Good morning my friends. Today’s message is going to touch on many topics. For those who follow the news, you've probably noticed that there seems to be more trouble in every part of the world, including here in the United States. Before we get started, I want to remind everyone that God still sits on His throne and He's still in control and does what He pleases. Those who've been with us for a while should remember the verses where we found this.
I've found where many non-believers and some who claim to be Christians say that if there truly was a God that He wouldn't have allowed the murders of the Marines to happen just days ago. Shootings all over the world wouldn't have happened if there was really a God who loves us. Have you heard these things? It is hard to explain these things to those who don’t believe in Christ. What about the Christians that are being killed? Where was their God? It’s hard to explain to some who don’t believe in Christ. We do have choices, and you don’t have to look very hard to find that this country has made many wrong choices against God’s will. Yes? Also, the Bible tells us that we'll be persecuted.
I had a dear friend on one of the sites that Leanna and I own post a discussion about an earthquake that was prophesied to be horrible here in the US this summer and though I know she knows this, I reminded her that there are going to be horrific things I believe that we'll see and go through but to not lose site of Heavenly places.
John 15:18-21 KJV If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (20) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. (21) But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Today, we're going to look at some of the things that Jesus said would come in the last days.
Please turn in your Bibles to John 16 and we're going to start with verses 1-16. We read in chapter 15 where Jesus warns us about being a follower of Him. The hatred of the world. “If the world hates you, you must realize that it hated me before it hated you”. When we're saved, we are then called to live in a way that is much different than that of society. Get this church!
We're told not to live like the world, but that can be a very hard thing to do when we're right smack dab in the middle of it. We're to look toward Heavenly things and be the reflection of Jesus in the things we say and do.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-25 KJV Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (25) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.
I think of the rich man who asked Jesus what must he do to be saved and after Jesus said to obey all the commandments which this man claimed he had done. Then he was told to sell all he had and give to the poor and he walked away sad.
This is why when a Christian is very much praised by the power of this world and is exalted as a model by all mass-media, it many times is not a good turnout. Jesus said, “If you belong to the world, the world will love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice of you has drawn you out of the world, that is why the world hates you”.
We have two choices: the world or the Gospel. Which of these two will you choose?
John 16:1-16 KJV These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. (2) They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (3) And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. (4) But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. (5) But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? (6) But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. (7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (16) A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
When we look through these verses and then look through the history of the church, we find that believers have been persecuted all along. The first disciples of Jesus were persecuted. Doesn’t it seem strange that through all these centuries people would hate people who love God and who are to share their love and their God with the world? It does, until you think about the Gospel message.
A true Christian is loving, peaceful, forgiving and caring. Those who obey Jesus’ words are self-sacrificing, meek and kind. In fact, let's turn to Galatians 5:14 so you can see where I get this from. I want you to see these are not my words, but those of Apostle Paul, led by the Holy Spirit to the church of Galatia.
Galatians 5:14-26 KJV For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (15) But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. (16) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (18) But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (24) And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (26) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Now, common wisdom tells us it’s not natural to hate those who love you, bless you and pray for you. Rather, people hate only those who abuse, rob and curse them. So why are Christians so hated?
John 15:18-20 KJV If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (20) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
The church, and every minister and believer in it, is hated by the world because of its mission. What is our mission? Our mission is much more than telling lost people, “Jesus loves you.” It’s more than trying to accommodate and appease people and I think that's where many churches have failed. Did I say that? Yes I did, and here's why.
You may draw back in surprise when I remind you of what our mission is. Church, to me this is simply put. Our mission as Christians is to take back from the ungodly what's most precious to them: self-righteousness. It is to translate them into a freedom they think is slavery. It is to separate them from damning sins, a blessing they see as only ending in boredom and sadness.
The most precious thing to a worldly person is his self-righteousness. Think about what I just said. Let me repeat that, because my friends we need to get this. The most precious thing to a worldly person is his self-righteousness.
He or she has spent his or her whole life forming a good opinion of themselves. Think about yourself before you were saved, or born again. They've built an idol to their good works. He praises himself that he’s really good at heart and kind to others. Simply put, he’s built his own Tower of Babel, a monument to his own goodness. He's sure that he’s good enough for heaven, and too good for hell. That's how so many men and women feel.
This ungodly man has spent years beating down his conscience and searing it. He's taught himself to still every voice of conviction that comes to him. And now he enjoys a false peace. He has become so deceived, he actually believes God admires him!
And now, just when he has shut down the voice of his conscience, you, a Christian, come along. And the truth you bring speaks more loudly than his dead conscience: “Unless you’re born again, you can’t enter the kingdom of heaven.”
And then friends, you've suddenly become a threat in this person's mind. You’re someone who wants to 'deprive him of his assurance that all is well with his soul. All this time, he's thought he's okay. But now you’re telling him that all his good works are as filthy rags. And sadly, this speaks to many that fill the churches here in America. Ouch, that tuned someone out. My dear friends, I know this is a hard message for some to hear, but I love you and I want you to hear the truth.
I tell you, this man doesn’t see you as someone who’s bringing good news. No, in his eyes you’re a tormenter, someone who’s out to take away his peaceful sleep at night. Someone that will change his or her plans for this weekend to party it up.
Sound familiar before you came to know Jesus as your Savior? Maybe some of you still feel like, "Man I wish I still could do the same things I did before." You might be thinking, "I sure miss the bar scene" or maybe thinking, "I miss the movies I used to watch. Why is it so bad to hang out with drug buddies?" Friends, you need to stay away from these things. When the enemy starts putting these thoughts of one more drink won’t hurt you, one little joint I smoke, or a pill to get high and forget about the problems I'm facing isn’t going to bother you. You’d better not fall for that lie. I say, don't fall for that lie from hell. "I just want to go to one porn site, just this one time." Get it out of your mind, because once you have that thought, you're hooked again. Lust of the flesh. My friends, I've been hooked on almost everything I just mentioned. One more leads to many more. As soon as that thought of any of these things come, turn away. Renounce it in Jesus' name.
James 4:4-8 KJV Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (5) Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? (6) But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
1 John 4:2-6 KJV Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (5) They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. (6) We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
Church, we're to be different than the world and in the name of Jesus, that's what I pray for all who attend these services each week, those who'll be joining in the near future. And for the ones who read and listen to these messages every week, we'll be different. We'll fear God. We'll seek God’s face and want to be all that He has planned for us. We'll be His disciples. We'll be world changers. We'll be His light in this dark and dying world. We'll be the ones who share the Gospel with the world. We'll be the ones who pray for the sick.
Now make it personal. I will in the name of Jesus change from the wicked ways that have not pleased God. I will sow GOOD seed into my sons, daughters, grandchildren, husband, wife, nieces, nephews, uncles, Grandparents and friend’s lives who don’t know Jesus as Lord.
I'll start from this day to do all things as if I were doing it for the Lord. I'll read my Bible every day, from this day forward because I want to know God, His ways and what He has planned for me. I'll read my Bible because I want to increase my faith….Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. I'll read God’s Word and meditate on it so I know how to be a witness to those that God puts on my heart, who don’t know Him.
Is God speaking to anyone?
I'll read and meditate on it because Proverbs 4:20-23 KJV My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. (21) Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. (22) For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. (23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Halleluiah!! Glory to God!!
I'll be the prayer warrior that I was called to be. I'll be the husband or wife that the Bible speaks of. I'll be the parent that I was called to be. I'll have the love and compassion of Christ to my neighbor, coworker school mates and everyone that I might have had problems dealing with. I'll be more forgiving to those who have hurt me in words and actions. I can do all these things and more because of Christ in my life who strengthens me. Glory be to God!!!
Romans 8:35-39 KJV Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Philippians 4:4-8 KJV Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
These are the things I want for my life and for yours, and we all can have them when we let the Holy Spirit be our guide. Thank You, Jesus!
Jesus said to Satan when He was tempted in the desert, and we can do the same thing whenever we're tempted against God’s word. Luke 4:4 KJV And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Church, the next time your heart fails you with fear, hurt, loss, loneliness, or a wound, apply the medicine of the LORD. It’s only the well-fed heart and soul that are healthy. Amen?
John 6:63 KJV It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
God’s word has never been more available than it is today. Friends, you can go to Wal-Mart or most book stores and pick up a Bible. You can get a used one at a salvation Army or thrift store. You can even download Bibles free from many sources on-line. I prefer e-Sword and have had it for years now.
Friends, for those who say they don’t have time to spend in God’s Word, you don’t fool me and don’t think for a minute you're fooling God. I was at that place once before. Make time. Soon you'll desire to be in it. Get into God’s Word and God’s Word will get into you and bring His life into your existence and bless you.
Jeremiah 15:15-17 KJV O LORD, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke. (16) Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. (17) I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.
If we don’t daily and often ingest His words, we have no one to blame but ourselves for not ingesting them, devouring them, and receiving of their inherent and divine medicinal properties. When we do, healing, joy, rejoicing, restoration, and wholeness will result. Praise God. God’s Word is so powerful and living. I'm amazed at how often scripture that I've read over and over and over teaches me something new. The Bible is alive.
Friends as I close today, I urge everyone this week who's hearing this message or reading it at another time on-line, please, please, please, if you haven't been in God’s Word daily, please start today. Don’t let the devil talk you out of it, because he will try. I guarantee it. Satan is the father of lies and he comes to steel, kill and destroy your life. When we get God’s Word in us, we learn how to sense the enemy when he sneaks in and how to get rid of him.
Friends, this isn't how I thought this message was going to go. I thought it was going to go in a totally different direction, but God had another plan. There's someone that needed to hear or read this. Maybe many. I would ask, if this touched someone’s heart, please contact me so that Leanna and I can pray with you. We do believe in the power of prayer. We've witnessed many prayers answered in others lives. Salvation, healings, jobs and the list goes on. Praise Jesus!!!
Don’t let pride get in the way of asking God for needs in your life, don’t let doubt rob you of a miracle.
Acts 20:20-32 KJV And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, (21) Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (22) And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: (23) Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. (24) But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. (25) And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. (26) Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (29) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (32) And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
We want to thank each of you here in the JandLMinistries room here on Paltalk for being with us. We want to thank a Far From Normal Faith Ministry, My Look Online, and Lokeys sisters for allowing us to share these messages. We thank you members of both Cross Roads Fellowship sites for being part of this ministry and also for all of you on Google Plus and U-tube for all your support. As I've said before, J and L Ministries receives no monetary support from our followers, but support from being here with us each week and for your comments and prayers.
We love you and we do hope that you seek God with all your heart this week.