O dear believers in Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God, O take heed to the warnings of old. These are the warnings given to us by those who lived with Jesus in his earthly ministry. Learn from it, because you will profit. Observe them, so that your steps are on sold ground.
1Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: 2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:1-5)
These vain ideas were present in the times of the early church and even more now. Heresy and blasphemy has increased even more now. In the name of equality and freedom, the very things that enslave the minds of men and women are now being promoted.
Let me make it real to you:
Some people think its okay to keep on sinning continually, till their time of dying arrives and only then repent. However I’d say ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’ to such people. Do remember ; Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4)
Then there are those that think that worshiping false gods while claiming to be Christian is fine because the Lord God is too loving to judge them. There are in for a nasty surprise in the afterlife for those who cling to false gods won’t enter heaven. Only in Jesus Christ there is salvation. Remember this ; And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Certain people think of the Lord God as a ever permissive father who will support their evil and selfish deeds, just he loves them unconditionally, are completely in the wrong. By doing their bad deeds and not repenting for them they themselves have chosen to fall away from the grace of God. Memorize this ; “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Heb. 6:4-6)
Then then are people who want to practice witchcraft while staying in communion with the Lord God. You can either serve the Lord God or witchcraft. You cannot serve both. Do remember this well ; Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
O dear beloved believer in Jesus Christ, these things mentioned above involve discernment and having an active trust in the Word of God. For the doubting its very difficult, therefore do no live in doubt but in faith and prayer in these times.
17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. (Jude 1:17-23)
O Lord God, I come before you in humble surrender.
I repent of all my sins including that of following worldly wisdom.
Guide me O good Jesus that I do what is wise and prudent.
By the Holy Spirit lead me in the path that is good.
And warn me whenever there is danger, so that I may escape.
Keep me away from selfishness, hate and malice so I remain sin free.
Give me knowledge, so that I can help those in poverty and need.
Remove from me all folly of heart and mind as you gently lead me.
Teach me to be generous and not be greedy so that I truly live in faith.
I desire that the wisdom you give me is used only for good and not evil.
Bless me with the insight to be just and true to all whom interact with.
And cause me to live a life worthy of the Gospel.
I ask this in your Holy Name. Amen.
Jesus gave us the parable of Wise and Foolish Builders in Matthew 7:24-27 in which he said the following:
“Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell;and great was the fall of it.”
Jesus in the above parable wants us to understand the importance of both hearing his words and also acting on them. There are people who only hear the words of Jesus but do not act on it. Then we have people who both hear and act on the Word of God. Now, both of these types of people will keep building their life and achievements.
And they will face challenges and tough times as well. Only those who have acted on the words of the Lord Jesus will prevail and those who do not act, will suffer great losses. The most dangerous of such losses is when a person loses his or her soul to the Evil One at the time of death because of not abiding by the Word of God in their thoughts, words and actions.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
Pray to the Jesus Christ at the start of the day asking for God’s favour and protection.
Pray at the end of the day thanking God and repenting of any wrong or faithless acts done.
Read the Bible regularly preferably done along with your prayers.
Sing songs of praise to the Lord God.
Carry your Cross each day.
Read testimonies of those whom God healed from sickness.
Intercede unto Jesus for others in need.
Be kind in your words with yourself and others.
Do good deeds each day.
Encourage others in the faith to give glory to God in the name of Jesus.
Ask God clarity when making decisions,
Don’t go solely by dreams or visions.
For it is wise to review your decisions,
Lest you get struck by collisions.
Ask God by the Scriptures and by prayers,
And cast unto the Lord your worries and cares.
Don’t make any decisions due to fear or rage,
But God’s counsel in them engage.
Ask God by his Spirit holy and pure,
So that till the very end you endure.
Don’t follow the crowd and its choices,
Lest you fall pray to insidious voices.
Ask God to warn you and guide,
So in that safety you abide.
That you don’t run into extremes,
But be aware against Satan’s schemes.
Votes are taken not just in a democracy. You also have them in socialism, classrooms, trade unions, sports governing bodies etc. This is done to select a main leader or a set of leaders. Generally voting involves assessing the strengths and the merits of the people standing up for the election. But not always.
Sympathy Vote (definition): an occasion when a lot of people vote for or support a particular person because he or she has suffered recently.(source: dictionary.cambridge.org)
There are people in various walks of life who end up giving Sympathy votes to a candidate just because the other candidate who was contesting the elections against him or her ended up using insulting language against him or her. This is a very foolish practice and let me explain why.
Such people believe that they are punishing the abusive candidate by electing the non abusive candidate instead. This is where the overzealous ‘do not judge’ folks are surprisingly silent about such things. Why not leave the punishment to God instead? And also if you want to ‘punish’ the abusive candidate why not ask from his or her disqualification from the election? Isn’t that more ethical?
The fallacy of the Sympathy Vote is that a person who previously had little or no merit to win the votes, suddenly obtains votes which he or she was not going to get under normal circumstances. Such a person doesn’t even need to promise development or anything good for the people who vote. All they need to do is play the victim card well.
Then after they get to power by virtue of being elected, they may turn to be even worse than the abusive candidate. And the people act shocked as to how did that come to happen. I’ll say it’s because they never bothered to check if the person whom they elected is fit to perform the job or receive the honour that they are supposed to. I still maintain the candidate who tricked the people by putting on a nice initial behaviour is totally responsible for his or her actions later on.
However, I don’t entirely put the blame on such a Sympathy Vote candidate. I’d blame the people who selected him or her even more. No where in the Word of God are the people told to give up their discernment (checking things up) for what so ever reason, which includes the occasions where Sympathy Votes are solicited.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:1-3)
The above Bible verses are not just talking about evil spirits alone. These also point out that the human spirit too needs to be tested. So why not discern as to which man or woman is God sent and which ones are not? It’ll save you a lot of trouble and effort if you select the right person at the right time. Do not be a simpleton! But rather be prudent in all you do.
The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. (Proverbs 14:15)
Though the Sympathy Vote is seen more in a political context, I’d say that is not the only arena of life to be careful about. Often in the religious world (or let me use the term ‘the Christian world), there are instances of Sympathy Votes. I don’t know where, when or how you may have to use such discernment in the religious world but when and if you do, remember that Bible doesn’t encourage Sympathy Votes.
I myself have to come to know of one such instance in a Christian circle, where there was an election of a high ranking clergy person among various contenders. Just because it went down to the final two and both of them were in strong contention to win, one of them despite being over forty years old, end up using the most disgusting language to belittle the other candidate. Immediately, the next time the lots were cast, the candidate who was insulted won the high rank and the abusive candidate when sent away to a far away place, another continent!
In due course of time, this pleasant mannered person who won the religious elections discreetly stole from the church funds and later on also started using profane language. So as a result after a few years that person was relieved of the high rank in the church structure. (On a side note, I now realize that just because someone has grown in age doesn’t necessarily mean they grow in manners too). If that election were happen now with the same two candidates it would be best to cancel the election and wait it out till things settle down instead of selecting ‘the lesser of two evils’ on the spur of the moment.
And, to set the record straight, the Bible never ever tells us to choose ‘the lesser of two evils’. If fact if you choose the lesser of two evils you are still choosing evil. Avoid the Sympathy Vote and live well!
I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. (Revelation 2:2)