I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10)
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
The prophecy about Jesus coming to Jerusalem on a donkey:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
The above prophecy about Jesus fulfilled:
1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matthew 21:1-11)
When Jesus entered into Jerusalem, he didn’t come as a rich man. He came upon a donkey as prophesied for he was the descendant of King David. Even the way his disciples got the donkey is a miracle in itself. At this point even though the religious elders hated him, the people still gave him a grand welcome. They even said, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
Hosanna is a word used to express adoration, praise, or joy (mostly in Jewish and Christian liturgies or worship). And truly Christ was worthy to receive this praise. Being the Son of God that he is, Jesus entered Jerusalem rather humbly in obedience to the will of God. Even today Christ is meek and humble of heart and his burden light.
Here are a few questions for your own reflection keeping in mind the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem:
- Do you still believe God to be faithful to his promises and his word? Yes, you will if you have read that Bible and understood that God’s been fulfilling them all through the ages and continues to do so.
- Are you enamored by mere physical appearances or do you look for the truth in the midst of it all? Indeed, you will when you decide to discern things in a way consistent with the principles of the Lord God.
- When celebrating Christ in your life, will you fear others and not praise him? Surely not when you care more for the desires of God than the desires of men.
- Will you only welcome him but forget and abandon him later in the days to come? Certainly never if you hold close the fact that salvation comes from Christ alone.
- Do you adore Christ just because of the crowd or because you know who he is? You’d worship him more personally when you read about him in the Scriptures and fall in love with him.
Your walk with Christ calls for faith in him at all times. You must have faith in him, in good times and in bad times, in poverty and in riches. Believe in Jesus even if billions don’t believe in him. Don’t stop at this, even if you see the people who profess Christ suddenly turn away from the Lord, you shouldn’t get perturbed but simply continue to follow Jesus. Don’t lose your spiritual balance when this happens. After all its your personal walk of faith with Jesus which no one else can walk on behalf of you.
We are already warned not to get trapped by any wrong philosophy. Because the purpose of the Evil One is to take your loyalty to God and place it anywhere else as long as it away from Christ. It doesn’t matter to the Devil if you are enamored with hedonism (pleasure centered living), partying excessively, lasciviousness etc as this will all get you on the many roads away from the Gospel.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them (Ephesians 5:5-7)
Now, the Bible warns us about something serious in the future. This was prophesied so that you don’t lose heart but instead be strong in the faith. Why, because there will be many believing Christians who will turn away from the Christian faith, which is to believe in Jesus and the Gospel. In certain Christian circles this is also called as the Great Apostasy. Now some believe that it has already happened years back. For this they refer to denominational break ups and schisms. They point to doctrinal deviations as the defining point to this. Now I do agree that we must not give into any lies that deny the truth of the Gospel and the salvation that comes Jesus Christ. And also that we must hold on to the true doctrine of the Christian faith which comes through Jesus our Lord.
What I maintain however is that the Great Apostasy is still a work in progress, despite the increase of false prophets and wicked cults. The reason being that this wicked event will followed by the manifestation of the Anti-Christ and also the return of Jesus our Lord. I will cite two specific places in the Bible to shed light on this. These scriptures themselves are abundant in meaning not just about the falling away but other things too.
Firstly, lets read Matthew 24:3-14 which shows that the falling away from the faith will happen. Here the context is in regards to the return of Jesus Christ and the preaching of the Gospel to all the ends of the earth. Here were go:
Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
Secondly, there is also 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 which again confirms that the Great Apostasy or falling away from the Christian faith will happen. Here its associated with the return of Christ our Lord and also the manifestation of the man of sin also know as the Anti-Christ. Lets read on:
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
You might wonder. Why is all this warning given? There is a good reason, it’s so that you don’t lose courage on seeing so many Christians leave the faith and that you continue to be rooted in Christ. You may have felt bad about the hypocrites in the Church but that doesn’t mean that you give up on Christ. In the same way the Apostles even during their time on earth faced lots of challenges seeing other Christians martyred, some in chains etc but they didn’t give up on the blessed hope that comes from Jesus Christ alone.
If someone doesn’t want to fall away but instead wants continue with Christ right until the end, then I recommend that you pray daily and try to read the entire Book of Jude and understand the reality of it. Especially the following verses:
Jude 1: 20-25 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Glory to God. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior,Who alone is wise,Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
God operates in love and also in justice. He will execute justice against all those who hate him and are opposed to him. Even his Holy Angels don’t waste their time venting angry rants against the Devil for they know that their priority is to honour the Lord God and serve him only. Even those who believe in Jesus must follow suit and avoid going on a tirade against the Evil One and his minions but instead focus on faithfulness to Christ. Or else this can be an occasion to pride in onself. Remember, the Devil’s days are numbered anyway!
RAILING AGAINST THE DEVIL: IS IT BIBLICAL?
Are believers to bring “railing accusations” against the devil?
Surprisingly perhaps, the Bible says, “No.”
Everyone wants to bash the satanic–even those who do not believe in Satan–but Christians are warned not to do this. Some commentators use such actions as examples of human pride and hubris.
Still, that hasn’t prevented our present ungodly generation from doing what the Bible says not to do. Believers are not to act like the enemy.
But it’s a hard rule for those eaten up by pride: people loves to talk the big talk.
2 Peter and Jude both warn Christians of railing against that which humans “know not”–including the devil. Jude is especially clear on this point, going so far…
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