The Importance of Persevering.

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.