EarsToHear.net
He That Has Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear  ( Matthew 11:15-30 )
Challenging both secular wisdom and religious doctrines. - Will our descendants know moral virtue?

Home - About - Faq's - Contact/Subscribe - Op-Ed's - Search - Donate - Share

The Cost

 

Table of Contents


Upfront

When considering end times Biblical prophecies, do not give credence to the thought of "why bother." If someone questions what motivates a Biblical Christian to continue their "calling," knowing full well what God's Word declares, it is that same Word of God that instructs us to do so. What then would a Biblical Christian choose: become a spectator, or continue being "workers into His harvest.”  (Matthew 9:38) The cost of being in the world that is becoming increasingly more corrupt requires the full armor of God and ensuring there is ample "oil" (Holy Spirit) in our "lamps" (our being). --Matthew 25:1-13.

Luke 14:28 - For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

Ephesians 6:12 - 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.

Romans 8:35-39 - Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 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.

2 Chronicles 20:15b - Thus says the LORD* to you, Do not be in awe! Do not be dismayed because of this great multitude! For the battle is not yours, but God’s.  

1 Samuel 2:9-10 - He will guard the feet of His pious ones and the wicked will be silent in darkness, for no man will prevail by strength. The adversaries of The LORD* will be broken to pieces, there will be thunder out of heaven upon them. the LORD* will judge the ends of the earth and He will give strength to His king and exalt the horn of His Anointed One.

When You Just Want to Quit – By Dr. Ray Rooney, Jr. - ...Everything about the way the world is and the way things are going in America makes me want to throw up my hands in disgust, withdraw, and wait like Jonah for the fireworks show to begin. I’m tired of there being one set of laws for the majority of Americans and another set of laws for politicians. I’m tired of seeing political and religious leaders thumb their noses at God and seemingly get away with it. I’m tired of seeing the nation the Founders envisioned be turned into a lawless moral cesspool barreling towards socialism. I’m tired of the hypocrisy that is no longer implicit in the shadows but on full and prominent display in every venue of life.

   ...But guess what? I won’t quit. I won’t pack my bags and walk off into the dusk leaving faith and hope behind. Every day is a new day and with it comes hope. I will slog on through the muck and mire of apparent worldly indifference or defeat “looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10)

   ...My job in life is not to defeat Goliath. ...Our job is not to return America to her former glory. Our job until we meet our Creator face to face is this: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed...(2 Timothy 2:15) ...and having done all, to stand firm (Ephesians 6:13).  

Roman Empire Persecutions "Early Christians ... carried into the Coliseum to make a spectacle for those more savage than the beasts" - William Jennings Bryan - American Minute with Bill Federer -

...Eleven of the twelve apostles were martyred, with the 12th, John, being reportedly thrown into a boiling pot of oil, but miraculously survived.

• Peter preached in Rome and was crucified upside down c.66 AD;

• Andrew preached in Asia Minor, modern-day Greece and Turkey, before being crucified on a sideways "Saint Andrew's Cross" around 60 AD;

• Thomas preached east of Syria, Parthia, and possibly India, and was pierced through with spears by four soldiers in 72 AD;

• Philip reportedly preached in Egypt, Carthage in North Africa, and Asia Minor. After converting the wife of a Roman proconsul in Phrygia, he was arrested and cruelly put to death in the city of Heliopolis around 80 AD;

• Matthew preached in Parthia, Persia and Ethiopia, where he was reportedly stabbed to death in the back in city of Nadabahl in 74 AD;

• Bartholomew, according to tradition, preached in India, Armenia, Ethiopia and Southern Arabia, before being skinned and martyred in the 1st century AD;

• James, the son of Zebedee, also know as "James, the greater," was arrested by Herod Agrippa, and beheaded by the Romans in 44 AD;

• James, the son of Alpheus, also known as "James, the younger," is said to have ministered in Syria, where he was stoned and clubbed to death in 62 AD;

• Thaddaeus, or Jude, preached in Asia Minor and Greece, till he was crucified in Beirut or Edessa around 65 AD;

• Simon the Zealot reportedly preached in Persia, Mauritania, on Africa's west, and possibly England, before being crucified in 74 AD;

• Matthias preached in Syria, where he was burned to death.


Why I Can't Just Learn to Get Along - By Dr. Ray Rooney Jr.  ...“Why can’t we all just get along?” Because I want to go where the Word of God is exalted and extolled. Maybe you want to go where the Word of God is given a wink and a nod. She wants to go where she is exalted. He wants to go where hedonism reigns, and they want to go where the Word of God has been banished. Everyone on that journey believes (rightly so) that the others are intentionally hindering their travels. As an evangelical Christian, I believe it is sin to walk my path silently as the others are headed to destruction. They all believe it is just as wrong to attempt to shepherd them onto the path I am on.

   ...No, if getting along with people means learning to ignore the devastation of sin in the lives of those around me then you can count me out. If being accepted by culture has supplanted being obedient to God then I don’t suppose that I and culture are going to be getting along very well. You know, the God-wants-everyone-to-be-nice crowd loves to cite “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” from the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:5) as their proof text. It’s interesting that 5 verses later Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for there is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). So the meek get earth while the persecuted get heaven. You can have the earth. I’ve been there. I’ll set my eyes on the kingdom of heaven. Even if it means paddling upstream for the rest of this life.

Back to Kingdom Index

See also: "Calling" & "Hot or Cold?" and the twisting of Scripture of "Do not judge."


Ambassadors

Luke 14:26-35 - If any man come to me, and hate* not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first, and consults whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an ambassage, and desires conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

*(Note: "hate" from the Greek word: miseo -- pronounced: mis-eh'-o: from a primary misos [hatred]; to detest, especially to persecute; by extension, to love less: KJV -- hate(-ful). 

Jesus Said We Must “Hate” Our Own Families – What Did He Mean? - By Bryan Fischer - It’s worth noting that, in Hebrew and Greek, the word translated “hate” does not intrinsically include an emotional component of vitriolic dislike as it does in English. Stripped to its essence, it means to “reject.” it’s a choice word, not an emotion word. When God says, “Jacob I have loved and Esau I have hated,” (H8130 sane' - enemy, foe, (be) hate(-ful, -r), odious) he’s simply saying he was choosing Jacob to be his primary heir. We can choose one thing and reject another without anger or venom being at the root of the decision.  ...A father may have to communicate to his homosexual son that he cannot approve of his lifestyle and cannot in good conscience attend his gay “wedding.” He will be condemned viciously as a hater, by his son’s friends and maybe even by members of his own family even though he would lay down his life without hesitation for that same son. 

Luke:21:10-19 (One New Man Bible) - Then He was saying to them, “Heathen will rise against heathen and kingdom against kingdom, there will be great earthquakes and in places famines and pestilences, and horrors and there will be great signs, terrifying portents, from heaven. But before all these things happen they will seize you and they will persecute you, handing you over in public gatherings and jails, leading you before kings and governors because of My name: it will lead you into bearing testimony. However you must place in your hearts not to prepare to defend yourselves: for I shall give you the ability to speak with persuasion and wisdom, which all those set against you will not be able to oppose or to speak against. And you will be given over even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death: and you will be hated by all because of My name. But not a hair of your head would be lost. In your perseverance you will acquire your eternal lives.”

Matthew 10:14-42 - And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

   For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

   What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

   Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me. He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.

   He that receives you receives me, and he that receives me receives him that sent me. He that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. 

Acts 5:39-42 - ...and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Matthew 13:44-46 - Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Luke 19:11-27 (BBE) - And while they were giving ear to these words, he made another story for them, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they were of the opinion that the kingdom of God was coming straight away. So he said, A certain man of high birth went into a far-away country to get a kingdom for himself, and to come back. And he sent for ten of his servants and gave them ten pounds and said to them, Do business with this till I come.
   But his people had no love for him, and sent representatives after him, saying, We will not have this man for our ruler. And when he came back again, having got his kingdom, he gave orders for those servants to whom he had given the money to come to him, so that he might have an account of what business they had done.
   And the first came before him, saying, Lord, your pound has made ten pounds. And he said to him, You have done well, O good servant: because you have done well in a small thing you will have authority over ten towns.
   And another came, saying, Your pound has made five pounds. And he said, You will be ruler over five towns.
   And another came, saying, Lord, here is your pound, which I put away in a cloth; Because I was in fear of you, for you are a hard man: you take up what you have not put down, and get in grain where you have not put seed.
   He said to him, By the words of your mouth you will be judged, you bad servant. You had knowledge that I am a hard man, taking up what I have not put down and getting in grain where I have not put seed; Why then did you not put my money in a bank, so that when I came I would get it back with interest?
   And he said to the others who were near, Take the pound away from him, and give it to the man who has ten. And they say to him, Lord, he has ten pounds. And I say to you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And as for those who were against me, who would not have me for their ruler, let them come here, and be put to death before me.

Ezekiel 3:18-19 (BBE) - When I say to the evil-doer, Death will certainly be your fate; and you give him no word of it and say nothing to make clear to the evil-doer the danger of his evil way, so that he may be safe; that same evil man will come to death in his evil-doing; but I will make you responsible for his blood. But if you give the evil-doer word of his danger, and he is not turned from his sin or from his evil way, death will overtake him in his evil-doing; but your life will be safe.

Isaiah 54:14-17 (One New Man Bible) - You will be established by acts of loving kindness: you will be far from oppression, for you will not be in awe, and will be far from terror, for it will not come near you. Behold, they will surely gather together, but not by Me. Whoever will gather together against you will fall for your sake. Behold, I AM has created the smith who blows the coals in the fire, and who brings forth an instrument for his work, and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against you will succeed. You will condemn every tongue that will rise against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD*, and their acts of loving kindness are of Me, says the LORD*.


Do not become weary in well-doing

2 Thessalonians 3:13 - But you, brothers, do not become weary doing what is right.

When You Just Want to Quit – By Dr. Ray Rooney, Jr. – Everything in life seems difficult. It’s hard to make a living. It’s hard to keep a marriage together. It’s hard to raise children (the right way). It’s hard to get along with people. It’s hard to watch our country being driven into third-world status (the war against free speech is what you usually see in banana republics). It’s hard to stomach the moral cesspool our culture has become (as when violence and mayhem committed by one group of people are called “peaceful protests” while the same thing committed by another group of people is called a “riot” and “insurrection”).

   It’s hard. It’s hard because there never seems to be any end in sight. Our government isn’t going to suddenly find Jesus, repent of its sins, and restore the biblical definition of marriage, end legalized abortion, wage war against pornography, end the debt cycle, protect our borders, end entitlements, or ever return to bipartisanship. And many church leaders aren’t going to restore the holiness of God to the same level as His love allowing their pastors to start preaching about the issues that are tearing this world and our nation apart or actually start telling people that Jesus is the only way to receive eternal life.

   …And keep this in mind: none of the apostles died peacefully in their beds with their families gathered around. Life is hard. Those who tell you otherwise are either lying, misinformed, or sheltered. What really makes it hard, though, are not the difficulties or trials themselves. It’s the wistful notion that they shouldn’t be happening to us at all. If I think I am entitled to prosperity, health, and success in everything I put my hand to…I am deceived.

   In the world you will have tribulation…(John 16:33) Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34). Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you (1 Peter 4:12).

   Everything about the way the world is and the way things are going in America makes me want to throw up my hands in disgust, withdraw, and wait like Jonah for the fireworks show to begin. I’m tired of there being one set of laws for the majority of Americans and another set of laws for politicians. I’m tired of seeing political and religious leaders thumb their noses at God and seemingly get away with it. I’m tired of seeing the nation the Founders envisioned be turned into a lawless moral cesspool barreling towards socialism. I’m tired of the hypocrisy that is no longer implicit in the shadows but on full and prominent display in every venue of life.

   But guess what? I won’t quit. I won’t pack my bags and walk off into the dusk leaving faith and hope behind. Every day is a new day and with it comes hope. I will slog on through the muck and mire of apparent worldly indifference or defeat “looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10)

   ...My job in life is not to defeat Goliath. ...Our job is not to return America to her former glory. Our job until we meet our Creator face to face is this: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed...(2 Timothy 2:15) ...and having done all, to stand firm (Ephesians 6:13).

Psalms 103: 13-19 - Like a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD* has compassion on those who revere Him. For He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass: like a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it and it is gone; and that place will know it no more. But the loving kindness of the LORD* is from everlasting to everlasting, upon those who revere Him and His acts of loving kindness to children’s children. To such as keep His covenant and to those who remember to do His commandments the LORD* has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all. 

Proverbs 16:1-6 - The plans of the heart belong to man and the answer of the tongue is from the LORD*. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the LORD* weighs the spirits. Roll (commit) your works to the LORD* and your plans will be established. The LORD* has made everything for His purpose: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD*; hand to hand, he will not be unpunished.  By loving kindness and truth iniquity is forgiven, and by reverence of the LORD* men depart from bad things. 

Proverbs 24: 1-10 - Do not envy evil men! Do not desire to be with them! For their heart studies destruction and their lips talk of trouble. A house is built through wisdom and it is established by understanding. And by knowledge will the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong. Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength. For by wise counsel you will make your war, and in a multitude of counsellors there is safety. Wisdom is too high for a fool: he does not open his mouth in the gate. He who devises to do evil will be called a mischievous person. The thought of foolishness is sin, and the scorner is an abomination to men. If you faint on the day of adversity, your strength is small. 

Isaiah 40: 28-31 - Have you not known? Have you not heard, the everlasting God, the LORD*, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint nor is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the faint and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths will faint and be weary and the young men will utterly stumble, but they that wait upon the LORD* will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings as eagles. (Ps. 103:5) They will run and not be weary. They will walk and not grow faint. 

Isaiah 52:13-15 - Behold! My Servant will succeed, He will be exalted and extolled, and will be very high. As many were astonished at you, His face was disfigured more than any man’s, and His form more than the sons of men, so He will sprinkle blood and water4 (John 19:34) on many nations. The kings will shut their mouths at Him, for they will see that which had not been told them and they will consider that which they had not heard, [John 19:32-34 - Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other one who was crucified with Him: and when they came to Y’shua, as they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs, but one of the soldiers pierced His side with his spear and immediately blood and water came out. (Blood represents life (Lev. 17:11, Jn. 6:54) while water represents Torah, the Word of God. (Exod. 14:22, Isa. 55:1) 15 (v.39) This is equivalent)] 

Isaiah 64:3-8 - For since the beginning of the world men have not heard or perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen, O God, besides You, what He has prepared for the one who waits for Him. (1 Cor. 2:9) You meet him who rejoices and works righteousness, those who remember You in Your Ways. Behold, You are angry, for we have sinned in them continually, yet we will be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our acts of loving kindness are like a filthy garment. And we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is no one who calls upon Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You, for You have hidden Your face from us, and have consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, LORD*, You are our Father. We are the clay and You are our potter, and we all are the work of Your hand. Do not be greatly angered, LORD*! Do not remember iniquity forever! 

Galatians 6:6-10 - And the one who is being taught the Word must continually share all good things with the one instructing. Do not be deceived, God is not to be mocked. For whatever the man would sow, this also will he reap: because the one who sows into his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows into the spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. And we should not lose heart doing good, for in its own time we will reap if we do not give out. So then as we have time, we should do good with all people, and especially with the households of the faithful. 

Philippians 4:12-13 - And I know how to submit myself to want, and I know how to be abundant: in everything and in all things I have learned the secret, both how to be filled and how to be needy and how to be affluent and how to suffer want: I have strength to overcome all things in the One Who strengthens me. 

2 Timothy 1:7-9 - For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor me His prisoner, but you must now suffer hardships together with me to further the gospel according to the power of God, the One Who rescues us and calls us to a holy calling, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace, because that grace was given to us by Messiah Y’shua before eternal time… 

Colossians 2:8 & 3: 17,22-23 - See that no one will take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Messiah: …and whatever you would do in word or in deed, do all things in the name of the Lord Y’shua, giving thanks to God the Father through Y’shua …Servants, employees, you must regularly obey your human masters, employers, in everything according to the flesh, not in eye-service as manpleasers, only when he is looking, but fearing the Lord with a sincere heart. Which if you would do, you must continually be working from your inner being as to the Lord and not for men… 

Hebrews 12:1-3 - We also, therefore, since we have so great a host of witnesses surrounding us, after we have put off every weight and the easily distracting sin, would ourselves, patiently steadfast, run the race that is set before us fixing our eyes on the Author and Finisher of the Faith, Y’shua, Who, to obtain the joy set before Him, endured the cross, having despised the shame of it He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For you must now consider the One Who endured such hostility as this toward Himself by the sinners, so that you would not be weary, losing heart in your inmost beings.


You are not your own

You Are Not Your Own By MICHAEL BROWN - If you are a follower of Jesus, then your life is not your own. It belongs entirely to Him. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (1 Cor. 6:19-20). This is the opposite of the contemporary American gospel, which teaches that Jesus died to make you into a bigger and better you, to help you fulfill your dreams and goals. To the contrary, Jesus died for you and me so we too would die—die to sin and self—and live a new life for Him. That's when we find out what life is really about. That's when we come into our true destiny and purpose.
   Despite what many preachers say, Jesus did not come into this world and suffer and die to give us the keys to a happy and prosperous life, although there is endless joy in His presence and everything we need is found in Him. Instead, the Word says that Jesus "died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised" (2 Cor. 5:15).
   This is Gospel 101, where discipleship begins. We no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died for us and rose again. To the outsider, this looks like bondage and dead religion. To the insider—to the child of God who knows the Lord—this is freedom and life. We get to live our lives for God! This is absolutely glorious. In keeping with this, Paul wrote to the Colossians, "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col 3:1-3).
   How much clearer could it be? The old life we lived, we live no more; instead, our lives are hidden with Christ in God. That's where our ultimate focus must be. All this was symbolized in our water baptism, when "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4).
   Are you seeing a pattern here? Is the testimony of the Word consistent? It is not only true that Jesus paid the price for our sins; He also paid the price for us—for our lives, for everything we are or ever could be—and now our glorious calling and destiny is to live lives worthy of the Lord, lives that will bear fruit forever and ever.
Peter echoed these very same sentiments: "Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties and lawless idolatry" (1 Pet. 4:1-3).
   Does that express your heart as well? Can you joyfully pray, "Lord, Your will, not mine, be done in my life?" The amazing thing is that when we deny ourselves and take up the cross, our will becomes one with His, and when we lose our lives for His sake and the gospel, we really find our lives (see Matt. 16:24-25). That's why I can assure you that no one who truly commits his or her life to Jesus will look back at the end of life with regret. I can also assure you that those who live for their will rather than God's will in the end will have endless regret.
   You have been bought with a price. You are the Messiah's treasured, purchased possession. To hold back is to disobey. To yield unconditionally is to enter into the very life of God. Will you look back 100 years from now and ask yourself why you wasted your one and only life, or will you be one of those, who, on that Day, will "shine like the brightness of the sky above ... like the stars forever and ever" (Dan. 12:3)?


Understanding and confronting "reprobate minds"

Boundaries are established by foundations. For Christians that is the Kingdom and Word of God. For "reprobate minds" there is no foundation and therefore no boundaries.

And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:5) For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (John 3:22)

Matthew 11:15,25,26 - He that has ears to hear, let him hear. ...At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Romans 1:16-31 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
   Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
   Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
   And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Matthew 10:14-22 - And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.
 
Titus 3:9-11 - But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sins, being condemned of himself.
 
Luke 11:52 - Woe unto you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in you hindered.
 
Isaiah 5:20 - "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
 
Matthew 5:11 - Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
 
We are called to preach the Word, not convict and convince, for that is the work of the Holy Spirit. As Paul indicated, while we plant the "seed" and water, God causes the increase. (1. Corinthians 3:6-7) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that plants any thing, neither he that waters but God that gives the increase.

Colossians 4:5-6  - "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

1 Peter 3:8-18 - Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 

2 Timothy 2:15-19 - Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
 
2 Corinthians 6 -
And working together we also urge you not to take the grace of God in vain: for He says, “I hearkened to you in an acceptable time and I gave aid to you on the day of salvation.” (Isaiah 49:8) Behold now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation. And in nothing giving occasion
for taking offense, so that the ministry would not be found at fault, but in all things because we have presented ourselves as servants of God, with much patience, in tribulations, in distresses, in troubles, in beatings, in imprisonments, in disturbances, in laborings, in sleepless nights, often without food, with sincerity, with knowledge, with patience, with goodness, in the Holy Spirit, with sincere love, with a message of truth, with the power of God: with the weapons of righteousness for offense and for defense, through glory and dishonor, through slander and good report: as impostors and still true, as unknown by the world but thoroughly known by the saints, as being dead but behold we are living, as being chastised by the infliction of evils and calamities but not put to death, as always being grieved but being joyful, as poor but being made very rich, as not having anything but possessing all things.

   Our mouth has opened speaking freely to you, Corinthians, our heart has opened wide: you are not restricted in us, but rather you are restricted in your own hearts and inner thoughts: but, like I am speaking to my children, widen your hearts in the same way in exchange. The Sanctuary of the Living God You must not ever become unevenly yoked with unbelievers (Genesis 13:14-17): for would some mix righteousness and iniquity, or some the fellowship in light, with darkness? But what agreement is there of Messiah with Beliar, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

And what agreement can anyone have with idols in a Sanctuary of God? For we are a sanctuary of the Living God, just as God said that “I shall dwell and I shall walk among them and I shall be their God and they will be My people.” (Leviticus 26:12, Jer. 32:38, Ezekiel 37:27) On this account “You must immediately come out from the midst of them and you must be separated from them at once,” says the Lord, “and you must not ever touch the unclean: then I shall take you in” (Isaiah 52:11, Ezekiel 20:34, 41) and “I shall be for a Father to you” and “you will be for sons” and daughters “to Me.” (2 Samuel 7:14, Jeremiah 31:8) says the “Lord of Hosts.” 

2 Timothy 3:13-4:4 - But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
   All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
   Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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 Peter 3:3-4 - Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.


Receive a hundredfold

Luke 8:5-18 - A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that has ears to hear, let him hear.
   And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
   Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
   They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
   And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
   But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
   No man, when he has lighted a candle, covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed; but sets it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
   Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever has, to him shall be given; and whosoever has not, from him shall be taken even that which he seems to have.

Luke 18:28-30 - Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Matthew 19:29 - And every one that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.


Seeking Him means a personal relationship with Jesus

Revelation 3:14-20 - And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would prefer you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.

You must be completely occupied with Jesus, as the Lord of your life, replacing the world with its cares and comforts and forsaking all. For if we are to transform from representing the world, its lusts, our egos and self, to representing the Kingdom of God, we must be led by the Spirit instead of the flesh. And it is easier to forsake the world than it is to forsake self.

While self still occupies the Spirit cannot. incorruptible cannot inhabit that which is corrupt. What does God see and hear through you? You must hate your life, sin, and the lusts of this world so that you can crucify it and take up your cross to lift Christ. Your life and God's life cannot both occupy your body. Your body is either satisfying self or it is the temple of God. Do you desire to be filled with the pleasures of this world or the Spirit of God who created both the world and you? This determines whether you are led by the Spirit or by the flesh. Are you please self or God?

Matthew 16:24-28 - 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. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 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? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.


"If you love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15

 

Ephesians 2:11-22 - Wherefore remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of  commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

 

1 Corinthians 6:17-20 - But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

 

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 - Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with  unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

 

Romans 8:1-17 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.


 

John 15:18-23 - If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 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 hates you. 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. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hates me hates my Father also.

 

Matthew 10:16-23 - Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
 

Are you ready? See Matthew 24 to see how Jesus answered the question "and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world" and "afflictions" and then His warning in the parable of keeping the "oil" (representative of the Holy Spirit) in your "lamps" (representative of being the Light of the world).

 


 

Next  >>>


Home | About | Search | Contact

Index: Seek ye first the Kingdom of God