Former FOC member, Brian Moore, asked me to publish this message today.
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"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'"(Matthew 7:21-23)
These particular words are some of the most frightening that we can read in the New Testament from He who defeated death itself, Jesus Christ. Now I must ask the reader, what did our Lord say to do at the end of the gospel according to Matthew?
"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
This statement is the great commission, the song "Whosoever will" takes some of it's lyrics from the verse above.
“Whosoever heareth,” shout, shout the sound!
Spread the blessed tidings all the world around;
Spread the joyful news wherever man is found:
“Whosoever will may come.”
Now I can't tell you how many times I sang that song, probably a few hundred at least, but was I about spread the joyful news? No! And you aren't either if you continue to put God in a box! How many conversations have you had with your neighbor, coworker, or a peer about the good news? Does God know you? Are you showing your beliefs in your actions? Will He tell you to depart from Him on that day?
The sad truth is that most of you do not read as you should: you read as you want. You put God in a box to fit your lives, you tell Him how He operates, what He's going to do, you have reduced Him! I serve a God that says: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:7-11)
I serve a God who can open the Red Sea! You serve an idea of God: you have built up a nice idea of God in your minds, your minds have been taken captive! You have been taken captive by men's dreams!
"Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams," declares the Lord, "and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit," declares the Lord." (Jeremiah 23:32)
So at this time I would like to share a few more passages of scripture and I ask you does this apply to you or not? Does it apply to you under the "right" circumstances? What will you do with this information? Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone even if it means loosing a few friends or family? Or will you just put it off one more day?
I feel it is my obligation to warn the righteous and the wicked: "Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. When I say to the wicked, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself." (Ezekiel 3:17-21)
"Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!" (Acts 2:37-40)
"As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" [ And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."] And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him." (Acts 8:36-38)
I believe that a person can receive the Holy Spirit before baptism but Peter said that you will receive it when you are baptized, This is how I came to know The Lord, and I hope that I have been able to stir your mind a little bit and make you think, I urge you to talk to people about this good news, have a bible study with a few friends and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ! Step out of your comfort zone!
Until next time may The Lord Jesus Christ bless you, and keep you; make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.