by Lea Sylvester
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great [hidden] things which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).
“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, we will not hearken” (Jeremiah 6:16-17).
Surely we are living in the last days. This statement has been made for many years. As the prophets prophesied of events relative to the end-times (last days), and as Jesus Christ taught, those who are spiritually awake are aware that indeed, we are living in the last days. We know this because of the many prophecies and because of the words of Jesus Christ Himself. We are witnessing prophecy being fulfilled.
Jesus commanded us to “watch” numerous times. Why are we to watch and what are we to watch for? He wanted His church to be ready, to not be caught unaware, sleeping. Sad is the fact that most Christians are asleep today. They are lulled peacefully to sleep by the world. They will be caught unaware.
The question is, what should they be doing instead of sleeping? They should be developing such a close relationship with God that nothing could keep them from obeying Him or from hearing His voice. God is holy and God is sovereign. We don’t hear those words used that often any longer in reference to God. Sad.
“Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding: which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not. Fear ye not me? Saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; thou they roar, yet can they not pass over it? But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone” (Jeremiah 5:21-24).
The passage of Scripture quoted above from Jeremiah describes most Christians today. We can also see that the condition of the churches and professing Christians further described:
“Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers. Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them, but they will not answer thee. But thou shalt say unto them, this is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction [instruction]: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth” (Jeremiah 7:26-28).
Doesn’t the passage above seem to describe most professing Christians in the United States of America today?
Yet we hear so many saying that this is a: “Christian nation.” How can this be a Christian nation? Christians have been apathetic, disobedient to the commandments of God, and have allowed God to be kicked out of this nation. Now eleven states have “approved” homosexual marriage! And, the president approves of it!
May I state here emphatically that God doesn’t care WHO “approves”of it! God disapproves of it.
Our children are being taught “alternative lifestyles”: “Sex education” (beginning in kindergarten), and it has even been suggested that our children are not ours or even (the parent’s) responsibility, but the state’s responsibility! And how many babies do we murder every day? This is not even everything! Oh, come quickly Lord Jesus!
How can we possibly believe God that will not place judgment upon this nation? If God punished His chosen people, Israel, don’t think for one second that He won’t punish the United States of America.
This nation was founded by: Godly people. People who were persecuted for their faith in Great Britain and who risked everything (and some lost everything including their families, children and their lives) in order to come to this country so that they (and those to follow) would be free to worship – not free FROM worship. They knew that if this land ever lost its fear of God and failed to follow the precepts of God, it was doomed to fail. These are historical facts.
“I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, ‘Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name’” (Isaiah 65:1).
The Scripture above from Isaiah certainly describes the fact that gentiles would recognize and would seek the Lord. Indeed, there are only two nations founded upon God’s laws: Israel and America. America has been blessed beyond measure. For the young age of this nation, we have had the mighty favor of God Almighty. In being blessed, we have been able to bless other nations and this includes Israel. That is a thing of the past.
If there ever was a need in Christians for the gift of discernment it is now. But a truly discerning Christian who has a teachable spirit and is more concerned about Scriptural truth than denominational or congregational loyalty is a rare one indeed. No denomination nor loyalty to a congregation ever saved a soul, nor will it-ever.
There is much spiritual leanness today because of Christians filling their minds with the filth and humanistic philosophy on the TV, the Internet and other worldly distractions. The Holy Spirit has been so quenched that they can no longer discern the more subtle tactics of the enemy.
Most Christians are like those Old Testament saints spoken of in the book of Judges, “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).
Most Christians have become desensitized by listening to the enemy saying again and again concerning so many teachings in the Scriptures, “Yea, hath God said…”
Many Christians think they are on a playground instead of a battleground. Christians think they are carrying a cross as a means of chastisement by the Lord for their unconfessed sins, their carnality or for being out of His will.
Christians are being told that God is love, and He will never send anyone to hell, or that the God of the Old Testament is not the God of the New Testament (really?). They are not only misguided, they are apathetic. They have ignored the moral decline in this nation, which began in the early 1960s. The immorality, the gross immorality and apostasy we see today could have been prevented had Christians been on the job. But, they were not. And still they are not.
Is the salt gone? Where is the light in the growing darkness?
Here’s a news flash for those who are deceived enough to believe the above:
God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
He NEVER changes and He never changed His commandments, nor the things He wants us to do as servants of Jesus Christ (the work is the work of the kingdom of God – not the “work” of man). We are commanded to do the “will of the Father” (Matthew 7:21), which indicates Jesus’ words (not mine) that there are things expected from those who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Master.
Yes, we progress in our relationship with God. We don’t have everything given to us at once. Jesus referred often to believers as “babes” but also exhorted us to leave the milk and eat the meat…meaning grow and mature in Him and in our walk with Him so that we understand the things of God. Obviously, we don’t give our week-old baby a steak to eat. That is how ridiculous those who teach that “we get everything from God when we say the sinner’s prayer…there is nothing more for us to do.” Absurdity!
The [wages] consequences of sin: is death. This is the payment for choices. Oh, but that isn’t “taught” any longer, is it?
Well, newsflash: God didn’t change it. Man did. We have to step forward and take responsibility for those things we failed to do in the past and never make those mistakes again. We must, through constantly submitting ourselves to Christ, not yield to sin in any area of our lives. By His power, we can live a life as He said we could: A life of holiness, a sanctified life (set apart, as in special).
“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” (Romans 6:11-12)
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:22-23).
The purpose of becoming mature in Christ is so that we will gain discernment with regards to truth and error. Jesus Himself warned us not to be deceived. He foretold of deception coming on the world that was so tricky to discern that even the elect may be deceived.
“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:4-5, 24, NKJV).
I used this verse from the NKJV because the NIV is quite far away from a true translation of the verse. In fact, every English translation of this verse is not accurate. The only words used at the end of this verse are “dunatos” possible “kai” and “ho” the “eklektos” elect or “possible and the elect”. “If possible even” is a stretch in the NKJV. “If that were possible” in the KVJ and the NIV is not even in the original at all.
The stress is not on whether or not the actual elect can be deceived. Only God knows who the elect are. For the time being we have to make a commitment to follow and obey the Lord. So the Lord’s emphasis is not on the argument on whether the elect can be deceived, but on the fact that the coming deception is so severe that even the elect could be fooled.
If we put on the new self, then we will not be deceived if we remain in tune with the Holy Spirit and in His Word. Judgment begins in the house of the Lord. Now is the time for us to ask God to show us anything that we are doing or within our lives that is unacceptable to Him (in thought, in word or in deed). Outright sins are things we should be well aware of. Then, let us walk in the light…and see to our Father’s business. Far too long, we have let others “do it” and that is not what we are taught to do.
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Ephesians 5:3).
Unfortunately the Ephesians were involved in a number of things they should not have been. Paul addressed some of these issues. These things are still problems today.
Christians are to be salt and light to the world.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).
Because of our witness in the world, the lives we live must be consistent to what we say we believe. Therefore we need to keep away from any hint of sexual immorality. Of course this covers blatant sexual sin, but it also covers the appearance of sexual sin. In the same way we are to avoid impurity and greed.
Impurity can mean lustful ideas, wrong motives, impure thoughts, and rebelliousness of many kinds. Greed covers the areas of covetousness (lusting after other people’s things) and the love of money. Why don’t we engage in such things? Because God says they are improper for God’s holy people, and because our God-given conscience tells us it they are wrong. We must keep in step with the Spirit and reject the old man.
“Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22, KJV).
“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4).
Obscenity is course talk─vulgar speech. It can be talk about sex, or it can just be dirty language. Along with obscenity, foolish talk and course joking are mentioned. What comes out of your mouth betrays who you are. I can tell if a person is a believer or not almost immediately by how they talk. Believers, on the other hand, are careful about what they say. We are to speak blessings, not curses. They would rather use their mouths to praise God and thank Him than to use it to try to fit in with the world.
Worldly people talk dirty and they expect their friends to do the same. It is the same everywhere in the world. The islands are no exception. I have often heard people who claim to be Christians talking dirty when they get away from the church. This is not how true believers should act. The Bible tells us that the tongue is like the small rudder of a ship or a small spark that can start a destructive fire.
“Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.
Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:4-8).
Only God can change a man’s tongue. Those who are true followers of Christ are those who are allowing Jesus Christ to keep their tongues in check.
“For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater— has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5).
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 5:6).
How serious is it for a Christian to ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit to holiness, and instead engage in immorality, greed and filthy language? Anyone (believer or not) who consistently sins in these ways without repentance is in danger of hell.
Don’t deceive yourself and don’t let others deceive you into thinking that you will escape God’s wrath by engaging in these things. Often repeated is the phrase “let no one deceive you”. People who claim that God will accept wickedness and allow people entrance to heaven can deceive us.
There are many false teachers in the churches today who claim this very thing: God loves the wicked. God loves and accepts you as you are.
If God accepts you as you are, why did He have to send His Son to die in your place? Why do you have to recognize you are a sinner, repent, and believe in Jesus Christ to be saved?
Don’t be deceived by those who say immorality (like homosexuality), greed (like building huge churches so you can make and spend lots of money) and filthy language (mocking, course talk) are just fine with God. These are some things God does not want Christians to be deceived about. Christians should know better, because worldly people are already deceived about reality and have no hope of understanding without Christ. But Christians can be deceived.
The following passages were written to Christians:
“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers” (James 1:13-16).
A false teaching today in the churches is, “The devil made me do it.” Or, Christians lay the blame for what has happened to them on God. The fact is that our sin nature and our giving in to it is to blame completely. We are tempted, not by God, but by the devil and our own evil desires; but in the end, we have the choice to make. We choose to either sin or not sin. We can deceive ourselves by believing those who blame God or the devil for our own sinful choices.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8).
Another false teaching in churches is called “Universalism.” It teaches that everyone will be saved in the end, no matter if they believed in Jesus or not because “God is a loving God” and will not send anyone to hell. This idea is becoming very popular. But the biblical facts are that a man reaps what he sows. If he sows to his fallen nature he will reap destruction. If he sows to the Spirit, he will reap eternal life. Don’t deceive yourself by thinking you can do whatever you please now and be granted eternal life.
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Many churches have ignored what the Bible clearly states about the sin of homosexuality and sexual immoralities of all kinds. A number of “Christian” denominations are even ordaining homosexual and lesbian pastors. This is an abomination. None of those who practice the lifestyles mentioned above without repenting and turning to Christ will be saved. And, being ordained doesn’t change that fact, either.
“He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them” (Luke 21:8).
“Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, ‘and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5).
“For false christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect—if that were possible” (Mark 13:22).
As Christians, we have the responsibility individually to stand against those things that God hates. Brethren, the “line” in the sand has been drawn. You are either for God or you are against God.
Choose this day, whom you will serve! Do not be lukewarm!
We must begin on our knees. The following Scripture was directed to King Solomon by the Lord, it is relevant for us as Christians in this day. This does say IF my people…the key word here is IF.
America was founded on prayer. The removal of prayer in America is a central part of its fall from God. A nation that turns away from prayer will ultimately find itself in desperate need of it. We are also admonished to seek God’s face.
We must be serious enough to turn away from everything else, from every other pursuit. We must do this in order to seek God’s face. And, we must repent. Christians must face the magnitude of the spiritual and moral decent here in America.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Not by our own power, but only by the power of God Almighty will our nation survive the coming onslaught of: evil. This is not a “theory” but a fact. The only way is God’s way. Not our way…we tried that – see where we are?
All emboldened words of Scripture added by the author.
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In Romans 10 Paul lays out how salvation is open to all, Jew and Gentile. He writes:
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” – Romans 10:4-5
What he is saying is now it is not about works or how closely to a “T” you follow the law. But that it is through God’s gift of grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is really that simple, and yet a hard step for some of us.
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
Christ is the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14), through faith in Him you will be saved. It is the only “works” that God requires for eternal salvation.