7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
I can relate to that part about having a little strength. I count on 2 Corinthians 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
When you know how weak you are, and you know you can’t do anything to change your circumstances, then you really understand that to endure what you are facing, will be utterly up to God’s providence. It is like the difference between flailing in water over your head in a futile attempt to swim when you never learned to swim, or turning onto your back and going limp and being able to breathe again. God is the water. When we flail in panic or fear, we exhaust our meager strength quickly. All that is left is His strength. His grace.
That is where I am, as I look around this world today. Things are happening so fast, and I expected that eventually we would see an accelleration that puts us all into this position. I think that day has come. It has for me, at least. Maybe some folks are stronger swimmers, and still have more of their own strength to exhaust, but I freely admit that mine is spent. It is hard to live suspended or strattling two worlds. My heart is in heaven. My mind is pulled in many directions at once, and I am worn out. While our bodies are physical and allow us to interact with the physical realm we currently inhabit, our souls and spirits are made for so much more, and eventually our bodies are merely an encumberance.
I watched the newest episodes of The Chosen last night. I know no scriptwriters, no actors and directors can do justice to the life of Christ, but one of the reason’s Jesus took on human flesh was to identify with us, and in doing so, He made it a little more possible for us to relate to Him. So the rare movie that comes close to depicting what a relationship with Christ in flesh is like, is a comfort for our earthbound yet-to-be glorified selves. The way He is depicted in the show, is how I saw Jesus when I first became a believer when I was young. When I had literal dreams of Him seeking me and calling my name, and coming to talk with me in beautiful verdant and blossoming mountains. In the show, He is light-hearted and a little mischievous, but tender and understanding, which takes many by surprise when they meet him. He is the answer to a long-held hope to the Jewish people among whom he walks, and through our benefit of the New Testament, we know He is our hope as well.
The world around us, as we have experienced it, is disintegrating before our eyes, and even with our understanding that this world is not our home, it for now remains the only home we have ever known, and therefore it is disconcerting to witness the crumbling. So seeing a depiction of the Jesus I have long-known but never seen, God with skin on, I can’t think of anything that could be much more comforting. It feels kind of like having had a visit with Him, much like those vivid early dreams.
Maybe that was just the romanticized notions of a young girl, but those dreams to this day are some of my most precious and treasured memories. To bring God down to human terms and proportions, doesn’t do Him justice, of course, but He knew we could never attain comprehension of Him any other way.
We have our first grandbaby on the way, and I sure want to experience that, and witness our son as a young dad. For their sake, I hope they get to experience that, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if a trumpet blast sounded this very day. That grandbaby will go with us if that happens. There are people, true born-again Christians who are called and gifted in evangelizing large numbers of people, and they have been given a measure of ability equal to the calling. My calling is not so broad, but it is just as important. As I have worked my way through thousands of my posts, I can remember so much about each period of time when I wrote or posted about certain things, and what was happening in my life at that time. Through everything, my whole life, God has been faithful to see me through. I have been at the bedside of dying believers, and witnessed the serenity they have in knowing where they are going and the happy anticipation. I don’t have any fear of death, but as I watch the developments around us, I can’t help but feel the horrors of this moment, and knowing it will get so much worse, I also can’t help my eagerness to hear the trumpet and the shout that will finally remove the last of the curse from all those who are washed in the blood.
I don’t believe God called everyone to stand on street corners and hand out tracts, or preach, or to the mission field, but I do believe if we proport to care about someone and never tell them the gospel message, we are not demonstrating love “in deed”. Furthermore, I think Jesus, who died for everyone in the world, deserves that of us, it is literally the least we can do in gratitude for our own salvation.
If we get it through our heads that telling is all He requires, we don’t have to convince them or argue, it should take much of the anxst out of the idea of sharing the gospel for anyone reticent. I know it gets hammered into our heads that a passage in Ezekiel 33( 1-10) means we will have blood on our hands if we don’t warn people they are headed to hell, but that interpretation does not seem consistent with other passages that say there is no excuse for anyone not to believe, as all of creation is a witness. That old Testament passage was specifically about Ezekiel and pertaining to the nation of Israel. It goes on, in the next chapter, to address the shepherds, which stood for the preachers, and if it has any application today, it seems like it would still be a warning to the preachers, who refuse to talk about hell, the blood, or sin, much less Bible prophecy, which is nearly 1/3 of the Bible!
The Philidelphian church has little strength because the shepherds stopped feeding their flocks a long time ago. That pertains to the corporate body, the local church, but individualky what we each definitely are responsible for, is how much or little we cared or tried to know and understand and rightly divide the Holy Scriptures.
What good is a college degree when you are lying on your deathbed and don’t know Jesus?
What goid is wealth? It might buy people’s way out of legal trouble. It might provide influence, but your mammon is irrelevent to God and you have zero influence with God if you are not hidden in Christ, covered by the righteousness of Christ.
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
A. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God
B. Believe upon Him and His work of redemtion on your behalf
C. (All who) call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.
Believe with your heart, confess with your mouth that you believe.
This world has run it’s course. The next life is forever. Every one of us will spend eternity either in heaven or hell. Not to choose, is choosing hell. You have insurance for your health, your car, your home, your life, the burial of your emty shell when your soul departs, but have done nothing in regards to your destination after this life? Time is quickly running out. The tribulation is about to begin, and the forces of evil that are currently still being restrained, are going to be off the chain as soon as God removes His people.
I am glad that I, and all ollowers of Christ can rejoice and look forward in anticipation of a total transformation, because we are weary. You are probably weary too. Jesus extends an invitation. He said “come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest”.
He is waiting to hear from you.