What does God want for you part 2?
What does God want for you part 2?
I want to continue with the thought that we had last week, God wants you to stand firm in your faith. In today’s world and culture, it may become more difficult to stand up for your faith in God.
When we read the sermon on the Mount Matthew chapters 5-7, we learn of some frightening truths that Jesus presents. Jesus tells us that there are many who expect to be saved, but in fact will be lost in: Luke 13:24–25 (ESV) 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’
Christ was responding to a question that the disciples had posed to him in verse 23. His response as he often did when he answered a question provided an answer that was not direct. We have all wondered how many people will be saved and how many will be lost. The great multitude from every nation that is mentioned as redeemed in Revelation 7:9-12 is only a very small percentage of the world’s total population. But the astounding thing about all of this, is that there are many more people who will be lost then will be saved. Matthew 7:13 (ESV) 13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
As we look around the Christian community today, we find there are many people who are trying to make the narrow door much larger and even to affirm that salvation is available to all well-meaning people. 2 Peter 3:9 (ESV) 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. As we read in this passage that Peter wrote, God is patient with all peoples. He does not wish that any should perish but that all should have salvation. We must take the Word of God, as inspirited by God and not redefine any part of it. This can become very difficult in many situations, but God states exactly what He means and what He wants for all of mankind. In many situations especially the area of sexuality mankind has moved/redefined the biblical markers that God has laid down. As a result, they are no longer submissive to God and His Word. Many times, we think we must accept or acquisition to the things that are going on in our culture today. When Paul was speaking to the Ephesus elders, he told them: Acts 20:27 (ESV) 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
Many people today use their own consciences as their guide for what is right and what is wrong. When Paul was brought before the Sanhedrin Council in Jerusalem, he made the following statement: Acts 23:1 (ESV) 1 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” Had Paul continued to use his conscience as his guide he would have continued to persecute the church. We know when Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus, Christ accused Paul of persecuting Him. Acts 9:4 (ESV) 4 And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” When Paul was persecuting the Christians, Christ looked at it as if He was persecuting Christ himself. Paul states in another passage in Titus that both the minds of individuals and their consciences can be defiled. Titus 1:15 (ESV) 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.
Do you allow your compassion to override your better judgment and approve of ungodly lifestyles? Do you tell yourself that you don’t witness about your faith because you fear that you will offend someone? Are you silent in the face of political and moral decline because you want to be thought of as nice not judge mental? Maybe you don’t say anything to people because you are not really convinced that the way into the kingdom is not the narrow way. We must realize that there is a cost for following Jesus. Matthew 10:38 (ESV) 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 11:28–30 (ESV) 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
To summarize last week’s blog: how will you react when you are faced with persecution? Will you choose to denounce our Lord just to get along? When Christians in the 1st century were faced with a decision to either denounce the Lord or enter the lion’s den – literally – many of them chose the lion’s den.
Romans 8:26–28 (ESV) 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. To summarize this week’s blog, I will close with Paul’s words to us from Romans 8. This passage does not need any comment to explain it.