Tag Archive: forgiveness


You MUST Forgive!!

WARNING!! DANGER!!

‘But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 6:15)

‘And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.’ (Matt. 18:34-35)

There is no ‘wiggle room’ here. Jesus was giving us a very literal warning.

Friends, if your neighbor comes banging on your door at 2 am and tells you your house is on fire, you don’t simply respond ‘Thank you. I believe in you!’ and then go back to bed. No! You pull your sleeping family from their beds and drag them out the door!

Likewise, faith in Jesus is much more than just believing that He existed, died, and rose again. Believing in Jesus means believing in His WORDS–AND OBEYING THEM!!

There are no options and compromises allowed here–we MUST forgive others, else we forfeit OUR hope of being forgiven and saved.

[There is NO magic incantation (‘Sinner’s Prayer’) you can say that will enclose you in a protective bubble and transport you to the end of your life unscathed. We must walk (and perhaps even crawl at times) along that ‘narrow path’ until we reach our destination. There are trials and temptations all along the way. We must walk IN THE SPIRIT (obedience to God) in order to overcome them.]

I truly believe that God is testing and preparing His people now. I am not perfect, but I am not a person given to holding grudges. However, in the last few weeks, God has been bringing people to my constant remembrance who I have had even the slightest little thing against in years long past. He is urging me to be sure that I have completely forgiven them, from my heart.

Friend, if you are harboring a grudge against anyone, you are walking in the flesh, not the Spirit. This will be a great detriment to you–perhaps even hindering your prayers.

God HATES hypocrisy. To claim to be forgiven, while we refuse to forgive someone else, is a grand form of hypocrisy. It shows that we do not understand the mercy and forgiveness of God. His forgiveness comes, not because of any worthiness on our part, but because of His great love. So likewise, His Spirit living within us will lead us to pour out that same great love on others, by forgiving them–even when they are unworthy.

We MUST walk in the Spirit to reach our destination.

‘For if ye FORGIVE men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also FORGIVE you: But if ye FORGIVE not men their trespasses, neither will your Father FORGIVE your trespasses.’ (Matthew 6:14-15)

The Bible is LITERAL . . . this is why Jesus included, as one of the things important enough to be in our DAILY prayers:

‘And FORGIVE us our debts, as we FORGIVE our debtors.’ (Matthew 6:12)

Let this really sink in. There will be no pleading with God on judgment day . . . no justifying why we did not obey, or did not forgive. To be forgiven, we MUST forgive.

I Never Knew You

‘Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’  (Matt. 7:22-23)

These are people that placed their faith in Jesus.  According to today’s (false) gospel, they were saved, by simply believing.  And THEY believed they were saved.  But here’s the problem: they lived in sin (they worked iniquity).

They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.’  (Titus 1:16)

Whether they never knew Jesus, or whether they backslid, it doesn’t matter.  Now they are lost.  They lived in sin even though they persisted in their faith.

In God’s Word, in the Old Testament alone, it is repeated four times (the number of times something is repeated signifies its importance–four repetitions means God wants to make it VERY clear) . . .

‘But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, [and] doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked [man] doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, IN THEM SHALL HE DIE.’  (Ezekiel 18:24)

When a righteous [man] turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; FOR HIS INIQUITY THAT HE HATH DONE SHALL HE DIE.’  (Ezekiel 18:26)

‘The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression . . . neither shall the righteous be able to live for his [righteousness] in the day that he sinneth.

When I shall say to the righteous, [that] he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, HE SHALL DIE for it.’  (Ezekiel 33:12-13)

When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, HE SHALL EVEN DIE thereby.’  (Ezekiel 33:18)

Furthermore, Jesus is being truthful in saying ‘I never knew you’.  And here is why . . .  there is a principal that was twice repeated in the verses above:

‘But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity . . . All his righteousness that he hath done SHALL NOT BE MENTIONED . . . ‘  (Ez. 18:24)

and

‘ . . . if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, ALL HIS RIGHTEOUSNESSES SHALL NOT BE REMEMBERED . . . ‘  (Ez. 33:13)

Just as completely as Jesus forgets the sins of those who have turned to Him in humble repentance . . . so completely does He forget those who have turned back to sin, rejected the warnings of His Holy Spirit, and despised His chastisement.  Don’t believe He can ever deny someone?

‘But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’  (Matt. 10:33)

Remember this?

‘They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him] . . . ‘  (Titus 1:16)

That ought to put a little fear in you–and that kind of fear is a good thing. 

‘ . . .Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.’  (Job 28:28)

Better you learn the fear of God now, and turn from wickedness, than to hear those most dreaded of words on judgment day:  ‘I never knew you: depart from me’.

‘For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?’  (Hebrews 10:26-29)

‘For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.

or the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers [is] rejected, and [is] nigh unto cursing; whose end [is] to be burned.’  (Hebrews 6:4-8)

The Bible also has something to say about pastors that teach false doctrines such as ‘Once Saved Always Saved’ . . .

‘For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. . . Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.’ (Jude 1:4, 13)

‘These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.’  (2 Peter 2:17-21)

If you are backslidden now and this message has gotten ahold of your heart, I want to offer you hope and a plea:

‘when the wicked [man] turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.  Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, he shall not die. . .

Repent, and turn [yourselves] from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.  Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die . . .?  For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn [yourselves], and live ye.’  (Ezekiel 18:27-28, 30-32)

But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, he shall not die.  All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: [and] not that he should return from his ways, and live?’  (Ezekiel 18:21-23)

‘Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; [If] the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, he shall not die.  None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.’  (Ezekiel 33:14-16)

But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.’  (Ezekiel 33:19)

‘The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’  (Psalm 51:17)

If you are ready to turn from wickedness, God is willing to forgive you of all your sins. Jesus–God in the flesh–died upon a cross, in your place, to pay the price for your sins, so that God could forgive you.

Jesus was perfect and sinless. He died, not for any sins of His own, but for you. If you are ready to count yourself as dead and live for Him, then confess your sins to Him and ask Him to forgive you and fill your heart with His presence.

If you think that just by believing in Jesus, you’ve got a guaranteed ticket to Heaven, think again. You can’t live just any way you please. Only those who heed the Holy Spirit and ‘abide’ in Jesus Christ, through obedience, will make Heaven their home.

‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven.’ (Jesus, Matthew 7:21)

Do you think God is such a pushover that He is going to let willful, rebellious children into Heaven?

Note this, and remember WHO is the author of ‘The Law’ . . .

‘If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and [that], when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son [is] stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; [he is] a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.’ (Deut. 21:18-21)

You may argue that we are now in the ‘age of grace’ and are no longer under The Law. This is true–but be sure you don’t misunderstand grace. Here is what the NEW Testament has to say, about willful, rebellious Christians:

”For if we sin WILFULLY after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.’ (Hebrews 10:26-31)

CHOOSE daily to walk in obedience to God’s Word, and to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit, and Romans 8:1 will apply to you:

‘[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT.’

How many pastors today are preaching the truth on this subject? From my experience . . . not many. Instead, they let their congregations or their board of directors/elders dictate what they will preach . . .

‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.’ (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

‘. . . this [is] a rebellious people, lying children, children [that] will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.’ (Isaiah 30:9-11)

If your preacher preaches ‘smooth things’ instead of edifying and convicting truth, then you can be sure that your church is being led by rebellious men (or women), rather than by the Spirit of God. Get out before you suffer their fate!:

‘ . . . them that perish; because they received not THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved. And for this cause GOD shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.’ (2 Thess. 2:10-12)

Are we ‘forever forgiven’?

‘Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are PAST, through the forbearance of God’ (Romans 3:25)

For PAST sins–yes.

And as long as we choose to continue to walk in the Spirit**, our PRESENT stumblings are forgiven too (Romans 8:1)

**walking in the Spirit is walking in OBEDIENCE to God . . . to what the Holy Spirit is showing us . . . to what we know is right

However,

‘For if we sin WILFULLY after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.’ (Hebrews 10:26-31)

‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven.’ (Jesus, Matthew 7:21)

If you attempt to mock God by trying to use Jesus as a free ticket to Heaven, while continuing to live a life of sin, you will reap what you sow.  God is not mocked.  Count the cost before you enter into a blood oath with God.

True conversion means being willing to DIE to your old life and LIVE for Him.  HE will make you ABLE to do so, by the power of His Spirit.

Guidelines for the Family of God

As Christians, we are a family. We all have room for improvement in how we treat others.  God has not designed a dysfunctional family. He desires that His family have healthy, loving interactions. To that end, His Word gives us some concrete guidelines:

LOVE:

‘And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.’ (1 Peter 4:8)

MEEKNESS:

‘[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.’ (Philippians 2:3-4)

TEAM SPIRIT:

‘ . . . be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind.’ (Philippians 2:2)

FORGIVENESS:

‘Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ (Matthew 18:21-22)

DISCRETION:

‘Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.’ (Matthew 18:15-17)

GRACE:

‘Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.’ (Galatians 6:1-2)

COMPASSION

‘Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.’ (James 5:19-20)

RESPECT:

‘Rebuke not an elder, but intreat [him] as a father; [and] the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.’ (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

PATIENCE:

‘ . . . walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ (Ephesians 4:1-3)

HUMILITY:

‘Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.’  (1 Peter 5:5)

‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant . . . ‘ (Philippians 2:5-7)

The Gift Of Eternal Life

To be a Christian is to acknowledge that there is ONE supreme God, who is the Creator of all things. It is to choose to submit to HIS rules, and learn HIS ways. As we learn about His rules, we come to see that we have broken them. Because we have broken them, we cannot have a part in His Kingdom. BUT . . . a way has been made, for those who are sincere about following in His ways.

‘Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, [Ye] men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead*.’ (Acts 17:22-31)

* This is speaking about Jesus Christ

This supreme God, sent His ONLY begotten son, into the world. When Jesus came, He taught us to uphold God’s laws, and that love is the spirit behind all of God’s laws. If we will truly love God more than anything, and love our neighbor as ourselves, we will be living in harmony with his Law.

However, there is still the problem of our past sins. Once you began to sin, you broke your connection to God. There is only ONE way to renew the connection to God that was broken when you first broke His Law. And here is the way He made . . . Jesus Christ, being both man (by His mother) and God (by His Father [God]), lived a PERFECT life. Because He was perfect, He was able to pay the penalty for OUR sins, so that we could be reconciled to the Father God.

The Bible tells us EVERYONE sins that is not born again of God. Therefore, telling you that you are a sinner is not me making a judgment against you. It is simply stating a fact.  EVERYONE eventually sins. Sin is breaking God’s Law.

God’s Law says that we must not lie. Have you EVER, even once, told a lie–even a small one?

God’s Law says we must not steal. Have you EVER stolen anything (even a pencil)?

God’s Law says we must have no other gods before Him . . . and that we must never make or worship an idol, or other god. Have you EVER done that?

God’s Law says we must not desire things that belong to someone else. Have you EVER done that?

God’s Law says to honor your mother and father. Have you ALWAYS done that? ALWAYS been respectful? ALWAYS obeyed them?

God’s Law says that we are to worship God on the seventh day of the week, and do no unnecessary work that day. Have you kept this law of the ‘Sabbath’?

(There are other laws too . . . to not murder, to not commit adultery, to not take His name in vain.)

The Father has determined that Jesus is the ONLY way that we can be reconciled to Him, because Jesus is the only one who has ever been worthy to pay the price for our sins.  You can never be connected to God again, unless you come to Him in humility and repentance, through belief in Jesus Christ. Otherwise, you are eternally separated from Him by your sins.

‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. . . Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. . . I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved . . . ‘ (Jesus, John 10:1,7,9)

‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (Jesus, John 14:6)

‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:12)

In order for His payment to cover your sins, you have to come to God, in humility, asking forgiveness for your sins (times you’ve broken His Law). You must believe that Jesus paid the price for your sins, having died for them. Then you must commit yourself to live according to HIS ways . . . to have communion with Him through prayer . . . to be transformed to become like Him, through reading His Word (the Bible) . . . and not to be a ‘hearer’ only, but a ‘doer’ of His Word.

You must understand, that if you later turn away from doing His way, then it was all in vain.  If you stumble, He will pick you up and forgive you if you repent, but you must not turn back to a life of sin. The commitment to walk in His ways must be a lifelong commitment, because it is not until we have ‘endured to the end’ that we can say ‘I am saved’.

As someone recently told me: ‘I know many devoted Christian people who preach about God and try to convert everyone, yet they sin so much it’s unbelievable.  I bet they ask Jesus to forgive them for their sins daily just because Jesus said he will. They are the ones that happen to do drugs, gossip, lie, etc.  I know many of them and it’s pathetic really, because they stand there and preach as if they are so holy.’

This is something I CONSTANTLY address. These people may THINK they are Christians, but they aren’t, because they’ve apparently never repented. Without repentance, you (anyone) can’t become a Christian. And we aren’t to use (abuse) the grace (and forgiveness) of God, as a license for sin.

‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and MANY there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it.’ (Matthew 7:13-14)

‘Then said one unto him, Lord, are there FEW that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for MANY, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ (Luke 13:23-24)

‘If ye love me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.’ (Jesus, John 14:15)

‘Follow peace with all [men], AND HOLINESS, without which no man shall see the Lord‘ (Hebrews 12:14)

This may sound really difficult, but if you are sincere in the commitment you make to God, you will receive the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will give you the power to live a holy life.  The Holy Spirit will teach you, and guide you into righteousness.  As long as you will submit to the inner leading of the Holy Spirit, you’ll do fine.  If you stumble, the Holy Spirit will show you, and lead you to repent.  The difficult part, truth be told, is having the will to turn away from sin.  But if you have truly experienced a godly sorrow over your sins, and sincerely repented . . . if you understand how close you were to eternal punishment . . . if you realize the tremendous gift that Jesus Christ has given you, and what it cost Him . . . if you can comprehend the awesomeness of having a second chance . . . you WILL have the will to turn away from sin.  You will hate sin and realize it is your mortal enemy.  You will want nothing more to do with it.

As someone else recently said:  ‘[Becoming a Christian] doesn’t instantly make someone perfect. It takes a lot of work on God’s part to refine you and convict you of sin, so it doesn’t go away instantly. That is a common misconception.’

I agree, but only in part.  And let me explain why:  I believe IF preachers would tell the truth, then church goers would realize that they need to turn AWAY from sin when they become Christians. If they realized that, some would decide not to become Christians. And those who did would turn from sin.

It takes a lot of work on God’s part, because He works on them all week long, then when they meet on Sundays, they’re told rubbish like ‘we all sin every day’ and other lies that make it sound like it’s not our responsibility to stop sinning . . . like somehow, someday, God is magically going to do the work for us! And, without reading their own Bibles many of them believe this, because it’s what they want to hear. Then when someone comes along and tells them the truth, and uses the Bible to show them, they get angry!!

But that’s ok.  It just helps us to sort out the true Christians from the pseudo Christians who haven’t ever been truly converted.  True Christians seek to know what pleases God, so that they can live that way.  They are meek and humble when corrected.  They have the gentle temperament of sheep.

Pseudo Christians, on the other hand, argue, rationalize, and justify.  They aren’t interested in doing God’s will.  They stubbornly cling to their ‘right’ to do their own will.  They spend more time in the Word looking for verses that seem to provide loopholes, than reading it to be transformed.  Pseudo Christians have the contrary temperament of goats.

‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.  And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.  Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.  Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.’  (1 John 3:1-10)

Love Is The Answer

Last night, I was praying and pondering these verses:

‘Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’  (Matthew 7:22-23)

And I wondered . . . how can we be sure He knows us?  Perhaps this is one of those times that God inspired the question.  Ordinarily I would have just though: If we’ve repented, trusted Jesus for salvation, and are living in obedience to Him . . . walking with Him, surely He knows us.  But that was not the answer that God impressed upon me.  Instead, this was:

‘He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.’  (1John 4:8)

And more Scriptures followed:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.’  (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

‘If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.’  (1 John 4:20-21)

‘My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.’  (1 John 3:18)

‘If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?’  (James 2:15-16)

‘And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.  And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’  (1 John 3:22-24)

The Bible tells us that in the latter days there will be a great falling away.  It also talks about deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons in the end times.  But here is how Jesus described that falling away:

‘And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.’  (Matthew 24:12)

How does iniquity (‘lawlessness’; ‘contempt and violation of law’) cause our love to wax cold?  I’m still waiting for revelation on that.  Could this be part of it though?  One of the reasons for the law, is that we would not trespass against one another.  When people don’t follow the law, they DO trespass against one another, and wound one another.  A lawless society is a ‘me first’ society.  When people are ‘looking out for number one’ they don’t seem to realize, or care, how much they hurt others.

When we are hurt, it can be hard to forgive.  When we are repeatedly ‘trespassed against’, we can get to the place where we HATE people in general, not necessarily even any particular person.  Technically, we may believe we aren’t being unforgiving, or aren’t hating, because we have no particular target in mind.  But when we get to the point where we hate people, our heart is hardened.  Could this be what Jesus was talking about?  Is there any of us who can’t identify with feeling this way?

How do we guard against this?  How do we watch the wretched things people do to one another, and not grow to hate humanity?  This is something that all of us who are living now are going to have to seek God about.  Certainly we must forgive others, AS GOD FORGIVES US (in the midst of our unworthiness), understanding that the debt we owed Him was FAR greater than the debt anyone owes us.  We can also remember Jesus’ words: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’.  And we can keep in mind that the whole world lies in darkness and

‘ . . . we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].’  (Ephesians 6:12)

We must guard our heart with all diligence, because if we don’t have love it doesn’t matter WHAT we do, in the end it will profit us nothing.

‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.’  (Proverbs 4:23)