Acts 20:21-24 NIV:
“I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
Paul was opposed by people who proclaimed faith in Almighty God, and who went to the temple, they believed, to worship God, some of whom were leaders within the temple, who taught the Word of God.
So also we who are proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ – who are calling people to leave their lives of sin behind them to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands – we are being opposed and persecuted by others who also claim faith in Jesus Christ. And, this persecution is being led by those in high up positions within institutionalized Christianity.
In an effort to destroy the gospel of our salvation, and its messengers, they are telling lies about us, and about the true gospel, in order to discredit us and the gospel so that people will not listen to the truth, but so that they will believe the lies. Thus, they are calling what is truth lies, and they are calling what are lies truth.
They are claiming that the true gospel is teaching works-based salvation, that it is legalistic, and that it is to be avoided at all costs. Some are taking it further than that, though, and they are claiming that it is hateful, intolerant, bigoted, unkind, unloving, judgmental, not of God/of Christ, of the devil, and extremist. And, it is to be obliterated, and its messengers silenced.
They may even go so far as to try to dig up people’s pasts, and to twist that to their advantage, or to try to trip them up with their words, which is what the Pharisees did to Jesus all the time. And, this is one reason why we who are proclaiming the gospel need to remain transparent. And, I believe that is one of the reasons why the Lord led me to write my testimony at different times, for my past is basically out there on the internet for anyone to read.
And, I make no claims to sinless perfection, either. I know I am not living in sin, and I know I am not holding on to any sins, and I know that I am walking by the Spirit in surrender to my Lord, so my conscience is clear. But, that doesn’t mean that I am perfect, or that I never fail in anything that I do or say. But, when I do fail, I repent of it and I keep following my Lord. And, I learn from my mistakes, and I keep growing to maturity in Christ, too.
Also, when I said “Yes” to Jesus’ call on my life, I knew what I was signing up for. I knew I was saying “Yes” to rejection, persecution, false accusations, and the like. I know that every day that I write what the Lord teaches me through his Word, and that I expose the lies, and that I proclaim the truth, that I am in danger of being rejected, persecuted and discharged.
Yet, I echo Paul’s words here. My aim is to follow my Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will for my life, and to continue to proclaim the gospel of our salvation, and to expose the lies. And, this is so that many people will be delivered from deception, and they will be delivered out of their addictions to sin, and that they will walk in freedom from their chains, and in Christ’s righteousness, until the day Jesus comes to take them home.
And, I know I am not alone, but there are many followers of Christ out there who are teaching the truth, and who are exposing the lies, and who are facing all kinds of persecution and rejection for their obedience to their Lord.
Acts 20:25-28 NIV:
“Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”
I can declare, as well, that I have not hesitated to proclaim to you, my readers, the whole will (or counsel) of God. Even when I knew that I was likely to be rejected or persecuted for what I shared, I didn’t hold back from sharing with you the whole will of God with regard to our salvation and with regard to our spiritual walks with the Lord Jesus.
For, I know that there are many liars and deceivers out there who are telling you lies, cleverly disguised as truth. I know that there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing in the pulpits in the churches, or at least in the institutional churches. And, that they are feeding people half-truths (which are lies), and they are convincing many people that they can “believe” in Jesus but that it costs them nothing, and that God requires nothing of them – no obedience, no repentance and no submission to Christ and his Word.
I know that many of them are twisting the truth to their advantage by taking scriptures out of context to make them say what itching ears want to hear. Many of them are blending the Christian faith in with New Age philosophy, with teachings from other religions, and with humanistic philosophy, too.
And, I believe that many of them don’t really believe what they are teaching, but this is all a trick of Satan, and it has to do with thieves who have secretly slipped in among the sheep in the sheepfold in order to steal, kill and destroy. It is not that they believe their own lies, but the lies are for the very purpose to turn people away from the truth, and away from Jesus Christ, so they won’t have eternal life with God while they believe they do.
For, Satan is behind this, and he doesn’t want anyone saved from their sins and going to heaven. So, he devised this clever plan to disguise his lies as truth by inserting them inside the gospel message so that he could deceive the masses into following his cheap grace gospel which saves no one from sin but that sends them straight to hell while promising them heaven.
For, the truth of the gospel of our salvation says that, if we want to have eternal life with God, that we must die with Christ to sin and live with Christ to righteousness – all in the working and power of God’s Holy Spirit within us as we submit to Jesus Christ and we allow the Spirit to do his work in our lives and in our hearts (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).
And, the truth, too, is that, if we choose to not die with Christ to sin and to not live to him and to his righteousness, but we go on living for sin and self, as a matter of course (of practice), that we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven, but we have a fearful expectation of hell (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8).
Acts 20:29-31 NIV:
“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.”
Savage wolves have already come in among the church and they are not sparing the flock, but they are out to kill, steal, and destroy the church and the gospel message, and they are leading many people astray.
Even many who we may think are Christians, and we think are following the Lord, are teaching lies cleverly disguised as truth. For, they are very good actors. They are very good at appearing righteous while they insert their poison right into the teachings of God’s Word and they deceive the immature and the naïve into following after their lies, thinking they are following truth.
So, we definitely have to be on our guard. But, we can’t be on guard if we are filling our minds and hearts with the garbage of this world. And, I am not speaking here of what is obviously evil, although many professing Christians take blatant evil into their minds and eyes and hearts on a regular basis, and on purpose.
But, if we are taking in a lot of social media, television, movies, secular music, some YouTube videos, video games, etc. and if we are spending little time with the Lord in his Word and in prayer, and then in following him in obedience, we are not going to be able to guard our minds and hearts against all this deception. We won’t see it.
So, we need to make Jesus Christ truly Lord (owner-master) of our lives, and us his bond-servants, in surrender to him and to his will, and we need to be bathing our minds on what is pure, lovely, honest, etc. And, we need to be testing everything we hear against the Word of God (in context). And, in this way, we will be able to guard against Satan’s lies and we will be able to follow the truth.
Only in Him
An Original Work / February 19, 2014
Based off Isaiah 30
Woe to those who look to man’s help;
Who turn away from Jesus Christ;
Forming an alliance not in step with God;
Making their own plans, and praying not.
Willing not to listen to truth,
They close their ears to what is right.
Pleasing words are all that they’ll hear;
Feel good messages that bring cheer.
Trust in your Lord; turn from your sin.
Put your faith now ONLY IN HIM.
Do not turn to idols. They’ll not satisfy.
Jesus will save you. That’s why He died.
Your Lord will be gracious to you.
He cares all about you, ‘tis true.
He forgives you all of your sin
When you give your life up to Him.
Oh, how truly gracious He’ll be
When you bow to Him on your knees;
Turning now from your sin; walking in his ways.
He’ll lead and guide you all of your days.
Now you will sing praises to Him.
He delivered you from your sin.
You’ll tell others now of His grace,
So they may see Christ face-to-face.
Monday, May 27, 2019
My Testimony (in book form):
I Married My Dad