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

Perspective

Perspective

2 Corinthians 4:18

“While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things that are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Things dramatically change when your perspective is different. Here is an example: someone offers you $100 million cash, the Mona Lisa painting, or a gallon of water; of course you would pick the money or the painting, valued at $780 million today. But, if you were in the middle of the Sahara desert, hundreds of miles from anything and thirsting to death, you would chose the life giving water. The other items would be worthless to you due to your circumstance.

As we look at the world around us, we see many lights, bells and whistles, temptations of every kind calling out our names. Most of the world is running after such things, building bank accounts, building dream homes and stacking up toys galore, believing that life is in the abundance of the things they possess (Luke 12:22, 23, 30). They are ignorant of the life of God, and therefore run after the only hope they see. It is all vanity, a chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 4:4).

We need a whole new perspective: a heavenly perspective. If all we have is this world, then let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. But when the light of God shines in our hearts, and He gives us new eyes to see, giving us an eternal perspective, then everything changes. The pleasures of this world become dim in comparison, no longer are you chasing worldly pursuits which fade away, but now you live for the will of God (1 John 2:15- 17).

Once you see that this life is like a vapor, and all its glory is like a flower that fades away, then your life’s agenda changes. As Paul said, we do not look at what is seen but what is unseen, for the seen is temporary, but the unseen is eternal. Dear reader, is this you? Has the light from heaven given you a new look on life, or do you still live for this world?

I encourage you today, while you have breath in your lungs: pursue heaven! Use your short life for the thing that counts. Use this worlds goods for the glory of God, holding possessions with a loose hand, for they will soon decay anyway. Provide yourselves a heavenly treasure that will never fade away. Do you see it? Do you see the unseen?

Love in Christ, Jonathan Ball

Web: www.jonnyfivealive.wix.com/pyroounderground

Home Church: www.goodfight.org

Delight Yourself in the LORD!

Delight yourself in the Lord
Psalms 1:2, 3
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper”
Honesty, what is it that brings you joy in life? What is your delight? Can you say truly that you love meditating on God’s word, or are the Scriptures just a dusty book that you sometimes bring to Church? When someone starts speaking about the truth do your spiritual taste buds start to salivate or do you get board and wish they would change the subject? These are all good questions to ask yourself in honesty if you are truly seeking God.
I simply cannot put enough emphasis on the importance of delighting yourself in God’s word, both written and spoken. For YHWY created the worlds with a word (Hebrews 11:3; 2 Peter 3:5- 7), and with a word they are sustained. Heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will never pass away (Luke 21:33). His word is the rock of ages that stands firm for eternity, so build your life upon it alone, and you will never be moved; build on anything else and you will surly fall (Matthew 7:24- 27).
Because of this great treasury at our finger tips, let us seek to delight ourselves in it day and night. Write His word on your door posts, and engrave it on your heart. Listen to no one or no thing that would try to deter you from being filled richly with the truths of God; they will guide you, they will speak to you and give you wisdom from heaven, they will fill your inner man with eternal riches and form in you the characteristics of Christ. They will expel darkness when it surrounds you, they will slice through deception and lies, casting down arguments and causing the devil to flee. God’s living word will make your leaves green, and cause fruit to multiply upon your branches. Love it, memorize it, and meditate upon it day and night, pondering on how to apply it to your life. Like food, digest God’s truths and let them become part of your spirit, and you will prosper in all that you do!
With love, Jonathan Ball
http://www.goodfight.org/
http://www.jonnyfivealive.wix.com/pyroounderground

What Really Matters?

What Really Matters?

James 4:14

“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

Picture this for a minute; imagine that all that you are living for at this time­- a good job, a career, a house payment, a marriage, a promotion, fame, fortune, entertainment, health, financial or worldly security, retirement, and any other agenda in this world are stripped away from you this very moment. Imagine that the economy crashes and the prices for living become astronomical over night. Think of what it would be like when people become starving, and start to loot and riot, rape and pillage, doing home invasions because they are desperate. Imagine if the safe life that you have always known is suddenly pulled out from under you and you are left in chaos. What then? What do you do to live? What do you rely on then?

Scripture tells us that this present world is passing away, that it is corroding along with those who trust in it (1 John 2:17). If we build our lives upon this world, trusting the uncertain riches of our bank account or any other thing in this life, we are like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The house might be beautiful indeed, but the foundation is shifting and unstable, and as soon as the storm comes, that house will collapse. So will those who trust in this life when their world is turned upside down. Everything that they ever trusted will be completely destroyed and they will lay there utterly hopeless (Matthew 7:24- 27).

This is why Jesus, the Son of Man came, to teach us about the path of life (John 8:12). He instructed us to forsake our trust in this failing world and to trust wholly upon His words (Matthew 6:24); for man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Luke 4:4). Wise is the person who hears Jesus voice and obeys it. He will be like a man who built his house upon a solid rock; when the storms come and pound upon that house, it will stand firm, because it is founded on something immovable. Nothing in heaven or hell, in time or eternity can change God’s word. It is a ROCK.

 When your heart safely trusts in what the Creator of all says, it will not matter whether danger nor famine comes, you will not be moved. You will say with the apostle Paul, “I know how to be abased and I know how to abound.” “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content,“ “for I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11- 13). Whether we live in safety and satisfaction or danger and chaos, let us trust in the unseen God alone, for He is your life and the length of your days (Deuteronomy 30:20). If He can feed the birds of the air, how much more will He not feed you? (Luke 12:24)

Please learn this lesson now, before it is forced upon you by circumstance, for you do not know what tomorrow holds. It could be your last day. Our nation could crumble, judgment could come. People would not believe that the United States could fall; I’m sure those in Europe thought similar thoughts before Hitler rose to power; I’m sure Roman citizens felt they would never be moved from glory, until Rome fell. I’m sure those in Romania felt secure until the communists came in and took over their government, horrifically torturing believers and oppressing the people.

 My friends, don’t trust your circumstances, trust God! You are not in control of your life and you never have been. Your life is only a vapor, it’s here one day and then it’s gone. The one thing you have control over are your choices today, so chose to follow Jesus with all that you are. Rely on Him, seek Him for everything! He will be with you through Hell and back, and will be your closest Ally, if you will obey Him (John 15:14). He will be with you when no one else can; He will never leave you nor forsake you, if you are His (Hebrews 13:5).

Whether you are slave or free, rich or poor, happy or sad, foolish or wise, please, please let go of the world and cling to Jesus Christ. He alone can save you, He alone can give you life… real life (John 3:36; John 10:10).

Love Jonathan Ball 

Eternal Perspective

Eternal Perspective

Colossians 3:2, 3

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

            It is easy to focus on the world around us, and be distracted from the one thing we Christians have been called to live for. Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” It doesn’t matter who we are, or what we are capable of; Jesus wants to make us fishers of men. Yes, we have been saved from Hell, but now there are people all around who are still in sin, and daily sinking into an eternal place of punishment. They will have NO hope of ever escaping, once they are there. Therefore, it is our duty, if we love our neighbor as ourselves, to do all that we can to, “by all means save some.”

            What would you think of a fireman who sat and did nothing while a house full of people burned to the ground? Why, he would not be a real fireman, but an imposter, and he himself would be punished. What would you think if you heard his excuse, that he was busy listening to his new CD player, and too entertained to care about those who were perishing?

            We have so much, but do we have the heart of God burning in us? Do we care about what He cares about most, which are people? Or, are we just happy that we are saved, and blessed, and comfortable? We need to pray like the great revivalist, Jonathan Edwards prayed, “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs!” I know Hell is awful to think about, but Jesus talked plenty about it, and warned us to do whatever it takes to not go there. (Matthew 18:8, Matthew 10:28)

            Let our minds be concerned, above all, with the eternal welfare of those around us. I did not say their feelings, but their eternal welfare. Love is not passive, it tells the truth. It gives, it sacrifices, it prays, it cares for, and it tells the truth. Unlike popular teachings today, we are to follow in the footsteps of Christ in every way. Jesus did it all: He healed the sick, He cast out demons, He fed the hungry, but most importantly He preached repentance and the kingdom of God. Many were offended at the truth, because of their own pride, but others were saved. People plotted to kill Jesus ten times, because of what He said and did. If you read Acts, you will see that everywhere Paul went, people were stirred up by his words, and many hurt him and plotted against him, yet many were saved and brought into the kingdom of light.

What drove Jesus, Paul, Stephen, and all the followers of Christ, who were all but one martyred for the gospel? It was love, and an eternal mindset, understanding that people were perpetually lost if they didn’t find Christ. Paul said, “knowing therefore the terror of the LORD, we persuade men.” (2 Corinthians 5: 10, 11)

            My friends, because we have been given such grace in Christ, and forgiveness of sins, let us do all we can to bring people to Jesus. Only through Him may people find peace with God. We are called ambassadors for Christ, if we are in Him, and therefore let us make our calling and election sure. How would you feel if you were dead in sin, and Christians overlooked you?

 

What Fuels Your Life?

What Fuels Your Life?

John 4:32, 34, 35

But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest.”

Food gives us energy to live; it gives our body what it needs to function. Without gas your car will not run, and without food, your body will die. Therefore, food is essential for us to stay alive. But Jesus was focused on something far more important than food for His body; His eyes were set on eternal things rather than this passing physical world. Sure He had to eat food, but He was driven in life by a different kind of fuel, a spiritual food which gave Him energy to keep going, to keep working. This food was to do the will of His Father.

Jesus was one with the Father; He was in tune with the Fathers heart. He understood the burden that YAWH had for mankind, and His relentless pursuit for the redemption of our souls. More than anyone on earth, Jesus understands the horrors of hell that await those who die in their sins (2 Peter 3:9), and that, along with the desire for us to be where He is (John 14:3), is why He was so driven by passion to finish the work the LORD gave Him. (Along with the fact that He loved the Father and wanted to obey Him)

Jesus completed His task, and as He returned to where He descended from, He left us the command to finish the work (Matthew 28: 18- 20). Jesus handed us the baton. The question is what is the Church doing with it? Have most forgotten entirely why we are here on earth? Can our eyes not see that the fields are white for harvest? Has the world so consumed us with the pleasures of life that we are blind to the commands of our so called Master? Jesus is our Master indeed, if we obey His commands (John 14:15; 1 John 2:3-6). If not, He is not our Lord, but merely a pleasant name that we repeat or sing about in Church.

Let us wake up, and shake ourselves free from the fogginess that surrounds us! We must seek the Father with weeping and mourning till our heart becomes one with His, till our will unites with His will and our eyes see what He sees. Please Lord Jesus, transform our hearts and minds, so that our thoughts are the thoughts of Christ and our heart beats the very heart beat of God! Lord tear away our idols that keep us from loving You, and from loving those all around us. Kill our flesh that our spirits may life!

Is Jesus Christ your food, the manna from heaven? Or do you still feast on the luxuries of Egypt? If you take communion, consider, you are taking Jesus Christ into yourself; His life becomes your life, where His feet walked so shall yours; whom His hands helped, so shall yours. Those whom He wept over you shall weep over also because you want them to know God and find life in His name!

Oh can’t you see that the world is perishing? It is not time for fun and games, for relaxing and comfort, for settling down to live our own little lives! It is time to put our hand to the plow and not look back, or we are not fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62)! For those who are not gathering are scattering and those who are not standing for Christ are against Him (Matthew 12:30)! If you are ashamed of Him He will be ashamed of you on the Day of Judgment (Mark 8:38)! Let us seek and pray and do all that we can do to further God’s kingdom on earth. Time is running out!

Jonathan Ball