This year is my 60th birthday in Christ Jesus! I wish I could testify that my life was powerfully transformed the moment I accepted Yeshua as my personal Savior and that I lived according to His perfect will this past 60 years.
Truthfully, I have been more conformed than transformed.
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~ Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
Most of my life was not spent serving God, but in serving myself. As a new believer, I was eager to learn God’s ways, but my enthusiasm waned as I progressed through childhood and on into adult life. I became primarily focused on personal achievement, starting a family, and “the cares of this life” took over. Focusing on the cares of life became such a priority that I slowly conformed to cultural “norms” of this world. My body was not a living sacrifice to God. I sporadically walked out my faith by thinking I was keeping the Ten Commandments, but for the most part I was “missing in action”.
Encouraged by the Apostle Paul, my focus now is to finish my faith race much stronger than I began. To know the heart of God, read Romans 12. The whole chapter spells out in plain language how to live a life that is pleasing to Our Holy Father God. He states what our reasonable service should look like:
We should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How do we do that? – By reading His Holy Word, the Bible. We are to live, serve, and forgive fervently by the power of His love and Spirit. So praying the sinner’s prayer puts our names in The Book of Life, but real transformation requires more from us. We must draw close to Him and learn His ways. That, dear friend, is accomplished through the daily reading of His “Good Book”. There is no short cut to learning how to behave like a Christian. Don’t waste valuable time missing the mark like I did. Jump into Romans 12 with me and next time we will continue studying what God says about finding His perfect will in our lives.
Until then, HAPPY 60th BORN-AGAIN BIRTHDAY TO ME! and thank you for following
As I look upon the state of our nation and the entire world I am sad to recognize the fulfillment of Bible prophecy regarding the end times. The stage is set for the Restrainer to be removed from planet Earth so that the Antichrist should be revealed. He will spread his wicked agenda across the globe.
7For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the One who is holding it back steps out of the way. 8Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming. 9This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 NIV
Every heart of every person is driven by love. Yes, even the wicked love something.
15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV
Mankind is now standing on the edge of a timeline precipice. We have a unique viewpoint of world events via media technology. Those who are watching can view approaching fulfillment of God’s prophecy regarding the end of the age of man governing himself. Soon Jesus Christ will return to Earth, conquer Satan, and set up His kingdom. Yeshua, our Messiah Jesus, will reign for one thousand years upon this Earth. He will reign with strong power over evil. As we have seen, the wicked who do not love truth shall be destroyed at His coming.
Now would be a very good time to be sure that you do not believe Satan’s lies. If you have not surrendered your love of worldly things to Jesus, there is no better time to take care of eternal business than right now. Helpful guidance is available here, talk to another believer or Pastor that you respect, or email me with questions.
Prayer – Father, as we lift Your Name above the heavens and all of the planets, stars, and galaxies of Your creation, convict hearts today that love the lie rather than Your Truth. In the Matchless and Wonderful Name of our Redeemer, Jesus, thank you for such an awesome gift of salvation for those who sincerely choose eternal life over death by asking You to replace love of the world with Your love of Truth in their hearts. Amen.
These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. ~ 1 John 2:26 NKJV
Of all the books in the modern world(almost 130 million), The Lamb’s Book of Life is the most important book – at least as far as it relates to every person who has ever lived. And why would that be?
Read Revelation 20-21
Notice the events of the Great White Throne Judgement, which takes place at the end of Christ’s Millennial Reign on this earth:
11And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works . . . 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Emphasis added) ~Rev. 20 KJV
The scripture is meant to grab our attention. It is nearly impossible to read that verse and just move on without experiencing a strong reaction to the horrifying finality of verse 15 – a pang; likely followed by fearful thoughts, “Is my name written there?” And, “How can I know?”
1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea . . . 9aAnd there came to me one of the seven angels . . . 10And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 27And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Emphasis added) ~ Revelation 21 KJV
Exactly who are they who are already written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?
Believers that Jesus (Yeshua) is the only way of salvation ~John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12
Fellow laborers in God’s fields of harvest of souls ~Philippians 4:3
Witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus ~ Luke 10
Overcomers ~Rev. 3:5
Tribulation Saints ~Daniel 12:1
Whose names WILL NOT be found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?
Unbelievers, and those who rely on their own “works” to be judged holy before God ~Rev. 21:8, Rev. 20:12,15
Those whose names have been blotted out! – Shocking, but true ~ Rev. 3:5, Rev. 22:19, Exodus 32:31-33
Worshippers of the Antichrist ~Rev. 13:8
Those who wonder after the Beast in the Great Tribulation ~Rev. 17:8
Those who accept the mark of the Beast and worship his image ~Rev. 14:9-11
Those who grieve the Holy Spirit of God (A whole other subject!) ~Ephesians 4:30
Someday all dead people of the earth will be resurrected to stand before The Lamb, Jesus Christ, at the Great White Throne Judgement. But we can know TODAY what our individual outcome of judgement for sin will be.
Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day to make a decision on where we will spend eternity. No one knows if life tomorrow will be granted. There is no opportunity to change the outcome after death. God loves us and has sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus, to die in our place. Our Heavenly Father doesn’t want anyone to perish in the lake of fire.
For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. ~Luke 9:56a KJV
If you have never made a decision about this, take care of spiritual business right now. Prayerfully ask Jesus to come into your life; to reign and to rule; to be your Sovereign Lord:
Accept that Jesus is the Son of the Almighty God (Jehovah), Who came to earth to offer Himself as a sacrifice on a bloody cross for our sins.
Repent now and ask Jesus to forgive you for sin; and believe on His Name for salvation.
Give your life to Jesus and ask that your name be written in His Book of Life! The world will say that redemption cannot be that simple. Well, God chose to make it simple for us and hard for Him! Jesus was beaten, tortured, and crucified for our sin – He Who had no sin. Our works will never be good enough to save ourselves. All we have to do is to make the right choice. Doing nothing about this dilemma is making the wrong choice.
If you just trusted Jesus to redeem your life by His Truth, Congratulations! Welcome to God’s everlasting kingdom! You are saved! The angels in heaven are singing praises to God for your decision! One angel is now writing your name in that most important Lamb’s Book of Life!
Thank Him and rejoice for delivering you from eternal damnation to the lake of fire!
It is very important that you confess your decision to someone else. Profess by faith your confidence that you are sealed to Jesus and are redeemed by His innocent blood which was shed at the cross of Calvary for your sins:
Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. ~Matthew 10:32 KJV
Email me to share your decision for Christ.That counts as confessing Jesus before men, yes! I will pray for you as you begin your new life in Christ. Find a Bible and begin reading in the New Testament, Book of John. Search out a Bible-believing-teaching-preaching local church and be obedient by following our Lord Jesus in baptism. You now have a ready-made witness to share with others about where your name is written!
Are there any other special privileges or rights associated with having our name written in The Lamb’s Book of Life? Definitely!
Only those whose names are found written in The Lamb’s Book of Life will be granted entrance into the New Jerusalem. ~Rev. 21:27
Only those found in The Lamb’s Book of Life have the right to eat the fruit of The Tree of Life (yes, that’s eternal life!). ~Rev. 22:14
Jesus claimed to be The Son of God to crowds of people who constantly weighed and tested His Word. Today humans still ask for credible proof that Jesus is The Son of God. Once again, His true followers can only point to Bible scripture for Truth and to one word – “Listen”.
This scripture is all about God’s Promises to three different groups of people. Picking up the story in John 10:22, the season is winter around the time of Hanukkah, or the Festival of Dedication. Jesus is walking through Solomon’s Colonnadein the Temple, surrounded by people. The throng is three camps combined:
One camp contains true believers
The second camp is sprinkled with noncommitted followers and some seekers. They are leaves blown by the Jesus-is-in-Town-Wind. They are not entirely innocent. They desire to be witnesses of Jesus’s demise (should He blunder). It is the “Where’s the popcorn?” movie crowd.
The third camp is made up of doubters, deceived Pharisees, and Satan’s own: those following primarily to challenge Jesus. I call these “THE ONCE-AGAINS”:
24bHow long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.
Here is a magnificent example of how perfectly Godlike Jesus is. He testifies to all three groups at the same time with the same words- and Jesus says what He means and means what He says:
26But you don’t believe Me because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to My Voice; I know them, and they follow Me.
So, Jesus answered the questions on the hearts of all three groups in two simple statements.
Watch now: Jesus goes on to powerfully state the most reassuring scripture in history for true believers and for seekers alike. It is the oft-quoted “eternal security” scripture straight from the mouth of Jesus. Notice that He ends His testimony with an even more powerful statement directed to THE ONCE-AGAINS in verse 30:
28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from Me, 29for My Father has given them to Me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30The Father and I are One.
31ONCE AGAIN the people picked up stones to kill Him. 32Jesus said, “At My Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone Me?”(emphasis added)
33They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Well, isn’t that exactly the same silliness going on in the earth today? Instead of reverancing their Powerful and Majestic Creator, people are not listening to the true message of Jesus. THE ONCE-AGAINS (the lost)continue in their blind rejection of Jesus as the Promised Savior.
Jesus patiently responds to the crowd in verses 34 – 38, and
39ONCE AGAIN they tried to arrest Him, but He got away and left them. 40He went beyond the Jordan River near the place where John was first baptizing and stayed there awhile. (emphasis added)
Isn’t that just like Jesus? He leaves the city, leading a few chosen out into the country for some peace and quiet. For reflection at the river. The River of Life.
Yes! And the Bible states that many people follow Jesus there, and believe that He is their Messiah.
Why? Because John the Baptist did not perform signs and wonders. That was reserved for Jesus’s ministry. But some of them get to thinking about the testimony of John once they are away from that mind-numbing distraction of THE ONCE-AGAINS:
41beverything he (John the Baptist) said about this Man has come true. (Italics added)
THE ONCE-AGAINS (those who refuse to believe that Jesus is God) are like wolves in the sheepfold that scatter and devour the flock (John 10:12). They mimic their true father of lies (Satan). They mock, scorn, and deny all that is Truth. They still plot to persecute believers worldwide with murder, imprisonment, and unspeakable torture.
Our Almighty Father Above All, I thank You today that Jesus, Your Son, is sitting at Your right hand at Your throne in Heaven. And that while He walked this earth He gave testimony to all who would listen the Words that You told Him to speak. Thank You for Your promise to never lose a single sheep who sincerely follows Jesus. Thank You for defeating the agenda of Satan at the cross of Calvary. Holy Spirit, help me to be gentle in my dealings with the lost for Jesus’s sake, and for theirs. May everyone who hears Your Word listen and respond with repentance and take into their hearts the love of Jesus that abides within us for eternity. Help us to understand Your Holy Message as we study Your Word each day – In the Powerful Name of our Blessed Lord Jesus, Amen.
Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” ~ John 11:40
Another powerful “eternal security” Bible scripture is found in Romans 8:38-39.
Perry Stone claims that an invisible army greatly influenced the election of Mr. Trump as President of the United States in 2016. Just who is this army?
2bNow teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. 3Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.~ Apostle Paul in 2Timothy, 2:2b-3 NLT
Christ’s Invisible Army should be visible, but in America, it is difficult to recognize these days. What would it look like if we could see it? I suppose the army would consist of good soldiers.
Hmmmm … is there a teaching somewhere in God’s Word about this?
Well, Paul goes on to say:
4Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer (Jesus) who enlisted them. 5And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. 6And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. 7Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand these things. ~ 2Timothy 2:4-7 NLT (italics added)
Have soldiers in Christ’s Invisible Army used verse 4 as an excuse to let this nation decline into immorality and godless shame? Good Christian soldiers are not ashamed to pray for America, or even to possibly:
15Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive His approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 16Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. 17This kind of talk spreads like cancer. ~2Timothy 2:15-17 NLT
So Christ’s Army should not look like an apostate church. It would not spew forth wicked argumentative speech (like reality TV); or believe that “anything goes” or that “all forms of religion lead to God” (New Age).
1You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! ~2Timothy 3:1-5 NLT
One would hope so!
23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24A servant (soldier) of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. ~2Timothy 2:23-26 NLT (italics added)
We have religious freedom in this nation (so far) and do not suffer persecution for our faith as do our brethren in other parts of the world. Yet I hear that more believers in America are afraid to share the Good News than those across the seas who are losing their heads for not denouncing their faith in Jesus. Believers in the United States need to become Christ’s Visible Army. That means:
10Willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen. 11This is a trustworthy saying:
If we die with Him, we will also live with Him. 12If we endure hardship, we will reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will deny us. 13If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny who He is.~2Timothy 2:10-13 NLT
There’s one last thing I need to do with Dad’s New Testament Bible. It’s time to put it away. Dad’s testimony is posted in several articles on this blog and will hopefully be read by many people in the coming years. It hurts my heart, but the binding is pretty much shot.
Sorting out the loose pages, I decided the last thing for me to do is the old-fashioned remedy – no, not duct tape! A hair band will do fine –
at least for now. God’s Word lives on inside its covers and it is up to my Father in Heaven whether to use this relic as a witnessing tool in the future – or not.
The last thing left now is what some call closure. I just chalk it up to another crying day in a tough but victorious year in our Lord Jesus:
“Thank you again, Dad. The last thing you accomplished posthumously with your little Bible was this quote from page 381”:
For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. ~ Hebrews 4:12-13
So hey! It looks like God is still using Dad’s Bible to send His message out; and it’s not the last thing.
“This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” ~Titus 3:8 KJV
Father, please forgive me for my thoughts, words, and actions which are unprofitable, vain, or an obstruction to the reading, understanding, and acceptance of Your Word. In the Name of Jesus, our blessed Yeshua Messiah, amen.