1. Hebrews 3:12 (youngs literal translation) See, brethren, lest there shall be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in the falling away from the living God, 13 but exhort ye one another every day, while the To-day is called, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of the sin, 14 for partakers we have become of the Christ, if the beginning of the confidence unto the end we may hold fast,
Reading the bible this morning, this jumped out at me like so many other "once saved always saved"(OSAS) destroying scriptures do.
How can you "fall away" from someone you never knew? You have to be in some kind of relationship with someone in order to "fall away" from them don't you?
Here's where the real hammer is in this scripture: you are a partaker of Christ IFFFFFFFFFF you DO what? Hold the same confidence you had at the beginning to the end. The OSAS crowd will tell you a 5 second "decision for christ" is enough to get you into heaven. Here, once again, the bible demolishes that argument. You must hold the same confidence at the END that you did at the beginning to be counted a partaker of Christ. If you are not a partaker of Christ, you have no forgiveness of sins, if no forgiveness of sins, no salvation.
2. As this world spirals into the abyss, people are falling into fear. The fear comes from misplaced confidence and lack of love of the right things. Those who love this world are enemies of God.
James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with ...
... You unfaithful people! Don't you know that love for this [evil] world is hatred toward God? Whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.
Those who love this world are right to be scared. Whats coming on the world should frighten them. This world has been built from the foundation up on lies and deceit. Now that the lies are coming unraveled, people's confidence is shaken, but nobody stops to ask, WAS'NT ALL THIS I BELIEVED IN A LIE? People are shaken and scared to the core, but nobody stops to ask the fundamental question of why they continue to believe in a lie even as they watch it unravel?
Have you ever heard this definition of insanity?
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein
Isn't going back to the world over and over again, getting the same results over and over again insanity? The entire place is falling apart, yet there are churches on every street corner, that make sense to you? America is supposedly the most "christianized" nation on earth and yet we set the "high" standards of leading the world in export and consumption of decadence, porn, war, corruption, indifference, apathy, you name it..
I read yesterday that church attendance is up, imagine that. Lot's of people are starting to "go to church" which is great until you realize that "going to church" and "being the church" are two radically different things. How can I "go to church" if we are the church? Each true believer IS the church (part of it). We can't "go" there, we ARE there. We "are" the church 24/7, 365 days a year. That's the difference between a prostitute's "service" on wednesday and sunday and a WIFE's loving 24/7-365. A prostitute "services" you for a fee over a short period of time (hour or less?) per week (depending on your stamina). A wife is with you to love you until death do you part. Big difference.
Churchianity today is a manmade organization instead of a living vibrant organism. The body of Christ is a living organism, not a manmade organization. Churchianity is a business, pure and simple, they don't even bother changing the title of what they offer from a business term. They actually offer the public "services" another business term, always for a fee. Pastor=CEO, non-taxable, large volunteer staff to help run the business, whats not to like? And you wonder why this world is stinking to high heaven with the smell of rot and decay?
The world has no answers for you. "Going to church" is not the answer either. Coming to Jesus on the other hand....now that's where you'll find something of substance. The prince of peace, the Holy God, the creator of all things has something to offer you. As his name implies, he offers you peace and rest for your soul. Yep, even in the midst of the chaos around us, you can have inner peace. What price do you put on that? How much would the rich of this world pay for the peace that only Jesus can offer? As it is, they are rich, but they are tormented. Their enjoyment of wealth consists of fleeting moments of carnal indulgence that destroys them more each time they partake of it.
Men don't need manmade organizations, they need the living God. Men do not need more lies, they need truth. Truth is what the most powerful being in eternity says it is...period. If men don't like what God has to say, that's their problem, HE IS GOD. Since when does the God of eternity need to pander to men's whims? Our God commands faithfulness and obedience, men don't like that, whose problem is that? God's or mans? People are waking up each day to a world that looks more and more like a hell on earth, but heaven is undisturbed, where should we be looking for answers?
We still live in the age of grace. God's hand is still extended to mankind. What Jesus did on the cross is still obtainable. There is still time to get "in Christ" to obtain forgiveness of sins. If you've only known the god of churchianity, you have'nt come to know Jesus yet. There are many christs in the world today, but only ONE true son of God, Jesus Christ. Churchianity has brought the way of truth into disrepute:
2 Peter 2
1 And there did come also false prophets among the people, as also among you there shall be false teachers, who shall bring in besides destructive sects, and the Master who bought them denying, bringing to themselves quick destruction, 2 and many shall follow out their destructive ways, because of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of, 3 and in covetousness, with moulded words, of you they shall make merchandise, whose judgment of old is not idle, and their destruction doth not slumber.
As we head into 2009, a year that appears to be much worse than 2008, I would encourage you to take refuge "in Christ." People want peace and safety, but they look in all the wrong places for it. Remember this?
1 Thessalonians 5:3 ... While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape
Why sudden destruction? Because thats what taking refuge in a lie will get you.
Isaiah 28:15 ... death, And with Sheol we have made a provision, An overflowing scourge, when it passeth over, Doth not meet us, Though we have made a lie our refuge,
in contrast, real peace and safety can still be found..consider this:
Psalm 91 >>King James Bible
1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
See the difference? It's night and day. Take refuge in the Lord, and there's consequences, life and peace. Take refuge in a lie, and there are consequences, sudden destruction. Ultimately, the choice is yours. I encourage you to choose life and peace. The only place you are going to find that is "in Christ." Men cannot grant you life and peace, only the Son of God can. Time is short. The world is tilting, tipping, everything is moving sideways in preparation for flipping upside down. A storm is coming unlike anything any of us have ever seen. Make the truth your refuge, in a world full of lies, would'nt a healthy dose of truth be comforting? If you want the truth, YOU have to search for it. Hiring some hired hand pastor to get it for you is a complete copout and will yield the results we see around us in the world today. Get to know Jesus and make sure he knows you..personally, you won't be dissapointed.
Grace and peace