A Fiery Trial

Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 10:27 p.m. – the Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “For Our Nation.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Peter 4 (ESV).

The Same Way

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. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.

Jesus Christ suffered and died on a cross to destroy sin. In fact, he who knew no sin became sin for us so that, in him, we might become the righteousness of God (See: 2 Co. 5:21). Jesus suffered and died on the cross so that we might be delivered from the penalty of sin, and so that we might have eternal life with God in heaven, but he also died so that we might die to sin. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Pet. 2:24). He also died so we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who died for us (See: 2 Co. 5:15). This was his thinking (his attitude). For the joy of our redemption he endured the cross. He humbled himself and became obedient to death on a cross (See: Phil. 2:8).

So, we are to arm (equip; ready) ourselves with the same way of thinking. This means that when we come to faith in Jesus Christ or as soon as we come to the realization of what it truly means to have faith in Jesus Christ, we must die with Christ to sin so that we can live and walk daily in his righteousness and holiness. We should cease from living the rest of our lives in the flesh and for our sinful passions and desires, but instead we should live for the will of God. We don’t do this in our human flesh, though, but in the power and working of the Spirit within us, as we cooperate fully with that work. This is the essence of the gospel, and it is the essence of our salvation. Faith in Jesus Christ means we die with Christ to sin and self, we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and we now walk in the Spirit in the holiness and righteousness of God (See: Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6-8; Gal. 5:15; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14 & 1 Jn. 1-5).

Yet, this is not what is being taught in the majority of churches here in America. The gospel message is being diluted to make it more appealing to human flesh so as not to offend the people of this world. As well, the gospel message has been altered to make it more acceptable to people and to even excuse away willful sin or to cover it up with lies. They teach grace and faith absent of the cross of Christ in the life of the believer. So, the new convert has the idea that he or she can continue in willful sin and still have his or her ticket into heaven guaranteed. Added to that, they encourage new “believers” to tell themselves that God is happy with them all the time, and that he is always pleased with them even when they choose to rebel against him and to indulge themselves in willful sin. This sears their consciences so that they don’t turn from sin, but they continue to claim to have fellowship with God while still walking in darkness.

So, it is not just the unsaved of this world who malign (heap abuse on) us because we believe what the scriptures teach about holy living, and because we no longer participate in living for sinful passions and desires. It is the ungodly and worldly church which is persecuting those who believe what is being taught here. They are rejecting, mocking, slandering, and kicking to the curb those who put these truths into practice in their lives, and who teach others that true faith means death to sin and living for righteousness. Yet, these persecutors will have to answer to God for their mistreatment of the Lord’s servants.

At Hand

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

These words were written a very long time ago, so when the writers of scripture wrote that the end was near (at hand) what they meant, I believe, was that it was imminent, i.e. it was approaching. Certainly none of us knows if we have tomorrow, so we should live each day as though it could be our last. We should not live our lives on this earth thinking that life will just continue on as it has, especially knowing what scripture teaches with regard to the last days before the return of Christ. We should always have eternity in view, and we should live our lives daily with that view in mind.

I see so many who profess the name of Jesus living no differently from the people of this world or with little differentiation at all. We live in a “Me-Me” society here in America where so much is about pleasing ourselves, but not about pleasing God. Entertaining and being entertained seems to be of central focus, not only in our homes, but also in the church. So many Christians, when they gather together, talk about anything or everything but the Lord. The church leadership only helps to facilitate this mindset by watering down the gospel and by focusing so much attention on attracting the world to their meetings.

Therefore, God is calling out to the church here in America to “Wake up!” He is reminding us that we need to have the same attitude of Christ about our sin and that we need to have the same thinking as Christ about why he died, which was to deliver us out of slavery to sin and to free us to walk in his holiness. We need to take our sin seriously, and we need to take God seriously and to honor, respect, value, reverence and obey him. When this says that love covers over a multitude of sin, this is not speaking of masking sin, ignoring sin, placating sin or dismissing it as no big deal. To have our sins covered means to have them forgiven and for us to be delivered out of the bondage of living for sin and self.

The Fiery Trial

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. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And

“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

Scripture teaches us that God loves us, and because he loves us he disciplines us. He disciplines us and he reproves us and he chastises us so that we may share in his holiness. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (See: Heb. 12:11). So, if you are being told that God will never rebuke you, then please read this again. God will discipline us so that we may grow in him, but he will also correct us when we go astray and we refuse his voice and we return to living for sin and self, because he wants us to return to him (See: Rev. 2-3). The church in America is in sad shape. She resembles the church in Laodicea spoken of in Rev. 3. God wants to revive his church, but she is not responding to his calls to repentance and to renewed faith. I believe we will have to endure some difficult times ahead for us to see revival in this nation of ours. Don’t wait! Obey today!

For Our Nation / An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

Wow ! you wrote that song? It humbled my heart Sue :cry::whistle::D

The Lord Jesus wrote it through me. All glory to God. This is the only song we had professionally recorded. Praise Jesus that he used it to bless your heart. Thank you for sharing that with me.