Saturday, March 4, 2017, 10:13 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Should I Not Preach Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 2:12-17 (NASB).
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:
‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’
The Sharp Two-Edged Sword
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Heb. 4:12
Jesus Christ is the one who has the “sharp two-edged sword,” and he is the speaker. He speaks on the authority of God, and on the authority of the Word of God, because he is God, and because he is the Son of God, and because he is the Living Word of God who died on a cross for our sins.
His Word is living and active, meaning it is not merely a historical book with useful information contained inside. It is also not merely a training manual useful for teaching believers in Jesus Christ how to live the Christian life. It was God-breathed when it was written, and it is still alive and speaking to hearts today with the full power of God and the witness of the Spirit of God behind it. As believers in Jesus, when we read the Word of God, it isn’t like reading any other book. The words come alive to us, and they speak conviction, encouragement, hope, healing, restoration, judgment, warnings and blessings, too, to our hearts. It is like God is right there speaking to us.
God’s Word is not light reading. It is not for the faint-hearted. It is also not for the casual reader who thinks five minutes a day reading some Bible verses satisfies God or our Christian (religious) obligation for the day. The Word of God is part of our spiritual armor we are to put on every day with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us. In combination with our other armor, we are able to use the Word of God to refute Satan’s lies, false doctrines, idolatry, spiritual adultery, sinful addictions, deceptions and the like. As well, it contains the gospel of our salvation which gives us the hope of deliverance from slavery to sin for the ones believing in Jesus, who have repented of their sin, and who have turned to follow our Lord in obedience.
Where Satan’s Throne Is
Satan’s throne is on the earth where humans dwell. Yet, there are certain places in this world where his presence is certainly more felt, and his influence is definitely wider spread. His realm of influence appears to be extending further and further by the day, all over the earth, as this world of ours keeps growing more and more wicked by the hour. Not only is Satan yielding greater sway in people’s lives, but he is also exerting immense power, authority, rule and dominion over the earth and its people. This power and rule is authoritarian and is subversive and it is tyrannical. As a result, many Christians throughout the world are suffering great persecution and even death at the hands of Satan’s agents (his servants).
It seems, sometimes, that those who are truly standing on the Word of Truth, who are not denying Jesus by living sinful lifestyles, or who are not compromising with the world in order to be accepted by the world, are growing fewer and fewer in number, as more and more people are giving way to deception, to the lies of Satan, and to their own sinful desires. And, thus the faithful may be finding themselves having fewer and fewer friends, and may be suffering much in the way of rejection, mockery, persecution, false accusations, and the like, just because their desire is for Jesus and to please him in all that they do and say.
Acts of Immorality
One of the biggest weapons Satan is wielding against people today, and most especially against Christians (or professing Christians), is luring them into sexual sin and/or into romantically or sexually adulterous situations. If people watch TV or surf the NET indiscriminately, or are addicted to social media sites or chat sites where they can have private conversations without the knowledge of their spouses, and with someone of interest to them, they are ripe to being drawn into the world of sexual sin and romantic adultery.
Hey, even if you don’t have a TV and you are very careful as to which internet sites you frequent, they (the people who lure you) have pop-ups and ads to the side or to the bottom of “safe” sites in order to trap you, or to try to trap you. Everywhere you go, pretty much, has TVs blaring with sexually alluring exhibitions, or they have seductive store window displays, or seductive magazine covers in check-out lines in grocery stores. Sex is everywhere, because it sells, and because Satan is behind its presentation so that he can trap as many people as possible and to render Christians inoperable. And, even some of the strongest Christians can be brought down if they are not careful and prudent concerning what they allow their eyes to see and regarding what they permit their minds to take in on a daily basis.
Turn from Sin
There are many professing Christians who are trapped in sexual addiction who feel that they don’t know the way out or that they can’t get out. Yet, Jesus has already made the way out. He took upon himself the sins of the entire world when he died on that cross. He put sin to death so that we could die to sin and live to righteousness. Through God-given faith in him, in which we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, we have been delivered, not just from the punishment of sin, but from the bondage (addiction) to sin. Amen! We don’t have to keep sinning! Jesus gave us the way of escape. We just have to yield to him and let him work in our hearts, and surrender to his will for our lives, letting him be Lord (owner-master) of our lives. We have to put off sin, by the power of the Spirit, and put on Christ, his word and his purity.
It isn’t that most people who call themselves Christians don’t know what to do when they are sin addicted, but it is that they choose to remain sin addicted rather than to allow Jesus to give them the victory. And, I believe that is one of the main reasons so many professing Christians have adopted what I call a false grace gospel, because it doesn’t require that they change their lifestyles. They don’t have to repent of sin or obey Jesus. All they have do is say they believe in Jesus and they are told they have their salvation secured and heaven guaranteed. And, if they begin to feel any guilt for their sin, then they are told to repeat in their minds a list of statements, some false, regarding who they are in Christ. This is to alleviate all guilt so that they can keep on sinning, while claiming heaven as their eternal home.
Yet, that is not the GRACE of God which brings salvation, which teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return. That is also not the gospel of our salvation which teaches that faith in Christ means forsaking our former way of living for sin and self and dying daily to sin and self by the power of the Spirit working within us. The gospel message taught by Jesus teaches that if we say we have fellowship with God but we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin), we are liars, and if we walk according to our flesh or if we fail to lose (die to) our old lives of living in sin, that we will die in our sin (See: Tit. 2:11-14; Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; Eph. 4:17-24).
If we want to have eternal life with God and to be free from sin, then we need to yield control of our lives over to God and die with him to sin so we may live with him to righteousness. We need to obey him and stop sinning (by the Spirit) and we need to put on (live to) what is righteous, holy and pure. We can’t do this in our own flesh or according to our own plan for our lives. This will only come about through submission, surrender and yielding to our Lord and allowing him to change us from the inside out. We have to stop playing with fire and mean business with God, and be willing to cut out of our lives everything which hinders our walks of faith or which leads us down the path of sin. If we are not willing to go the distance with God, then we will miss out on the blessings of obedience and our eternal rewards.
Should I Not Preach Jesus
An Original Work / July 4, 2013
Based off 1 Corinthians 9:16-10:13
Woe to me should I not preach Jesus.
I’m compelled to preach the full gospel.
I make myself a slave to ev’ryone
To win their hearts to Christ.
All this I do for my Lord Jesus,
And for the sake of His Name;
Do it for the sake of His gospel,
So that I, its blessings gain.
Scripture notates the sins of others;
Written down for us as examples
To keep us from setting our hearts
On evil as did those of old.
Do not worship other gods of man;
Do not give your hearts to them;
Not partake in immorality.
Do not test your Lord and King.
So, be careful if you think you are
Standing firm in your faith in Jesus.
God has given his word to warn us,
So through faith we will not fall.
No temptation has o’ertaken you
Except what is commonplace.
God is faithful to not let you be
Tempted past what you can bear.
He gives the way of escape.