The Fast Track

Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 4:55 a.m. – the Lord Jesus woke me with this song:

Give Me Jesus
Oh, What Gladness!
An Original Work / December 2, 2013

Give me Jesus. He’s my Savior.
I’ll walk with Him in His favor.
I’ll abide in His love always;
Follow His ways to the end.

Jesus is the Son of God.
He died upon a cruel cross.
He’s forgiven all my failures
By His mercy and His love.

Give me Jesus – His compassion,
And His mercy; loving kindness.
Let Him teach me how to love Him,
And to please Him. He’s my friend.

Jesus died for all our sin
So we could have eternal life.
He will free you from your bondage
If you trust Him with your life.

Give me Jesus. Let me trust Him.
May I listen to His teachings.
May I follow where He leads me
In His service. He’s my Lord.

Jesus Christ will come again
To take His bride to be with Him.
Oh, what gladness; free from sadness
When I meet Him in the air.

Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Peter 2 (ESV):

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,” and

“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 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. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

A Rock of Offense

There are many people in this world who are on the “fast track,” i.e. “a rapid and sometimes highly competitive route to progress or advancement that exists alongside the slower conventional one” (Encarta). The Lord Jesus is showing this to me on two levels: 1) Spiritual, and 2) Political, only the “fast track” route is not traveling alongside the slower one, but is changing route in midstream and is going ahead and is abandoning what is conventional or what is true and trustworthy. The two don’t parallel each other, for one abandons the one in favor of the other and thus runs ahead toward ultimate destruction.

On a spiritual level, this has to do with the gospel of our salvation, our relationship with Jesus Christ, and with our eternal destiny. There are many who are abandoning the true faith of the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by Jesus and by the apostles and are going after a twisted version of the gospel which is light, quick, and which does not “slay” the sinner, but which entertains him, i.e. it is not the crucified life but more like a fast food meal that you pick up at a drive-thru and then go on your way with no real inconvenience to you at all. Yet, this is not what scripture teaches, though those who teach it will pull scriptures out of context to try to prove that what they are teaching is the true gospel of Christ.

Jesus Christ took upon himself the sins of the entire world. He bore the pain of unjust suffering for you and for me. When he died, our sins died with him, and when he rose from the grave, he conquered death, hell, Satan and sin. He has given us the gift of salvation from our sins, but we must receive it by faith. Faith is not a feeling or an experience or an intellectual assent to something, but it is a life-time commitment of surrender, obedience, servitude, freedom, love, joy and peace – all in the power and strength of the Spirit of God living and working his will within us for his praise and for his glory. We are thus to forsake our lifestyles of living for self and sin, we are to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and we are to live for Jesus Christ in his righteousness and holiness (See Lu. 9:23-25; John 15:14; Eph. 4:17-24; Rom. 6; Gal. 2:20; 1 John; Titus 2:11-14).

This is what this is talking about here in 1 Peter 1-2. As obedient children, we are not to conform to the evil desires we had when we lived in ignorance. Just as he who called us is holy, we are to be holy in all we do. We are to live out our time here on earth as though we are strangers, foreigners or travelers who do not belong to the world, but as those who are just visitors. “This world is not my home. I’m just a passing through.” And, we are to live this time on the earth, not in self-gratification and fulfilling the lusts of our flesh and with a goal of satisfying our hedonistic desires which rage within us, but we are to live in reverent fear of Almighty God with all due honor, respect, submission and surrender to his will for our lives. And, we should do this, realizing all that Jesus Christ did for us so we could be set free from slavery to sin and set free from the empty way of life handed down to us from our ancestors. This world we live in and all its pleasures are going to perish, but the word of the Lord endures forever. We must make certain we are living for the word of the Lord!

Our goal should be to please Christ in all we do. We must rid our lives of all that hinders our spiritual walk and the sins that so easily entangle us so we can run with perseverance the race marked out for us (See Heb. 12:1), and so we can mature and grow up in our salvation. As well, we should offer to God not just the things we are willing to sacrifice or give up for him or even the sacrifice of our time and efforts in doing “good things” that we think might be pleasing to him, but we should offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God, which have just been described here and in 1 Peter 1-2. In doing so, though, we should expect to be persecuted and to have the people who twist the scriptures to their advantage to come against us and to try to convince others of the twisted version of the gospel (lite) which is the “fast track” gospel of salvation which makes no such demands as that of repentance, submission, and surrender to Christ resulting in obedience and a crucified life. We will become the enemy, and they will convince many that we are the enemy and even that we must be killed because we preach the true gospel of salvation.

Continued next post...
Human Authority

The Bible teaches us that we must submit to human authority and that we are to show proper respect to everyone. Yet, it also teaches that we are not to worship or bow down to what is false or to foreign gods, and that we are never to deny our Lord or to cease speaking in his name or praying to him in order to obey human authority.

As well it teaches us not to compromise with the world or participate in fruitless deeds of darkness but rather to expose them. Jesus and the apostles set great examples for us in how to show proper respect, and in how to submit to human authority while not compromising their faith and practice, and while continuing to speak the truth in love and to share the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ despite all opposition and even in the face of threats against their lives. So, all submission to and showing respect to human authority should never compromise the Word of Truth. We should never worship humans or follow them blindly, trusting them implicitly, for they may lead us astray to what is false. Yet, we should not resist arrest or confiscation of property or even death for the sake of the gospel, for this life has no hold on us and all that is earthly is going to one day pass away.

In our present world the Obama administration, and at least some of Congress, as well as perhaps some local government leaders, are working in partnership with the New World Order (their political allies) in conquering, usurping and overthrowing national governments in the world, including in the USA, in order to bring the whole world ultimately under the rule of the Beast of Revelation, i.e. a one world government (order). In countries such as Ukraine and Thailand, for instance, this New World Order (and our own country’s leaders) are busy forcing the leadership of those nations out of office so that they can bring in the “international community,” alias the New World Order and to set up transitional governments leading the way to this rule of the beast. In order to accomplish this, they produce these uprisings, playing the roles of both the anti and pro-government forces, in order to bring about a situation which will require the intervention of the “international community.” Their goal is two-fold, I believe: 1) Political conquest and overthrow of national and local governments, and 2) The conquest of believers in Jesus Christ who hold to the testimony of Jesus Christ and who do not deny his name (See Rev. 13).

So, although we must submit to our leaders, and we must show them proper respect, this does not mean that we should worship them or blindly put our trust in them, for some or many of them are on this fast track, and their goal is to abandon the people of their nations, and true followers of Jesus Christ, and in the case of our own leaders here in the USA, their goal is to also abandon the constitution of the USA (the slower conventional route) and to go another route of their own making which will lead us inevitably to destruction, famine, sword, pestilence and the like, i.e. this is the path to tribulation and the severe persecution and murdering of true followers of Jesus Christ who hold fast to the truth of the gospel, even within the United States of America. They are already doing this in other nations in the world and are forcing the people into compliance with the New World Order (Beast), and this is being done at the hands of our own government leaders, too. And, they will leave us “holding the bag,” i.e. they have and will desert us and will leave us to pay for their sins, i.e. such as all the national debt they have incurred, for one. They always have to have someone else to blame for their dirty work. And, the innocent will suffer.

Yet, many will suffer who are not innocent, too. The Lord Jesus is showing me here that many have abandoned the true faith, i.e. they have abandoned him and have gone off to follow the “fast track” route instead. His word promises that he will bring judgment, not just on the unbelievers, but on his people who have abandoned him to follow after other gods of their own making (See Rev. 2-3). Yet, this time of difficulty ahead is for our purification, to prune us, and to get God’s adulterous and idolatrous church to return to him in revival so he can restore them and so that the true gospel will go forth and many will be saved before the time of the end when God will judge all mankind and many will face eternity in the flames of hell because they refused to have true faith in Jesus Christ. May we take the teachings of the Word here to heart, get off the fast track, and follow our Lord Jesus in full surrender.

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken / Henry F. Lyte / Mozart/ Arr. Hubert P. Main

Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee;
Destitute, despised, forsaken, Thou, from hence, my all shalt be.
Perish every fond ambition, all I've sought, and hoped, and known;
Yet how rich is my condition, God and Christ are still my own!

Let the world despise and leave me, they have left my Savior, too;
Human hearts and looks deceive me; Thou art not, like man, untrue;
And, while Thou shalt smile upon me, God of wisdom, love, and might,
Foes may hate, and friends disown me; show Thy face, and all is bright.

Man may trouble and distress me – ‘Twill but drive me to Thy breast.
Life with trials hard may press me; Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, ‘tis not in grief to harm me, while Thy love is left to me;
Oh, ‘twere not in joy to charm me, were that joy unmixed with Thee.

Go then, earthly fame and treasure! Come, disaster, scorn, and pain!
In Thy service pain is pleasure; with Thy favor loss is gain.
I have called Thee, Abba, Father, I have stayed my heart on Thee;
Storms may howl and clouds may gather; all must work for good to me.

Haste then on from grace to glory, armed by faith and winged by prayer;
God's eternal day's before thee, God's own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission, swift shall pass thy pilgrim days,
Hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight, and prayer to praise.