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

 

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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.”

 

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.