I recently read a book called, The Hiding Place, and it’s the true story of Corrie ten Boom, a woman who not only survived the brutal concentration camps of WW2, but who saved the lives of countless persecuted Christians and was a light to many other women in the camps. I was totally captivated by the horrors that she and her family endured and yet amazed at how God was right there in the midst of it all through this woman. To read her story was truly a humbling experience for me.
There are many times that we Christians get caught up with the niceties of life and we complain when we have to endure an inconvenient trial or suffer through something that we were sure God should have exempted us from in the first place – after all, we’re Christians. Sadly, we turn toward the loud prosperity preachers and false doctrines that are designed to appeal to our personal desires and because of our lack of scriptural understanding, we totally miss God. And this is NOT a good thing.
“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
We can’t be fence-sitting Christians anymore. We either need to dive deep into the Bible and study it diligently to know God and what His direction is for our lives, or we need to dive deep into the Bible and study it diligently to know God and what His direction is for our lives. In other words, if we’re going to say that we’re a Christian then we need to get serious and be one!
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” … Joshuah 24:15
We can all look around us and see that the world is falling apart. It’s plagued with illness and unusual climatic change, but more than that, it’s becoming over-burdened with sin, corruption and deception and it’s getting worse every day. The devil is busy destroying people and he’s moving faster and harder now because his time is almost over – Jesus is on the verge of returning! We need to stop following false doctrines and showy preachers and get back to basics – the Bible!
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” … Romans 10:9
There is only ONE gospel and that is the gospel of Jesus found in the New Testament of the Bible, and most of it is written by the Apostle Paul who was a disciple of Jesus. He didn’t walk with Jesus during the Lord’s earthly ministry as the “twelve” disciples did, but Paul had a unique experience on the Road to Damascus shortly after the Lord’s resurrection where he met Jesus in person and was converted. The Lord filled Paul with the knowledge of the full gospel and Paul wrote about it throughout the New Testament. This “gospel” needs to be our benchmark for Christianity. This is the real gospel of Jesus.
“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” … Acts 9:3-6
When we study the New Testament we learn who God is and who Jesus is, and we realize the big picture of what’s in store for the people on earth, AND we learn how to survive and get the victory through many of the trials that await us. Jesus tells us many times that the world will continue in sin and get worse, and that there will be persecutions and tribulations that will beset the Christians – and that’s because Christians oppose sin and the devil doesn’t like it.
So, if we’re having issues in our home or at the job or with our health, then we need to remember that trials are going to come and will continue to come at us as long as we live in this sinful world. But we also need to remember that our destination is Heaven where we’ll be with Jesus forever and where life will be good – no sin, no sickness, no tears, no death. BUT, while we’re here, God’s Holy Spirit, who lives in us, will guide us along the way.
“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.”
… John 16:33
There are two great deceptions that are robbing Christians of this truth: 1) that it’s God’s will for us to be rich on this earth and so we should strive for prosperity because we’re a “king’s kid” and our focus should be on reaping the wealth here on earth; 2) that Jesus died for everyone on the cross and that individual repentance isn’t necessary because we’re all automatically forgiven of all sins and are all headed to Heaven and that God loves each of us just the way we are.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” … Matthew 7:15
These are false teachers that cater to our personal desires and to our ignorance of the truth about the scriptures, and both will rob us of our salvation if we don’t find that truth and live it. There is an mp3 teaching series by Rev. Rich Vermillion that is called, The Fundamentals of the Real Gospel, that is FREE and he not only teaches you the real gospel, but he shows you how to discern false teachers and doctrines.
The truth is that we are in a battle as long as we’re on earth and we need to put on the whole armour of God and resist the devil. We need to study the Bible and get prepared because earth is NOT our home where we can relax and bask in the wealth of the land; earth is a battleground and when we accept Christ and come out of the sinful ways, the devil is going to come after us and he will defeat us if we aren’t prepared because he does his job well – he has come to steal, kill and destroy.
“For 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” … Ephesians 6:12-18
Our hearts and our goals and our reason for living should be for Jesus. We can enjoy our life here on earth and share God’s love and blessings with those around us, but we also need to be prepared and ready to stand for Christ; for what’s right and true according to the scriptures. When we realize that Jesus was God in Heaven who put Himself into the body of a man so that He could come to earth and live among us and then take on our sins and die on the cross in our place after being brutally tortured, we see that the greatest treasure in all of the world is the love of God. And nothing is more humbling to us than to realize that He did it all for “me”.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” … Romans 8:38-39