Bible Ballistics: Vol. 18 No. 12 The ONE Who Never Fails???
As I sit here writing this evening, I am using some notes I made earlier, for my heart is heavy with the disregard that we, as a nation, a culture, often even the church, seem to have for God, His Word, and the pursuit of holiness. Holiness is an oft-neglected term in regard to the biblical principle, I’m referring to the nature of biblical “holiness”, not the denomination; for “holiness” is not just for those who belong to “Pentecostal” or “charismatic” churches, but rather it is the call to all who belong to Jesus! And it breaks my heart that we are so neglectful of it.
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,
and hope to the end
for the grace that is to be brought
at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children,
not fashioning yourselves
according to the former lusts
in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy
in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written,
Be ye holy;
for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16
Peter reiterated this principle in his second letter, talking about the coming of The Lord and the judgment that HE will bring.
“But the day of the Lord
as a thief in the night;
in the which
the heavens shall pass away with a great noise,
and the elements shall melt with fervent heat,
the earth also
and the works that are therein
shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then
that all these things shall be dissolved,
what manner of persons ought ye to be
in all holy conversation
and godliness,” 2 Peter 3:10-11
We hear a lot about the coming of Jesus for HIS own, but we seldom hear about the judgment that HE will exercise when HE comes! While believers will give an account of their deeds—not for salvation but in regard to rewards or lack thereof—the lost will have no recourse or second chance as they face Jesus as their judge (the redeemer they rejected) with no opportunity for grace, mercy, or salvation. For as Paul made very clear in his letter to the Philippians, “every knee shall bow”! For the question isn’t “will you bow”; no matter the disregard, despite, and disrespect that is shown to The Lord that we love and follow, every person “will bow” before Jesus—the ONE who has been appointed by God to save “whosoever will” come to the cross in repentance and faith in the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice that Jesus made for our SIN, and judge those who reject HIM!! For sin IS the issue, and your choice matters. (See 1 Corinthians 3:10-18, Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23)
“And she shall bring forth a son,
and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people
from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
Jesus came to save us “from” our sins, in contrast to the ever-popular gospel of today, which claims that Jesus will save us “IN” our sin! Jesus Himself made clear the truth!
“I tell you, Nay:
but, except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise perish…
….5 I tell you, Nay:
but, except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3 & 5
And if we look at Paul’s declaration of truth to the Philippian believers we find the cost of our sin—Jesus’ death on the cross:
“And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath
highly exalted him,
and given him a name
which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
of things in heaven,
and things in earth,
and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:8-11
Oh, how my heart grieves for those who are buying into a gospel of ease, convenience, and popularity, instead of the gospel that Jesus calls us to:
“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?” Matthew 16:24-26
Those who follow Jesus are called to share in HIS suffering—oh NO! Not suffering? Yes, Jesus warned us that if we are truly following HIM there will be rejection, suffering and/or ridicule. Holiness and the “crucified life” are inseparable.
and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus
shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
“I am crucified with Christ:
nevertheless I live;
yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me,
and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
And Jesus own warning which is so often overlooked.
“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.” John 15:20
Salvation is expressed in “denying self”, “taking up our cross” and “following Jesus”—meeting Jesus at the cross—the place where HE died for your sin and mine! But we are believing a lie when we hear and see a message that says that we can have Jesus and sin without recourse—Jesus says something different.
“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
Yet, ‘many’ are tolerating a new gospel that says we can do what we want and still belong to Jesus. Jesus said even more about this dichotomy of the “new” gospel of our day—there is only ONE way to God, and HIS name is Jesus—the ‘narrow way’! Kind of gives you a different take on being “narrow minded”!
“Enter ye in at the strait gate:
for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way,
that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be
which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life,
and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
We seem to be overrun by the “many” culture—if it’s popular with the “many” it must be right—it must be ok. Yet, Jesus says that the wide and broad way “leadeth to destruction” and it is chosen by the “many…. which go in thereat”! How it grieves my heart that so many whom I love have bought into the lie. They claim the name of Jesus yet go the “broad way” with no compunction for the holy things of God. It’s popular to go with the crowd rather than the “narrow” way which is often a lonely road—but remember that Jesus walked up Calvary’s Hill alone for you and me! Which way are you going? I know I am considered “old fashioned”, but I truly believe that God hasn’t changed, and HIS Word still stands as the standard. Neither politics, social media, or the corrupt entertainment industry set the standard—God has declared truth for HE IS truth, and The Word will be the standard of HIS judgment (Both the written & living Word).
“For the word of God is
and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder
and of the joints
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
This Word of God has been, IS and ever will be the standard of judgment—always–whether you/I have accepted it today or not—and the judge’s name is JESUS—and HE IS the only way to God, and the One to whom every person shall answer!
the same yesterday,
and to day,
and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8
Jesus is The ONE who never fails. Ever! For HE IS TRUTH!
“Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way,
and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me.” John 14:6
And HIS truth is still true whether you believe it, accept it, follow it, or not! Jesus made it clear to Nicodemus, the religious leader seeking truth, that He has the truth, but even more, HE IS the truth, and those who reject HIM will pay the consequence. And you’ll pay that consequence–death, and hell–in spite of the fact that God loves you so much that HE gave Jesus to die in your place–if you fail to believe HIM and receive HIM into your heart. (See Revelation 3:20)
“For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world through him
might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him
is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten
Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness
rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil
hateth the light,
neither cometh to the light,
lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth
cometh to the light,
that his deeds may be made manifest,
that they are wrought in God.” John 3:16-21
Jesus never fails—HE has paid the price for our sin; and for those who have chosen to believe and receive HIS gift of salvation, HE will never leave us or forsake us. What are we willing to do, to be for HIM? What are we willing to sacrifice for HIM? Will we be found Holy or Unholy? Which will you/I choose?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove
what is that good,
will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
His promise to you and me is incomparable, and worthy of all our praise, devotion, and obedience. But to obey, we must know what HE says, what HE asks, and know the power of HIS Holy Spirit who will provide all that we need for life and godliness.
“Grace and peace
be multiplied unto you
through the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power
hath given unto us all things
that pertain unto life
through the knowledge of him
that hath called us
to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us
and precious promises:
that by these
ye might be partakers
of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption
that is in the world
through lust.” 2 Peter 1:2-4
Will you/I live in the light of HIS promises or are we falling to the lusts of the world? You and I may fail, but Jesus never will, and HE promises to walk with His own! Who is your God? Your King? Which road are you taking? It’s your choice but choose wisely there is a test.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness;
and be content
with such things as ye have:
for he hath said,
I will never leave thee,
nor forsake thee.
6 So that we may boldly say,
The Lord is my helper,
and I will not fear
what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13:5-6
Amen and Amen!!!