A Time of Decision

Luke 19:37-40

“As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’”

Satan wants to silence us. So, he puts coverings over our faces to shut us up, and he separates us one from the other, and he makes us afraid of people and germs so we don’t go near each other, so that we don’t share the Good News of the gospel with people face to face. Do you see it?

And he tries to convince us that we need to “stay in your lane,” and to not say anything to anyone that might offend them with the truth. And, he tries to make us afraid of being accused of bigotry or hate speech or intolerance because we are sharing the truth of the gospel, which divides people as saved and unsaved. And, he tries to persuade us to compromise with him.

And, he tries, via his false prophets, to convince us that we are wrong, or that we are unloving and not kind, and that we are judgmental or self-righteous because we tell people the truth about sin, judgment, salvation, submission, repentance and obedience to Christ’s commands.

And, so he tries to convince us that the loving and kind thing to do is to blend in with the world, and to be one with the world, and to deny Jesus as our Lord (master), and to deny the gospel which says Jesus is the only way to God, and to deny that salvation means dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and his righteousness, in the power of God’s Spirit.

For, he wants to convince us to come his way, and to be accepting of all religions and all people’s lifestyles, and of sin, and to be of one mind and one heart with the nations, and to accept a one world religion so that we can live in peace (a false peace) and harmony with the people of the world.

But I love Jesus’ response, don’t you? If we are silent, the very stones will cry out. Amen! If we are silent, too, we will miss out on the blessings of obedience to our Lord and the fruit of seeing other people come to obedient faith in Jesus Christ, because we loved our own lives more. But if we love ourselves more than God, then we are not worthy of our Lord (Matt 10:37-38; Lu. 9:62).

Luke 19:41-44

“And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.’”

Do you weep over lost souls? Do you weep over those who profess the name of Jesus but by their lifestyles they deny him? Does that grieve your spirit to see so many people claiming faith in Jesus Christ while they live not much different from the world, and sometimes worse?

Do you weep, too, over all the deception in the world, within our governments, and within the church, coming from men in our pulpits, too? Does it grieve your spirit to see so many deceived, following the lies, convinced they are going to heaven while they are headed straight for hell?

Many are saying “peace, peace,” when there is no peace. Many are teaching a false peace, too, which is a peace with man, not with God, and which is a lack of controversy and lack of differences, so that we can all be in harmony with one another, regardless of beliefs, practices, values or morals.

And, many professing Christians are buying into the lies, and they are not seeing what truly makes for peace – the kind of peace that God is offering. And, this is because their eyes have dirt in them, i.e. the lust of the eyes, so that they can’t see clearly, and so they are not discerning of truth from lies.

And, it is because their hearing is blocked, too, because they prefer the lies to the truth, because the lies coddle them in their sin, and the lies make no demands for submission to Christ as Lord, or for repentance of sin, or for walks of obedience with Christ Jesus. So, they resist the truth.

And, it is because they are caught up in the culture and the society and the world and its ways, and its philosophies, and with having things, and with craving sinful pleasures, and with a constant thirst to be entertained and to be jovial and to make light of what they don’t understand.

And, this, I believe, is why the USA is going through all this turmoil, because God is judging his adulterous and idolatrous church here in America who has eyes to see and ears to hear, but who is unwilling to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

Luke 19:45-48

“And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, ‘It is written, “My house shall be a house of prayer,” but you have made it a den of robbers.’

“And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.”

The church in America, for the most part, united with the government and with the world in an unholy union, turned the church into a marketplace to be marketed to the world, and placed another head over the church in place of Jesus Christ. All 3 of these God forbids!

She then largely replaced the purity of the Word of God with words of men, or with misinterpretations of men, and she replaced the Holy Spirit with marketing books and seminars on how to grow “churches,” i.e. businesses.

Then, she turned the worship services into stage productions and centers of entertainment to attract the world to her gatherings. And, thus she conformed the gatherings of the church to the ways of the world to appeal to the flesh of man and to the values of the world, so that the world would feel comfortable and at home in her midst.

Her pastors now had to be actors, performers, magicians, charmers, manipulators, comedians, and entertainers to keep the crowds coming, and coming back for more of the same. And, they all had to bow to the worldly church model, which is a model for how to market a business, complete with lies, manipulations, and compromises with the world.

Thus, to make the world feel at home, they also diluted and altered the gospel message of our salvation to make it more palatable to the world and to human flesh. And, so they reduced it to a mere prayer or a mere acknowledgment of Jesus, and they twisted God’s grace, and they turned the way of the cross into the broad road which leads to destruction, rather than the narrow road which leads to life everlasting with God.

For, they outright say, or they imply, that death to sin and living to the Lord and to his righteousness is “works” and so they don’t have to do them. And, so the gospel is now free license to continue living in sin, and it is permission to treat Almighty God with gross dishonor and disrespect, for they say we don’t have to obey our Lord’s commandments. We do nothing, they say.

But the truth is that faith in Jesus Christ means death to sin and living to God and walking in his righteousness and holiness, by the Spirit of God. It means we no longer live like we did before we believed in Jesus, but now we put all those sins out of our lives so that we can now walk in purity of devotion to our Lord, which is why Jesus died for us on that cross.

For, Jesus didn’t die just to forgive us our sins and to promise us heaven everlasting, but he died to deliver us out of our slavery to sin so that we would now be bond-slaves (servants) of him and of his righteousness, which then leads to eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Tit. 2:11-14; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8).

But if you teach this, i.e. if you teach the truth of the gospel, you better get ready for some severe persecution, for it is most certainly on its way. All the signs are there, if we are willing to see them and to believe that time is short, and that we need to decide this day who we are going to serve.

Hide Me, Rock of Ages

Brantley C. George, 1946

Oh Thou blessed rock of ages
Trusting now dear Lord in Thee
Keep me till my journey’s ended
Till Thy blessed face I see

Keep me when the storm clouds gather;
‘Til the sun comes shining through;
Keep me ‘til my work is over;
‘Til I bid this world adieu.

Hide me oh blessed rock of ages
‘Til Thy blessed face I see
When the storm around me rages
Rock of ages hide Thou me

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