Hebrews 10:19-25 ESV
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
The church of today in America who have wandered off from their pure devotion to Jesus Christ, and who are living in spiritual adultery against their Lord, need to wake up from their slumber! For the Day is drawing nearer!
It is time to stop playing church and to be the church, the body of Christ. It is time to stop sitting on the sidelines, just going through life lackadaisically.
It is time to make that decision regarding who you are going to serve. The flesh? Or, the Spirit? If the flesh, you choose death. If the Spirit, then you choose life. There is no middle ground (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17).
And, then we need to be ready to hold fast to our faith no matter what comes our way, for Christian persecution is here in America and it is going to get worse. If you think all these uprisings just happened spontaneously as the result of the purported death of one man, then think again. This was plotted out a long time ago, and it was foretold in Scripture many years ago, so be prepared to stand or to not stand at all (See Rev. 13).
And, as followers of Jesus, we need to be in the habit of encouraging one another in our walks of faith. And, this doesn’t mean just telling someone “God loves you,” especially if you are speaking to a fellow Christian, and especially if you know that Christian is living in sin. For, the way we are to encourage one another is to urge, inspire and persuade one another to walk faithfully with our Lord in purity, in holiness, in truth, and in righteousness.
Hebrews 10:26-31 ESV
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Do we truly get what this is saying here? We can’t make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and then deliberately keep on walking in sin. The two don’t go together, for the flesh is at war with the Spirit, and the Spirit is at war with the flesh.
So, “if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness” (Rom. 6:16).
If you think you can be “saved” from your sins on a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but you have no fear of God, you think you don’t have to repent of your sins, and you believe you don’t have to obey the Lord’s commands, then what remains for you is a fearful expectation of judgment, not the promise and hope of eternal life with Jesus Christ (Gal. 5:16-21).
For, you have profaned the blood of the covenant, and you have outraged the Spirit of grace, and you have trampled underfoot the Son of God. For, you mock God and what he did for us on that cross by your blatant disobedience to his commands and by your smug attitude which thinks that God requires nothing of you but some bare acknowledgment of him.
Remember what it says here: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Hebrews 10:32-39 ESV
“But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For,
“’Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.’
“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
Perhaps you started well in your Christian walk, or you thought you did. You followed other believers in Jesus Christ in their example for how you ought to live the Christian life. You sympathized with those who were being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. You had compassion on the hurting, the downtrodden and the mistreated. And, you were generous in sharing what you had with others who were in need.
But perhaps your faith was not genuine faith, but you were just following the motions of what you thought a good Christian should be like. And thus, with time, you eventually drifted away, and you went back to living like you did before you made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
Or, perhaps you are a genuine follower of Jesus Christ, but the present-day circumstances we are going through are beginning to weigh in on you and to oppress you. And, perhaps you are watching far too much news, and you are spending too much time on social media, and you are getting angry or fearful and you are beginning to lose your peace with Christ.
Thus, you are fearing your circumstances more than you are fearing God. You are losing your confidence in the Lord. And maybe you are even angry with God for allowing all of this to take place.
Well, this encouragement is for you! Don’t throw away your confidence in the Lord! There is nothing happening in our world and in America that God did not forewarn us about. He told us these times would come, and they have. For Americans, some of this is new, but other people of other nations have been suffering this for many generations. It is just now catching up with us.
God is allowing this in our lives because we have need of endurance, but also because so many of his loved ones have wandered off from their pure devotion to Jesus Christ to follow after the gods of this world. So, this is to bring them back, to get them to renew their faith, and for others it is to strengthen us in our faith or for them to gain faith for the very first time.
So, we need to take this time to come to faith in Jesus Christ, or to renew our faith, or to have our faith strengthened by the Holy Spirit. And, then we must remain faithful to our Lord, and be strong in him and in his mighty power. And, we need to put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us, because things are really HEATING UP!
So, hang on! Draw near to the Lord. Bathe yourself in his word. Spend much time in prayer. Encourage one another to be strong in the Lord, too. And, don’t let the circumstances of what is going on around us get to you. Put your trust in the sovereignty of God. And, let him lead you in this.
Be with Me, Lord
By Thomas O Chisholm
Be with me, Lord – I cannot live without THEE,
I dare not try to take one step alone.
I cannot bear the loads of life, unaided,
I need THY strength to lean myself upon.
Be with me Lord, and then if dangers threaten,
If storms of trial burst above my head,
If lashing seas leap ev’rywhere about me,
They cannot harm, or make my heart afraid.
Be with me Lord! No other gift or blessing
THOU COULDST bestow could with this one compare –
A constant sense of THY abiding presence,
Where’er I am, to feel that THOU ART near.
Be with me, Lord, when loneliness o’ertakes me,
When I must weep amid the fires of pain,
And when shall come the hour of “my departure”
For “worlds unknown,” O Lord, be with me then.
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