Don’t Take Time for Granted

Acts 20:28-32 ESV

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”

The apostle Paul was speaking here to the elders of the church in Ephesus. For he was on his way to Jerusalem, knowing full well that imprisonment, afflictions, and most probably death awaited him there. For he told them that he knew that none of them would ever see his face again. And now he was giving them instructions, as well as warnings, that they were to heed.

Now, not all of us are overseers of church congregations, and we shouldn’t be if we are female, except in cases where there are no qualified men to do the job. But all of us who are part of the body of Christ are to care for one another. We are all to watch out for one another. And we are to exhort, encourage, urge, comfort, admonish, instruct, and support one another in our walks of faith and obedience to our Lord, and in our walks of holiness and righteousness, for the glory of God, and in his power and strength.

And this includes warning one another against these “fierce wolves” in sheep’s clothing who have come in among us and who are not sparing the flock. And this includes warning one another about these men (and women) among us who have risen and who are speaking twisted things, and who are drawing many disciples after themselves. For so many of them are teaching that a mere one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ is enough to secure for them heaven and forgiveness of all sins, regardless of how they live.

But it isn’t just that. Some are teaching that we do not have to repent of our sins, and we do not have to obey the Lord, and that no works at all are required of us, but that Jesus does it all. And we just get to reap all the benefits because of what he did for us, while we go about living our lives the way we want. And some are teaching that, once we make that profession of faith, God can’t even see when we sin anymore, but that when he looks at us, all he sees is Jesus. And all that is contrary to the Word of God.

And not all of the deception is that open and blatant, either. A lot of it is hidden inside of what is truth where they are blending truth and lies together. But the lies are more suggestive and hinted at than declared openly. For the way they cleverly blend truth and lies together, it engages what is called misimpressions, i.e. faulty or incorrect impressions. So, they don’t come right out and tell you a lie, but they mislead you into believing a lie by leaving you with wrong impressions, on purpose.

And so we have many people professing faith in Jesus Christ, convinced that all their sins are forgiven (past, present, and future), and that they can never be held against them, and that heaven is guaranteed them when they die, merely on a once in a lifetime profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but regardless of how they live. And so many of them are still living in sin and for self, denying the Lord by their actions, living worldly and ungodly lives, but claiming Jesus as Lord and heaven as their eternal destiny.

So, we need to be alert, and we need to be watching for these things, and we need to be praying for discernment, and we need to be testing the spirits to see which ones are of God or not, according to the teachings of the Scriptures under the New Covenant, but in full context. For you can teach just about anything if you pull certain Scriptures out of their context and therefore you make them say what you want them to say to fit with your own lifestyle of choice. And many are doing exactly that!

And those of us who are following the Lord Jesus, in truth, should be weeping over the present condition of the church at large in America, although not representing every congregation. And in our tears we should be warning our brothers and sisters in Christ against false teaching and the lies of the enemy and deceiving spirits, and how subtle and hidden they can be in their deceptions. This should grieve our hearts that so many lies are being spread in the name of Jesus and that so many people are receiving the lies as truth without testing them against the Scriptures, in full context.

So, I want to encourage you to please not believe everything you hear or read coming from anyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ, or who says he is a preacher or a pastor or a Christian book author or any famous person who claims to be in relationship with Jesus Christ. For liars and lies abound these days, and deception and deceiving spirits are everywhere you look, pretty much. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see the lies and the subtle deceptions so that you are not led astray to false teachings.

For not one of us knows when we are going to breathe our last breath. We may feel that we are perfectly healthy, but all of that could change in an instant. So, please don’t play around. Get serious about Jesus today!

When I Go Home

By G. M. Eldridge

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes…” Revelation 21:4

In the moment He appears
And the light from heaven shines,
I’ll forget ev’ry fear,
Ev’ry pain I’ll leave behind.
Then I’ll see Him as He is
And I’ll know Him as I’m known.
Ev’ry tear wiped away when I go home.

Ever present is the tho’t
That a moment waits for me
When unworthy as I am,
His glory I will see.
I will empty all my praise
Before my Father’s throne.
Ev’ry tear wiped away when I go home.

If the trial I endure,
And your presence I can’t find,
Be near me, Lord, I pray,
Bring back unto my mind
That your promises are firm
And I’m never on my own.
Ev’ry tear wiped away when I go home.
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