You Are the Salt of the Earth (not the sugar)

You Are the Salt of the Earth (not the sugar)

Matthew 5:13

The first portion of Matthew, chapter 5, is referred to as the Beatitudes. The latter half of the chapter is what I refer to as the Do-Attitudes. As is common, in much of Scripture, you have the spiritual lesson first, then in the latter, the practical application of that which is taught in the previous part. Such is the case here. Our focus, in this discussion, is on being the salt of the earth. We will discuss both the spiritual implications and the practical application of being salt.

Why does Jesus refer to His disciples as the salt of the earth? Why not sugar? Sugar is sweet to the taste and delightful! Salt, not so much, at least by itself. In fact, for salt to have its proper effect, it must be applied. Salt must make contact to have an effect. Salt, alone, is not very tasteful. But salt applied is another matter. In fact, when applied properly and in the correct proportions, you don’t taste the salt, nor do you consciously notice its presence. Too much or too little is very noticeable, however.

Let’s consider some of the properties of salt so that we may understand both the spiritual implications and the practical applications of this lesson Jesus taught.

Salt is valuable

Salt has value. Many Roman soldiers were paid (at least partially) in salt. Salt is a grand commodity. In history, salt has been used in trade. Our lives would be very different if not for salt.

You and I are valuable to The Lord. We are His representatives on this earth until He returns. He loves us more than we can fathom. He has invested the greatest Treasure of Heaven, God’s Only Son, Jesus Christ, in us to redeem us to Himself. The Message that we carry to a lost and dying world, is of the utmost importance. We are His Messengers.

Salt flavors

Our food would be virtually tasteless if not for salt. Baby food, for example, does not contain much salt. When baby first tastes food that contains salt, such as table-food, you are going to have a hard time getting them to go back to the former. I know this by experience! Have you ever been to a restaurant where the food is not properly seasoned? The first thing we tend to notice is the absence of salt. The absence of other seasonings will follow, but the primary thing is salt. I love to cook, and I love using seasoning. I grew up in west-central Louisiana. The culinary influence of Louisiana, and the south, was evident in everything my Mother cooked. This has naturally found its way into my own cooking.

Again, salt applied in the correct proportion is not consciously noticeable. When food is correctly salted, we don’t notice its presence; we notice its influence. Only when the salt is out of balance with the other seasonings, and the dish itself, do we tend to taste the salt or the absence of it. Salt is also used in the culinary world to brine meats, for example. This process is not intended to add the flavor of salt, but to cause the meat to retain moisture during the cooking process, which significantly enhances the flavor.

We might add that when too little salt has been added to the dish, this can be resolved. This necessitates careful and thoughtful application. Adjustments can be made as needed. However, when too much salt has been added, the result is disastrous. The entire dish is usually ruined. An expert Chef can sometimes save the day and make the dish palatable. Otherwise, you must start over.

This can be of great value to us, as Christians, in the spiritual application of this lesson. We can come-on too strong and ruin our testimony, and the moment, or we can take great care, prepare ourselves through His Word and prayer, depend on The Lord, and make maximum use of our influence with others.

Contrary to the opinions of many, Christians are the flavoring (seasoning) in this present world. Without the presence of Godly men, women, boys and girls, in this day, the condition of the world would be significantly different. The world, in general, and America in particular, is in a sad state, though many cannot see its condition. This is caused by a spiritual blindness that The Bible speaks of existing in the end times, and I am convinced is already beginning. Things look bleak to those of us who hold vivid memories of our childhood. We recall life as we have experienced it in America, growing up in small towns where people looked out for each other, respecting the Flag and our nation. We cherish memories of Sunday dinners after church, sitting on the front porch with family, relaxing rides out in the countryside, and living life in peace. I was blessed to live in a time when we never locked our doors because there was no threat to our way of life. It is sad that many have no experience with this kind of peace of mind, peace and safety in the home, and the security it brings to our lives.

I’ve no intention of turning this into a debate, but I grew up in a small town where hunting and fishing was a way of life. Virtually every pickup truck had a gun rack (usually a shotgun and a rifle) in the rear window of the truck. We never gave it a second thought because this was the norm. This was the cultural and community norm. I remember standing out near where we parked (there was no parking lot, just an open grassy area) near the high school, talking to one of the teachers or the principal about hunting and fishing. We often joked with each other about how big the fish was or how big the horns were on the deer we took. There were those same guns in the gunrack in our trucks and nobody had a problem or gave a thought about danger or harm to anyone. I realize that minds are exploding at the reading of this, but it is fact.

My Father was the pastor of the Baptist Church and my Mother was the Justice of the Peace, in our small town. I grew up seeing the good and bad in people, but we were safe in our homes. Millions have no concept of that kind of peace and safety.

Looking back, it is easy to see the reason for this. There was an abiding respect for Almighty God and America. People went to church and even those that didn’t frequent the House of God so much, still bore an innate respect for Jesus Christ and His church. Being a Christian was a thing to be respected, rather than ridiculed. Even the ungodly would not hesitate to call the Man of God, when they needed someone to help them, to bury their family members, or perform the rite of Holy Matrimony. It is easy to compare the decline in the moral fabric of America and the decline in the respect for God and Country. The fact that many will grimace at this statement is evidence of the its truthfulness.

Even in the face of the world’s current condition, and especially America’s, still Christians who name the Name of Christ, influence society more than the enemy of our souls would care to admit.

Salt preserves

Salt is well-known for its preserving qualities. It is used in preserving food and many other things. Where I grew up, there were many farmers and ranchers. We had a canning center at the High School, where students learned through class time, as well as practical, hands-on experience, how to process beef cattle, for example. The intake area involved applying salt to the hides, for preservation.

I am convinced that The United States of America was founded for the express purpose of taking the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ to the world, in the last days. No other country or culture has offered the personal liberty to be a Christian or not, as America offers. The way that our government was founded and structured, allows freedom to all to worship and live as they please. Some have attempted to achieve greater protection to their liberty. Others seek to destroy our foundations to rebuild something they think is better. Let me assure you that it will always be better for them, not for you and me.

Christianity is at the heart of all that is America. This is what our founders based this country on, and when these foundations erode, it will be over as we know it.

Salt purifies and cleanses

Salt has healing power. Many use bath salts, salts for soaking our tired aching feet, and for keeping our skin soft and youthful-looking. You will find salt water used in swimming pools to keep the water clean. The oceans are salty and crystal clear. My family and I love to frequent the Pensacola area of Florida, where the seas are clear, and the beaches are white with sugar-sand.

God uses the Message of The Gospel to effect change in peoples’ lives. Our mission is clear: We catch ‘em, He cleans ‘em!

Salt stings

If you walk out into the ocean water with an abrasion or laceration of the skin, you will most definitely notice the sting. Hence, the saying, pour salt into a wound.

Sometimes the Truth of what God says stings a bit, so do some medicines, but the result is healing. We will never complete our mission by watering down the medicine God has provided, thinking we have a better idea; maybe the old ways are too harsh. Doctors give medicines to babies with a little sugar, but the child still gets the required dosage of that which will heal them. The idea is not the sugar, but the medication.  

Salt causes thirst

This part needs little explanation. It is our prayer that people thirst after the Righteousness of God, but many will only see us and make the decision whether to proceed further. We must ask ourselves what people are seeing in our lives. Are we the cause of a genuine thirst for God in the lives of others? Do they want what we have?

In the Hebrew tradition, salt that has lost its savor, is said to have lost its proper mind or sense. It loses the properties that made it salt, and thus, salty. Chemically speaking, we are told that the basic properties of the chemical that makes salt, can never literally lose such properties, but in the world where these words were spoken and taught by The Lord, practically speaking, this was possible. The impure form commonly used in these days, contained enough impurities so that contact with the ground (dirt) could cause it to become insipid (flavorless), rendering it virtually useless. And even though it had lost its flavor, so to speak, it still contained enough of its properties to kill that with which it came in contact, such as the garden. It was good for nothing, just as Christ said, but to be cast on the walkways and roads, to be trampled under their feet.

I preached this message and entitled it: Have you lost your mind? As a Christian, I have a mission. That mission is to be what God called me to be. I can’t be anything else. If I attempt to do so, only disaster will follow. If you know Christ as Savior, you are salt, nothing else will do. We have a job to complete before His return.

Have you lost your saltiness, have you lost your mind?

The Reason He came

His Cross is Empty; So is His Tomb

The Cross of Christ was a Rescue Mission!

In the beginning of it all, God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden where they enjoyed the continual Presence of God. The Biblical Account tells us that they could hear “the voice of The Lord God walking in the garden”. This was the norm. It was normal and natural for them to experience God’s Presence, continually. (Genesis 3:8)

Dr. Charles Stanley writes, In the beginning, Adam and Eve did live in Paradise. That place of perfection wasn’t really about their surroundings, as beautiful and peaceful as they were. It wasn’t about their life together, as harmonious as their relationship initially was. What made the beginning of life on earth so wonderful was the communion Adam and Eve shared with the Creator. They experienced the presence of God in bliss and intimacy. God talked with them and they spoke freely with him. There was no guilt, no shame, no pretense, no violence, no injustice. God reigned and Adam and Eve tended the garden he had created just for them. It was heaven on earth. (Stanley, C. 2002, p. 17)

Life was wonderful and our First Parents knew no difference, because this continual fellowship with their Creator was the only life they had any knowledge of. All was well until disobedience brought death and expulsion from Paradise.

Because of this disobedience, death and sin have reigned upon this earth. Close fellowship and communion with The Father was severed this day. Adam and Eve sensed this loss of relationship and intimacy with The Lord God. The “hid themselves”. They attempted to hide among the trees of the Garden, but God knew where they were, both physically and spiritually. For the first time, Adam and Eve “knew” they were naked, something they had no knowledge of prior to their disobedience. Suddenly, they felt the shame of their disobedience. (Gen. 2:25) Sin is always accompanied by shame and disgrace, guilt and sorrow.

The reason that Jesus came to this earth was to rescue man from the stronghold of sin.

The same Lord God that created man and provided the Paradise for man, came to to save man from that which his disobedience had caused. Jesus Christ came here for the express purpose of offering Himself upon the cross to pay our sin-debt. He gave Himself, was buried in a borrowed tomb, and Rose on the third day, as He promised He would.

This is the reason He came!

A Touch of His Presence, (Stanley, C., 2002) Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI

Christ receiveth sinful men

Does The Lord God accept us the way we are, with no willingness to change, or be changed? Or, does The Lord Jesus receive us unto Himself and cause us to be reborn, spiritually?

There seems to be a philosophy worming its way through our society today, concerning the concept that God accepts people just as they are. This same concept carries with it the idea that when someone comes to Christ, they not only come as they are, but that there is no need for change, or to be changed, from what the same person was prior to coming to Christ. My purpose today is to address this fallacy, for it is based on unsound doctrine. I do not intend to be legalistic or picky, but there is a vast difference in what many perceive as coming to God (without any change being enacted) and coming to God, with all our sins, and being transformed by the Power of God, through His Grace and Mercy. This occurs by way of our coming through repentance and faith in Christ and His Sacrifice for us on the cross.

No person comes to Christ and leaves the same as when he came. Either we allow Him to change us and save us, or we leave with our sins and condemnation that accompanies the refusal of His Grace and Mercy.

Among many other Scriptural references to this subject, Paul address it perfectly, in Romans 12: 1,2. When we come to Christ for salvation, there is both an exchange as well as a change, that takes place. We bring to Him our sins and guilt, and He gives us His Forgiveness and Mercy. This is the exchange. Paul wrote that we should present ourselves (our bodies) unto God a living sacrifice. Christ receives us as we are, but changes our nature, when we come to Him. We are born again, as Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3. This is the change. We experience a spiritual rebirth.

Paul goes on to say that we must not be conformed to this world, but transformed, by the renewing of our minds. This transformation takes care of the guilt associated with a life of sin and disgrace.

The rich young ruler left Jesus’ Presence sorrowful, because he refused to be obedient to The Lord. It was not because of the riches he possessed, but because he was too attached to those earthly possessions, that he could not yield himself up–he refused to allow a transformation to take place in his life. Jesus wanted to change Him, but he wouldn’t allow it.

No man is perfect, nor will we ever be until we stand in His Presence in heaven. Then our transformation will be complete, because He rose again from the grave so that we might live, also.

No hospital emergency room would refuse a patient because they need to clean up a bit before they come in; neither will God say the same to us. Bring your sins and guilt to Jesus, and He will receive you, just as you are. We come in repentance of our sinful life, and in faith that He is able to change us. Be willing to allow Christ to transform your life. He can and He will! This can take place right where you stand or sit. Give it to Him!

“…And their works do follow them.”

Revelation 14:13

Today, we celebrated the life and fruitful ministry of a man I will always call, my pastor. The Church where he served The Lord, faithfully for over 25 years, was filled to capacity. I think it safe to say that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Yet, our sorrow is strangely mingled with joy in the assurance that our pastor is in the Presence of Jesus, for eternity, awaiting the glorious day we will all be reunited again. I say strangely mingled with joy, because there are so many that do not share the blessed assurance, that a child of God has. We sorrow, but not as they which have no hope of eternity with Christ. (1 Thessalonians 4:13) To those it would be a strange thing to possess such joy, even mixed with our sorrow at the earthly loss we sustain when a loved one departs. We miss them sorely, yet we know that we shall see them again and share eternity together.

I met the man over 26 years ago, when God called him to pastor our church, First Baptist Church, Anacoco, Louisiana. The church was modest in number, but strong in faith in God. Much of my family attended, the younger of my two sisters led the music, and my Mother attended, as well. The core church members were like family to us all and have been ever since. You couldn’t ask for a more loving group of people. When they called our pastor, they called the right man for the job. He had a heart for God and a heart for people, as well.

The beginning.

I was saved and even answered the call to the ministry, at a young age. Like everything in my entire life, I hit the ground running! I was seldom one to hesitate; I would dive right in. Often, the combination of zeal, when multiplied by ignorance, is fatal. There have been numerous cases where this has been proven, but God had a plan for my life. So here I am, in a small town near where I was born and raised (you might have been reared, but I was raised) licking my spiritual wounds from having charged forward into the ministry front-lines with little armor or armament. It is difficult when you have much zeal, yet possess little wisdom. Anyway, this was my plight–a failure in the ministry, a failure in my family and person. I could attempt to cast blame on my circumstances or other parties, but I knew the blame rested squarely on my own shoulders. You see, when things got bad I threw in the towel, but God tossed it back and insisted I wipe my face! I didn’t realize this last part until years later. I thought just maybe I had convinced Him that I was a bad choice for the ministry. Hopefully He would let me be. I thought I was hiding pretty well. I knew I was a Christian. I knew where I was going when I died. But, God wasn’t finished with me–not yet!

Here comes this new pastor! Great! He doesn’t really know me! We knew each other’s families; everybody did, in this small town. But this will be a great place for me to hide out. But, then he began to spend time with me. He began to show me that he loved me and was concerned about my life. Wait! God has found someone to search me out! What’s up with this?

You see, you couldn’t be around my pastor for very long without hearing about Jesus, or his encouraging you to walk closer to Christ. I remember the first time I saw his library. It was filled with so many books! I have never seen its equal to this day. He had only a chair and a lamp. When you saw him he was in The Word.

It was my pastor that encouraged and mentored me to get myself into the Bible, with daily devotion time and prayer. Soon, I started getting up early in the morning, before anyone in the house was awake, reading my Bible and praying. This was not normal activity for me. I liked to sleep late! But, armed with the love and encouragement of a loving pastor that deeply cared about my life (and ministry), I got up, clutching my Bible, and nervously, yet quietly calling on The Lord God of Glory. I developed the desire to have the first part of my day to be in The Word. I don’t say this to boast, but to share the truth. I wanted The Bible, God’s Word, to be the very first thing my sleep-filled eyes were to set upon. No internet, no newspaper, no television, no social media, but God’s Living Word. Fortunately, in 1993 and 1994, we had no social media or internet to speak of. But, to this very day, this is the way I start each day–7 days a week. This is because my pastor loved me and encouraged me. He pastored me! He taught me! His love for me changed my life!

It wasn’t long before God began to speak to my crusty heart. I will never forget how The Lord, in that still, small voice, through His Word, showed me exactly what He wanted me to do with my life. I have been getting up early, every day since then, hungering for God to continue to speak to me through His Blessed Book. He still does! This is because of one man–my pastor, who loved Jesus with all his heart, and loved God’s people, and the lost, as well.

We left that small town in late summer of 1994, headed for Virginia, where I entered college to follow Christ and let Him equip me for ministry. I can’t say that it has been roses and apple pie, but, I was finally able to graduate with a degree in Biblical Studies. I am pursuing a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership, which I know would make my pastor proud of me. I won’t quit learning until Jesus comes back, or I leave this earth. I was blessed to have been invited to speak at the Church’s Homecoming, just last September. Pastor Durhl Ray Davis never stopped believing in me! He never stopped loving me! He never stopped encouraging me to follow The Lord.

I was saved, at an early age, because my Daddy studied The Word and lived it. I am in the ministry, today, because Pastor Davis (Bro, Durhl) wouldn’t give up on me. He let God use him. There are many faces that will be in heaven, because Bro. Durhl let God use his life and ministry. There will be a lot of faces that will be there because he let God use him to minister to me, and I will in turn minister to many. His spiritual legacy lives on!

Jesse is currently Interim Pastor at First Baptist Church, Lone Pine, Louisiana. The author of, “America: Danger Close! (will it be) Revival or Revolution? (WestBow Press, 2012) and other works soon to be published. Host of the Podcast: Light of Hope with Jesse Prewitt, and this blog. Please pray for our ministry.

The Breath of God!

2 Timothy 3:16,17

Too many read the Bible for ammunition, rather than admonition.

Do you believe The Bible? If not, what do you know of The Bible? Too many believe “too much” based on too little information. I have fielded many questions in regard to this subject.

Paul, the human author of our text, wrote, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be throughly furnished unto all good works.

Let’s examine the original language for a moment. The first word expresses that each part of speech, every inflected word-form, ALL, is infused with the very Breath of God, God-Breathed. All Scripture! Referring to Scripture, this means the entire Bible. This means even that which Paul was writing to us.

All Scripture is profitable (useful, beneficial) for doctrine (teaching, instruction) for reproof (proof-testing, conviction, convincing one of his sins). Too many equate this term with reprove, which means to reprimand or censure someone. But the main intent, here, is that God uses His Word to convict and convince man of the condition of his heart and need for Jesus. The Word of God is profitable for correction, or setting us straight, straightening us out, even restoring us and improving us. The term training goes to the depths of taking someone to full development. It is much like training a child in the way that he or she should go, taking them all the way through to adulthood and maturity. The term righteousness speaks of judicial approval (a verdict of approval) referring to the approval of God.

The intention is that we are completely equipped through the Word, the Scriptures. We don’t study to get ammunition to use against others or to prove our point. If this is the case, we are doing it wrong. The Scripture is given to mature us and equip us to do the ministry of Jesus Christ and to bring others to Him.

Jesse is Interim Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lone Pine, Louisiana. He holds a BS in Biblical Studies and is pursuing a graduate degree in Strategic Leadership from LeTourneau University, Longview, Texas. Jesse is the Author of “America: Danger Close! (will it be) Revival or Revolution”, WestBow Press, 2012.

The Kindness and Severity of God

An Exegetical Essay written for my Theology Class at LeTourneau University, Fall 2018.

The Kindness and Severity of God

Jesse Prewitt

Can The Lord God of Heaven—God Almighty, God Jehovah, the One that the entire world conceives of as Love (1 John 4:81), also act in severe Judgement? Can this God be both Love and Judge all in the same Divine Being? Does the world have an imperfect understanding of Who God really is? In Romans 11 we find the statement, “Behold then the kindness and severity of God…”2. This statement, as well as this entire portion of the Text, demonstrates that the world does indeed have an imperfect understanding of God and further this same God is both Love and Judge, as Paul expounds on the way that God deals with Israel and the Gentiles.

About Romans 11:22, Dr. J. Vernon McGee3 writes, “These are stern words. Paul calls upon the Gentiles to behold two examples. Rejected Israel reveals the severity of God, but to the Gentiles who have turned to God, the benevolent goodness of God is revealed.” If you ask most anyone today what their concept of God is they will undoubtedly relate that they see God as love. Very few people that I have spoken with (outside of the church family) can imagine that God is anything like what Paul has just described in this chapter of Romans. Let’s look at two points in this Text.

God’s severity in dealing with Israel. Paul begins the chapter with a question that itself requires a negative answer (Keck, 2634), explaining that the particle me is used with his open-ended statement which requires a negative response. The Apostle—an Israelite, a descendent of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin (verse 1) no one more Jewish than he, asks has God rejected His people. The answer of course is a resounding No. But then Paul goes on to relate the event of Elijah’s pleading with God concerning Israel,

LORD, THEY HAVE KILLED THY PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN THINE ALTARS AND I ALONE HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.

To which God responds with the answer that He has reserved a remnant of seven thousand that had not bowed to Baal. God had then, and has now, such a remnant.

But the Jews, as a nation, the chosen people of God, entrusted with the oracles of God, (Romans 3:2) the nation through which The Messiah was to be brought into the world, had rejected that same Messiah. Israel’s rejection of Christ The Messiah resulted in God turning salvation to the Gentile nations (verse 11) to provoke them to jealousy. But Paul did not have the complete picture of the severity of God toward Israel, Dr. McGee writes (McGee, ibid., 585). The complete destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD reveals the severity of God’s judgement on Israel. Josephus writes (Maier, 3586) Famine now raged in the city and the rebels took all the food they could find in a house-to-house search, while the poor starved to death by the thousands. People gave all their wealth for a little measure of wheat and hid it hastily and in secret so it would not be taken from them. Wives would snatch the food from their husbands, children from their fathers and mothers from the very mouths of infants…the sufferings of the people were so fearful that they can hardly be told, and no other city ever endured such miseries. Paul tells the reader of Romans, in chapter 11:20, “… they (Israel) were broken off for their unbelief…do not be conceited, but fear.” God, The Righteous Judge, dealt severely with His Own people because of their unbelief, how much more will he judge the Gentile nations who turn away from Him.

God’s kindness in dealing with the Gentiles. Paul related in verses 23 and 24 that God is able to graft Israel in again, if they do not continue in their unbelief. But, God’s Grace is now extended to the Gentile nations through faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s look back at 1 John4:8. The Pulpit Commentary7 states that we must beware of watering down God is Love into God is loving or worse than that God of all beings is the most loving. God alone is able to love in the fullest and highest sense of the word with a perfect impartiality. The world’s concept of love is not the same as The Holy Attribute of God—Love. The world’s impression is that God is someone who just loves on their own level of understanding instead of God’s level of understanding and knowledge of everything.

Now in verse 25, Paul states, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles had come in. This tell us that there will be an end to the time of the Gentiles and then God will again turn His attention to Israel. We as Gentiles are experiencing the Grace of God because of the disobedience of the nation of Israel, but God is not finished with Israel yet.

Verse 29 is an interesting verse, to me. Paul makes a statement here that is intended directly for the reader at Rome, but is applicable to us today. For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. Paul is speaking about Israel being called of God and that God would never turn His back on them. In fact, in verse 26 he states that the Deliverer will come from Zion (Jerusalem) and He will remove ungodliness from Jacob (Israel). This is God’s Covenant with them when He takes away their sins, he says. Paul is referring, of course, to Jesus Christ. He is the Messiah that will take away their sins. There is a remnant that will eventually turn their hearts to Christ and God will again have fellowship with His people, Israel.

This event will be facilitated by the end of the time of the Gentiles, which is you and me. The second letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 2, tell us, beginning in verse 6, that he who now retrains will do so until he be taken out of the way. This is referring to The Holy Spirit that indwells His believers during the time of the Gentiles—this present day. Jesus speaks of this time of the Gentiles in Luke 21:24, “…until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” This restraining refers to restraining the evil of this world and the enemy of our souls—the devil. This is explained further in verse 8 calling him the evil one or the lawless one (speaking of the one who is called the antichrist). During the few years immediately following this time of the Gentiles, the world will experience events never know to man. In the Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24:21, Jesus states that this time of tribulation will be such as not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.

This time of great tribulation will be when the New Testament Church is removed from the earth and God again turns His attention to Israel. The Remnant will see Christ as Savior and Lord and will carry the Gospel to the world. Many will do so at the cost of their lives.

My thesis began as a statement that God is both Love and Judge, and the world doesn’t understand that principle. How can He be both? Because He is God. He created this world and everything and everyone in it. When man turned his back on God, God’s solution was to send His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in man’s place. Jesus became our Substitute. He suffered in our place so that God, The Righteous Judge, could justly have Mercy on we who sinned. God didn’t have to compromise His Justice nor overlook sin, He judged it in Christ, who knew no sin of His own. Yes, God is Love, but He is also Just, and He will Judge the ungodly on the Day of Judgement. King David said it well in Psalm 51:4, Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil I Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.

It will not do for us to trifle with the Grace of God! He loves those that come to Him through Christ, but those who refuse His Mercy he will eventually judge.

Sources

11 John 4:8, “…God is Love.”

2 Romans 11:22

3 Through the Bible Radio, Romans (1991),J. Vernon McGee

4 Keck, L.E. (2005). Romans. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press. ISBN 978-0-687-05705-4

5 McGee, ibid., 58

6 Josephus: The Essential Works, translated and edited by Paul L Maier (1998, 1994) Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI.

7 The Pulpit Commentary, (c. 1890)Funk and Wagnalls, London and New York.

Following Christ

John Maxwell writes, The Law of Empowerment tell us that only secure leaders give their power to others. (Maxwell, 2014, p. 1325)

The first thing that came to mind, when I read this, was Colossians 1:27: “…Christ is you, the hope of glory.” This was the intent all along that Jesus would come to earth, born of a virgin, live a sinless life, give Himself as the offering for our sins upon the cross, be buried, rise again and go to the Father. He promised then to send the Holy Spirit to live in us, thus fulfilling the intent of The Father from before the beginning of time, “…of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)

Jesus, the Ultimate Leader, gives His Power to us! What a Savior! Who couldn’t help but be motivated by that? by Him? 

I can allow Him to live His life through me and that is the only way that I can demonstrate the kind of visionary leadership that Christ lived out before us. 

The Maxwell Leadership Bible, 2nd Edition, Maxwell, J. C. & Elmore, T., 2014, Thomas Nelson Publishers