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Monday, July 7, 2008

The Way Into the Kingdom Part 3

First off, thank you all for your prayers, and your suggestions on natural cures for strep. I could probably put together a nice little brochure on how to cure strep from all the e-mails i've gotten, and the comments on homeward bound. I'm better, and after having consumed industrial quantities of Ricola, (if you don't know what Ricola is they're really good cough drops), even felt well enough to take my wife to the airport. She's in Romania now, made it safe with no interesting stories to tell. Belated as it might be, here is the final installment of the way into the kingdom. We also posted the E-Newsletter today, so if you haven't gotten a chance to peruse it, I think it's worth a few minutes of your time.
My wife took her laptop with her, and I am forced to use my on special, not quite all there laptop, purchased at a place that rhymes with Ball-Mart, which is better known for well, value rather than quality. Oddly enough I borrowed this dinosaur from my friend Geno eons ago, and I'm hoping to return it before I turn fifty. The reason I mention this is because I can't put the verses in bold and italics. I may try to go to the office tomorrow and fix it, but for now, my apologies again.
Luke 13:27, “But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.”
The Word of God is never repetitive simply for the sake of repetition. Unlike modern authors, God did not have a quota to fill, a minimum amount of pages to write, and in His inability to come up with something new, chose to repeat Himself just to make the Book seem bigger.
When the Word of God repeats a certain passage, when certain words are accentuated over and over again, it is not for dramatic effect, but for emphasis. By repeating the words ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from’, the Word of God is pointing out the significance, relevance, and importance of this passage as it pertains to salvation, sanctification, and regeneration of the human heart.
A truth that is continually brought up, repeated, and concentrated upon must be received and appropriated with all due diligence, because the orator or writer, sees that the life of the listener or the reader is in danger of eternal death.
I have been asked on several occasions why I continually bring up the topic of repentance in my sermons, because as one lady put it I seem intelligent enough to come up with new material. The reason I preach repentance every time I stand behind a pulpit is not due to an inability to fashion a sermon, but rather due to the paramount importance of repentance in the life of a believer. I hammer home the point, often to the chagrin of the listeners, because absent of repentance one will never know the comforting grace of God. If something is as important as eternity, it is worth repeating over and over again.
In this verse, Jesus repeats the words He uttered in a previous verse during the same conversation. But how could He not know them if they claimed to have drank in His presence, and to have heard Him teach in their streets? Because it is not enough to hear, it is not enough to catch a glimpse of Christ from the corner of one’s eye, it is not enough to witness a miracle; one must be born again, born of Christ, living in Christ, moving in Christ, perpetually becoming Christ like.
It is not enough to be a religious person, born of religious parents, fulfilling all the traditions of one’s chosen denomination, and defending the denomination rather than Christ will all your might. The Jews of old did the same exact thing, yet they were Christ’s mortal enemies, because rather than encourage the masses to worship as dictated by tradition, He counseled them to worship God in spirit and in truth. Since His Kingdom is not of this world, a worldly-minded individual can never understand it, or discover its beauty.
John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
The nature of Christ cannot be known in the midst of sin, but can only be discovered and emulated, once the sin has been removed from our hearts, and we have removed ourselves from sin. It is then that we are truly born again. Even though the Pharisees were religious, their inability to know Christ for who He truly was betrays the fact that they were sinful men.
When a man believes, and truly repents, receiving Christ as Lord and Savior of His existence, he is born again, not of blood, but of God. It is not religion that saves; it is Christ and Christ alone.
John 1:12-13, “But as many as receive Him, to them He gave the right to become Children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Christ repeats these scathing words, words that will ring in the hearts and minds of so many for all eternity, that while we may we would search our hearts in the light of God’s Word, and honestly answer the following questions: Who are we? Where are we? Where are we going?
If the answer to who we are is anything other than ‘a child of God, saved and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb’, then we have missed the mark and are living in error.
If the answer to where we are, spiritually speaking, is not ‘in the will of God, founded and cemented in the truth of His word, no longer distracted by the world, or by those claiming to be of Christ but are not’, then once again, we have missed the mark and are living in error.
If the answer to where we are going is not ‘from grace to grace and glory to glory, ever growing in God, ever maturing in the Spirit, ever drawing closer to Him’, then we are not headed in the right direction, and we must take a moment, get our bearings, and rediscover Christ in all His wondrous glory.
If today we cannot be bothered by the essentials, if today we attempt to justify indifference toward the Word of God, if today we turn our back on the saving grace of Christ, if today we find substitutes for true transformation and regeneration, if today we are satisfied with less than all of God, if today we discard the truth because it is too difficult to abide by, if today we attempt to bypass a true and lasting relationship with Jesus in lieu of momentary experiences whether they be divine or otherwise, the day will come when we will hear the dreaded words ourselves, “depart from me, I do not know you all you workers of iniquity.”
Saints of God, may we be sober minded during these dark days, may we know that we are anchored in truth, may we be satisfied in Christ, and satiated by God’s word, may we embrace brokenness, humility, weeping and supplication rather than exuberance, giddy laughter, empty doctrine and false signs. The day of reckoning is at hand, and all that can be shaken will be shaken. May you be found strong in the Lord, may you be found steadfast in His will. If you have found truth and light, if you have found life and peace, if you have found joy and comfort in the Lord, do not be moved, I say again do not be moved. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s not even grass, it’s artificial turf; it looks pretty from afar, but offers absolutely nothing.
I remember while traveling with my grandfather in the early nineties we would stay in people’s homes while on the road. For some reason artificial fruit was very popular back then, I think everyone remembers them, the beautiful apples and grapes, the peaches and bananas, all made out of plastic. They were fun to look at but if you attempted to eat one, the best you can hope for is a chipped tooth.
There is far too much plastic fruit in God’s house today. It offers no sustenance, no nutritive value, just there for decoration and nothing more. The spirit is slowly but surely being starved to death, while the eye gazes upon baskets and baskets of molded plastic. We need the Bread of Life that we might live; we need the waters of life that our parched and thirsty souls may drink in the living waters and be renewed and rejuvenated.
Now, while the door is still open, may we sit down in the kingdom of God, and have our fill of His Word, for in it we will find a true abundance, and a life of victory.
Luke 13:28, “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.”
I have stated before, and am a firm believer of the fact that there is nothing worse than regret. Take the regret one might feel as a human being, and multiply it exponentially into infinity, and one might just get a glimpse of what it will be like for some, who will find themselves thrust out of God’s kingdom.
Those who chose not to obey God and His written Word, those who were not born again, those who did not have His nature both in their daily lives as well as the church, will be thrust out of the Lamb’s marriage supper, and will not be allowed to remain in God’s house. This thrusting out, will be accompanied by weeping and gnashing of teeth, because those who were thrust out will palely be able to see the grace from which they chose to remove themselves, and know that this was entirely their doing. They will not be able to lay the blame at the enemy’s feet, they will not be able to point out to preachers or evangelists and say, ‘it was they that led me astray’, for every man chooses to believe the truth of God’s Word, or the half-truths of men.
It is a great thing indeed to seize the opportunity, to be aware of the importance of the moment in which one is living. After the moment has passed, after one has allowed the opportunity to slip through their fingers, they can weep, even gnash their teeth, but they will never be able to recapture that moment.
Whomsoever rejects Christ the Savior, whomsoever rejects Christ, as Lord today, will weep bitter tears tomorrow, for they will be thrust out. But brother, how can God be so cruel as to thrust someone out of His kingdom? In truth, it is not God who thrusts man out, it is man who thrusts himself out by unbelief and disobedience.
Total submission, complete surrender, absolute repentance, these are the things that will ensure us a future with God, and a place in His kingdom. Neither signs nor wonders, angels or apparitions, church attendance or financial giving will cause God to welcome us into His eternal rest, only true salvation brought about by the saving power of Christ, and the evident image of His son Jesus upon our countenance.
2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

3 comments:

Amy said...

Amen Michael. I have not sat under a true message of repentance in many years, and I miss it so much. There is nothing like the feeling of cleanness that comes from being washed with the Word of God that way. It's like a service done by us for each other and I don't think it can be experienced the same way alone.

A couple days ago I found an old notebook with a study I did on Jezebel, and again, I was struck by the meaning of her name. It is "Chaste?" The question mark after "chaste" literally means, "from whence?" or "from where?" This is exactly what your opening scripture refers to - how the Lord says, "I do not know you, where you are from." There are many religious people right in among the true Body of believers who have an appearance of being "chaste" or pure, but it is not the purity that comes from God, that comes from His own blood and His Word, it is a counterfeit.

And in Revelation 2 a "Jezebel" is leading those under her teaching into impurity - both sexual and spiritual impurity.

Remember how Jezebel whipped up the false prophets into a frenzy and called for a huge display of fleshly pomp, prayer, jumping around and personal "sacrifice" (cutting on their own bodies) in order to get God to respond? But Elijah - in whose spirit John the Baptist came preaching repentance - after telling the people to choose whose side they would be on, simply offered Yahweh's prescribed sacrifice, thanked Him for turning back the hearts of the people, and asked Him to prove Himself.

Just some thoughts on the arch enemy of repentance. I believe the call to choose sides has already gone out in this nation and the choice has been made against Yahweh by most so-called "Christians." The prophets of Baal will eventually wear themselves out.

Anonymous said...

Brother Michael,

I just absolutely love what you write. It always rings so true, it always rings as such a reminder in these days of "Everyones okay, just be good people." I thank you so much for continuing to take the time for these blogs.

Thank you, also, for the newsletter. It is surely a sad thing that you know you will get a dose of hate mail from it. I sure can't see anything to disagree with!

Stand firm, Brother Michael, you are doing much good.

Mrs. Pugh

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your messages on repentance. Repentance - must always change my mind, my attitudes, my motives on a sometimes hour-by-hour basis, to stay on the narrow path, to keep sin from gaining a foothold, to keep in communion with the Holy Spirit and especially be well-pleasing toward my heavenly Father.
Thank you for motivating me toward repentance, brother Mike. Thank you for speaking the warnings as Jesus taught.

Jackie in northern WI