Monday, January 9, 2017

Days of Deception

Wow, this is exactly what young people today are up against. I have heard so many of these same beliefs expressed by someone I know who has become entangled with the "new age" despite being raised Christian (just like this man was.) And it’s just like he said he used to feel—they think their views are “superior” to “foolish” Christian beliefs. He barely touches on the influence of higher education, but for a great many, that is a BIG factor as well. Please watch this video to see what kinds of deceptions are luring people away from the one, true God and how God is perfectly able to meet anyone who seeks Him from their heart. (Isa. 55:6-11) I know from personal experience with loved ones that these sites he mentions are indeed very popular with young people.

I found it especially interesting that this young man became aware of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit not immediately after he BELIEVED as his eyes were opened to the truth, but after he ACTED UPON that belief by doing everything in his power to obey, out of REVERENCE for God (not thinking he was saving himself, but because He truly believed in God and recognized His infinite worthiness. He sought to do His will because of his awe of God).  (Note: The Holy Spirit is HE, not “it,” but I believe this video was made before this person making the video realized this.)

I found this delayed awareness of God's indwelling presence to be true in my own walk with God. When I held back and was unwilling to give God of all of my life—was stingy in how much love I gave Him, I didn't feel His presence enabling me to resist temptation to blend in with the world as much. I'm quite sure that is what is meant by grieving and/or quenching the Spirit. He gives us the desire to please Him when we reach out to Him in faith. (Jer. 29:13, Phil. 2:12-16) To the one who has, more will be given. To the one whom much was given, more will be expected. Faith without works is dead and no amount of works will save anyone without faith. We need both, and the works need to be a result of salvation--not an attempt to earn it. (Jam. 1, 2)

God would rather have a handful of people worshiping Him in spirit and truth than multitudes "worshiping" by rote and ritual or because they like the music and activities, etc. He wants people on fire for Him, not lukewarm. He is a jealous God, a consuming fire. If we think of Him as being more like cold, hard marble, then we don't know Him very well. He is reliable and holy, but by no means impersonal. All glory and honor belongs to Him, so if we're holding back anything or giving it to someone or something else, we are making a horrible mistake. If we think God doesn't see what we do or know what we say or think, then do we really believe in Him as He is (instead of the way we would prefer Him to be in our own mind--and what kind of "god" is that)? (Heb. 4:12-13)

The parables of the servants in Matthew 24 and 25, as well as others, warn us that Jesus will be judging His own and giving rewards accordingly. All judgment has been given to Him by His Father. Jesus said those who love Him will OBEY and they are the ones to whom He will reveal Himself to and make His home with--not to the whole world, as one of His disciples asked Him to clarify. (John 14) Just saying we believe is not enough because God cannot be FOOLED. He knows what is in our hearts--even the unsaved world can see how hypocritical "Christians" are if they say Jesus had to die for our sins that we did in ignorance or defiance of our holy and mighty God so that now that we're no longer in darkness, it's okay for us to sin deliberately???

Only those who are born again will enter the kingdom, and we need to ABIDE IN JESUS and bear fruit in order to please God. (John 3, John 15) We do this by abiding, because it's His work in us as we desire to please Him and yield to His will that produces fruit. If all we need to do to enter the kingdom is to confess faith, then why all of the exhortations to abide, persevere, endure, etc.? Because it's our choice, just as it was when we accepted the only way of salvation, offered through Jesus, and acknowledged Him as OUR Lord.

This young man is now working in Jesus' vineyard. He did NOT go back to the way he was before, without any care about pleasing His Lord and Savior. Whoever puts their hand to the plow and looks back is not fit. (This is not to say we're all called to do the same thing or that one person has to serve in the exact same way their whole life, but we are all called to FOLLOW Jesus in deed not only in word.) Let's all serve God with everything we have, by His power within us, FAITHFULLY until He returns. He's worthy (and ONLY He is worthy)!