John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
This is another day in which I was really minded to come out here and place a post that causes one to rejoice with joy unspeakable. Yet this topic at hand cannot be avoided because so precious few of us really have a grasp as to the hour in which we live. I include myself in this as I too struggle with “truly” grasping the urgency of the hour. Concerning the fiery trials which are soon to be upon us, the saints living in the west are at a serious disadvantage in that many of us have no idea as to what an authentic fiery trial is like. For example, when a person in Iran or Malaysia comes to Jesus, they have the understanding that they may well lose everything in this world. They will be shunned by family; they will most likely lose their means of income, their property, their standing among their peers, and they may well lose their life in a less than peaceful fashion. For them, and so many others in the world, they come to the Lord Jesus “knowing” the cost. (There are very few tares in Saudi Arabia.)
Matthew 16:24-26 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
This concept of dying to self and taking up our cross is largely neglected in the teaching of today; at least in the west. In the United States, we have a bad case of “Over There Syndrome.” We tend to think that most of the bad things; the beheadings, the, diverse methods of torture and whatnot take place only in Yemen, Somalia, or one of the other countries which Americans are hard pressed to locate on a map. The idea of such things taking place in Kansas or Pennsylvania is almost incomprehensible. We may be shunned by those around us or even lose employment in some instances, but to be hauled off in the middle of the night,cast into prison, tortured, or put to death because we left the ranks of the status quo isn’t something that takes place in this country. ( as of yet.) We are free to attend the church of our choosing without being concerned as to how we’ll react when the secret police break into the meeting. As a result of this pitfall, western saints must be all the more diligent in guarding our hearts and not allowing the thorns of this life to entrap us. I truly believe that a saint of God; born again and filled with the Holy Ghost, will be ready for anything “if walking close to the Lord Jesus.”
Philippians 1:27-28 “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”
Such things we dare not approach with an improper attitude. We must not think within ourselves that we’ll never be in a situation in which we are called to lay down our lives. (Those of us in the west unwittingly have a notion that “this” is going to go on indefinately, or that we’ll be “out of here” before things get crazy.) Likewise, we must not be highminded and just assume that we’re ready for anything that comes along. It’s a matter that requires self-examination and continual prayer as the hour of trying can come upon any of us with little warning. When I was living in Virginia, we used to go street preaching every Saturday evening. One night, a guy sitting in his car was approached by Wesley, who at the time was 10 years old. When Wesley tried to tell him about Jesus, he pulled out a revolver and pointed right at him. Wesley simply stated “well Praise God!” The man drove off and Wesley remained with us, but it really got me to thinking…and examining….and thinking some more. The status quo can come to an abrupt end for any of us at any time; even prior to the institutional status quo coming down.
This is really not what I had wanted to post on tonight. It seems as though it’s been a constant theme lately that I’m unable to stay away from. It’s a topic that, in times past, would have been very difficult to write about. Today, by the grace of God, it causes me to draw closer to the Lord Jesus. To know, all the more, that this world is ever so temporal and that our days under the sun are as a summer breeze that passes through but one time before going to its place. When we hear of the events to soon unfold, (according to scripture, the times prior to Jesus return will be more horrific than any other time in history) it should cause us to seek the Lord all the more fervently and know that he is always with us. The following link is to a testimony of what happened to some saints in Turkey. I’ve seen it in more than one place, however I first read it on Susans site.
When I read this, I was somewhat caught off guard. We really have to “know” that Gods grace will be sufficient for any situation; even one such as what the saints in Turkey experienced. To endure to the end. Having our hearts set on the “everlasting” world to come and loving not this present world. Loving this world will lead to really bad decision making. (Lots wife is a good example of this) Loving this world will cause millions to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead so that they can continue to partake of the worlds system. It will seem the “logical” thing to do, just as it seemed “logical” for Esau to sell his birthright. Tragically, I can almost hear some using scripture to justifying it such as I Timothy 5:8.
Steve Quayle made a comment on Monday; that the time will come when the saints will have to complely separate from the worlds system; both financial and otherwise. We will have to trust completely in the Lord Jesus and be atuned to the Holy Spirit at all times. I mentioned in the previous post about the victory (PRAISE GOD) over foolish tendancies. In these times we must be sober minded and, strange as this may sound, runaway foolishness is really a form of drunkeness. I can’t really explain it, but i know exactly what its like. I have mentioned this struggle in times past, but I am convinced that it’s finally gone. The peace and joy that has replaced it is so awesome as to defy explanation.
Well I need to close for now. Lord willing the next post will be more encouraging. One thing that I really desire is that all who read this will be prepared for anything that comes our way. That we all would be steadfast in the faith and when this age is concluded we all would be gathered together around the throne. “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (I Thes.4:18) Lately I’ve been hard pressed to find time for commenting. (or posting for that matter) I will try to get back on track. All are on the prayer list nonetheless as we need to pray one for another always. David Meyers May newsletter is out. Here’s a link if interested in checking it out.
www.lasttrumpetministries.org/2007/May2007.html If interested in reading Davids incredible testimony, it can be found at www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract_2.html
Until next time, I wish all a great evening in Christ Jesus whose return is at hand.