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!

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

Free from Men’s Blood

Free from Men’s Blood

Acts 20:26, 27

“Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.”

Preacher, do you want to be free from the blood of all men? Then fail not to declare the full counsel of God, even the parts that make people uncomfortable. For as ministers, we are dealing with the eternal souls of men, not a mere trivial matter! It is essential, no, imperative that we deal faithfully with the gospel message that was entrusted to us by God. If we see danger and fail to declare it to the people, their blood is on our hands (Ezekiel 33:6). 

The very reason Paul was innocent of the blood of all men was because he did not failed to declare to all the whole counsel of God. This tells us that we are guilty of men’s blood if we are failing to teach people the Lords full counsel. You see, many teachers refuse to talk about topics such as “sin”, “righteousness”, “the cross”, “judgment”, “God’s wrath”, “repentance”, and “hell” because they don’t want to ruffle any feathers, so they will only teach on love, mercy, grace, and then more love. Now it is true they will have a happier crowd, but none of that will matter if they perish and go to hell.

 The problem with cutting out all the hard stuff is that people get this false image of a god who would never hurt a fly. They don’t fear God for they feel no reason too; they are left comfortable in their sins because they believe that God is only love and will simply forgive them. People’s minds become so conditioned with this one sided message that when they do hear more difficult Scriptures taught, many of them reject it. Nevertheless, God has told us who He is, what He has done and what He is going to do. His word is a rock, it will never change and we must not change it to suit our needs.

What happens when the hard stuff is removed is that the fear of the Lord disappears, which is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. God’s people perish for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). We must understand the nature of God, and what He has promised He will do.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Yes God is good, but He is also severe (Romans 11:22); yes God is forgiving but He is also righteous and will by no means clear the guilty (Numbers 14:18); yes God is love (1 John 4:8) but He is also holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:3; Revelations 4:8); yes God loves (John 3:16), but He also hates (Proverbs 6:16- 19); Yes God is patient and kind (2 Peter 3:9), but He also gets angry (Psalms 7:11); yes God forgives but He also condemns (John 3:17); yes God makes alive, but He also kills (Deuteronomy 32:39); yes God is merciful, but He also has wrath (John 3:36). 

Please, reader, understand that one Day every living soul will stand before God and give an account of their life to Him. Every secret will be revealed, even the dark secrets of our heart, and God will judge us in righteousness by the Man Jesus Christ. Knowing this fact, let us walk wisely in this life, pursuing holiness through Jesus. Let us deal faithfully with others, speaking eternal truths to them because we love them and do not wish for them to perish, but to have eternal life!

I love you all because of Jesus,

 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?