Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent. – Proverbs 11:12 ESV
The desire of the righteous ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.
The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner! – Proverbs 11:23-28, 31 ESV
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. – James 5:13-20 ESV
Do not quench the Spirit. – 1 Thessalonians 5:19 ESV
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. – John 14:15-20 ESV
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. – John 16:7-15 ESV
“Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your Father. And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either. – Matthew 23:8-13 NLT
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” – John 3:3 NLT
John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people. – Luke 3:16-18 NLT
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.” Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.” As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied. – Acts of the Apostles 19:2-6 NLT
Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. – John 16:24 ESV
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 ESV
Mark 14:32-42 (NLT)
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
32 They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. 34 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. 36 “Abba, Father,”[a] he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
37 Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?38 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
39 Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before.40 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say.
41 When he returned to them the third time, he said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But no—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”
- 14:36 Abba is an Aramaic term for “father.”
So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life. – Proverbs 7:21-23
Temptation comes in shiny, attractive packages that pull at our desires. And so many will say, “Where’s the harm?” Or “I’m not hurting anybody. ” or “It’s my life!”
Too many of us will come up with excuses that sound compelling, sound comfortable, sound reasonable – allowing us to conveniently forget that there are many things that lead to spiritual death.
1 Corinthians 6:9
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: xneither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Read Amos chapters 8 & 9 for context
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God , “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. – Amos 8:11 ESV
The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. – Proverbs 10:3 ESV
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. – Matthew 5:6 ESV
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. – John 16:13-15 ESV
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. – 1 John 2:28-29 ESV
Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. – 1 John 3:7-11 ESV
Do you know Jesus Christ, close and personal, not as some far away story that you’ve heard ABOUT but as your personal Savior, LORD, and friend? Do you long to grow closer and closer to Him or do you shrink back? Do not be mistaken, as Amos chapters 8 and 9 make clear, there is a righteous judgement for the wicked. But He did not come to condemn, but to rescue. Lay down your chains and take up your cross, dead man, to follow Him in life. Abide in Christ and He in you. Hunger and thirst for the things of God. You who know Him, seek His will diligently to be done in your life by washing in the Word of God to see your mind renewed. Turn away from the world and draw close to the LORD. He will be your helmet of salvation. He will be your breastplate of righteousness. He will be your belt of truth. He will be your shield of Faith. He will be your sword because He is the Word of God. Carry this Good News forth to the nations, your feet are beautiful messenger of God.
Paul knew first hand what Timothy would face as a preacher of the gospel, as a disciple of Christ. He didn’t tell him that it would be all roses and rainbows. He didn’t tell him to expect to never expect struggle or challenge. He tells him that he will need to fan the flame of his faith, that he will need to persevere.
So shouldn’t we too expect that we should have to fan the flame at times?
And what does Paul say to Timothy?
“I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” – 2 Timothy 1:5-9 NLT
Paul speaks of “remembering” Timothy’s “genuine faith”. This is such a parallel for me to the warning in Revelation for the church at Ephesus:
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.” – Revelation 2:4-5 NLT
Yes, the danger of forgetting. The danger of not remembering. The danger of not abiding.
Isn’t this the very reason that we are called to preach the gospel, not just the law? Isn’t this the very reason that we are called to a Lord’s Supper where He tells us:
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” – Luke 22:19 NKJV
How sad is it, Christian, that we find ourselves forgetting our God, our Savior, our Lord in the middle of the distraction of this world that tries to choke the life out of us:
The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest. –
Luke 8:14-15 NLT
Yes, we should ask ourselves, “Am I good soil?” And maybe examine ourselves to truthfully answer, “Do I really believe, have I ever truly believed in my heart? Because if I truly believed He is who He says He is, wouldn’t I also believe His promises and guidance and instruction enough to follow Him faithfully?”
This isn’t a game to introduce doubt into your faith, friend – because if you are standing firmly on the solid rock of Christ, you will weather this type of self examination and the trials and treating will prove Him true and faithful. No, this is an all important question we should ask ourselves to be site that we are not deceiving ourselves:
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” – James 1:22 NKJV
“For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.” – Galatians 6:3-5 NKJV
And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Matthew 8:20 NKJV
Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it. ” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”
Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
Genesis 28:10-22 NKJV
Lay your head upon our house, Lord. Come and abide with us, and we will find joy in a life of close friendship and communion with the Lord. We are the little flock that you love, favour, and bless. By the power of your abiding spirit, we will honor you with our lives, trusting in your way, following your precepts, demonstrating that we believe and have a grateful respect and awe in your love, mercy, honor, power, and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
Luke 24:28-29 NKJV
Some of my favorite verses:
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 3:14 NKJV
And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord , choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .”
– Joshua 24:15 NKJV
Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
– Luke 3:7-9 NKJV
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord .” – Luke 4:18-19 NKJV
For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” – II Peter 2:21-22 NKJV
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. – I John 1:6-10 NKJV
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. – I John 2:3-6 NKJV
Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. – James 5:19-20 NKJV
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. – I John 3:4-9 NKJV
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. – James 1:27 NKJV
For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. – James 2:13 NKJV
For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. – James 3:16-18 NKJV
You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. – James 4:3-4 NKJV
They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
John 18:40 ESV
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 10:9-10 ESV
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1 John 3:16 ESV
The enemy doesn’t need you to be super villain level evil to be serving his purposes best – no, that would be too obvious. But if the enemy could get you to divide up your life into just enough good to keep you respectable and productive and controllable for his purposes, that’s wonderful for his purposes. Because if you are outright evil, even the world will reject to and want you put away to protect itself from you until there is a greater perceived threat to their lives.
The scariest agent of the enemy is a respectable, hard working man who is honored by his fellow man because he is able to keep his evil controlled enough to function within society, but still bubbling up enough to taint and influence those around him. Someone happy and satisfied with their continued sinful life, and who others can be happy and satisfied with being around their sin as well. Not all of the “shall not inherit the Kingdom of God” promises are things that are repulsive to the world, some are very attractive to the worldly to share together in and even celebrate together.
Yes, many addicts aren’t striving for deliverance from their addiction, because honestly – they still love the addiction. They just want to learn to control it enough to be “functional”, they aren’t ready to give it up. Unfortunately, recovered addicts will tell you that is not recovery, that is just prolonging another destructive interruption to their lives once the addiction gets out of control again. Only when someone is truly ready to be free, when they are ready to walk away completely from their addiction and not keep it closer by for a rainy day, will they know freedom.
The same is true of sin, of the sinner who is tired of the consequences of their bad choices, but who really isn’t yet interested in a life lived God’s way – and this can be a great tool of the enemy to trick and trap people into settling for a false “good” instead of seeking and finding the one, true “great”.
The enemy doesn’t offer us super villain level evil as his plan for our lives. The enemy offers “good” when we are meant for “great”. The enemy offers us a little less sin than before, while Christ tells us that if He had set us free, we are free indeed. The enemy wants us clinging to sin and death loosely enough that we might even deny that we are still hanging on to it – but Christ wants us clinging to Him with every fiber of our being.
Much of the “churched” world is quite happy living a religious life of tithing a little piece of their money and time to a far off God, so they can live life “their way” far from God the rest of the week. “Good men” are satisfied dividing their time between rest, family, God, and work.
But “great men”, the kind of men that shake up the world and scare us – those holy fools, those dedicated vessels, this followers of Christ – they interrupt the comfort and security and complacency towards God in this world and they cause disruption to the status quo. They say, “It is all His! Every penny, every breath, every word, every deed – Let it all be for His glory and honor!”
Do we realize that the scariest thing to the world wasn’t Barabus, the super villain? It was Christ and his disciples who truly wanted to live and teach a godly life of repentance, mercy, grace, discipleship, and sanctification – of love as defined by God, not man. It was a message of complete surrender and complete deliverance. It was a message so divisive and so salty that men were persecuted and killed by a world that found their actions even more convicting and repulsive and disruptive than a villain – because it shines light on the darkness and sin in the heart of men who are happy to keep their sin just under the surface. It shines light on the need for real change in our hearts – for real change in our lives. Not just playtime religion to keep people out of trouble and under control now – but a real life alive with Christ to keep them out of judgement and death and destruction for eternity.
When was the last time that our level of dedication to the Lord made the world around us uncomfortable? When was the last time that our example of sacrificial love touched someone deeply? When was the last time that our stepping out in such a leap of faith, only for the Lord to catch us, left people surprised and amazed?
When was the last time that we kicked over the tables of the religious and asked hard questions about why so much “praise and worship” looks more like Amos 5:18-6:7 & Isaiah 58:1-5 instead of like Romans 12:1, Isaiah 58:6-12, and Matthew 25:31-40?
When was the last time we looked someone deep into their eyes and asked, “Do you love Jesus?” and anything less than a fire in their heart, smile on their facee, and passion in their words didn’t leave us heart broken that they might only know ABOUT Jesus, but not really know Him (Matthew 7:21-23)?
When was the last time we truly cared?
Have we ever really cared about God and not just about what we thought He could give us?
Have we wanted to be the blessing more than we’ve wanted to be the blessed?
No, we cannot work ourselves into heaven, because we all fall short of the glory of God, and our works are filthy rags – but we also have to ask, if His work is being done in my life, is my faith and His Holy Spirit alive in me producing any fruit?
We don’t buy a heaven ticket with a sinner’s prayer or a water baptism, Christian, or Church membership, that is the type of empty religious sacrifice Jesus turned over tables over. We must be born again.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” – John 3:3-8 NLT
If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – 2 Corinthians 5:13-17 NLT
useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
I Timothy 6:5 NKJV
Yes, there are many who would rather use the idea of religion as a means to gain all the things of this world that their carnal hearts desire. There are those who seek religion as a means to get the prosperity, security, health, wealth, success – all temporal things that appeal to the carnal nature.
And we are to withdraw ourselves from such deceitful (or deceived) people, because they do not desire the blessings of the one true God nor do they serve Him, they have a different master that they serve.
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,
I Timothy 6:3 NKJV
Yes, those who are ashamed of the Word of God, those who hate the truth, and who would rather fashion God in their own image to suit their own opinions and desires – those who have no interest in Godliness and who actually hate the instruction of God because they love another master – their doctrine is not in accord with godliness. They allow lasciviousness within their midst because they love wickedness, not God.
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude 1:4 NKJV
Anyone who tells you that you can say a sinner’s prayer, pay a tithe, read your Bible, join a church and remain comfortable continuing to live a life of “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness” – we have to ask ourselves if they are liars, serving the enemy – because the Word of God tells us “that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
I Timothy 6:6-10 NKJV
Yes, seeing the huge followings of false teachers who have bought into this profitable scheme – selling the promises of prosperity and open forgiveness for those happy to remain in their sin while lying about their love for God with their mouths. These men make merchandise of the people who don’t really love God and do not want to serve God. Isn’t it clear that so many have strayed from the faith in their greediness, when we are told to be content with food and clothing, with our needs having been met – instead of chasing after the “wants” of this world.
Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
Romans 16:17-18 NKJV
Yes, there is a vast difference between the gospel of the Word of God and what most hirelings are selling to their great congregations of followers.
Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame— who set their mind on earthly things.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Philippians 3:17-21 NKJV
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
II Peter 2:19-22 NKJV