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!

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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.”

Tithing- the Final Frontier

Tithing- The Final Frontier

“It has been said that the wallet is the ‘final frontier.’ It is often the final area to be conquered- the last thing that we surrender to God. Jesus spoke much about money. He said that we cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). ‘Mammon’ was the common Aramaic word for riches, which is related to a Hebrew word signifying ‘that which is to be trusted.’ In other words, we cannot trust both God and money. Either money is our source of joy, our great love, our sense of security, the supplier of our needs- or God is.

When you open your purse or wallet, give generously and regularly to your local Church. A guide to how much you should give can be found in the ‘tithe’ of the Old Testament: 10 percent of your income. Whatever amount you give, make sure you give something to the work of God (see Mal. 3:8- 11). Give because you want to, not because you have to. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:6, 7), so learn to hold your money with a loose hand.”

Ray Comfort

Evidence Bible, page 1413

Wonderful, Counselor

Wonder, Counselor

Isaiah 9:6

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Who is this wonderful Man who entered the world 2,000 years ago? Some say a Prophet, some say a good man, others say He simply found enlightenment, and still others say He was an angel; but who do you say that He is? Your answer to that question will propel you into eternity; some to eternal damnation and others to eternal life.

Without a doubt, this Man split history in half, impacting the earth with colossal force. His words and miracles astounded people beyond measure. His coming sent shockwaves through history; tens of millions have died for His name, the wickedest of men have been transformed into saints, and an innumerable amount of people will enter the gates of heaven because of His sacrifice. Will you be one of them?

Truly He is more than wonderful; there are no words to describe His greatness. He is the King of all Kings, the infinitely wise Creator, and the Judge of all the earth; He is coming back to set up an everlasting kingdom, and even now He reigns in the heart of millions. Like a Father He will care for His people forever (Psalms 23:1), but will destroy His enemies with an everlasting fire (2 Thessalonians 1:7- 9). Oh won’t you run to His mercy today? Look to the cross dear reader, for His blood was shed for you! If you will only repent and believe, you will be saved (Acts 20:21; Acts 3:19; John 3:16). Seek Him today; I implore you, for tomorrow may never come!

With love in Jesus, Jonathan Ball

Web: www.jonnyfivealive.wix.com/pyroounderground

Home Church: www.goodfight.org

Arrogance

Arrogance

Isaiah 2:11

“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.”

One of the greatest enemies of God is pride; for the wicked man in his pride will not seek God, and He is in none of his thoughts (Psalms 10:4). Man enters this life through no authority of his own, and becoming aware of himself he lives out his life as if he were god, arrogantly rejecting submission to the LORD of all creation. The little being says, “I don’t need God!” and yet on the day he dies he will have no power at all!

Oh foolish little man! Seek God! For you could not even breath unless God granted you air, and the body you now use to defy Him is not your own. If the God that you reject did not instruct your heart, it would not beat! Unless He had written the 3.1 billion letter code book called your DNA you would not have eyes at this moment to read my words, nor ears to hear the sound of your friends, nor the ten thousand taste buds to enjoy your next meal! On the Day of Judgment, the LORD alone will be exalted, but the prideful man will be brought low.

Let us humble ourselves today and take our rightful place as the creature, not the Creator. Let us submit to the Almighty God of the universe, and He will give us grace through His Son Jesus Christ. Blessed be His name.

With love, Jonathan Ball

Web: www.jonnyfivealive.wix.com/pyroounderground

Home Church: www.goodfight.org

Fools for Jesus

Fools for Jesus

In our modern culture, many people believe in Jesus, but to actually obey His words is another thing. If you really walk out verses such as “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), you are called legalistic and unloving, and if you truly believe and act on Jesus command to sell what you have and give to the poor (Luke 12:33), you will be seen as a fool. But one day the first will be last and the last first, so be one who obeys the Lord’s commands, even if you seem foolish to the world.

Jesus says, “Why do you call Me Lord, Lord and do not the things that I say? (Luke 6:46)” When some said to Jesus that they would follow Him, He told them that the Son of Man had no place to lay His head (Luke 9:57, 58). Should we follow Him at that cost? Yes, we should, even though we will be judged by others. We should follow Him and do His will even at the cost of our health, our resources, our reputation, our pride, our blood, sweat and tears, and even our own lives. He died for us, so that we might live or die for Him. Will you serve Him at that cost? There is no other path that leads to life, although we Americans believe there is. Jesus said that anyone who desires to come after Him must deny himself, pick up his cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23). If we desire to save our lives, we will lose them forever; if we lose our life for His sake and the gospels, we will find eternal life. Which do you chose?

In Hebrews 11 we see a list of people praised for their faith. Among them were some who had trials of mocking and scourging, of chains and imprisonment, they were stoned and sawn in two, they were tempted and slain with the sword, they wandered in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented- of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth (Hebrews 11:36- 38). Most of us have not suffered such things for our faith, but there are thousands around the world that endure these and worse for the name of Christ. Are they failures? Are they out of God’s will? By no means, but we were called to such things, even as Jesus our Lord was nailed to a cross for doing the Fathers will. So understand, dear reader, that if you chose to follow Jesus, it will not be a bed of roses, but rather a crown of thorns. Even so, chose that path, beloved; chose the narrow and difficult path, for it alone is the one that leads to life everlasting!

With much love for your souls, Jonathan Ball

Web: www.jonnyfivealive.wix.com/pyroounderground

Home Church: www.goodfight.org