A friend and Pastor has a very apt saying when it comes to Bible study. When you see a "therefore" read earlier to find out what the therefore is there for.
On and off we have been reading Romans Chapter 12.
"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."
So when verses like Romans 8:38-39 are read, they are part of that looking earlier.
Making sure that you are found by God to be in Christ Jesus is far more important than life itself.
It's more important that everything and everyone.
It's more important than even setting foot in a church building.
It's more important than feelings of joy at songs heard or sung.
It's more important than the preacher we listen to.
It's more important than our sports or hobbies.
What is horrible indeed are the wars and rumors of wars. The earthquakes and famines in various places.
What's worse is learning the hard way that you're not saved. Being sure of his salvation in Christ Jesus Paul certainly was. Peter certainly was. John, James, Timothy all certainly were. These all warned future generations to be sure.
There's thousands of so-called churches with millions in attendance that are not being fed the Word of God. They are not taught about repentance. They are taught, quite literally, doctrines of demons. They are deluded people who, when the Rapture happens or their time on Earth is done, will not find themselves in Heaven.
If there's no aspect of your life that's been changed, transformed even, to a Christ-like life, you have cause for concern.
If you are living the rest of your week as the world does when not in your church, you have cause for concern.
If you aren't frequently in prayer, frequently in God's Word on your own, you have cause for concern.
If your mouth sounds like the world and not like you have been with Jesus...you have cause for concern that you are leading a deluded life.
2 Timothy 3:1-8 NASB "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these. For among them are those who slip into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
These kinds of people were going to be found in the professing Church.
I have worked with people who wear shirts from the church they attended and yet their mouth and attitude certainly were not Godly in any respect.
I have been around people who claim to be saved yet theirs is a life of fear that if they showed their faith they would be suffering great loss.
Christians are supposed to let the life of Christ shine indiscriminately. The light of Jesus goes wherever light can reach. There's nothing that is within its range that isn't influenced by it.
This very morning, I hadn't even made coffee let alone had time to drink any, thoughts of doubts tried creeping into my thinking about salvation. We will face these subtle attacks. We will be in situations where faith is challenged.
We can't be asleep at the wheel in our daily lives. Satan and his minions certainly take every single opportunity they are permitted to disrupt the lives of believers. He certainly is disrupting the lives of the unbelieving to try to keep them from salvation.
We read that in these last days that the love of most will grow cold. Matthew 24:12 NASB "And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold."
We read in Revelation, in the letters to the Churches, of a time where people will be so thinking they are doing what they think God wants that they will have forgotten their first love. They will have forgotten Jesus.
Are the lives of those around you, those you may interact with, are they more important than your wants or desires?
Is doing life God's way important to you?
Are you at all daily in God's Word as much as you are eating physical foods?
Are you at all being one who's honest with God?
Are those attributes of what Paul told Timothy true of you?
When the Rapture of the Church happens this world will flock to any and all Church buildings looking for answers. They will be told a pack of lies sprinkled with truth. A world religious leader will convince them of a great many things that are not of God. Deluded people. For 7 years they will either die in their sins and head straight to Hell, or rage against God. More than a few will find salvation but it will be difficult. Most of those will be martyred. They won't comply with the world religious order and won't be able to buy or sell.
In this here and now we can have a right relationship with Jesus.
In this moment we can know for sure that we are not a deluded people.
Jesus didn't tell the thief on the cross that hopefully He would see him again. Certainty is essential. He WOULD see Him in Paradise.
Knowing for sure that you are saved is essential. Living it out is imperative.
We cannot afford to guess or put off knowing.
We cannot afford to think maybe we are good enough. Nobody is good enough. Salvation is in Christ Jesus alone. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Noone comes to the Father but through Him.
Your eternal address is determined in what Christ has done or hasn't done with your spirit and soul. Not what works you have done or haven't done.
Jesus promised to return.
His promise is for you as well as myself.
Are you sure of where you are going after you die? Again, I know people who thought they had a full day ahead of them. They stood up to take 1 step and died immediately. They had no time to think about choosing Christ Jesus for salvation.
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