Jesus Says, Take Up Your Cross And Follow Me.

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The world is undergoing a savage spiritual assault as the forces of darkness wage war on humanity. People are mourning the loss of their previous way of life while grieving what’s to come. Undoubtedly, this is a time of great trial and testing but Jesus said that the truth will set you free because He knows that deception and fear is enslavement.

1 John 4:1-4. Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Proverbs 22:3. The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

The truth is never a clear, neatly-paved path but rather a dark, dense forest with many twists and turns. Each one of us is on this quest and all are at varying stages of growth along this unending pilgrimage. Naturally, I’ve always had a passionate interest in human’s search for the truth because it is out there. Through the years, I explored philosophies, self-help books and schools of thought like Taoism. It proved to be an enthusiastic intellectual exercise but my thirst was never truly quenched. I went from one thing to the next without ever attaining any real and lasting hydration.

The decision to follow Jesus defied logic because it was a matter of the heart. Upon commitment, I abandoned all other “ways” and focused solely on Him. By devotion and obedience to God’s Word, I’ve witnessed and can testify to His mighty, lifesaving work. I no longer wander, parched because the Lord is an abundant fountain that nourishes and preserves my spirit. But even with well-meaning intentions, I still have to cautiously navigate the material which is being presented on Jesus and the Bible. Contrary to the devil’s lie, all roads do not lead to the same outcome because that would make the truth irrelevant and this is certainly not the case.

1 Corinthians 1:18. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

At the click of a button, we now have access to more information than ever before. With that said, it’s incredibly easy to fall prey to charlatans and heretics that claim to be in the church. They serve exactly what you want just the way you want it by polluting, diluting and dissolving the Scriptures. They take advantage of anyone who will listen by knowingly leading them astray. In the name of Jesus, they offer health, wealth and success by appealing to the temporal, material and perishing.

The “name it and claim it” gospel promotes God’s promises for selfish gain while convincing the audience to send money for continual blessings. These folks pervert the Good News into a diabolical ploy as a means to their greedy end. They offer no true Biblical understanding of sin, humility, brokenness, virtue, selflessness, repentance, holiness, worship, suffering and sacrifice. There is no earnest call to turn away from reprobation through regeneration of the heart. Our sin that sent Jesus to the cross is minimized, if not obliterated, and is replaced by sufficiency in our own goodness.

2 Timothy 4:3. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Their interest is only in this life and how it can be the best one we will ever have. This teaching is in direct opposition to the Bible because Jesus warns about persecution and challenges for Christ’s sake. As believers, this will be our worst life as we make our way to Heaven.

John 15:18-19. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

Matthew 7:13-17. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”

The Lord gives us free will and turns us over to whatever we choose. God will make attempts to reach us but if we repeatedly reject Him then what to do? He is not going to send Jesus to the cross for a second time.

Romans 1:28. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

Unfortunately, a majority of preachers and denominations are linked to controversy and abuse. The greatest damage which results from this farce is the abandonment of Jesus because people learn not to trust. They could’ve been directly affected, know someone who has been or simply don’t want to get involved from the jump. This breaks my heart because Jesus’ love is by far the greatest gift which we will ever experience yet we are mercilessly robbed of this glory. We must not deny that the beliefs by which we live are the building blocks that construct our decisions and actions. Once again, Jesus illustrates the importance of having the right foundation if we are to endure.

Matthew 7:24-27. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Our Saviour provides direct instruction as to what is required to be His follower. We must take up our cross daily, shoulder the heaviness  and continually die to the flesh through the strength which He provides. This means allowing the Holy Spirit to have His way in us so that we are transformed into the likeness of Jesus.

Matthew 16:24-26. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 

Being summoned to spread the Gospel is the highest and most honourable position that I’ve ever been called to. While I’m writing a post, I ask the Holy Spirit to lead me in the way of righteousness so that I can be an acceptable conduit. I still stumble and fall but actively working on perfecting my heart. I am just a regular person with an eagerness to share her relationship with the Almighty.  Understanding God’s power, I don’t take this responsibility lightly due to a healthy fear of the Lord. The goal is not to defraud and delude but to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Given the troubling world events, I expect that we will be forced to make very serious decisions. Those who have committed themselves to Jesus may need to put their lives on the line for the faith. We can only pray for God’s might to endure any persecution that will come our way.

Regardless of what I or anyone else proclaims, please execute further examination of the Bible in order to make your own sound, informed judgments.

John 16:33. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Amen.