VIDEO What Must Take Place Before the 2nd Coming of Christ? – Differences Between Rapture & 2nd Coming

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What Signs Must Take Place Before the Second Coming of Christ?

 

“But for the abominable and murderers, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 NASB 1977

‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22 NASB 1977

“Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah, and the other was named Puah; and he said, “When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” Exodus 1:15-16 NASB 1977

It is important to know the identity of the people who will undergo the judgments of God, which will be poured out on “all of those” that are living throughout the whole world. These people, which were “left behind” from the rapture of the church, will not have been born again at the time of the catching up of the saints (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). They will be present during the time of the “Seventieth Week Of Daniel” (the time when the tribulation occurs) and will endure the judgments of God and will suffer from the oppressiveness of the anti-Christ” (Seventieth Week of Daniel – Daniel 9:27).

The events of this passage take place when the Great Tribulation is taking place, with the Judgments of God being poured out on the earth, during which time the anti-christ is persecuting those left-behind people who have come to know Christ as Lord and Savior; their identity is “earth dwellers,” and “those who dwell on the earth,” (identifying scriptures are listed below in the comments section).

Notice in Rev 14:6 that the angel is proclaiming the gospel of Christ to “those who dwell on the earth.” Let’s consider the belief of many people who the church will not be raptured from the earth, but will remain on earth during the tribulation. But, here is the problem with such a teaching. If those people who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, and have been born again, and find themselves on earth during the tribulation, but still must have the Gospel preached to them during the tribulation, they are having to accept Christ a second time. None of this scenario makes any sense. Those who will have already accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, prior to the rapture of the church, will have no reason to have the gospel preached to them again. Here is the truth of the matter. Believers in Christ, who have believed the gospel, prior to the rapture, will be taken from the earth, and will not be present during the tribulation. Those people, who have not accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, will stay behind on earth when the rapture of the church takes place. Those unbelievers will undergo the judgments of God and the oppression of the anti-Christ. God’s mercy will cause the angel to “proclaim the Gospel to those who dwell on the earth,” those of “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev 14:6), which are those who are left behind.

The words, “dead in Christ,” (1 Thes 4:16) are key. “Dead in Christ” represents those believers in Christ who died, prior to the catching up/rapture of the saints (believers in Christ). The “dead in Christ,” will be caught up immediately before “we who are alive and remain,” (living believers in Christ) (1 Thes 4:17) who will also be caught up to be with Christ, “and shall always be with the Lord,” (1 Thes 4:17). In Rev 14:13, we see the words, “blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on.” Such a statement refers to the ones who were “left behind,” those who had not accepted Christ as Savior, and had not been born again, prior to the rapture of the church, but who had come to accept His gospel while undergoing the Judgments of God and the torture and oppression of the anti-christ, during the Seventieth Week Of Daniel.

The events of this passage of scripture will take place during the “Seventieth Week Of Daniel.” We have discussed that subject, and will go back to it later, for greater understanding.

It is important for everyone to understand that anyone who has not been born again, anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within their spirit, anyone who does not know Christ as their Lord and Savior, will be among those people who are known as “earth dwellers,” and will be subject to the effects of the bowl judgments. There is no purpose for those of us who have been born again to endure the Judgments of God. Christ is the “bridegroom of all bridegrooms.” No bridegroom, such as Christ, will put His bride (the church/the born again believers in Christ) in the midst of such judgments of God. If there is no rapture of the church, consider the fact that every child will also be the subjects of the judgments.

Differences Between the Rapture & Second Coming

 

 

Post Text

Revelation 18

NASB 1977

Babylon Is Fallen

1After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. 2And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! And she has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. 3“For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.”

4And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues; 5for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6“Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. 7“To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I SIT as A QUEEN AND I AM NOT A WIDOW, and will never see mourning.’8“For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.

Lament for Babylon

9“And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, 10standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ 11“And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more; 12cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article madefrom very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, 13and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. 14“And the fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. 15“The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; 17for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’ And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, 18and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ 19“And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ 20“Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”

21And a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. 22“And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; 23and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. 24“And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”

Notes: Revelation – MacArthur Study Bible (Everyone should own a MacArthur Study Bible).

18:1 earth was illuminated with his glory. The fifth bowl (16:10) will have plunged the world into darkness. Against that backdrop, the sudden, blazing appearance of another angel (not the same as in 17:1, 7, 15) will certainly rivet the world’s attention on him and his message of judgment on Babylon (cf. 14:8).
18:2 Babylon the great is fallen. Cf. 14:8; see note on Is. 21:9, the verse from which these words come. The Gr. text views the results of this as if it had already taken place (see note on 14:8). But the seventh bowl is being referred to here and it is yet to come at this point (16:17–21). When it comes, devastation and annihilation will take place, leaving the place to demons.
18:3 wine…of her fornication. Religious Babylon (chap. 17) lures the nations into spiritual drunkenness and fornication with false gods (17:2, 4); commercial Babylon (chap. 18) seduces the unbelieving world into a materialistic stupor, so that the people of the world will become drunk with passion because of their relationship with Babylon. kings…merchants. Political rulers and corporate leaders alike are swept up in this worldwide system of commerce (14:8; 17:2).
18:4 Come out of her, my people. God will call His own to disentangle themselves from this evil system. This may also be God’s calling the elect to abandon the world system and come to faith in the Savior. In either case, the message is to abandon the system before it is destroyed (cf. 2 Cor. 6:17; 1 John 2:15). The judgment of God on that society living in sinful, arrogant self-indulgence can be avoided. Cf. Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s message to their people to leave Babylon (Is. 48:20; Jer. 50:8; 51:6–9, 45) (Elect, The children of Israel, Dr. John F. Walvoord commentary on Revelation).(Elect: the saved remnant of Israel, Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Matthew 24:22, Unger’s Commentary On The Gospels).
18:5 remembered. See 16:19. God does not remember the iniquities of His people (Jer. 31:34), but does remember to protect them (Mal. 3:16—4:2). For unrepentant Babylon, there will be no such forgiveness, only judgment..
18:6, 7a repay. The angel calls for God to recompense wrath to Babylon in her own cup to repay her according to her deeds (see note on 17:4). This is an echo of the OT law of retaliation (Ex. 21:24) which will be implemented by God (Rom. 12:17–21).
18:6 double. Has the sense of “full,” or “overflowing.” The punishment will fit the crime (cf. Jer. 16:18). cup. The cup of wickedness from which so many have drunk (14:8; 17:2, 4, 6) will call for the cup of wrath (14:10; 16:19).
18:7b am no widow. A proud, but empty, boast of self-sufficiency, also made by historical Babylon (Is. 47:8). Cf. 1 Cor. 10:12.
18:8 her plagues. These could include those of 16:1ff., but must be the special destruction of the city as well, described as “death, mourning and famine.” in one day. See vv. 10, 17, 19. The special judgments on Babylon take place in a brief period of time. Daniel 5:30 records that Babylon of old fell in one day.
18:9–20 This section records the lament over Babylon’s destruction, not her sin, by those who were part of her system.
18:9 kings. The political leaders of the world will weep because the loss of his capital city will signal the doom of Antichrist’s empire, and with it, the source of their power. Cf. v. 3; 17:2. weep and lament for her. “Weep” means “to sob openly.” “Lament” translates the same Gr. word used to express the despair of the unbelieving world at the return of Christ (1:7).
18:10 one hour. Cf. vv. 8, 17, 19.
18:12, 13 Over half of their commodities appear in the list of Ezek. 27:12–22.
18:12 purple. This refers to garments laboriously dyed with purple dye extracted from shellfish. Lydia (Acts 16:14) was a seller of such expensive garments. A distinctive mark of the Caesars was their purple robes. citron wood. Wood from North African citrus trees, highly valued because of its color, which was used to make extremely expensive pieces of furniture. marble. Marble, imported from Africa, Egypt, and Greece, was widely used in Roman buildings.
18:13 fragrant oil. A very costly perfume (cf. Matt. 26:7, 12; John 12:3). frankincense. A fragrant gum or resin imported from Arabia and used in incense and perfume (Song 3:6; Matt. 2:11). bodies and souls of men. The slave trade, long banned by the civilized nations of the world, will reappear in Antichrist’s debauched commercial system.
18:17 shipmaster. Ship captains will mourn the loss of Babylon and the lucrative transport business that went with it.
18:19 threw dust on their heads. An ancient expression of grief (cf. Josh. 7:6; 1 Sam. 4:12; 2 Sam. 1:2; 15:32; Job 2:12; Lam. 2:10; Ezek. 27:30). in one hour. Not just 60 minutes, but one brief period of swift judgment (see note on v. 8).
18:20 God has avenged you on her. The angel will exhort the tribulation martyrs (6:9–11) to rejoice, not over the deaths of those doomed to eternal hell, but, because God’s righteousness and justice will have prevailed.
18:21 great millstone. Millstones were large, heavy stones used to grind grain. This metaphor portrays the violence of Babylon’s overthrow. Cf. Jer. 51:61–64; see note on Matt. 18:6.
18:22, 23 The fall of Babylon ends whatever semblance of normalcy will still exist in the world after all the seals, trumpets, and bowls. Life will be totally disrupted and the end near. No more music, no industry, no preparing of food (“millstone”), no more power for light, and no more weddings because God will destroy the deceivers and deceived.
18:24 blood of prophets and saints. The religious and commercial/political systems embodied in Babylon will commit unspeakable atrocities against God’s people (cf. 6:10; 11:7; 13:7, 15; 17:6; 19:2). God will avenge that slaughter of His people (19:2).

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Biographies

Signs of the Last Days – Dr. Jimmy DeYoung
Bio – http://jimmydeyoung.com/aboutdrd.shtml

Dr. Renald Showers

Renald E. Showers is widely recognized as one of the most distinguished theologians in America. A graduate of Philadelphia College of Bible (now Cairn University), he also holds a BA degree in history from Wheaton College, a ThM in church history from Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Showers spent many years as a university professor and served on the faculties of Lancaster School of the Bible, Moody Bible Institute, and Philadelphia College of Bible, as well as being a visiting lecturer and conference speaker around the world. For 27 years until his retirement in 2016, he served as a Bible teacher, author, and speaker for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., and a contributing editor for Israel My Glory magazine.

http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&Keyword=Dr.%5ERenald%5EShowers
Dr. Renald Showers is an author and Bible teacher for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc. He is the author of numerous books, including What on Earth is God Doing?, There Really Is a Difference, and Maranatha: Our Lord Come. Dr. Showers has served in the pastorate, and as a member of the faculties of Lancaster Bible College, Moody Bible Institute and Philadelphia College of the Bible, and as a visiting lecturer at Word of Life Bible Institute, Calvary Bible College and Baptist Bible Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of Wheaton College, Dallas Theological Seminary and Grace Theological Seminary. Dr. Showers and his wife Eleanor reside in Willow Street, Penn

MacArthur Study Bible Notes
Bio – Dr. John MacArthur – https://www.gracechurch.org/Leader/MacArthur/John?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

https://cchurchchurchblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/gods-plan-for-the-ages-42-revelation-18-commercial-babylon/

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Reason to Smile

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

In the workplace, words of encouragement matter. How employees talk to one another has a bearing on customer satisfaction, company profits, and co-worker appreciation. Studies show that members of the most effective work groups give one another six times more affirmation than disapproval, disagreement, or sarcasm. Least productive teams tend to use almost three negative comments for every helpful word.

Paul learned by experience about the value of words in shaping relationships and outcomes. Before meeting Christ on the road to Damascus, his words and actions terrorized followers of Jesus. But by the time he wrote his letter to the Thessalonians, he had become a great encourager because of God’s work in his heart. Now by his own example he urged his readers to cheer one another on. While being careful to avoid flattery, he showed how to affirm others and reflect the Spirit of Christ.

Encouraging one another is a way of helping one another get a taste of the patience and goodness of God.

In the process, Paul reminded his readers where encouragement comes from. He saw that entrusting ourselves to God, who loved us enough to die for us, gives us reason to comfort, forgive, inspire, and lovingly challenge one another (1 Thess. 5:10–11).

Paul shows us that encouraging one another is a way of helping one another get a taste of the patience and goodness of God.

Father in heaven, please help us to give others a small taste of the mercy and kindness You are forever offering us.

What could be better than working to bring out the best in one another?

By Mart DeHaan

Work Is a Ministry

Ephesians 6:5-8

Christians sometimes make the mistake of mentally separating their work life from their spiritual life. This mindset says, “Sunday is the Lord’s day, but the rest of the week belongs to me.” That is an unbiblical way to live. God’s Holy Spirit should be involved in everything we do, and we ought to recognize Him as our guide, comforter, and intercessor no matter where we are. Why would we want to exclude Him from something that takes up a large part of our week?

The apostle Paul clearly teaches that work is to be done as for the Lord (Col. 3:23). Other people may do a job better because of greater skill or experience, but believers should be known for doing quality work in a timely, wise, and respectful manner. And we can trust the Holy Spirit to equip us to do just that.

Serving the Lord on the job means that our workplace is also our ministry site. A job provides money to support the family, but when done faithfully, it becomes far more than simply a means to make a living. One’s work also develops character, builds a sense of self-worth, and develops skills. Moreover, while we are around coworkers for a number of hours each day, we have opportunity to build relationships, bear testimony, and glorify our heavenly Father.

Work shouldn’t be seen as drudgery; it is an opportunity to show love for the Lord. The reward for those who serve God and love others on the job is greater than a paycheck. They are blessed with a ministry—a harvest field for the kingdom, right inside the factory, office building, or construction site.

Wars and Rumors of Wars

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)

Christians are often chided because they are looking for the return of Christ rather than improving this present world. The fact is, however, that Bible-believing Christians have been largely responsible for such improvements in this world as have actually been achieved (elimination of slavery, establishment of hospitals and educational institutions, founding and development of modern science, advances in political freedoms, etc.).

On the other hand, Christ predicted that wars would continue despite His own death and resurrection. In fact, the prophet Daniel had prophesied over five centuries earlier that “unto the end of the war desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:26). For 2,500 years the prophecies have been fulfilled and will continue to be fulfilled until Christ returns. In that day, God promises: “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.” However, it is not the misguided efforts of secularists and worldly minded Christians that will bring about this state of eternal peace and righteousness. “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7).

Our text is taken from Christ’s Olivet discourse, given in answer to His disciples’ questions about His Second Coming (Matthew 24-25). Climaxing His message, He said, “Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). The wicked, warring nations of the earth all will mourn (not rejoice over!) His coming. In the meantime, He urges all true Christians to “be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44). HMM

“Cleave unto the Lord your God.”

Joshua 23:1-15

Having served his nation faithfully, Joshua at the close of his life delivered his soul to the people in an earnest exhortation, the spirit of which as much needs pressing home upon believers now as in his day—

Joshua 23:3

The sight of the judgments of God upon the ungodly should have a salutary influence upon us, and the remembrance of the Lords mercy to us should bind us for ever to him.

Joshua 23:6

This had been the command of the Lord to himself the music of it was. not out of his ears, and therefore he used the selfsame words to the people. Language which has acted powerfully upon our own hearts we fondly hope will have the like effect upon others.

Joshua 23:8

He commends them as well as commands them. A little judicious praise makes men all the readier to hear. Separation from sinners was Joshua’s lesson, and it is one which is not stale or needless at this time.

Joshua 23:9-11

Sin is weakness. Love to God gives us the strength of God.

Joshua 23:13

Marriage with the ungodly is expressly mentioned, because it is a frequent and deadly snare. It has done more mischief in the church of God than tongue can tell. It is the wolf which devours the lambs.

Note from this verse that any sins in our own hearts which we do not resolutely drive out will become our plague and scourge. Think of “thorns in the eyes.” No man can have peace while he is at peace with any sin. Can a man carry coals in his bosom and not be burned?

Joshua 23:14, 15

God’s faithfulness to his promises leaves us no room to doubt his equal faithfulness to his threatenings. He is a true God, both in mercy and in justice. We had need be carefully obedient, for the Lord is in earnest in every word he utters.

 

Isn’t It Time for You To Tell Your Flesh To Shut Up?

Romans 6:11

Left unchecked, your flesh will try to run you over, take charge of your emotions, and promote laziness in your life. It will tell you that you’ve done too much; that you’ve already done more than anyone else; that you don’t need to do any more than you’ve already done; and that you’re not as appreciated as you ought to be. Your flesh will advise you to kick back, take it easy, and cut yourself some slack. It will scream that if anyone deserves to do nothing for a while, it’s you.

Your flesh always tries to take everything to an extreme. If you allow it to control you, it will carry you into a state of laziness that sedates your whole outlook and destroys your productivity. You’ll lose your joy, hope, victory—even your very reason for living. In the end, you’ll become weak, powerless, and devoid of the desire or energy to pursue anything, let alone the high calling God has for your life.

When your flesh rises up and tempts you to be slothful about your dream, your business, or your relationship with God, what should you do? Or when your flesh coaxes you into believing you are too poor, too stupid, too ugly, too uninteresting, or too “run of the mill” to be used by God, how should you respond?

Should you cry and complain that you’re just not as talented as others? Should you grieve that you’re not as skinny as someone else? Should you whimper that you weren’t born into a more prestigious family? Should you lament that you were never able to finish your education? Will your complaining put a degree on your wall?

It’s time to tell the flesh to shut its loud mouth! Then grab hold of the power of God to change you and the way you are thinking. As long as you allow that rank, stinking flesh to produce a “poor me” mentality, you will not make any significant contribution to the world. And that’s such a pity because God wants to use you! Instead of letting the flesh rule you, it is time for you to do as the apostle Paul ordered in Romans 6:11 when he said, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The word “reckon” comes from the Greek word logidzomai, which means to consider, to think, to deem, to regard, or to count something as done. This means the verse could be translated, “Once and for all, deem yourselves to be dead to sin….” But it is important to note that the Greek tense means this reckoning must be done on a continual basis. With this in mind, it could be translated, “Once and for all, deem yourself dead to sin. After that, keep it up! Keep counting yourself as one who has died to sin…”

The word “dead” comes from the word nekros, which is the Greek word for a human corpse. It is the picture of an actual dead person, whose lifeless body has no heartbeat and no breath in his lungs. This person is declared clinically dead; he is now a corpse. By using the word nekros, Paul tells us that we are to deem ourselves as dead—non-responsive to sin. We are to be just as non-responsive to sin as a dead person is to life! Dead people don’t respond to anything because they are dead!

 

These powerful words in Romans 6:11 could be interpreted this way:

“Once and for all, deem yourself dead to sin. After that, keep it up! You have to keep counting yourself as one who has died to sin….”

When I served as an assistant pastor in the Southern Baptist church, the senior pastor wanted to teach me how to conduct funerals, so he took me to funeral after funeral. He wanted me to learn how to conduct myself in delicate and difficult situations. One funeral I attended was an unforgettable experience. Even now I can vividly see it as I write about it. It was a funeral conducted for an unsaved family whose son had tragically died in an accident. The sorrow and remorse in that room was so thick, it could almost be cut with a knife.

Nothing is sadder than a funeral with a family of unbelievers. They have no faith and no hope. When they lose a loved one, it is truly a catastrophe because their lack of hope overwhelms them. But even worse than attending such a funeral is to be called upon to conduct one!

I watched as the mother approached the casket to tell her son goodbye one last time. She was so overwhelmed with grief that she crawled into the casket! She clutched and held tightly to her son’s dead body, pleading, “Talk to me! Talk to me! Don’t leave me like this!” Funeral-home workers had to pull the mother out of the coffin and escort her to the limousine that awaited to take her and the rest of the family to the cemetery for the burial.

That early experience is etched forever in my memory. I’ve never forgotten that pitiful sight as the mother gripped that dead body in her arms and begged it to speak to her one last time. But that body was not going to talk to her. It was dead.

The empty shell that lay in that casket was the deceased, expired, finished shadow of a young man who had once lived but was now gone. There was no heartbeat, no breath in his lungs, no pulse to feel in his wrists. The clock had quit running for that man’s life, and there was no turning back the clock to make it start ticking again. It was a “done deal.” This man’s life had expired. His body was mortified.

Well, your flesh needs to be mortified in the same way. As Paul says in Romans 6:11, it is time for you to reckon, deem, consider, regard, and count as a done fact that you are dead to sin and to its lying insinuations! To continually count yourself dead to sin, you may have to speak to yourself often and take authority over your flesh. Command your flesh to shut its mouth, and remind yourself that the flesh lost its power at the Cross and no longer has the right to rule and reign in your life!

You don’t have to allow the flesh to lord itself over you any longer. You don’t have to let your flesh and emotions give you the run-around. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, it’s time to start thinking about what you can do when you become yielded to the Spirit of God.

That’s why Paul went on to say that you must now start looking at yourself as one who is “… alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” You see, sin is no longer your master; now you are the servant of Jesus Christ! When your body, mind, and emotions are submitted to Him, you cease to be a slave to your body and emotions. Instead, your body and emotions become your servant—instruments of righteousness to help you achieve the dreams God has put in your heart.

The only way you and I will ever accomplish what we were born to do is to put aside the lies of the enemy; tell our lazy, complaining flesh to keep its mouth shut; take charge of our emotions; and yield ourselves as instruments unto God. Then as we start speaking the truth of God’s Word, drawing upon His power that works in us and through us to do His will, we’ll start seeing supernatural results and achievements!

God has something awesome for you to do. Absolutely nothing can keep you from doing what He has put in your heart—not your education, status in society, political affiliation, or physical appearance. None of these factors will have any impact on God’s call on your life.

The one factor that does impact God’s ability to use you is your own obedience to Him. Your heart must be willing. You must take authority over the flesh that would take you down a lazy path. And you must yield your body to God’s Spirit as an instrument of righteousness. That’s when you’ll find yourself on the path that leads to being used by God!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I reckon myself dead to sin! It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me! Since this is who You have made me to be, I ask You to help me say no to my flesh and to temptation and then to count myself alive unto You! Holy Spirit, energize me with Your strength and power to walk in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I boldly declare that I reckon, deem, consider, regard, and count as a done fact that I am dead to sin! I take authority over the flesh and command it to shut its mouth, and I refuse to give it the right to rule and reign in my life! I am alive unto God through Jesus Christ. Sin is no longer my master; now I am the servant of Jesus Christ!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Are there areas in your life that you haven’t yet reckoned to be dead? What are those areas, and what are you going to do about them? Are you going to allow those unyielded areas to keep calling the shots, or are you going to count them as dead and powerless in your life?
  2. Do you have any sinful habits that used to be non-active and non-responsive and are now trying to wake up again? If yes, what are you going to do to “remortify” those areas of your life so you can stay free?
  3. In what area does your flesh try the hardest to speak to you and to rule over you?

Absolutely nothing can keep you from doing what God has put in your heart—not your education, status in society, political affiliation, or physical appearance. None of these factors will have any impact on His call on your life.

 

Good Compliment

I can live on a good compliment for six months.Mark Twain

 

Recently two senior Christian leaders visited my wife and me.

 

One of them conveyed a cool, censorious, and detached manner as he doled out dry, emotionless suggestions on how we should improve. For several days we carried his bags, pampered him in his whims, and catered to his idiosyncrasies.

 

As he departed to “minister” at his next destination, we found ourselves left with a curious mixture of angst and relief.

 

A few days later the other Christian leader visited with us. Traveling as he was with his severely infirmed wife, his circumstances were extremely trying. Yet he managed to convey a gracious, sensitive, and caring spirit.

 

In the course of his interaction with our friends, he commented (in my presence), “Dwight is a faithful man.

 

I am amazed at how that one brief encouraging remark has bolstered me in the week or two since it was uttered: “This fine Christian leader believes I am a faithful man‘”!

 

Hey! I can live on that compliment for six months! And it cost him nothing to offer it.

 

As I reflected back on these two men, two Scriptures came to mind:

  • Regarding the censorious gentleman: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue… ” (Proverbs 18:21a)
  • Regarding the gracious gentleman: Paul said of Onesiphorus, He often refreshed my spirit… ” (2 Timothy 1:16b)

QUESTION: How are you doing in the compliment department? Do you come off as coolly detached, or as compassionately involved? When was the last time you took a colleague aside and gave him or her a word of encouragement? Or put your arm around your spouse or one of your kids and said, “I think you are dynamite! I am proud of you!

 

The cost of giving a compliment is infinitesimal, but the reward to the recipient could be immeasurable: Perhaps six months of a bolstered spirit!

 

 

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