Colossians 2:1-5 ESV
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
The picture the Lord Jesus is giving me this afternoon is that of Christian persecution. What I believe he is showing me is believers in Jesus Christ, even now in America, being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ, for their stand on the Word of Truth, and for the sake of the full gospel message of our salvation from our slavery to sin.
The message, I believe, is that we need to be encouraged. For, we have witnessed or we have experienced a continual chain of events that are interconnected and that have an ultimate goal or end, which is of man, that is not for our benefit, but for our demise. We are not to fear what lies ahead. But, we are to be proactive in preparing our minds and hearts for the eventuality of what will soon take place, even forgiving others in advance.
If we have at all been listening to the Lord regarding world events, and if we have been paying attention to what is going on, and if we have been perceptive, it should be quite clear to us that we are nearing the end of time, and that the beast (of Revelation) is rising, and he is conquering and has conquered the kingdoms of this world, and he has, too, deceived the minds of many, many people.
Even now there is much rhetoric in the news, and coming from our government leaders, about “hate speech.” And, this seems to be being overplayed to the point to where they are obviously working toward some ultimate goal, which I believe is to bring about laws which censor us from speaking out against tyranny, oppression, false teaching, the beast, etc.
Our president, I believe it was yesterday, talked much about people who he deems hate America and Israel (the Jews) because they are speaking out against them in some way, some or much of which I believe is being staged for the purpose of bringing about their intended result.
And, that intended result, I believe, is censorship, and it is to silence people who are pointing people to what is taking place in these last days in fulfillment of prophecy of scripture. And, it is to keep people from revealing what our government and what Israel and its leaders are doing, and it is to keep people from sharing the full gospel message, too.
And, we have to keep in mind here that the nation of Israel is not God’s chosen people anymore. When Jesus died on that cross, he destroyed that barrier that stood between Jew and Gentile, and he made all of us who believe in him to be one in Christ, so that there is no longer Jew and Gentile, but saved and unsaved. So, if the Jews do not believe in Jesus, they are numbered among the unsaved, and they are antichrist, not for Christ.
And, the message the president portrayed and spoke was that if we don’t like America and we don’t like Israel, that we can leave and we can go someplace else. But, know this. Much of today’s church was giving a similar message some 20+ years ago. It was all part of the Rick Warren Purpose-Driven Church movement.
Pastors were putting together their business goals and objectives for their market-driven churches, and one of their main messages was that we either unite with them in their business goals or we go someplace else. Now we are hearing the same message from our president, but please know that the real message behind all this is “unite with the beast” or you can’t buy or sell. This is what is coming, which is quite evident to those who have been paying attention and who have been connecting the links in the chain of events.
But, the message to us, Christ’s body, is that we be encouraged, that we unite with Christ and with one another in Christ Jesus our Lord in the fellowship of his Spirit and that we understand that God is in control, that he sovereign over all this that is coming, that all this was prophesied in his Word, and that he is allowing it for a time and a purpose. So, we don’t need to be afraid. We don’t have to fear what is coming.
We just need to put our faith and practice fully in the Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands and trust him to work it all out for the good of those who love him and who have been called according to his purpose. We need to see God’s hand in our lives and understand all that he has for us.
And, we need to submit to his purposes, surrender our lives to him, and keep on forgiving every insult, every persecution, every unfair treatment, every false accusation, and every betrayal, each one as they come, and even in advance, proactively, so we don’t lose heart when they do come.
Colossians 2:6-7 ESV
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
No matter what troubles, difficulties or persecutions come into our lives, we must remain steadfast in our faith and in our practice. We can’t let humans undo us and persecutions take us out. For, when hardships come, which they will, the natural human emotion is to want to retreat or to fight back, and neither one is good, unless we are fighting our true enemy with the armor of God, and unless we are resisting him and fleeing temptation.
We have to keep going, and we have to keep putting our trust in the Lord and not in human beings who are bound to fail us, to abandon us, and even to betray us. And, if this persecution results in us losing income or freedoms, or our reputations, we have to keep putting our trust in the Lord, believing that he will take care of us, for he is our kinsman redeemer like Boaz was for Ruth, and he took care of her and he fulfilled all his promises to her, too.
So, no matter what may come our way, we need to remain faithful to our Lord. And, we must be walking (in practice) in him, and in his word, doing what He says, and following him in the way that he has for us, even if that way is going to have some hard places. For, he didn’t promise us easy street, but he said we would have to suffer as he did for righteousness’ sake. And, then we need to be thankful, too, even in the hard times.
Colossians 2:8-15 ESV
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
When these persecutions and these troubles come, Satan and his followers are going to try to persuade us to believe them and to follow them and to reject and deny Jesus Christ as Lord (owner-master) of our lives. Satan will try to persuade us to be afraid, and that we have to rescue ourselves, and we have to take matters into our own hands and/or compromise our faith and convictions in order to survive.
But, we must reject Satan’s lies, and we must believe that Christ Jesus will supply everything that we need. Nothing will take him by surprise. He had all this planned out or he certainly allowed all of it for his purposes, and he is not going to leave us as orphans. All that we need can be found in Christ Jesus if we will submit to his Lordship and if we will surrender to his will.
For, in Jesus’ death and resurrection, he conquered our foe. So, Satan has no power over us. Man has no real power over us. They can only do what God permits (allows) them to do. And, through it all God will purify our hearts, make us more like Jesus, and make us holy as he is holy. We just need to believe that, and we need to live like we believe that.
I Do Not Seal My Lips
An Original Work / January 13, 2014
Based off Psalms 37, 40
Do not fear when evil man
Has success in all their plans,
For like grass they’ll wither soon.
They’ll be cut off from the land.
Trust in the Lord and He’ll give you peace.
Find your delight in Him through all stress.
All of your ways commit unto Him.
All your desires from Him He’ll fulfill.
Wait for the Lord; keep His way.
Delight in His Word always.
He’ll be with you to the end;
Life eternal found in Him.
I waited patiently for my Lord.
He turned to me, and He heard my cry.
He set my feet on the Solid Rock.
He gave to me a firm place to stand.
Blessed are we, who trust the Lord,
Who do not turn to false gods.
Our desire’s to do God’s will.
His word is within our hearts.
I will proclaim salvation to man.
You put a new song now in my mouth.
I’ll not withhold your love and your grace.
I’ll speak forevermore of your truth.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019