2 Peter 3:8-9, Choices And Consequences, Genesis 6:3, Hebrews 10:28-31, Hebrews 9:27, Jesus Saves!, John 15:18-21, John 17:1-3, John 6:37-40, Luke 20:17-18, Matthew 16:24-27, Matthew 7:21-23, Repentance, Revelation 12:11, Salvation, The Blood Of Jesus, The Blood of Jesus Cleanses from SIN, Titus 3:3-6, What will you choose
Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 03 The Blood Of Jesus Cleanses???
I want to share a difficult thing with you today, a subject that the world avoids, almost at all costs—in fact, at the cost of their souls.
“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.
25 For whosoever will save his life
shall lose it:
and whosoever will lose his life
for my sake
shall find it.
26 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?
27 For the Son of man
in the glory of his Father
with his angels;
and then he shall reward
according to his works.” Matthew 16:24-27
Jesus told his followers that there was only one choice in life that really matters—what you do with HIM! We can try to save our own lives, or we can trust to the Only One who can truly give eternal life, not only in the “sweet by and by” but in the “here and now”! Even in the midst of ‘viruses’. And just as importantly our choice will be judged one day—Jesus is coming again, to claim His own who are His bride, but also to judge those who have rejected HIM, even as He said here, “every man according to his works”! While the cost of following Jesus is totally by faith, through grace, there is an evidence, as Jesus Himself declares:
“If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross,
and follow me.”
We cannot cling to self, flesh, lust, sin, greed, etc… and cling to Jesus at the same time!
“No man can serve two masters:
for either he will hate the one,
and love the other;
or else he will hold to the one,
and despise the other.
Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24
We must make a choice, and we need to consider the import of our privilege to choose—for there is a test coming, and you will answer for yourself! There won’t be any defense without Jesus—not your momma, not your spouse, not your credentials, not your education, not your money, fame or power…without Jesus you will stand ‘speechless’ before God. (See Revelation 20:11-15)
“And as it is appointed
unto men once to die,
but after this
the judgment:” Hebrews 9:27
And Jesus will hold us accountable according to HIS Word not my opinion or yours, or the government’s, or Hollywood’s, or popular trends, snaps, chats, or tweets! And Judge Jesus knows truth (HE is truth) and HIS Word will be the standard.
“For the word of God
and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder
and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner
of the thoughts
of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature
that is not manifest
in his sight:
but all things
unto the eyes of him
with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:12-13
You might want to make a list of all these things that The Word of God is doing, will do and consider your ways! For Jesus made it very clear that HE knows truth—as my momma always said: “You can fool all of the people some of the time; and you can fool some of the people all of the time; but YOU CAN’T FOOL GOD:” (Not God The Father, God The Son, or God The Holy Spirit!)!
“Not every one that saith unto me,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will
of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many
23 And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you:
depart from me,
ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23
I know I have belabored this issue, and we’ll get to the hard part in a bit, but I am compelled to remind us all that there is only ONE WAY to God, and HIS name is Jesus, and eternal life isn’t a pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by thing, it is new life right now, eternal living as one who is “seated in” Heavenly places by the blood of Jesus that grants to us not only new life, but abundant life, victorious life, no matter how it looks to a world who hates HIM! They hated Him when He was here on earth and He warned us that those who are His will suffer the same consequences from time to time. Jesus reminded His disciples of this very thing on His way to the cross! And if we have “taken up our cross” and are truly “following” Jesus, our lives will make ripples around us, causing others to keep their distance, ridicule our convictions, and call us unkind names—but we have been warned, by our Lord!
“If the world hate you,
ye know that it hated me
before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world,
the world would love his own:
but because ye are
not of the world,
but I have chosen you
out of the world,
therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater than his lord.
If they have persecuted me,
they will also persecute you;
if they have kept my saying,
they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things
will they do unto you
for my name’s sake,
because they know not him
that sent me.” John 15:18-21
Not a very popular message, but one that we desperately need today! And my friends, if you don’t see the hand of God at work around us, you might want to open your eyes, or take off your blinders! Jesus is at work in all around us—always has been, ever will be! Are you listening for His voice, reading His Word and preparing for His return? Or are you so caught up in the bling of the world that your ears have been dulled, and your eyes don’t see? Jesus wants all to come, but HE won’t wait forever! He told Noah, and as true as it was then, it is still true today (although God hasn’t given us the time!)
“And the LORD said,
My spirit shall not always strive with man,
for that he also is flesh:
yet his days shall be
an hundred and twenty years.” Genesis 6:3
And the Apostle Peter shows us the other side, and reminds us that God’s timing isn’t our timing, but don’t wait too long, for as Jesus said, we don’t know “what a day may bring forth”!
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing,
that one day is with the Lord
as a thousand years,
and a thousand years
as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack
concerning his promise,
as some men count slackness;
but is longsuffering
not willing that any
but that all
should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9
God wants YOU, but He has given us the privilege of free-will to choose. What will you do with your choice? There is a test.
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;
and him that cometh to me
I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven,
not to do mine own will,
but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me,
that of all which he hath given me
I should lose nothing,
but should raise it up again
at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me,
that every one which seeth the Son,
and believeth on him,
may have everlasting life:
and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:37-40
And HIS will is for you to come to Him through Jesus! What will you do with HIM! He gave His all, His life’s blood for you!
“These words spake Jesus,
and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,
Father, the hour is come;
glorify thy Son,
that thy Son also
may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power
over all flesh,
that he should give eternal life
to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal,
that they might know thee
the only true God,
and Jesus Christ,
whom thou hast sent.” John 17:1-3
To pull all of this together, I want to remind us that it is the blood of Jesus that saves, cleanses, transforms and provides for all that God has saved us to do. And without that blood (which so many hate) we have no hope. I want to share a couple more passages and a testimony that I hope will encourage your heart and speak to those who feel hopeless—for JESUS is our hope, through HIS precious blood that saves and delivers!
“He that despised Moses’ law
died without mercy
under two or three witnesses:
29 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?
30 For we know him that hath said,
Vengeance belongeth unto me,
I will recompense,
saith the Lord.
The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing
to fall into the hands
of the living God.” Hebrews 10:28-31
Jesus described this dilemma:
“And he beheld them, and said,
What is this then that is written,
The stone which the builders rejected,
the same is become the head
of the corner?
18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone
shall be broken;
but on whomsoever it shall fall,
it will grind him to powder.” Luke 20:17-18
You can bring your brokenness to Jesus and find life, or you can reject His love, grace and salvation and experience His judgment. I claim the testimony of the saints!
“And they overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb,
by the word of their testimony;
and they loved
not their lives
unto the death.” Revelation 12:11
How do you come to love Jesus enough to be willing to die for Him? Only when we realize that HE gave His blood for me; by recognizing the love of God that GAVE HIS SON to pour out His pure, innocent, and sinless blood to pay for the sins of a poor lost wretch like me! That’s how! But we have come to a time in our world, in the “church” when the blood of Jesus has little if any value or meaning to many who claim the name of the ONE whose blood was shed for our salvation! I don’t mean this to be accusatory, but to call us back to the cross and the love of The One who shed HIS blood for ME and YOU—for all who will come to Him in repentance and faith. Some of you may not want to read any further, as this testimony is a bit graphic, but I feel led to share this very private encounter with my God.
As most of you know, my daughter was murdered just before Christmas last, and of course when you deal with the legal authorities, there are papers, hoops, and such to get things done, and we were finally able to reclaim my daughter’s things last week; her personal affects—phone, cards, clothing, etc.…. We picked up the box of possessions and I almost got sick in the parking lot just knowing what was in that box. The kind police officer had told me from the beginning that I didn’t want some of those things, and I assured him that I certainly did want them. Some I needed for practical business matters, but the clothing and such he suggested that I not take. Well, I did take it all. It was a hard drive home for my husband and myself, but we got home, rested for a bit and then took the box into our den and began to open each of the marked bags of “evidence” of this crime.
Well of course, the tears began to flow, and heartbreak became reality as we opened each bag, read the label and appraised each item. The items on the top of the stack were relatively benign, but the deeper we got into the box, the more gruesome the things became that we were pulling out. And I’ll have to say truthfully, my tears poured as my broken heart realized what had been done to my precious, only daughter. In fact, they are flowing now, as I write this account. And the cry of “look what ‘he’ did” (the perpetrator) ….kept coming out again and again as we pulled out blood stained garment after garment. Without being graphic, it was a heart-wrenching task, but one we knew we needed to do. While the tears brought some relief, they also brought a heart that went to the cross. As I looked at each of those gruesome items, I had to come face-to-face with what my JESUS did for me. Cruel, sinful men took the life of God’s “Only Begotten Son” because HE loved me and wanted to save me from my “SIN”, and you from yours! MY heart was filled to overflow to think that while my daughter was stolen from me, God GAVE Jesus to die for ME. And Jesus went to that cross and shed HIS BLOOD for me. Suffice it to say, I look at things differently today than I did just this time last week. While I love my God and am grateful for all HE did for me at that cross that drained HIS SON of HIS life’s blood, I want to ask you, “Have you recognized the price that God paid to save YOU?” I pray that I will never think of that cross in the same way again. I miss my daughter terribly, but because of that “blood of Jesus” that “cleanseth us from all sin” I know where she is—not because she was a good person, or a good worker, or even because she was a victim—but because in a jail cell 11 years ago she had given her heart to Jesus in repentance and faith. And while she had made some poor decisions, and fallen back into some dangerous habits that ultimately cost her life, I know that the blood of my daughter in my hands (so to speak) took me back to a cross where God willingly poured out Jesus’ blood for me. How can I do less than serve Him with my whole being? I can’t do less, even when others think me extreme, fanatic, or old-fashioned; I simply say, that “Old Time Religion” is good enough for me. May God open your eyes to see His love and the price that HE paid for YOU!
“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love
of God our Saviour
toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness
which we have done,
but according to his mercy
he saved us,
by the washing of regeneration,
and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly
through Jesus Christ
our Saviour;” Titus 3:3-6
Amen and Amen!!!