The more times that I read in Romans 12 the more things that I have been given to write.
"Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another. However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly: if prophecy, in proportion to one’s faith; if service, in the act of serving; or the one who teaches, in the act of teaching; or the one who exhorts, in the work of exhortation; the one who gives, with generosity; the one who is in leadership, with diligence; the one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12 NASB
It's very easy to sound religious in today's world. Satan's got many people within the so-called Church of today speaking as though they have authority given from God. In the 7 years of the Tribulation there will be a global religious leader doing this for everyone. Right now Satan's just getting warmed up.
In Isaiah 5:20 NASB "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"
Read all of 2 Peter 2 but here we read its beginning from the NASB "But false prophets also appeared among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their indecent behavior, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep."
Notice that part about them being among you. Don't miss that.
They will sound like they know what they know. They may even, for the most part, come across as genuine. I have seen and shaken hands with a man who I am convinced was a true false preacher. God sternly warned us to get out of that place and quickly.
In our instantaneous world information is spread faster than can be confirmed.
We see things before they have a chance to be verified. We convict people wrongly due to perceived evidence, not the truth.
In your life you will indeed see the falling away of the Church of God and likely see a false church take its place. It's already spreading across the United States and other countries. It's part of the end times prophecy.
It's not like we weren't forewarned. Jesus spoke of it in the Gospels and in Revelation Himself.
There's been bakers, florists, others who have had their faith challenged. In your world you may not have gone to court over it but you still may have faced challenges in your standing on your beliefs.
We who are in Christ are promised that this would be the case. We are told ahead of time so that we are to prepare for it.
The question is: is there enough evidence to convince or convict you of being a Christ follower?
Are you so enmeshed in this world or have dodged so many things that you have never faced it? Are you sure that you are indeed saved? Satan doesn't attack those who are already on his side. He may ramp up his abuse of them to try to keep them from the truth of God, but he really doesn't care about those who have already decided against coming to Christ.
Your life, as we see in Romans 12, as a follower of Christ Jesus should have defining attributes. We read what's been called the love chapter of 1 Corinthians where we read of what love really is. We see in other places where we are told what a Disciple is to be doing. Where there focus is to be while bearing their own cross. Is there enough evidence in your life that others would see it in you?
In my life, I am here to say, there's been times when I put my walk with Jesus on a shelf. It wasn't out there for all to see. I struggled with much of the Christian life and hadn't the resources to ask how to get it going right.
My desire, when the Rapture comes, and indeed it will come, is to be found by Jesus as being obedient to my calling. Romans all says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We will not see nor face the wrath of God as its poured out onto this world in the 7 years of the Tribulation. That is where I know that the true Church will be taken from this Earth before that starts.
I have a shirt that I gladly wear that says that I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world than be standing with the world and be judged by God.
As a person who does come to Christ, we indeed have beautiful promises of a life with Christ. We also have promises of things that will happen to us because we are now aliens in this world. We come to Jesus for salvation and Satan now has a big problem with this.
Jesus begins a new work in us. Taking away the things in our lives that don't please God and replacing them with what does. He promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He promised a Helper in the Holy Spirit. He sealed us in our status before God as belonging to Jesus. He promised us that in time we will become more like Christ through our obedience.
I hope indeed that there is enough evidence to convince and convict me of being a Christian. Many its cost them their physical lives but it can never cost them their Spiritual one. To be absent from the body is to be present with Jesus. The Bible has that promise too.
Our world has this erroneous view of "lives being cut short". Jesus determines when a person's life is to end. Not Satan. Satan also isn't some guy with horns and a tail either. Jesus knows when a point of time has come where a person will never come to Christ for salvation. Our lives are lived to find that and receive that. A believer is to live in such a way that others see the light of Jesus in them to show them how to find Jesus themselves. Evidence of the light of Christ should always be there.
Look in your life and if you are daring enough ask someone else if they see enough evidence to show you as being a Christian. If it were illegal to be one, and that day is coming, would you be arrested for being a Christian? Would there be enough evidence to show you indeed are a follower of Christ Jesus?
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