Joshua 24:14-15 NKJV
14 “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
The writing is on the wall when it comes to seeing how society in general and the mainstream church has become more aligned with Satan in compromising living a godly and righteous life and looking the other way and tolerating sin and going along with the crowd instead of pursuing Jesus. So many people are serving their own fleshly desires, living sexually impure and ungodly lifestyles, focused on the love of money. The church is telling everyone that God’s grace will allow anyone to get into heaven if they have asked Jesus to come into their hearts without choosing to live a life aligned with Christ. But the Bible is very clear that few will be let in to heaven and we must have the fruit of the Spirit evident in our lives and have pure hearts and minds and not just be a “church attender” or “Christian” in name only.
Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Only a few find the narrow gate to heaven.
Matthew 7:15-23 NKJV
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
Many “Christians” will plead with God but God will tell them to depart from Him due to their sinful practices.
I John 3:4-10 NKJV
“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.”
It is not a popular message to hear but neither was Jesus’ message popular to the masses of religious people or church elect of his time (Pharisees and Scribes). The Lord’s grace gives us time to sin and not die immediately but also a free will to choose to repent for our sins and live a godly life. It is not easy to choose to serve God as it is much easier to serve the world and go along with the majority. The wages of pursuing a sinful life is death but the gift of choosing to serve God is receiving eternal life. So be prepared to be persecuted. It is not easy to stand up for Christ and be ridiculed. Paul says to count it all joy when you face various trials and tribulations.
Romans 6:15-23 NKJV
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God expects us to change from a life full of sin and fleshly desires to seeing the fruit of the Spirit and if we have more fruit of the flesh on a day to day basis then are we really saved? If we verbally speak harshly to others, are selfish and mean, sexually impure, prideful, watching ungodly movies and listening to music that is not godly and have an evil heart and mind then do you really think you are a Christian similar to Jesus? Of course not.
Hebrews 12:14-15 NKJV
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;”
We need to pursue peace and live a holy life and not have any bitterness in our hearts for other people.
Galatians 5:16-26 NKJV
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
These verses are clear that we cannot practice living a daily life of the flesh and expect to inherit the kingdom of God and yet many who attend church think they are good to go. We are not talking about doing good works for many who have evil hearts and do evil things will do good works to make them appear good before the church or community.
So even though you may be made fun of, mocked, lied about, having to choose between working for an honest company and making little money or choosing to work for an ungodly company and make huge amounts of money – your eternal salvation is at stake. If you consistently treat your spouse and children harshly and not with love – God knows. Whether you want to admit it or not – standing up for Christ is one of the hardest things you will ever do and as we draw closer to seeing things in Revelation manifest – we need to be rock solid in who we are and uncompromised.
Revelation 3:14-22 NKJV
““And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “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. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ””
Choose to be hot – not lukewarm – for Christ. Choose to live a righteous life aligned with Christ. There are far too many people in the church who have no godly fruit to show and are whitewashed tombs and sadly most expect that they will make it into heaven due to many watered-down messages from pastors. God knows how you behave behind closed doors and if you do not treat people with love and respect then unfortunately you will not be going to heaven. In order to truly walk in the fruit of the spirit it is important to pursue inner healing of your soul and deliverance from the demons tormenting your mind and body. Choose to forgive everyone from your heart who has ever hurt you. Ask Jesus to show you those who have hurt you if you need to see them from His perspective to realize that they were also hurt and wounded and hearing demons and that is why they hurt you. Jesus was our example to forgive.
Luke 23:32-34 NKJV
32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
And they divided His garments and cast lots.
What happens if we do not completely forgive people who hurt us?
Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses , your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
So if we do not truly forgive everyone who has hurt us then God will not forgive our sins. So it is imperative and our eternal salvation depends on it. That is why so many are sick and diseased is because they have anger and bitterness for others who did them wrong.
We also must humble ourselves before the Lord from our pride. Naaman could not get healed from his leprosy until he humbled himself before Elisha and dipped seven times in the dirty Jordan river. We also must repent for our sins and not continue in them. And do not make any idols before the Lord (including smoking, vaping, impure sexual relations, drugs, alcohol, money, time on social media, etc.)
It is not easy to be a real Christian but necessary. It is not about how many works you do for the Lord for many people who have evil hearts and fruits do good works to appear good to their pastor and other people outwardly. Remember the Pharisees?