Friday, December 29, 2017
Every New Year people make resolutions of this or that, generally related to doing better at something, maybe weight loss, more exercise, more family time, less work, less stress, to stop smoking, drinking less alcohol, being kinder, or even reading the Bible more. But renewal of our faith in Christ is especially important, not as a New Year’s resolution, but as an enduring victory.
The truth is, that, usually by mid-February or early March most New Year resolutions, if not all, have failed. Why? Because the heart and mind had not been renewed and empowered to actually change what the individual recognized as needing to be changed. God wants to change that.
The failure of resolutions is self-effort and not faith in Christ. In our flesh we can accomplish nothing pleasing to God or of eternal value. We can be victorious, however, in God’s conditional promise that, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1). Note the four conditions.
Note the conditional promise, then make your resolution, not according to the flesh but according to God’s power and ability working in you by His Spirit. We must recognize the insufficiency of our own strength and become “a living sacrifice”, for which we have Christ as our example.
For all who claim faith in Jesus Christ, note what’s needed for “a living sacrifice”: “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2). To “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” is enabled only by God’s Word and His Spirit.
Do you want to know God’s perfect will? First, “do not be conformed to this world”. God is very serious about this, who said, “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Be warned, in these last days many Christians befriend the world to spare themselves persecution or rejection by the world, which results in being off from Christ.
Secondly, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Here, our prayer must be, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psa. 51:10). Actionable faith is required to renew one’s worldly mind by letting God create and renew “a steadfast spirit” within us. This requires patient faithfulness as God said, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Psa. 40:31). God is not in the business of instant gratification.
Christ demonstrated being “a living sacrifice” as He honored and obeyed His Father rather than the faithless world and its proud religious leaders. It’s painful to become “a living sacrifice”, for it requires denying the flesh to trust and “obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29). We Christians live for a Kingdom not of this world, and a right vision of it will produce actions accordingly.
We need a knowledge and vision that accords with God’s Word, saying, “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come” (Heb. 13:14). Do you seek the eternal city to come or is your heart and mind fixed on things of this world? Are you living by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit to attain Christ? Have you resolved to endure to that end no matter what?
Information technology (IT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are specifically arrayed against the Christian. These two powers are united in their 666 beast technology that has already developed human-like robotic images that can speak, reason and perform functions that far exceed that of humans. And many Christians, for lack of knowledge, discernment and vision, are not wise to it.
Since Caesar Augustus decreed that “all the world should be registered” (Luke 2:1), evil forces inspire governmental oversight systems: S.S., checking and saving account numbers, credit card numbers, 401K account numbers, RFID implant chips and much more. Evil forces have created global monetary systems that are being incrementally prepared to succumb to Antichrist’s brutal 666 mark of the beast technology that will ultimately control, by his mark, who can buy and sell.
Are you prepared to endure the coming seven-year tribulation under the rule of Antichrist and his beast-system? For it was Jesus Himself who said, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13). But, do you believe Him? This requires much more than a New Year’s resolution.
Consider the cost of being a true Christian unto eternal life. Jesus said it like this: “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it – lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’” (Luke 14:28–30). Likewise, to count the cost of following Christ to the end of the age is vitally important.
For the Christian, Christ must be first in all things. Jesus taught that “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it…For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:23–26).
Many in the church now acquiesce to the sins of Lot’s day (transgenderism), and sins of Noah’s day (transhumanism), both foretold by Christ as identifying the end of this present age. End-time evils, like the erasure of gender, promoted by U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama, have been incrementally foisted upon this world as loving tolerance and inclusion, but it’s hatred for God.
Understand that unless you die beforehand, you will be on this earth for the seven-year tribulation during Antichrist’s rule with his false prophet who seizes global financial control causing all to worship the image of the beast or be killed. Read and discern Daniel 7 and Revelation 13.
Discern the fulfillment of Jesus’ “fig tree” prophesy, Matt. 24:32–35, and that ten more nations, with the U.S., have decided to move their embassies to Jerusalem, which is increasingly “a very heavy stone for all peoples” (Zech. 12:3). The resulting violence that erupts will likely produce Antichrist’s “covenant with many” (Dan. 9:27) for seven years, which begins the tribulation.
It’s time for a spiritual renewal “by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2). In the love of Jesus Christ, I implore you to do that by faith in the life, Words, teachings and Spirit of the Lord Jesus.
Marlin J. Yoder