Jesus Warns Of The Dangers Of Hell

The reality of Hell

Daily Spirit & Word: 783: Jesus Warns About The Dangers Of Hell.

Some people ask, “How can a loving God send people to Hell?”

Some people say, “It seems like the Bible is contradicting itself. If God is a God of LOVE, how could He send people to Hell?”

Most people will say today, “I don’t believe in a God who sends people to Hell? My God wouldn’t do it”

Well, it begs the question: Will God, who is loving, kind and forgiving send people to Hell?

Those people who say such things are right, their ‘god’ wouldn’t, but the God of the Bible tells us that His angels will.

The Bible’s answer is “YES!”

Jesus answer is “YES, He most certainly will.”

TEARS IN YOUR EYES:

Someone cautioned me once, “Don if you are ever going to teach or preach on the subject of Hell, do it with tears in your eyes”… I’ll never forget that, I didn’t quite fully grasp his meaning at first, but after years of working with people for Jesus, I can see what he means. It’s getting God’s heart for people. Knowing God and His love for people. His desire that He doesn’t want a single soul to end up in Hell and the reality that most people will be going there, because they reject Jesus and the Gospel. It does make me cry.

You see it’s only modern man who has a problem with a judgemental God: The Bible reveals God in fullness; His love, His Justice and His mercy.

Previous generations didn’t seem to struggle with it as much as we do.

In our modern society, we view all forms of PUNISHMENT as evil. We should NEVER hurt another individual, because it’s UNLOVING to do so. (Quite right, there are other ways to help people see the seriousness of their crimes, than merely punishing them). However, God is not like us. His ways are not our ways. He is kind, gentle, loving, forgiving, generous, but He’s also full of rage and anger against sin and rebellion. He hates it when people hurt each other.

And we would most certainly agree that we must be PEACEMAKERS wherever we can be an influence for Good in this world.

However, it was Jesus who said,

Luke 12:4-5 (NIV)
4  “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
5  But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

It’s a dreadful, fearful, horrible thing to fall into the everlasting arms of God who is angry with your sins. That’s who we should be afraid of seeing with sin still in our lives.

Jesus wanted His Disciples to be serious about their own sin, in this life:

When we look at our passage from the Bible today from Mark’s Gospel: We’ll see just how serious Jesus viewed SIN and it’s consequences.

The SIN Jesus is alluding to is the Sin of Pride in life: Thinking they are better than others, this only leads to strife, competition and rivalry between each other.

Remember the CONTEXT: (Go back just a few verses to see what Jesus is talking about).

Mark 9:33-41 (NIV)
33  They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?”
34  But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35  Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36  He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them,
37  “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

38  “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
39  “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No-one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,
40  for whoever is not against us is for us.
41  I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.

The Disciples had been arguing with each other about who was the GREATEST…. Jesus had a little child come into the room, He took the child to himself and said, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

“… John, the beloved Apostle, thought he was doing the right thing, told a man to stop driving out demons in Jesus’ name, He got a rebuke from Jesus…

Unfortunately, if you also read on in Mark’s Gospel, you’ll see they didn’t get this teach or the warning: Because they’re still trying to have the best place Mark 10: Peter and John’s request. (More about that later).

So we come onto our own passage today: SIN, HELL, Danger…

My friends, Jesus is again teaching His own Disciples about: Strife, Rivalry, amongst themselves, He’s not going to be with them forever, so He must get this point home and into their heads in the most serious and pointed way he can… So Jesus warns them of the consequences of this kind of SIN: It’s going to be HELL for you… Unless…. Unless you CUT IT OUT of your life.

Mark 9:42-50 (NIV)
42 “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.
43  If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
44
45  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.
46
47  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,
48  where ” ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’
49  Everyone will be salted with fire.
50  “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

(Notice: The NIV leaves verses 44 and 46 blank).

Mark 9:42-50 (NKJV)
42  “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
43  If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched–
44  where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’
45  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched–
46  where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’
47  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire–
48  where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’
49  “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
50  Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

My friends:

“Their worm does not die”: The soul is eternal. Once you are born you will live forever in eternity: Either in Heaven or in Hell.

“The FIRE is NOT Quenched“: The fires of Hell are Eternal.

Some modern theologians are not happy with ETERNAL Punishment in Hell. They, again, believe that their “god” wouldn’t send anyone to hell forever. Perhaps if there is a Hell, then it will only be for a short time of purification. Then the prisoners in hell will be released into Heaven. Well, these ideas sound fine and tolerant and kind, but they are not true or ultimately loving. Because, people are not bothered about death, the love of life is diminished. If hell is not real, then there would be no point in Jesus dying upon the Cross. If there are no consequences for sin, if hell is not real, then Jesus Father must be very cruel indeed… However, if hell is real, and Jesus did die so we could be set free from sin, then God is the most loving being… He is! Hell is real! Jesus did die for the sins of the whole world. However!

That’s not what Jesus thought or taught though: Jesus is God and He clearly warns of the dangers of being thrown into hell. For Jesus, once you are in Hell, there’s no escape, there’s no way out of hell. Hell is forever.

Again Jesus warns us whom we should fear:

Luke 12:4-5 (NIV)
4  “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
5  But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

The soul is eternal, once you are born into this world, your soul lives on forever. There are two places we will go when we die; one is to be with the Lord forever in Paradise, Heaven. The other is eternal Hell and tormented by Satan.

The reason we’ll get into Heaven: Not because we’re good or have done enough good. Why? Because just ONE sin will be enough to keep us locked up in Hell forever. The only reason anyone will ever end up in Heaven is if they’ve Trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour: Having had their sins removed by His death upon the Cross.

The reason we’ll get into Hell: If we die in our sins. We’ll be carrying our sins with us, and the weight of our sins will pull us all the way into Hell forever.

Luke 12:4-5 (NIV)
4  “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
5  But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

To those who say, “It’s not loving to talk about Hell” I think Jesus would say, “It’s not loving to not warn people of the Danger of Hell”…

We’d all agree that Jesus was the most loving person who ever walked the earth; yet Jesus had very strong words for His own followers, warning His own Disciples of the Dangers of Hell: Causing one of these little ones, who believe in me, to sin… You’d be better off having a large mill-stone tied around your neck and be cast into the sea, than to face God having caused someone to sin.

Notice the parts of the body Jesus focused upon:

  • Hand:
  • Feet:
  • Eye:

When I preached this yesterday, I pretended to blame my hand for causing me to sin, “You silly hand, why did you make me do that? It’s all your fault hand, you made me do it” No! We can’t blame our hands, that is not what Jesus is saying … He was using a kind of Jewish humour, but the POINT was: Sin is very serious indeed. It will take you all the way to Hell. (I did the same for my feet and eyes)…

Oh how we need to stop blaming other things for the sins we commit; it’s not our environment, our upbringing, our genes, it’s us, it’s me who sins. I do it when I give into temptation, when I’m not being self-controlled, when I’m influenced by Satan or demons. We’re tempted to sin when we give into our desires.

All sin is rebellion against God: It’s going against our conscience: It’s breaking at least one of God’s Ten Commandments. Sin stains our souls and that stain cannot be removed by trying to be good.

Fire & Salt:

Jesus said, at the end of this message:

Mark 9:49-50 (NKJV)
49  “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
50  Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

You will experience the fire: Fire is a form of purification: Even though you will go to Heaven if you’ve believed in Jesus and trusted Him as Lord and Saviour: You will experience a judgement:(The Believers Judgement 2 Corinthians 5:10) It will be like one escaping through the flames.

Note: This is not the same judgement as unbelievers: We who’ve trusted in Jesus, will not be judged like that. We have already passed from death (Hell) to life (Heaven). Our place in Heaven is secure, but we will be rewarded for the good we have done and purified from any remaining, un-confessed sin. John 3:13-21.

You will be singed (scorched with fire): the amount you will be singed will be determined by how much sin you are carrying since you came to know Jesus Christ as Lord.

Keep Short Accounts With God:

You must repent of sin right now: you don’t know if you are going to die tomorrow. I don’t want to see lots of people that I know and love, in Heaven with singe marks all over their souls.

When you repent, you will once again be on fire with love for the LORD. It makes me cry so much when I think of all those lovely Christian brothers and sisters who’s lives have been overtaken by sin. Yes they will probably be saved, if they are truly born again of the Holy Spirit, but Jesus didn’t die just to forgive us our sins, He also wants us to experience the abundant life now. You will never experience the fullness of the abundant life as long as you are hanging onto your sinful choices.

You can’t serve God and serve your pleasures: you will hate the one and love the other.

So my friends, get right with Jesus, repent and trust Him again. Turn from sin in your life and return to the LORD.

What happens when SALT looses it’s ability to savour?

I told the story of a trip to Southend on Sea: How I walked up and down the seafront with Julie. The smell of salt in the air only enhanced the smell of the fish-n-chips cooking. When someone walked past carrying fish-n-chips in a paper bag and it smelled strongly of vinegar… I just had to have some 🙂

The man asked me, “Do you want salt and vinegar?” It was a strange question to me, I couldn’t imagine eating fish-n-chips without salt and vinegar… “Oh yes please, lots of salt and vinegar”… However, when I put one of those chips into my mouth, it was bland, no salty taste… I put another in, the same thing. I went back and asked for more salt… Nothing… The salt had lost its ability to savour… I’d never experienced that before… Salt that wasn’t salty…. That’s what we’re like when we purposefully walk away from Jesus and choose to live in sin.

“Have SALT in yourselves”: AND “be a peace with each other”… Jesus didn’t want His followers falling out. He didn’t want us to be in competition with each other… He wants LOVE. He wants UNITY…

How’s your unity and love for your brothers and sisters in Christ?

Have an AWESOME week with Jesus Christ.

  • I don’t want to see any of my friends with a large millstone around their necks and struggling in the deep sea.
  • I don’t want to see you with no hand, feet or eye.
  • I don’t want to see you in Heaven with singe marks on your soul.
  • I don’t want to see you falling out and falling over each other.

Oh my friends, let us get closer to Jesus today. Admit our need for His forgiveness and walk with Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Finally, believe in Hell: It will give you a wake-up-call. It will give you a desire to see others being saved by Jesus. It will enable you to live a life of freedom in Christ Jesus. Hell is real, Jesus believed it, taught about it’s reality and warned His closest and most dearly loved followers about it.

Quotes: In a world of psychic hotlines, horoscopes, Wicca, and alternative spirituality, Christians must be able to share their beliefs effectively. They must proclaim clearly, consistently, gently, and lovingly, the possibility of heaven and the warnings of hell.

Apologist Peter Kreeft addressed the fact that ignorance or denial of the biblical teachings about hell comes often from within the church. “Of all the doctrines of Christianity, hell is probably the most difficult to defend, the most burdensome to believe, and the first to be abandoned.” P. Kreeft and R. K. Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1994), 282.

 

They ALL Need Jesus

They ALL Need Jesus. He's calling all people to himself

Daily Spirit & Word: 747: They ALL Need Jesus.

Doing the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus.

Read to the End Today, there’s a funny story to encourage you.

Good morning my friends, do you remember me telling you about Emma? She became a follower of Jesus last Tuesday, got baptised on Sunday and came out on the streets last night to share the Gospel with us. Emma admits she doesn’t know a lot, but is filled with the desire to lead others to Jesus to experience His promise of what she has received.

When you get to Heaven Jesus is not going to ask if you attended church, worshipped regularly, prayed every day or read your Bible, He’s going to hold you to account for your obedience to His teachings. Emma doesn’t know much, but she knows enough to know that Jesus wants us to bring everyone to Him and last night, fearful, trembling and unsure, she began to really walk in that obedience. You should have seen her face when she came back, she was beaming.

What was great about last night? There was a wonderful TEAM spirit, we split into twos and one group of three. Some went up-town, others went down-town. We’ve been praying slightly differently as I shared a few weeks ago. We’re not asking God to come with us, because we KNOW Jesus is with us, we just thank Him for His PROMISES that when we go in obedience to His Commands that He’ll be with us. We’re not asking for the POWER of the Holy Spirit as much as thanking Him for His PROMISE to empower us and equip us. Oh yes we cry out for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of those He’s pulling to Jesus and to lead us to the ones He’s already been tugging at their hearts.

Beverley and I were paired together. The first man Bev and I bumped into, David, it was strange, because he said a few times, “This is deep, I don’t know why I’m pouring my heart out to you, I feel like you are my counsellors”. But we knew, because we’d been praying the LORD would be drawing them.   He said, “I never share this with anyone, but I feel I want to with you” He told us about how he was a bad man, was into trouble all the time, got into fights etc, but when his baby came, he knew his life must change, but it didn’t. Then his baby died at 18 months old. His precious baby’s death broke his heart and David began to changed his ways, it was a wake up call. I said, “David, God’s calling you to himself”. You see, David was already humble, he knew he’d sinned against God, but didn’t know about God’s offer of New Life”…

We had a few short conversations with some other folks, but then we got chatting with another young man, this time he told us; “I used to go to church, got baptised as a baby, attended Sunday School, went to a Church School and got confirmed, but it meant nothing to me”… I said, “Do you think you are good enough to get into Heaven when you die?”… He said, “I hope so”. He believed in Heaven, God and Sin and Hell. We began to go through the Commandments and the surprise on his face was evident, he said, “That means no one is good enough to get into Heaven, because we’ve all fallen short of God’s holy standard”. WOWzer! He got it, but still I pushed his understanding a bit more. “Do you know what God has done so that nobody needs to end up in Hell?” He said, “Yes, Jesus, He died upon the Cross to save us from our sins”… I said, “How do you get that forgiveness?” He said “Ask God to forgive you” I said, “Partially, but the Bible tells us we must; Believe that Jesus died for our own sins, those nails being hammered into his hands were for our lies, theft, lust and hatred of others, then we must repent of those sins and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour”. He said, “That makes sense”… I shared what it means to actually trust in Jesus, i.e. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute would you? No you’d put the parachute on, it’s the same with Jesus, just believing that He can save you is not enough, you’ve got to actually trust in Him and receive Him by faith. I gave him my calling care, and we’re going to meet up for a coffee in Costa (or somewhere 🙂 ) to talk about it a bit more about Jesus.

Ben and Judy have opened my eyes to see that just sharing the Gospel of making Converts is not enough: Jesus didn’t call us to make ‘converts’ but to grow Disciples, followers of Jesus and to see that people begin to be obedient to what they know, as soon as possible after being converted.

But long before Ben and Judy came, the LORD had already been working on my own heart about this, because we’ve been preaching through the Gospel of Mark. I’d already seen that Jesus called people, demonstrated the Kingdom and then sent them out, almost immediately after calling them to follow himself, then when they came back, they were amazed that when they used Jesus’ name, even the Demons submitted to them. However, this surprised me, listen to what Jesus said to them (read it out loud my friends).

Luke 10:1-24 (NIV)
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
2  He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
3  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
4  Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5  “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’
6  If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
7  Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8  “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.
9  Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’
10  But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,
11  ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’
12  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13  “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14  But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
15  And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
16  “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17  The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18  He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
20  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21  At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
22  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no-one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23  Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
24  For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Can you see now why we encouraged Emma to come out with us last night?

Emma is not ‘wise or learned’ she was a very recent convert, much like the 72 that Jesus sent out above, but they’d seen enough, they knew enough and they went out in obedience and returned with great JOY. Why?

  • Because all the things that Jesus had told them were TRUE (Jesus only ever spoke the TRUTH, Jesus is “The way, and the Truth and the Life” John 14:6)
  • Because they’d seen how the KINGDOM of God was near when they shared the Good News about the Kingdom. We’ll see that too, but only when we’re obedient and begin to share the Kingdom, the Good News of Jesus.
  • Because “even the demons submit to us in your name”… They’d seen the battle head-on and the power of the Kingdom to subdue the demonic. You’ll see that too, but only when you go out in obedience to Jesus Kingdom Commands.

We too can rejoice, but we should rejoice much more, that because we’ve trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, that our names are now written in Heaven.

My friends, Jesus is working in Emma’s life, She’s seeing the Kingdom Power and she’s only one week old as a Christian. God is revealing it to babes in Christ. It’s not about learning more or knowing more about God, the Bible etc, it’s about being obedient to what we know already. That’s what’s been challenging me lately, because I know so much, but I’ve discovered just how disobedient I’ve been to what I know. Let’s get more of a desire to do what Jesus told us to do, to learn His teachings and to do them.

Bev and I paired up last night, and she and I saw the Kingdom Power to bring conviction, encouragement and enlighten people in the darkness. It’s when we share what we know, that we’ll see the Kingdom Come. Let’s get going and see a mighty move of God in London, the UK, the world. Amen! “Thy Kingdom Come”….Amen.

Luke 10:23-24 (NIV) Jesus said “…. Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Whoever has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church, let them hear. Amen.

Have an awesome day,

Don.

P.S. I must share a funny story: On Tuesday we had a Pastor’s Meeting in West Norwood: Five of us met to discuss the vision for an event in St Luke’s Gardens on Saturday 16th July, we’ve been led to call it; “Oh Happy Day”. But after the meeting I was walking down the road with Dennis, the Pastor of World Wide Mission Fellowship. He was on the phone to a young man. When he finished his call he said to me, “I’m meeting a young man in a minute, will you ask him “How is Jesus the Lord?”” I said, “OK Dennis, I will” but just at that moment I spotted a huge man, he’s massive, built like an OX, I said, “Dennis, you say the same thing to him”… Dennis just looked at me…he said, “No, you share with that one” I did, I said, “Do you know Jesus is Lord?” … The huge man was Dave from our fellowship, Dennis and I laughed and laughed. You see, it’s wanting to be obedient, that’s what counts. Afterwards, we met the young man, his name was David too. Is the LORD calling the DAVIDS in our Community?

Are you prepared to SHARE Jesus with ANYONE? Don’t go by appearances, don’t go by what a person looks like, because the LORD doesn’t look at the outward appearances, He looks at the HEART. He’s calling ALL people to himself. If we just looked at the outward appearance we’d miss the people the Lord wants us to talk with. If someone is dressed in a smart suit, looks nice and clean, they need Jesus just as much as a man dressed in shabby clothing. All have fallen short of God’s Holy Standards. All need to come to repentance. All need a Saviour from Hell. No my friends, don’t look at how big they are or how small they are, how smart or intelligent a person appears to be, God’s calling EVERYONE into His Kingdom family, they all need Jesus.

You can do the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus: Peter walked on water with Jesus.

Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do NOTHING”… i.e. everything we try and do, that doesn’t involve Jesus, is NOTHING.

However, Jesus also said, “You will do even greater things”…. Awesome!

P.P.S. Please pray for our West Norwood: “Oh Happy Day”, it’s coming on Saturday 16th July in St Luke’s Gardens. An event for the whole family, Christians united together to share the GREAT things God is doing in this world today. There will be Bands, Choirs, Dancing, Singing, Stalls with Photography, Face-Painting, Exercise (for every ability Kingdom Stretch), Food stalls, Books, Booklets, etc etc… Come to “Oh Happy Day” St Luke’s Gardens, West Norwood. Saturday 16th July. EVERYONE is WELCOME.

 

Demon Possession and Doorways of Danger

Mark 5 Demon Possession and The Doorways of Danger

Daily Spirit & Word: 705:

The Demon Possessed Man.

And

The Doorways of Danger.

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.

Introduction:

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.

Historically:

  • – 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.

 ♥V An 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.

PRAYER:

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.

Don.

What is the Second Death?

The Lake of Fire and The Second Death

Daily Spirit & Word: 699: The Fear Of Death.

The Second Death = The Lake of Fire.

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.

Rotten Chicken:

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.

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honour your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. 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.

Trust in Jesus Christ today.

Don.

 

The Importance of Persevering.

Sharing the Good News with people on the streets of London

Daily Spirit & Word, 627: The Importance Of Persevering:

When Witnessing To Professing Believers In Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Good morning my friends, it was with great joy we returned from the battle for souls, sharing the Awesome Good News of Jesus on the Streets of West Norwood last night. It is a battle and each encounter leaves you feeling strength has been sapped from you. Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood,  Ephesians 6:11-12 “Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

But why were we so filled with the joy of the Lord?

Because we won battle after battle last night.

But before we went out, we really took to heart what God’s Word tells us about our need for Jesus and for His strength and power and presence to be in us.  Zechariah 4:6 “… ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”

Out Of The Darkness: Into The Light:

You know something my friends, sharing Jesus enlightens not only those we share with, but also we ourselves. We come face to face with our motives for witnessing, our heart’s desires and our own shortcomings and limitations. It reminds us afresh just how much we need Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in everything we attempt for His glory. We go out in His strength and we come back rejoicing. However, if we were to go in our own strength, in the strength of the flesh, we would have returned with our battle banners trailing in the dirt and our armour stained with blood.

We must go out recognizing our own weakness and lack of ability to do anything unless the Lord goes out with us.

Charles Spurgeon said, “He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love.” From Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional for 4th November.

Secondly, we were witnesses of what the Lord was doing in the lives of those we shared with. How He had already prepared people’s hearts for the Gospel last night.

The Gospel really does open the eyes of the blind: for many we met last night professed a belief in Jesus almost immediately, but as we continued to witness, through discernment and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we could see quite clearly they’d gotten into ‘religion’ without coming to a true faith and trust in Jesus Christ. So many had attended church, but had stopped short of going the whole way to trust in Jesus for themselves. However, initially, they were so blinded by their own self-assurance that they didn’t seem concerned at all about their own eternal welfare, thankfully the LORD was and He was ready to open their eyes.

As we chatted, we asked this simple question: “Do you think God will allow you into Heaven?” and to some others, “Have you been good enough to get into Heaven?” to which their answers were a resounding “Oh yes!”. When we asked “Why?” We then knew instantly they were not trusting in Jesus for Salvation, but themselves and their own goodness. More than that, they had a standard of goodness that was far below that of the Lord Jesus Christ. Most thought that their own good deeds would far outweigh their bad deeds and that God would look at their whole life and see they were more good than bad. Sadly we could see they had been trusting in a false Gospel, which gave them a false assurance.

It’s a common misconception amongst church going people today, that if they “try their best”, then God will just wave them through into glory in Heaven. How often have we heard on the streets, “I try my best to be good”… Of course we should try our best, but we should never rely or depend upon our own goodness to get into Heaven.

My friends, Satan loves it when people are kept in the darkness about their spiritual condition before a holy and righteous God. Yes God is loving and forgiving, but He’s also just and in His righteousness, He must punish every single sin. Sin has it’s wages and God is so faithful that He must give sin it’s due. If anyone was to appear before Him, trusting in their own goodness, their good works, He would then simply show them their SIN and turn them away from Heaven. (No SINNER can enter into the Kingdom of God).

Helping People SEE their NEED for Jesus:

So Through The Right Use Of God’s LAW: We, with the inward working of the Holy Spirit, bringing the Conscience back to life, in those we witnessed to, we used God’s LAW (Revealed in the Ten Commandments) to show a person their NEED for Jesus.

Romans 3:9-20
9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. (We’ve ALL sinned and fallen short of God’s Glory).
10  As it is written: “There is no-one righteous, not even one; (Nobody is good enough in themselves for Heaven).
11  there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God. (We can only come to God if He pulls us to Himself).
12  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no-one who does good, not even one.” (Even the best things that we do are tainted by some kinds of selfish motives).
13  “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practise deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14  “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15  “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16  ruin and misery mark their ways,
17  and the way of peace they do not know.”
18  “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (those who are “under the law” are anybody who is yet to trust in Jesus Christ).
20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

It’s through the LAW of God: The Ten Commandments, that we become CONSCIOUS of our SIN.

i.e. Our Conscience comes back to life again and we can see sin for what it is: rebellion against God.

Let’s just look and see if that’s true?

  • What do you call a person who commits murder? “A Murderer”. How many murders do they need to commit in their lifetime to become a murderer? Just ONE. It’s the same with every other Commandment of God.
  • If we’ve told just one lie in our life, then we’re liars in God’s sight. He’s declared, “No liar can enter into the Kingdom of God”.
  • If we’ve stolen something, no matter what it’s value in the eyes of the world or who we’ve stolen it from, just one act of stealing makes us into a thief. God has declared, “No thief can enter into the Kingdom of God”…
  • Just one act of disobedience by Adam and Eve brought God’s curse of DEATH upon the whole human race and banishment from the Garden of Eden forever.
  • That’s just a few of the commandments: God sees the sin of lust as adultery. Saying “OMG” as Blasphemy. And we all know that no adulterer or blasphemer can enter into God’s Kingdom don’t we?

Every truly born again believer knows that in and of themselves, they are not good enough for Heaven and never will be or can be. Why? Because a converted and Holy Spirit filled person knows that even ONE SIN will keep a person out of Heaven for all eternity. We know that to enter the Kingdom of God we must be cleansed from all sin and made pure, holy and righteous by Jesus. No amount of “trying our best” can remove past sins.

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

It’s like getting a Tattoo: it’s the indelible ink-stain of sin that cannot be removed by human actions.

Most People: (Who don’t know the LORD) Initially object that this is too black and white. They state, my god is not like that. I believe in a god that forgives sins. (So do we, but there is only ONE WAY that those sins can be forgiven, and it’s NOT by trying harder to be good enough).

However, what they are actually doing is putting their faith in a god of their own making, the Bible calls that idolatry. It breaks the second of God’s Commandments “Not to make an Idol and bow down to it”. Their idol is a god that just winks at sin like an unjust earthly judge who can be bribed. No my friends, God is much more Holy than everybody realises. The God who inspired Holy Scripture said, “NO SINNER CAN ENTER INTO GOD’S KINGDOM” He cannot wink at sin and just allow people into Heaven with sin still upon their souls. God’s punishment for sin is banishment from Heaven to a place that He’s reserved for the Devil and his Demons.

The Good News:

Thankfully, once a person is fully aware of their spiritual condition, they are in the right place then to receive the Good News of Jesus Christ.

It’s not true, that everyone is aware of how much they’ve sinned. We know that from weekly experience of sharing the Gospel on the streets in London. In fact nearly everyone we meet thinks that deep down they are ‘good enough’ for heaven. It’s only when we take the time with them to gently show them God’s standards of holiness through His Commandments. Those Commands really are like a Schoolmaster who teaches us our need for Jesus cleansing and forgiveness.

Galatians 3:24 (KJV) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

They are then ready for the Good News of Jesus: That God doesn’t want to punish anyone, but that everyone might be saved by Jesus Christ. It’s why Jesus came into the world: God wants everyone to come to REPENTANCE.

1 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”

HOW DOES JESUS SAVE SINNERS?

Jesus took the place of every sinner upon the cross. He died in our place. His death sets us free from God’s wrath and anger against sin.

Romans 5:8-9 (Two of my favourite verses in the Bible).
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9  Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Jesus can save anyone from their sins and deliver them from God’s wrath and anger against sin.

But we must do something to be SET FREE from God’s wrath against our sins.

We must TRUST in Christ’s Death & Turn to Him in Repentance and Faith to Receive Him as Lord.

It like coming to this understanding: “Father God, I know now that I’ve broken Your Commandments and I’ve sinned against You, I’m a sinner in Your sight and deserve Your just punishment for my rebellion. I also know that Jesus Christ, Your One and Only Son, died in my place upon the Cross. I now turn to You Lord Jesus and ask for your forgiveness. I confess my sins to You Lord (Name them) and I turn away from all sin in my life (repentance). I receive You Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. Please Lord, come into my life and give me the promised New Life. Let me be born again by Your Holy Spirit and become a child of God so that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He is my Heavenly Father. Amen”

A person must see and understand: (Even a ‘churchgoing’ or ‘religious’ person).

  • A) That they’ve sinned against God.
    B) That they need His forgiveness to enter into Heaven.
    C) No amount of ‘good’ works or deeds can bring that forgiveness.
    D) That Jesus Christ has died upon the Cross in their place, taking their punishment and paying the price of sin.
    E) That they need to turn to Jesus in repentance and faith and receive Him as Lord.
    F) When they do all that, then God will grant them New Life in Christ, New Birth of the Holy Spirit and Eternal Life.
    G) They’ll also be members of God’s Family forever. He will be their Heavenly Father. They will be His children. Saints forever.
    H) Begin to live the new life in Christ: Pray, Worship, Read God’s Word, Gather with Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others who don’t yet know Him as Lord.
    I) The Holy Spirit: Also will give them Heavenly gifts to enable them to serve God as He directs them.

A Christian is SET FREE from Sin:

Romans 6:22 “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”

When you are set free from sin’s ability to control your life, you are set free in Jesus to be like Him: Holy, and this leads to an assurance that you have received the gift of eternal life.

A Christian is DEAD to SIN:

Romans 6:2 “By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

Conclusion:

Last night was so awesome, no wonder we returned with banners flying high (not literally), but full of the JOY of the LORD.

We met a man and a woman last night, who I initially thought were father and daughter, but they’d just, at that moment, met each other after not seeing each other for over 20 years. It was amazing! The woman and man were so thankful after our conversation about the Lord.

She had been trusting in her own way to Heaven. He was a lapsed Roman Catholic who never attended church, but believed he was going to Heaven because he’d been baptised as a baby. We took the time to go through the Commandments with them and what an amazing, eye opening time it was. They both could see and understand their need for Jesus Christ. The woman even after that said, “I’ve got my own beliefs and I’m going to try my best in my own way”. Sherrie said to her “Can I just say something, I want to say this gently and respectfully, but you are trusting in your own way instead of God’s way.” She simply nodded in agreement. She responded, “I don’t think that our meeting up tonight was an accident” and continued to explain they’d not seen each other for over 20 years and how she knew she’d never be able to forget what God had just spoken to her. With warm handshakes they both thanked us so much for taking the time to stop and talk with them about the Lord. Awesome!

Share the Good News, go out in your weakness and He will fill you with His strength and you will return with banners flying high. Who knows, you may even reap some of the seeds that have been sown in their hearts by the Divine hand of Glory.

Don.

BTW: In the past when someone said, “I’m a believer” I would just say, “Praise the Lord”. Now, sometimes, the Lord prompts me to just check to see who it is they are actually trusting in; Jesus or themselves for their Salvation. More often than not these days, the LORD opens up the can of worms, empties them out and fills them with His own LOVE. Because there is ONLY ONE WAY to get into Heaven and that’s through what Jesus Christ has done to make us pure and ready for it.

BTW: Every truly born again believer will not be annoyed that you want to check they are trusting in Jesus, they’ll thank you for it, pray for you and encourage you on your way. Don’t forget to encourage them too, to share Jesus regularly.

 

 

The Christian’s Enemies: The Devil (Satan).

fighting against your enemies, the Devil, Satan, Christian

Daily Spirit & Word 569:

The Christian’s Enemies: The Devil (Satan).

Good morning my friends, we’ve been looking at our three main enemies in the Spiritual life; remember an enemy wants to see you defeated, downhearted and destroyed; most certainly that is true of our arch-enemy Satan. Jesus tells us this about him;

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. ”

Satan even had the audacity to try and tempt the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, so don’t be surprised when you are feeling the pressure of ‘spiritual’ oppression. After trying to tempt Jesus in the wilderness and failing, listen to what God’s Word tells us that he did next:

Luke 4:13  “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”

As we all know Satan plays dirty and he’s waiting for just the right moment in your own life too, that opportune moment to come and make his move. He’s the ultimate opportunist. Just as we are commanded by the LORD to make the most of every opportunity, so Satan will be waiting for the right opportunity in your life to come. However, with the Lord’s help, armour and power and presence, we can stay one step ahead of him: To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed.

1) He’ll Strike When You Are Feeling Weak & Fatigued:

When you are drained of energy and very tired from your life’s labours or even illness. That’s when Satan comes along and make the most of his opportunities.

You see sometimes when we’re weak, we begin to question if God really loves us as His child. When we’ve not got enough money, when we’ve run out of food and need to feed the kids, when we’ve got more month at the end of the money, when we’re realy tired and have no energy even to think straight. Satan strikes and will tempt you in all sorts of ways, but ultimately he’s out to destroy you.

It was after 40 days in the wilderness when Jesus was at His weakest moments in life that Satan made the most of that opportunity and tempted Jesus in EVERY way.

When things aren’t going right in your marriage; He’ll provide an opportunity: A way to get out of the relationship, A new prospective mate; a good looking man or woman, who’s ultra nice to you, who’s going to meet your every need and ‘really’ love and appreciate you. NO my friends it’s a TRAP and a FALSE trail. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

Elijah felt the attack even after a great victory over the Prophets of Baal.

2) He’ll Strike When You Are Feeling STRONG and SUCCESSFUL:

Whenever we’re feeling strong there comes a time when we’re also fooled into thinking we’re ‘Spiritually’ impregnable too. God has warned us that we are NOT immune from Satan’s attacks;

1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Even the most morally strong and spiritual person will be a target for Satan’s devices, remember what happened to King David with Bathsheba and King Solomon with the Queen of Sheba. (must be something about that name Sheba)… They were both at the height of their success as Kings in Israel, yet something happens when we’re successful, we begin to think we’re immune from attack or impregnable, but in reality we’re only one step away from a tumble. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to BE Self-Controlled and BE Alert… Watch out my strong friends.

Someone said to me the other day, the Bible is full of mistakes, it most certainly is my friends, but as our text tells us, they were written down as a WARNING and an EXAMPLE of how we must be wary;

1 Corinthians 10:11-12  “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfilment of the ages has come. 12  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”

“Satan hates it when he sees, the weakest Christian upon his knees”

When you are on your knees to the LORD, you’ll be able to STAND against any attacks of the Evil one.

3) He’ll Strike When You Go Against God’s Commands:

There’s a wonderful account in 1 Chronicles 18 when the Kings of Israel and Judah are allied and want to go to war. They ask the Prophets of the Lord and they all tell them to “Go to war and they’ll win the battle”, but just one Prophet tells the Kings something they just don’t want to hear, “Don’t Go To War: If you do you’ll die”… Guess what, they chose to go against this one man and sided with the crowd who were telling them what they wanted to hear.

“THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM”

When you’re fleshly desires get hold of you my friends, you’ll be tempted to go against God’s commandments, you’ll be listening to flattering words or words and advice that will tell you what you are doing is OK, but don’t be fooled, listen to your Conscience.

In that account in 1 Chronicles 18 a lying spirit (Satanic Demon) had entered into all the Prophets who were telling the kings what they wanted to hear, but one Godly Prophet stood out and was prepared to die for God to tell them the truth. (Read 1 Chronicles 18 you’ll be amazed).

KNEEL to the LORD and You Can STAND Against Anything

4) Satan will strike when you least expect it:

So be “EVER-READY” like the battery 🙂 Always charged and prepared.

Twice in Ephesians we’re encouraged to “PUT ON THE FULL ARMOUR OF THE LORD”…

Ephesians 6:11  “Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Ephesians 6:13  “Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

NOTE: When God tells us TWICE to do something, He probably thinks it’s a BRILLIANT idea or an ESSENTIAL thing for us to be doing;

So with that in mind my friends, I’m thinking we’ll try and get prepared, but there are so many avenues of opportunity that Satan will take, it’s best that we’re completely covered in all the ARMOUR that the LORD has provided; then we’ll be standing in His might power.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (The Gospel Armour).

10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Pray for each other, pray for me too 🙂

  • The Belt Of Truth: 
  • The Breastplate of Righteousness:
  • The Gospel Shoes:
  • The Shield of Faith:
  • The Helmet of Salvation:
  • The Sword of the Spirit:

All of these elements will help you to “BE STRONG IN THE LORD & IN HIS MIGHTY POWER”

Your battle is NOT against flesh and blood:

“BE STRONG IN THE LORD & IN HIS MIGHTY POWER

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

The Christian’s Enemies: The World (Worldly system and authorities in rebellion against God’s commands), the Flesh (inner-self against the Spirit) and the Devil and all his demonic forces in the heavenly realms.

You can do it, when you are walking in the Spirit and wearing the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD in the Battle.

Keep fighting my friends, don’t give up, because God really does LOVE you with an everlasting LOVE.

Don.

 

The Prince Is Living Like A Pauper

Living as a Prince in God's Kingdom

Daily Spirit & Word 557:

The Prince Is Living Like A Pauper.

Good morning my friends, Last night’s Discipleship Meeting was truly AWESOME. We had a few more people and so reviewed the first week’s teaching, quickly 🙂 Then we discovered all the promises and privileges we have as Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. One of those privileges is that we are heirs and co-heirs with Christ of the Kingdom. That means we are ROYALTY. Every truly born again Christian is a Prince or a Princess in God’s Kingdom Family, but why is it that so many of us living like paupers?

I watched a News snippet the other day of Prince William, who’d just become an Air Ambulance Pilot. When asked why he was doing it, he said, “It’s to keep my feet on the ground” Hello, am I the only one who knows helicopters don’t keep your feet on the ground 🙂 LOL. However, when questioned further William said, “I just want to stay grounded, rooted and let people know that I’m just like them, to stay in touch with reality, just like an ordinary good guy, doing some good in society”.

We can all relate with that wonderful sentiment can’t we? However, we’ve also heard the saying over and over again, “too Heavenly minded to be any earthly use”. Some Christians have actually believed that foolishness, so much so that they think they should be soaked in worldly things so that they’ll be ‘earthly’ useful. Prince William wants to be of some value, to do good and to not just live like a Royal Prince in a Palace or doing appearances and waving at the crowds. He wants to be seen as an ordinary person as well. But Christians, just like Prince William are NOT ordinary.

So Christians do the same, they’ll stop going to so many prayer meetings, Bible study groups, fellowship groups; why? because they don’t want to appear too heavenly minded to be any earthly use. They don’t want to appear “holier than thou”. However, in the process they’re short-changing themselves and living far below God’s call and purposes.

They are God’s Kingdom Princes and Princesses, but they are beginning to live like paupers. 

We so easily forget this wonderful statement from God’s Word;

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Just as Prince William has been chosen by destiny to BE a Prince of the Royal Family. So you have been selected by God from all the other people upon the face of the earth to be His PEOPLE.

  • You ARE Chosen:
  • You ARE ROYAL:
  • You ARE PRIESTS:
  • You ARE HOLY:
  • You ARE Part of the Kingdom NATION (i.e. You’ve received a NEW NATIONALITY the moment you trusted Jesus).
  • You ARE Belonging to God. You are His and He is yours.

You ARE all these things for a PURPOSE:

“That you may declare the praises of HIM who called you out of darkness into HIS wonderful light”

So if we are all of the above as Disciples of Jesus Christ, then why on earth do we live as if we are ‘just like everybody else’? Why would we want to? Why do we do it? Why are God’s Princes and Princesses living as if they are paupers?

WAKE-UP-CALL:

There is a growing awakening amongst Christians today, a realisation that we are NOT living the way the the LORD wants us to really live. We’ve settled for way too little, we living far below His high calling, we’re only just glimpsing the prospect of what it (life) could be like if we just took God at His Word.

We can see it (the fullness of life) from time to time, when the BIG man of God comes to a meeting, and the POWER of God is present for a little while, two hours or so at a gathering, but when we get home, the POWER levels sink back down to ab-normal. I say ‘abnormal’ because that’s NOT what God wants, but what we’ve been suckered into accepting. We’ve been deceived into believing that the KINGDOM POWER is only for a few, very special, highly qualified, gifted individuals, but not for ‘ordinary’ poor little me. So God’s Royal Family are beginning to live as if they are just like everybody else, ordinary.

YOU ARE NOT ORDINARY.

You ARE Royalty.

Don’t you know that the SAME power that raised Christ from the dead is IN YOU?

Don’t you realise that You a filled to overflowing with the SAME Holy Spirit that indwelt Christ at His baptism, the SAME Holy Spirit that was with Jesus in the Wilderness, The SAME Holy Spirit that empowered the Lord Jesus Christ whilst He went around teaching and performing miracles. Yes my friends, you are FILLED to overflowing with the very SAME Holy Spirit. It’s GOD Himself LIVING in you.

So now you can live in that POWER and BE the Royal Prince and Princesses that He’s called you to be.

What does it take to see that POWER at work?

It takes obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Listening to His promptings.

When you see someone, anyone, sick or in some kind of need, you’ll be just like Jesus, doing what the Father commanded Him to do, being obedient and reaching out to them in that same Spirit Power, touching, healing. The resources you’ve been given will be used for Kingdom Family business. Seek FIRST the Kingdom. You’ll LIVE for the Kingdom. The Kingdom will be your TOP priority in LIFE. Nothing else! Nothing will come in the way between you and living for God’s Kingdom: Nothing.

Now all you have to do is take a step of faith and try it. Pray for people, don’t give up, lay hands on people, see the Kingdom Power at work. Get together with other Christians and TRY it. Be filled with God’s Holy Spirit, Repent of ALL known sin in your life. Jesus wants to use you powerfully as a Prince and Princess in His Kingdom, so now you must start and continue to Live like Royalty that you are.

The Discipleship Meetings: Are not just to give us head-knowledge, but to transform our lives to that we can be the Disciples that Jesus called us to be when we started following Him. Have you been Discipled properly?

Jesus didn’t call us to go out and “Make Converts”: In the Great Commission He called us to go and Make Disciples and to TEACH people to live in obedience to the Commands and Teachings of the Messiah. That means actually living and doing what we see the new followers doing in the book of Acts: Going out, preaching the Good News, Healing the Sick, Casting out Demons, teaching others how to follow Jesus too and saving people from God’s Judgement to come. God wants you to LIVE like Princes and Princesses in His Kingdom. He’s made available ALL the resources that you need to be able to do what Jesus did. It’s happening today. Many Christians are waking-up to the reality of God’s call, will you be one of them?

Stay blessed, filled and empowered by God’s Holy Spirit. Avail yourself of everything He’s provided and do it today.

I’m praying: That every Christian reading this will be so full of God’s Spirit that they’ll leak His love and power all over the place, into the lives of those around them and that many will be touched and Saved.

Don.

Watch This Video Today: A Reiki Master becomes a follower of Jesus Christ.

 

The Light Overcomes The Darkness

Daily Spirit & Word, 487: The Light Overcomes The Darkness.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 2.

 

Good morning my friends, our first meeting of 40 Days With Jesus was last night and it was amazing. God was showing us through those who came and testified that there are indeed many different ways to come out of the darkness and into His marvellous light. Each of us shared our Spiritual journey and how we came to be where we are today. It was good because most admitted they knew about Jesus, but wanted to go a bit deeper with Him. This little course will enable anyone to do that and we’ll all experience new light in our lives by coming to the Lord on purpose.

Some shared their experiences of recent hardships and in coming to Jesus holding onto the hope that there really is some little chink of light at the end of the dark tunnel. The trials we go through can vary in degree of hardship and duration. They can vary in nature too; some shared last night about relational conflict (how we can forgive), some ill-health, some financial pressures. When we’re going through troubled times it can sometimes seem that there’s no hope at all. Just recently we’ve met a few people who’ve actually contemplated suicide.

 John 20:1 “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.”

When John tells us that Mary went to the tomb of Jesus on that first Sunday morning, there’s much more the the DARKNESS than the fact that it was just before dawn. He’s indicating that evil seemed to have triumphed, that darkness had overcome the light. However, even before Mary reaches the tomb, the LIGHT of the dawn had approached and the stone had already been rolled away from the tomb allowing the light to flood into the inner darkness.

In John 20:1-18, that we read yesterday, I think I read it through about six times, but I’m going to be reading it every day this week, we seen in this portion of God’s Word an indication of a theme that’s woven throughout John’s Gospel: Light & Darkness. Darkness representing the kingdom of evil and Light representing the Kingdom of good.

Many movies have this theme running through them; Star Wars, Superman, Batman, X-Men, etc… Even the good old Westerns with the good and bad. I’ll never forget that Clint Eastwood introduced a third term “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” 🙂

In Star Wars the battle is the forces of good combating the forces of evil, represented by the Dark Side of the Force. So John’s Gospel is interwoven with this theme of LIGHT representing Good and God; and DARKNESS representing Evil and Satan.

Let’s just briefly take a look a how John does this:

In the beginning of his Gospel John introduces us to this theme immediately:

John 1:5 (NIV) “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

John 1:9 (NIV) “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”

We know from the context that the LIGHT is the LORD Jesus. Mary would have been devastated that the LIGHT that delivered her from the darkness of evil oppression and possession was now dead and gone. She’d witnessed his cruel death upon the cross and was grieving so much. Perhaps there was a deep-seated fear that now that Jesus was gone, she’d once again become prey to the darkness of evil and demons, that she’d be plunged into the darkness all over again.

Also in John’s Gospel we see the theme again, John 3:19-21 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

We see here some awesome truths concerning the darkness of evil and the brilliance of the pure light of God. Sin keeps us away from the LIGHT, because we’re afraid when we sin. Remember Adam running and hiding in the Garden of Eden when He first sinned against God. Sin will keep you away from God and plunge you into the deepest darkness.

John 8:12  When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

So when Mary arrived at the tomb it must have seemed to her that the DARK SIDE had been victorious; evil deeds, evil forces and evil people had seemingly triumphed over the light of the Lord Jesus. However, nothing could be further from the truth as Mary was about to experience when she finally met the risen Lord Jesus. Her darkness of night was about to explode with the brilliance of the first new day of the RESURRECTION of the Lord Jesus.

My friends, in coming to Jesus, we’re also brought from Darkness into His marvellous Light. We’ll experience a new hope within our being and like Mary our griefs and feelings of despair from our trials and tests will turn to the deepest joy. Jesus is with everyone who trust in Him until the end of the age. That’s HIS promise, let’s grab hold of it today and be encouraged by believing and trusting that these trials are momentary and soon we’ll be delivered from the darkness to triumphant light of God’s glory.

My friends, when Mary Magdalene reached the tomb of Jesus, all must have appeared darkness and gloom, but the LIGHT burst forth into her life when she met the risen Saviour. You can experience that same JOY today.

 Points to Ponder:

  • Can you think of moments in your own life when you were delivered from darkness into the light? What were the events leading up to this point? Take some time to thank God for His grace and mercy towards you during those times.
  • Are there any areas in your life where you know that you are still living in the darkness?
  • Are there any places in your life where the light is on but it’s dim? How would your life change if you began to walk fully in the light of Jesus in these areas?

 Prayer

Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Light of the world and I take hold of the promise that I never have to walk in the darkness when I am following You (John 8:12). Thank you for calling me out of the darkness into Your wonderful Light (1 Peter 2:9). I reject any lie that may try to convince me that my breakthrough is not possible or will not be long-lasting. Freedom from sin and darkness is mine through You Lord Jesus Christ. I know that Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my paths (Psalm 119:105). Lord Jesus, please direct my steps and show me how to walk in the light. Lead me into the freedom you won for me on the Cross and keep me there Lord. Amen.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 2 The Light Overcomes The Darkness.

Come back tomorrow for Day 3.

40 Days Home Page: Don’t forget you can watch the Video anytime you like during the week. I’ve watched it a few times now.