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The Choice is Yours: A message for believers and nonbelievers alike

This week I have been examining my life and my own salvation, and coming to the terms that what the Bible says is not easy sometimes, but by the grace of the Holy Spirit we are able to bear the task of obeying the commandments.  In Luke 7 Jesus gives a parable to Peter and makes a comment to the woman who poured oil on his feet:

40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins,which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

After hearing a sermon on the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, I had to seriously ask myself am I truly saved, or am I just going through the motions.  Am I like wheat or am I like a tare that is going to be burned in the fire?  I had to seriously seek God in this matter because how much I love Jesus I don’t want to be cast into the fire, and have Him tell me He never knew me.  I had questions like do I really have a relationship with Jesus or am I like a tare?  This time around reading the Gospels – I started to notice the parables even more and trying to find the hidden messages.  Sometimes I think Jesus is trying to say something and give me a rhema Word, and it turns out to be something totally different than what everyone else thinks.  Before I read the passage about the woman in Luke, I thought that if I have enough faith that I know my God and He knows me, then that should be alone well enough to justify my concerns of salvation.  I prayed to receive Rhema from the Word regarding this issue about salvation, and I came up with Luke 7:50.  So then I realized that God had answered my prayer and that He does talk to me and that I do hear His voice.

The other part of the sermon I heard it talked about if we as Christians, or believers, once being sure of our salvation do not reach out to nonbelievers, or wicked, or other sinners, then their blood will be on our hands.  I heard another preacher say this as well which lead me to this passage in Ezekiel 3:

16 Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. 
20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.

 

I want to break this apart a little bit – the first part the LORD is talking about the wicked – He has told the wicked (meaning anyone that does not believe in the LORD GOD) that when He tells them that they will die for their wickedness, and the watchman who is Ezekiel, but also represents believers in the body of Christ, to save his life, that person will die in their iniquity, but God will require their blood at our hands, and our souls will be paying the price for that, but if we do tell them and they do not turn from their wicked ways, we will not be held responsible for that.

Now here’s the part that gets me – the same goes true for a righteous man, or other Christians.  So if a righteous man is still sinning, and we don’t warn him we will be held responsible for that.  It is a very heavy call asking a righteous man not to sin especially when you look at the 613 commandments in the Law.  That seems like a burden, but the Bible says, it is not burdensome or heavy to bear, if you have the Holy Spirit in 1 John 5.  But doesn’t the New Testament say that there is no righteous not even one?  And Jesus said that if our righteousness does not exceed those of the scribes and Pharisees, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  And Jesus also said that He did not come for the righteous, because the sick are in need of a Physician, not those that are well.

So what are the characteristics of the kingdom of heaven?  What do we really need?  The Bible says it best: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.  Love covers a multitude of sins.  Is this love based on emotion?  Or is it something else?

For that we need to go to 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7:

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Amplified says:

4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Try to replace love with your name and does that describe you?

Questions to answer yes to:

Do you endure long with screaming kids or heavy traffic jams and are patient and kind to your kids?

Questions to answer no to:

Do you ever want that dress, those shoes, that house, that car?  Do you brag about how many weights you lifted?  Do you think you are better than everyone else?

Do you act arrogantly or rudely?  Some people think being assertive is a form of arrogance.  Do you act unbecomingly or make inappropriately making immature comments?  I guess Frank Sinatra was not right, I like it My Way, is not the way we are supposed to think.  This can even happen in church – do you not like what the Pastor is preaching, what day the church is on, the music that they play, what time of day it is?  Do you get upset over little things, or do you worry a lot or hold grudges?  Would you ever want to sue anyone – even if they totalled your car and it was their fault?

Most of us can be on the right track with this one – Do we rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness or do we rejoice when righteousness and truth prevail?

Do we bear up under anything, and I mean anything that comes?

And the hardest one for most people in Bible prophecy – Do we believe the best of every person?  Anne Frank said in her diary, that she believed that deep down inside people are basically good at heart.  Can we say that for even the terrorists?

 

Are our hopes fadeless and do we endure everything and I mean everything without weakening?

 

So when we look at love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself – do we have this depth of love?  We all need the LORD’s Mercy to cover us in this area.

 

One thing I want to say about if we don’t tell the wicked “You shall surely die” – this stems from the Adam and Eve story in the Bible – In the Bible it said in Genesis that God told them that if they eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they will surely die, and the serpent, that is Satan told Eve, surely you will not die, but you will be like God knowing good and evil.  This is the same trap we have had from the beginning of time.  People didn’t think they would die from not obeying God, but the truth is that we do die, but our death is not what we think.  Adam and Eve went from having a perfect life to seeding what are news headlines in today’s world.  Do we want to change the course of the path that we are on, whether believer or non-believer?  Do we want to be caught up in a blackhole with no return, where the pain there will be pain so immense that you can not bear it?  Or do we want to have peace of mind, security, peace, joy, knowing that when you die you can actually rest in peace.

I’ve been seeing this posting about Steve Jobs, that came as a joke, that the angels in heaven were welcoming Jobs when he came because God needed an app.   Was he really living by the fruits of the spirit, did he attain salvation?  The only fruit we know of is the Apple, and that what some say was the fruit that was not to be eaten in the Garden of Eden.   After a man knows he is going to die, you would think that he got his heart right with God.  We can judge, but only God knows.

Do you know the LORD as your personal Savior?  Have you asked Him into your heart?  Do you want to have your life turn around and be filled with love?  Time is now.  The Choice is Yours.  Vote now – Jesus or the devil?  Heaven or Hell?  Eternal Life or Eternal Death?