Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY SEPT. 2, 2018

Scripture To Consider:
“Again the next day, John [the Baptist] stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, ‘What do you seek?’ They said to Him, ‘Rabbi’ (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), ‘Where are You staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).”

“One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Jesus, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated, the Christ). And he [Andrew] brought him [Simon] to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated, A Stone).” John 1.35-42

Something To Consider:
This was the second time John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb of God. This pointing others to Jesus caused John’s followers to decrease by at least two that day. This is a mark of an honorable leader; to be so committed to proclaiming the truth even at the risk of personal loss in order to benefit others.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus, instructs us in the truth by declaring in Philippians 2.3-4, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” This commendable character trait takes courage and a greater concern for others than for oneself. John the Baptist was just such a leader. How about us and or those we follow?

Paul followed up in verse 4 of Philippians chapter 2, by also proclaiming, “Let each of you [fellow believers] look out not only for his [or her] own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Part of our coming to Jesus and seeing and following Him and His example is our looking out for the best interest of others. We can no longer exist for purely selfish interests! And yet, Paul confirms that as true Christians we are to also look out for our own interests as well as the interests of others.

Therefore, we are to occupy ourselves while waiting for the coming of the Lord in these end times. We are to be about our Father’s business while waiting for the coming of Christ in great glory to the earth or in coming in great glory in the celebrating of our home coming through the eternal portal of death. Either way, God’s will is accomplished by our enduring to the end after coming to Jesus!

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus said, “Come and see!” These two disciples of John the Baptist and many more since then have seen more than enough to convince them to commit their lives and future concerns into Christ’s care. For them and all down through the centuries, following Jesus has meant more than what they would be giving up. To them, following Jesus meant more than the whole world and its fleeting momentary riches could have ever offered. Can the same be said of us? Are we more concerned at what it may cost us to come and see all of the wondrous rewards Jesus has laid up for those who trust and obey?

Down through the centuries millions have answered the call of Christ to come and to see. Through the tolling of time millions have followed Jesus in and through the straight and narrow gate that leads all who enter to life everlasting and abundant life in Christ. And yet, it must not be overlooked that millions have followed Christ and it has cost them their livelihood, the rejection of their family, the loss of personal property, and for many, even the loss of their lives.

But in the end the cost to follow Christ according to the Word of God is worth the loss of all things in order to gain so much more of so much eternal value. If we are living in the end time of man’s final years of rule upon planet earth as puppets of Satan, we must realize we too may be subject to the same losses as those who have come and gone before us. This is indeed something else to consider!

What did it cost Andrew to follow Jesus? In approximate 80 A.D. according to the writings of Jerome, a first century historian, Andrew was crucified for following Jesus. He was cruelly killed by an angry evil ruler to whom Andrew stood his spiritual and biblical ground while preaching the gospel of Christ unashamedly.

Andrew, on his way to his death was reported as saying, seeing the cross in the distance, “O cross, most welcomed and looked for!” What will it cost us and others to come and see? What will it cost us and others to follow Jesus in these very demanding end times? Perhaps only time will adequately tell the whole story, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

Something More To Consider:
But until then will we be found guilty of coming to see Jesus on a regular basis or only when we think it convenient and while safely in the company of other believers? Will we be found guilty as charged of following Jesus even if it leads to our losing personal property, or losing our means of providing for our families? Will we be found guilty or innocent if we are found by Jesus following Him even if coming to see Him means our lives are placed in jeopardy? These are not decisions easily made in the heat and pressure of the moment.

These decisions must be made in advance of the personal presence of end time persecution. These decisions must be made in the privacy of the prayer closets of our own lives with the help and encouragement of the presence of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. The hour is coming when the majority of Christendom will be proven wrong and incorrect in their many false doctrines and end time teachings that have led millions if not more astray. How sad!

We cannot be blindly led to our doom and destruction when the Word of God is so very clear on certain subjects such as the timing of the gathering of His saints from every century and the gathering of His enduring to the end faithful followers alive upon planet earth at the time of Christ’s second coming. Paul writing in 1 Corinthians 15.33-34, admonished all who have ears to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the true end time church behind enemy lines, by stating; “Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits. Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.”

If we are truly following Jesus who is the Word of God, we will not be deceived by the onslaught and flood of false information wrongfully wrapped as the truth, but in reality, is the doctrines of demons.

A Few Final Words:
According to the Word of God, if we are alive to see the Antichrist enter the yet to be built Jewish temple in Jerusalem and to declare himself to be God and forces the world to worship him and the image of the beast, what will we do? According to Jesus, Daniel, Paul, Peter, and John the apostle, we will experience the wrath of men, and the wrath of the Antichrist. Will we be found following Jesus like Andrew and every other disciple and millions more, only to be found face to face with the decision to remain faithful to Christ’s call to come and see and to come and to believe even unto death?

Following Jesus in this 21st century is costing thousands of faithful saints their lives. Soon it may be millions who are persecuted to the point of either breaking ranks with true Christianity or standing firm and enduring to the end, even to the end of our lives. And yet, at that twinkling of a moment of death, we are to be ushered into the presence of our Lord and admitted entrance into all eternity beginning with the millennial reign of Christ upon planet earth. How glorious it will be?

Have we responded favorably to Christ’s call to come and to see? Are we following Jesus with no chance of turning back or being foolishly persuaded to be offended by the continued spreading of false information by those in positions of earthly power and authority?

Coming to see Jesus leads a person to believing in Jesus, but faithfully following Jesus creates the kind of faith that maintains hope and courage even in the face of great danger and the threat of death! Let us be found by Jesus coming to Him often in the studying of His Word and following Him every day of our lives. And like Simon, Andrew’s brother, we too await our new eternal name change!

Our Father in heaven, teach us Lord to come and see on a daily basis what it is that is worth believing, even believing unto death. In Him Always, Amen!

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