A man from another religion once asked me, “I’m willing to join your religion (Christianity) but what’s in for me?”. I responded that he would go to heaven instead of hell after he dies. (This is taking into account that he becomes a Christian who follows and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and his commandments in the true sense). Here’s how the rest of the conversation went on:
Man : “Is that all you have to offer?”
Myself : “Yes, aren’t you looking forward to everlasting life?”
Man : “Yes but I thought there some benefits more than that”
Myself : “What benefits are you referring to?”
Man : “I mean aren’t you Christians going to give me financial benefits for joining your religion?”
Myself : “No, but we can help you find a job if are unable to get something yourself”
Man : “Alright, I don’t need this religion”
Myself : “Okay fine, I see you made your choice because financial benefits is all you are after!”
Man :”I’ll be able to handle it from here”
Myself : “If you anytime again have thoughts about this, do reach out to the preacher of a church.”
Before all of that conversation started this same man was able to tell me the key principles of the Gospels, he also said he believed in the existence of Jesus and also his holy resurrection! Yet, somewhere down the line, his heart was attracted to the vanities of this world and in his case; the lust for wealth.
Indeed I now realize, ‘the love of money is root of all evil’ (refer 1 Timothy 6:10). I’m not saying you shouldn’t work to sustain yourself or your family nor count yourself a sinner just because you have some wealth. Here the key thing is that you should never be so attached to money that you forsake the Lord God and his commandments!
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)
In the case of this man or even I can say in the case of even of those who call them Christians but don’t like it, the deceitfulness of riches choke the true understanding of the Word of God, and so it proves unfruitful ie there is no action nor faith in line with the Word of God. But the love of money is just one of the vanities of life. Some people love to party, excessively that they miss out on praying and reading the Bible, let alone being at Church. Some people want to be famous so bad, that they willing do evil deeds be it violent or sensual just to be showing up on TV, the newspapers and social media in general. While some just want to laze around when it comes to God but are super active in the things of the world such as their jobs, their social status and friend circles, that they miss out both on prayer and good works which have been ordained by God for them.
Make it your choice to reject the vanity of the world and instead follow the Lord Jesus in the true sense of the Word!
Verses for reflection:
- For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. (Mark 8:35)
- For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)
- And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
When the Lord speaks through a person, what they say will be backed up by scripture. But also, when the enemy speaks, he will use misapplied scripture to defend his poison. How will you distinguish? If you’re relying on your intellectual knowledge of scripture to distinguish, be careful, you’re up against the one “more crafty than the rest.” The truth is that you must know the voice of the Lord. If you don’t, you’ll believe the misapplied scripture of the enemy’s agent before you believe the Lord’s servant!
- Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
- 1 Timothy 6:6-12 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
- Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
- 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)
- 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:18-26)
- Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
- But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16-17)
Be available to Jesus the Lord,
Unto him be of one true accord.
Don’t waiver to the left or right,
But love Christ with all your might.
Be available to the Spirit of God,
And don’t stay in the Babel of Nimrod.
Think of only what is holy, pure and just,
Refrain from all earthly, sensual and demonic lust.
Be available to God our creator,
Don’t worship false gods nor impersonators.
Know that the Lord God does exist,
Believe the Gospel and in his kingdom enlist.
It’s a great disservice to both friends and enemies, that you flatter them into going to Hell. Never play with anyone’s salvation and after life by deceiving them about their relationship with Jesus and the Gospel. It is unwise to tell unrepentant people that they are on the way to heaven just because they are good donors to preaching of the Gospel. Don’t warn them to insult them but warn then for the sake of God’s love for them.
Love warns. Yes, it warns and will keep warning! Because its valid to do so. Because its your duty to do so. Because its your purpose to do so. All this in God’s will for your life!
- A parent will warn his or her child to avoid eating stale food because they love to see their child healthy. Isn’t that a valid warning?
- A doctor who loves to see his or her patient live won’t lie that its okay to have excess alcohol. Isn’t that a medical duty of a person who loves practicing medicine?
- A professor who delights in having his or her student not fail but ace the university exams won’t deceive students into partying all year long and expecting great result. Isn’t that the professor’s purpose of teaching?
Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World spoke didn’t mince (one’s) words about Hell not one bit. Here is what he spoke about it:
- But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:22)
- Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
- And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. (Matthew 18:9)
- And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. (Mark 9:43)
So for a person who says he or she loves the Lord Jesus, one must preach all things that are mentioned in Gospel including things about Hell and repentance without any shame nor fear.
Christ be with you!
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
This is something that I had read sometime back but I feel is still relevant to these days too.
There were once 2 pastors preparing for a Sunday Sermon. One said to himself. I love my congregation, I want them to grow and mature, to learn to be obedient to the Lord and receive His blessing. I will teach them about tithes and offerings.
The other pastor said to himself, “another mortgage payment is coming up, there are still many unpaid bills for the church, and I will need to pay the staff salaries soon. I teach about tithes and offerings.
Now they both prepared an identical sermon, and preached it. So what was the difference?
One sermon was preached by the voice of a shepherd, and the other was preached by the voice of an accountant. And though both sermons were scriptural and true, the latter left a bad taste in the mouth of the congregation, because they watched an accountant pretending to be a shepherd.
Get the accountant out of the Pulpit!
(Source: Robert Brownell)
The undiscerned life one must avoid,
For it may be of wisdom devoid.
People who wander through choices,
Better be vary of deceitful voices.
Examine your life in full or in parts,
Till all foolishness and timidity departs.
Ask of the Lord and Him by prayer approach,
For he gives wisdom generously without reproach.
For why must you keep blindly shopping,
From tricksters and then keep dropping?
Why must you go for a risky drive,
Only to crash by a reckless dive?
Value your life and its action,
Always choose a sensible reaction.
Be of a good strong spine,
Then your decisions will be fine.
Your precious life, is to you God’s gift,
So by your conduct, to Him your praises lift.
Breathe each breath with a holy mission,
So that you live with Divine provision.