Friday, March 3, 2017
We remember the greatest commandment, that, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). That’s fundamental to salvation faith in Christ, which then empowers genuine love for our fellowman. But what does that mean?
To love God with one’s heart, soul and mind is a process of relationship. We don’t suddenly awake the day of our salvation and love God in that capacity. Human courtship and marriage demonstrates how one’s decisions will either increase or diminish that relationship. Even the unfaithful angels of heaven, by an act of their own will, “left their own abode” (Jude 1:6).
But the heterosexual and man to God journeys are different. Men and woman are usually first drawn by physical attraction, but, “God so loved the world” (John 3:16), and “demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Thus, in God’s love His Spirit convicts us of, “sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8).
Being thus convicted we have a choice, to, “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19), and that, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:9–10). From then forward our decisions will either increase or diminish our love and faith.
The increase or decrease of love between people, or people to God, is subject to human decision. But Christ, “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). He is unchanging, but fallen man, through the cares of this life, the influence of deceit, or, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16), can change his mind and divorce love of man and God.
The story and names below are illustrative only, and the roles could be, and often are, reversed.
Joe, their college football quarterback, told his parents, “Mom and Dad, I met Janet, the girl of my dreams! I really love her! She’s beautiful, she’s fun to be with, has great social skills, she’s intelligent…and she really loves God too!” His Dad said, “Joe, what does that mean?”
“What does what mean, Dad?” Joe asked. “That last part…‘and she really loves God too.’” Joe replied, “Well, you know Dad, she was raised in a Christian home, she goes to church regularly and all that, and we even pray together!” “Joe, what does that mean?” his Dad pressed. Joe said, “Dad, all I know is that I want to marry Janet, she’s the one God has for me.”
A year later Joe married Janet, (J & J paired so well), the one who won his heart, the one who was fun to be with, and smart, and who “really loved God too!” The recipe for faithfulness and love had all the ingredients. But four years later the marriage ended, leaving Joe devastated.
After the divorce Joe told his parents, “I didn’t see that coming. She left me for some other guy.” Dad said, “Son, what does that mean?” Joe shot back, “Dad, she left me for a guy who had lots of money! Her love for me didn’t last when she believed she could do better with another guy.”
Joe’s Dad said. “Janet chose to break her covenant with you.” Joe replied, “When we were first married she really loved Christ and me. But then she realized she caught the eye of other men. You’re right, Dad, by her own will she broke our marriage covenant. Our marriage that began in Christ, she traded for a fantasy. But Dad, isn’t that normal in the church today?”
Likewise, many, “have cast off their first faith” (1 Tim. 5:12), just as Janet, becoming deceived made a selfish decision and left her first love, Joe. Likewise Jesus says, “I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place–unless you repent” (Rev. 2:4).
Jesus also said, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:15–16). One cannot be ejected from Christ unless he once belonged to Him.
God said to Cain, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Gen. 4:7). Herein we see a clear decision to our choice. The Spirit also said, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Jos. 24:15). Again, a choice set before the people.
And from the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant, “And it shall be that every soul who will not hear [believe] that Prophet [Christ] shall be utterly destroyed from among the people” (Acts 3:23). Again, the choice to believe or disbelieve is ours, and each choice has consequences.
If the statement that, “I love God” is true, it means we’ll pursue God and knowledge of His Christ and guard it, to, “keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21); “building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keeping yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 1:20–21), refusing to subject Truth to man’s doctrines, traditions and denominational biases.
It means we’ll desire to learn all we can about God and His Christ; to make it our daily ambition and love for God to pursue His Word, His truth, and His plan to get us from this ungodly earthly realm to His eternally glorious Kingdom, the gate to which is narrow, and the path of which is difficult, see Matt. 7:13–14. Any earthly pursuit pales in comparison.
Note the condition: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31–32). Yet, though Jesus said He gathers His elect saints, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), many by deceit choose not to, “abide in My word”, but choose to believe the pre-trib rapture lie.
Friends, I warn you as gently as possible, judgment is coming to purge the world’s dross and unbelief from the church. Prepare your heart, mind, spirit and soul now. “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17). The choice to believe God is yours.
At about 3 AM this morning God gave me a dream of coming wars and great destruction upon America and the world. That dream agreed with the prophetic Word and testimony of Jesus for the end-times. The Words of the Son of God testify and warn against the deceitfulness and lies of the pre-trib rapture tradition, but countless millions in the church choose to remain hard-hearted and unbelieving of, “the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9) for the times of the end.
Racial division and economic inequality polarize America. The liberal left now wages an all-out political (and soon to be physical) war against Christian principles. Gun sales continue to rise. A foreboding of war hangs heavily in the air as Russia defends against NATO, and both China and North Korea threaten war against America. And the global debt level is unsustainable.
Pope Francis continues asserting his political intrigue on the world. His pseudo-unity of people, religions and cultures proves “he went out conquering and to conquer” (Rev. 6:1). He promotes the UN’s 2030 Agenda. He promotes the One World Order. He is descended from “the people” (Dan. 9:26) who destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70. He will likely make the Dan. 9:27 “covenant with many” in the fall of 2017 if the United Nations and Palestinians have their way.
Massive fish die-offs are occurring all over the world. Nuclear radiation from Fukushima, Japan has poisoned the Pacific Ocean. Flocks of domestic and wild birds are dying. Herds of wildlife are suddenly dying. Natural disasters, massive sink holes, volcanoes and earthquakes increase. If you haven’t heard of these things it’s because the fake main stream media doesn’t report it.
And importantly, by God’s calendar Israel will be 70 years old in May 2017. Yet, the church remains silent. It’s as though Christ hadn’t even addressed the times of the end; that one’s just supposed to believe the pre-trib rapture lie the church has handed down, and then be quiet; don’t expose that lie, and don’t disrupt the fragile religious system.
I understand Darby’s dispensational pre-trib rapture claims, but one cannot find even a single verse of Scripture that says Christ gathers His elect saints pre-tribulation; not one. The pre-trib rapture doctrine consists of assumptions and conjecture put upon God’s Word by deceit, and millions have turned aside from Christ to believe it rather than the perfect Word of the Lord.
To love Christ is to defend His Word with all your heart, mind and soul. And when Jesus said He gathers His elect saints, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24: 29–31) that means we’re going through all seven years of tribulation. That truth must be confidently proclaimed and the ramifications thereof taught, that, “the falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3) be as minimal as possible.
On the other hand, if God and His Christ are not loved with one’s heart, mind and soul, then Jesus’ teachings of the end-times will continue being ignored and made of no effect. Please pray with me that the hearts of millions would be opened to believe the end-time Words of Jesus, and the next time you hear someone say, “I love God”, please ask them, “What does that mean?”
Marlin J. Yoder