Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NOT SAVED TILL YOU HAVE ENDURED

You know it's wonderful that so we can meet together and focus on the Lord Jesus Christ today for as long as we have the time left. That's what I want to do here. Let's meet together and praise the Lord because thats what we're made to be; people that praise God. And if this whole world praises God the kingdom of God could come to this earth as it is in heaven. And we are here to praise the Lord in righteousness and truth and praise the Lord each day hallelujah. That's the wonderful thing is that we can do is spend our time in praises to the Lord Jesus Christ hallelujah. Now today I was wanting to talk about an important area that people often look and that is the race of faith. It's a race that we have to be extremely focused and dedicated to be able to get through to the very end. It is called the race of faith and it is this race of faith the we have to endure all the way to the end to be able to make it to the end. We want to have the race of faith and we want to be running this race of faith. But friends we have to be serious because this is the race of faith and it's the only way that enters the Kingdom of God. And people they wonder how they can be saved now and how they can have their salvation now so they think that now we can finish the race of faith. I wish it was that easy but it's not.

We have to ENDURE until the end to make it to the end. And and that's the wonderful thing friends is that if we endure unto the end and we run the race of faith faithfully then we are going to enter the kingdom of God. But it is only when we have endured unto the end on the race of faith that we will make it. And that's what the Lord Jesus Christ warns is that we must run with endurance and we must fix our eyes on the prize otherwise we will not make it. Many they say we are all saved and sealed now and it is now that we will enter the kingdom and we're all saved. We are only saved while we abide with Jesus Christ and while he abides in us in our hearts and we are focusing on him and following him on the narrow way. That's the only way only time that we are saved. But if we're not focused on him and were not focusing on him on the narrow way and abiding in Jesus then we'll get cut off. That's what Jesus said. Jesus said that if you sin you have an advocate with the father and he said that if you repent of your sins then the Lord will faithfully cleanse you of all unrighteousness but if you do not repent the Lord will come at a time that you think not and you'll be cut off with the unbelievers and cast out into the outer darkness.

And so there is no such thing as being all saved and sealed now when we haven't finished the race of faith faithfully. Jesus will be faithful to us and he will lead us if we abide in him and if we abide in him he will lead us to the kingdom of God hallelujah. And then we will be able to enter the kingdom. But if we are not faithful to him and we are more interested in going along in our own ways our own life then what happens is in time the Lord will come upon you suddenly when you think not and you will get cut off and you're going to end up cut off with the unbelievers and ending up in the outer darkness. And so friends we don't want to end up in this outer darkness. So let us run this race of faith with endurance like Paul said. You know Paul said that he didn't want to be disqualified from the race of faith after having run it all the way so well and having led so many people to the truth. He said that “I don't want to be disqualified right at the end”. He said he wants to keep his eyes fixed on the price. Run with endurance. And the things that build endurance are things like patience, Godliness, righteousness, overcoming temptation, testings and trials. We read in James that these testings and trials they develop endurance if we overcome. And that's what we're here to be.

We are here to endure and endure the way endure the race that we can make it to the end without shame and not be disqualified, because it is a very sad fact that many Christians get to the end of the race having not run the race and they get cut off with the unbelievers. Or they get to the end of the race where they're waiting for Jesus and have heard the call to get ready for the bridegroom, and the thing is they just didn't take enough oil and so these ones also got cut off. They didn't spend enough time praying and being serious about Jesus and having the Holy Spirit fill them. And so the bridegroom call went out and they couldn't get enough oil. They had to go away and spend some time trying to get some oil but was too late by then. Lord came suddenly. And that's what the Lord said that he will come suddenly at the time that you think not and it is then that you will be cut off and assigned a place with the unbelievers in the outer darkness. So friends you know there's no such thing as these easy gospels that people like to preach that say that we are all saved now. And then people say, “how can I be saved now?”…How can I feel saved?” There is no such thing friends. If you run the race with endurance and abide with Jesus then you'll be saved at the very end. And what happens is the Lord will come into your heart when you come to him and he'll make you born-again. And some people say, “well you know how can I be unborn again?” I say it depends on how the seed fell on your heart.

Some people hear the truth and it lands on a good heart where they actually become doers of the word, and the new ways constantly manifested through them. Other people hear the truth and they follow it for a while and zealous for a while but then after a time persecution arises for the sake of Christ or the cares and troubles of this world especially the pride of the eyes, lusts of the flesh, and what happens is the seed dies. Jesus said that it dies and then that person no longer has the seed of life in them. And so this is what happens to Christians along the way. They start off well but then somewhere along the way, they let the cares of life and the deceitfulness of riches and wealth and the pride of the eyes and the lusts of the flesh take them away from Jesus Christ, and their seed dies. Because that's what happens to Christians who don't abide with Jesus. When you don't abide with him your seed dies and then you become no more. You get withered up. Jesus always talks about that in John chapter 15 where he talks about the withered branch on the vine and he says that if anybody doesn't abide in me that means the branch will wither up. And when the branch withers up then in time it's going to be cut off and gathered into the fire. And so friends that's why I say that there is no salvation until you have run the race of faith and run it with endurance and run it faithfully until the very end. And the very end is when you die or when Jesus comes and takes you out of te earth. And so during that time we can be living in a foolish way. We can be straying off the true path. And what happens is Jesus can come upon you at a time that you think not and cut you off and assign you a place with the unbelievers. Or he can have a little bit more mercy on you, chastise you some more to see if you will repent. And if you will dedicate and focus on him. And then if you still wont there definitely will come a time when he will come upon you at a time you think not and suddenly cut you off. Only the other day we had some bombings in Boston. I would hate to think if any of those people who died in that blast, I'd really hate to think if they didn't know Jesus and they weren't ready for him but just living their own life.

I'm sure if people had come to one of those people in the morning and said you're going to get blown up by a bomb on the finishing line, they would've laughed and said it is impossible, my life goes on. And people think that life does go on, and they don't realize that it just doesn't go on sometimes, and Jesus can come upon you just so very suddenly. You can get into a bomb blast. You can have a car crash. There was a believer who had a car crash once suddenly and he died when he wasn't right with his wife having an argument and he found himself in hell and lucky that the wife was praying for him. He died for quite a few days and he ended up taking him to a revival meeting and she was praying and praying and they all prayed that he could be raised up from the dead and God had mercy and actually did it. Took him out of hell. And when he came back he warned everybody you go dying in any false way you go to hell. There's no saved and sealed here unless you are focusing on Jesus and abiding in him. And this man died when he was NOT abiding in Jesus. He had unforgiveness in his heart.

Jesus said in the Bible that if you don't forgive, I won't forgive you. And that might be hard for some people, who will say, “you know Jesus will understand because I am saved.” No he wont. If you don't forgive he will not forgive you which means that you will end up in hell if you die in unforgiveness. And so this narrow way means that we have to really be focused so very much on the truth of Jesus Christ hallelujah. And we have to be focused so very much on walking with Jesus daily so that we don't have any of these false ways in our hearts. We have to be serious friends, otherwise if we do not keep our focus on the Lord continually, in the end you are going to get cut off at a time that we think not and assigned a place with the unbelievers. It is a serious message for all Christians and Jesus talked about this very specifically in the letters to the churches in the book of revelation where Jesus warned that, “if you do not repent I shall come upon you suddenly like a thief in the night”. So he's talking about coming upon you at a time that you think not. So that's why I warn everybody that we must be focused friends on the narrow way all the time keeping watchful. Because the minute you lose focus, like the first thing when you wake up in the morning and times that you are not really watching, that's when you can fall. That's when you can grieve the Holy Spirit. And that's when we must be focused and ready at all times so that we are not caught out in a false way when Jesus comes back. Because the Lord is coming back very soon. But if we're not focused all the time and we are not watchful, he is going to come upon us suddenly like a thief in the night and he might catch us out in unforgiveness, or he might catch us out in a fight or some strife. Or he might catch us out in a sin of the flesh, and that means that we are going to be caught out and not ready for the Lord. We are going to have spotted garments.

But that's not running the race of faith with endurance. Running the race of faith with endurance is staying in constant communication with Jesus and being fully focused on him. And that takes effort. It means that you have to be very serious about your salvation and being ready for the return of the Lord, for the wedding feast of the Lamb every single minute. It means that it has to be number one in your life and it is then that the Lord will be walking with you because you're abiding in him. And that's what Jesus said he said that, “if you abide in me and I abide in you then you will bear fruit”. And you will be ready and you will please the Lord. And that's what the Lord talked about in the Church of Philadelphia in the book of Revelation, this particular church there were people in the church that were serious and they were constantly walking with the Lord and they were not defining their robes in sin, and they were being serious. And what happens is Jesus said that when you repent and you are faithful, he will wash you clean. Now that's why people are white and clean.

That's why you get white robes, it is because when you're faithful to Jesus and when you obey him and walk with him and abide with him, he cleans your robes to be white and pure. You yourself cannot clean yourself. The only thing we can do is repent and focus on the Lord. And when we do that and we're serious about him then he will clean your ropes and he will give you a white robe without spot or blemish. It's only if we are serious about him and if we do indeed turn away from all false ways. But some people say well some things are okay, like a little white lie. No we have to be serious about all sin. Sin isn't hard to find what it is. You will know what it is. People they write and say is this a sin, is that a sin? You know what's a sin in your heart and you should turn away from it and don't condone any of it. People they know certain things are sin like say smoking, but they will come and say it is just a herb, it is something God created. God is not mocked. He knows what you are doing and that it is disobedient to the Lord, and he's warning you to prepare yourself and walk the narrow way all the way to the end otherwise you won't be saved. At any point in your walk on the narrow way the Lord can come upon you suddenly and take you. He can end your life. Your time can just come suddenly. Like the apostles Stephen. He was a man walking in the faith in the spirit filled with the Holy Spirit.

And he probably didn't know that he only had a few short weeks to live after he came to the Lord. But you see his end came upon him suddenly and he was stoned to death for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and then he ended up in the kingdom of heaven, because he ran the race with endurance. Some other people they have a very long race like the apostle John. He lived till he was an old man. He had many trials. But everybody who runs the race with faith and endurance shall receive the prize of life the crown of life. And that's what we're here to do today dear friends. We are here to run the race of faith with endurance and inherit the crown of life. And when we have run the race all the way to the very end keeping faithful to the Lord only then shall we inherit the crown of life but it is not before. So the ministers will say you are all saved dear sinners you're all saved. No you're not. If you are still sining then watch out because Jesus will come up when you suddenly and cut you off and assign you a place to the unbelievers, because sin is hypocrisy if we follow Jesus, if we claim his ways and if we claim that he walked in us yet we walk in evil paths, we become living lives of hypocrisy. And such certainly don't enter the kingdom of God. No hypocrites enter the kingdom of God. And so we have to be examining ourselves daily before the Lord. We have to be examining our words as we speak asking the Lord to put a guard on our mouth so we don't spend our time swearing and saying things that we ought not and having idle words that can come back and condemn us if we don't repent. Many people will get caught out in various troubles suddenly and then end up either in heaven or in hell. When the Lord Jesus comes back suddenly, who is going to make it into the wedding feast of the Lamb if we aren't focused on the narrow way? We are relying on a lot of mercy from God and the Lord can end his mercy. He can say no. so that's why we have to be completely serious about serving the Lord today. Completely serious about running the race of faith and not letting any false way come into our hearts at all but completely having our hearts dedicated to the Lord hallelujah. Because friends time is very short. Things will wrap up soon. The Lord Jesus Christ will come and take his church, his people; the people who are ready. He is not going to take you if you're not ready. You'll be like the foolish bridesmaids who got left out. You are not running the race of faith with endurance.

The Lord is coming to take people, his people, who are running the race with endurance, who are having faith and who are serious about him. But he is not coming for those who want to live their own ways, and if you're still living your own life he is not coming for you. That's why we have to have a proper relationship with Jesus so that we can hear him and he can lead us and he can fill us with his Holy Spirit praise God. Because if we are not filled with the Holy Spirit then we got no oil. And if we got no oil, we are not going to make it into that narrow gate. And what happens is the door will be shut. And when you're on the outside, there is no going in. The Lord says in the Bible, that I will say to them; depart from here I do not know you nor where you are from. So friends NOW is the time to be ready. NOW is the time to be walking the narrow way, lest the Lord should come up when you suddenly like a snare and he should catch you out in any sin, anything and you end up in the fire. You're going to be left out of the wedding feast of the Lamb. So friends we got to be serious and walk this race with endurance knowing that there's no salvation for anybody until they have walked the race with faith and endurance until the very end. And then once we have walked the race, run the race, with our eyes on the prize, focused on Jesus and dedicated, spending time in prayer, having the spirit within us because we obey Jesus, what happens is we will be able to have oil in our lamp. We will be able to overcome until the very end because we are abiding with Jesus Christ hallelujah. And when we abide with the Lord, he will have his laws written on our hearts, he will lead us, he will lead you in the spirit, he will help you and you will be able to have the peace that the Lord gives.

And if you abide in that until the end you will inherit the crown of life that's a wonderful promise. But we haven't made it yet. So there is no salvation now. We haven't made it yet. But we're here to make it friends. We are here to make it all the way to the very end, and if we do that we are going to be saved. Never listen to the foolish man who says that “I'm all saved now”, and he's not running the race with endurance. We have to maintain a relationship with Jesus right now. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow hasn't come, now is the time to have a relationship with Jesus. If you don't have one now, he could come upon you now, and you could get cut off, and cast out, and assigned a place amongst the unbelievers. And that's what Jesus warns he says that, “If you sin you have an advocate with the father who will faithfully wash away your sins if you repent, if you repent.” (And the advocate is Jesus Christ) But he said that, “If you don't repent I will come upon you suddenly at a time that you think not and cut you off and assign you a place amongst the unbelievers in the outer darkness”. And that's what happens to people who don't walk the narrow way that with endurance and they're not focused on following the way of faith. We are here to be enduring friends until the very end and if we endure, we will inherit the crown of life. So never listen to the foolish man or the foolish creatures who say that you are all saved now and you're going to the kingdom now just because you are going to church, or you say you believe in Jesus, or you read the Bible and do Bible studies. That's not the way and if you are like that and you just think that you're saved now, you are not enduring until the end.

You're not walking or running the race of faith with endurance. Instead you're just following your own ways. And so what happens is you just end up being cut off one-day and you end up in the fire. And is no salvation for those who do not walk the race of faith with endurance. And salvation is only obtained at the very end once we have endured all things and once you have overcome. But if you're not overcoming temptation and you're not overcoming any of these trials that come into your life, then how can you be saved? It is impossible friends. So that's why we must overcome. And these trials build endurance in our faith, and so when you get tested by various temptations and various troubles come into your life, it is then that you have your endurance tested and developed and if you are faithful and you put out all these things that come into your heart causing you to fall away to your sin, or lust, go after the world, chase after money, live for your own ways of sin, what happens is if you don't overcome these things they will take you to the fire. But if you overcome these things and you turn away from them and you do live true to Christ all the days of your life, you're developing and enduring and you're getting more and more endurance and strength to finish the race of faith specially when it gets harder.

And you must give yourself all power through Jesus Christ and living with him. That is the only way. Spending your time with a relationship with Jesus Christ having him fill you praise the Lord. And that's what Jesus says, “those who are faithful to me I will spare them from the hour of testing that is coming on the world”. There is a lot of testing coming. There already has been testing of the world but there is terrible testing coming. It is not a good time. It's not good to see a lot of bloodshed, a lot of perishing. Even with those bomb blasts the other day in Boston. There was a lot of blood around on the ground there. Can you imagine if that was millions of people... Not just three or four. It is a terrible time that is coming to test the world, and we need to have ourselves completely focused in the Lord so that we can make it through otherwise if we do not have our minds and hearts focused on the Lord and these things come up suddenly, and the Lord returns at a time you think not, then you're going to be caught out and assigned a place with the unbelievers like that. As suddenly as a thief in the night as a blink of an eye. That is how quick it is. But friends we got to be SERIOUS praise the Lord…...