Here's the place where most people want to stop reading.....In addition to every blessing, every judgement, and every rebuke was also directed at us, and for us. In love they were recorded, as a warning. The Lord included all of it to lay out before us the cost of disobedience, as well as the promise and rewards of obedience. Everything written in that book called the bible is for us in one way or another.
Today's apostate christianity has two useful ways of dismissing EVERY warning given to mankind in the bible. They have discovered the recipe for eternal death! Part 1 of their recipe for death is to dismiss every warning in the old testament as "for the jews." They reason that since we don't live under the old covenant anymore, why bother reading and understanding any of the warnings contained in it? Part 2 of their recipe for death is to dismiss every warning contained in the New Testament through such satanic doctrines as OSAS (once saved always saved) which allows men to reason "hey, I made a 5 second decision for Jesus so I can never be lost! Jesus died so none of the warnings in the bible would apply to me anymore!"
What a masterpiece? In two easy steps mankind has effectively rendered void every single warning to men in the bible! Are you starting to understand why only a few will be saved (matt 7:14)? Are you starting to understand why many will say to Jesus on that day "Lord, Lord did'nt we do lots of great things in your name?" Then he says to them "away from me you evildoers I never knew you?" I hope its starting to make more sense to you now.
Every blessing and every punishment recorded in the bible was directed at you. The bible makes it very clear that so called christianities formula for death is a lie. We are told that if the Israelites were cutoff for their disbelief, we will be too. Cutoff from the vine, which is cutoff from being "in Christ" which means "saved" no more. "In Christ" you get credit for everything Jesus did for you. Not "in Christ" which is to say "cutoff" from him, you get credit for all your sins. Whether you are in Christ or not is between you and him. The two scriptures below are a giant wrecking ball to the two part recipe for death that most of todays so called christianity adheres to:
John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Romans 11 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
I cannot tell you how thankful I am for every promise our Lord has given us. I am thankful for all the good things he has done and will do for us. I am even more thankful for his warnings. He has given us example after example after example to teach us what we should and should not do. We know what pleases him and what does not please him. He has not left us guessing.
Tied into this idea of thankfulness for his warnings is this: the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, not the house of feasting:
Ecclesiastes 7:4 The mind of the wise is in the house of
... The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
Why is the heart of the wise in the house of mouring? I'll tell you why, because they take seriously the warnings in the word of God. They understand what "few will be saved" means (Matt 7:14). They see the day coming when multitudes will stand before Jesus and be told "away from me you evildoers, I never knew you." The wise see the horrors of the 7 year period thats about to start and all the blind in the world who will be caught unprepared for it. As one of my friends asked me one time "why are you so negative?" My reply is a question as well: "am I negative, or is my heart in the house of mourning while yours is in the house of mirth? Why were all the prophets "so negative?"Its called "shooting the messenger" and its happened throughout history over and over again. Confront mankind with something they don't want to hear, and they will do anything and everything to silence the message.
Luke 20 Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. 10 And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. 11 And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. 12 And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. 13 Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. 14 But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. 15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? 16 He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.
Isaiah 30:8 Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!
and the list goes on, but you get the point.
Today we find ourselves with the warnings and the promises before us. They all apply to us. It's hard to overstate just how serious a situation mankind is in today. The warnings are coming in from every part of the world and yet most find a way to bury their head in the sand, hoping that it will all just go away this time as it always has in the past.
I think the Lord brought to my mind this morning why all the teachers of mid-trib, pre-wrath-post-trib are useful. It's not because they understand the escape, but it is because most people will not be counted worthy of it. What does that mean? It means that many people need to prepare themselves to go through, endure, overcome the time of Jacob's trouble that lies just ahead of us. After the escape from all takes place, there will be an ongoing process of people coming into Christ here on earth.
I believe this has been the cause of much confusion relating to the "rapture" question. The people who will escape all are being prepared for it today....the people who will not escape are also being prepared today (for what they will face). Different people, different destinies. Did everyone have the faith of the centurian whose servant was healed? Jesus said not in all Israel had he seen faith as great as that centurian's. Did everyone have the faith to get themselves healed of their health issues in Israel? No, but the woman who touched his cloak did. How about the people who cut a hole in the roof where Jesus was sitting and lowered the sick man down in front of him? The Lord was impressed, so am I. Those people believed and were rewarded handsomely for their faith. Those examples will be important for the days ahead. Are you expecting to receive things you don't have faith for? If you are expecting to drive a new car that costs $10,000 and you have 1 penny in your bank account, do you think you'll be buying that car anytime soon? You have a faith account that operates just like a bank account, how much faith do you have deposited in it?
The day your faith is required of you, you will have to withdraw it isntantly at the point its demanded of you. The parable of the virgins illustrates this perfectly. The wise virgins did'nt have to go get anything to be ready for the bridegroom when he showed up, they were ready will oil to spare, but only for themselves...My faith will not get you into the ark, and vice versa. This is why you need to get your own personal word from the Lord. This is why you must know him, and be known by him today. When sudden destruction comes on this world. When men's hearts are failing them for fear, huge withdrawals will be made on people's faith accounts. If you do not have the faith to cover the withdrawal, will you be counted among the foolish virgins?
What's going to happen in the days ahead when people have nothing to eat? Famine is coming, you know that right? Read Rev 6 again. When people have no food, how will they eat? Who among men today have the faith to believe the Lord for a wilderness feeding? Manna from heaven and water from stones....Do you have the faith for it? Today's mockers and scoffers will die in their disbelief. I am absolutely confident that in the days ahead, while evil abounds, so too, grace and our Lords power will abound. Our God will not be taking a nap during the seven years of hell coming to this earth. He will be rewarding faith in miraculous ways AS HE ALWAYS HAS from the very beginning. There is a message of hope for men today. That hope is "in Christ" and it will require real faith in the face of a world and an enemy who asks daily "where is your God now?" His weapons are fear and doubt. We face him armored up, standing and swinging with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.
If we do not stand in our faith, we will not stand at all. grace and peace