Let’s Get Serious!

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 ESV

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Peace and Security

We live in a day and time in our nation, and in the world, where there is much talk about the need for “unity” among all people, and about the need to get rid of all “division,” for all division is bad and is even unchristian, so some say. After all, the scripture talks much about the need for unity, and it speaks against division, too. Yet, this is where we must know the scriptures, and we must be very discerning, for this is where scripture gets twisted.

When the scriptures talk about us being united, they are talking first and foremost about us being united with Christ and with his mind (his thinking, attitudes, values, beliefs, etc.). So, this is speaking to those who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. We are to be likeminded with Christ, and then we are to be of one mind and heart with one another who are also likeminded with Christ. Christ is the unifier!

Nonetheless, within the institutional church and within the governments of many of our nations, what we are hearing oftentimes about unity is not unity with Christ but with other humans, and with business marketing schemes, and even with other religions and alternate lifestyles, i.e. it is with Satan.

And, in many cases, this is forced unity (like rape), both at the level of government and at the institutional church level, either via deception, manipulation, or intimidation of some kind. For, this is Satan sowing his seeds of deception in order to steal, kill and destroy both the gospel of our salvation and Christ’s church, his body, i.e. his saints.

And, it is Satan and his hordes (powerful rulers) also overpowering independent nations in order to bring everyone into unity with the beast one-world government and one-world religion, for this is where this is all headed. And, this has been carefully orchestrated and planned out over many years so that the deception has been introduced one little step at a time until people barely have noticed the transitions that have taken place.

But this forced unity (rape) of the people of this world, including with many who profess faith in Jesus Christ, is how they are planning to bring about world peace, but peace at what cost? For the believer in Jesus, they will have to deny Jesus Christ, their Lord, and his gospel, and they will have to accept the lies. Well, you know what? This has already taken place.

Way too many people who profess faith in Jesus have already rejected the true gospel as taught by Jesus and his NT apostles, and they have embraced the lie which says that all is required of them to have eternal life with God is to “believe” (nondescript), but that it doesn’t necessitate that their lifestyles must change at all, or much at all, as though that is optional. For, the belief they speak of is human belief, not God-given faith necessary to salvation.

Know the Scriptures!

So, again, this is where we need to know the scriptures. For, scripture teaches us that Jesus died that we might die with Christ to sin and live with Christ to righteousness. And, it says, if we want to have eternal life with God, we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and we must be resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).

And, then we must walk (in conduct, in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God if we want to have eternal life with God. And, we must continue in this until the very end (Rom. 8:1-17; Col. 1:21-23).

We may not be perfect in this life, but daily we must be putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and we must put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us. For, if we walk according to our flesh (make sin our practice), we will die in our sins, and hell will be our destiny (Lu. 9:23-25; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8).

1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 ESV

But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

So, what we all need to understand here is that we are not saved from our sins just so we can go to heaven one day, while we still live how we want while we are still on this earth.

For, when Jesus died on that cross, he redeemed us (bought us back for God) away from our former lives of living for sin and self, in order to give us new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, to be lived for him and for his righteousness and holiness, in purity of devotion to Him as Lord.

So, we are now God’s possession, and Jesus is our master, and our lives are now to be lived for him and for his glory, honor and praise (1 Co. 6:20; Tit. 2:14).

For, God’s grace to us is not free license to continue in willful sinful practices without guilt and without remorse. His grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions (fleshly lusts) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14; cf. Rom. 8:1-14; Eph. 4:17-24; Gal. 5:19-21).

Yet, this is not works-based salvation. We do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. Our own works, coming from our own flesh, can never be good enough to meet God’s approval. Only through God-given faith in Jesus Christ can any of us be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God. But, the faith to believe in Jesus for salvation, if from God, will then submit to Christ and his Lordship, and then will walk in obedience to his commands.

So, we don’t work to earn our salvation, but we are saved to do good works. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” And, as James says, faith without works is dead. For, even the demons believe in God, and they even shudder, but they are not saved. Thus, our faith is revealed as genuine by our works, but not works of the flesh, but of the Spirit and by the Spirit of God (Eph. 2:8-10; cf. Tit. 2:11-14; Heb. 10:24; Jas. 2:14-26).

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 ESV

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Some people use this falsely as a promise to them, even if they are living in sin, just because they made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. But, the point of all this is to let us know that, although believers in Jesus Christ are not destined for wrath, if our professions of faith are not accompanied by evidence that true faith exists, i.e. death to sin and living to righteousness, then we are not genuinely saved, and we are destined for wrath.

So, the encouragement here is to know the truth about what the Bible teaches about our eternal life with God (the whole will of God), in context. For, many people are professing faith in Jesus Christ but they have bought into the lies which tell them that repentance, obedience and submission to Jesus Christ are desired, but they are optional, or that they are not required at all, and, in fact, they are works-based salvation to be avoided.

But, please know that this teaching is of Satan, because Satan doesn’t want us following our Lord in surrender and obedience, and he wants to keep us trapped in slavery to sin, so he is going to lie to us and tell us we don’t have to turn away from our sin, and many, many people are believing his lies because they are trapped in sin, and it consoles them in their sin, and that is exactly what Satan wants!

So know this. We are all going to reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we are going to reap destruction (decay, death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we are going to reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8).

True faith results in true change of heart and mind away from sin and to following our Lord in surrender and obedience to his ways.

It’s All You

Lyrics by Tosin Iyawo Ogaga & Sue Love
Music by Sue Love @ Original Works
Vocals by Tosin Iyawo Ogaga & Sue Love

May 31, 2019

You are the reason I want to dance.
You are the reason I want to sing.
You are the reason, expressing myself,
I serve You in all the ways You lead me.

You are the reason my heart gives You praise.
You are the reason that I am alive.
I bring out Your best moves
Just so I do embrace You;
Sing out loud as You lead just to please You.

Let myself follow You. I don’t care who watches me.
All I want to do is to make You smile.

Let every fiber of me bring You praise.
Your love has lifted my feet to dance.
Your faithfulness leaves me singing for joy.
You, Jesus, are the reason, it’s all You.

Your grace gives me life.

*full lyrics used by permission of the lyricists

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

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