Hebrews 2:13-18 NET “Again he says, “I will be confident in him,” and again, “Here I am, with the children God has given me.” Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. For surely his concern is not for angels, but he is concerned for Abraham’s descendants. Therefore HE HAD TO BE MADE LIKE HIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN EVERY RESPECT, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. For since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.”
By sending His only-begotten son JESUS into the world God shared in our pain. A part of God lived, ate, slept, walked, and breathed right among us. Through Jesus He became one of us!😂 No one can say God doesn’t know what it’s like to be human. No one can say He doesn’t understand our pain. He suffered like the worse of us; nailed hand and foot to a cross! And He suffered other things as well, all for us! What kind of love is that? What kind of person would go through all this for people who could never pay Him back, or don’t even care? This is no ordinary love. This is divine. This my friends is the love of Almighty God.😊 A god mighty enough to suffer humiliation on our behalf. He indeed accomplished everything He sent His son Jesus to do. We now live through Him, through the death of Jesus on the cross. The curse of death has been forever destroyed along with the devil who knows he has a short time left. (Revelation 12:12) Praise God for His mighty miracle! Praise God for Jesus Christ!😂
Isaiah 53:5 NET “He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed.”
There are people who say once God saves you you can never leave God, and it’s impossible for God to leave you. They say things like, “God is so loving, so kind, He would never abandon any of His children.” Actually that statement by itself is true. But sometimes it is used out of context. Yes, God is truly so loving and merciful that it’s hard for us to fathom just how good He really is.😊 What do we sometimes do to human beings we think are very nice and kind? We take their kindness for weakness or for granted. This happens to God too.
Jude 1:5-6 NET “Now I desire to remind you (even though you have been fully informed of these facts once for all) that JESUS, HAVING SAVED THE PEOPLE out of the land of Egypt, LATER DESTROYED THOSE WHO DID NOT BELIEVE. You also know that the angels who did not keep within their proper domain but abandoned their own place of residence, he has kept in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day.”
The verse above says that people who were once saved by God were later destroyed by God because of their repeated lack of faith. And angels too left God and are reserved for judgment. In the case of humans though some who will make the case that they were never saved to begin with. But is that what God says:
Ezekiel 33:13 NET “Suppose I tell the righteous that he will certainly live, but he becomes confident in his righteousness and commits iniquity. None of his righteous deeds will be remembered.”
Hebrews 10:26-29 NET “For if we DELIBERATELY keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us, but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume God’s enemies. Someone who rejected the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for the Son of God, and profanes THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT THAT MADE HIM HOLY, and insults the Spirit of grace?”
The above passage says, “THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT THAT MADE HIM HOLY!”😳 The type of person described here was, “MADE HOLY,” by Jesus blood. Does that sound like someone who was never saved to begin with to you?🤔 And finally Jesus said in Revelation:
Revelation 2:4-5 NIV “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”
The lampstand in the book of Revelation represents the churches. (Revelation 1:20) Jesus said if they did not repent and get back the love they had for Him at first that He would remove their lampstand (remove them) from the churches. Does that sound to you like someone who cannot lose their salvation? Our Lord is so loving, merciful and kind, yes He is, so much so that sometimes we take His kindness for granted just as we do with other folks. The Lord desires no one to be destroyed which is why He is always pleading with us to REPENT:
Ezekiel 33:11-16 NET “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but prefer that the wicked change his behavior and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil deeds! Why should you die, O house of Israel?’ “And you, son of man, say to your people, ‘THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS WILL NOT DELIVER HIM IF HE REBELS. As for the wicked, his wickedness will not make him stumble if he turns from it. The righteous will not be able to live by his righteousness if he sins.’ Suppose I tell the righteous that he will certainly live, but he becomes confident in his righteousness and commits iniquity. None of his righteous deeds will be remembered; because of the iniquity he has committed he will die. Suppose I say to the wicked, ‘You must certainly die,’ but he turns from his sin and does what is just and right. He returns what was taken in pledge, pays back what he has stolen, and follows the statutes that give life, committing no iniquity. He will certainly live – he will not die. None of the sins he has committed will be counted against him. He has done what is just and right; he will certainly live.”
Does it get any plainer than the explanation God gave Ezekiel in the passage above? Meditate on these few passages we’ve read. They reveal God’s true personality. The Bible is filled with many passages like these. In them we see God’s tender love, mercy, and His righteous judgment. May we learn to love God with our whole heart, whole mind, whole soul, whole strength, and learn to love our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus said by following these two commands we fulfill God’s whole law.😊(Matthew 22:36-40Mark 12:29-31)
Luke 18:9-14 NET “Jesus also told this parable to some who were confident that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else. “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I AM NOT LIKE OTHER PEOPLE: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’ The tax collector, however, stood far off and would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful to me, sinner that I am!’ I tell you that this man went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.””
The first thing the Pharisee said was, “I AM NOT LIKE OTHER PEOPLE.”😳It’s easy to do what the Pharisee did without even knowing it. I’m guilty of it myself; thinking that I’m better because I don’t act like, “those people.” The Lord recently showed me this about myself. The other day I was talking with someone about how some men don’t care for their children. I talked bad about those men then spoke well about myself how I’ve had a good relationship with my son over the years. I was proud of that (too proud). Then when I sat down to finish writing this article the Holy Spirit convicted me: a little voice said, “You just did it. You just committed the sin you’re writing about.” I felt terrible and had to repent. Man this is scary. It’s so easy to become Ricky-righteous because of some good things we do. I had to admit to myself and to God that I’ve been feeling like a superior Dad because of my relationship with my son for some years.😳 I only did what I was supposed to do. (Luke 17:10) It was no great feat or accomplishment. And I wasn’t perfect at that. When we think that we’re better because we don’t act like other people our thinking is not pleasing to God. We are looking at things humanly. And we will miss why Christ died and shed His blood for all if we do not repent.
Romans 3:23 NET “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Again, it’s easy to think because we don’t do x y and z like other folks we’re better. God says differently. To God sin is sin, and unfortunately we all have sin. There is no big sins or little sins. It’s all sin! Did you notice right after the Pharisee said, “I am not like other people,” he started mentioning the sins of other people like I did when talking about my son? The Pharisee said I’m not like other people; “extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers – or even like this tax collector.” I spoke well of my relationship with my son then said I’m not like other dead beat dads. It’s the same thing the Pharisee did. Some may think I’m being too hard on myself but I’m not. God showed me whenever I do this it’s self-righteousness and I need to stop! There’s a fine line between exposing evil in others and praising yourself.
If you turn on the news you will see bad actors. There’s a lot of chaos going on in the world now. We may not engage in criminal behavior like others and that’s good. Yet we must strive no to look down on them and elevate ourselves. Jesus says, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” God wants us to recognize the real problem we all have; it’s SIN. Sin makes people think and act crazy. Not one of us is immune. If we were Jesus would not have had to come and die for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD. Thank God for Jesus’ atoning sacrifice!😃
1 John 2:2 NET “And he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the WHOLE WORLD.”
Everybody has a sin problem, EVERYBODY! The Pharisee thought he was so different like we do sometimes. He talked bad about others then spoke well of himself. If you have noticed any of these traits in yourself as I have noticed in myself please do not ignore it. We have to deal with this. We must call it what it is: Self-righteousness. If we repent and confess our own sins, then go to God in prayer asking for forgiveness, God says, “You are forgiven,” as if it never happened.😊 WOW! That’s right, God is that loving, compassionate, and willing to forgive our sins. So shouldn’t we be more lenient with others.🤔
Is it surprising to see self-righteous in ourselves or others? Not really, it’s human nature. But it is God’s will that we put on the new nature of Christ, that we be conformed to God’s image. (Ephesians 4:22-24Colossians 3:5-10) And nothing about Jesus’ personality is self-righteous. If we already had Jesus’ personality there would be no need to conform to it.🤔 So no it’s not strange to see ourselves fall short in this or any other matter. Our goal should be though not to get comfortable with our sins; not to downplay them, but to deal with them the way God says and that is to repent.
It’s good to know we have a merciful Father who will forgive us. May we not develop a hard, stubborn heart that refuses to repent when God shows us unpleasant things about ourselves. And may we not beat ourselves to death over it either. Remember, Jesus died to make atonement for our sin! May it be our goal to keep learning how to be like our Master Jesus who is so humble, loving, kind, understanding, pleasant, all that and a bag of chips! You know what I mean.😃
Matthew 24:10-12 NIV “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and MANY FALSE PROPHETS WILL APPEAR and DECEIVE MANY PEOPLE. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,”
In the verse above Jesus is talking about something contributing to people’s love growing cold. Jesus said there would be MANY FALSE PROPHETS which are always accompanied by an, “Increase of wickedness,” wherever you find them. When we think of a false prophet the first picture that comes to mind might be a prosperity get money preacher, or a supposed man or woman of God that teaches false doctrines. But are they the only kind of false prophets Jesus was talking about? False prophets or people who make a habit of prophesying falsely are everywhere! They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. They are in every occupation. Some are politicians, movie stars, musicians, rappers, singers, doctors, lawyers, dishwashers, school teachers, bus drivers, waiters, waitresses, mechanics, you get the picture. Jesus said there would be MANY of them in the time of the end. They don’t have to be the obvious phony church Pastors and Teachers. Social media outlets like YouTube, Instagram, etcetera are filled with them!😳
Don’t get me wrong, social media can be used for good purposes, but you know the old saying, “Bad news travels fast.” Sadly news of the misfortunes in the world always travels fast, but wrong interpretations of them travel even faster through the mouths of false prophets. Their messages are hurting people; causing confusion, and causing their love to grow cold. Do you know what the Bible calls true prophesying? Most folks think it just means foretelling the future because that’s what prophets did and do. Check out this verse:
1 Corinthians 14:3 NIV “But the one who PROPHESIES speaks to people for their STRENGTHENING, ENCOURAGING and COMFORT.”
We’re right at the finish line. This is not the time to be indifferent and lose the race. I know you get tired sometimes, I do too. But if we persevere a little longer we will be glad forever we did!😂 Our Lord will reward us with the crown of eternal life!
Yes, ANYONE who speaks to people to strengthen them, encourage them, and comfort them is prophesying.😊 I didn’t say they are a, “Prophet,” or “Prophetess,” someone called to be a spokesperson for God 24/7 for life. But they are indeed prophesying. Now imagine someone who does the very opposite 24/7 for life. Instead of strengthening people they are always bashing them or tearing folks down withy their words. Instead of encouraging people they instill fear in them. And instead of comforting others their speech is always disrespectful and painful. We are all guilty of doing these things at some point, but imagine someone who does this 24/7 like it’s they’re calling.😳 Some folks on social media will tell you that this is their calling! They justify it by saying their job is to expose folks, and they’re just telling the truth. But are they not FALSELY prophesying; doing the very opposite of what true prophesying is? Because of how they use their tongues would it be unfair to put them in the category of false prophets?🤔
Listening to God’s words have wholesome effects on us. Any Christian who’s been a Christian for a while knows this. You know how you feel when you regularly, diligently, study your Bible. You feel strong as an ox. We must fight not to be lured in by social media which is designed to pull our attention away from the comforting, encouraging, and strengthening words of God.
We’re so close to the end guys. We’re right at the finish line. This is not the time to be indifferent and lose the race. I know you get tired sometimes, I do too. But if we persevere a little longer we will be glad forever we did!😂 Our Lord will reward us with the crown of eternal life! Avoid serpents and scorpions who are always biting with their words. I hope this article has encouraged you. Be blessed.