John 8:12 ESV
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through him. He is The Light that shines in the darkness. He is truth, righteousness, holiness, purity, morality, justice, mercy, compassion and love. He is all that is good and upright. No darkness dwells in him.
So, whoever follows (obeys, believes on) him, doing what he says, and going where he sends them, will not walk (conduct their lives) in darkness (sin, evil, wickedness, immorality, lies, and impurity, etc.). But, they will walk (in lifestyle) in the light as He is in the light (See: 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
What this is saying, basically, is that if we are true believers in Jesus Christ, we will no longer live our lives according to our sinful flesh, in impurity, immorality, deception and wickedness, but we will now live according to the Spirit of God in righteousness, purity, morality, integrity and the like. This is what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.
John 8:31-36 ESV
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
All throughout the New Testament are “If” statements. If we do this or that then we are genuinely children of God, and heirs of the promise, and we have eternal life with God, and our sins are forgiven, etc. Yet, this is NOT works-based salvation, as some would have you believe, or else Jesus and his NT apostles would not have taught it.
This is the gift of God, his salvation, at work within our hearts and lives in the power and working of God’s Holy Spirit now living within us as we yield control of our lives over to God and we follow (obey) Jesus Christ and his teachings. For, our salvation means death to sin and living to righteousness. It means we leave our old lives of sin behind us and we follow our Lord Jesus in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives.
Thus we must abide (live, dwell) in God’s Words, accepting them into our lives, doing what they teach us. This does not mean we will do this perfectly or that we will never sin (See: 1 Jn. 2:1-2), but that it is our practice to live in the light of God’s Holy Word and to do what it says. And, it is also means that sin (immorality, impurity, wickedness, deception) are NOT what we practice.
The whole purpose of our salvation is not just to escape hell and so we can go to heaven when we die. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. This is the essence of the gospel of our salvation. So, if we walk in that truth, then we are truly set free from slavery to sin, and we are children of God and heirs of the promise. But, if we still live in bondage to sin, engrossed in sinful addictions, we do not have that promise.
John 8:37-40 ESV
“I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.”
Just because our parents said they were Christians, does not mean we are Christians. Just because we grew up in a family that attended regular weekly church services, and that we continued with that tradition, it also does not mean that we are Christians. And, just because we have adopted the Christian faith as our religion of choice, it also does not mean we are Christians, in the true sense of the word.
Just because we prayed a sinner’s prayer for salvation, and just because we made a public confession of Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives, and just because we were baptized in the church or joined a local church fellowship, it also does not ensure that we are truly born-again Spirit-filled followers of Jesus Christ. For, our faith in Jesus Christ has nothing to do with family heritage or with lip service or following traditions or with mere formalities.
There are many people today who call themselves Christians and who claim Jesus Christ as their Savior and who believe heaven is their eternal destiny. But, for many of them, Jesus is barely on their radar. He is not truly Lord of their lives. They are still the lord of their own lives, and they just fit him in here and there when it is convenient for them.
Not only that, but they live in opposition to Him and to His teachings, for the most part, and many of them even strongly oppose the true gospel of our salvation and its messengers. So, we have those who claim Christianity as their religion actually persecuting those who are true followers of Jesus Christ, and in many cases, they are literally putting the saints of God to death while they still claim Christianity as their heritage.
John 8:41-47 ESV
“You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
Basically, what is going on in our world today is that the beast of Revelation (See: Rev. 13) is rising, and it is persecuting and killing the saints of God in many countries throughout the world. As well, it is conquering nations and bringing them under the rule of thumb of a New World Order. It is suspending human rights and it is declaring a kind of martial law in nation after nation, and this is soon to come to America’s shores, too.
It is forcing unity of religion and unity of government with this beast New World Order, too. And, this has been taking place within the institutional church in the USA, too, for a long while now. For, those who truly follow and teach the true gospel are now outcasts, for the cheap grace gospel is now permeating much of the church in America. And, the purpose of it all is to eventually force everyone to unify and to no longer have differences of religious beliefs nor to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to others.
The real tragedy in all of this, though, is that this is professing Christian against Christian. In the USA, it is many of our government leaders and many of our church leaders who are leading the way to this suspension of human rights and to this New World Order and to this rise of this beast and to the unity of religion and government, and to the persecution of the true saints of God.
Just like Jesus’ greatest persecutors, and those who put him to death, were the people of his own religion/faith, from his own country, and even some from his own family, so today many of us are also being betrayed in much the same way by those we trusted to love and protect us. Yet, the Bible tells us that this is coming, so it should not surprise us that it has come and it will eventually impact the entire world.
Yet, when it does come to us, wherever we live in the world, we should not let it undo us. We must lay our burdens at Jesus’ feet, trusting that he is still on the throne and that he has a plan and a purpose for it all. And, we must let him fill us with his peace, being assured that what he has said that he will do, he will do. Thus, we must rest in him and then remain steadfast in our faith, no matter what comes our way, and we will be blessed.
An Original Work / November 29, 2018
Based off various scriptures
Cast your cares upon your Lord.
Come to Him
All you who’re weary.
Know that He will
Give you rest.
Take His yoke upon you
And learn from Him
And you’ll find your rest.
For His yoke is easy
And His burden’s light.
It’s His to bear.
Find the peace of Christ in heart.
Let the peace of Christ
Rule in your hearts,
And be then
And, the peace of God
Which is beyond all
We can comprehend
Will guard your hearts
And your minds in Christ,
For He is Lord of all.
Hope in God will not betray.
Let us hold
The hope that
We now profess.
For the One
Who promised hope
Is faithful to
His ev’ry word.
Therefore, with minds
That are sober,
Set your hope
On Christ’s return.
Tuesday, December 4, 2018