ARE YOU READY?
I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of
prepared as a bride
adorned for her husband. (Rev 1:)
You go to church regularly.
You're a good parent.
You are honest in business.
You read the Bible regularly
You say Grace before each meal.
described you? You're ready then, right?
I'll bet you
could even add a few items to the list above. And anyone will agree
that you are in the front half of the line headed for the Golden Gates
No doubt about
it; you're ready. Right?
compared you with other Christians in your acquaintance. That should be
a good guide. That should close the case. Right?
If you are
comfortable with your position, then you might as well set this
brochure aside, or hand it to someone you think isn't ready.
But if you
aren't so sure, read on and we will compare your position to what Jesus
and the Bible has to say about being ready.
John 11:25Jesus said
unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and
believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
is all it takes. Sounds easy enough. Let's see if there is any more.
John 5: 25 Verily,
verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead
shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son
to have life in himself;
29 And shall come forth;
they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that
have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.
And we have to
do good. Well, we've already stated that you do good things. Anything
Luke 14:26 If any man
cometh to me, and hate not his father, and mother and wife, and
children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he
cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and
come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to
build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether
he have sufficient to finish it? ....33 So likewise, whosoever he be of
you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Ah-oh. Now we
have to love Jesus more than anyone else. It's getting more difficult
now. But what did He mean -- "Hate your family?" In other places Jesus
told us to even Love our Enemies. Maybe the original Greek will help us
here. According to Strong's the word hate means to "persecute," or
"detest." But thankfully there is another extension meaning, and that
is to "love less." I don't know about you, but for myself, I'll take
the last meaning.
also says to "Take up your cross." Does that mean we are to suffer like
He did? Maybe even to die shamefully? Maybe it means we should be willing
to do these things. That shouldn't be too difficult. But, what if the
day comes that we are put to the test.....?
said in the above that we should have considered all these things
before we became a Christian (I'm paraphrasing). Were any of us told
about all this before we agreed? Is that a loophole do you think?
Let's see if
there is anything more;
Luke 18: 18 And a
certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to
inherit eternal life? 19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me
good? None is good, save one, that is, God. 20 Thou knowest the
commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not
bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21 And he said,
All these have I kept from my youth up. 22 Now when Jesus heard these
things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that
thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure
in heaven: and come, follow me. 23 And when he heard this, he was very
sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very
sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into
the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a
needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26
And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? 27 And he said, The
things which are impossible with men are possible with God. 28 Then
Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. 29And he said unto
them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or
parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's
sake, 30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and
in the world to come life everlasting.
So now we have
the Ten Commandments to follow (or at least part of them). Also there
are things to do
as well. It seems to be rather deep water we have entered.
And after we
do all the doing, it appears that we have to give everything we have to
the poor. Has any of us done that? Perhaps Jesus meant to be willing
to give up everything like so many tell us. After all, I have yet to
see a minister without a car or TV.
said, we are to follow Him? How do we do that? We can't physically
follow Him like the disciples did. And, as a matter of fact, they were
no longer able to follow Him physically either shortly after He said
this. Could He have meant to listen to His voice? Or the urging of the
Holy Spirit? Maybe He meant we should do as He did while He was on
earth. What do you
He also told
the disciples that it is difficult for a rich man to enter Heaven. Who
is rich? None of the rich men of His day had a Cadillac, or a 50'
screen TV, or a laptop computer. Since the man (and we) was supposed to
sell everything, is it possible that anything we are unwilling to let
go of (including our family, according to the previous scripture) is
considered as "riches?"
Matt 6: 19 Lay not up
for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and
where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your
treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Gal 6: 14 :But God
forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
That's a hard
one. Let's go one more.
John 17: 13 And now come
I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have
my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 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. .... 20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them
also which shall believe on me through their word; 21That they all may
be one; as thou. Father, art in me; and I in thee, that they also may
be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And
the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be
one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be
made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent
me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
It looks like
there's some more yet. As I read this, we are to be so different from
the world (normal people who are not converted) that we will be hated
by them. Are you hated? Of course, earlier we discovered that "Hate"
also means "Love less." However it appears to me that in the case of
Jesus and all His disciples, as well as the early Christians -- He
meant "Persecuted and despised."
He also said
that He was giving us His "Glory." Do you find any Glory in yourself?
Of course He might have just been referring to the Apostles, though He did
say that He was not only praying for them, but for all who would hear
Matt 7: 12 Therefore all
things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to
them: for this is the law and the prophets. 13 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: 14 Because
strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and
few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to
you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye
shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or
figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit;
but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot
bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good
fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down,
and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know
them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into
the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is
in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not
prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in
thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity
Here we have
more verses talking about our works. (As I see it, also called
"fruit.") But didn't the Bible say we were saved by Grace, not works?
Eph 2: 8 For by grace
are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift
of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath
before ordained that we should walk in them.
I thought so,
say that we are saved by Grace. But the way I interpret these verses,
we are saved by Grace - but for the purpose
of doing works. Maybe that has something to do with this verse :
Phil 2: 12 work out your
own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh
in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things
without murmurings and disputings: 15That ye may be blameless and
harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked
and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
There it is.
But along with
it is the evidence that it is not us that is supposed to do the work,
but rather God working through
us. I suppose that is what is meant by Jesus when He said:
John 15: 1 I am the true
vine, and my father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that
beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit,
he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean
through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in
you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the
vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are
the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth
forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide
not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered and men gather
them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide
in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it
shall be done unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear
much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
"fruit" again. And it sounds to me as if those who don't produce fruit
will be cast out and burned. That doesn't sound so good to me. It
sounds a lot like what's going to happen to the Great Unsaved. And He
added that those who do
produce fruit will be "purged." That sounds kind of painful to me; not
at all like the "Peace and Prosperity" messages that are used to get
people to come to the alter. Let me take a look and see what "Purge"
means in the Greek.
us it means to "Cleanse," or to "Prune." Here is something that may
help clarify the meaning;
Psalm 79: 9 Help us, O
God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and
purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.
So it appears
that sin is what's to be pruned away so God can bear fruit through us.
Matt 5: 14 Ye are the
light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a
candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and
glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Here we have
works again. And added to works is that we are to be a light unto the
world. Do you feel like a light unto the world? I wonder what we're
supposed to use for fuel. We certainly can't be expected to use ourself
for fuel. Maybe this will shed a little light on the subject;
Matt 6: 22 The light of
the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body
shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body
shall be full of darknes. If therefore the light that is in thee be
darkness, how great is that darkness!
will help clarify it a little more;
John 8: 12 Then spake
Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that
followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of
John 1: 1 In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by
him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was
life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in
darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6There was a man sent
from God, whose name was John. 7The same came for a witness, to bear
witness of the light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was
not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was
the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew
him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But
as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on his name:
So it appears
that the light we are to show to the world comes from God, or more
specifically, Jesus Christ. And that He is also to be the source of our
works. But what are
those works we are to perform?
John 3: 12 Verily,
verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do
shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do;
Mark 16: 17 And these
signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out
devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up
serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;
they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Wow!! I don't
know about you, but I'm a long ways from any of that! I wonder if a
Good Deed a day will suffice?
Now, I know
there are people even today who can do many of those things; and some,
according to sources, are not very Godly people at that:
Matt 7: 21 Not every one
that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many
will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy
name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many
wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew
you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
I only see a
few instances of these being done by the early Christians. Even among
those who lost everything for the Name of Jesus. And I wonder if those
who were thrown to the lions were able to drink poison? Jesus did say
that these things will be done in "My name;" that might help clarify
His statement. I know that Paul was stoned to death, then stood up and
walked away. However Stephen didn't.
John 14: 10 Believest
thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that
I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in
me, he doeth the works.....12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater
works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And
whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may
be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I
will do it.....21 He that hath my
commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that
loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will
manifest myself to him. ...23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a
man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we
will come unto him, and make our abode with him....26 But the
Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my
name, he shall teach you all things,
There's a lot
in those final words of Jesus. But if the answer to my question is
there, I think I missed it. I have a suspicion though. It may be that
we don't experience those signs because we don't make it a practice to
drink deadly poison, or to play with venomous snakes. As for healing,
who can say for sure? I mean, when was the last time you laid hands on
someone in order to try to heal them?
And after all,
we often hear about people being miraculously healed from some disease
or another, but only when they need it. We don't seek healing when we
are healthy. Perhaps you have such a story yourself.
Also, there is
this scripture to help understand what Jesus meant;
1Cor 12: 7 But the
manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withall
8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the
word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another faith by the same
Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To
another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another
discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another
the interpretation of tongues; 11But all these worketh that one and the
selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.....27Now
ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28And God hath
set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly
teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
governments, diversities of tongues. 29Are all apostles? are all
prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30Have all the
gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
By the verses
above, I gather that what Jesus was talking about is Gifts of the
Spirit. Some, like drinking poison and such we rarely need. Besides,
Jesus didn't say that we wouldn't die - in fact the Bible makes it very
clear that we will
die. And that those who die for Him, and those who endure to the end,
are the ones who will reap the rewards and will rule with Him.
Mark 13: 9 But take heed
to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the
synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers
and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.... 13And ye shall
be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto
the end, the same shall be saved.
Rev 20: 4 And I saw
thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and
I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus,
and for the word of God, ...6Blessed and holy is he that hath part in
the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but
they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a
2 Tim 2: 11 It is a
faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with
him: 12If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he
also will deny us:
I ask again;
Are you ready?
My thought is
- Who could
drawing any conclusions, let's see if there's anything else that might
tell us if we are "in the sheepfold" or just wandering goats outside
John 6: 33 These things
I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye
shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Phil 4: 6 Be careful for
nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace
of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and
minds through Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are
true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever
things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any
praise, think on these things. 9Those things, which ye
have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the
God of peace shall be with you.
Rom 8:5 For they that
are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are
after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded
is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the
carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of
God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot
please God. 9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be
that the spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit
of Christ, he is none of his.
How about this
Psalm 23:1 The LORD is
my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie
down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for
thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou
preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou
anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and
mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the
house of the LORD for ever.
[Just in case
you have ever wondered - the "rod" spoken of is for correction, for
beatings. And the "staff" is for support when weak or weary. How many
of us actually lend ourself to discipline so we can experience God's
Psalm 89:31 If they
break my statutes, and keep not my commandments:
32Then will I visit
their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my
faithfulness to fail.
So, are you
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