Repent or Perish!

“And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3″I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4″Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5. “I tell you, no: but, unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:2-5)

At any time from this minute, any one of us could take our last breath!  The world is becoming a more hostile place to live in, and many thousands are perishing daily – not merely dying.  We don’t like to think of the distinction, to know that many who die, die in their sins, and will not be raised up in glory, but will perish for eternity.  But with every calamity we hear from all over the world, we are reminded that people who might have been saved, in more ways than one, have gone with no more hope for redemption.  Now, more than ever, there is a burden to call all men to repentance, so that though they die, they may live!

I don’t know you.  I don’t know what you do or why.  But I know that one day you will die.  And I know that if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you will perish also.  Jesus is the One sent from God to preach to us the good news of God’s great love for us (John 3:16)…not merely with words, but with His actions.   He taught us, through His life, a better way to live and to love.  He showed us the power of God; the power to heal and to deliver those bound from their chains, calling all to a life of liberty and peace (John 8:36).  And ultimately, by His sacrificial death on the cross, He paid the price for our redemption, so that we will no longer perish in our sins, but be reconciled to God, and live forever with Him.  Read more about Jesus and what He did for us all.

There are two things you must do in response to this message.  You must first believe it.  First and foremost, you need to confess that you are a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness, and accept Jesus Christ’s atonement for your sins, and believe that your sins have ALL been forgiven.  You are free from every wickedness that once held you bound and from the sting of condemnation (Rom 8:1).  When you truly believe in Jesus, you will understand why your life can never be lived the same way.  Jesus calls all who believe in Him to follow Him (Matt 16:24).  The second thing you must do, therefore, is to repent.  This means that you will turn around from the wrong way you are going, to follow in the right way that God has prepared for you to walk in (Eph 2:10).  When you do these, you submit to Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life, as well as your Saviour.

Jesus showed His love for us first (Rom 5:8), so that we will not be hindered from coming to Him.  Do not let unbelief be a barrier.  God has provided undeniable evidence, through creation, of His existence and glory (Rom 1:20).  When you respond by faith, believing and forsaking your sinful ways, and choosing to trust and obey God, you show that you love Him too (John 14:15).   Then Jesus promises that He will come and make His home with you…by giving you His Holy Spirit, which will lead you into all truth (John 14:23, 26).  This is the Spirit that gives you a new life…and will also quicken you at the Resurrection (Rom 8:11), when Christ returns to judge the world.  This is what it means to be born again or born of the Spirit.  Without this rebirth, no one can see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3).

If you have believed the message and accepted the call to repentance and received a new life of liberty in Christ, you are a new creature (2 Cor 5:17).  You have the assurance of God’s salvation, and have been saved by the grace of God, through your faith in Jesus (Eph 2:8).  No longer conform to the world’s standard of love or wisdom, but be renewed in your mind daily (Rom 12:1), as you grow in the faith by studying the scriptures, praying and having fellowship with other believers.  Be careful that you do not carry again the burdens of religion and sin, as many did back then and still do today (Read Galatians 3).  Persecutions and tribulations will surely come; the road will be long, narrow and trying, but if you abide in Jesus, He will empower you to overcome in all things (John 15:4; Phil 4:13).

“May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest and abide with you now and forever more” (2 Cor 13:14).  Amen.

If you like this message and are among the redeemed of God, please share this call to repentance with others, and let your light shine!

Training Our Children

Proverbs 22:6

From a very young age, children observe the behavior of the significant adults in their lives. What a wonderful opportunity this is to influence the next generation for Jesus Christ!

How do we train children in godliness? We start by investing time in their lives. Whether through activities, reading together, or quiet conversation, we can model Christian living through everyday activities.

Listening closely to them is another part of teaching our sons, daughters, and other children in our life. To influence them toward righteousness, we must know what they’re thinking—what’s important to them, what brings them joy, and what bothers them.

Protecting children through discipline is another aspect of godly parenting. When done with love, discipline helps them understand the wisdom of God’s boundaries and the importance of self-control.

Admitting our mistakes is also necessary, as transparency helps children draw closer to parents and teaches them humility. If we seem perfect, our kids find it harder to confess their mistakes to us.

Perhaps the most important aspect of training children is unconditional love. My mother loved me both when I succeeded in school and when I didn’t. Her steadfast care for me made me try to do what she’d find pleasing.

Raising a godly child takes the cooperation of believing parents and family, Christian teachers, and born-again friends. Look for opportunities to spend time with children, listen to their hearts, and demonstrate Christ’s love for them. By modeling godliness, you influence a life for the Lord.

Guide and Keeper

“For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.” (Psalm 31:3)

David wrote often about the trials of life, but he leaned on a wise and good Guide for deliverance. The next verses tell of the grave danger ahead and David’s resolve: “Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth” (vv. 4-5). “Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners” addresses that in its fourth stanza.

Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night o’ertakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.

There was a time in the gospels when the disciples were overwhelmed by a tempest, but Jesus Christ, their Guide and Keeper, calmed the sea and rescued them. “There arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves. . . . Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm” (Matthew 8:24-26). This was one of their first indications He was more than a mere man. “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (v. 27).

Sailors know the value of a wise and experienced pilot who can guide their ship into safe harbor. In an analogous way, Christ and His Spirit can keep us from ruin—human, natural, or spiritual. Christ promised, “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). We are safe in His care.

The Old Testament contains the precious truth “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3). We have the assurance that “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). JDM

The Sum Total of Our Hungers

My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? —Psalm 42:2

One of the big milk companies makes capital of the fact that their cows are all satisfied with their lot in life. Their clever ads have made the term “contented cows” familiar to everyone. But what is a virtue in a cow may be a vice in a man. And contentment, when it touches spiritual things, is surely a vice….

Religious complacency is encountered almost everywhere among Christians these days, and its presence is a sign and a prophecy. For every Christian will become at last what his desires have made him. We are all the sum total of our hungers. The great saints have all had thirsting hearts. Their cry has been, “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Their longing after God all but consumed them; it propelled them onward and upward to heights toward which less ardent Christians look with languid eye and entertain no hope of reaching.

Orthodox Christianity has fallen to its present low estate from lack of spiritual desire. Among the many who profess the Christian faith, scarcely one in a thousand reveals any passionate thirst for God.

Oh, Lord, deliver me from the complacency that is so prevalent both around me and within me. Give me an unquenchable thirst for You that I may cry out for You along with the saints of long ago. Amen.

Our Benefits of Grace

But now in Christ Jesus… ye are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:12)

Only a believing Christian can testify, “I am a sinner—saved by the grace of God!” But that is not the whole story. All that we have is cut of His grace. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, is the open channel through whom God moves to provide all the benefits He gives, both to saints and to sinners—yes, even to sinners!

Even though you may still be unconverted and going your own way, you have received much out of the ocean of His fullness. You have received the pulsing life that beats in your bosom.

You have received the brilliant mind and the brain without which you could not function. You have received a memory that strings the events you cherish as a jeweler strings pearls into a necklace.

When we say to an unbelieving man, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” we are actually saying to him: “Believe on the One who sustains you and upholds you and who has given you life. Believe in the One who pities you and spares you and keeps you. Believe on the One out of whom you came!”

Prayer is the rustling of the wings of the angels

Prayer is the rustling of the wings of the angels that are on their way bringing us the
boons of heaven. Have you heard prayer in your heart? You shall see the angel in your
house. When the chariots that bring us blessings do rumble, their wheels do sound with
prayer. We hear the prayer in our own spirits, and that prayer becomes the token of the
coming blessings. Even as the cloud foreshadoweth rain, so prayer foreshadoweth the
blessing; even as the green blade is the beginning of the harvest, so is prayer the prophecy
of the blessing that is about to come.