“Excuses are the cradle … that Satan rocks men off to sleep in.” –Charles H. Spurgeon
I just got back this week from an event in Canton, Ohio where I spoke to a packed house of people, as well as working with a full line up of speakers and preachers (James 1:22).
During this time I noticed that many of these speakers-preachers were making an emotional heartfelt appeal to them that had come to this event in an attempt to motivate them to get busy for The Lord (Luke 19:10), and in many cases rightly so.
I say this not to condemn any preacher that may be wondering why others that claim to belong to Christ have to be told to get busy in the first place (Galatians 5:6).
The Bible does talk of making a distinction between the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46), so let’s do just that, after all Jesus brought forth the sword to divide. This is what the truth does (Matthew 10:34; Hebrews 4:12).
If they are of the Flock they will say like that of Peter “to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68), and this right after Jesus said
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. -John 6:54-66
Therefore, in contrast, if you use carnal means to attract men, you are going to attract carnal men, and you are going to have to keep using greater carnal means to keep them in the Church.
Ask yourselves, who was it that saved you (Matthew 1:21)? And how is it that you were saved? If people can be talked into following Jesus, they can also be talked out of following Jesus.
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” -Galatians 1:11-12
At this event, I also came to the quick realization that if these people were truly born of the Spirit of God, they would not have to be told what to do (Romans 8:14). If they are born of the Spirit, they will then do what the Spirit does (John 8:28) and no one is going to have to tell them that.
Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).
Yet today, many of the people that call themselves followers of Christ are following only so far as that which is convenient (at no cost to themselves-enemies of the cross Philippians 3:18) to them and their selfish lifestyles (Mark 8:36).
A little of Jesus, and a whole lot of the love for this world (1 John 15-17), and this is the very fruit that they bear (Matthew 7:16). They then wonder why they are confused (Daniel 9:8).
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” -Amos 3:3
These people surely are not going to be moved by the pleas of men (John 15:14). Therefore, we need to bring it to Scripture and the sword of the Spirit (Hebrews 4:12) to cut away (Galatians 5:24) at the emotions and feeling of men and women to get to spiritual truths that will, in fact, liberate (John 8:36).
“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” -Luke 9:57-62
Remember, Jesus did not give suggestions, He gave commands!
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” -Matthew 28:20
Let’s look at how Jesus responds to those who refuse His biddings.
“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” -Matthew 25:14-30
Professed Christians of the day that continuously waste away the days, instead of redeeming the time (Ephesians 5:16), in hopes that Jesus is going to somehow justify their excuses for inaction (Matthew 15:8) in obedience towards Him (1 John 2:4), can clearly see that just is not going to be the case.
Scripture is clear: “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16).
They do not belong to Christ, nor do they long to belong to Him.
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