At the Very Gates

Matthew 24:3-5 ESV

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.”

As followers of Jesus Christ, it is our belief that Jesus is God (the Son), and that he came to earth, took on human form, and he suffered and died on a cross for us that we might be delivered from our bondage to sin and from the punishment of sin (eternal death and torment). We also believe, by him taking our punishment for our sin when he died on that cross, that he bought us back for God with his blood so that we might now live for God.

We also believe that he rose from the dead after three days, and after he had shown himself alive to his disciples and to many others that he then ascended back to the Father in heaven where he is preparing a place for those of us who have trusted in him to be Lord and Savior of our lives. And, we believe that one day he is going to come again to take his followers to be with him forever. But, before he returns, evil is going to reign on this earth.

And, many people are going to be led astray by some of those who claim to have the message of salvation from sin. They may not say literally, “I am the Christ,” but they will proclaim to have the message that gives life to all humans, and they will declare that their message is the truth, and that they have the power to promise people eternal life with God. But, the message that many of them are bringing is a lie from hell, for it saves no one, but it leaves them still dead in their sins, bound for hell, while promising heaven.

For, what they teach is a half-truth diluted cheap grace gospel that appeases human flesh and which quenches the Spirit of God and denies Jesus Christ as Lord (owner-master) of our lives. For, they promote a human faith that is based in the flesh, which yields not to the Lordship of Christ, which dies not to sin and self, and which does not live for God and for his righteousness. It is lip service only with no transformation of heart and mind away from sin to walking by the Spirit in holiness and righteousness in the power of God.

Matthew 24:9-14 ESV

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Not all who call themselves Christians are hated by the nations. Many of them are loved by the world because they are still of the world, and because they don’t try to persuade anyone to believe in Jesus Christ. For, they are convinced by liars and deceivers that they are to “stay in their own lane” and that they are not to say anything that might offend the ungodly. And, they believe they are just to be “good deed doers” going around “blessing” people, and that they are not to make proclamation of the gospel of Christ.

The hated, and those delivered up to tribulation and death, thus, are “those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus;” “those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus” (Rev. 12:17; Rev. 14:12). These are the ones who are being delivered up to tribulation and to death by the nations – the nations which includes the false church and the worldly church. For, who put Jesus to death? It was the religious leaders within the temple of God who called for his crucifixion.

For, it is those who have fallen away from the faith and from God who are the persecutors of those who have held firm to the testimony of Jesus Christ and of his gospel of salvation from sin. And, these who have fallen away will betray and hate one another, and will turn one another over to be killed for their faith and for their testimonies for Jesus Christ, or for disloyalty to tyrannical governments, too. For, their love has grown cold and their respect for God’s authority and for the authority of his word are non-existent.

But, it is he (or she) who endures to the end who will be saved. And, this is so important that we get this truth. For, our salvation is not a one-time experience, we then live however we want, and one day we get to go to heaven. Our salvation is a life-long process of letting go of the flesh and of putting on Christ and his righteousness, being conformed to the likeness of Christ. Our faith must be present tense, and that faith must be proved genuine by our walks of obedience to our Lord (Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 6:7-8).

Matthew 24:29-35 ESV

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Although many people refuse to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ now, for they refuse to submit to his Lordship over their lives, one day everyone is going to know that he is God, and that God is Lord of all. It does not mean that they will then believe in Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives, for when he returns, he is coming to judge, and he is coming to take his loved ones to be with him forever. And, for those who kept refusing to believe in him, it will be too late. But, they will see, and they will know that he is God.

So, this is a warning to all who are now taking God for granted or who are thinking they are going to heaven based on some profession of faith, while they refuse to bow to him as Lord of their lives. Our God is completely faithful in all that he does, and he will do everything he said he would do. His word makes it perfectly clear that we will all be judged by how we live. If we live to please the flesh, from that flesh we will reap destruction. But, if we live (sow) to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life.

This also serves as an encouragement, too, to those who are waiting, and watching for his return. When we see these things taking place, many of which are now happening, we know that his return is near, and this should strengthen our hearts and our faith, for He is our hope! He is our joy! He is our deliverer! And, although he has placed us on this earth for a purpose, and we should be fulfilling that purpose, we should also be looking and longing for his return, for the day he takes us home to be with him.

Another wonderful encouragement here, too, is that God is God! He is completely in control and sovereign over all that he has made. Satan cannot outwit or outshine God. The enemy of our souls, although he can fight against us, cannot win. Jesus already won this battle for us on that cross. Satan can certainly fight against the truth of God’s Word, and he can even bring about the death of the Lord’s servants, but the Word of God will prevail. The message of the gospel will go forth to the ends of the earth, and then the end will come. For, God’s Word will never pass away. Amen!

Mighty in Power

An Original Work / June 17, 2019

Jesus, our Savior, reigneth forever;
Mighty in power, His name we honor.

He’s our refuge from all evil.
God our righteous, He’s our fill.

He satisfies us with all His blessings.
We magnify Him. Our praise to Him sing.

Glory and honor, praise to the Father,
Perfect in wisdom, He is our vision.

He delivered us from all sin
So, in Christ, we’d be forgiven.

He purifies us. His love will guide us.
He is beside us, holy and righteous.

Our Holy Spirit, comfort in sorrow,
Strength in our weakness, hope for tomorrow.

He gives courage to be bold in
Witnessing for Jesus Christ.

He teaches all things about our Savior.
New life in Jesus, we found His favor.

 

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