The Enduring Promise

Many times death comes unannounced.  People fall in their tracks, as they work out the things of the day.  Sometimes death comes in a protracted celebration.  Some people suffer on their bed for moments, while others suffer on their bed for years.

If I am blessed to spend my celebration on a deathbed, there will be joy in me.  Though my face be racked with pain.  Though my body convulse in agony.  There will be that unspeakable joy of his promise.

How is it possible for any Christian to have a differing view of these things?  As we believe, so is his promise extended.  As we believe, so the Christian receives.

By His Grace

Christianity Demands a Choosing

In everything our God told us, it is our joy to suffer for him.  As he was cast out, so will his disciples be, simply because he spoke what is true.  As we speak what is true, they will treat us like they treated him.

Everything he taught (and by the Holy Spirit of God within us, he still teaches) contains the element of extreme choice.  The teachings of Jesus do not offer mediocrity as an option.  The best examples of this can be found in Matthew chapter 25, and Revelation 3.

Matthew 25 tells us what became of the wicked and lazy servant.  Revelation 3 tells us what became of the Church of Laodicea. 

The world describes joy as happiness, peace, and pleasant prosperity; “Let’s all just get along”.  Christ Jesus describes his disciple’s joy as having the honor to suffer in His Holy name. 

Our joy is hidden in his promise.  The Christian’s joy is not revealed to him as the world defines joy.  For now we die.  But his promise is the eternal joy of eternal life.

As we openly associate ourselves with him, the world will come and try to take away our toys.  They will try, with everything they have, to destroy our right to speak; to mock a life of holiness.  That’s how they treated him.  He has promised, that is how they will treat his disciples.  For that is how they have treated every godly man.  I promise you in Christ, nothing has changed.

Christianity is divided about their response to this.  Some say, “That’s for the prophets only”.  Others say, “This applies to every Christian.  Everyone has to make up their own mind about this. 

10 “We have an altar from which the priests in the Tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. 12 So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. 13 So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. 14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come”.  (Hebrews 13 New Living Translation)

It is like humanity to choose the easy path.  It is like Christ to choose the path that leads directly to crucifixion.  But let every man make his own choice.  Only let us be sure that every Christian understands these things.  Teach them well, that they may make an intelligent and willful choice.

By His Grace