by David Brenneman
"And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore, every tree that does not bear good fruit is being cut down and thrown into the fire." Matthew 3:10 NASB.
It's not enough to be 'good' and not enough to think that we feel good about ourselves when thinking of standing before Jesus some day. Our standards do not matter. Our thoughts on what constitutes good are certainly not God's standards.
Remember what Jesus said about when He returns it being like the days of Noah. In the days of Noah people were just like today. Marrying and being given in marriage. Going about a day much like what we do today not thinking that anything was amiss that anything was wrong with how they lived life. The truth is Jesus is God. Jesus is the King. Jesus is the One who is The Truth. "But that's not fair!" some will cry out. It's utterly and entirely fair since it is He who created this world that we so 'enjoy'. Adam and Eve introduced sin, which both deceives and is a deceiver itself.
We will each stand before Jesus to give an account. Does NOT say that we will have lawyers or will remotely be able to mount a defense that would be worth anything in light of He who is Truth. Every single excuse will be seen through. Every single moment of life will be annotated as to what prompted each thing that we either indulged in or willingly went after. We often think of raising the roof with excitement when a good lawyer, in a very spirited way, chops down someone on the stand with facts and evidence. Nobody will be that excited when it's their turn before Jesus. Beit a Believer at the Bema Seat or the Unbeliever at the Final Judgment. We all will see our lives as seen through the eyes of Truth. Scripture says that when we do see Jesus we will be like Him. We're going to know what Truth really is.
We don't have to wait to know what Truth is. We don't have to wait to know just how to live life right, without regrets, either hidden or known. I have plenty of hidden regrets that nobody knows about. I also have plenty that people do know about. The interesting thing is that both Satan and Jesus know as well. Both have been around you your entire life. The difference being Jesus casts such sins as far as the East is from the West and remembers them no more, as the Bible says to us. Satan loves to try to remind us of our past. As one has put it...it's at those times we need to remind him of his future.
The words "The axe is at the root" is also referenced to John the Baptist. John was warning those Pharisee's and Sadducee's that they should not think that because of who they thought they were that they were 'safe'. That they had 'arrived' in their relationship with God. Nobody today should think they are 'good' with 'the Man upstairs'. There's no room to sit our laurel's or warm the couch while the Bible says that all who come to Christ become workers in His fields. There's no room for dawdling. No room for petty arguments. No room for that list we read weeks ago about being lovers of self etc.
In the Days of Noah people indeed were lovers of self. They were everything that we read in that list. At that point in time the axe was at the root of the trees and in one fell swoop by God using the Great Flood, those trees all went to Hell. All those lives, and if it was anything like today...probably on the order of nearly 8 BILLION people flooded Hell in a moment. 8 people out of 8 billion saved.
We are living in a time just like the days of Noah. We are living in a time when people are wrapped up in 'self'. Wrapped up in what's best for each individual and as one meme put it: they want to hear their truth come out of your mouth. They want subjective truth. They want their perversion of truth be the new defacto definition of truth. They do NOT want to be told or shown that they are wrong. They become enraged people who care not if the whole world watches in a YouTube or Tik-Toc video or on Instagram. They don't care because the short truth is angry people don't think. The larger truth is that's what evil does. That's the kind of world that was consumed by a global flood. The kind of world in which we live.
Our world has a finite amount of time left to it. It's NOT millions or billions of years old. It does NOT have a few million years to go. Consider it well that when God made the Heavens and the Earth, when He made what Adam and Eve walked into----it ALREADY showed AGE. They didn't walk among sapplings or sprouts in the Garden of Eden. They walked among TREES that were created WITH age.
There's exactly 7 years plus 1000 years left after Jesus returns. That's it. No more. No blossoming future of science fiction writers or political figures. There's nothing to what governments tell us about 'how it is'. In the Scriptures it says that GOD sets up kingdoms and removes them. It is GOD who causes the rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous. It is GOD who allows or causes life to be the way it becomes by way of our obedience or disobedience to His Word.
Our lives would indeed be greatly improved through a committed level of obedience to Christ. Our disobedience prolongs the work that He's doing in our lives longer than it needs to be. This work is that good fruit mentioned in Matthew. Jesus said we will know people by their fruits. That a bad tree cannot bear good fruit and a good cannot bear bad. Think about that closely. Without Christ we were all once bad trees. He's plainly saying that no bad tree, that is one without salvation in Christ Jesus alone, can ever ever ever bear good fruit. They are incapable of doing so. Essentially what's dead cannot do things like those who are truly alive. Life is only in Christ through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. No more, no less.
If the axe were swung today...if your life was up and God said it was time to leave this world today...would you be Heaven bound or Hell bound?
Would you try to stand on your 'good' deeds or would you stand on what Jesus did on the cross?
Consider it well that when Jesus cries out "Come up here!" to all who have believed in Him for salvation and those who are alive who believe in Him for salvation...that begins the 1,007 years left to mankind. Consider it well that once He DOES do this...life on this Earth will be of a kind of hell that nobody wants to endure. If you think hatred, anger, strife, anxiety, poverty, injustice, and all the other things of this world that are 'bad' are bad, you will experience it 1,000 times worse as the judgments of God in the book of Revelation come about. Coming to Christ for salvation will still be possible but it becomes almost an immediate death sentence because the 'god of this world' - AKA Satan - will be dominating world affairs unlike any other time in human history. People who come to Christ will be marked for death because they will not worship his Antichrist. People TODAY are marked for death in other countries because of coming to Christ. Many do not live 24 hours after giving their lives to Christ TODAY. The thing is DEATH CANNOT TOUCH THEM. They may close their eyes here but in an instant they are in the very presence of Jesus. No sting of death to be had.
Jesus is coming and with Him comes the completion of the judgments of God. After those 7 years, those who survived, will find out what it's like for Jesus Himself to rule on this planet. War, poverty, disease, all will be gone. NO need for lawyers, or hospitals. NO need for anything to do with waging war. Nobody will train for it. No nation will rise up against any other nation. All will be learning about a life lived without all that has caused nothing but problems with mankind in al human history.
That axe of God is ready to swing. Both individually and globally. We are not promised a today. We are not promised the next breath we breathe.
We are given the opportunity by the very unmerited favor of God to choose to live for Him, if you've trusted in Him for salvation.
We are given the opportunity by the very unmerited favor of God to choose to receive the free gift of salvation available only through Jesus Christ with each breath we breathe if we haven't already done so.
In Christ our lives are hidden in Christ with God. Satan cannot do anything to anyone without permission by God. We become the workmanship of Christ by way of the Spirit of God to become more like Christ while we yet live. When we pass from this world to the next we step into eternity in with God as our Father, as our Lord in Christ Jesus.
Without Christ our lives are fair game. The Spirit will restrain Satan and his minions where the work of the Spirit is concerned in a person's life that is towards them coming to Christ for salvation. If such a person is open to coming to Christ they will not be denied...but the choice is still upon each of them, of maybe you who read this.
Jesus loved you enough to die for you and to make a better way of life possible for you...if only you would come to Him and ask to be saved and to make Him Lord of your life.
That axe...consider it well that it can swing at any time. I have countless examples of recent days of people all thinking they had a today or even a tomorrow who never did. That axe swung and their tree was cut down.
Quit playing games with God and quit trying to live your life your way. God does indeed give His best to those who leave the choice to Him.
It's time to quit running from God and run to Him.
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