In Danger

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“If I have not found Christ, I am in danger of death every day and of the Hell that is the everlasting prison of all unbelievers. If I have not found Christ, I am still without hope, and without God in the world- ‘condemned already’- because I have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God!”
Charles H. Spurgeon

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The Old Cross

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“The old cross slew men; the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. We must get back to the preaching of the cross as the central message of Christianity.”.
A.W. Tozer

God’s Priests

God’s Priests

Malachi 2:7

“For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.”

Although this was written to the priests in the Old Testament, the principle still applies to ministers today. A minister’s job is to know the truth, and to represent God to the people; He is to relaying God’s word faithfully without perverting it. Unfortunately, today, just as there was throughout history, there are many false teachers, prophets and ministers who do not keep God’s ways, nor teach them in truth. For fear of what people will say, they carefully select which Scriptures they will teach and which they will avoid, and even condemn. This, my friends is a grievous sin, the punishment of which will be more severe, according to James chapter 3.

In verse 8 and 9 of Malachi 2, the prophet writes that the unfaithful priests have forsaken His way, corrupted YHWH’s covenant and have shown “partiality in the law”. We see this addressed repeatedly by OT prophets, and by Jesus to the Pharisees (Ezekiel 22:26-; Jeremiah 23:11- ; Luke 11:37- 54). It is expected that because man is fallen, we will always have the majority of ministers walking in corruption. Yet, God is seeking those whose hearts are loyal to Him, and He will show Himself strong on their behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9).

Paul taught us in Galatians 1:10 that people pervert the truth because they are still men pleasers, and that we can only be one or the other, a pleaser of God or men. If you please men, you are not a bond servant of Christ.

So, if you are a child of God, that makes you a minister, and a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ; please represent Him well. If you are a teacher or pastor, don’t fear man, who can only hurt your body, but fear God who has the power to cast your soul into hell; yes, fear Him. Let your lips speak truth to all men, without partiality in any form. Be sure to teach on the mercies of heaven as well as the many warnings of hell. Let people come to you to hear the full counsel of God, every eternal word which He has spoken to mankind; then, your hands will be free from the blood of all men, and your fruit will be eternal in the heavens.

With love in Christ,

Jonathan Ball

Condoning Sin

Condoning Sin

Acts 22:20

“And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.”

As the Churches of the world fall by the wayside and more and more cave into the pressures of this world, compromising truth to please the masses, there is a line in the sand that is being scrubbed out. With this line removed, the floodgates of compromise have been released and every evil thing is gushing out, all in the name of love.

As the word “love” get’s thrown around and sang a million times in each contemporary song, remember that the greatest command is not to love man, but to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:29). If we love God we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). If we say we are loving people but are opposing God’s word, we are neither loving God nor man (1 John 2:4).

The line that has almost been washed away by our ever-darkening world is the distinction between a Christian showing love to a sinner and a Christian condoning the sin of a person in the name of love. God never condones sin, ever in all of Scripture, but rather declares His judgment upon it and those who practice it (Ezekiel 18:20; Revelations 21:7,8). He commands His people to hate what is evil and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9).

The common example in the US is that of the Christian baker who was friends with some homosexual customers, but when asked to bake a cake to celebrate their homosexual wedding, he declined. That being said, he was taken to court and lost his business. Now many Christians, Church leaders and Pastors have asked themselves, “would I bake the cake?” And it seems today that many have said, “yes, to show love to the couple.”

Now this in a sense sounds kind and loving, but I want to ask you: where does the line stop? If a known sex trafficker were to ask you to fix his vehicle that you knew was used to transport sex slaves, would you fix it in the name of love? Of course not, I hope! I would actually pull some parts out of his engine and call the police, in the name of love for those poor slaves.

How about making a cake to celebrate a recent abortion or a wedding between a pedophile and a 12 year old? Of course a Christian would never condone such wicked things because it would be promoting actions that God despises; things that we all know are wrong. By doing so we would be guilty of condoning sin. Things are excepted today that used to be appalling; and mark my words, there will be no end to the wicked things that will be condoned in the future.

When we look at the Apostle Paul’s confession, he expresses his guilt in the fact that he was “standing by approving” of those who were stoning Stephen. Paul’s hand was holding no stone, but he was supporting those who were. In doing so, he was guilty of murder.

When we look at Romans 1:32, people were condemned not only for practicing sins worthy of death, but also for giving hearty approval of those who practiced them. Even when Paul saw the Apostle Peter acting as a hypocrite, he did not condone it but rebuked him to his face, because he loved God, loved Peter, and those effected by Peters sin.

So how are followers of Christ supposed to treat people that are still practicing a life of sin? Our prime example is the Master Himself, Jesus Christ. In John 4 Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well. Now keep in mind that Jesus loved this woman so much that He was going to die for her sins soon after they met. Jesus starts by breaking cultural rules in befriending the woman, as Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. She is surprised by this and then Jesus starts speaking to her about spiritual things, intriguing her even more. After offering her living water, He then does something that most professing Christians will not do today; He confronted her sin. Before she could have this living water, she had to be convicted of her fornication.

Today, we would call this judgmental and awkward, but Jesus knew what was needed for her to find life. And behold, she believed! He revealed Himself as the Messiah and she was radically saved; not only she, but also the whole town through her witness! Hallelujah!

Today I plead with any and all who live for Jesus: please follow in His footsteps! If you have misunderstood love by condoning sin, please turn from doing that and follow the way of the Master. He is so much wiser than we. By all means, love sinners; feed them, clothe them, befriend them, share the gospel with them, and remember that you yourself once lived the same way, but by no mean do anything that would promote their sin. Don’t put a rainbow flag on your Church in the name of love, but do love homosexuals. Don’t pay for a drug addicts next fix, but do pray for him and give him a sandwich.  And above all, share the everlasting gospel with them, which is able to give them life forever more! That is love!

Abide in His Teaching

Abide in His Teaching

2 John 9

“Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.”

The apostle John makes the truth so clear; if we do not walk in Jesus teachings, we don’t have God. If we follow Jesus by obeying His commands, we have the Father and the Son.

So many profess to know God yet carve their own path, act as the architect of their own salvation and walk in the primary law of Satanism, “Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the law.” Jesus said it best when He proclaimed, “Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?” (Luke 6:46).

It is a principle that is well understood by the world, that the proof is in the pudding; you will see what someone truly believes by watching their walk. If they say they love Jesus on Sunday but their face book posts show them exalting drugs, alcohol and the lusts of the flesh, then you can safely assume that they still belong to the world.

Ultimately, let us just walk the talk, or don’t claim to love Jesus. To deceive one’s self is the worst predicament a man can find himself in. The Bible repeatedly says, “do not be deceived!” (1 Corinthians 6:9; James 1:16; Galatians 6:7). If Jesus has saved you and radically transformed your life, and if you have been born again, translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the glorious kingdom of light, then you will have a new desire to follow and obey your King!

Let us ever set our gaze upon the Author of Life and let us hang upon His every word. Let us cherish and love His commands, for they are good. Let us not think twice but to obey His every charge, and let our allegiance be absolute, even unto death. For though you might die in this life, yet if you believe, you will live again. (John 11:25)

With love for the world,

Jonathan Ball

“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to keep what he cannot lose.”

Jim Elliot

 

Abandon Ship!

Abandon Ship!

1 Corinthians 1:21

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believed.”

Ask yourself this question, “What do I REALLY believe about God and eternity?” because the answer to that will be seen in the way that you live your life. Do you really believe God’s word (2 Tim. 3:16,17)? Do you believe what He warns about sin (Luke 13:3,5)? Do you believe that God created all things including yourself and that He knows your thought life (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 4:12)? Do you believe that He will one Day judge the world in righteousness as He has said (2 Cor. 5:9-11)? Do you believe in His repeated claim that there is an eternal place of judgment for the wicked and an eternal future in the heavens for those who love Him (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28,29; Daniel 12;2)? Or do you merely say you believe, and live for this world as though Jesus were not coming back? Such a person is a hypocrite and is the very reason people accuse the Church of hypocrisy (Matt. 25:51).

My discipler used to always say, “in an insane world, a sane person seems insane.” I have found that statement to be very true. The world will think you’re normal if you get drunk, smoke drugs, look at porn, curse God daily, and live for yourself; but as soon as you turn away from those very destructive habits (that hurt everyone around you) and start pursuing  righteousness, you are labeled insane. You are insane the moment you stop living for yourself and start to live for Christ and others. They also called Jesus insane, but look at what He has done for you. He alone has made a way to escape the fierce wrath of God, by shedding His own blood on the cross.

Because we live in a fallen, sin ridden world, infected by darkness in every way, the wisdom of God seems foolish to people. But little does the world know that this pleasure cruiser called life is headed towards an iceberg, and when it strikes it is going down, along with all who are on it. God is calling all on board to jump ship into the rescue boat that He has provided, who is Jesus Christ His Son. As the world parties, it laughs and scoffs at those who they deem stupid for jumping over board, leaving the pleasures of this world. But it is those same “foolish” people who are calling out to them in love, to warn them of the danger ahead. When the ship strikes the rock of judgment, who truly will be the fool?

I plead with all today: this world is shifting, unstable and wasting away. Do not build your life upon it or you will regret it for all eternity. Rather, build your life upon the very words of Jesus, for His words will never pass away. Repent, and believe the gospel today!

With love for all,

Jonathan Ball

1 John 2:15- 17 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are not of the Father but are of the world. And the world is passing away and the lust of it. But he who does the will of God abides forever.”

 

False Grace vs Amazing Grace

False Grace vs Amazing Grace

 

James 4:6

‘But He gives us more grace. Therefore, it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”’

The grace of God is something so amazing and wonderful that when it is realized by its recipient, it produces a deep gratitude for the rest of that person’s life. It produces an ongoing awe as the depths of the undeserved gift continue to be revealed throughout the persons walk with the Lord. Each time the believer sees the darkness of their own sins, they are reminded of the extent to which Christ has forgiven them; any blessing received after forgiveness brings equal amazement in the fact that the Father, through Jesus Christ, has not only not-destroyed us like we deserve, but now is even giving us many good gifts from heaven, as if we had done something wonderful to deserve it. In fact, the Wonderful One is Jesus Himself, who took our place, received the wrath owed to us, and gave us all of His heavenly riches. Absolutely amazing.

There is, no doubt, a false grace that has been presented throughout history, even being mentioned by the seventh from Adam, Enoch (Jude 1:3, 4). Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, redirected his entire epistle as he saw the necessity to warn the Church of these false- grace teachers. He urged us to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints, therefore I am lead to continue exposing the false, and continue magnifying the true grace of our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I will keep it short and to the point, so I may keep your attention. What is false grace? False grace is being told that God’s sloppy love is such that He will simply forgive all of our sins no matter what we do or how we live. There are no standards or rules to abide by, we are simply ALL sinking in grace. This is just not biblical, and is a venomous fallacy. It is in songs, pulpits and books. It pollutes a person’s understanding of grace and robs a person’s fear of a holy God. The person receiving false grace feels free to live for their own will (Matthew 7:21), “falls into sin” repeatedly as a practice (as a planned event) (Galatians 5:19-21), and has no desire for holiness – without which no one will see the LORD (Hebrews 12:14). They will hear those terrifying words on the Day of Judgment: “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21-23). Those who preach this grace have their judgment proclaimed since the beginning of creation (Jude 1:4).

True grace, which has been hijacked, is the most amazing gift anyone could ever receive, because, by its very definition, means a gift given that is not deserved. It is only given to those who humble themselves and acknowledge their sinful state, and recognize their desperate need for a Savior. God will, and wants to give this to any person who comes to this place in their heart. But He not only refuses grace to the arrogant and prideful, but even opposes them. The prideful are those who justify their own actions and do not submit to their Creator, but follow their own path.

God’s heart is that none would perish, but that all would come to repentance and faith in Jesus (2 Peter 3:9). He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:32). But if a person persists in their wicked ways, and reject His offer of undeserved forgiveness, then He will eventually destroy them, and that without remedy (Proverbs 29:1).

What will you choose, dear reader? Perhaps you have chosen already, and I pray it is the right choice. For the Scriptures are quite clear; God will not be mocked. We will reap what we sow. I plead with each of you, that you would turn from sin and choose the grace of God; the most priceless gift in all the universe. God will take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. He will wash away your crimson sins and make you white as snow. He will change your destiny from an eternity in the lake of fire to an eternal abode in the heavenly’s, with all of His kingdom available to you… nay, “belonging” to you, who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:17).

What, oh what will it be??

 

Love Jonathan Ball

 

Endurance

Matthew 24:12, 13 “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”

Jesus promised that the world will grow darker and more wicked the closer it gets to His return. The hearts of many will grow cold, people will betray each other, even family members betraying one another; drugs, violence, lust and hate will all increase, and God will even send a strong delusion upon the earth so that those who do not want to believe the truth can hang themselves upon the gallows of deception. It is because of these things that there will be a great falling away from the faith, before the return of the King of all Kings, Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

Now, although these will be days of great darkness, darker than anytime that has ever been, there is a powerful ray of hope that shines forth from the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand..” (John 10:27-28). You see it was not by your power that you were born, nor by your power that you were born again. It is because of God that you were drawn to Him, it was God that intervened into your sinful life and called you.. you simply responded to His call. It was by His grace that you were saved by the faith that He gave you, and Jesus says that He is able to keep to the uttermost the life that you have entrusted to Him; no one is able to snatch you out of His hand.

With such wonderful assurance as this, we can surly have hope of enduring till the end. The key is in making sure that your heart has been given completely to your Master. For if you came to Jesus in full surrender, giving Him your life and your dreams, your heart, mind, body and soul, then when you are presented with the question, “do you also want to leave Me?” you will answer with Peter, “where else will we go Lord, You have the words of eternal life!” (John 6:68). It is to the glory of God that He leaves His children in this crooked world, so that we may endure all things, and shine as the stars of heaven, standing fast in Him and being a witness to all of His matchless power. So stand fast in His word and build your life upon the Rock who is Christ, for none can snatch you out of His hand!

Stand For Truth

Stand For Truth

1 Peter 4:11

“If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.”

When Moses walked the earth, he spoke for God and was hated by many; centuries later however, the Pharisees spoke well of him as if they would of liked him. But just as their forefathers did, they too would want to stone Moses if he lived during their age, and they proved it because of their hatred for their present prophets, namely John the Baptist and Jesus Himself, who were both killed for their words.

And you also, man or woman of God, must resolve within yourself that you will live to please God and no one else, for you cannot please both. If you speak for God, as we are commanded, you will be hated by the world (John 15:18); you will also be misunderstood by your brothers and sisters at times. Do not be disheartened, for before you there was a great cloud of witnesses who also lived for the will of the Father (Hebrews 11; Hebrews 12:1); They were stoned, sawn in two, beaten, they hid in caves and wandered about in sheep skins, of whom the world was not worthy. For with God, the last will be first and the first last. He is the One you are to aim to please (2 Corinthians 5:9).

So press on, dear soldiers, and set your eyes on the One who went before you, the Author and Finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). He brought light into a sinful world, and laid hold of the cross, despising the shame, because He looked passed that to the joy of knowing that millions upon millions who sat in darkness would see a great light, be loosed from the chains of judgment and receive everlasting life! Yes, let that be the apple of your eye my friends. For when you speak God’s word faithfully to the world, they will be convicted, they will get angry, they will despise you as they hated your Master, but be of good cheer, look past the shame; look unto the many souls that might be saved from everlasting destruction because of the power of your message. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe..” Romans 1:16

With much love, Jonathan Ball

“Only one life, will soon be passed, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Leonard Ravenhill