Jesus Christ died on the Cross at Calvary for every single person who has lived, is living and will ever live. Those who accept that fact as the absolute truth will make it to heaven, those who don’t won’t. It is a simple, plain message that even a child can understand and accept. Yet, there are those who refuse to believe it. They have their own god(s) and become very angry when they hear the name of Jesus. Why? Because every time the name of Jesus is heard, those hearing it have to make a decision. Some will say “Oh, I will decide later” not understanding that this statement is a decision not to accept Him. They want us to water down the message and allow for other ways to get to heaven. The Gatekeeper is on duty 24/7 and will not allow anyone to enter into heaven unless they can truthfully answer the simple question; “Have you accepted Jesus as the only way into heaven?” There is no negotiation, the deal has been sealed and everyone comes on the same terms. The foot of the cross is level ground, everyone comes just as they are and accepts Jesus the same way. The rich, the famous and the powerful must meet Jesus the same way as the poor, the unknown and the common man. The only way is to go empty-handed, humble and obedient. It isn’t a man’s plan that can be altered, it is the infallible, immutable plan of God.
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6 NLT
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say.—1 Cor. 10:12-15 NASB
God exalts those He chooses to exalt for times and purposes that He chooses. Just because we prayed for someone’s healing and they were healed, we should not get the idea that we can decide who to pray for and when they will get healed. We need to understand that we can do nothing for the Kingdom unless we are empowered by the Holy Spirit. God often times can’t use a person for a particular job because it would cause that person to become prideful. God only allows those things in our lives that He knows He has strengthened us to handle. There is nothing happening in our lives that has not happened to others before us. Yes, there is a larger quantity of ways to present the temptations. but as King Solomon said “there is nothing new under the sun”.(Ecclesiastes 1:9). When the tempter comes with his temptations, we need to look for the open door and run, just as Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife. This is wisdom, we need to get wisdom and with it, get understanding.
7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.–Prov. 4:7 NKJV
39 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.
41 “Your approval means nothing to me, 42 because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. 43 For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. 44 No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God—John 5:39-44 (NLT)
At the time Jesus was speaking, He, of course, was referring to the Old Testament Scriptures which clearly prophesy of the Messiah coming as the Suffering Servant. But the Jewish leaders didn’t want the Suffering Servant, they wanted the King. They did not understand that Jesus was both. People today are still reading the Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testament looking for confirmation of what they already believe instead of searching for the Truth. There had been impostors in the past, that the leaders had accepted because the impostors led rebellions against the Roman Empire. They had been led astray and deceived before. Today, we still have so many highly educated and/or charismatic leaders that lead people astray. People are searching for something or someone to believe, so they honor and follow after those they can see refusing to believe the truth about Jesus. The way we can show our love for Jesus is to spread the Truth to these poor souls who have been deceived. Will we win all of them to Jesus? No, but that should not keep us from witnessing to the lost. How can we do this? We can follow the example Paul set for us: 22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.–1 Cor. 9:22, 23 (NLT)
6 So be truly glad.There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. .—1 Peter 1:6-8 (NLT)
We must have genuine faith to endure the trials and hardships here on earth. Our faith will be tested on many occasions. Through these tests and temptations we will grow stronger in our walk with the Lord. We must remember that we will never be tempted with anything that is not common to others, it will never be more than we can bear, and there is always a way out it we want to escape the temptation. 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.-1 Cor. 10:13 (NLT)
So we must press on to heaven. We will have our reward when Jesus Christ is revealed. “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus”. (Hymn by John H Sammis, circa 1887) We love and trust Jesus because He gave Himself for us. That hope is what brings us joy and peace.
20 You died with Christ and were made free from the powers that influence this world. So why do you act as if you still belong to the world? I mean, why do you follow rules like these: 21 “Don’t eat this,” “Don’t taste that,” “Don’t touch that”? 22 These rules are talking about earthly things that are gone after they are used. They are only human commands and teachings. 23 These rules may seem to be wise as part of a made-up religion in which people pretend to be humble and punish their bodies. But they don’t help people stop doing the evil that the sinful self wants to do.–Colossians 2:20-23 (ETRV)
Jesus came to set us free from the captivity of our sins. When we spiritually died with Christ and we were raised up again, we were set free from the powers of this world. Our lifestyles should reflect that death and resurrection. We should live our lives free from old laws and traditions. As Jesus instructed Peter in Acts 11: 9 The voice spoke again from heaven, ‘Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.” But we must never let our liberty be a stumbling block to outsiders or those that are weaker. We should use our liberty in Jesus to attract others to Him. We are to be filled with the Spirit of the Living God and led by His directions. Only the love of God and His Spirit abiding in us can stop us from doing the evil things that the flesh continues to want to do. We should be Spirit-fed and Spirit-led. Will we be accused of trying to be little “Jesuses”? Probably so, but is there anyone better for us to attempt to mimic than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?