Thursday, December 31, 2020
The end...and THE End.
The end and THE End.
“Do you not know that the end will be bitter?” 2 Samuel 2:26 ESV Oh, reader, if you are only a professor and not a possessor of true faith in Christ Jesus, the following lines are an accurate sketch of your end. So you are a respectable attender of a church, but you go because others do, not because your heart is right with God. This is your beginning. I will suppose that for the next twenty or thirty years you will be allowed to go on as you do now, professing religion by outer appearances but having no heart in the matter. Be careful! I must show you the deathbed of a person like that. Let us gaze gently on him. A clammy sweat is on his brow, and he wakes up crying, “Oh, it is hard to die. Did you send for my minister?” He is told, “Yes, the minister is coming.” When he arrives, the sick man sobs, “Sir, I fear that I am dying!” “Have you any hope?” the minister asks. “I cannot say that I do—I fear to stand before my God. Oh, pray for me!” The prayer is offered with sincere earnestness, and the way of salvation is put before this man for the ten-thousandth time—but before he catches hold of the rope, I see him sink. I may put my finger on those cold eyelids, for they will never see anything here again. But where is the man? Where are his true eyes? It is written, “in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments” (Luke 16:23 KJV). Ah, why didn’t he lift up his eyes before? Because he was so accustomed to hearing the gospel that his soul slept under its truth. Oh, if you should lift up your eyes there, your wailing will be bitter. Let the Savior’s own words describe the woe: “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire” (Luke 16:24). There is a frightful meaning in those words—may you never have to read them by the red firelight of Jehovah’s wrath! - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!”
And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
God always finishes what He begins (Phil. 1:6). God never speaks a word without ensuring that it comes to pass (Isa. 55:11). Christ is both the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (Rev. 1:8, 17). Christ is as much at the end of His work as He is at its beginning.
Jesus was given an enormous mandate. He was to live a sinless life, remaining absolutely obedient to His Father. Even the manner of His death was to fulfill numerous prophecies that had been foretold in Scripture (Matt. 26:24, 31, 54, 56; 27:9, 35, 46; John 19:28, 36–37). Yet, despite the extremely complex assignment Jesus received from His Father, He could shout triumphantly from the cross, “It is finished!”
Christ now resides within each believer. His assignment today is to complete God's will in each Christian. He is just as determined to do this in us as He was to complete God's will for Himself. You will have to resist Christ in order to remain out of the will of God. What is it God wants to do in you? Have you allowed Him to complete what He has begun? He will not force you to receive all that He has for your life. If God's work has not been brought to fruition in you, it is not that Christ has not been diligently working toward that end. Rather, you may need to release areas of your life to Him and be as determined to see God 's work in you completed as Christ is. Review the things God has said to you over this last year. Are there promises God has made to you that you have refused to allow Him to complete? If so, commit to yield your will to God today. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
We had no clue what was in store for 2020. Yet today we stand at the next unknown door of 2021. Hopefully in your reading of the Word of God this last year you have grown in Christ. As we read in both of these devotionals one person only thought they were saved until death was at their doorstep. The other devotional points out that the work of Jesus Christ doesn't end in our lives as long as we don't resist it.
I am in awe of what has transpired with this blog in its short time in existence. My prayer had been to see it hit 50,000 views by the end of the year. It has hit 46,000. Still a very impressive feat by the Spirit!
In no way do I take credit for the work of the Spirit. Obedience is something learned in life or resisted in life. It, not unlike Salvation, is a choice granted when Jesus shouted from the cross "It is FINISHED!". We choose to be in the plan and will of God or we don't.
Today I completed reading through the Bible in 2020. I honestly have lost track of how many times I have read all the way through. I can remember the time when I had not. The conviction was that how could I face Jesus not having read what He left me at all? Me e-reader says that in 2020 I have read through 11 books...soon to be 12. This is on top of reading through my Bible. This isn't boasting. This is to show that in regards to time, energy and effort, it's always possible to read at least your Bible in one year. If it's important enough you make the time.
Look at the first devotional again. My dear Reader is this you? Are you comfortable in Church but have dismissed conviction? Are you at all afraid of what comes next after death? Are you resisting what the Spirit wants to do with you because you are afraid? The Bible says perfect love casts out fear. There is no fear in love.
In the second devotional we read of the work of Jesus. He isn't going to be forceful. Neither is the Spirit. A Shepherd doesn't beat the sheep into submission.
He will admonish, rebuke, discipline, but not abuse to the point of submission.
We are on the precipice of another year.
We can choose to enter it in fear or in obedience to God. That is your choice and mine.
It is interesting in the list of people at the end of the book of Revelation, the first listed are the cowardly. Not the sexually immoral, they are further down the list of the people who will never see Heaven. The cowardly are the first who will never see Heaven.
It is a tremendous lie of Satan that God loves everyone as they are and nobody's going to go to Hell. God has been very clear in nature that mankind can see His invisible attributes. He has been very clear that sin MUST be dealt with. It took God coming in the form of Jesus Christ to die on a cross in the most horrible way possible, to take our place in the punishment due sin. So no, God isn't just going to let everybody into Heaven because of love. It's only those who have come to Christ for Salvation.
So where are you going? Whether or not it's the end or THE End. Is Heaven your home and you await the day you return there, or is cowardice and other sinful lifestyles keeping you out? You cannot stand on your own merits and get into Heaven. Read the last judgement before Christ in Revelation. Everyone small and great had their life's work reviewed and at the end of it...if their names were not found in the book of Life, they were tossed into the Lake of Fire. All their sins were remembered. Not forgotten as in the case of Believers. All their efforts or non efforts at being right before God, without Christ, amounted to nothing. Only those who came to Christ for Salvation were found written in the book of Life.
Is your name there? Don't exit 2020 without knowing! Let go of cowardice and fear. Come and find the life you have been missing!