Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY OCT. 14, 2018

Scripture To Consider:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

“And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”                                                                                                                                                    John 3.16-21

Something To Consider:
God gave His only Son to save the human race from their sin. Therefore, God gave His only Son in order to rescue mankind through redemption found only in Jesus. God the Father’s overwhelming motivation was His love for those in the world. John would later quote Jesus in John 15.13-14, as saying; “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” In other words, God so loved the world by so loving every individual who ever lived and ever will live. For God so loved us even to the death of His only Son Jesus.

God gave so much to save us! What is it that we are willing to give in return? According to Jesus, our obedience to His Word would be a very good beginning. Paul illustrates this greater love shown us by Jesus in Romans chapter 5 beginning with verse 6. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Therefore, while we were in total rebellion to God, Jesus Christ, and His Word, God gave His only Son to make a way of escaping sin’s judgment. And Paul continued by stating in verse 9, “Much more then, having now been justified by His [Jesus’] blood, we shall be saved from wrath [God’s wrath] through Him. For if we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son [Jesus], much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” According to Jesus, we are to no longer practice evil deeds, but we are to practice righteous deeds so that others may clearly see our righteous deeds have been done in God.

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus came to planet earth to save mankind. While dining at the home of a man named Zacchaeus, Jesus shared His mission statement in short form; “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. According to the apostle Paul in Romans 3.23, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” And according to Romans 3.10-12, “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understand; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”

In other words, without believing in Jesus, all are lost according to the truth of God’s Word. But, in the mind and heart of Jesus He has come to seek and to save that which was lost, past tense; as if it is a done deal, as if when Jesus is actively seeking someone to save it is a finished work in His mind. That should greatly encourage anyone and everyone who has been called to be a prayer warrior on behalf of others.

But, if the truth be told, there is a clear and present danger. The danger is in the truth that we are free will agents even if Jesus is seeking us to save. We have not been made creatures without a choice in the matter of salvation as in the many choices of life we make every day. The apostle Paul speaking of Christian liberty in Galatians chapter 5, proves the point of a clear and present danger in that we before and after becoming Christians have the freedom to make our own choices.

Beginning in verse 16 Paul declared, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Therefore, the deciding factor in the choices we make on a daily basis is decided by whether we are walking in the Spirit of God or in the evil of our own fleshly desires.

Thankfully Paul lists some of the many fruits or works of the flesh in order to caution us and to teach us where the practicing of these things will lead us. He continues in verse 19 of Galatians chapter 5, by stating for the biblical record; “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication [sexual misconduct], uncleanness, lewdness [more sexual misconduct], idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries [partying], and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Are we guilty of any of these flesh induced practices? If so, according to Paul and the inspired Word of God, those practicing these things will not inherit the kingdom of God! If we are found by Jesus practicing these evils, we will be refused entrance into the kingdom of God. It will not matter how long we have been a good standing member in whatever denominational church, or whether we are teaching Sunday school, or whether we are even acting as a shepherd to God’s sheep.

The bottom line is if we are practicing these evil fleshly works, according to the Word of God, we are destined for destruction and eternal separation from God because of our sin!

Something More To Consider:
Jesus, in our text proclaimed, “For everyone practicing evil hates the light [truth of God’s Word] and does not come to the light, lest his [or her] deeds [which are evil] should be exposed. But he [or she] who does [practices] the truth comes to the light, that his [or her] deeds [practiced works] may be clearly seen that they have been done [practiced] in God.”

But there remains a clear and present danger. There is a clear and present danger of condemnation hanging like a dark storm cloud over all who refuse to believe in the only begotten Son of God. He or she who does not believe the message of God’s great love is according to Jesus, already condemned, not by God, but by their own unwillingness to rightfully respond to God’s free gift of salvation only found in Jesus.

Therefore, by a person’s refusal of redemption in Jesus they are condemned and in danger of eternal separation and suffering. Those who choose to continue practicing evil have in fact condemned themselves. God gave His Son to save all those who believe and who maintain a present tense belief in Jesus by obeying His commandments even in these end times and especially even unto the end.

Those who refuse to believe are left with a very clear and present danger! So, what will be our response to hearing and or reading the light of God’s Word? What should be our response? Will we freely choose to come to the light of the truth or will we choose foolishly to turn from the truth and to embrace the insanity of the false end time messages of religious wolves in sheep’s clothing?

A Few Final Words:
The apostle Paul asked in Romans 8.31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” The answer rings out loud and clear and it is our own flesh! Our own flesh cries out in opposition to all that is good and godly. Our flesh according to Paul wars against the Spirit of God and must not be given in to. Our flesh wars against our being obedient to the Word of God and it must be subdued if we are truly to endure unto the end and thereby be saved according to Jesus.

Paul added in verse 32 of Romans 8, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” And indeed, God has given us as true believers in His Son Jesus all things pertaining to living our lives in godliness and in holiness, and in obedience to His written and preserved Word of God. Yes, God gave His Son to save us all from our sins, but until all respond there remains a clear and present danger!

Until we are convinced of our need to endure to the end according to Jesus, there remains a clear and present danger. Concerned caring leaders are not afraid to point out clear and present dangers, like a good shepherd protecting his flock; they are willing at a moment’s notice to lay down their lives in order to save or help others. Like good shepherds, good leaders are willing to give of themselves in order to save others!

Our Father in heaven, thank You for Your willingness to remove the clear and present danger of sin by freely giving us Your Son Jesus. In Him Always, Amen!

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