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

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.”

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

World Religions

World Religions

Romans 10:3

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”

If you have ever wondered why there are so many world religions, there is your answer.  The world will not submit to God’s way and therefore goes about trying to establish their own righteousness, which is called “self- righteousness.” That is why there are so many religions, each with some form of “goodness” about them, but each denying the truth that is in Jesus Christ.

The movement today says that we should coexist, and many “Christians” are falling into the philosophy that people from every religion are following Jesus because they are doing good works, believing that although they do not know His name, they are hearing “the voice” that tells them to do good, and in obeying the voice are actually following the Lord. While it is true that God is drawing people out from every religion to Himself, it is not possible to remain in another religion (which teaches false doctrine about Jesus) and say you are following Jesus.

As Romans 10:3 plainly shows us about Israel, we can see that it is exactly what the religions of the world do, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and therefore not submitting to it, go about trying to be good on their own merit. It has a sense of goodness about it but is really rebellion to God, putting Him aside and saying, “I can do this myself.” But as the prophet Isaiah said, “All our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), for if we do not allow God to cleans our hearts from sin then our good deeds are an attempt to bribe the Judge of the universe.

In studying what world religions believe, you will find that each one changes the nature and Deity of Jesus Christ, who Himself declared that He is the way, the truth and the life, and that no man comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Unless a person submits to Him, no matter how religious they are, they are seeking their own righteousness. For, “whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9).

It comes down to this: either we trust in the merit of Jesus, accepting that it was His work on the cross that saves us, or in pride we reject His sacrifice and trust in our own good works to save us, which is futile. As the prince of preachers (Charles H. Spurgeon) once said, “Nothing can damn a man but his own righteousness; nothing can save him but the righteousness of Christ.” Please, trust in Jesus today while you live!

Love Jonathan Ball

Web: www.jonnyfivealive.wix.com/pyroounderground   Home Church: www.goodfight.org

Relativism

Relativism

John 14:6

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

We live in a society with an ever increasing spirit of relativism, meaning that there is no true moral absolutes, but you do what you feel is right and I will do what I feel is right. With relativism, there is no real concrete foundation by which to build your life, you simply do what is right in your own eyes. The only thing that is absolutely wrong is saying that there are absolutes.

What this does, in a sly way, is cancel out God. For God created all things through Himself, by Himself and for Himself, and through Him alone do all things consist. Because He skillfully designed us from our outward appearance to the depths of our soul, He also gave us decrees’ by which we should live; decrease that flow out of His very nature; For He is faithful, loving, just, kind, merciful, gracious, righteous, and true, and desires that we would also partake of this nature.   

But in a world that loves sin and hates what is right, commands like “do not commit adultery” don’t settle well. The world hates the light and will not come to the light lest its deeds should be exposed. But since God created all things, He has also given us moral absolutes and solid truths no matter if we acknowledge them or not.

Jesus said things that were very exclusive, such as He alone was the only way to the Father, and that without Him we remain under God’s wrath, condemned and without hope (John 14:6; John 3:36). This would mean that if Jesus is absolutely true, then Buddhism is not true, nor Hinduism nor Islam, nor the god of the Mormons or Jehovah’s witnesses. This would mean that anything that contradicts Jesus teachings is a lie and a deceit.

What do you believe? You have to make a stand on the truth! All believers have to stand for what we believe, and the world will hate us for it, because they don’t want to hear truth. Do not fear, brothers and sisters, but stand up for the truth, so that the world might hear and believe and be saved.

Love in Christ Jesus, Jonathan Ball

Youtube: Pyroo underground

Blog: jonnyfivealive2013.wordpress.com 

Count the Cost

Count the Cost

Richard Wurmbrand

(He spent 14 years in communist prisons being tortured for Christ)

“In Mark 5, Jesus orders demons to leave a possessed man and enter into a herd of swine. After the demons enter the swine, they run straight into the sea and drown. The owners of the swine, the Gadarenes, thus lost their means of feeding themselves and their children. How would we react if the entrance of Jesus into our lives meant the loss of our house, car, bank account or job? The Gadarenes reacted by asking Jesus to leave the area.”

Just seeing pictures of this man Richard make me want to weep. Reading his writings is like hearing of a foreign Christianity, one that you only hear about in books. The sacrifice that the underground Church makes when they chose to follow Christ is costly, costing Richard 18 deep torture wounds, years of horrific suffering, separation from his wife and son, and the pain of witnessing his brothers and sisters in Christ be martyred for their faith. This is not something known to the west.

Nevertheless, what Scripture tells us is true for all generations and all walks of life; those who truly follow Christ will suffer (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus said to count the cost before we chose to follow Him. Are we willing to follow Him at any price? Will we follow Him at the price of our worldly pleasures, at the lost of friends, at the price of being mocked by others? Are we willing to suffer ridicule for His name, or is our profession of faith shallow? Are you willing to stand for righteousness even if everyone else gets angry and calls you a fool (Mark 8:38, Matthew 5:11, 12)? We might have never been faced with physical harm yet for our faith, but it is coming. Will we go to prison for the sake of the gospel? Are we willing to suffer loss because we serve the Great Master of all, Jesus Christ?

Know that there are believers all around the world this very hour that would die for their faith in Jesus; they have lost limbs, family members, parents, and children because they turned to Christ. They love Him and worship Him with all that they are. They live in caves and mud huts, they worship in forests and secret places because if they are caught they could go to prison for decades. There are tens of thousands around the world who are in chains, all because they refuse to deny the One who gave His life for them. To them Christianity is serious, serious as life and death. When they chose to follow Him, trust me, it is at a cost.

But this high price has produced the most beautiful believers in the world. Because of their living sacrifice, their lives become passionate, fruitful, a sweet fragrance to all around. The power of their testimony becomes more than just words, but a tangible evidence of their love for God. In the face of death they sing, because they know that they will soon be in the presence of their sweet Savior.

So what do we do here, that we may be as committed as they? It starts by counting the cost. Why did we come to Jesus, was it to enhance our self centered lives? If so you should just stop now, since you will fall away as soon as it gets difficult. But let us do as Jesus commanded, let us count the cost (Luke 14:26- 33). The cost is death to you, allowing Jesus to live in you (Galatians 2:20). Before you profess to follow Jesus, and certainly before you tell others you are a Christian, consider if you would follow Him at the cost of your family, job, health, money, agenda and happiness?  If anything would turn you away from Him, you cannot be His disciple.

Even though this sounds too hard to handle for our American ears, it is the only real Christianity, and it is the only gospel that will give you true life. Many wonder why they are so unhappy as “Christians”, so unfulfilled; why the answer is quite simple, it is because they have not fully surrendered to Christ. But when we die, then we shall life, and that life is abundant. Richard Wurmbrand said he has only see truly joyful Christians in prison and in the underground Church.

LORD, please help us as a Church to learn what it really means to follow You. We need you so very much. Break us and teach us, mold us and shape us into the people You want us to be. Please Father do WHATEVER it takes to produce a beautiful bride for Your Son, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Love Jonathan Ball