Friday, February 17, 2017

Get Closer

At the risk of sounding redundant; I shall repeat a portion of the ending of my last post, so that there is no break in thought. I stated: “If there ever was a time that the Christian believer should draw close to God; return to Bible based teachings; to put known sin out of his or her life and to seek the well-being of others, it is now.”

Four things: a) draw close to God; b) return to Bible-based teachings; c) put known sins out of their lives; and d) seek the well-being of others. These four things are top priority in the Christian’s life, during the time of the judgment, which is going on now; e) and if you’re not a Christian, now is the time to convert! So, okay five.

Therefore, let us take these items one at a time and explore them:

A.    Draw close to God! Why does one need to draw close to God? Not to mention, how does one draw close to God? What does that mean? Also, why is that so important, during this hour of judgment? We shall explore the particulars of this statement in the next couple of paragraphs.

We are told by the Apostle Paul – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” James 4:7-9.  Consequently, we have been bidden to draw close to God, and do a complete job of repenting. Why?

“… because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8 – The enemy of your soul is stalking you like a lion, just waiting for the opportunity to kill you. However, when you draw near to God, He sends His angels to build a fortress around you and keep you safe from the enemy’s over-powering attacks. Psalms 34:7

This is not to say that you won’t be attacked, but rather that you won’t fold, under the attack.

How does one draw nigh to God? You draw nigh/near to God, by submitting your will to His will; by allowing Him to tell you what to do, through His Word – the Bible – and then obeying it, through His strength.

What does it mean to draw close to God? To draw close to God means that you fall in love with Him. It means that you make His will and His way, your will and your way. It means that you begin to love Him more than your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings, your friends, or even yourself. You can learn to do this by reading about the life of Jesus in the four gospels listed in the Bible – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Why is it important to draw near to God during this judgment hour message? It is important to draw near to God during this judgment hour message, because God is deciding who will be saved eternally and who will not be saved. It is important because in order to be saved, you must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:7-9

Bottom line: You need to get close to God because He is your ONLY protection and your ONLY means of salvation. Additionally, He loves you unconditionally; to the point of exchanging His son’s life for yours!

To be continued…

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Decision Time

The angel messenger, who is depicted as flying in the midst of heaven with a loud voice, declares that this hour of judgment has already arrived! It is decision making time for God. He must decide, before He returns, who have proven true to His cause or not.

The children of God have been placed on trial, so that a decision concerning their eternal fate can be definite. How do I determine this? Again, let us go back to the source book – the Bible! Let us allow it to explain what that statement means.

1.     Revelation 22:12 – This scripture declares that when Jesus returns to gather the saved of all the earth, He will bring with Him, His reward of (i.e. salvation or death) for all humankind. This means that just like any judge, in a court of law, must hear the case before making a final decision of – yea or nay; so God is NOW hearing the cases of all those who will be saved. Their lawyer, Jesus, the High Priest (sanctuary language) is now interceding on their behalf.
2.     Hebrews 7:25 – Jesus is appearing before His Father, on behalf of all those who have come to Him confessing and forsaking their sins. When they come, He cleanses them and causes them to appear as though they had never done anything wrong. I John 1:9.
3.  In the book of Daniel, we are given the scene, when the judgment in heaven actually begins. Let us look at it together:

“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9-10

“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man (Jesus) came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed”. Daniel 7:13-14

As we can see, the judgment has already begun. Now remember that when the judgment actually began, it started at the “house of God”. Therefore, beginning with righteous Abel, who was killed by his wicked brother Cain, as told in Genesis 4:1-8, up until the last living saint has been settled, the judgment referenced in the verses will go on. Consequently, every person who has ever accepted Jesus is now being considered for salvation. Every person who has failed to accept Jesus, as their savior, does not have an intercessor to plead on their behalf. Therefore, when Jesus does come back, they will be lost; no salvation.

It is a serious affair, which is why I made this statement, in one of my earlier posts: “… If there ever was a time that the Christian believer should draw close to God; return to Bible based teachings; to put known sin out of his or her life and to seek the well-being of others, it is now.” 

Monday, February 13, 2017

The House of God

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6-7 

The judgment hour to which we are referring is critical to mankind, but more so to “professed Christians” than anyone else. Why? You might ask. Well, let us look and see what the Bible has to say about that.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? I Peter 4:17

First of all what or where is the house of God? Who on earth are included in that group? One of the first references to the house of God is found in Genesis 28, when Jacob awakens from a dream of hope given to him by God, after he had run away from his brother, Esau. 

And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, surely, the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, how dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. Genesis 28:16-20

Jacob had an encounter with the God of heaven, as he slept. He saw the angels of God going up and down on a ladder, indicating that there was communication between earth and heaven; there was a mediator of some kind that could intercede for him, for he had sinned against heaven, his father and his brother. He had lied and stolen his brother’s birthright and now he was terribly afraid.

Through the dream, God had assured him that he had heard his prayers of repentance and was willing to accept him back into His fold. He had given him that dream to show him how it would be done. Therefore, let me quickly explain how it works.

1.     The ladder represented Jesus – John 1:51
2.     The mediator is Jesus – I Timothy 2:5
3.     Whenever we sin, we must go to God in the name of Jesus – I John 1:9
4.     Jesus is the door to heaven – John 10:9
5.     There is no other way to go in – John 14:6

Consequently, any who accept Jesus as their savior, enters into a covenant relationship with Him; by believing on Him they become sons of God and members of God’s household (John 1:12) hence – the house of God, as referred to by Peter in I Peter 4:17.

Okay, keep coming back and we will keep moving forward; there is much to be explained.