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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Revelation

So, up until 2 nights ago, I've never had the courage to study Revelation.

Quite frankly, it just scared me! I remember, before I was a Christian, going with a friend to my 1st Precept study, and it was Revelation part 2, and Kay was teaching on the video...and I was convinced that everyone in that room was about to sprout a second head!

That seems so hilarious to me now!

Especially in light of what the very first few verses of Revelation say: 1:3..."Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near."

To think! I've been afraid of Revelation, when the Bible says that there is blessing for those who read it and for those who hear it, and heed it!

14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
15 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
17 'Because you say, " I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
19 'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
20 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
21 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"

Wow! How many people there are who live like verse 17! I say that without judgement...for I was one of them for so many years. I didn't realize that knowing that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and living in light of that truth, are two totally different mentalities.

Women talk with me all the time and say things to the effect of, "I'm saved, but I just struggle like Paul says he did...the things I do, I do not want to do, and the things I don't want to do, I do."

In essence, they take Paul's comments totally out of context, and use them as a scape goat for their choices to abide in sin.

We can't be in both camps...if you're not sure of that truth, then re-read the letter above, to the angel of the church in Laodiciea.

We can't live for the world, and for Christ.

For, Romans 6 makes it clear that we can't have 2 masters.

If you are living in such a way that you are continually running back to a habitual lifestyle of sin, and you want to live for Christ, then I encourage you to go to God in prayer, and repent, and ask Him to show you what it means to make Jesus your LORD and Savior.

In the greek, the word "Lord", means one who has complete disposal of everything".

Is Jesus your Lord?

Or, are you holding on to the world, all the while trying to live for Christ through the power of your flesh?

Sweet friend, when push comes to shove, your flesh will fail you every time.

You cannot train your flesh.

Only through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, through Christ's shed blood on the cross, can you hope to live a life of overcoming, as is spoken of in this chapter.

Don't be deceived. The enemy would love for you to think that all you have to do is believe that Jesus died on the cross, and then that you are free to live however you please.

That is not faith.

That is not belief that is powered by faith in a risen Savior.

In fact, in Romans 5, Paul makes it clear that a belief system like that would be an overt abuse of grace..and that we are never to live like that.

Read Revelation 3:14-22, and ask God to search your heart, and to reveal to you if you are really His, or if you've just believed as the demons do.

To be His, you simply cannot live like the church in Laodicea, saying,"I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing".

Ask Him...even if you need to ask Him to give you the strength to believe...and repent.

To say that you believe in Jesus, yet all the while refusing to repent before Him, is not true salvation.

It's like the pastors who say that they'll never preach about sin or about the blood.

OH MY GOODNESS!

Without the BLOOD of Jesus, and without the admission of sin on our part...without seeing that we fall short of the Glory of God because of the sin in our lives...WHAT DO WE HAVE?

A FALSE GOSPEL! Paul said not to even let someone in the door who was teaching this garbage, yet many churches today have turned to this false gospel.

Please...ask God to show you the value of the blood of Jesus, and the filth of your sin, and through His love to wash your sins away in that precious blood...shed for you!

MMMMM....I can tell that Revelation is going to be rich!

Love and Hugs,

Me



6 comments:

The Trousered Ape said...

Revelation - gotta love "Heavy Revy". :)

The idea of being lukewarm for Christ is such a great message. I believe it was C.S. Lewis who once said that Christ is either of no importance, or He is of utmost importance, but what can never be said is that He is moderately important. With the point being that one must decide - is Christ of utmost importance? If He is, then how is it possible to live without a passion for Him?

Good stuff Jesica.

Shawn

D.L. White said...

Another good post, Jesica! Have fun with your study of Revelations. It's definitely intimidating, but also very rewarding (so I hear).

Jesica said...

Wow! I had never read that by Lewis...what a great point!

I concur!

I gotta say, there is so much about prophecy that I don't "get" yet, but that's why I'm so thankful for having been taught how to study inductively...I know that with the Holy Spirit as my teacher, I can learn!

Anonymous said...

I'm lost...

You say in your excerpt "many churches today have turned to this false gospel" but it is not clear to me what you are saying that "false gospel" is.

Are you saying they are preaching/teaching that wealth saves and NOT the blood of Jesus?

I do not know of any church that teaches that...

Confused

Jesica said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for your post.

Unfortunately, you wouldn't have to look far today to find a church that refuses to teach about the blood of Jesus or about sin.

My point in this post is that without the realization of our sinfulness in light of God's righteousness, there can be no true repentance.

And, without the righteousness of God, imparted to us through the crucified body of Jesus Christ, and His shed blood, we would be responsible for paying the price for our sins, with our own eternal deaths.

There are churches today that openly refuse to talk about sin, or about the blood of Jesus, or about the crucifixion..and for some, that's because they are instead focused on a prosperity gospel.

Although a prosperity gospel might bring people through the doors of the church, it will never get a person into heaven.

In Acts, when Peter preached at Pentecost, the Bible says that people were "pierced to the heart" and their first response was to ask "what must we do?".

Peter's answer? Repent, and each of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The church at Laodicea thought that wealth and riches gave them all that they needed....they in fact, said so.

They missed the truth taught elsewhere in the Word of God that the believer in Jesus Christ will suffer for Christ's sake.

That riches will not get one into heaven. Whether that be earthly riches or the riches of works.

It's mentioned several times in the Scriptures.

The point I'm trying to share is that there are any number of "churches" one can find today wherein they will not hear the Gospel in clarity, as Peter preached it in Acts 2.

And, still any number that teach that you can have whatever you wish from God, if only your faith is strong enough. That too, is false.

The problem lies in the fact that these are heart issues before the Lord...repentance and desires.

God is happy to grant the desires of our hearts, in His timing, when they are perfectly aligned with His desires for us.

And what might those look like?

A heart poured out before Him which says, "Lord, all I want in my life is what You want for me. All I want to do with my life is walk in the good works that You designed for me before the foundation of the world".

There's much more I'd like to share with you about this, but I must go for now. We have a sick child and she needs me now.

Thanks for your questions...feel free to ask whatever is on your heart.

Jesica

Jesica said...

OK, so I was awake many times last night, taking care of a sick child and it hit me...

the best way I could have answered your question, Anonymous, would have been to say this...

Any "gospel" that excludes the blood of Jesus and the admission of sin, and repentance of sin, is a false gospel.

Period.

And yes, sadly, you could go to any number of churches in America today and soon realize that they will not speak of either.

Hope that answers your question.

I'm glad you stopped by. :)

I'm back to nursing duty..now they're both sick.

If you're so inclined, I'd sure appreciate your prayers that I don't get it. I really hope to be able to go a Precept event next week, that I've been looking forward to for months.

Have a great day!