His holy ones

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“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”   Jude 1:14-15

Will you be in this band of holy ones? 

This is a fearful Scripture and should strike a chord of searching questions in our minds. It was written thousands of years ago and remains true and immanent. The days of the end times are here and the earth awaits its redemption and release from the power and consequence of sin. The people of God are being brought into the kingdom and when that number reaches completion, the end will come.

The people of God are redeemed and will judge with Him in His glory. All the ungodly will feel the conviction of their sins in their souls, with no more opportunity to repent and believe. All the evil acts they have done and the lies they have said and their defiant rebellion they have exercised against the Lord, will now be judged and paid for. 

All evil will be put down forever and will never again taint the society of the Just. Enoch saw this holy vision, because he walked with God and knew the closeness of a daily, constant communion with God. Those who seek God, will understand the signs of sinfulness and its end. We must warn and tell the people around us of these spiritual realities and flee to the only Saviour. 

It is not too late. He is still calling people to repent and believe and the door of eternity remains open. Why be foolish and loose your soul? You can still be a part of that mighty throng that belong to the Lord Christ and will reign with Him forever. Those who repent and believe will have glory forever, but those who refuse will be forever lost… 

Apologetics

I believe in Jesus the Christ, Son of the only God, Saviour and Lord to all who trust in Him. I need no apologetic facts and figures to bolster up my faith. In fact, it could be detrimental to faith, as it undermines belief in the Word of God. Outside arguments are periphery to the trust that strengthens faith, since it depends on man’s knowledge and not God’s irrefutable Truth. Apologetics are founded on the knowledge of this world and it’s thinking and our own faulty human outlook. We must base our faith on something else, something deeper and eternal. 

Apologetics can help us when we are young in the faith and easily intimidated by the philosophy and argument of this world’s “wise” people. But we grow up in Christ, so that we are able to stand true and strong in the strength of the Spirit. We are taught by God in the Word, and that is what makes us powerful in soul and Godly discernment. Our foundations are on Christ and what He says. 

Spiritual understanding is for all who repent and believe and are enlightened by the Holy Spirit of God. If we have no other understanding of philosophy, but the Holy Word, we have everything we need. Faith stands on the rock of Scripture and the person of Christ. Everything else is sinking sand. 

If a person is clever enough to argue another person into believing the Bible, all it takes is for another smarter person to argue that same person back to unbelief. Salvation is not like that. Salvation and a living faith in Christ is a supernatural event in the life of an individual and that person is safe in Christ because “salvation is of the LORD”

Let us keep apology for what it is- a tool to help Christians who are struggling with academia and the intimidation of learning. It can help in some regards, but to build faith in the Lord our God, is ideal. That will last because it is reasoning from the Scripture and therefore honouring to God. 

A hard series of sayings from Matthew 10

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“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.”

Our fear should be exclusively for the Almighty God, who holds our breath in His hands. We revere Him, honour Him and obey Him, because of who He is. We don’t need to fear people, because the worst they can do is kill our body. They cannot touch our soul, which is safe in Christ. People might tell us to go to hell, but only Jesus has those keys. We must work for our Lord with a great and holy boldness and walk this sin-sick world with joy in His presence. No one can pluck us from His hand.

 

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“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”

My vocal words of witness for Christ are tied in with my place in the heavenly city. If I am too shy, or too weak in faith to speak for Him who loved me and gave Himself for me, I have no place in that place. I don’t even have to deny the Lord, just not say anything at all. If I cannot bring myself to try, or teach myself to speak up, Jesus will not own me as His own. The Saviour of the world must be shared everywhere. To deny others the joy of hearing and knowing Him, is to deny Him. The place in the kingdom is forfeit. Yet if I speak of Him and share, teach and uphold Him, He will uphold me before the face of His Father in heaven.

 

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“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

This is a difficult saying because it pulls at our most sensitive heart-strings. Our first love is for family and we look to family for our sense of belonging. The fifth commandments tells us to honour our father and mother, so that we can live long and productive lives. Is this command over-teaching the commandment? Patently not. We usually love parents, but never more than Christ. To love earthly family more than your Saviour, means you do not have a clear understanding of what He did for you.

Christ comes first and His work on earth comes first. This shouldn’t clash for attention. But if God is calling you do go somewhere outside your family and country, you must go. We should never use the reason about family needs to stop us doing God’s work.

If I put family needs before obedience to my Lord and God, I am on the wrong track. God will order all things so that when we obey, He will work out our life arrangements for the blessing of all.

It is the same principle with our children. They must never take the place of or overtake our life or love for Jesus. This is a very difficult realisation. Our children are so precious to us, but not as precious as the Lord. No matter how close we feel to our daughters and sons, they are still loved far more by the Lord Jesus, than we ever could. To put them before Christ and we are sowing the seeds of unbelief in their hearts.

We will also be saying to Jesus, that He is not that special to us, and we don’t particularly need Him. We will show a complete irreverence for what He did for us on the cross.  We fail to realise our total dependence on Him and our faith rests on someone outside of the Lord. In a sense we are never worthy of Him, and yet we are made worthy and given strength to walk worthy. There are those who give all for Christ and they will be rewarded in the kingdom of God.

 

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“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

The Christian life is tough. We are called to lift up and walk with our cross, bearing His reproach. There is no life in God without the cross. There is no easy way. The pathway includes, temptation, persecution, sacrifice, loss, weariness, shame and reproof. If we decide not to go on this way, we are castaways. We loose our lives and eternity too.

If I should build a life for myself on Earth, I will loose it.

All our work for this life, cannot it be taken into heaven. We will loose it when we die and go into eternity. But more, because we chose the things of this life over the next, it shows we have no taste for the spiritual life with God. We will get what we have chosen. Life now, and no eternal life.

But there are those who give up the right to the things of this world. They follow God and grow in spiritual stature, and become like Christ. Their citizenship is in heaven where they belong because of Christ. These Christians go in to maturity and bear rich fruit for God and His kingdom. The kingdom does come in their lives and they obey God’s will as if they were already in heaven.

There are Christians in every generation who actually loose their physical lives for the sake of Christ and the spread of the gospel. These are richly rewarded for this loss. They themselves count themselves unworthy to bear such an honour as to die for their Saviour.

May we have such love for Jesus Christ that all earthly considerations fade away, and become opportunities for faith and love.

Rest

“Let us fear therefore, lest perhaps anyone of you should seem to have come short of a promise of entering into his rest. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, even as they also did, but the word they heard didn’t profit them, because it wasn’t mixed with faith by those who heard.

For we who have believed do enter into that rest, even as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest…”        Hebrews 4:1-3

The only rest is the rest we have in God our Saviour. This is not the eternal “rest” of the saints, but the life of faith we receive here and now. The eternal rest follows on from the life of faith and rest, as we live in this world for God.

The rest is offered in this time and space that we inhabit and is freely offered in the message of the gospel. Rest in God had been procured by Christ in His death on the cross so that sinful people can enter His rest and live lives for His glory.

There are those who obey the message and those who disobey. There are those who will never enter the rest in God. Forgiveness and peace with God are for those who believe and they live in God’s rest in this world as well as the next. We must make sure we do not fall short of this.

Jesus Christ has entered His rest and brings rest to all who trust in Him. When Jesus rose from the dead, He entered His eternal rest, since all His labours for the salvation of His people were accomplished. Jesus the Saviour has sat down in the place of authority forever. Those who seek His rest will also enter into that rest with Him.

The Israelite nation from old, rejected their Messiah. They heard the message and rejected it. They heard the good news of salvation through the Messiah, but their evil spirit of disobedience kept them out. The treasure of the message of faith became of no value to them, so they refused God and His provision.

The New Testament Christians who heard and believed were now at peace with God and so now experience this rest.

God now regards those who refuse His rest, in anger, and promises that those who refuse Him will never find that rest. This promise comes from anger against unrepentant sinners. This is not just against the Old Testament unbelievers, but all people who refuse the message.

I pray that the people around me who are in my life, will come, hear and believe…

Minister

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God allows us to minister, so that He can minister to us. We minister to each other, so that Christ can minister through us. Christ ministers to us, so that we learn to minister. We minister to Him, because He delights to know our love. We love Him with His own love.

To deny people the ability and opportunity to minister is not godlike or godly… we need to minister, so we can experience Christ in our daily lives. It gives us meaning and purpose and opportunities to use the gifts God gives us.

The Lord our God is holy. He needs nothing. Yet He loves the praises of His people. He loves it that we offer sacrifices of praise for His glory. He knows it comes from the inner workings of His Holy Spirit, and it is pleasing to Him that we serve Him.

Although we might feel we don’t need help or support from fellow believers, yet it is seemly to accept the serving with joy. God does not want us to live remote lives, but to minister to each other as He would minister to us, and accepts our offerings to Him.

To minister before the Lord is the work of every Christian. We are kings and priests to God. Through all the countless ages of eternity, we will serve and adore and enter into our true home state. How perfect to serve the One who loved us and gave Himself for us. How great the outpouring of lives redeemed and sanctified for such service. To find the place He intends for us, is true peace of heart.

Believe them

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“Who has believed their report?
To whom has God’s powerful arm been revealed?”

In this time and space the pivot of history
Was it not to the women revealed this mystery?
They loved in the shadows, out of regard
But now all is made clear- now the vanguard
The men have faltered every one
Running and hiding from heaven’s Son
Their promise to stay, now an insincere ‘moir
But the women still lingered to watch from afar.

As they watched Him die, so they saw Him risen
Over every battle for His people He has given
His life to the nails and the cross of wood
Now rampant forever as He said He would.

The first to see the Risen Lord
The first to witness the eternal God
Defeat the death that held every being
And raising the lost to inhabit His kingdom
Incredulous men could not take it in
The Living Lord has now conquered sin
Believe the women and grasp the fact
That Christ is alive, and your future hopes intact
The women witness to the truth of God sublime
They’re voices call down the ages of time
Believe them, the love stands as the proof
That Christ is risen- they sing out the truth…

Women who glorify God