Endure Hardship as Discipline

Hebrews 12:4-6 NIV

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“’My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’”

There are many people today who profess faith in Jesus Christ who make light of the Christian faith as Jesus taught it and as Paul and the other apostles taught it. They don’t take God and his word seriously. And they joke about things they should take seriously.

When they get together with one another, it is more of a social event, and it is more about just hanging out with friends and playing games and talking about the pleasures that this world is offering. There really is not a distinguishable difference between them and the ungodly.

They don’t accept God’s grace as it is taught in Scripture but they embrace a cheapened grace which permits them to continue living in their sin unchallenged and without punishment. They truly do make light of the Lord’s discipline because they don’t believe God will chasten them for their sin.

They mock God and they trample on his grace because they think that they can keep living in sin “under grace,” and that they are still saved from their sins, forgiven, and heaven bound. And they believe God doesn’t even see when they sin anymore, but that all he sees is Jesus.

But God takes sin seriously. He especially takes sin seriously in the life of one who professes faith in Jesus Christ. If God cannot see when we sin, then we wouldn’t have need of most of the writings in the New Testament. For most of the New Testament is addressing sin in believers in Jesus Christ.

All throughout the New Testament (esp. Rom-Rev) we are warned against taking God and his grace lightly, and we are instructed in putting off sin and in putting on godliness, holiness, and righteousness. And we are warned that if we continue living in sin that we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10).

Hebrews 12:7-11 NIV

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

I believe that the wayward and adulterous church in America is under divine discipline right now, and that the discipline has the purpose to bring them to repentance and back to walking in pure devotion to their Lord. But we are all suffering the same discipline, for it is for our good, that we may share in God’s holiness and that it might produce a harvest of righteousness in us.

In fact, the whole world appears to all be undergoing the same discipline, though I know that not all the world are God’s children, i.e., they are not all heirs of the promise of salvation of sin and of eternal life with God, because not everyone believes in Jesus, not even everyone who says that they do.

But God is allowing all that is presently going on in America and in the world in order to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ, or to revive their faith in the Lord. And, according to Scripture, it is going to get much worse. We can already see that the global governments, via the Elite of the world, are enforcing more and more controls over us, the people.

So, we need to not take all this lightly, either, or assume that it is all just going to go away and that we can all “get back to business as normal.” I don’t see it going that direction, at all, but then I am not God, and so I can’t predict how God is going to do things other than what the Scriptures teach.

But they teach that there is a global government called “the beast” which is going to conquer nations and people and Christians, which I believe has been happening for quite a while now. And that they will persecute true followers of Jesus Christ, which is happening now, too.

The Scriptures teach, too, that they will try to force upon us some “mark of the beast,” which opinion on that varies. I believe the true “mark” is not physical, but it has to do with us taking on the character, attitudes, values, morals, and behaviors of this sinful world. And it is to take this influence on our minds, our thinking (foreheads) and on our actions (deeds, hands).

But I am not dismissing the idea that the mark could also be physical in nature, but that it is primarily taken into people’s hearts and minds and then is reproduced through their actions and behaviors. It is more spiritual in nature, just like the mark (character) of Christ on our lives is, too.

Hebrews 12:12-13 NIV

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

We need to take God’s word seriously. We must not dismiss all the warnings, all the cautions, and all the instructions on forsaking sin and on holy living. We must not ignore the warnings against living in sin and the consequences thereof. For we are all going to reap what we sow.

We must resist the devil, flee temptation, and resist giving in to temptation to sin. We must say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return. For, if we live by the flesh we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God.

The signs are everywhere that we are living in the last days before the return of Christ and that the “beast” is rising, and it/he is conquering people, nations and true followers of Jesus Christ, his saints. And we are going to all be required more and more to yield control of our lives over to global powers as they demand more and more control.

Yes, we are to obey the governing authorities over us, as unto the Lord, but we are never to make compromises of faith or of morals or of obedience to our Lord in order to submit to human authority. We must stand on our faith, and on truth, and on the word of God, even if it costs us our lives.

Praise Be Told!

An Original Work / December 28, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

He was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for all our sin.
Our chastisement was upon Him.
By His stripes, we now are healed.

He has witnessed all our trials,
And the sins we choose to wear.
Yet, while we were dead in our sin,
Jesus died, our sins to bear.

He himself bore all of our sins
In His body on a cross,
So that we might die to our sin,
And live for His righteousness.

By faith in the pow’r of Jesus
And His blood shed for our sins,
We can be forgiven our sin,
And have life with God in heav’n.

He will lead us and He’ll guide us
In the way that we should go.
He will comfort and protect us,
Because Jesus, we do know.

Though He disciplines for our good,
He will heal us – Praise be told!
Do not fear, your Lord is with you.
Just have faith in Christ your Lord.

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