Jesus Christ, God the Son, left his throne in heaven, came to earth, and was born as a baby from the womb of a young woman named Mary, who was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph. But, back then engagements were a contractual relationship, so they were legally married, only without the consummation of the relationship. For, Mary was a virgin who had conceived this child of the Holy Spirit, i.e. God was his natural father, so when Jesus lived on this earth, he was fully God yet fully human.
Matthew 2:1-6 ESV
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
What happened after this is basically that King Herod asked the wise men, that when they found the Christ child, to report back to him so that he could go and worship him. But, that was a ruse, for he had no such intentions.
But, after they had seen Jesus, and had worshipped him, God warned them in a dream not to report back to Herod. The Lord also warned Joseph to flee from there and to go to Egypt, telling him that Herod was about to search for Jesus to destroy him. Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and thus he ordered the death of all male children ages two and under in Bethlehem, and in all that region. Surely he was thinking that would make certain that the Christ child was killed.
Matthew 2:17-18 ESV
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
And, this is still happening today, i.e. rulers of this world, of the beast New World Order, are still trying to put Jesus Christ to death by killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people throughout the world, but especially right now in the middle east.
And, they, too, pretend that their intentions are good, and even that they are worshippers of Jesus Christ, and that they are going into these other nations to rescue people from terrorists and totalitarian regimes. But they, in fact, are the world’s greatest terrorists, and they are, in fact, the very worst of totalitarian regimes, rolled into one global order, which the US plays a major part in militarily and governmentally, in that they serve this beast.
But, Christians in many of these middle eastern countries know something that few Christians in America truly comprehend. They understand that when they accept Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives, that it means death, not only to sin, but literal death for the sake of the name of Jesus. They know that they are signing their lives away, and that faith in Jesus Christ guarantees them that they will be persecuted severely for their faith.
But, that is also because they understand that when they believe in Jesus Christ, that it means they now live lives which are separate from their sin and that are separate from the world and the ways of this sinful world. They know that they are not to take the mark (influence, character) of this beast into their lives. They know they have to make a choice to follow Jesus or the New World Order beast, and for them there cannot be any middle ground.
But, in America
But, this is not the case for most Americans who also claim to have faith in Jesus Christ. And, in fact, it seems most preachers in America are now teaching a cheap grace gospel that requires no death to sin, no submission to Christ and his cross, no obedience to the Lord’s commands, and no separation from the world at all. In fact, they will often tell those who profess to know Jesus that they should immerse themselves in the culture in order to connect with the people of the world, but that is not what Jesus did.
Because Christians in America have not yet had to face the kind of persecution that Christians in other countries have had to endure, and are presently going through, and because we have so many preachers who are soft pedaling the gospel to make it more appealing to human flesh, it is easy to claim Christianity as one’s faith without it costing one anything.
And, this is why we have so many professing Christians in America addicted to pornography, and to sexually explicit movies and TV shows, and to being entertained incessantly. This is why we have so many middle down the road “believers” whose belief really doesn’t have to impact their lives much at all, and so they just continue to meander through life without any real purpose or direction regarding their faith in Jesus Christ, and they just get by.
So many Christians (or professing Christians) in America are like the church in Laodicea, i.e. they are neither on fire for Jesus Christ nor are they really opposed to him, and in fact there are aspects of him and what he taught that they do accept, but largely their lifestyles are not much different at all from those who make no profession to faith in Jesus. In fact, some non-Christians live more moral and upright lives than do Christians here.
So, it seems most Christians in America are not like the Christians in other countries where they truly understand the principle of death to their old lives and living to Christ fully with hearts committed to his righteousness and holiness. And, I think it is because we have it too easy here, and because so many preachers are soft pedaling the gospel and are convincing so many people that they can remain in their sinful lifestyles and still have the hope of heaven as their eternal destiny.
What it Means to Follow Him
But, the Bible teaches us that if we walk (conduct our lives) in sin, in the flesh, in worldliness, and not in righteousness, then we don’t have the hope of heaven, and we don’t have eternal life with God, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fires. We only have salvation from sin and eternal life with God if we are, by the Spirit, putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and if we are walking in obedience to our Lord.
So, we have to get this mindset out of our heads that our salvation is based on some decision we made or some prayer that we prayed at one time, and that it doesn’t matter a whole lot to God how we live from this point forward, for our eternity is now secure. But, that just isn’t true! It is not biblical!
Read Jesus’ words that he spoke when he lived on this earth. He made it quite plain what it meant to follow him. It means that we leave it all behind and we go with him and we do what he says. It means we leave our lives of sin behind us and we now live for our Lord in surrender to his will and to his ways, and that sin is no longer in control over our lives, but Jesus Christ is now truly Lord (owner-master) over our lives, and we are now slaves to his righteousness.
[See: Lu. 9:23-25; cf. Rom. 8:1-17; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Acts 26:16-18; Tit. 2:11-14; 2 Co. 5:15; Gal. 5:19-21.]
One day this type of persecution of Christians, which they are facing in the middle east, is going to come to America, too, for this is what scripture says is going to happen. We are not exempt because we are Americans, although many people seem to have that attitude.
And, when this happens, all of us will have to stand on one side or the other. There will be no more meandering, no more vacillating back and forth, no more lukewarm Christianity, no more half-hearted followers of Christ.
We will have to make that decision to follow Jesus wholeheartedly or not at all. But, know this now! We can’t be half-hearted about Jesus and be followers of Jesus, too. We can’t walk according to the flesh and according to the Spirit, too. And, if we are walking according to the flesh, know that we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God, no matter what words we said.
Jesus made it clear that to follow him means to leave it all behind, and to follow him means to obey him. So, if we are truly celebrating his birth, it means we are worshiping him, and to worship him means that we have left our lives of sin behind us and we are now committed to following him and his ways, and to walk in his righteousness and holiness from now on.
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.
Thursday, December 13, 2018