“Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” 2Tim 4:10
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth TRUTH cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:19-21).
“How can ye believe, which receive honour one from another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (John 5:44).
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore, the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also” (John 15:18-23).
“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father…I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world…Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:9-17).
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake…Blessed are ye, WHEN men shall REVILE you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine…” (Matthew 5:10-16).
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But BEWARE of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues…And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be HATED of all men FOR MY NAME’S SAKE…But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another” (Matthew 10:16-23).
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets…Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city…O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee…” (Matthew 23:29-37).
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
“…For if, WHEN WE WERE ENEMIES, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, BEING RECONCILED, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).
“And you, that were sometime ALIENATED and ENEMIES in your mind by WICKED works, yet now hath he RECONCILED In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Colossians 1:21,22).
“Because the carnal mind is ENMITY against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).
Welcome to your new assignment! Whether you realize it or not, part of your role as an ambassador is to be a warrior, a spiritual soldier with some business to conduct in this “enemy” territory.
But you must be trained. It is this training that will “equip” you and make you “throughly furnished unto all good works” (2Timothy 3:17). And one of the major aspects of this training is the process of “edification.” This is the process whereby “the word of God effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1Thessalonians 2:13).
You “renew your mind” by taking in “knowledge” and gaining “wisdom” as you come to an “understanding” and “comprehension” of the “will of God” in accordance with what He is and is not doing today. This will then have an impact on your life as you exercise your will and consciously choose to “walk by faith” in accordance with God’s word and bring your body “into subjection” with that will and labor accordingly.
One of the greatest dangers and pitfalls for you as an ambassador is to attempt to ingratiate yourself with the present world system and its thinking, worldview, lifestyle, etc. This will often result in your misrepresenting your “Head” of State by watering down, softening, “perverting,” “corrupting” and “handling deceitfully” the “word of truth” that has been committed to your trust.
This is why your chief “charge” over and over again is to remain “faithful” to what has been committed to you. In order to remain faithful you have to get properly oriented so you are not overcome and intimidated when challenges and “fiery darts” come your way (Ephesians 6:16). A proper appreciation for the “sound doctrine” will produce a “sound mind” that is able to faithfully carry out your commission as God’s ambassador on this earth.
Though all your fellow “comrades” may run for cover and “turn away,” don’t be discouraged. Remain faithful. Don’t let anyone “take your crown” (1Cor 9:25). Social Security and earthly pension plans are nothing compared to the compensation plan that God has for His ambassadors who have a “vocation” in accordance with God’s “calling” and “election” of the “one new man.” Earthly schemes are all “corruptible.” They all pale in comparison to the return on your investments in the “kingdom of God’s dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). Your labor is not in vain and He will pay you back. As God’s ambassador, you have an investment plan and the “eternal” and “incorruptible” return is connected to “glory.”
“That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom AND GLORY” (1Thessalonians 2:12).
A full examination of this matter is beyond the scope of this particular section, but this is where the three important doctrines and “tenses” of your salvation converge. That is, if you are “saved”-have believed Paul’s gospel-then there are 3 “P’s” to your salvation in accordance with the 3 tenses.
1.) JUSTIFICATION-PAST-You have been saved from the “PENALTY” of your sin. It is finished. God offered you the “free gift” of salvation, “redemption,” and “forgiveness of sins” in His Son, and you received it by faith. You accepted His “gift” on His terms. This is the “position” that you have been given “in Christ.” The “sin question” has been forever settled between you and God. Because Christ paid for the debt and penalty of your sin, you now stand “justified” before God having trusted in the blood of Christ knowing that there is nothing you could possibly do to earn or merit it. The only thing the Law could ever do is “condemn” you and “shut your mouth” as you stand “guilty before God” (Rom 3:18-20). Indeed, the purpose of the Law is just that, to “magnify” sin and to bring you to the point of recognizing your “guilt” before the HOLY and RIGHTEOUS God. Christ is the only man who could ever claim acceptance with God based on his works. Because he had no sins of his own to pay for, He could therefore be that perfect, worthy sacrifice and take the judgement that you rightly deserve upon Himself. When you “believed the gospel” you were baptized into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit and were given an “identity” “in Christ” (Rom 6; Eph 1:13). You ARE NOW “justified by his blood,” ARE “reconciled,” “HAVE peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” and “HAVE NOW RECEIVED the atonement” (Rom 5:1-11). You are now in the One about whom the Lord declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). There is far, far more to this, but neeedless to say there is “power” in that word received and believed. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…” (Rom 1:16). “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved the power of God…it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1Cor 1:18,21). “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom 4:5). That is, you “HAVE RECEIVED Christ Jesus the Lord…” (Col 2:6) which then leads us to the next tense.
2.) SANCTIFICATION-PRESENT-You are being saved from the “POWER” of sin in your life. This has to do with you walking in accordance with your position “in Christ.” In other words, it is about you putting your position into practice in accordance with your “calling” and “election” as a member of the “one new man” that God is forming today. You have been given a sanctified position in Christ, have had His righteousness imputed to you and have been “set apart” (sanctified) by Him to be used in accordance with His present purpose in the world. You have not been saved in a vacuum, but according to God’s “calling” and “purpose,” a formerly “secret” purpose (Ephesians 1). This is what your “calling” and “election” as the “one new man” is all about. You now have a certain “identity.” These are things you need to “learn” about and that is what the ministry of the “apostle of the Gentiles” is all about as contained in his epistles, Romans-Philemon. When God “called” you by the “word of the gospel” and you responded positively to that call by “believing,” you then became a part of something that God is doing and accomplishing in accordance with His “will,” or more particularly, the “mystery of His wil” (Eph 1:9). God expects you to “abound” in “wisdom” and “understanding” concerning His will having made known unto us “the mind of the Lord” through the ministry of His apostles (1Cor 2:6-16). Part of this “wisdom” is “rightly dividing the word of truth” in accordance with Paul’s ministry and the “revelation of the mystery,” as in “time past” we know that “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Rom 15:8). Fortunately for us Gentiles, God had a “secret” purpose “in Christ” and is currently fulfilling that “mystery of Christ” with us, offering us a special dispensation of His grace through the “gospel of the uncircumcision” until He has finished that purpose and we receive our “fulness” as the “one new man” (Romans 11:25). This is “edification” and as you “learn,” “understand” and “comprehend” (Eph 1; Col 1), you are to be intelligently “building” a house of doctrine out of which to live the details of your life as the word of God “effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1Thess 2:13). Your object and goal, as you function as a “son” (Rom 8) is to …”prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). God has given you all the “edification” tools you need to build and fully equip you to come “unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph 4:13). But, as with any building project, you must undertake it intelligently in accordance with the instructions of the one who has commissioned you to build in the first place and be “faithful” to the “pattern” (1Cor 3:9-4:5). “As ye HAVE RECEIVED Christ Jesus the Lord, SO WALK YE IN HIM” (Col 2:6).
3.) EXALTATION/GLORIFICATION-FUTURE-You will be saved from the very “PRESENCE” of sin. This is where the “glory” comes in. This is when your “building” is inspected and the Lord judges how you put your position into practice. This is when it will be determined and “manifested” just how “faithful” you were. You “RECEIVED Christ,” “You WALKED in Him,” and now it will be determined to what extent that walk is worthy of “honour” and “approval” or “blame” and “shame.” This is where your “work” comes in and you will be “rewarded” in connection with your “faithfulness” and the “quality” of your “building.” There is far more to be said in connection with this, as well as some absolutely marvelous details concerning the coming “glory” to be manifested in accordance with the “vocation,” but as I said, that is beyond the scope of this very brief synopsis. The result of all this is that it ought to affect where you “look” because looking in the wrong direction will affect your reward, as it did with Lot (2Cor 4:17,18; 1Cor 3:15; Colossians 3:1-4).
“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together WITH GOD: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man TAKE HEED HOW HE BUILDETH thereupon…Every man’s WORK shall be made manifest…Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, THAT A MAN BE FOUND FAITHFUL” (1Corinthians 3:8-4:2).
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began…Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nervertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. HOLD FAST the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” (2Timothy 1:7-9,11-15).
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1Corinthians 9:24-27).
“For which cause we FAINT NOT; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, WORKETH FOR US a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2Corinthians 4:16-18).
“Study to shew thyself APPROVED unto God, a workman that NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED, rightly dividing the word of truth. BUT SHUN profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2Timothy 2:15,16).
There may be many hungry, cold, lonely days ahead out there on the battlefield. Are you prepared? You will need all the “strength” you can to enable you not to “faint” when you encounter the experiences ahead.
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all WISDOM and spiritual UNDERSTANDING; THAT ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; STRENGTHENED with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which HATH MADE US MEET to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who HATH DELIVERED US from the power of darkness, and HATH TRANSLATED US into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom WE HAVE redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:9-14).
There will be many spies, traitors, bribes, blackmail and various attempts to “get an advantage over you” (2Cor 2:11). Your only defense against the various tactics, “devices” and “wiles” (Eph 6:11) of the enemy-the master deceiver-is to constantly keep before your mind the knowledge and “assurance” that has been given to you by your “Head” as a member of His Body.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to SEDUCING spirits and DOCTRINES OF devils…TAKE HEED unto thyself, and unto THE DOCTRINE; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1Timothy 4:1,16).
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me…” (2Timothy 1:13).
Do not “depart” from them. It will be very tempting to take “their word” for it as it will “eat as doth a canker” (2Tim 2:17) but it is merely “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away” (2Tim 3:5). The “power” is the TRUTH which has been communicated through the “sound doctrine” contained in the “form of sound words” which make up the “word of truth” composed of the “words of truth” which you HAVE and POSSESS and can hold in your HAND and can READ to “study” and “rightly divide” in accordance with the “pattern” that has been given to you in the ministry of the “apostle of the Gentiles.” You have “the scripture of TRUTH” (Dan 10:21), made up of the “words of truth” (Ecclesiastes 12:10) and you are to “handle it honestly” (2Cor4:2) according to your instructions and “blueprint” as God’s “one new man” in light of the “revelation of the mystery.” There is no reason for you not to know the “mind of the Lord” (Romans 16:25,26; 1Cor 2:6-16; 3:10; 4:16,17; 2Cor 4:2; Ephesians 1:9; 3:4; 2Tim 2:15; 3:16). There is no reason for “ignorance.” God wants you to be fully “equipped” and “established” through the edification process (Romans 1:11; 16:25).
“Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren…” (Romans 1:13).
“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” (Ephesians 3:4).
So let us begin to “renew our minds.”
When it comes to the world, the Bible is a NEGATIVE book. It is unabashedly PESSIMISTIC through and through. Only a fool would feel optimistic about the world and its system after reading through the Bible.
“For there is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf…” (Isaiah 64:6).
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
“If ye then, being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children…” (Matthew 7:11).
“…For if, WHEN WE WERE ENEMIES, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, BEING RECONCILED, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).
“And you, that were sometime ALIENATED and ENEMIES in your mind by WICKED works, yet now hath he RECONCILED In the body of his flesh THROUGH DEATH, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Colossians 1:21,22).
“Because the carnal mind is ENMITY against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).
“…that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).
Make no mistake about it. If you are not “in Christ” then you are God’s “enemy” and He is your “enemy.” You are as “unclean” as a leper in your inner man, “darkened” in your thinking and wholly given over to a certain mentality and worldview that patterns your Edenic forefathers. You are infected: S.I.N. positive. “Positive”, just like your father (John 8:44), not “negative.” “YEA” to sin, “Yea” to rebellion against God’s Law, “Yea” to the world, “Yea” to Man, “Yea” to calling God a liar and “Yea” to being your own god. The serpent willl not accept God’s “negativity” to sin and relativism. It is too “intolerant” and not “pluralistic” enough. He is not “broad-minded” enough.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and BROAD is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and NARROW is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. BEWARE of FALSE prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:13-15).
“A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. Fools make a mock at sin…There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death…The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident…The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge” (Proverbs 14:6-9,12,14-18).
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25).
In fact, the only thing Man is “negative” toward is God, His word and the “judgment” it pronounces over him. He doesn’t think calling God a liar is “narrow-minded.”
“Now the serpent was more subtil…YEA, hath God said…And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall NOT surely die…ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was GOOD for food, and that it was PLEASANT to the eyes, and a tree to be DESIRED to make one WISE…” (Genesis 3:1-7).
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by GOOD words and FAIR speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you WISE UNTO THAT WHICH IS GOOD, and SIMPLE CONCERNING EVIL…now to him that is of power to stablish you ACCORDING TO my gospel…” (Romans 16:17-19,25).
This sin principle dwelling in you will manifest itself more and more over time as you begin to fall apart as it were, and will be fully manifested when you end up six feet under. You think you are a “god.” In your darkened, deluded, “corrupted” will, you continue to deceive yourself and make reality fit with your preferences. You refuse to submit to the truth and its “instruction” and “correction” and pretend that the “truth” is whatever you want it to be. You will gladly worship an “idol” or “god” so long as it is a “god” made in your “image” after your “likeness.” You desire to be “wise” concerning that which is evil.
“Even as they did NOT LIKE to retain God in their knowledge…” (Romans 1:28).
Simply put, whether you recognize it or not, as long as you are “in Adam” you are “alienated” from God and His life. That is not all the bad news, however. Yes, it gets worse. Not only are you in this miserable, wretched state and separated from God by your sin, but there is absolutely nothing you can do on your own to remedy the situation. You know you are “naked” and all you can do is vainly attempt to “cover up” your conditiion with your own “religion” and the “works” of your own hands (Genesis 3:7). The problem is that “all our righteousness are as filthy rags” and eventually your fig leaves will dry up and you will be exposed as the disobedient sinner you are. The “fruit stand” religion of Cain just won’t cut it (Genesis 4:3). The shedding of blood was required to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve and “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain” (Hebrews 11:4).
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11).
“But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:3,4).
If something is going to be done then God is going to have to be the one to do it. There is good news, however, and this is where the “good news” finally does come in. God DID do something and He did it in the Lord Jesus Christ. Your situation is hopeless, but…
“For the wages of sin is death BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. BUT NOW the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God whis is by faith of Jesus Christ UNTO all and UPON all THEM THAT BELIEVE: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; BEING JUSTIFIED freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood…” (Romans 3:19-25).
“For when we were yet WITHOUT STRENGTH, in due time, Christ died FOR THE UNGODLY. For scarecely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. BUT GOD commendeth his love toward us, in that, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, Christ died FOR US” (Romans 5:6-8).
“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:11,12).
God offers you “reconciliation” and a position “in Christ” as a “free gift.” Will you receive it? Or will you reject God’s word to you, tell Him He is a liar and bring your own offering?
“Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him” (Proverbs 26:12).
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2Corinthians 5:19-21).
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
When you believe God’s word to you concerning “Paul’s gospel” and your identity “in Christ” you should be able to confidenlty say with Paul, “Therefore BEING justified by faith, we HAVE peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). This is the offer that God makes. However, accepting that offer will put you in a very peculiar situation in this world as it is God’s enemy.
“BE NOT CONFORMED to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
I don’t want the approval of this world. If I do it means I am not “approved unto God.” This world does not like being told they are sinners and “guilty before God.” When confronted they will offer all the “self-defense” tactics that Paul reviews in the first chapters of Romans. But of course, as the old adage goes, “A man who has himself for an attorney has a fool for a client.”
“For I am NOT ASHAMED of the gospel of Christ: for IT IS THE POWER OF GOD unto salvation TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVETH; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. FOR THEREIN IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD REVEALED from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. FOR THE WRATH of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became VAIN in their IMAGINATIONS, and their FOOLISH heart was DARKENED. PROFESSING themselves to be WISE, they became FOOLS, And CHANGED the glory of the uncorruptible God…Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleaness through the lusts of their own heart, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who CHANGED the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator…For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections…” (Romans 1:18-26).
It is the desire of the world to “conform” you into a certain “image.” If I want the approval of God then it means I had better be prepared to be an enemy of this world, for they are His enemy. If they “love” me then it means I have been something less than “faithful.” If they love me then it must mean I have been manifesting and perpetuating “darkness” for if I were being “light” then they would hate me. They “love” sin and their sole desire is to see it triumph.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be LOVERS of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, DESPISERS of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, LOVERS of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2Tim 3:1-5).
They seek any way possible to remove any “truth” that might stand in their way. This is where the battle is: Light vs. Darkness; the Truth vs. the Lie. Be careful, because “light rejected becomes lightning.”
“And even as they DID NOT LIKE TO RETAIN God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness…Who KNOWING THE JUDGEMENT of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, NOT ONLY DO THE SAME, but HAVE PLEASURE IN THEM THAT DO THEM” (Romans 1:16-32).
If you stand with God they will not “take pleasure” in you. They do not “like to retain God in their knowledge.” They “love” darkness, want to be “wise” concerning that which is evil and desire to be “simple” concerning the TRUTH and knowledge of God. Their main quest becomes that of “searing their conscience” lest it become too “troublesome” and “burdensome.” Furthermore, they “hate” light and any Bible believer already knew who the real “hate-mongers” were and why. If there is one thing they can’t stand, it is PREACHERS who CRY in the streets.
“He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways DESPISETH him” (Proverbs 14:2).
“The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is NO FEAR OF GOD before his eyes. For he flattereth himself IN HIS OWN EYES, until his iniquity be found to be HATEFUL. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good” (Psalm 36:1-3).
“Seeing thou HATEST instruction, and CASTEST my words behind thee” (Psalm 50:17).
“But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would NONE OF me. So I gave them up unto THEIR OWN hearts’: and they walked in THEIR OWN COUNSELS. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!…The HATERS OF THE LORD should have submitted themselves unto him…” (Psalm 81:11-15).
“To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgement, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A WISE MAN WILL HEAR, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels…THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING of knowledge: but fools DESPISE wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother…My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not…Wisdom CRIETH without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She CRIETH in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye LOVE SIMPLICITY? and the SCORNERS DELIGHT IN THEIR SCORNING, and fools HATE knowledge? Turn you at my REPROOF: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will MAKE KNOWN my words unto you. Because I HAvE CALLED, and YE REFUSED; I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HAND, and NO MAN REGARDED; BUT YE HAVE SET AT NOUGHT ALL MY COUNSEL, and WOULD NONE OF MY REPROOF: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as a desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. THEN shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: FOR THAT THEY HATED knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they DESPISED all my REPROOF. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of THEIR OWN way, and be filled with THEIR OWN devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso HEARKENETH UNTO ME shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:1-33).
“Crieth” as in the town CRIER! As in: “HEAR YE, HEAR YE…TURN OR BURN”!
- “IT’S EITHER ‘IN CHRIST’ or ‘IN HELL’”!
- “UNLESS YE REPENT YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH”!
- “O GENERATION OF VIPERS, WHO HATH WARNED YOU TO FLEE FROM THE WRATH TO COME?”
- “YET FORTY DAYS, AND NINEVAH SHALL BE OVERTHROWN”!
- “CHRIST DIED FOR SINNERS”!
- “BE RECONCILED TO GOD”!
- “BE NOT DECEIVED; GOD IS NOT MOCKED: FOR WHATSOEVER A MAN SOWETH, THAT SHALL HE ALSO REAP”!
- “FOR WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN, IF HE SHALL GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL? ”
- “SAVE YOURSELVES FROM THIS UNTOWARD GENERATION”!
- “THEY BE BLIND LEADERS OF THE BLIND. AND IF THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND, BOTH SHALL FALL INTO THE DITCH”!
- “BUT THOSE THINGS WHICH PROCEED OUT OF THE MOUTH COME FROM THE HEART; AND THEY DEFILE THE MAN. FOR OUT OF THE HEART PROCEED EVIL THOUGHTS, MURDERS, ADULTERIES, FORNICATIONS, THEFTS, FALSE WITNESS, BLASPHEMIES: THESE ARE THE THINGS WHICH DEFILE A MAN: BUT TO EAT WITH UNWASHEN HANDS DEFILETH NOT A MAN”!
- “LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU WITH VAIN WORDS: FOR BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS COMETH THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE”!
- “FOR THE GRACE OF GOD THAT BRINGETH SALVATION HATH APPEARED TO ALL MEN, TEACHING US THAT, DENYING UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY LUSTS, WE SHOULD LIVE SOBERLY, RIGHTEOUSLY, AND GODLY, IN THIS PRESENT WORLD; LOOKING FOR THAT BLESSED HOPE, AND THE GLORIOUS APPEARING OF THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST”!
- “NOW AS JANNES AND JAMBRES WITHSTOOD MOSES, SO DO THESE ALSO RESIST THE TRUTH: MEN OF CORRUPT MINDS, REPROBATE CONCERNING THE FAITH”!
- “SHUN PROFANE AND VAIN BABBLINGS: FOR THEY WILL INCREASE UNTO MORE UNGODLINESS”!
- “FOR THERE IS ONE GOD, AND ONE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MEN, THE MAN CHRIST JESUS”!
- “…BUT KNOW THOU, THAT FOR ALL THESE THINGS GOD WILL BRING THEE INTO JUDGEMENT…REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR IN THE DAYS OF THY YOUTH, WHILE THE EVIL DAYS COME NOT, NOR THE YEARS DRAW NIGH…LET US HEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER: FEAR GOD, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN. FOR GOD SHALL BRING EVERY WORK INTO JUDGEMENT, WITH EVERY SECRET THING, WHETHER IT BE GOOD, OR WHETHER IT BE EVIL”!
- “THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE IN EVERY PLACE, BEHOLDING THE EVIL AND THE GOOD”!
- “AND AS IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGEMENT”!
- “BUT GOD COMMENDETH HIS LOVE TOWARD US IN THAT WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US”!
- “BUT HE WAS WOUNDED FOR FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, HE WAS BRUISED FOR OUR INIQUITIES: THE CHASTISEMENT FOR OUR PEACE WAS UPON HIM; AND WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED”!
- “NEITHER IS THERE SALVATION IN ANY OTHER: FOR THERE IS NONE OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN GIVEN AMONG MEN, WHEREBY WE MUST BE SAVED”!
- “KNOW YE NOT THAT THE UNRIGHTEOUS SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD? BE NOT DECEIVED: NEITHER FORNICATORS, NOR IDOLATERS, NOR ADULTERERS, NOR EFFEMINATE, NOR ABUSERS OF THEMSELVES WITH MANKIND, NOR THIEVES, NOR COVETOUS, NOR DRUNKARDS, NOR REVILERS, NOR EXTORTIONERS, SHALL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD”!
- “AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN”!
- “HE IS NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE”!, etc. You get the idea.
- “A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a SCORNER HEARETH NOT REBUKE…Whoso DESPISETH the word shall be destroyed…Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly. A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a FAITHFUL ambassador is health” (Proverbs 13:1,13,16,17).
- “Who is this that DARKENETH counsel by words WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE” (Job 38:2).
- “And moreover, because the PREACHER was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. The preacher sought out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even WORDS OF TRUTH” (Ecclesiastes 12:9,10).
- “Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city…Unto you, O men, I CALL; and my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand wisdom, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be RIGHT things. For my mouth shall speak TRUTH; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them…Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength” (Proverbs 8:1-14).
- “All the ways of a man are clean IN HIS OWN EYES; but the LORD weigheth the spirits…Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished” (Proverbs 16:2,5).
- “Charity…Rejoiceth NOT IN INIQUITY, but rejoiceth IN THE TRUTH” (1Cor 13:6).
- “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16).
So, if you remind them of God they will not “like” you because they don’t want to “retain” that “knowledge.” So, they will work day and night, generation after generation, attempting to come up with systems that will make that “knowledge” go away and replace it with something more “acceptable.”
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down IMAGINATIONS, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2Corinthians 10:3-5).
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the DARKNESS of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, IN THE VANITY OF THEIR MIND, HAVING THE UNDERSTANDING DARKENED, BEING ALIENATED from the life of God through the IGNORANCE that is in them, because of the BLINDNESS of their heart: Who being PAST FEELING have GIVEN THEMSELVES OVER unto lasciviousness, to work all UNCLEANESS with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus; That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is CORRUPT according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:17-24).
“And you HATH HE QUICKENED, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD, according to THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR, THE SPIRIT THAT NOW WORKETH in the children OF DISOBEDIENCE: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were BY NATURE the children OF WRATH, even as others. BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Ephesians 2:1-5).
What they will end up with is a bunch of “brute beasts” running around jungle cities named Sodom and Gomorrah. Naturally, when some stupid, depraved, degenerate, God-defying, alienated sinner promotes this Bible rejecting mentality and worldview, the news media “takes pleasure in them.” As agents and tools of the world system, their job is to promote such “enlightenment” deathstyles (Genesis 3) and fill people with so much intellectual, moral and spiritual filth and trash that they become walking garbage cans wholly given over to “uncleaness.” “Garbage in, garbage out” I believe is the expression. “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34). So, if all that comes out of your mouth is “filth,” “trash” and “dung” then we know what you are “full of.”
“Fools make a mock at sin…The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident…A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies” (Proverbs 14:9,15,16,25).
This is what “edification” is about and there is a great difference between the “wisdom of this world” (1Cor 1) which will turn you into an “ignorant,” animalistic “fool” when it comes to the “truth” versus “godly edifying which is in faith” (1Tim 1:4) which will give you instruction in “godliness.” And of course the essential “starting” point for this education is “the fear of the Lord” which the humanistic, naturalistic “brute beasts” have none of. If a man does not acknowledge the authority of the God of heaven then he will eventually become nothing more than an animal and “brute beast” just like king Nebuchadnezzar. If a man insists on rebelliously declaring, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice…?” (Exodus 5:2) then he is destined to find out the answer to his question, only it will be in judgment, not grace. “…who HOLD the truth IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS…And even as they did not like to RETAIN God in their knowledge…” (Romans 1:18,28).
I will say it again, when it comes to this world that Bible is a negative book. The world does everything they can to “change” the truth into something that is more in keeping with their “liking.” If you intend to be “faithful” in following your “example” and “pattern” then you had better be prepared to be considered a “fool” and the “offscouring of the world” in the eyes of the Truth rejecting men and women who follow the world system.
“But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions…Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution” (2Timothy 3:10-12).
“And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day” (1Corinthians 4:12,13).
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish FOOLISHNESS; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God…For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the FOOLISHNESS of PREACHING to save them that believe” (1Corinthians 1:18,21).
“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with ENTICING words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the STEADFASTNESS of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: ROOTED and BUILT UP in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. BEWARE lest any man SPOIL you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And YE ARE COMPLETE in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:4-10).
“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye WERE sometimes darkness, BUT NOW are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather REPROVE them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are REPROVED are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because THE DAYS ARE EVIL. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:5-17).
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. I CHARGE THEE THEREFORE before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall JUDGE the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; PREACH the word; be instant in season, out of season; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from THE TRUTH, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, ENDURE AFFLICTIONS, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2Timothy 3:16-4:5).
And when you do that “faithfully” you will be HATED because “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil HATETH the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:19,20). Man HATES that Bible beacuse Man is a dirty, filthy, rebellious, ungodly, haughty, prideful self-righteous sinner and that Book calls him on the carpet and doesn’t mince words.
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgement; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, A PREACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, bringing in the flood UPON THE WORLD OF THE UNGODLY; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, MAKING THEM AN ENSAMPLE unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the FILTHY conversation of THE WICKED: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished” (2Peter 2:4-9).
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days SCOFFERS, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they WILLINGLY are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of UNGODLY men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is LONGSUFFERING to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. BUT the day of the Lord WILL COME as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2Peter 3:3-10).
“I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not…Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, ARE SET FORTH FOR AN EXAMPLE, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these FILTHY DREAMERS defile the flesh…But these speak evil of those things WHICH THEY KNOW NOT: but WHAT THEY KNOW NATURALLY AS BRUTE BEASTS, in those things they corrupt themselves…And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are UNGODLY among them of all their UNGODLY deeds which they have UNGODLY committed, and of all their hard speeches which UNGODLY sinners have spoken against him. These are murmerers, complainers, WALKING AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS; and their mouth speaketh GREAT SWELLING WORDS, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should WALK AFTER THEIR OWN UNGODLY LUSTS” (Jude 5,7,8,10,14-18).
So buck up private! You’re in the army now! You will face many different types of opponents out there on the battlefield. They will often “handle” the Bible (2Corinthians 4:2), appear as “ministers of righteousness,” “desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm” (1Tim 1:7) and speak of “Jesus,” the “gospel,” and a “spirit” (2Corinthians 11:1-15). Whether they be “religious” or not, they will want you to take “their word” instead of God’s word and they will often be very “subtle” and “seductive.” Are you ready? You had better take up “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:17) and be prepared for the battle ahead. Whose “approval” are you concerned about?
“For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth” (2Corinthians 10:18).
“But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23).
“If the world HATE you, ye know that it HATED me before it HATED you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18,19).
“Blessed are ye, when men shall REVILE you, and PERSECUTE you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the SALT of the earth: BUT IF THE SALT HAVE LOST HIS SAVOUR, wherewith shall it be salted? IT IS THENCEFORTH GOOD FOR NOTHING…Ye are the LIGHT of the world…Let your light so shine…” (Matthew 5:11-16).
“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).
One more time!
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood IN MY COUNSEL, and had caused my people to hear MY WORDS, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings…I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets OF THE DECEIT OF THEIR OWN HEART…The prophet that hath a dream, let him dream; and he THAT HATH MY WORD, LET HIM SPEAK MY WORD FAITHFULLY. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, THAT STEAL MY WORDS every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, HE SAITH. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD…And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more; for every man’s word shall be his burden: for ye have PERVERTED THE WORDS of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God” (Jeremiah 23:21-36).
And so, soldier, these are my last words to you. “Arm” yourself and NEVER GIVE UP!
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling…” (2Tim 1:7-9).
Never give up!
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye STEDFAST, UNMOVEABLE, ALWAYS ABOUNDING in the work of the lord, forasmuch as YE KNOW THAT YOUR LABOUR IS NOT IN VAIN IN THE LORD” (1Corinthians 15:58).
Never give up!
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us…While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2Corinthians 4:18).
Never give up!
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9).
“Finally, my brethren, BE STRONG in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND IN THE EVIL DAY, and having done all, TO STAND. STAND THEREFORE…” (Ephesians 6:10-13).
Hold the line soldier!
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me…Thou therefore, my son, BE STRONG in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore ENDURE HARDNESS, AS A GOOD SOLDIER of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; THAT HE MAY PLEASE HIM WHO HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A SOLDIER” (2Timothy 1:13; 2:1-3).
Don’t retreat soldier!
“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus WITH ETERNAL GLORY” (2Timothy 2:5-10).
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all PERSEVERANCE and supplication; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel. For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18-20).
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, REDEEMING THE TIME” (Colossians 4:25).
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain” (1Corinthians 9:24).
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1).
“That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom AND GLORY” (1Thessalonians 2:12).
And know, that after that life of “faithful” service, you may look into the eyes of the one who bought you and cleansed you with His own blood, and as He reaches out to you with those nail-pierced hands you may hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2Timothy 4:5-8).