Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“Woe unto them . . . who say, ‘Let him make speed, and hasten His work, that we may see it!’”
From a sermon by Elder B. F. Griffin in the late 1970’s
Brother Frank taught that there was a vast difference between being ready for Jesus to come again and being prepared for Jesus to come again. “A lot of people say they are ready to meet the Lord,” he would say. “Well, that may be, but that’s a long ways from being prepared to meet him.” Then employing a memory for Bible verses anointed by God, the elder would quote any number of verses to illustrate his point.
Isaiah, too, saw that many of God’s people, as well as people of this world, were ignorant of the critical difference between being ready to meet God and being prepared to meet Him. Strange as it may at first seem, it is a very common occurrence on earth that very ungodly people give every appearance of being eager to meet God. Along with the following two portions of Scripture from Isaiah (5:18-19), consider carefully the words of other equally worthy servants of God:
“Woe unto them who drag iniquity with cords of vanity and sin as it were with a cart rope, that say, ‘Let him make speed, and hasten His work, that we may see it!’ and ‘Let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it.’”
Do you seek God daily? Do you enjoy learning about God? Do you pray to know the truth? Do you take delight in approaching your heavenly Father? If so, then these next verses from Isaiah 58:1-2 may be for you!
“Cry aloud! Spare not! Lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice! They take delight in approaching God!”
Do you long for the day when the Lord Jesus will return? Amos (5:18) may have a message for you!
“Woe unto you who desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light!”
Do you teach others the statutes of God, speaking to them of His covenant? David’s friend Asaph (Ps. 50:16-17) moved by the holy Ghost, spoke something that you may want to consider:
“But unto the wicked, God says, ‘What have you to do to declare my statutes, or that you should take my covenant into your mouth, seeing you yourself hate instruction and cast my words behind you! . . . .Whoever offers praise glorifies Me: and to him that orders his conduct aright will I show the salvation of God.’ ”
Do you call Jesus your Lord? If so, Jesus (Mt. 7:21) has some warm words of warning for you.
“Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
False teachers now, as in ages past, make their living by persuading unrighteous people to believe that they are right with God and that they should look with great anticipation toward the coming Day of Judgment. They deny that there is a just God who will “render to every man according to his deeds”, and preach a gospel that excludes in practical terms the sin-killing power of the holy Ghost. This spiritual tragedy is played out regularly; it is not a rare occurrence.
Listen to the prophets! Listen to the apostles! Listen to Jesus! It is not what you think about yourself and God, but your deeds, that will determine your eternal destiny! Every man who has truly been sent by God since the foundation of the world has brought that truth to men. Most men, however, have always found it more convenient to hire themselves teachers to tell them that they have eternal bliss waiting for them, the moment that their eyes close in death. I will use Paul’s words to say it: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap [= hire] to themselves teachers, having itching ears. They shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.”
It is a fable that people love to believe, that they can repeat a certain Scripture, whether Romans 10:9-10 or any other, and be born again. It is a fable that Christian ministers teach for money, that sins are washed away before a person receives the baptism of the holy Ghost, with the evidence of the sound of the Spirit. It is a fable that by becoming a Christian a person becomes a child of God. It is a fable that salvation is “by faith alone”. It is a fable that by consuming natural substances such as bread and wine, people have communion with Christ. It is a fable that a church is a holy building.
Men are selling their souls for the fortune and prestige that teaching such fables brings. And there is no lack of shoppers who will pay well to have them lie to them with style.
Watching the heart-wrenching abomination of Christianity should provoke us who have come out of that religion to tremble with the fear of God, for our God is no respecter of persons. There is no safety outside of Christianity, either. We are safe only as we live in the will of God. Listen to the words of John, the apostle of the Lord Jesus, and see through the darkness of the vain, religious babble of men: “The world is vanishing, and its lust, but he who does the will of God abides forever.”