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.”

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Rejoice!!

Rejoice!

1 Thessalonians 5:16

“Rejoice always”

Paul suffered very much for the Lord Jesus and for the gospel. He was imprisoned frequently, beaten with rods, flogged, stoned, went hungry and thirsty, went naked and cold, was in danger from false believers, and on top of that he suffered daily from his deep concern for all the Churches; yet with all that suffering, he instructs others to “rejoice always!”. How can this be? How could Paul possibly rejoice while sitting in a cold prison, chained to Roman guards?

His secret was that his source of joy was not governed by the circumstances of life, which always fluctuate, but was Jesus Christ Himself, who will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). True joy comes from knowing God and being right with Him, something that no trial can ever take from us, but on the contrary, only draws the true believer closer to Him. So rejoice on, beloved brethren, and let the joy of the Lord be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). No matter what terrible hardships this life presents to you, rejoice because your name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20), and your life is hidden with Christ in God! Hallelujah!

In Jesus, 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