of God.
Jesus Is That Lamb Of God
Good morning my friends, what an awesome evening of street witnessing last night.
Our numbers of regulars on the team are growing. Praise the Lord! Last night; Ben and Judy, David and Sherrie and Matthew and Gemma came. Lloyd couldn’t make it, but he’ll be back next week. We did some training by watching Ray Comfort’s latest video. He was preaching at a Youth Evangelism Conference: His teaching was about “The Greatest Sin in America Today”… You’ll have to watch it (Link at bottom of page).
After getting into conversation about the Video (The main theme being the Idolatrous Sin of America and false Gospel of Just believe in Jesus) we started out later than usual, about 6.20pm. But even though it was quite dark, people stopped and chatted. It was slow to begin with, mainly handing out tracts for Sherrie and I, but then we started getting into good Gospel conversations. Our intention when going out is not just to give people the message or hand out tracts, but to get into conversation with them about Jesus. In the end Sherrie and I had about 8-10 Muslim men all firing questions at us about Jesus Christ. Here in London we’re blessed with people from all over the world and South London, West Norwood, has a growing population of Muslims. I say blessed, because it gives us the opportunity to reach a world-wide audience for Jesus. Some of the men had met me before, we’d given them tracts, they’d obviously been reading them and it had sparked their questions. They asked things like;
Who was Jesus?
Was Jesus the Son of God?
How can God have a Son?
If Jesus was God, then did God die upon the Cross?
If you say, as we do that there is only ONE God, then how can Jesus be God and the Father be God, that doesn’t make sense to us?
These were really great questions; but then came their statements of what they believed: That Jesus was just a prophet, he died, he didn’t rise from the dead, but we believe he’ll come back again after another prophet Mohammed. We don’t believe that Jesus was God.
Changed the subject: Into a presentation of the Gospel.
I asked them all, “Do you think you’ll get into Heaven when you die?”
Each one thought they would. It’s helpful when you have a large crowd to ask each person listening individually, I did this quickly by saying, “What about you?” Then I asked why will you get into Heaven? They all said, “God will forgive us if we say we’re sorry for sinning”… Some added “Genuinely sorry”.
I said, “That’s just so typical, not just of Muslims, but everybody who doesn’t yet know Jesus Christ. Nearly everyone believes that God will forgive them anyway, no matter how they’ve lived, if they are sorry for their sins. Most people believe they are already good enough for Heaven, i.e. they’re not so bad as to deserve Hell forever.
My next statement got their attention: “God will not forgive you just because you are sorry for sinning”. There was a shocked look on some of their faces. I asked them, “What happens to a person caught in the act of stealing in the Middle East?” They all said, “They’ll get their hands chopped off”… Why? “Because it’s Sharia Law”… I said, “That’s right, Sharia Law is Just and must punish those who do wrong, just like UK law, but we don’t chop-off their hands.”… You can bet that every thief caught stealing in the Middle East is “Sorry for Stealing”, because they know they’ll loose their hands, right?” Then I said, “God is far more just than any earthly legal system; In His Holy Righteous Judgement, He’s already stated, “The Soul that sins shall die” no sinner can enter into His Holy Heaven” It’s amazing, they all nodded in agreement.
But they then went onto re-state their beliefs, “God will forgive us if we are genuinely sorry”… Most of them were still trying to justify themselves, but not all by now.
I said, “Listen my friends”, I asked each one their names, and continued, “Even if we’re genuinely sorry for our sins, God cannot just forgive us, He must punish sin, if we’ve not had our sins removed from our souls before we die, then we die carrying those sins with us to face God on Judgement day. “It’s like a thief appearing before a High Court Judge, admitting “guilty as charged your honour, but I’m really sorry”, then the just earthly Judge will say, “Good, I’m glad you are genuinely sorry, I’ll take that into consideration when passing sentence, but I must also punish you for your crime”… A just earthly judge will pass a fine or a term in prison. A holy and righteous God has already revealed what the punishment will be for any sin, eternity in Hell with Satan and his demons. The soul that sins will be cast into the lake of fire with Satan.
The Muslim young men all agreed, but were still clinging to their beliefs that God will just forgive them. I then went through the Commandments with them asking them individually,
“Have you ever stolen something?” They all admitted they had. I said, “The Bible clearly states that no thief can enter into God’s Holy Heaven”.
“Have you ever told a lie?” They all admitted they had. I said, “That breaks God’s 9th Commandment and no liar can enter into Heaven, they’ll have their place in the lake of fire”…
God’s standards of Holiness are far higher and out of reach than our own, so of course we want to justify ourselves. We don’t want to go to Hell do we?
Now imagine how you’d feel if someone, knowing we were all going to be justly condemned to Hell by God’s justice, came into this world and said, “I’m going to take their punishment, I’m going to die in their place for their sins. So that when they appear before God, He’ll allow them in to Heaven, because their sins have been taken away”… How do you think they’d feel about that person?”
The Muslim men said, “You are talking about Jesus and His death upon the Cross”… Yes I said, “Jesus came to die, He was God, but in His love and mercy, God sent His One and Only Son to die in our place upon the Cross, so that everyone who puts their faith and trust in Him and His death, can be forgiven for every sin, cleansed in body and soul, and made fit for entrance into Heaven”…
I asked them, “Does that make sense to you”… Each one said it did, but some of them still wanted more questions answered… I gave them a little booklet about Jesus, “Why did Jesus have to die?”…
Can you see my friends, it’s the LAW of God, the Commandments of God, that shuts the mouth of self-justification, because like a good schoolmaster it leads people to a knowledge of how they’ve sinned against God and their need of a Saviour, i.e. someone who’ll take away their sin and save them from God’s wrath and judgement to come.
Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, the only pure and holy sacrifice, who takes away the sins of the world. When we put our faith and trust in Him, then all our sins are washed away. When we get baptised we’re showing the world we’ve trusted in Jesus, we’re dead to our old way of living and when we come-up out of the water, we begin to live the new life in Christ Jesus. We’re filled with God’s Holy Spirit, who comes into our soul, gives us New Birth and enables us to live a holy life that pleases God.
Because of the Lamb of God, Jesus who died upon the Cross, His blood cleanses us from sin and enables us to enter into Heaven when we die. Praise the Lord! We have passed from death to life.
We may never know what will happen with those Muslim young men, I’m praying the Lord will give them; Faith to believe in Jesus Christ, Repentance from Sin, New Life and Eternal Life… Will you join me in prayer for them now? As we shook their hands, they wanted us to stay and answer more questions, we invited them to come and join us on Alpha.
Tonight: We’re celebrating the Lord’s Last Supper as we gather in Church. We have all the elements of the traditional Passover and read from God’s Word about the Israelite’s first Passover, then teach about Jesus new meaning of the blood sacrifice from the Gospels.
Matthew 26:26-30 (NIV) Jesus’ Last Passover Meal.
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.
28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
The Blood of the New Covenant: Jesus blood sacrifice upon the Cross was to remove and cleanse, to wash away the sins of everyone who trusts in Him. Why do we need our sins washed away? If we died without being cleansed then we’d still be in our sins and we’d face God’s righteous judgement. So my friends, TRUST in Jesus today: Believe that He died for your forgiveness, Repent (renounce and let go of sin), Receive Jesus Christ as your own Lord and Saviour, then LIVE the new life that He’ll give you as you are born of His Holy Spirit.
Have an awesome weekend of celebration of all that Jesus has done.
NOTE: Ray Comfort’s Teaching: “The Greatest Sin in America Today“. It’s not just America’s Greatest Sin, but the sin of a growing number of people in the world today.
NOTES: The Function of God’s Law:
The Function of God’s Law
The Purpose of God’s Law
1. What is it that the Bible says is “perfect, converting the soul”?
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalms 19:7)
It is the Law of the Lord which is perfect for converting the soul.
2. According to the Bible, what are four functions of the Law?
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:19-20)
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (Romans 7:7)
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24)
A. Brings the knowledge of sin.
B. Stops the sinner’s mouth from justifying itself.
C. Helps the world to realize that they are guilty of sin by breaking God’s Commandments.
D. Acts as a schoolmaster to bring us to a knowledge of our need of Jesus Christ and His atoning death upon the Cross.
3. What is the biblical definition of sin?
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4)
The biblical definition of sin is anyone who has broken God’s Law. Romans 3:20 tells us that “by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The straight edge of a ruler will always show the crookedness of a line. A lamb looks white against a green backdrop of grass, but in a snowy field that dirt upon the lamb is revealed. Dust in the air is invisible until you open up the curtains and let the sunlight in, then you’ll see millions of dust particles floating all around. So the LAW shows the sinner his true condition before God.
4. Who is the Law designed for?
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; (1 Timothy 1:8-10)
The Law is designed for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.
5. What has modern evangelism chosen to attract sinners to the Gospel?
Modern evangelism has chosen to attract sinners by using the “benefits.” Life enhancement is now used to draw someone to Christ. Many promises are made in which God will:
q Fill that “God-shaped vacuum” in your heart.
q Give you true happiness.
q Get you out of financial difficulty.
q Heal a broken relationship with your spouse, etc.
q Take away that addiction problem.
Give you last, happiness, peace and joy….
6. What happens when all the promised “benefits” don’t arrive?
“Accepting Christ” for the promised “benefits” is simply the wrong reason to do so – it is unbiblical. When the promised benefits fail to arrive, disillusionment and bitterness will grow against God and the person who witnessed to them. This makes it very hard to reach a person who thinks they’ve been ‘born again’ when they’ve really only tried a form of religion, i.e. they were false converts from the start.
7. Why should a person accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour?
Use the Law to show a person their depravity and the appointment they have with death, one which they will not miss. Unless they repent, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, they will die in their sins. They need to know that they are an enemy of God through their wicked works and that God will judge them in righteousness.
By simply using the Law of God, revealed in His Ten Commandments, and showing an unsaved person their need for a Saviour, it opens the door for us to share how Jesus Christ is the Only Good News for a soul on it’s way to Hell.
The Law also reveals the desperate condition of people in this world, they need a Saviour, who’s going to go out and seek and save the Lost?
“If the World Hated Jesus, that it hates you too.”
When you are not surprised or shocked, then you’ll be able to LOVE them and LEAD them to Jesus.
Good morning my friends. On Good Friday (This Friday) we’re going on a Walk of Witness through the streets of London. We’re walking like in Triumphal Procession, because of what Christ Jesus did for us upon the Cross. But don’t be Surprised or Shocked that the World doesn’t like it one little bit, because;
to ONE: We are the Smell of Death.
to Another: We are the FRAGRANCE of LIFE…
2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NIV) “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.”
To those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, Master and Friend, then my dear friends, don’t be shocked or surprised that to them, we who do love the Lord are like a bad smell of death under their noses.
Dead Mother’s Day Flowers: Yesterday my wife finally began throwing out some of her Mother’s Day flowers, she just loves to get lots of flowers on Mother’s Day, but the water in one of the containers was reeking really bad. As I took them up to the compost heap, I got some of the liquid on my hands, then inadvertently rubbed my nose, it stank. No I mean it really, really was STINKING. I had to run into the house quickly and wash my face off… Yuckkkkyyyyyy….
To the people of this world who’ve yet to submit their lives over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we Christians are just like that bad smell under my nose. Yesterday, I wanted to get away from that smell as quickly as I could, but I couldn’t because it was right under my nose, right under it… And it’s because followers of Jesus are like a bright shining light, which reminds the world of God’s righteousness, of their sin, of their need to get right with God, that we are that bad smell of death.
I don’t know if you’ve ever smelt a dead animal or person before, but it’s a horrible stink. It’s the kind of smell you’ll never forget and it stays with you for a long time. Even after you’ve had a bath, you’re imagination thinks you can still smell it on you. “The smell of death” what a horrible thing for the Bible to say… The Lord told me the other day, “Donald, you stink”… I said “What do you mean Lord”… then I Googled, stinking people in the Bible… Google is amazing… But so is God’s Word: It’s the TOP ranking Google search every single day. People want to know what the Bible says about stuff. I don’t know if Google will admit that???? But when I searched “Stinking People In The Bible” Google came up with some astonishing things.
When I did that search I came across a sermon by John McArthur about Lazarus: A man in the Bible who’d died and was dead four days, at the end of those four long days, Lazarus body had begun to decay and was stinking…
So my friends, do not be surprised if this world hates you as much as it hated the Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the reasons it hates you is because you do not belong to this world.
You are an alien and a stranger in this world, you’re just passing through. Just like those poor Syrian refugees who’re passing through Greece and Macedonia to get to Germany and the rich countries of the North. You are passing through to get to your own rich Homeland, Heaven. So you don’t belong to this world and it hates you because you are not one of it’s citizens. But you are an Ambassador of Heaven: An Ambassador has Diplomatic Immunity in this world. Praise be to God.
Jesus warned us that this world will hate us:
John 15:18-21 (NIV) 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.
The reasons why the World Hates Christians are too numerous to mention, but it’s mainly because they’re not ONE with God through His Son Jesus Christ.
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S GOOD NEWS TOO:
Because, we are also, “THE AROMA OF CHRIST”
Yet to those who are being saved, we are the wonderful aroma of Christ.
Do you like wonderful aromas?
Like cooking bread in the morning.
Like freshly brewed coffee.
Like the smell of cakes baking in the oven, WONDERFUL all over the house.
Like the smell of onions on a cold day.
Like the smell of roses on a warm Summer’s day,
Like the fragrance roasting lamb… (Join with us tomorrow night as we celebrate the Lord’s Last Supper with Roasted Lamb)…
Like a bacon sandwich with crispy grilled bacon.
We are the aroma of Christ to those who are on their way to Salvation.
But just a little word of warning, we shouldn’t be surprised when the WORLD hates us, but loves those who tell them they are OK.
CAUTION: THE WORLD LOVES FALSE PROPHETS…
“If you belong to the world, it will love you as it’s own” John 15:19.
It loves pretend ministers who’ll assure them “everything is OK between you and God” when they are really far away from God, cut off because of their sinful condition.
It loves pretend ministers who’ll give false hope, false assurance and a false Gospel. “Just believe in Jesus” Satan loves false converts because He knows they are headed for Hell to be with Him forever. You see my friends, it’s possible to believe in Jesus and not be SAVED.
Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV) 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
I witnessed this, a false prophet, with my own eyes the other day. Deep in my heart I grieved for those to whom false assurance was delivered. Thankfully, I’d shared about the need for; repentance, faith and trust in Jesus beforehand. The TRUTH is always stronger than fiction or false hope. Yet I also noted the nodding heads of people in the crowd who’d been won over by the false messages of “Being OK with God already”… The people of this world, those who belong to the world, LOVE messages that will massage their false hope and foolish thinking that God accepts all people, no matter what they’re like. He will not, because one reading of Jesus words in the Bible will correct that false assumption, i.e. “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven” Matthew 7:21.
“Peace, Peace, when there is NO PEACE” Jeremiah 6:13-14. The eternal cry of the FALSE Prophet and FALSE Convert… They imagine they are at peace with God, when in reality their sins have cut them off from the Living God. Nobody can enter into Heaven covered in sin, sin contaminates and has the stench of death upon it, “The soul who sins will die” Ezekiel 18:20….. Not speaking of mortal death, but eternal death and confinement in Hell. It’s no wonder that Christians have the fragrance of death to those who refuse to repent and trust the Saviour. If a person’s name is not written in the Lambs book of life, they will be cast into the lake of fire with Satan and all his demons. Revelation 21:27 (NIV) “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
How do we know if we are SAVED? Mark 1:15. Have you; forsaken sin, repented of sin, turned and trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and Salvation from Sin? He died upon the Cross to make your forgiveness possible, but it’s not automatic, we’re not forgiven just because we believe He died for sins of the world. Even Satan believes that, but we are forgiven when we repent of those sins and trust (take) Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Then we can be born of God’s Spirit… When you receive Christ as Lord, the Holy Spirit comes in and takes up residence in your life, giving you new life, new hope and new beginning with God. You’ll KNOW if you’ve been born of the Spirit of God. He really does give you a PEACE that the World cannot understand or accept. John 1:12-13, John 15, John 17.
We live in a world that hates righteousness, it hates God’s standards of goodness and morality, and it hates those people whom the Lord has chosen out of this world to a better life, a life that says, “NO! to the world’s ways of living” Ephesians 5:8. Those who respond to His call to go forth and proclaim the Good News are either; the smell of death or the fragrance of life. 2 Corinthians 2:14-17.
You are the fragrance of LIFE to those whom the Lord is saving.
He’s calling people to faith and trust in Jesus Christ, those people who are going to be saved will smell a sweet fragrance when you proclaim the Good News. You are like their FAVOURITE Scent.
So no matter who you are dear Christian, you STINK, either in a nice way or a bad way, but you STINK all the same.
Be a really good stinky sheep of the Good Shepherd today, and determine in your heart that you’ll be obedient to His Command and share the light, share the Good News that can bring life to the dead. The people of this world are those whom Isaiah talked about, “The People walking in Darkness …” Isaiah 9:2. They’ll see a GREAT LIGHT when you proclaim the Gospel. Faith comes by hearing the Good News about Jesus. Romans 10:17.
Yes this world will hate you, but there are a few who’ll be SAVED, by the words that can bring life to the dead. You smell of death, not your own stench, but it’s the DEATH that they’ll experience if they were to die in their sins, that’s what the world smells my friends their own stench of death upon their flesh. “He Stinketh Lord” John 11:39 KJV. No wonder it hated Christ and if it hated Christ, then be sure of this, the world will hate you too, if you belong to Christ. John 15:18-21.
It’s my hope and prayer that we’ll all see many people coming out of the darkness into His wonderful light. It’s always a great joy when a sinner repents and trust the Saviour and we see a transformed life. However, don’t be surprised or shocked if the world hates it when you proclaim Jesus Christ as the only way to be saved in the world today. It hates that message with a vengeance. Yet Jesus declared boldly, “I AM the way, and the Truth and the Life, no man can come to the Father but by me”… John 14.
So my friends, don’t be surprised or shocked that the world hates you, it’s because they don’t know the Father or the Son whom He sent upon His rescue mission. Love them into God’s Kingdom. Amen!
May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you, and I hope and pray that you have an awesome stinky day 🙂
P.S. I’ve not posted for a few days, because I needed to rest my hands. On Monday morning I couldn’t grip anything, my hand was in agony. On Tuesday (Yesterday) morning it swelled up and was hot. Today, Wednesday, it’s almost back to normal and I can type again. I thank that Lord for His healing. I thank my brother Matthew, a member of my fellowship whom I asked to pray for healing. From that moment on it started to get better. Praise the Lord! If you have anything wrong with your body today, go to a brother or sister in Christ and get them to pray over you in the Name of Jesus Christ. Believe that the LORD Jesus Christ hears you when you pray in faith.
P.P.S If you are FREE tonight: Come and learn to share the Good News the way that Jesus did. We’re meeting at St Luke’s Church @5.00pm for training and then going out onto the streets of London to share the Good News of the Gospel with folks. It’s always awesome when we see how Jesus is with us as we go.
Don’t Be Surprised:
1 John 3:11-15 (NIV) 11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
Good morning my friends, this is part of the Sermon I preached yesterday in St Luke’s Church.
I began by asking everyone present: “Put your hand up if you believe in God”. Almost everyone did. I said, “Put your hands down, now put your hand up if you don’t believe in God” Only a couple of people did.
Then I asked, “Put your hand up if you believe in the Devil, Demons or Demonic” most people did. Then I asked “Put you hand up if you definitely don’t believe in Satan or Demons”, and quite a few hands were raised.
What do you believe about Satan? Is he a real person? The Bible assumes that you’ll believe he’s real.
Mark 5:1-20 (NIV) 1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no-one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No-one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. 14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. 18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
‘The Demons who Possessed a Man’
The Doorways of Danger.
Good morning everyone, we’re back with Mark Chapter 5 today. As we’ve been going through Mark’s Gospel, we’ve observed Jesus Power and Authority: over nature: Stilling a Storm. Over Sickness: Healing people of all kinds of diseases. We’ve observed that Jesus had supernatural knowledge: He even knew what people were thinking. Today, we’ll observe that Jesus also has Power and Authority over “The Supernatural Forces of Evil in the Heavenly realms”…
Demons Are Real: Satan is a Real Person with an Army of Demons (Fallen Angels).
MISTAKE: Sometimes people make the mistake of believing they are equal in Power: A bit like ying-and-yang: They balance each other out. Not so, God is not equal with anyone or anything. Jesus was God on Earth, this is most fully demonstrated in this account in Mark’s Gospel today: Because Jesus could COMMAND the Demonic forces (there were at least 2000 pigs that were killed that day). No wonder that man’s condition was so severe.
Demon possession was a common theme in the Bible and Jesus and others were casting out the demons.
From this account we learn some valuable things about Satan, Demons and the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
1) You discover that demon possession is possible.
We live in sceptical times, and many people try to explain away the Bible’s ‘spiritual’ and ‘Supernatural’ elements: Miracles, Holy Spirit, Gifts and Angels, Devils and Demons. (Because they are unscientific and can’t be proven by empirical evidence).
People are much more sceptical about Satan, Demons than they are about: Life after death (nobody wants to die, and we all want assurance that there is more after death). Near Death Experiences: Angels and Miracles. Why? The first step to not believing the Bible is to say in your heart, “This cannot be true”. I’ve done that myself… I found it very difficult to believe many things in the Bible, even after coming to faith in Jesus. They are just so fantastical, so amazing, so weird. But after 32 years of being a follower of Jesus, a Christian, I’m more convinced today than I was at the start, that you can TRUST God’s Word 100%…. Demons, Devils, Satan and Demon Possession are real.
Are You Sceptical About Supernatural?
We have in the Bible many clear accounts of demons being cast out of people. If it were just one incidence, then I think we could be forgiven for thinking that they may have mistaken some kinds of sickness for fanciful thinking that a demon had entered a man. But, even the writers of the Bible, 2000 years ago distinguished between epilepsy (dropsy) and demon possession. Jesus differentiated between sickness, disease and demon possession.
Men try to explain away the supernatural phenomena in the Bible in many ways:
Jesus walking on water (Scientifically Impossible) = Therefore, there must have been Sandbank below the surface.
Red sea parting = it must have been a shallow estuary (an earthquake probably caused the sea to recede, just before a tsunami hit the Egyptians).
Dead people being brought back to life = they were not really dead, but in those days they didn’t have the equipment to detect life.
One thing it’s hard for people to explain away in this account is that the demons who were driven out of the man, then entered into the pigs and 2000 pigs that ran down a hill and killed themselves. Why at the moment of Jesus casting out a demons did the pigs do that?
For this man: It couldn’t have been; epilepsy, frenzy or madness. Because you cannot pass these ailments onto pigs (not 2000 of them). This man was possessed by what the Bible describes as a legion of demons, because they were many. (A Roman Legion had between 4000 and 6000 men: But note that the Bible didn’t exaggerate the number of pigs, just 2000 of them).
However, though we know Satan, The Devil and Demons are real, we can’t see them, so we don’t know a lot about them.
2) Just because you don’t understand everything about demons and the devil, don’t be disbelieving.
We’ve Mistaken Many Things in History:
There were some who believed you’d fall off the edge of the world if you strayed too close to the edge. Christopher Columbus New World Discovered… Put an end to that… However, if people had been reading their Bible properly, they’d have known that the World wasn’t flat at all, but Spherical:
Isaiah 40:21-22 (NIV) Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. (The Earth’s free float in Space was only discovered last Century by Albert Einstein.)
God’s Word, The Bible states: The Universe had a beginning (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 1:10-12). Starting with the studies of Albert Einstein in the early 1900s and continuing today, science has confirmed the Biblical view that the universe had a beginning. The Universe is expanding. When the Bible was written most people believed the universe was eternal and in a fixed state. This was Albert Einstein’s view and theory until he observed space through a new powerful telescope, he had to re-write his theory. Only in the last 100 years has Science proven they were all wrong, but that the Bible was correct all along. Science calls it the Big Bang, the Bible tells us God Spoke and Light came into the Darkness. God spoke and matter formed. Scientific discover just goes to prove the Supernatural Inspiration of God’s Word and the fact that for thousands of years man had been mistaken.
– There were people who believed that the human body would disintegrate if it went into space: It didn’t.
– There were people who believed that steam engines were terrible, and people would die if they went on them, they reasoned that the human body wasn’t designed to travel a super-speeds of 30 miles an hour.
– You cannot see electricity, but you believe in it.
My friends, you can travel to the ends of the earth, go into space, ride on a train and you will get an electric shock if you stick your fingers into a socket; AND you can get possessed by demons. Let’s not make the mistakes in the Spiritual Realm that we’ve made in the Earthly and Universal.
♥VAn African Tribal Chief didn’t believe in Ice until he was brought some by a missionary: He gave his life to Jesus afterwards. It’s just as foolish not believing in devils, just because you have had no direct experience of them.
Since we’ve made too many MISTAKES historically, and held mistaken beliefs about so many things, don’t be mistaken about Demons, the Devil and Demonic: They are REAL, perhaps one day Science will confirm it too, let’s hope they are not too late for humanity.
My friends, Long experience, 34 years, of reading the Bible almost every single day, has shown me that it can be fully trusted and believed. I have been involved in the ministry of casting out demons, and I can tell you they are just as real today as 2000 years ago. I’ve seen their destructive force on men and women, in their families and personal life. They are still out to “Steal, Kill and Destroy” your joy, peace and security. That’s their mission from the Prince of Demons: Satan.
What are they like? Well the Bible tells us clearly.
From Mark Chapter 5. We can see their intention for everyone they Possess.
3) Landlords: Many of you have experience of good and bad Landlords. Satan is a horrific Landlord.
You can see in this account of Demon Possession, that demons are painful, powerful, and destructive landlords (owners of the one possessed).
A) Demons Are Painful: The pain and misery they caused that poor man. His life was terrible, he was naked, homeless, friendless, wretched, bleeding, unattended, hurting, crying out in pain, rushing around in the graveyard, places of the dead, restless and cutting his own body with sharp stones. Why would anyone in their right mind behave like this? They wouldn’t, but he not just or simply mad, he’s possessed by Demons that want to destroy him and cause him pain.
Yes demons will do all of that to anyone they possess. They are painful landlords.
Jesus said: John 10:10 ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’
♥V The devil and his demons want to destroy & steal God’s Creation, us: We also see that Jesus wants to give us life & renew your life, to give you abundant life. He died to make that life possible.
♥V Hell: When you look at the horrible, horrific condition of the demon possessed man you get a powerful picture of what hell will be like for all who end up there: naked, hurting, cutting self, homeless, torment and in fear, in darkness.
B) Demons Are Powerful:We forget at our peril and danger that Satan has millions of beings subservient to himself. He led 1/3 of heaven in rebellions when he was cast out from God’s presence. He is a Powerful Landlord.
However, he is not as powerful as Jesus, Jesus is God; but we shouldn’t underestimate his power, authority and nature: He does want to steal, kill and destroy. But he’s no match for Jesus’ Power and Authority or the Authority, Power and New Nature that Jesus gives to everyone who puts their faith and trust in Him.
Satan is the active force in the world systems that one day will produce an anti-Christ who will oppose God openly. A one world government under his power and dominion. It’s obvious that this is the way the world is blindly heading.
In The Satanic Controlled World: Godly things will become illegal the Bible warns us: And it’s happening already here in Great Britain.
OFSTED: Want to inspect every Sunday School: To ensure we’re not radicalising children. That’s good, right? Nobody wants ‘radicalised’ children. However, they also want to ensure we’ve got a balanced Sunday School Curriculum, that we’ll promote and teach British Values. (My friends, British Values are not the same today as Bible Values or Christian Values). E.G. Bombing Syria: Jesus never said, “Bomb your enemies”… He tells us to forgive our enemies, to bless your enemies, do good to those that hate you… He doesn’t tell us to take away State Benefits for the poorest in society and give Tax cuts to the richest people. No my friends, Jesus tells us to look after widows and orphans, to take care of the weakest members in our society, to LOVE our neighbours. God wants us to welcome aliens and strangers, wanderers in the land. “Don’t be afraid to welcome strangers”… Practice good hospitality. This is God’s way of treating people.
British Values: What British Values are we to teach our children? Only the ‘nice’ ones… I’ve no doubt we’ll soon have an approved Government curriculum that we’ve got to ensure is communicated to Sunday School children. I’m not even going to mention; same-sex-marriage which God clearly teaches is contrary to His will for human beings.
Satan is at work in the Governments of this world today, they a pushing forward Satan’s agenda, to destroy society, community and human beings. How? By advocating and promoting the things that God hates. However, his time is coming, when he along with all his demons and fallen angels will be cast in to the lake of fire. Hell has not been Created yet, but when God is ready Satan’s end is certain. Satan is Powerful and influential, but he’s not as powerful or as influential as God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
C) Demons Are Destructive: Lastly, in looking at what kind of Landlords Demons are, we see from our account in Mark today that the Demonic is Destructive.
They only wanted to kill the man, why or how that poor man survived is beyond our understanding, but perhaps his will was not completely subdued or broken. (He came running to Jesus and fell at his feet). And perhaps he was resisting the evil spirits, that’s why he was screaming and in torment. It might be that’s why he screamed at night in the tombs.
We can see how destructive those Demons wanted to be with the man, because as soon as they entered into the weak willed PIGS, 2000 of them rushed over a cliff into the lake. You can be certain that is what the Demons wanted to do to the man. Jesus warns us in many places in His Word, that Satan wants to do the very same things with you and me.
Finally Don’t Give The Devil A Foothold:
We don’t know why this man got Demon Possessed. We don’t know what he was playing with before it happened.
But we do know that there are DOORS of DANGER: Places we should avoid, because Satan is a legalist, he’s legalistic, he can only gain entry, like a Landlord with proper notification. He can only come in if we allow him in.
Ephesians 4:17-32 (NIV) 17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. 20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
All of the above are DOORWAYS of DANGER: They can allow or give Satan permission to enter.
Even if we have innocently, naively or foolishly entered into these things. Or of our own wilful disobedience: We need to renounce these unholy and shameful things and seek God’s forgiveness and cleansing. When we’re playing with sin, we’re cracking open the doorway and giving the Devil a foothold into our lives: These are the Doorways of Danger: Unwholesome talk, anger, slander, lying, stealing, unforgiveness, hatred, jealousy, rage, greed, sexual sins, sensuality, feeding the fleshly nature, backbiting, coveting what others own, cheating in life, unfaithfulness, disobedience to authorities and parents, etc, etc, etc… We’re experts and finding new ways to rebel against God’s Commandments, but they are all Doorways of Danger. Don’t give the Devil a foothold into your life. Jesus came to set us FREE.
To summarise:Satan and Demons are real, and they are painful, powerful and destructive. They must not be played with and we must renounce all participation either voluntarily entered into or foolishly deceived.
The Lord Jesus Christ: Has POWER over the Demonic Forces of Evil: They are not equal in any way. He commanded the Demons and they had to submit to His authority.
He also gave you that same Power and Authority: When you Believed in Jesus Christ, Repented of your sins and Received Him as your Lord and Saviour. Have you really done all that? Believed, Repented, Renounced, Received? Then you are FREE.
John 10:10 Fullness of life, Jesus’ abundant life, are yours. Jesus gives you the same rights as the Son of God. (John 1:12-13).
Jesus’ Perfect FREEDOM:
John 8:31-36 (NIV) 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (They’d been invaded by the Romans, dominated by a foreign power, and they still thought they were free. But Jesus wasn’t talking about Political freedom, but Spiritual freedom). 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (Because when Jesus sets you free from sin, you are free from Satan’s bondage to sin, you are free to live as God’s child, that freedom cost Jesus his life, so that we wouldn’t need to loose ours).
Jesus came to SET YOU FREE:Completely FREE from Satan and His Demonic forces.
How to get your FREEDOM BACK: Renounce: Repent: Confess: Receive: Live…
Renounce: Those shameful secret sins. (Pornography is rife in our Society). Anger is festering inside people. Hatred is lying in wait. Jealousy: Bitterness. Rage (Car rage, explosive anger) these are signs that not everyting is OK in our land. Satan is having a ball or a time with the people in our land. Renounce: And BE Set FREE by Jesus Christ.
Repent: Turn away from ALL that your Conscience is telling you is wrong for you. Listen to the voice of your Conscience. You’ll know: That lying, Stealing, lusting, hatred, gossip, slander, back-biting, etc these are ALL Sinful: They may give the Devil a foothold into your life.
1 Peter 5:5-11 (NIV) 5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
CONFESS: Confess all know sin: This is not too difficult because the Holy Spirit will make you aware of sin in your life. He doesn’t do this to make you feel ashamed, but so that you’ll know what’s separating you from the fullness of life God wants you to have. Be open with God, Confess your sins to Him out loud… Confession is admitting how you’ve sinned against God.
RECEIVE JUSUS: Humble yourselves. Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD: Live your life for Him. (He’s a much better Landlord than Satan) His yoke is easy, His burden is light… (Satan’s is; heavy, hard, unbearable, tortuous, wearisome and deathly).
SATAN: He’s a legalistic, legalist, once you open the door, He’s just waiting to come on in. He’s got YOUR permission. He can’t come in without permission. Don’t open the Door to Satan: If you have or as soon as you become aware of sin in your life: Renounce, Repent, Confess and Receive Jesus forgiveness and renewal of the Holy Spirit. Do it quickly, do it today. Get FREE with Jesus help.
JESUS: God, wants to give you a FRESH START: Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, that He may life you up in His time.
Jesus Christ: Has POWER to Set you COMPLETELY FREE FROM EVIL TODAY:
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”… John 8:36… Notice the “IF”…
There are a few people in the world today who want God to PROVE Himself to them first, but my friends, He’s God. He’s not about to take orders from high-minded human beings that He’s created. He’ll never prove himself to a proud human being. However, a person who sincerely wants to discover if God is real, a humble human being, will find out the truth; That’s God’s PROMISE and God cannot tell lies.
Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV) “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV) 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Can you imagine the JOY that Demon Possessed man experienced once he’d been set free? He wanted to follow Jesus, but he was told by Jesus to go and tell his family, friends and neighbours what God had done for him. Yesterday in St Luke’s Church we heard how Gemma had been set free by Jesus, not from Demons, but from the jaws of an alligator as she was sinking to almost certain death. Joy at knowing you’ve been set free transforms your life.
My friends, you can discover God is real and alive today, more real and more alive than you ever imagined. Satan is real too, but He’s not as powerful or influential as God. So stop doubting and believe, call out to God from a sincere heart, seek Him and you will find Him when you seek with all your heart. This is how you can prove to yourself that God is Knowable today.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Holy is Your Name,
Your Kingdom Come,
Your will be done,
On Earth, As it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who’ve sinned against us,
Lead us not into temptation,
Deliver us from evil,
For Yours is the Kingdom,
For Yours is the Glory,
Forever and Ever, Amen.
Your Kingdom Lord, In my life, as it is in Heaven.
Lead me not into temptation,
Deliver me from evil.
For Yours is the Kingdom.
The POWER and The Glory. Amen!
You can be FREE, but that freedom is not automatic: You must; renounce, repent, confess and receive the Lord Jesus Christ, turn and trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation from sin and freedom from Satan’s power. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has laid down His life for His sheep.
That man, possessed by demons, ran and fell at Jesus feet. Something in him made him run to Jesus.
My friends, will you run to Jesus Christ this morning? Run and fall at His feet… He can and will set you FREE today.
I’m praying that anyone who reads this today, may find that perfect and complete FREEDOM that only Jesus Christ can give. Amen.
Good morning my friends, I enjoyed a wonderful day off yesterday in the garden pulling up blackberry brambles that had spread like wildfire, creeping into the cracks of a rockery that once contained a pond. It’s amazing how the weeds spread and do so much damage. Last year I couldn’t do much in the garden because of a sore back, but now I’m almost free from pain, it’s an amazing joy to be able to be active again. Yet I’m surprised by just how invasive the weeds in London are.
Jude 1:20-21 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
As I read through Jude this morning, I could almost physically hear the Lord Jesus Christ in my head, saying, “Remain in My Love”…
Where did Jesus say that?
What did He mean?
What does Jude mean? “Keep yourselves in God’s love”
Jesus said it: In His Awesome Teaching On the Vine and Branches.
John 15:7-16 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
Jude epistle (God’s Word) wants us to know that we must “REMAIN” in the Love of Jesus Christ. That we must keep building ourselves up in the most holy faith.
He starts his letter by reminding those to whom he’s writing that we’re in a BATTLE, there is CONTENTION about what “THE FAITH” is. Many have entered into Christ’s members and twisted the pure Gospel that was once delivered to the saints.
Our BATTLE or CONTENTION:
It’s not over church decoration, pew placement, chair arrangement, the worship band singing too loud or too quiet. Nor is it the latest whole church campaign, but it is a real CONTENTION about the faith that has been handed down and entrusted to us from the Apostles and our Lord Jesus Christ. We really must keep up the battle, when we see error we must expose it, because so many youngsters in the faith are being drawn away and enticed into false Gospels. Remembering of course that our battle is NOT against flesh and blood, i.e. not people, but against spiritual forces of evil.
Jude 1:3 “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”
The Faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
We have been entrusted with the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It’s our most holy duty to preserve the whole Gospel and to CONTEND for this faith entrusted to our care.
We see the Gospel being partially delivered in the media.
A partial Gospel is a watering down of the full Gospel message.
Even our Prime Minister says quite openly “Britain is a Christian Country”… but his government is the first in history to want to monitor, control and dictate what we are teaching in our Sunday Schools, enlisting OFSTED to ensure that we’re NOT radicalising youngsters. He wants us to promote British Values: but many of Britain’s Values are not “Christian” or “Biblical” values.
For instance: forcing mothers who’ve got young children back into work. Who’s the best person to be looking after infants? I believe with all my heart that it’s not pre-schools, but their own mothers. Yes toddler groups are great for encouraging youngsters to mix and learn to be sociable, but pre-schools? No, I believe mothers not nurseries are best for our infants. They need the love that only a mother can give. We should be encouraging parents and supporting them in bringing up their own children.
Benefits Cuts: This government has given TAX BREAKS to those who are the richest in society, and cut the benefits that the poorest people receive. They want to force people into work, but we’ve known countless numbers of people who are practically unemployable because of their mental condition or social circumstances, who’ve been sanctioned and had their benefits stopped all together. British Values????
Bombing Syria: IS: The UK Governments (British Values) voted to bomb Syria. But Jesus did not say, “Bomb your enemies” He said, “Love your enemies, do good to those that hate you”. ISIS definitely hate everything that the UK stands for, but we’re to LOVE our enemies. Show them Christ’s LOVE not weapons of war. I know it hard, but that’s what we’re called upon by Jesus to do. British Values??? Let’s LOVE each other as Jesus has loved us and gave His life for us.
Christian values: Parents bring up your children in the ways of the Lord.
Christian values: feed the poor, love your enemy, do good to those that hate you, look after widows and orphans.
There is a BATTLE going on for the “Faith once and for all time entrusted to the saints”..
BTW: Those “saints” in Jude’s letter are not those who’ve died and been made saints by the Roman Catholic Church, but every single Christian who’s been set free from sin by the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s you and me, if you’ve trusted Christ as your Lord and received Him as your Saviour: You are the SAINT to whom Jude is writing.
What is that FAITH we’re to CONTEND for?
Jesus tells us clearly in John 15:16 “I chose you and appointed you”
When you became a Christian it wasn’t your idea to follow Jesus. It was because Jesus was already, by the Holy Spirit, drawing you to Himself. He chose you to become a believer, a follower and a disciple.
It was the LORD’s initiative that brought you to trust: That Jesus died upon the Cross for the sins of all mankind, because of God’s love, He rose again from the dead and now reigns in Heaven. He’s calling all people to REPENT and receive forgiveness for their sins, so that they can escape the judgement that coming. They’ll be SAVED from Hell if they repent and trust the ONLY Saviour of Mankind.
When Jesus chose you to become a Christian, His desire and our Heavenly Father’s desire, is that you BE FRUITFUL in your walk with Him.
How are we going to be “Fruitful”?
By remaining in His love… John 15:8-10…
How do we “remain in His love”?
By being obedient to His Commands. The Commands of Jesus Christ. John 15:10.
How do we know Jesus Commands?
By reading and understanding the WORD of God, by hearing the Word of God and by DOING the Word of God.
That is HOW we do what Jude is calling us to do:
Jude 1:20-21 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
We keep ourselves in God’s love and build ourselves up in the most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, obeying Christ’s commands in Scripture and wait for our Eternal life that He’s promised to all who live for Him.
Saints, we need to be in God’s WORD ourselves.
We need to gather together around God’s Word: To study it together (Discipleship).
We need to keep listening to Preachers who really do LOVE God’s Word and Jesus Christ as their LORD and Saviour.
We need to keep doing what God’s Word tells us.
That way we will build up our faith.
That’s the way we’re going to remain in Christ’s love.
When we do all of these things, then our Love for Jesus will grow stronger.
When we do all of these things, then our Love for our fellow saints in Christ will be enriched.
What did I learn on my day-off yesterday?
The Brambles will grow when we’re not looking.
The Weeds will spread, when not attended.
False Gospels and wrong teaching will creep into the church if we are not contending for the faith.
Jesus wants me to Contend for the faith once for all entrusted to the saints.
It’s a never ending battle to maintain the pure holy Gospel faith that has been entrusted to us, the Saints in Jesus Christ, we need to REMAIN IN CHRIST’S LOVE and keep building ourselves up in the most holy faith. We’ll be fruitful when we’re being obedient to Christ’s commands.
Keep going for Jesus my friends,
Contend for the pure Gospel once for all delivered and entrusted to the Saints: You are those Saints.
Have a glorious weekend.
Tomorrow’s Teaching: Do you know how much of a friend we have in Jesus?
John 11:49-52 (NIV) 49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realise that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.
The Fantastic Fourteen “Let Us” in the Book of Hebrews.
I had a funny thought this morning, I know, I know, I get them all the time 🙂 I was quickly reading through the book of Hebrews and was struck by the number of time I came across the short phrase “Let us”… Then I remembered how when I was a young Christian I overheard an older, more mature, believer say, “I do wish the minister would stop saying ‘Let Us’ anyone would think we a salad Christians”. It makes me laugh out loud even today.
So my friends, whenever you hear your Minister in his sermon saying “Let us”… Don’t go rolling your eyes, don’t go thinking to yourself “Here we go again”, because when your Minister says “Let us” he is in GREAT company, for God’s Word is choc-full of “Let us”… It seems to me that God wants those He’s chosen to belong to His family to allow Him to change them into confident and assured children.
He could have given a direct command from Heaven, instead He encourages us in much more gentle tones “Let us” as if He’s involved in it with us.
Here are the 14 “Let Us” Statements from the book of Hebrews.
Dwell upon and think about each one… “I LOVE LETTUCE” 🙂
Let us in the Book of Hebrews:
1) “Fear,” – Hebrews 4:1.
2) “Be diligent,” – Hebrews 4:11.
3) “Hold fast,” – Hebrews 4:14.
4) “Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace,” – Hebrews 4:16.
9 & 10) “Lay aside every encumbrance… and run with endurance,” – Hebrews 12:1.
11) “Fix our eyes on Jesus” – Hebrews 12:2.
12) “Be Thankful,” – Hebrews 12:28.
13) “Go out,” – Hebrews 13:13.
14) “Offer up a sacrifice of praise,” – Hebrews 13:15.
Every single “Let us” in the book of Hebrews is like a Divine invitation into the deeper Christian life. When we practice these encouragements, when we’re obedient to them, we are going to be so immensely blessed as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.
So the next time your hear it, don’t roll your eyes upwards, but let your heart be stimulated to KNOW you are HEARING God’s Word of exhortation to do something truly wonderful for Him, but in the doing it’s YOU that’s going to benefit.
Let us turn now to the Lord in prayer 🙂
I remember once having a “Bring and Share Supper”. We’re encouraged to bring something so that we can all share in a great big meal. When everyone had arrived, guess what we had? Nothing but salad, everyone had brought along LETTUCE and other salad vegetables. It was strange, but I’ve never forgotten our salad fellowship meal. Someone quipped that night, as prayers were offered, “Oh Lord Jesus Christ, we are just a few Salad Christians, Lettuce draw near with faith” Everyone laughed out loud. But we’re closer to Jesus Christ because of it.
But my friends, on this Wednesday morning, half-way through the week, LET US be encouraged to go deeper with Jesus.
Let us, Be full of God’s Spirit.
Let us, Be doers of God’s Word.
Let us, Take Christ’s yoke and burden, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Let us, Go to Him, outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore for us.
Prayer: Oh Lord, let us be “Let us” Christians. Amen!
Have a wonderful day with Jesus.
P.S. Alpha last night was something special. We had the TALK on Faith. We discovered that the word “FAITH” is over used and undervalued, it’s misunderstood and misapplied. People call ‘religious’ people, “Faith Communities”, no matter what religion they come from. You know when you see the proverbial penny drop, well some people last night had that experience. At the end of the evening I said this; “There is a real difference between faith and FAITH”… Faith in Jesus Christ isn’t simply believing that He existed, died upon a cross for our sins, rose again from the grave and ascended into Heaven. That’s NOT saving FAITH, but merely intellectual assent. It’s just acknowledging the facts. However, saving FAITH is when we know all these things are true and then we respond to Jesus by putting our TRUST in Jesus for our SALVATION.
It’s a bit like this. You know that No2 Bus will take you to Brixton, but when the bus comes along, even though you read the sign at the front that says “Brixton”, you know it’s true, the bus has arrived, you see others getting aboard, but something is stopping you getting aboard.
My friends, to get to Heaven you need to exercise SAVING FAITH and put your trust in Jesus. Get aboard, stop doubting, believe that He can carry you all the way to Heaven.
P.P.S: Tonight: Street Witnessing: We’re going out tonight to share the Gospel on the Streets of West Norwood in London. Have you ever gone out to share the FAITH of Jesus Christ? You can come with us. You can be trained to share the Good News the way that Jesus did. Every time I go out, I’m a bit nervous to begin with, breaking the ice with complete strangers is never easy, but from long years of experience of doing just that, I know that Jesus is with me. He gives me His WORD in season for those who stop and chat. I’ve seen Him move upon people by His Spirit. I’ve seen His power at work in people to draw them to Himself. All because we’ve gone out in faith. Come! Come and share, because there are many people who are headed for Hell and don’t know it, their Eternal Destiny is in your hands. Jesus Commanded us to “GO” in His Great Commission. It was a call for every follower of Jesus to go out and share the Good News with everyone. How’s your faith sharing going? Don’t just be a pew-warmer on a Sunday, get your sleeves rolled up and get on with the work, it’s a JOY to share in Jesus Kingdom business of winning souls for Heaven. Sharing the Gospel is the MOST loving thing you could ever do for someone.
If you need ENCOURAGEMENT today.
Here are the Fourteen “Let Us” statements, they are encouraging verses from Hebrews.
(God’s Word is Choc Full of Lettuce 🙂 “Let Us”).
Hebrews 4:1 (NIV) Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
Hebrews 4:11 (NIV)Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no-one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
Hebrews 4:14 (NIV) Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 6:1 (NIV) Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on tomaturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,
Hebrews 10:22 (NIV)let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:24 (NIV) And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:28 (NIV) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
Hebrews 13:13 (NIV)Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.
Hebrews 13:15 (NIV) Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Did you notice the Lettuce Leaves in Hebrews 6:1? i.e. “Let us leave …”
“I LOVE LETTUCE”
The Fantastic Fourteen “Let Us” Statements in the Book of Hebrews.
A few days ago I wrote about the second of seven letters to churches in Revelation, the one to Smyrna, present day Izmir in Turkey. At the end of that short letter was the theme “The Second Death” which I didn’t touch upon. The Second Death is the major theme of the whole book of Revelation.
Remember that Jesus has nothing bad to say about that Church in Smyrna, can you imagine Jesus having nothing bad to say about you? Anyway, there is an encouragement to overcome, and if you overcome there is no fear of the ‘Second Death’.
One thing I know for sure is this, “Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die”… Until death is looming, nobody really gives it a second thought.
Here’s a nice song from Alison Krauss listen as you read.
Questions: What is the “Second Death”? and what does it mean to “Overcome”? “How can I be sure that I will not taste the second death?”
Revelation 2:8-11 (NIV) 8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9 I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
What is the Second Death?
Well the first death is what we all go through. It’s a fact that 10 out of 10 people die. Unless of course Jesus returns before you die. We’re all going to die. Many / most people are quietly getting along with their lives today, not giving their first death a second thought. Most people burry their heads in the sand like the proverbial Ostrich, pretending there is no danger…
“Bury Your Head In The Sand:”
This comes from the supposed habit of ostriches hiding when faced with attack by predators. The story was first recorded by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, who suggested that ostriches hide their heads in bushes. Ostriches don’t hide, either in bushes or sand, although they do sometimes lie on the ground to make themselves inconspicuous. The ‘burying their head in the sand’ myth is likely to have originated from people observing them lowering their heads when feeding.
The notion is that the supposedly dumb ostrich believes that if it can’t see its attacker then the attacker can’t see it.
I’ve observed that in two year old toddlers, who think that when they hide their face or eyes you can’t see them. My grandson Karamoko loves the game of hiding things and me pretending I don’t know where it is.
People are a bit like that Ostrich though, they pretend to themselves that they are never going to die.
I’ve heard a lot of Pop Songs with that theme in them… “I’m going to live forever…” Most young soldiers don’t believe they are going to die. The Royal Marines believe they are the “Crem-de-la-Crem” of fighting forces, that’s drummed into young recruits, it helps them to believe they are invincible and will not die.
So if people are not scared by the prospect of the first death, why would they ever be afraid of the second death?
Jesus warned people about the Second Death.
Matthew 10:28 (NIV) “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Your soul is eternal, it cannot be killed, it will never die. It’s part of you that lingers from God’s Original Creation: Adam and Eve were made to live forever, God didn’t intend for them to die, ever, but because they sinned against God’s Command, Death came into Creation and Adam and Eve eventually died physically, but their soul lives on to this day. Every human being since Adam and Eve have been infected with the same disease called sin, and it’s because of sin that human beings die. However, that first death is not the end, there is a kind of second death, the death of the soul in Hell. It doesn’t mean that even there we cease to exist, but we are as good a dead eternally in a place that’s been reserved only for Satan and His army of Demons, fallen angels. No human being was ever intended by God to go to Hell forever, in fact that’s why God sent His Son Jesus into this world, to save mankind, so that no one would ever end up in Hell. The only people who will taste the second death in hell are those who die in their sins, those who’s sins have not been washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ.
You see my friends, it’s Sin that brings the first death and sin that brings the second death. If we die still contaminated with sin in our life, then God cannot allow us to contaminate His Holy Heaven.
I love the illustration of this: You buy some bits of chicken from the Supermarket, six pieces of Chicken breast are ok, but one bit of chicken smells a bit off. You ask your wife to have a sniff and she confrims, “It smells off”… Would you then put that piece of chicken in the fridge with the good pieces of chicken? Of course not! Why? Because it would “CONTAMINATE” the other good bits of chicken. My friends, it just makes sense that God will not allow a contaminated sinner to enter His Holy Heaven, because we’d contaminate Heaven.
Jesus The Just Judge:
Jesus will not allow a sinner into Heaven because He is also a Just Judge.
Most people think that the Second Death is nothing to worry about. They believe they’ll go to Heaven because God is loving and kind and will forgive them in the end. But what does Jesus say? “be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” BE AFRAID… It’s healthy to have such a fear of Jesus / God that we’re ready to repent of our sins. Because one day, Judgement is coming. Be sure of that my friends. Hebrews 9:27 (NIV) “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement,…”
Jesus is the just judge and He’s not going to allow any sinful person into Heaven. How do we know this?
The Second Death:
It is a scary prospect. Having a healthy fear of death and the second death is good for your eternal soul.
Check to BE SURE: “Are YOU in The Faith”?
My friends, when was the last time you checked to BE SURE, BE CERTAIN, to KNOW that you are in the FAITH of Christ?
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (NIV) Examine Yourself. 5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.
Recently I had an appointment with the Doctor, it was a routine exam for men over 50. A kind of MOT to examine me to make sure I was fit or not. It’s good for Christians who believe they are saved to check now and again to be SURE and CERTAIN that they are walking with Christ today as they did when they first trusted Him as Lord.
Paul says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith”… Notice he says it twice: “Examine yourself” then “Test yourselves”… That tells me we can be deceived. We can fool ourselves. Just like those who act like the proverbial ostrich who pretend they are not going to die, some people so love ‘religion’ they’ll fool themselves into believing they are Christians when they are not. They are what the Bible calls “FALSE CONVERTS”… or “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”… They look and act like sheep, like God’s flock, but they are not converted, they are not born again, they are not one with Christ, they don’t have Christ as Lord or as the Good Shepherd of their lives. FALSE CONVERTS sometimes don’t know they are false, that’s why Paul encouraged the Corinthians to check to see if they are in the faith. Are you sure you are in the faith of Jesus Christ?
Here’s HOW to be sure you’ll not taste the SECOND DEATH.
Here’s HOW to be CERTAIN you’ll pass from death to life.
Here’s HOW to be sure and certain you are IN the Faith of Jesus Christ.
A) Acknowledge you have sinned and broken God’s Commandments. This is crucial to beginning a walk of faith with Jesus. Acknowledging that you are a sinner. That you know everyone who has sinned will be condemned to Hell because they’ve broken God’s Commandments and have become contaminated with sin. That God will never allow a contaminated sinner into his holy heaven.
How have we sinned? We’ve broken God’s Commandments.
The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:2-17.
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make idols.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honour your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.
1 Corinthians 6:8-11 (NIV) 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers. 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Acknowledging that you have sinned is the first step to Salvation.
Romans 3:22-24 (NIV) 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
B) Repent: Turn away from sin. Sin is rebellion against God. It’s living life your own way (DIY)… Frank Sinatra “I did it my way”… Notice his second name “SINatra”… It’s sinful to live your life as if God doesn’t exist. When you live your life as if God’s not real or as if He’ll just wink at your sin and let you into heaven is only fooling yourself. Every sinner will be punished forever in Hell. But God doesn’t want that, He wants you to turn and be forgiven for every sin. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Unless you repent you will perish in Hell.
Luke 13:3 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Luke 13:5 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Jesus said it twice… Repent or Perish in Hell.
The real idea behind REPENTANCE: is to have a strong desire to begin to live God’s way instead of your own way. To live a righteous and holy life from now on. It’s to have a desire to be ‘good’. We don’t have the power yet to be good, but it wanting to live like Jesus that God is looking for. Do you have that desire today?
C) Confess: Confess your sins to Jesus. Don’t just admit you’ve sinned, tell Jesus how you’ve sinned. How you’ve broken His commandments: The lies you’ve told, the things you’ve stolen, the lusts you’ve had, the things you’ve been coveting, how you’ve been disobedient to your parents, how you’ve not put God first in your life. Confess those sins to Jesus.
D) Receive Jesus Christ As Your Lord:
As soon as you believe in Jesus, Admit you’ve sinned, Repent of your sins and Confess your sins to Jesus, then you are ready to RECEIVE Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. He’ll come into your life and make you into a new person. You’ll become a saint: Sanctified and set apart by God the Holy Spirit. You’ll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and that will enable you to live the full and abundant life that Jesus promised to all who received Him as Lord. John 10:10.
Now receive Jesus by faith:“Lord Jesus Christ, I come to you, I believe that you died upon the cross for all my sins. I acknowledge that I have sinned by breaking your Commandments, I know that if I don’t receive your forgiveness I’m doomed to spend eternity in Hell. I know it would be the just punishment and penalty for all my sins. I repent of all my sin, I turn away from living my life for myself and want to live from this day forward for You. I believe that when you died upon that Cross You died in my place taking my punishment and paid the price for my sins. Today I receive you as my Lord and Saviour. Please come into my life as Lord and send the Holy Spirit to give me the New Birth. Help me to live every day from now on for You Lord Jesus. Amen!
The Second Death:
The Second Death is the Lake of Fire: Reserved for Satan and all who die in their sins.
Revelation 20:14-15 (NIV) 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
My friends, the Second Death holds no fear for those who have tested themselves to ensure they are in the faith of Jesus Christ, they have crossed over already from Death to Life Eternal.
John 3:36 (NIV) “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
The Real Danger:
The DANGER is that there are some who say “I believe in Jesus” as if that is enough to ensure Heaven. It’s NOT, because even the Devil believes in Jesus. Simple “Belief” is not the same as SAVING FAITH. You need to also; Repent and Receive Jesus as Lord of your life. You’ll know if you’ve done that if you’ve received the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit is growing in your life today. i.e. You have more peace today than you did when you first believed in Jesus. More; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the fruits of a holy life with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NIV) “As God’s fellow-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.” “Repent or Perish”…
If You’ve Failed The Test:
“What happens if I fail the test, if I’m not in the faith of Jesus Christ?”
If you say you “Believe in Jesus” but your life has not changed, there are no obvious fruits of repentance, then you’ve probably failed the TEST of 2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (above). Keep believing in Jesus, but also; confess your sins, turn from sin in repentance and receive Jesus Christ as Lord. Because once your receive Him you will be Born Again: John 1:12-13 (NIV)“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
Once you are Born Again you will begin to produce the fruit of repentance, the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit will be evident in you as you live for Jesus.
Once you KNOW Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
Once you KNOW you’ve been born of the Spirit.
Then (And ONLY then) the Second Death is nothing at all to worry about, because you are ONE of those who have already overcome. Praise the Lord! Your salvation is not dependent upon your own goodness, but the goodness of Jesus Christ living in you. John 15. If you receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour after repenting and believing in Him, then your name will be written in the Lamb’s book of life.
What’s sobering for me on this Monday morning is this: If anyone’s name is NOT in the Lamb’s book of life, then they will be thrown into the lake of fire and experience the second death with Satan and all His Demons forever. That’s a horrific thought, God doesn’t want anyone to perish and no one in their right minds would want anyone to spend eternity in the Lake of fire. Let’s snatch as many as we can from the flames licking at their feet. Who do you know who isn’t SAVED yet? Share the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus with them soon.
Today is the DAY of Salvation.
Have an AWESOME week with Jesus.
Don’t FEAR the Second Death if you are IN Jesus.
Be sure and certain your own name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Good morning my friends, I had a wonderful day-off yesterday. Over at my daughter’s house, I was put to work on DIY. I don’t know how you feel about DIY, but I don’t relish the thought. However once I get started it’s quite good fun. Of course I was shadowed by my two year old grandson, Karamoko. He had his tools all ready too, but once he saw my new electric screwdriver, he wanted to play with that. I’ve never seen a kid so enthusiastic about helping with DIY, he loves toolboxes, tools, carrying, lifting heavy things and putting screws in. He also loves to watch “Bob the Builder”… He’s going to be absolutely brilliant at DIY one day soon. He helped me; put up a curtain rail, take apart a huge table, put together a new table, take apart his old cot and put together his brand new big-boy’s bed. He learned about taking care of the small packages of screws, following instructions, being careful with sharp things and how two are better than one.
DIY: Means “Do It Yourself”… As is my weakness or strength, I followed a rabbit trail yesterday and again this morning. The rabbit trail I’m talking about is Bible Study. Yesterday I wrote about us not being able to pull-the-wool over God’s eyes and how “God cannot be mocked” from Galatians 6. Well, I kept on reading and this little verse jumped out at me. It’s a bit like Karamoko going through the toolbox and finding an interesting item that he’s never seen before. You know what question he always asks don’t you? “What’s this Papa?” next “What’s it for Papa?”… Then I’ll have to say, “Here Moko, let me show you”…
Here’s what the LORD gave me to share from His Toolbox with you today.
Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
“May I never boast”: Truth is we all LOVE boasting. We long for others to know how brilliant we are, don’t we? Paul is not talking about the normal things in life here, he’s talking about boasting about how morally good he is or isn’t. The young Church in Galatia had been infested with Judaizers, Christians who wanted to keep the Jewish ceremonial laws and to belong to Christ at the same time. They were known for their boasting about it too and there was a real danger that some of the believers, who were young Christians, might be influenced to emulate their folly. That why Paul exclaimed, “Oh foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” Galatians 3:1.
NOTE: Judaizers is a term for Christians who insist that their co-religionists should follow the Law of Moses as well as being committed to Jesus Christ.
Their thinking was that because they kept the Jewish laws, they were like a kind of elevated Christian, a super Christian, better than ordinary Christians who merely trusted in the Grace, Mercy and Love of Jesus Christ. They boasted about the fact of how ‘religious’ they were and how observant of Jewish customs, traditions and laws.
You know my friends, religiosity counts for NOTHING in practical Christianity. It’s foolish to try and be ‘more’ religious. If you want to be a better Christian, and to be honest we all need to be better at following Jesus, don’t get more religious, get closer to Christ Himself.
That verse from; Galatians 6:14 (NIV)“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” reminded me of another similar teaching the LORD has already given to us.
Jeremiah 9:23-25 (NIV) 23 This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. 25 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh—
WOWzer! Did you know that verse from the Lord’s toolbox? Now we can see what Paul was talking about can’t we? No wonder he declared: Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
You see my friends, Paul had been very ‘religious’ and he now counts all his religious knowledge, experience and understanding as rubbish, dross, empty and foolishness in comparison with knowing Christ Jesus as His Lord. That’s why he only wanted to boast about the Cross of Jesus. Not only that but, he couldn’t boast about Himself or his religious observance, because it didn’t bring him closer to God, it pulled him further and further away from God. Why? Because religion is DIY faith in Jesus and His Cross means “He did it for me”… It’s not our goodness that we’re trusting in, but the goodness of Jesus Christ.
Here’s is Paul’s argument about this in full, this is what he said to the young Christians in Philippi who were being troubled by Judaizers too.
Philippians 3:1-11 (NIV) 1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Question: Why would anyone who’s been saved by God’s Grace, Mercy and Kindness go back to being religious? Answer: They wouldn’t, couldn’t, but only FALSE Converts would think there is anything in being ‘religious’. Once you KNOW Jesus personally, it’s like being an unfaithful husband or wife to try ‘religion’ again to make you righteous in God’s sight. It’s DIY religion.
Going back to Judaism or the Law of Moses is a DIFFERENT faith entirely from that of following the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a DIY religion, you will be depending upon your own goodness not Christ’s. The reason it’s foolishness is because NO ONE, nobody will be declared righteous by observing the LAW. Romans 3:20. Because we all fall short, we all break God’s law and when we do, we’re contaminated with SIN.
So it’s no wonder Paul and the LORD got so upset when the Galatians, Philippians and many others began to practice ‘religiosity’ all over again.
Empty ritualistic religion will never save anyone, it’s a DIY faith.
Let’s be very careful that we boast ONLY in the Cross of Christ.
Let’s be JOY filled as we remind others that we’re NOT GOOD, because we’ve broken God’s Laws.
Let’s be EXCITED by the fact that Jesus alone is GOOD and He is the only way for mankind to be SAVED.
Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I can see that there are times when I think I’m better than others at keeping the faith, help me always only to boast in the Cross of Jesus, His goodness, His love, His strength and the fact that I’m only saved by Your Grace, kindness and goodness and that You’ve drawn me to Yourself so that I can know You, the true and living God. Forgive me Lord for the times when I’ve been tempted to DIY my faith instead of relying upon the Holy Spirit to keep me from falling. Amen! Thank you so much for practical D.I.Y for when we’re doing the ordinary things in life, we can learn so much about the Spiritual aspects of life with You. Amen!
Have an awesome weekend with Jesus my friends.
You can learn a lot from grand-kids and DIY can’t you 🙂
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Good morning my friends, well what a stormy day yesterday was, I wasn’t looking forward to going out onto the streets sharing the Good News, it was cold and dark and wintry weather. However, we had a good team gathered to go, six of us from St Luke’s, so we split-up into twos; David and Sherrie, Ben and Gemma and Judy and me; after watching the newest video from “A New Reformation”, we were all fired-up to see the Lord at work in people’s lives. You know something, when you go in faith, you will not be disappointed my friends, we had some truly amazing encounters in sharing the Gospel and chatting with people about God’s Kingdom.
When we got back to the Parish Office afterwards and we all shared what happened, we saw that the Lord was with us. I love hearing from others how the Lord has used them and what He does is fantastically good. Even after years of sharing the Gospel I’m always encouraged and refreshed by how faithful Jesus Christ is to His Word.
When we look at those verses above from Galatians, you can be sure that God is serious; “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man (or woman) reaps what he sows”… Galatians 6:7. Now that’s a sobering verse from God’s Word.
Jesus gave us similar teaching in so many different ways: Sowing and Reaping.
In the Old Testament we see this principle illustrated in the lives of ancient forefathers and peoples.
Jacob: Genesis 27-31.
Did you know that Jacob was a trickster: He pulled a fast-one on his older brother and father. He covered himself in animal hair to look, smell and feel like his older brother. He did so because his father Isaac was getting old and blind and Jacob wanted the blessing due to his older brother. You know the story, but he eventually succeeded and ran away to avoid a clash with his angry brother. REAPING WHAT YOU SOW: Jacob really did get blessed by God, but he also REAPED. He fell in love with Rachel and wanted to marry her. Rachel’s dad made Jacob work for seven years before he would be able to marry her. After those seven long years, he was looking forward to his wedding night. After all the ceremony was over, he removed the veil and lo and behold, he’d not married Rachel, but Leah her older sister. (You can read all about Jacob in Genesis 27-31, you’ll see what a trickster he was and how he REAPED WHAT HE HAD SOWN).
Isn’t that amazing? You reap what you sow. He tricked his father and brother, now his father-in-law had tricked him. He was the younger brother and he tricked his older brother. He wanted the younger sister Rachel, but was tricked into marrying the older sister Leah. You reap what you sow.
When you plant tomatoes (as I’m about to do in the next few days), you’ll reap little tomatoes.
When you plant potatoes, you’ll not get grapes at the harvest time, but little potatoes.
You reap what you sow.
Think Seriously About Mocking God: If we’re sowing to our FLESH then watch out.
Leviticus 26:14-20 (NIV)
14 ” ‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands,
15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant,
16 then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it.
17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no-one is pursuing you.
18 ” ‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over.
19 I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze.
20 Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit.
Time Doesn’t Matter:
Did you know that they’ve found wheat seeds in the ancient Egyptian Tombs, they planted those 3000 year old seeds, guess what they got at harvest time? Wheat! Those seeds did not forget what they were after all those years in the tomb. My friends, God keeps a perfect record, and at the judgement throne of Jesus Christ, every believer will REAP WHAT THEY HAVE SOWN. God cannot be mocked.
Galatians 6:8 “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
If we’ve sown to our flesh, then from that flesh we shall reap corruption (diseases and eventually premature death).
If we’ve sown to the Holy Spirit, then we shall reap everlasting life.
A man or woman REAPS WHAT THEY HAVE SOWN.
God cannot be mocked. So many believers are convinced that God will just ‘wink’ at their sins because they’ve repented and put their trust in Jesus Christ. They’ll say, “Jesus died upon the Cross for my sins, past, present and future, so I’m forgiven”… That’s right my friends, you have been forgiven, you are blessed with the gift of eternal life, but God wants to reward us for the good things we’ve done whilst in the body: but His rewards also include REAPING what we have SOWN. If we sow to the fleshly sinful nature, then God will reward us in kind. God cannot be mocked: He will not just wink at your sinful choices on the day when you come face to face with Jesus Christ. Remember God’s chosen, blessed and elected people of old: Jacob, Joseph, King David and Solomon… They were all God’s Chosen and Anointed: but they ALL, every single one of them, REAPED what they had sown to their SINFUL natures. God cannot be mocked.
If ever there was a sobering verse in the Bible it’s this one for every truly born again believer: “God cannot be mocked”… We can’t pull-the-wool over God’s eyes. We can’t trick Him. We can’t hide it from Him. He sees and Knows EVERYTHING we do.
Don’t forget those amazing words of encouragement too: Galatians 6:9 “9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. “
In Britain, we are one of the most watched nations on earth today: CCTV Cameras can see our every move. We walk up the street and little cameras are watching us. We go on a train or tube, or bus, there are little cameras filming us. CCTV is everywhere.
God wants us to KNOW that we are being observed from Heaven too.
Hebrews 12:1-6 (NIV)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
We’re reminded that we are being watched from Heaven: God disciplines us now, He doesn’t want us to loose our rewards in Heaven, but wants to bless us with so many great and wonderful things, but God cannot be mocked. You will REAP what you have SOWN.
I love the Message Paraphrase of these verses from Galatians:
Galatians 6:7-10 (MSG) 7 Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!— 8 harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. 9 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. 10 Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
Repent and turn again to Jesus.
Confess your sins to Him now.
Seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit now.
God cannot be mocked, you will reap what you have sown.
Do it immediately.
Last night we met a young man who played in the worship team in his uncle’s church for years. He knew all about being “Born Again” but was waiting until the time was ‘right’ to get right with Jesus. Imagine that, in the WORSHIP TEAM for years, knowing the Gospel and just waiting until the time is right. He was too young to need Jesus, he thought. He was waiting. My friends, imagine what would have happened if that young man had waited and got knocked over by a bus, where would he be spending his Eternity? We need Jesus NOW. We can’t play at being ‘Church’. God cannot be mocked.
Then, If we sow to the spirit, then from the spirit we shall reap a wonderful harvest in God’s Kingdom. So don’t get weary in doing good my friends, especially to those who are from the household of faith, brothers and sisters in Jesus’ Kingdom Family.
Prayer: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, when I think of the times that I’ve chosen to feed my sinful nature, it fills me with great sadness. When I’ve chosen the flesh over the Spirit, I know that Heaven has been watching, the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” However, I know that when I turn to You in faith and true repentance, I’m forgiven, cleansed and renewed in Spirit. I know that You discipline those who come to You Lord. Help me today in my walk with You, I want to be full of Your Holy Spirit so that I can live the abundant holy life that You have called me for. I want to live in obedience to Your teachings Lord Jesus. Amen!!
It was so good going out last night to share the Gospel with folks on the streets, the LORD was with us then, He’s with us NOW. If you are a believer in Jesus, there’s not a moment in time that He’s not with you. You have been set-apart and sealed with God the Holy Spirit. LIVE like the Prince or Princess that you are. You are an Ambassador for Jesus in this world, let them see Jesus in you.
P.S. Please pray for the people we chatted with last night. We had brilliant conversations and shared the Gospel with: Ebeneezer, Craig, Ada and and Italian man called Carlos. Pray also for all those that the other members of the team chatted with and the many who received Gospel tracts but were just too busy or in a rush to get home last night.
Sowing to the Spirit or the Flesh:
Paul puts it like this: For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption (6:8a). Every time we nurse a grudge, spread gossip, linger in bad company whose influence we cannot long resist, every time we watch or read pornographic materials, we are sowing seeds that will reap corruption in our fellowship with God, our families, and our witness.
But he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (6:8b). What does it mean to sow to the Spirit? It means we allow the Spirit to do things that produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (5:22-23a).
When we sow to the Spirit, we also will reap life everlasting. The word everlasting refers not only to the duration of life but also the quality of life. Therefore, we can experience heaven here and now. How does Jesus express this fact in John 10:10b?
Journey Series – Book Studies – Journey Series – Book Studies.
Good morning my friends. Don’t you just LOVE Sundays? The LORD’S DAY. We’re so blessed at the moment here in the UK, because, up until quite recently, we’ve enjoyed relative freedom to proclaim God’s Word. Some day soon that freedom may be taken from us, because there are powerful forces gathering to put a muzzle on the mouths of Christians and Ministers. Let’s enjoy the freedom whilst we can, for today’s WORD from the LORD tells us about a SECRET POWER: When you proclaim God’s WORD it has a POWER all of it’s own.
I don’t know if you like Star Wars: I’ve not seen the new movie yet, but I’ve heard it’s quite good. The FORCE is strong in you. (Luke Skywalker). My friends, the Kingdom Power of God’s Word is STRONG within you.
However, I need to ask you are question right at the start of my sermon today: “Do you believe in the POWER of God’s Word?”
“Do You Believe in the POWER of God’s Word?”
Today, Jesus tells us two parables in Mark’s Gospel. Keep in mind the parable of the Sower and the Soils: Also, bear in mind that Jesus is instructing His Disciples, because He wants them to go on to become teachers of God’s Word when He’s gone. He leaves them with some amazing powerful examples that will sustain them through the troubled times to come.
There are sometimes when we sow God’s Word, that it doesn’t appear to have any effect, thankfully Jesus shows today that every Word of God has a life of it’s own, it is POWERFUL my friends. It is not called the SWORD of the SPIRIT lightly. It has power to cut right through flesh and hit to the heart.
Mark 4:26-34 (NIV) LIFE IN THE SEED. Kingdom Life. 26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces corn—first the stalk, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:30-34. Kingdom Growth. 30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” 33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
LEARN the Secrets of the Kingdom and the POWER of God’s WORD
Yes my friends, Jesus wanted His Disciples to LEARN the Secrets of the Kingdom and the POWER of God’s WORD. He wanted them to know, believe, trust and not doubt that God’s Word when; sown, spoken, planted and shared in the hearts of people, it will accomplish what God wants it to. It grows when the farmer, the one who’s sown it is not even around. When he’s awake or asleep, It has a LIFE all of it’s own.
Also that it may begin small, but it keeps growing into a mighty tree. Powerful: is the Word of God.
The Word of the Lord is Powerful and Active:
Listen now to what God tells us in Hebrews:
Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) 12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
What does it say about God’s Word:
LIVING: Those little seed might look dead, but they have LIFE inside them: They are little Miracles.
ACTIVE: i.e. not passive. It puts down roots deep into the heart and keeps digging.
SHARPER than any double-edged sword: A double sharpened sword was a lethal weapon in the hands of a skilled Roman soldier, but God’s WORD is even more POWERFUL: When you walk around with God’s Word inside your head, did you know that you are carrying a concealed weapon? Not just any concealed weapon, but a weapon that’s sharper and more powerful than any earthly weapons. Even those weapons of mass destruction are not as powerful as the Word of God. That’s why the Chineese and Russian Governments are afraid of Christianity. It’s why they lock up and torture Spirit Filled Believers, because they know the POWER of a Converted Christian who doesn’t just believe in Jesus, but knows the POWER of God’s Word and how to use it. They’re happy to have bland, state-sanctioned churches that are simply being ‘religious’, but they hate it when real Christians who’re on fire with the living, active and powerful Word of God begin to use it in their daily lives.
It’s not just living, active and powerful, it PENETRATES:
I watched a programme about the Second World War: How the Germans had built massive, strong underground bases, where they; stored fuel, made weapons and housed thousands of workers. They’d re-inforced those structures with six-feet thick REINFORCED concrete, thinking they’d be impenetrable, but how wrong they were. The Allies had a secret weapon of their own, The Tall-Boy Bomb (Boom): Designed to break through the toughest reinforced concrete bunkers.
My friends, the WORD of God is even more POWERFUL than the biggest Tall-Boy Bomb: It penetrates. Listen again to God’s Word: In fact, let’s read it aloud together: Because, do you know that “Faith Comes By Hearing”?
Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) Let’s read aloud together now: 12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Finally, it’s not just; living, active, powerful, penetrating, but it JUDGES.
What does it judge? “The thoughts and attitudes of the heart”…
EXAMPLE: My friends, we meet people all the time as we go out to share the Gospel. They’ll say, “I don’t believe that God would send anyone to hell forever”… However, the Bible, God’s Word, tells us He will. When we show them from God’s Word, what God has said, then be assured of this my friends, God’s WORD is much more powerful than their own arguments, thoughts or disagreement with God’s Word: It will JUDGE their very thoughts, their thought-life will come under the scrutiny of God’s Word. What they’ve done is Idolatry: Because they have created a god to suit their own imaginations and desires, a little god that doesn’t demand holiness of life, righteous and moral living, a god that they will not ultimately have to be accountable to: That’s Idolatry. Can you see that KNOWING there is POWER in the Word, when it is sown in faith, brings LIFE? Not only their thoughts, but the ATTITUDES of their Heart are judged by God’s Word.
These Two Kingdom Parables:
There is a life all of it’s own in God’s Word.
The smallest seed sown can grow into a mighty tree.
The Kingdom of God will keep on growing.
Now when we go back and see what Jesus was teaching in these Parables, we can see just how powerful God’s Word really is.
We may look at the outside, but God see the inside. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.” He knows what that person needs to hear, and as you take steps of faith to go out of your way to sow / share the Good News: then God’s WORD will become active, living, sharper, penetrating, judging and convicting.
My friends, “Do you believe in the POWER of God’s WORD?” Not just to say, “I Believe it”… No my friends, that’s not real belief, but when we ACT upon what you hear and say that we believe, that is real faith, because real faith has legs to go with it.
Now what are you going to do with this secret TRUTH today?
Keep it to yourself and treasure it in your heart?
No my friends, that’s not real faith, real faith is when you know the truth and the truth sets you free.
How many of you are afraid to even speak just one word of God’s Word to your friends?
How many of you are terrified to lift up your voice and say, “God tells us in His Word”….
God’s WORD: Addresses almost every situation we face in the World today and people NEED to Hear it, because they NEED to have it’s POWER working in their hearts and attitudes and thought life.
Listen to what God has said about His WORD:
Luke 11:28 (NIV) He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obeyit.”
James 1:22 (NIV) “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.“
Act upon what your know and understand, put God’s WORD into action by SPEAKING it out in faith, in any and every situation. Be guided by the Holy Spirit; then you just sit back and watch, wait and see the POWER of God’s living, active, powerful, penetrating and judging WORD of God.
My friends, I’ve seen God’s Word at work in people’s lives. I’ve seen it’s power work quickly; bringing conviction and conversion. I’ve also seen how sometimes it just works quietly beneath the surface. There were times when I thought to myself, “Well that didn’t make an impression” but my friends, I can testify today, how wrong I was. God’s Word was secretly working with a power all by itself to bring conviction leading to conversion. What a JOY it is to KNOW God’s WORD is ALIVE. What more JOY when we see it grow big and strong.
Know that there’s KINGDOM LIFE in the Word of God.
Know that there’s KINGDOM POTENTIAL for KINGDOM growth.
Show that you BELIEVE by Sowing God’s Words in the world; with friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, at the bus-stop, on the tube / train to work. Keep sowing God’s Word, it has a life all of it’s own.
Believe in the POWER of God’s WORD:
Kingdom Power is available to you.
The Word of God is the SWORD of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17)
The Word of God is a LAMP unto your feet and a LIGHT unto your path. (Psalm 119:105).
The Word of God is Eternal (Isaiah 40:8). God’s Holy Standards NEVER change.
The Word of God is MANNA to the Soul (Deuteronomy 8:3)
Don’t just believe it: Do what it says, Use it… (Luke 11:28, James 1:22)
“Oh Lord Jesus Christ, I come to you today. I’m so convicted about the times I’ve sown Your Word and lacked the faith, and trust in it’s POWER to work in people’s lives. I’ve not been trusting in You Lord or Your faithfulness to do what You’ve promised in Your Word. I repent now Lord Jesus Christ, I KNOW that there is Kingdom Power in Your Word. I know Your Word is ALIVE and will penetrate deep into the hearts of those who hear it. Oh Lord Jesus, I want to thank you for waking me up to the powerful potential within Your Word. I know that it’s going to keep growing, but please Lord Jesus, help me to keep on sowing and trusting. Help me not only to believe in Your Word, but to act upon what I know and believe. Amen!”
May the LORD Jesus Christ bless His Word to our hearts today. Amen!