Thursday 19 September 2019

The Purpose of Your Sanctification

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But First - “What You Need to Know About
The Purpose of Your Sanctification”

You are the Light in Darkness

You really need to know who you are in Christ. You are first His image bearer, created in His image (Genesis 1:26). Once you accept Jesus as your Lord, you receive eternal life, then what? That is where many pastors fail to remind their congregation, leaving them in the dark, without a purpose of their calling. Are you the Light in the darkness, (Romans 2:19?

“Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going,” John 12:35

Pastors need to teach what Jesus preparing us for. Without knowing who we are to motivate us, and the purpose of our fellowship, where can we find the courage and the determination to face the everyday challenges of this world? After all, didn’t God instruct us to be holy as He is Holy? (Lev 19:2). These rules of good stewardship applied to Israel, but also apply to Christians:

‘but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Pet 1:15-16

Immediately after Jesus’ teaching to His disciples on the parable of the lost son mentioned in (Luke 15:11), He went on teaching the parable of the unjust steward. I believe the order Jesus used to link the two parables was significant. At the end of the parable of the lost son, the older brother was angry toward his younger brother who returned after spending his inheritance to usury. What really upset him most is that he finds his father delighted and thankful by preparing a great and magnificent feast to celebrate his brother’s return. Is that the end of Jesus' teaching? Not exactly, we learned that the younger son would not be reinstated at the same level of stewardship to his father's domain as his older brother.

And he (the father) said to him (the older son), ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found,” Luke 15:31-32.

“All that I have is yours,” meaning that the older son owns his father’s entire domain. His younger brother would receive none of his father's inheritance. Many Christians have the assumption that God rewards His children equally since He loves us equally. This is not so. God is a God of justice and love. God is NOT a socialist nor a communist. There is no partiality with Him, (Eph 6:9). For example, “if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat, but should work in quietness and eat their own bread,” (2 Thess 3:10,12).

Soon after our resurrection (1 Thess 4:16), we (the believers in Christ's resurrection) will all be judged for the choices made throughout our Christian life; the good works made for our Lord and the works that we assumed were God’s will. It’s all going to be judged for rewards or disapproval - all accordingly, (Acts 10:42, 2 Tim 4:1).

“and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away,” 1 Pet 5:4

If you are part of the resurrection of the saints, of those who had heard the testimony of the gospel and believed it – those who sleep or are alive at His return (1 Thess 4:14, 5:10), you will take part of the Bema seat of judgment. One by one, standing before our Lord, the books will be open, and Jesus will review our life of service for Him. Reassure yourself, that this will not be a review of our sinful behaviour. Our sins have been forgiven, forgotten and remembered no more, (Heb 8:12). However, our disobedience did hinder our stewardship and consequently our reward.

This judgement is not to be compared with the end-time judgement when all unbelievers will be standing at our Lord's throne. All their sins will be reviewed - all their sinful conduct. Understand this, they will not be judged because they’ve sinned but rather because of their unbelief. They will view the list of sins accumulated throughout their life only to realize that all their sins could have been forgiven if only they had believed and accepted Jesus as their redeemer who took away the sins of the whole world, theirs included, (1 John 2:2). Sad, isn’t?

Now, are we to shine our light within the four walls of the church building only. Nonsense! Here is a comment I wrote in an article titled, “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms vs the Canadian Human Rights Commission”1

I heard at the opening and closing prayers pastors giving thanks to God for the freedom to worship unaware that God has given them much more than the simple right to worship in Canada. I believe that it is God who wrote the Constitution on His behalf - for His purpose, not ours. He gave us, not the government the freedom of religion.

The Constitution was founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law. Not any gods, but the Christian God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, Jn 3:16. (CONSTITUTION ACT, 1982 PART I). 

The Constitution of Canada was signed by Queen Elizabeth which holds the title of the 'Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England’.

What is the difference between freedom of worship and freedom of religion? The difference is that freedom of worship restricts Christians's sphere of influence by living according to their beliefs, ethics and moral standard values within the wall of a building, while the freedom of religion gives Christians the freedom to carry their right to beliefs, ethics and moral standard values everywhere in our society. It is our civil right. Have you not noticed how often we hear from the secular to keep our religion at church? It is a constant attack on our rights. Event Christians among themselves demanded not to mix religion with politics… go figure.

We have the fundamental right to peaceful assembly in a church environment and the freedom of religion in a social environment, in particular in our school.

In my next blog, I will write about our rewards for being a good steward, (the Light in Darkness) especially the defender of the widows the orphans, the unborn babies, and the oppressed.


Monday 16 September 2019

Edifying the Body of Christ

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A Sign of End-Time Prophecy

As a sign of end-time prophecy, there should be a clear distinction between Christians living in the truth and the so-called Christians living within a secular humanist philosophy deception.

Zechariah was commissioned by God to encourage the people - the Jews in their unfinished responsibility to rebuild the walls and the Temple after they returned to Jerusalem after 70 years of exile in Babylon. He didn’t use strong words of rebuke, but rather encouragement, reminding them that this Temple was representing the coming of their Messiah as prophesied to their fathers. They were not merely constructing a building but also building the future according to the prophetic word of God’s promise of the coming Messiah.

Aren’t the Church commissions doing the same - edifying the body of Christ, preparing the bride for Jesus' return?  
“Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction” (2 Cor 13:10)
The parable of the tares (Matt 13:24-30) illustrates God’s work through angels the gathering of the tares and the gathering of the wheat as an end-time scenario before Jesus returns for His Church.

The tares bundled together for the fire – the seven years tribulation, and the bundles of wheat to be stacks and brought into the barn - an event called the rapture. As a sign of end-time prophecy, there should be a clear distinction between Christians living in the truth and the so-called Christians who live within the humanisdeceptions. Although God knows the heart, the Church will definitely be distinct when Jesus returns for His bride.

 A lesson from the past ignored

Have we learned anything from the example of God’s people Israel?  The theme throughout the Book of Judges was, “Failure through compromise” and the theme found in the Book of Joshua was “Victory through faith.”

How many books have been written, how many commentaries were blogged, and how many sermons have been preached about faith? Is the Church any better than historical Israel when it comes to being in obedience to His commandments? The Church has its moments of victory and its moments of failure. One generation who has forgotten what it took to be in fellowship with God proceeded by a generation crying out to God to intervene. Is this where the Church of this era is right now, confused, divided and in despair? Many American and Canadian Christians are crying out to God for a revival while many Christians are content with a once-a-week gathering to worship our Lord since they figure that they still have the right to do so. You wouldn’t believe how many stays-at-home believers are forsaking the assembly of the saints, (Heb 10:25). Some were rejected for the simple reason that they were smokers, and some because they have a criminal record. Really? Are we inviting only sinless candidates? Revival will not come unless we are willing - the desire to obey and to live by faith according to His instructions. If we don’t, we are no better than the children of Jacob, Israel. Inasmuch God warned Israel and Judah to return to Him and to His covenant, so is Jesus through the Apostle John writing is warning His Church in North America to return as a good and faithful steward of His Word, fulfilling His commission or else, it will be given to another nation.   

“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent,” Revelation 2:5

Canadian and American Christian Church is not Israel. We do not replace God’s people just because the Jewish authority rejected Jesus. We live under a new covenant (Mark 14:24). We are bondservant by the same rules of stewardship as of the Israelites. The present Canadian multicultural society with its diversity of cultures and religions reflects the same characteristics that existed during the time of Imperialist Rome and Autocratic Babylon.  Nothing is new under the sun (Eccl 1:9).

In the Book of Judges, soon after the settlement of each Israelite tribe in their assigned territory, Israel quickly drifted away from God's covenant. In those days there were no kings in Israel, and every man did that which was right in his eyes, (Judges 17:6). Doesn’t that reflect also the North American Christians Churches? Having good intentions, each congregation identifies itself with their own personalized statement of belief - every church denomination doing what is right in its own eyes and so does each individual Christian? Canada and America were once a strong Judeo-Christian influence; it is no more. The Church has lost its salt flavour, the light on the lampstand has been extinguished and the lampstand will soon be relocated. If the Church doesn’t repent by being obedient to Christ Our Lord’s instructions, God will go elsewhere to do His work. It will leave the community desolate of His presence and His word.  It did happen with Israel, and it also happens with the city of Ephesus (Rev 2:5). Our modern churches are not exempt.

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,"That I will send a famine on the land,Not a famine of bread,Nor a thirst for water,But of hearing the words of the Lord," Amos 8:11

The Canadian churches failed the test

In (Judges 3:4), God allowed five lords of the Philistine to be used as a thorn in the side of the children of Israel, (chap. 2:3).  The Canaanites, the Sidonians, the Hivites, Perizzites, and the Jebusites, (verse 5). Why? Verse 4 explains; how to test Israel. From what? From their gods who would be used as a snare (Judges 2:2). The snare was used to find out whether they would obey the commandments of God (Judges 3:4), in particular, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3-5). The consequences of being entangled in the snare,  Israel's moral and spiritual disobedience would lead to their deportation.

What about Canadian Christians? Have we not been entrapped into the federal multicultural policies - an autocratic snare, and anti-Christian snare, dictating what ought to be taught to our children, overruling the parent cultural and religious practice and belief, to unite all cultures, all religious faith unto one philosophy, one ideology, one religion under the ruse of Bahai faith indoctrination and Darwinism evolutionary rhetoric.  We live in a so-called ‘Extreme Bias Multiculturalism and in an Extreme Bias Multi-Gender’ nation. 

We, Christians, dropped our guard and allowed the Canadian federal and provincial leaders to dictate what we are to accept culturally. Both levels of government became autocratic to the core, under the umbrella of political correctness accusing Christians of intolerance bigot and racism when Christians voiced their concern. 

“True and pure diversity in a multicultural society is to allow each parent to teach their children their religious beliefs, their values according to their culture and tradition, and to teach their sexual moral standard and behaviour without prejudice and without interference from any level of government. Isn't that what the Charter of Rights and Freedom is all about?”

We are incapable of untangling ourselves from the snare unless we Christians, the just, the righteous one - first repent and live by his/her personal faith, trusting in the Word. Institutions, the government will fail you. But God will never, never fail you.

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned,” Hebrews 6:4-8

What are we to do?  It will be explained in my next blog titled, “But First - “What You Need to Know About The Purpose of Your Sanctification”