The age old question never ceases to haunt the thoughts of many today, "Are we living in the End Times?" And then there are the words of Jesus spoken in Matt. 24 which seems to raise the anxiety in many.... "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
Many today who claim to be Christian are deceiving themselves thinking the condition of their salvation is secured when it really isn't. They may or may not attend a regular church service every week but they have allowed lukewarmness to creep into their relationship with Christ. Many are living in sin and claiming that God wants them to be happy but this also is a deception; God is much more concerned about our obedience or lack of obedience to His WORD.
For the Christian to walk in obedience he must read God's WORD, for we are told in Proverbs 2:5-7 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous:
We are told God gave King Solomon great wisdom as revealed in his writing in Proverbs: The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtlety 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: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:1-7
The fear of the LORD is why I accepted Christ at the age of fourteen but as a fool, I lacked the desire it took to seek wisdom and instruction from the Bible that was needed for a new convert.
I feel as though I need to share a message from a friend who had told me in an email that another friend in her church said that she believes a person can’t lose their salvation; so she was interested in what I thought about this.
I wrote back with this comment to her: Consider someone, who accepted Christ and they might have evened followed Christ for several years, but having lost a loved one or perhaps another traumatic event in their life causing them to turn aside from following Christ. I have seen this happen before in the lives of others. And I myself accepted Christ at fourteen, but at eighteen a four month old niece died and my thoughts of a loving God grew very cold for the next twenty-five years.
Now we could debate as to whether or not I and this person was truly saved until the rapture comes, but please continue to read of my experience and thoughts on this subject.
In Jan.'91 I had a nightmare that has forever changed my heart and thinking on Christ and being a Christian. The nightmare began with me standing on a platform; suddenly it began lowering through an opening into the depths of the earth for what seemed to be miles deep. Occasionally, I would glance up to see the entrance through which I began my descent and by the time the platform finally settled on the bottom I could barely make out a tiny pinhole of light above me. Even though I was in this dark cavern I could see I was in a large circular room lined with entrances to tunnels, one right after the other as I turned what I thought was a complete circle. Suddenly, I heard blood curdling, ear piercing screams coming from all the tunnels that surrounded me. I quickly set up in bed deeply shaken at what I perceived as being the entrances to Hell. After several minutes I laid back down and the exact same dream repeated itself two more times and there was no way I would allow myself to go back to sleep that night.
Having no chance to get any rest during the following day, I was certain I wouldn’t have any trouble sleeping when I did get to bed late that second night. But the exact same nightmare replayed itself three more times that night. Even though I tried pushups, jumping jacks and even taking a short walk in between the nightmares just as I had done the night before, still nothing seemed to help. Exhausted but determined and extremely stubborn, I would not let myself fall back asleep after the third nightmare, the second night.
Again with no rest during the day I was certain there would be no more nightmares that could possible wake me up as I went to bed that third night. However, once again three more of the exact same nightmare as before, but after the third nightmare instead of doing the pushups, jumping jacks or taking another walk to stay awake; I fell to my knees crying out, “I can’t go through this without You, God.” I accepted the blame for my divorce, repenting of all my sins and the pouring out my heart for my failures as a husband and father, and for being the most hardheaded, self-centered, greedy and arrogant man that I had been for the last 25 years or so.
After a good while in prayer and feeling as though an enormous weight had been lifted off my shoulders, I finally climbed back in bed and closed my eyes. I immediately fell into a deep sleep dreaming that I was now standing at the bottom of the same cavern as before and suddenly a large pair of hands appeared before me. I climbed into the hands, laid back to see the pinhole of a light growing larger and larger as His hands were lifting me back to the entrance of the cavern into the light.
I truly believe had I not fell on my knees that morning, I most likely would have been found later that morning to have died of a massive heart attack, and that God had revealed to me through the nightmares that I was lost and bound for Hell.
My lukewarmness had destroyed what little faith I had in God’s WORD. Thus my own actions caused the loss of the assurance of my salvation which I thought I had.
The Apostle John wrote in Revelation 3:15-16: "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."
If you were to take a sip of a bitter drink and spue it out of your mouth than you have rejected it! I believe Jesus is saying He will reject the lukewarm Christian! He would rather for us to be cold, not believing anything of God’s existence than believing in the existence of God but not enough that we would follow His commands as a guide for our lives.
God is always faithful, just and true to His WORD and promises, whether it be blessings for obedience or should there be punishment for either man or nation, therein will also contains His love and mercy: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? Hebrews 12:6-9 (KJV)
The LORD deserves praise regardless of what is happening to us or around us. This life is secondary to our spiritual life, for our goal in life should be to seek His heart first and to lead others to Him. We should be seen by others praising our LORD as we pass through the dark and troubling times as well as the good times of our lives.
The old saying, “A little knowledge can be dangerous,” may be true, but with godly wisdom from the Bible we learn many godly values like those found in Proverbs 3 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Romans 3:10
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
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: John 1:12
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. John 10:9
We must also remember Jesus words to his disciples; But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:15
There is no sin so great that cannot be forgiven other than the denial of Christ Jesus. In God's great mercy He has offered us His forgiveness and His unmerited Grace which can never be earned, it is a gift, totally free to those of us who have accepted Christ Jesus as our LORD and Savior. But also with this gift comes an commitment of a sacrificial love for that which Christ Jesus Loves which is reaching out to those who are in need of our forgiveness and those that are lost.
If there is a desire in your heart to know Christ and to have your sins forgiven and to know that you have eternal life with Christ please say this prayer: Lord Jesus I ask you to forgive me of my sins (List your sins if you feel the need), wash me by your blood, cleanse me. Create in me a new heart. I desire to follow You and to know your truth. (If you feel the need to --renounce any association with witchcraft or the occult). Baptize me with your Holy Spirit. Come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior.
In Jesus name. Amen