The Lord brings fire.
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Our Lord, Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer!
At the end of His life the Lord delivers a message that seems in complete contrast with the one that the Angels sang at His birth!
Then, the message was one of peace and goodwill and it would be wise of us to appreciate why the seemingly difference.
Jesus came to bring peace and goodwill between God and man. That work is finished. Jesus, gave his life,and has reconciled us to God and given us the 'Ministry of Reconciliation' to deliver this good news to the world. Our sins can be forgiven .We can accept the death of Jesus on our behalf .We can have fellowship with God and the promise of everlasting life!
But, between 'man and man' it is a different matter. Satan does not want the world saved and uses all those who are in his sway to persecute the Children of God.
That is why houses will be divided, etc., and God's people will even be killed by those who think they are doing God a favour!
Have you noticed that even atheists who one would think should not be bothered what others believe are active in denouncing Christianity and trying to get Christians to give up the faith!
Yes, my brothers and sisters, friends and children,a crisis is approaching.
Jesus knew back then, that he was plunging the world into crisis. For him,a baptism of suffering and death lay ahead. The division of opinion about him will even split families., and the Church,for Jesus knew that 'The Truth' would be evil spoken of and it's carriers attacked for their beliefs so then . you may well ask How does this apply to us today as 21stCentury Christians?
Well,We are now anticipating the second coming of Jesus, and as Israel was about to be judged-and afforded a last chance to produce fruit so too,we are warned to get right with God and serve him now before it is too late or in case our own time comes.!
Faithfulness is key.
There is a reward for those who trust and serve,and punishment for those who have neglected their responsibilities.
Mal. 3:2 states:
But who can endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire. It is a strand of imagery picked up by the New Testament Peter who on thinking of the Lord's words,said,in2 Pet.3:7 “the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire kept for the day of judgement and destruction of ungodly men.”
Seeing that Jesus predicted that this would be the case we should be aware of the times and conditions in which we live. There will be divisions,but we are to act in love to all,and trust in God to give us the Victory.
A tree is known by it's fruit so be wise and check all things. God has had it recorded that 'the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom'. We must live accordingly and have a reverential awe and fear of Almighty God. If some act as though God is just another man like them who has even less power then you know that someone else is leading them.
Back then,Jesus tells his disciples and the people listening that they can read the signs of the weather,but were not reading the signs of the times in which they live. Bothers and sisters, Israel was on a collision course with God.....and with Rome. They were heading for a judgement which would go against them. They would have to choose to stand firm,and so we today are urged to seek God's forgiveness before it was too late.
Jesus tells us to read the signs of the times. We should be able to recognise that these are the end times and God will come to judge the earth. And when He does John 16:8-11 says that the sin we shall be reproved of, is the sin of not trusting in Jesus. Jesus is our source of all provision and blessings. To follow the world and build power blocks against others and try to take for ourselves puts us on the wrong side of God.
Of course we should want to do the right thing by God even if it were not the end times but seeing what times we live in we should be even more circumspect and have love for the brothers and sisters we have in the Church and especially the young ones, giving them due regard because God is watching to see how we treat them.
Are we living in peace with one another?
Are we living our lives giving priority to spiritual matters rather than following the evil desires and actions of the world destined for destruction?
My friends what more do we need?
The storm clouds are gathering,and the rumble of thunder can be heard in the distance. To pretend that we have not been warned is arrant hypocrisy.
The forecast has been made. The signs are clear. The fires of judgement are coming. Will they refine you or destroy you?
Because,you know,no one will be able to withstand the storm but shelter will be only for those under the blood of Christ shed for sin. That's the difference.! Accept his invitation today !The sky gets darker,the clouds gather,the thunder rumbles but with the Church universal we proclaim:
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”....
Praise and honour and glory be to the Almighty!
Jesus also wants us to apologise and settle matters with our brothers and sisters when we are in the wrong. It is better to live as believing Christians who trust in God that to be brought before the unjust judges in this world!
Our watchword should be LOVE and our reference should be our manual, THE BIBLE.
And lead a life of PRAYER and MEDITATION.
If we follow that we will not live with guilt but will have pure consciences washed in the blood of the lamb and know that our future is secure as pillars in the kingdom of God.
May the God of your heart / the God of the BIBLE, reveal to you the True Gospel.
My prayer is that God will continue to work through His Church to grant us FAITH today to hear His message, as we all rejoice in His Grace!