2 Timothy 1:8-12 ESV
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do.
What is the “testimony about our Lord” to which he is referring here? It is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the message of our salvation from sin. It is the message which says that, by God’s grace, because of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins on that cross, and by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we can be set free from our bondage (addiction) to sin, and from the condemnation of sin, and that now, by the Spirit, we can live holy lives, pleasing unto God. Amen!
Yet, we are not to be ashamed of (reluctant, unwilling, uncomfortable with) this message or with those who preach it, but so many are. And, that is why the vast majority of those today who are sharing what they consider to be the gospel message have diluted it, altered it, and shortened it so that it is only half the truth, and half lies. And, intentional half-truths are still lies.
And, some people do this intentionally, either to comfort themselves in their sin or to deceive the masses so that they will not have eternal life with God.
Who are They?
So, who are these who are willfully trying to block the truth of the gospel from getting into people’s hearts, so that people are not genuinely saved? They are wolves in sheep’s clothing, many of them in high places. Some of them are pastors of congregations. The pope is definitely one of them, for he is promoting the cheap grace gospel leading into a one world religion, and he is definitely denying Jesus Christ and his true gospel message.
And, he is joined by or is party with the Elite, powerful and wealthy of the world who form this beast, which is presently conquering nations, peoples and Christians, either to try to persuade them to join them, or to persecute, falsely accuse, or kill them if they do not comply and unify with them.
And, the Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas, and Donald Trump are all party to this, too. They are all part of this beast, as are many of our political leaders, and religious leaders, too, and is the nation of Israel, as well.
And, together they are following a business plan, a blueprint for how to conquer the world and to bring everyone on this planet under subjection of this beastly New World Order. And, they are rising, and are increasing in power and rule and authority over the world, including over the USA, too.
And, this means that the gospel is also under fire, being attacked, criticized, and falsely accused (and its messengers, too) in order to convince people that the true gospel is the false gospel and that the false gospel is the true gospel. But, what they are promoting is no gospel at all, for it still leaves its adherents bound in their sin while giving them a false hope of heaven.
And, those who are standing for truth, righteousness, purity, and morality, and who are trying to help people out of their sinful lifestyles to freedom in Christ are being demonized so that people won’t listen to them. And, this is getting fierce, I can assure you. We are in a spiritual battle in our world right now unlike anything we have ever faced before, at least here in America, and we need to be prepared to stand strong no matter what we face.
A Holy Calling
For, Jesus Christ did not die on that cross just to forgive people of their sins so that they could all go to heaven one day to be with him. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:1-23). And, He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15, 21; Tit. 2:11-14).
He called us to a holy calling. And, to be holy means to be separate from the world of sin, and separate unto God and to his services, no longer living to please our sinful natures, but now walking according to the Spirit of God.
But, this is not trying to earn our salvation, which is one of the lies that they tell about us. This is not works-based salvation. We cannot do anything in our flesh to earn or to deserve God’s grace to us. But, he saved us to good works (Eph. 2:10), which he prepared in advance that we should do. And, he saved us to free us from our slavery to sin so that we can walk righteously before him. So, living holy lives, pleasing to God is what we are saved to, it is not what we do in the flesh to earn our salvation.
2 Timothy 1:12-14 ESV
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
We must be fully aware of this plot that is afoot to destroy us and the gospel, and that this is warfare unlike many of us have experienced before ever. These are powerful demonic forces at work here, even within the gatherings of the church, to try to discredit the true gospel and its messengers. So, get ready for some fierce persecution coming our way in America, for it is here.
We have to know what we believe, and we have to stand on what we believe, no matter what opposition we are faced with. And, this means that daily we need to be putting to death, by the Spirit, all fleshly works, and we must be putting on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us, for they are coming, I know, for they are at my doorstep.
But, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ nor of my Lord. I am confident both in whom I believe and in what I believe that I have received from him through my salvation from sin and through his Word. I am also not ashamed of his calling upon my life to expose the lies and the fruitless deeds of darkness for what they are, and to call people into God’s wonderful light. I will continue in them, by God’s grace, in his strength, until the day I die or until Jesus comes to take me home, whichever comes first.
2 Timothy 1:15-18 ESV
You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day! — and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.
We must also be fully aware and fully prepared that we may have friends, neighbors, church members, coworkers and even family members turn against us, and even falsely accuse us, because we are trying to rescue people from the darkness and to bring them to safety in Christ Jesus, our Lord, and into his light and to freedom from slavery to sin.
But, we are not to be afraid, but we are to trust God fully with our lives, for he will work all things out for good for those who love (obey) God and who have been called according to his purposes. Just keep believing in him.
An Original Work / June 19, 2013
Based off Acts 20-22, 26; Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8
Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I’m fully ready to suffer for Christ.
If I must die for the sake of His name,
I am convinced it will not be in vain.
Glory to God and to His Son Jesus,
Who has redeemed us; bought with His blood.
May I speak to you? Jesus came to me;
Asked of me, “Why do you persecute me?”
He said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.
Go, and you’ll be told all I have for you.
I have appointed you as a servant,
And as a witness; you have been sent.”
“Go into the world and preach the gospel.
Open the blind eyes. They will receive sight.
Turn them from darkness to the light of Christ;
From power of the evil one to God,
So they may receive forgiveness of sins,
And a place among those who’re in heav’n.”
Saturday, March 9, 2019