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!

Do You Know Him??

Do You Know Him??

Psalms 146:1, 2

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”

When you hear the name Jesus, how does it make you feel? Does it bring no joy to your heart whatsoever, or does it flood your soul with gratitude because He, the King of glory has saved you from your sins? Tonight I urge you to examine your own heart to see where you stand with God.

Now, we are not discussing religion this evening, for there are tens of millions of pious believers on the earth today, strictly following the rules of their gods, but they do not have eternal life. No, tonight we are talking about, “DO YOU KNOW GOD?!” Jesus Christ proclaimed that, “this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3).”

Jehovah does simply want us to follow a bunch of rules, but wants to have fellowship with us, and to give us the life that is in Him! He wants to become one with us in spirit and dwell with a holy people for all eternity. Every good gift has come from Him; oh, do you love Him tonight? Does His presence mean anything to you? Do songs of praise rise up in your heart when you meditate on His great mercy toward such sinners?

I inquire of you this evening to examine your own heart, and consider if you see any of these evidences in your own life to confirm that you know the Lord of glory. One of the greatest signs of a believer should be a humble gratitude towards Jesus Christ because they have realized the depth of their own wretchedness, and in turn have seen the abundance of grace that Jesus has given them at the cross. Anyone who can take the topic of Jesus as a light thing should strongly consider why. Your attitude towards the One who gave His life for you should be the same as it would towards someone who pushed you out of the way of a bus, losing their own life to save yours. You would not feel “whatever” towards that person.

Do you have a deep love for the brethren and desire to fellowship with those of kindred spirit, or would you rather mingle with the world? For “we know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren (1 John 3:14)”. When you hear of His wonders at work in the earth, like Muslims being converted through visions of Jesus, does your heart rejoice? Are you brought to tears at the testimony of His faithful martyrs? When you hear a Spirit filled message from a man of God does it hit your soul like a ton of bricks? Does the message resound within you for weeks to come, God’s words working in you to transform you into the image of His dear Son? Do any of these experiences ring true in your ears?

Does it wrench your spirit when you hear others blaspheming and using as an expression of disgust the one name that is above every name, the name of Jesus? Does your heart delight in God’s commandments, or are they a burden to hear? Can you relate to the Psalmist as he cries out, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day (Psalms 119:97)”, or is it foreign to consider? Does your heart now love holiness and hate wickedness; has your relationship with the world, the devil and the flesh changed?? Do you grieve when you sin and hunger to be more like Jesus?

For if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away and behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17)!! Do you know the Savior today? Can you say Christ is mine and I am His? If not, fall on your knees tonight and do not rise until you know He has saved you. He is waiting for you to turn to Him now!

With Love, Jonathan Ball

True Love

True Love

1 John 4:8

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

What is love? Today’s miss conception of love is a vise by which sinners and professing Christians may live as they please, while believing that God is ok with their sin because He is love; So let us look closely at God, who is love, to see how He lived when among us.

Jesus was moved with compassion continually, and fed the hungry, clothed the naked, cast out demons and healed the sick; all of which a Christian should practice. He spent much of His time teaching people the word, loudly no doubt because thousands of people had to hear His messages. Therefore preaching loudly in public is not hateful, unless the content and spirit of the message are hateful. Unfortunately there will always be those people who do preach with hatred, telling people that God hates them and calling them whores etc. That is a grievous evil and makes it harder for preachers of the gospel because we get judged with the same label for simply following in Jesus’ footsteps.

Does being gentle and loving mean we must always speak softly? Was Jesus loving when He called the Pharisees “sons of hell” (Matthew 23:15)? Was John the Baptist loving when he called the Pharisees a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 3:7)? Yes they were, because sometimes “open rebuke is better than hidden love” (Proverbs 27:5), and sometimes love means “pulling people from the fire” (Jude 23) as Jude puts it. Some people need a strong loving rebuke to shake them to their senses, so they may escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. This in no way gives us the license to be reckless with our words, but we must always operate in humility, being guided by the Holy Spirit.

God is patient by allowing a sinful world to continue so that some might be saved, and He is kind by warning us of judgment so we may flee from the wrath to come (Luke 3:7). Personally I have never used the severest threatenings of God’s word in the quantity that Jesus and the apostles did, maybe to my detriment (Peter 2:4- 6; Peter 3: 5-7; Rev. 21:8; Rev. 14:10, 11; Rev. 6:16; Daniel 12:2; Matt. 24:51; Matt. 25:46; Luke 3:17; Rom. 2:8, 9; 2 Thess. 1:9; Jude vs 7, 13). Perhaps I have not warned enough.

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It is imperative that we not remove the harder things of Scripture from our messages, for in doing so we are telling God we are wiser than Him. God is holy and must punish sin, and it will be severe; just look at the cross. We must preach heaven and we must preach hell, we must tell of grace and we must warn of wrath, we must preach of righteousness and we must preach of sin, we must preach repentance toward God and faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ. In failing to do so we are being unfaithful to preach the whole counsel of God, and will have the blood of many on our hands. Fear God! If you really believe the Scriptures, you will warn people; if you don’t believe them, you will argue with those who are warning people.

In the end, the only loving thing to do, once the reality of eternity has gripped your heart and the urgency of God has been laid upon you, is to cast off your own pursuit, set aside your personal agenda and live to seek and save the lost. For if you still live in complacency, comfort and pleasure, how does the love of God abide in you?

Web: www.jonnyfivealive.wix.com/pyroounderground

Home Church: www.goodfight.org

Billy Graham “Unless we believe in a future judgment, the cutting edge of evangelism is blunted.”

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

The Lips of the Righteous

The Lips of the Righteous

Proverbs 10:11

“The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.”

Repeatedly in Proverbs we see the use of antonyms; the foolish and the wise, the righteous and the wicked, the lazy and the diligent, and a mouth that speaks life or death. Just as a spring of water does not bring forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening, so our mouth should not speak blessing and cursing towards others. It is not becoming of a righteous person to speak wickedly, for it defiles his nature and stains his character.

You can learn a lot about a person by what comes out of their mouth, for Jesus Himself said to the Pharisees, “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34)” Now no man can tame the tongue completely (James 3:8), for we all stumble in word sometimes, but what a person talks about most is what is stored up in their heart. If a person loves the world and the lusts of it, they will talk most about that, and will do it with enthusiasm. But if a person is converted and now loves Jesus Christ, filling themselves with His word, then out of their mouth will come life. It will be a joy to speak of the things of God.

So let us be filled richly with God’s word so we can be a well of life to others. Let your mouth be used to bring people to Jesus, to disperse truth on the earth and to declare the praises of the living God. Let your life be like a well, causing people to come to you, drawing truth and life from your lips. May they find strength as you speak of His promises, proclaiming hope in a lost and dying world. Just as water gives life to the body, let your words bring light and counsel to others, filling them with wisdom from heaven.

Press On!

Press On!
Philippians 3:12
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
As a Christian, you often feel like you don’t have it all together. If you truly walk with God and desire to please Him, you will find yourself continuing to see things in your life that are displeasing to you. A great preacher once said, “The more holy you become, the more unholy you realize you still are.” And that is so true, but do not be discouraged dear brother and sister, for even Paul the apostle, that great pillar of our faith, confessed that he has not yet obtained perfection, but he pressed on towards the goal, and that is what we must do beloved, press on towards Jesus.
Peter tells us that God’s divine power has given us everything that we need to live a godly life, through the knowledge of Jesus Chris who called us (2 Peter 2:3). So seek to know Him more, and do not give up. Continue to grow in your knowledge of the Most High, and draw near to Him with a humble heart. God has given every Christian the power to live for Him.
Remember this beautiful fact: that if God did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, why would He not, with Jesus, also freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)? For He has already given you the most precious gift He can give, His only begotten Son, so He will not stop helping you now. No, God will finish the work that He started in you (Philippians 1:6), beloved of God, so be sure of that. His love for you is not dependent upon your ability to be perfect, but is because He chooses to love you regardless; For truly, none of us deserves His love.
So find strength in understanding God’s nature, and learn the riches that He has bestowed upon you in Christ. Know that if God is with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you, even if all others do. Learn the great and precious promises that He has given you, and stand upon them my friend; press on, and lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of you!
With love, Jonathan Ball
http://www.goodfight.org/
http://www.jonnyfivealive.wix.com/pyroounderground

Love your Neighbor

Love your Neighbor
Mark 12:31
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Once a man dressed up as a homeless person and sat in front a Church. As “Christians” flooded in that day to hear the message and fulfill their religious duties, not one person stopped to minister to the man nor care for his needs. Then, the man got up, walked to the front and declared to the people the coldness of their hearts, for he was the speaker that day.
How many people have we passed up in the business of life? As we wear the name of Christ, or Levite or Priest, do we truly perform our spiritual duty to love our neighbor as ourselves? Ashamedly I must say “no”, we do not often walk the way we should. But we must, for whoever denies the least of these denies Jesus Christ Himself.
Lord please open our eyes to see what you see. Give us hearts that break for the lost, give us compassion that swallows our fears. Use what you have to serve others; do not be afraid to get your hands dirty. Look for the need, and meet it. Do you not see them? They are all around, a world full of walking dead men who need the water of life. Satan has beaten and broken them, sin has left them festering with soars, like leprosy that eats the flesh. They are rotten and dead, in need of the words of eternal life.
God has chosen you and I to be the vessels through whom He operates. Therefore, do not stop the flow of His Spirit by the clutter of selfishness or apathy, but seek to have clean hands and a pure heart so God can use you, and surely He will use you, dear friend. Let His power work through you mightily to reach every tribe, tongue and nation on earth, for He seeks such to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
With love, Jonathan Ball
http://www.goodfight.org/
http://www.jonnyfivealive.wix.com/pyroounderground