Whoever is Ashamed of Jesus

Luke 9:23 ESV

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

A lot of people get confused about God’s grace and his gift of salvation from sin. And, there is confusion about the gift of faith which he gives to us, too. Some people also misunderstand the meaning of the word “repent,” or else they believe that repentance and obedience to Jesus Christ are not required.

They think that if God’s grace to us is a gift from God, and if our salvation is a gift from God, then it means we do nothing. But “the gift” is not just forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God. The gift is deliverance (freedom) from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin, which requires that we die with Christ to sin, and that we live with Christ to his righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

And, it isn’t just freedom from sin, but it is empowerment to live godly, pure and holy lives unto God, and it is the empowerment to resist Satan, to flee temptation, and to draw near to God in full assurance of faith (Tit. 2:11-14).

And, the faith to believe in Jesus as our Savior means to be persuaded by God, and it is gifted to us by God. So, the one who has this faith will submit to the Lord Jesus, and he will leave his sins behind him to follow the Lord in obedience (Jn. 10:27; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).

And repentance, which is also a gift from God, although it means to have a change of mind, is most always used in Scripture in instructing people to turn away from their sins and to follow the Lord in obedience (Acts 26:20).

So, this is why Jesus said that if we want to come after him, we must deny ourselves (our flesh), and we must take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and the flesh), and we must follow (obey) him. We must walk according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, if we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

Luke 9:24-25 ESV

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”

If we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. For, if we think that making a mere confession of faith in Jesus Christ, or praying a prayer, or acknowledging what he did for us on the cross is going to guarantee us eternal life with God, we are dead wrong. And, this is especially true if we couple that with this idea that we can now sin as much as we want without guilt (Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8).

But if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin) for his sake, we will save our lives for eternity. But this is not something we can do in our own flesh. This isn’t about just doing good things and not doing bad things. This is about surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ, making him Lord of our lives, and doing what he says, saying what he gives us to say, and going wherever he sends us. It means we are now his possession, and we now live for him.

Luke 9:26 ESV

“For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

I want to talk here about what is going on in the world. I want us to pay close attention to what is being said in the news, and to the messages coming from the protesters and from the organizers and supporters of this movement which we are witnessing before our eyes each day in the news.

For a long while now our government leaders have been talking with us about the need for us to unify, to be in solidarity with one another, and of the necessity for us to break down everything that divides us as the people of the world, so that we can live in harmony and in peace with one another.

With these current events upon us, and with all that has taken place in the past several weeks, this message is now coming through LOUD AND CLEAR.

But I want us to understand something here, which is critical that we get. Jesus didn’t come to the earth to bring world peace. He came to bring a sword, to turn family members against one another (Matt 10:34). And, He does not give peace like the world does (Jn. 14:27).

So, what does that mean? It means that, when we make a decision to surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, in the way this is talking about here, where we take up our cross daily to follow Jesus, we are going to be hated and persecuted for our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. Even our closest friends, our neighbors, and some of our family members will turn against us.

So, what do the Scriptures teach us? They teach us that we are not to be one with the world. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. We are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. We are to come out from among them and to be separate. For, if we love the world, and the things in the world, the love of the Father is not in us. And, Jesus has called us out of the world (Jas. 4:4; 2 Co. 6:14-18; 1 Jn. 2:15-16; Rev. 18:4-5; Jn. 15:19).

So, how does this relate to what is going on in the world and in the news?

We, as a nation, and we, as the world, are being led down a path which has as its goal to bring all the people of the world into one order, in solidarity with one another, so that we, the people of the world, can live at peace with one another, and so there would be no inequality among us.

So, what does that mean for us? At some point, it is going to mean giving up our rights, our money, our freedoms, our homes, properties, etc. so that we will all be equal, one to the other (with the exception of the very rich, wealthy and powerful of the world). For, that is what it means to have equality, which is socialism, as I understand it.

It also means we are going to be asked to deny Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, or at least, initially, to deny that he is the only way to God. And, it will be to ask us to not teach others about Jesus Christ because the message of Jesus’ cross and his salvation divides people, like Jesus said. Or, they may just begin with asking us not to talk about sin, judgment, repentance, and obedience to Jesus Christ. They may phase into this persecution.

But this is coming, and it is coming fast. So, we need to be ready to stand strong in our faith in Jesus Christ, and to not deny him as our only Lord and as the only way to the Father and to heaven. We need to stand strong, too, in our belief that faith in Jesus Christ means we die with Christ to sin and that we now walk (in practice) according to his Spirit, and that those who do not die to sin, and who do not walk according to his Spirit, will die, not live.

For, solidarity with the world is enmity with God. So, we are going to have to choose between God and the world; between God and other humans; between Jesus Christ and the people of our communities and the people in our families, too. And, if we choose to deny Jesus, to be ashamed of him, out of fear of man, or out of a desire to be accepted by other humans, then Jesus said he will deny us (Matt 10:33). We need to take this seriously.

People get ready, Jesus is coming back. Get ready to be persecuted for your faith in Jesus Christ. This is coming. Stand strong in your faith to the end. Your eternity depends on it (1 Co. 15:2; Col. 1:21-23; Heb 3:6, 14-15).

Eternal Father, Strong to Save

William Whiting

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm does bind the restless wave,
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Savior, whose almighty word
The winds and waves submissive heard,
Who walked upon the foaming deep,
And calm amid the rage did sleep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Holy Spirit, who did brood
Upon the waters dark and rude,
And bid their angry tumult cease,
And give for wild confusion peace;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Trinity of love and pow’r,
Your children shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire, and foe,
Protect them where-so-e’er they go;
Thus, evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

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