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Messages - Food for the Soul

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MY SHEEP KNOW MY VOICE

God compares His people to sheep, as they are often referenced in the Word of God. Jesus said,

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me” John 10:27.

Jesus also spoke of the habits of the sheep, to demonstrate why He refers to us as sheep:

“He that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep, to him the porter opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice, and a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers” John 10:2-5.

Have you ever felt a foreboding about something, followed through with it anyway, and it turned out disastrous?

Have you ever felt guilt rise up about some decision, or activity, that you felt the Lord would not be pleased with, but you ignored the guilt, perhaps justifying the thing as borderline, but not a sin, only to later discover that decision, or activity, led to greater sin and condemnation?

Do you ever participate in worldly events that you know Jesus wouldn’t do, but you allow those things because, well, “I’m only human?”

Even though the Word of God says, “Wine is a mocker; strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1), do you ever convince yourself you are only a social drinker, you know when to quit, and drink anyway?

God placed into His people, those who have repented and received Jesus as their Savior, a conscience and the tugging of His Spirit upon our hearts to know when to beware. It is only when we ignore those tugs and thoughts of caution, that they eventually go away and finally, one day, perhaps never return.

The Word of God says,

“He that, being often reproved, hardens his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed and that without remedy” Proverbs 29:1.

God also warned, just before sending a devastating flood that destroyed all of mankind, except for one righteous man and his family,

“My Spirit shall not always strive with man...” Genesis 6:3. (He then decided to send the flood – Genesis 6:5-8.)

Romans 1:21-32, explains in full detail how people can go from refusing to acknowledge and serve the Lord, or give Him glory, to indulging in their own sinful lusts, to the degree that they cross over to a reprobate mind, meaning there is no hope for that person – ever!

One might consider that someone who is reprobate has never known God, because if they did, God wouldn’t allow them to pluck them out of His hand. Jesus did say, “no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand” John 10:29.

He said, “no man;” He did not say that we, ourselves, could not turn away from God and betray Him.

There is a flurry of reassurances on the internet and throughout churches about this “no ability to backslide” (Calvin) doctrine. To make this short, I will simply provide one area of scripture which dispels that whole entire theme:

“It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame” Hebrews 6:4-6.

This is not referring to committing a sin, once a person has been saved and received the gift of the Holy Ghost; this is referring to falling away from the faith entirely, for all of God’s people have messed up and had to repent at some point, or another.

The point here is that there is such a thing as backsliding from the faith and being given over to a “reprobate mind," not redeemable, as per God’s decision. Again, Romans 1:21-32 is also a very good example of this condition.

People simply would rather isolate some scriptures that seem to indicate we can never lose our salvation, because they want to continue in sin, but all of the scriptures must be “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:5), so the entire truth is laid out before us. No scripture is of private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20).

That being said, it is of vital importance to hear the voice of God, as Jesus said we would, if we are His sheep (John 10:27).

We must first know the Word of God better than we know anything in this world. We are unable to discern if it is the Lord’s voice, or the deceptive voice of another, if we don’t know the Word of God for comparison.

How many books have you read? Enough? Perhaps very many? Comparatively, how much have you read and studied the Word of God, which is the pathway to heaven, without which people end up in hell.

How important is reading the Word of God? It is as important as getting into heaven for all eternity, or ending up in the eternal flames of hell.

The Bible tells us that God is His Word (John 1:1, 14). If we don’t love and cleave to His Word, we don’t love Him!

Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled and those remaining will also come to pass. Please don't neglect your eternal soul. If you aren't saved, I invite you to visit the How Can I Be Saved page of this website.  God bless you.

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“PULLING THEM OUT OF THE FIRE”

Major Bible prophecies have been fulfilled regarding the end times and the return of the Lord, confirming to the saints that the “catching up” of the saints (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) could happen at any time.

Israel became a nation in our generation (1948); Jerusalem was retaken by Israel during the Six Day War, (1967); Israel is “blossoming like a rose” (Isaiah 35:1), and these prophecies had to be fulfilled in order for the Lord to return, according to Bible prophecy. The prophecies have been fulfilled and now we are “looking up” for the return of the Lord.

We are living in very evil times; but we are also living in the most exciting time yet for the saints of God, who are ready and watching for His return.

Some of us, no doubt, have a gnawing hesitation, as earnestly as we wait for our Savior, because we have unsaved loved ones. If all of your loved ones are saved, how very blessed you are!

The Lord laid this message on my heart, as I made supplications for my family, and other loved ones, to surrender to God and turn away from sin, so they can be ready for the Lord’s return.

The saints of God are excitedly anticipating Christ’s return, but if our loved ones aren’t saved, we must ask ourselves if we have done all that can be done to win them to Jesus, before it’s too late to escape the great tribulation (Matthew 24:21) and God’s wrath poured out upon a wicked world.

Some may need to hear the gospel; others may have been saved at one time, but are living in a state of willful sin and they are far from God. Whatever the case may be, it is important to pray the right kind of prayers for the particular circumstances of the unsaved, and it is equally as important to approach them in the manner God would have us to, according to instructions given in the Holy Word of God.

Jude wrote about the lost,

“Of some, have compassion, making a difference; and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” Jude 1:22-23 (emphasis added).

In other words, there are those we can approach with compassion and consultation, making a difference in their way of thinking through humble admonition. There are others, however, that are steeped in sin, that we may not even want to approach because of their behavior, but Jude said some need to be warned to fear God and hell fire that awaits them, if they do not repent.

Each person that is not saved, depending on his/her circumstances, needs to be approached in perhaps a different way, as we are led of the Holy Spirit.

Ezekiel wrote extensively about negligent watchmen who failed to warn evil men against committing their wicked acts, and the prophet warned that God would require the blood of these sinners at their hands on account of their negligence. Ezekiel warned the watchmen not only in chapter 3, but he went on to repeat the same warnings in chapter 33.

God told Ezekiel:

“Go to them of the captivity, unto the children of your people and speak to them, and tell them, Thus says the Lord God, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear...And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have made you a watchman unto the house of Israel, therefore, hear the Word at My mouth and give them warning from Me. When I say unto the wicked, You shall surely die, and you give him not warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die, because you have not given him warning; he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood will I require at your hand. Nevertheless, if you warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he is warned; also you have delivered your soul” Ezekiel 3:11,16-21.

Do you perhaps have a family member, or other loved one, who is opposed to hearing about their need for salvation, to the extent that you have not wanted to approach that person? This is not uncommon, and some are very opposed to hearing the gospel of salvation, or the fact that they are a sinner in need of the Savior.

If you have attempted to speak to that one, but this person has adamantly refused the Lord, there may be nothing more you can say, but you can pray that God will send a messenger this one will hear, even if they didn’t want to hear from you.

We can pray that God will send a messenger our loved ones will hear; and we can pray “whatever it takes to bring them to salvation, so be it.”

Do we pray for blessings, protection, healing and financial blessings for our lost loved ones? We can, but we had better include in our prayers that even if it takes the “destruction of their flesh,” bring them to their knees (1 Corinthians 5:5). Some will repent on their deathbed, but at no other time. Would we rather them die feeling good, but end up in hell unsaved and lost, or pray that “whatever it takes, if it takes the destruction of their flesh, save them, oh Lord.”

Paul admonished the saints in Corinth, regarding a man who was sleeping with his father’s wife, to turn that backslidden brother “over to satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” 1 Corinthians 5:5.

The reason Paul instructed the saints to pray in this manner is because if saints who backslide and are caught up in such a vile sin as this, and they do not repent, we need to pray for “the destruction of their flesh,” so that in their grave illness, perhaps on their death bed, they will repent and ask for God’s forgiveness.

If we continue to pray for blessings upon our loved ones who are living in sin and disobedience, especially if they have known the Lord and His goodness, it is imperative to give them strong warning and pray “whatever it takes, even if it takes the destruction of their flesh, bring them to repentance, oh Lord.”

If we pray comfort and blessings upon them, will they not enter hell, unaware and comfortable, until they hit the flames?

As difficult as it is, we absolutely must pray for circumstances that are many times difficult and grievous, if that’s what it will take to bring them to repentance, rather than see our loved ones end up in hell fire forever, without reprieve!

Some of the hardest people to speak to about the Lord are those who insist they are already saved and they have no need to repent, but they are living in a state of willful sin.

The Word of God is very clear; the unrighteous shall not enter the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9). We are not saved by works, only the grace of God. Albeit, when the Lord saves us, He calls us out of sin. He doesn’t save us from sin, only to see us return to darkness and “crucify Him afresh” (Hebrews 6:6).

The Apostle Paul said,

“If we sin willfully, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins” Hebrews 10:26.

In other words, it is only when we repent and forsake our sins, we will be forgiven by God.

The Word also tells us,

“My little children, these things I write to you, that you sin not; and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” 1 John 2:1.

This teaching is very clear. We are not to sin, but if we fall, we need to repent; we have an advocate with the Father.

However, if we repent, but continue in sin, there is no more “sacrifice” for those sins in Christ Jesus, because we sin willfully. We can be forgiven again, but we need to repent. Still, we are not to continue willfully in sin.

There is a strong and definite difference between being overcome in a moment of weakness, and repenting afterwards; and living in a state of willful sin, perhaps repenting, but continuing in that same sin.

Regardless of the condition of our loved ones who aren’t saved, the important thing for us to do in this hour is to make absolutely certain that we have done all within our power to present the gospel, and warn those living in sin who have already heard the gospel. Either way, whether it be to present the truth, or issue warnings, we have a grave responsibility before God to make certain we have done all we can do. God is our judge.

It is equally important to pray the appropriate prayers for our lost loved ones, as we are led of the Spirit of the Lord, lest we pray blessings upon those who actually need chastisement for the sake of their own spiritual awakening.

May the Lord bless you with boldness to present the gospel, or issue warnings, and may the peace of God be with those of you who fulfill His will in this.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled and those remaining will also come to pass. Please don't neglect your eternal soul. If you aren't saved, I invite you to visit the How Can I Be Saved page of this website.  God bless you.

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