Most people have never understood because they read very little, preferring to listen, so that they don’t have to strive for anything. Christian have preferred to “live and let live” even after they have been “touched” by The Lord Himself.
It may be hard to understand and even harsh to express, but the truth is that a person who commits because of a momentary emotional, euphoric experience, which seconds later he will forget, accomplishes… nothing.
Many are the preachers of the gospel who stimulate people to this euphoric moment without realizing that such emotional upheaval will accomplish… nothing. A momentary emotional commitment that such person has no spiritual strength to keep.
Some of them, (I have heard) boast of large numbers of people who after hearing their “sermon” made such a commitment. Will the All-mighty God reward someone who has accomplish… nothing?
It is the reason our Lord told us to make… disciples. A disciple is someone who follows the teachings, life, and aim of another until the person becomes like the master. But how can a person who has taken a step into the unknown keep the promise he has just made and barely understands?
Those who call themselves Christians are to take responsibility for the salvation of their neighbor, their brother, the one we are supposed to love as we love ourselves. If we are to be honest in our love for God, we must disciple. A disciple is a responsibility… our responsibility. We are commanded to make disciples by the One we say is our Lord. “Jesus loves you” is barely the beginning of what we are commanded to do, and certainly not enough to accomplish what our Lord desires.
A Christian who is just as “busy” with personal desires as any other person in this world is (sorry to say) not a Christian. It is anti-biblical to live for ourselves. (I John 3:16) It is anti-biblical to ignore the lost, the people who are on their way to hell.
To give God the “left-overs” of our lives is anti-biblical. To go to a temple once a week and assuage our conscious is a waste of time. Do not be deceived, for we cannot deceive God. It is foolish to try.
There are certain demands in order for us to enter through the gates of heaven, and these demands must be met. (II Peter 1:10-11)
The precious gift must be (1) accepted, must be (2) un-wrapped, must be, (3) put on, must be, (4) utilized. Otherwise, the gift is useless.
We are called to bear fruit, but how can we bear fruit if we have not tillage, if we have not seeded, if we have not cultivated, if we have not harvested.
The precious gift of salvation, is brought about through a sincere repentance of our sinful life. When we confess our sins and our need for salvation, accepting Jesus Christ’ redemption as full payment of our sin. (John 3:16)
When God sees this sincere repentance in a person, He gifts such person with “the new birth”, a new beginning, a new life, a new father, and an eternal life, for eternity starts right from that moment. Such person’s name is written at that moment in God’s Book of Life.
It must be known that such person’s name can be erased from God’s Book of Life. (Revelation 3:5 & Exodus 32:33 Psalms 69:28)
The new birth (John 3: 3) is barely the beginning of God’s desires, for this new life must grow, it is the means He has provided so that we can accomplish what eternal life demands. Because even when we gave been granted 100% forgiveness, we must carry that 100% forgiveness faithfully through our whole life until He calls us. It is also true that eternal life demands that we share what we have been granted, otherwise we are selfish and the love of God is not in us.
These things are easily written down and easily spoken of, but they are not easily accomplished. The truth is hard to bear, but hiding or ignoring the truth is futile, useless. What we need to know and remember is that there is nothing impossible for the One who calls, and our victory is in our faith in Jesus, that He will find a way to save us, if we remain faithful to Him.
Nonetheless, we must accept the gift, we must un-wrap the gift, we must put on the gift and we must utilize it, and the way is through the new birth, gifted along-side eternal life, for the flesh will one day… perish.
When God created Mankind, He said let Us make man in our likeness and image. (Genesis 1:26) The God who has revealed Himself, has let it known that He is Father God, Son God and Holy Spirit God. (Understanding not required) So He created mankind in His likeness, for people are spirit, soul and body. It is this composition that defines mankind, for God has other children.
In that beginning, mankind was… holy. They were as God was… holy. Then mankind made the graves mistake mankind has ever made… we sinned. God had told mankind that the day they disobeyed, that day they would die, (Genesis 2:17) for sin gives birth to death. And so, it did.
Freedom of choice is the birth right of ALL living beings, God did not and does not want slaves or automatons. God wants children who have the freedom to love Him… or not. If we love Him, we can be with Him, if we don’t love Him, we have to go somewhere else, for His kingdom, like Him, is holy. If we love God, we have to obey God, why? Because God knows what is best for us. God is better for us than anything our minds may imagine.
How could mankind have freedom of choice if the garden they had been placed in had no manner of expressing anything else but obedience?
Obedience is the action of love, it is the action of trust, it is the action required to demonstrate that we are sincere in our desire to be with Him.
Life is with God, Joy is with God, happiness is with God, peace is with God and all good things come from… God. (James 1:17) For that is He.
When mankind sinned, immediately they died, how? We lost our connection to… life.
When God made mankind, He made us so that we could access the visible world through our bodies, and the invisible world, (invisible to us now) through the spirit in us. Just as the body was given senses, so was our spirit given abilities.
It is the spirit which gives life. (Genesis 2:7 & John 6:63 & Romans 8:6 & James 2:26 & I Peter 4:6) When we lost the connection to our spirit, we lost our connection to life. The soul is the center of people, it is where we decide over what the senses of the body tell us, and (once upon a time) (and after the new birth), what the spirit would tell us. It is the reason Adam was able to do all the things he did, his connection to life, his holy life permitted him to access the abilities of his spirit. Our spirit’ have the ability of intuition, among others. Intuition is the ability to know what is right without the need for mental deductions.
It is this spirit, this human composition that is renewed in the “new birth”. Our spirit was dead because of sin, our connection to life had been severed by sin, but when Jesus Christ atoned, paid in full for mankind’s sins, this permitted God to renew us to the original design, a person with full capacity to access all of the abilities granted to mankind at the beginning of creation.
Why did Jesus Christ state this as an essential to salvation? Something He stated as “no other way” but through the new birth?
When mankind sinned, the spirit of mankind separated from him, why? Because the spirit of mankind was a breath which came directly from The All-mighty God and as the Word states, when a person dies it returns to God. (Ecclesiastes 12:7) The reason for a separation when mankind sinned, nothing which has been contaminated by sin, can return to God. It is also the reason of the new birth, because God cannot communicate with us through a body contaminated by sin. Our flesh, which is what the Word refers to as the body, is unable to change, it serves the law of sin. (Romans 7:18-24)
Before the new birth, we indulged in a life of sin, free from any remorse, (almost any) but when the new birth happens, then the renewal of our spirit brings a new life, a life which battles the life-ending desires of the flesh, a life which desires to live, to come closer to life, to come closer to He who is life. And the battle begins…
This battle, as Watchman Nee says, is a sign that the child’s spirit has been renewed. The new birth has taken place, for otherwise, there wouldn’t be a battle. The merciful, loving God pours out His loving desire to bring this child closer to Him, but the flesh is not giving up so easily, and the enemy who has ignored this child who was heading in the same direction he is, sudden comes against this child with all of his vast arsenal of God derailing malignant traps.
There is much to say about the new birth, some of it can be found in the book, (The Efficient Teaching II by Daniel Hernandez-Davila)
We can now return to the need for discipleship. As anyone can understand, the confession and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior is barely the beginning of the battle for the great privilege, the enormous blessing, of becoming one of God’s children. We could utilize a saying which is true, the church of Jesus Christ is the Home of The Lord and the door to heaven.
The church of Jesus Christ, is composed of those who believe and follow His footsteps, lifestyle, example. It is where a new believer must come to first, and it is the responsibility of the members therein, to teach this person about the new life and its demands.
A proper discipleship is key to victory, and one of the things the church of Jesus Christ practiced with fervor. If we read the book of Acts, we will find there a discipleship which was beyond anything the church practices in our days.
The fellowship, the sharing, the love of The Lord was plain to see, for they understood the need of communion. (II Peter 1:7) The need to persevere in The Spirit of The Lord, which permeated everything in the life of the first congregation. To love our Lord requires nothing less.
I was astonished when I saw that in Allentown there was a “temple” in every corner. A small congregation which followed a person who had decided to become a Pastor. And I wondered, does that person know the responsibility he has acquired? The judgement he will face with The Lord when the Lord asks for those sheep which under his care became lost? The judgement of The Lord over those believers which never made it home because he floundered like a fish out of water? The judgement of those who were lost because he didn’t have any anointing? No relationship with The Lord, no understanding of the truth, no communion?
He may enjoy his little time of ease and glory, but I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes when he meets The Lord.
Nonetheless, discipleship is not accomplished only in the church, it is the responsibility of all those who profess to be a believer in Jesus Christ. It is to speak to someone, it is to invite that person to the temple, it is to strive in prayer on that person’s behalf, it is to keep insisting and teaching such person over his need of salvation.
The battle for salvation should be a joint effort in which we participate of every believer’s victory… or defeat. A heart that “bleeds” over those who do not have the blessing our Lord has so graciously granted us. Too many are those headed towards perdition and this world is in a direct course towards suicide. But while there is time, let us strive for a harvest worthy of Him who has blessed us with the greatest blessing any Being can be granted. The great blessing of spending an eternity in peace, joy and in the presence of The Only True All-mighty God.
This is the heart of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ.