Living above Our Circumstances in Troubled Times
It is the best of times and the worst of times.
Where did we come from to get to this place? We have plenty of both Good News and Bad News.
• The youth of the Hippy generation of the 1960’s are now the generation of the grandparents of the 2000’s. The children of the Hippies now have their children which are the grandchildren of the Hippy generation.
The Scriptures in the Bible have one intended interpretation, but they may have more than one application. An application of Jeremiah chapter 2 as it may relate to the grandparent status of the Hippy generation of the 1960’s is the following:
Jeremiah chapter 2, verse 9
"Wherefore I will yet plead [contend] with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children [grandchildren] will I plead."
• The United States of America, founded as a Christian nation, has been the most blessed gentile nation in the history of the world—on a parallel of blessing with Jewish Israel under the leadership of King David and King Solomon.
• The United States of America appears to be on a downward, out of control spiral toward destruction. The nations of the world hate us, but they cannot get along without us.
• Apart from the grace and mercy of our God, the God of the Bible, USA as a Christian country is on its way to destruction.
• The average “Christian” family and the average “evangelical” church have become diluted, compromised and neutralized.
• The average “Christian” family and “evangelical” church have been seduced by the world, the devil and the flesh.
See: Ephesians 2:1-3: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
The engines behind our earlier lives as unsaved, unregenerate sinners were the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life
Lions attack the weakest, the slowest, the youngest and the ones that are grazing alone. Mountain lions can spring-leap ahead 24 feet from a stand still position. Satan goes about like a roaring lion looking for human prey to devour! Our kids are the youngest, the weakest, often the sickest, and many times grazing far away from the flock!
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For 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. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
We must teach our children and grandchildren to stand up in and contend for our Bible-based Christian faith! We must equip our children for the spiritual battle that is intensifying in their generation! One of the first steps that we must take is to decide who it is that determines what is true.
Who determines truth?
Is it man
Is it God?
If it is the God of the Bible Who determines what is True, then we must examine everything through the filter of His Word! And we must teach our children to do the same!
• 1 Peter 3:15
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."
• Colossians 1:10
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God."
• It has been said that we have made God in our own image and on our own terms. “God on my terms and the 10 Suggestions!” What does “God on my terms and the 10 Suggestions” look like?
- Darwinian Evolution and Old Universe
- Humanistic Psychology preferred over God’s Word
- Feminism accepted instead of Femininity
- Organized Sports that steal time from God and kids
- Embryonic Stem Cell Research
- Disposable Relationships (divorce, etc.)
• For many of us our two big problems of pride and selfishness have trumped our desire to live out Colossians 1:27: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
• Philippians 2:3-5a
"Let nothing be done through strife [selfishness] or vainglory [pride]; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
• Jeremiah 17:23a
"But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction."
• May we as God’s people and ambassadors here on earth never “stiffen our necks” or refuse to pay attention to our Lord through His Word. May the prayer of our hearts be, “Lord, not my will but thine be done.”
• Praise God there are still individual Christians, Christian families, and some solid Christian churches who are standing strong and using the spiritual armor of the Lord (Eph. 6:10-18) as soldiers in His army in our country. But what we see as we travel this country are mostly people, families, and churches racing like lambs to the slaughter into and with the things of the world.
What do we see:
• Whole youth groups involved with Harry Potter
• Sunday School classes studying The Shack
• Christians adoring, Oprah Winfrey, the High Priestess of the New Age who promotes The Secret, Eckart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, A Course in Miracles, etc.
• Bible churches adopting the philosophies of the Emergent church.
• Gross immorality of all kinds, etc…
• Many folks who say that they are Christians do not exhibit the life of the Lord Jesus in their lives.
2Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins. 3But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter. 4How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.
• Are we loving and serving our Savior with our whole heart, or just with our lips?
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men."
• Our current circumstances in this world should be leading the true Christian to worship and praise our Almighty God and King, The Lord Jesus Christ. We may be seeing before our very eyes the “birth pangs” of the coming of our Messiah, Lord Jesus. The time must be very near for the blowing of the Trumpet and the shout of the archangel!
Let us remind ourselves that we are made in the image of God.
26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
• Although we have been made in the image of God we are fallen and sinful. Our relationship with our living Lord can only be established when we confess our sinful state and receive the crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and Messiah.
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19
17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
THE BIBLE SAYS THAT MAN IS TOTALLY CORRUPT
• His intellect: 2 Cor. 4:4; Rom. 1:28
• His conscience: 1 Tim. 4:2
• His will: Rom. 1:18, 28
• His heart: Eph. 4:18; Jer. 17:9
• His total being: Romans 1-8
The penalty for this total corruption is eternal separation from God = HELL
THE PENALTY FOR SIN
• Death: Rom. 6:23
• Second Death: Rev. 21:8
• Endless Punishment: 2 Thess. 1:8,9
• Black Darkness Forever: Jude 12,13
• Everlasting Disgrace: Dan. 12:2
• Eternal Fire: Matt. 25:41
SEPARATION FROM GOD FOREVER = THE PENALTY FOR SIN FOR BELIEVERS!
• Loss of fellowship with God: 1 John 1:6
• Loss of fellowship with Believers: Matt 18
• Discipline from the church: 1 Cor. 5:4,5
• Chastisement from the Lord: Heb. 12:6
• Habitual sin-unto-death: 1 John 5:16,17; 1 Corinthians 11:30
All to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all!!
THE REMEDY FOR SIN FOR PEOPLE WITHOUT CHRIST
• Proverb 28:13: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
• Romans 10:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
THE REMEDY FOR SIN FOR BELIEVERS IN JESUS CHRIST
• 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
• Confess = “to agree with God.” There are children of God and children of the devil (1 Jn. 3:10; Jn.8:44; Rom 9:8). WHOSE CHILD ARE YOU?
WHO AM I AS A CHRISTIAN?
• Member of the family and household of God: Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 2:19
• Complete in Christ: Colossians 2:10
• Possessor of every spiritual blessing: Ephesians 1:3
• Born of the Spirit: John 3:6
• Baptized with the Spirit: 1 Cor. 12:13
IF WE COULD LOSE OUR SALVATION ALL OF THESE WOULD HAVE TO BE REVERSED:
• Indwelt by the Holy Spirit: Jn. 7:39; Rom. 5:5, 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19; Gal. 4:6; 1 Jn. 3:24
• Sealed by the Spirit: Eph. 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:22
• Given spiritual gifts: 1 Cor. 12-14; Rom. 12
• We are IN CHRIST: Jn. 14:20; Col. 1:27
• A member in Christ’s body: 1 Cor. 12:13
• A branch in the Vine: John 15:5
• Recipient of eternal life: John 3:15 and 16; John 10:28, 1 John 5:11-13
• Seated in heavenly places: Eph. 2:6
• Minister of the N.T.: 2 Cor. 3:6 (KJV)
• Ambassador of Christ: 2 Cor. 5:20
• A living letter: 2 Cor. 3:3
• A minister (servant) of God: 2 Cor. 6:4
• God’s inheritance: Eph. 1:18
• Redeemed: Rom. 3:24; Col. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:18
• Christians are God’s “house” on earth: 1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor. 5:1
• An heir of God: Rom. 8:17; 1 Pet. 1:4
• Joint heir of Christ: Rom. 8:17; Heb. 9:15
• Have access to God: Rom. 5:2; Eph 2:18; Heb. 4:16, 10:19
• A called and protected people: Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9
• Delivered from the power of sin: Rom. 6:2; Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11
• A living stone: Eph. 2:21,22; 1 Pet. 2:5
• A sheep in His flock: John 10:27-29
• A part of Christ’s bride: Eph. 5:25-27
• A priest in God’s Kingdom: 1 Pet. 2:9
• A new creature: 2 Cor. 5:17
• A child of light: Eph. 5:8; 1 Thes. 5:4,5
• In the Spirit: Rom. 8:9
• Positionally glorified: Rom. 8:30
• Delivered from the kingdom of Satan: Col. 1:13; 2:15
• Foreknown: Acts: 2:23; Rom. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:2
• Elect: Rom. 8:33; Col. 3:12; Tit. 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:2
• Predestined: Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:5,11
• Chosen: Matt. 22:14; 1 Pet. 2:4
• Called: Matt. 22:14; 1Thess. 5:24
• Reconciled by God: 2 Cor. 5:18,19; Col. 1:20
• Reconciled to God: Rom. 5:10; 2 Cor.5:20
• Redeemed how I love to proclaim it, redeemed by the blood of the lamb! Rom. 3:24; Col 1:14
• All condemnation removed: Jn. 5:24; Rom. 8:1
• Crucified with Christ: Rom. 6:6; Gal. 6:20
• Dead with Christ: Rom. 6:8; Col 3:3; 1 Pet. 2:24
• Buried with Christ: Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12
• Raised with Christ: Rom. 6:4; Col. 3:1
• Regenerated: Jn. 13:10; 1 Cor. 6:1; Tit. 3:5
• Born Again: Jn. 3:7; 1 Pet. 1:23
• I am forgiven all my sins!!! Eph. 1:7, 4:32; Colossians 1:14; 2:13; 3:13
• Child of God: Gal. 3:26; Jn. 1:12; 2 Cor. 6:18
• A New Creation: 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10
• Adopted: Rom. 8:15,23; Eph. 1:5
• Acceptable to God: Eph. 1:6; 1 Pet. 2:5
• Made Righteous: Rom. 3:22; 2 Cor 5:21; Phil 3:9
• Perfected forever: Heb. 10:14
• Justified: Rom. 3:24; 5:1,9; 8:30; 1 Cor. 6:11; Tit. 3:7
• We have heavenly citizenship: Luke 10:20; Eph. 2:13,19; Phil. 3:20
• Within the “much more” care of God: Rom. 5:9,10
• Object of God’s love: Eph. 2:4; 5:2
• Object of God’s power: Eph. 1:19; Phil. 2:13
• Object of His faithfulness: Phil 1:6; Heb 13:5,6
• Object of God’s peace: Jn. 14:27
• Object of God’s consolation: 2 Thes. 2:16
• Object of God’s intercession: Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25
• Object of God’s grace:
• For salvation: Eph. 2:8,9
• For keeping: Rom. 5:2; 1Pet. 1:5
• For instruction: Titus 2:12
These 64 I.D. distinctives of who we are in Christ would all have to be stripped away if we could lose our eternal salvation.
• 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s."
• 2 Corinthians 5:9-10
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
• John 12:48
"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."
• Jeremiah 15:16
"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts."
• John 8:31-32
" If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
• The Almighty God of the Bible wants us to walk in His plans.
" For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordainedb that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10).
May we never forget that the Almighty, All-Knowing God of the Bible sees everything we do and knows everything we think!
• Proverbs 15:3
"The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good."
• Hebrews 4:13-14
"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession."
• Jeremiah 23:24
"Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD."
• Numbers 32:23
"But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out."
• Psalm 44:21
"Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart."
• Acts 1:24a
"And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men."
• Proverbs 14:12
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
We must deal with deception and be sure our children are carefully taught also! There are shepherds are leading their people astray (Emergent Church, etc.).
• Jeremiah 23:1, 2
"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. 2Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD."
• Malachi 3:18
“Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.”
Are we students of our Lord’s Word so that we can keep our discernment level finely tuned?
A few Biblical Encouragements to bolster our faith
• 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
• Job 42:1-2
"Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 2I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee."
• 1 Peter 4:19
"Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator."
• Jeremiah 32:17-18 , 27
"Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: 18Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name. . . .27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"
• Job 19:25-27
"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another."
• 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? 36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
• Romans 8:35-39
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor 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."
• Romans 15:4
"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."
Time, our children and our country are slipping away. Let us seize this moment in God’s power for the glory of our dear Lord Jesus Christ!
Ephesians 5:15-17: "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."
• In the midst of this wicked and perverse generation let us have deep resolve in our hearts to live for the glory of our Lord Jesus no matter what the costs, the circumstances or the consequences! May the prayer of our hearts be: “Lord, not my will but thine be done” (Lk. 22:42).
"And he [Jesus] was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
Christians of America it is time for us to rise from our sleep, earnestly pray, and then penetrate this wicked culture in God’s power, within the framework of His Scripture and for The Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!
• Col 1:9-11
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power."
Look up, for our salvation draweth nigh!
• Acts 5:29
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
There may come a time when we in America will be forced to join Peter and the other apostles and say, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”