Are You Ready?
You go to church regularly.
You're a good parent.
You are honest in business.
You read the Bible regularly
You say Grace before each meal.
Have I described you? You're ready then, right?
I'll bet you could even add a few items to the
list above. And anyone will agree that you are in the front half of the
line headed for the Golden Gates of Heaven.
No doubt about it - you're ready. Right?
So we've compared you with other Christians in
your acquaintance. That should be a good guide. That should close the
If you are comfortable with your position, then
you might as well set this brochure aside, or hand it to someone you
think isn't ready.
But if you aren't so sure, read on and we will
compare your position to what Jesus and the Bible has to say about
said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth
in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And
whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou
So, believing is all it takes. Sounds easy enough. Let's see if there
is any more.
John 5: 25Verily,
verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead
shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26
For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to
have life in himself;
29And shall come forth;
they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that
have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.
And we have to do good. Well, we've already
stated that you do good things. Anything else?
Luke 14:26If any
man cometh to me, and hate not his father, and mother and wife, and
children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he
cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his
cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28For
which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and
counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot
be my disciple.
Ah-oh. Now we have to love Jesus more than anyone else. It's getting
more difficult now. But what did He mean -- "Hate your family?" In
other places Jesus told us to even love our enemies. Maybe
the original Greek will help us here. According to Strong's the word
means to "persecute," or "detest." But thankfully there is another extension
meaning, and that is to "love less." I don't know about you, but for
myself, I'll take the final meaning.
The scripture also says to "Take up your
cross." Does that mean we are to suffer like He did? Maybe even to die
shamefully? Maybe it means we should be willing to do these
things. That shouldn't be too difficult. But, what if the day comes
that we are put to the test.....?
Jesus also said in the above that we should
have considered all these things before we became Christians (I'm
paraphrasing). Were any of us told about all this before we
agreed? Is that a loophole do you think?
Let's see if there is anything more;
Luke 18: 18And a
certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to
inherit eternal life? 19And Jesus said unto him, Why
callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is,
God. 20Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit
adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false
witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21And he said,
All these have I kept from my youth up. 22Now when Jesus
heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell
all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have
treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23And when he
heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24And
when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall
they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 25For
it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich
man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26And they that heard
it said, Who then can be saved? 27And he
said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. 28Then
Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. 29And
he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath
left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the
kingdom of God's sake, 30Who shall not receive manifold
more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
So now we have the Ten Commandments to follow (or at least part of
them). Also there are things to do as well. It seems to be
rather deep water we have entered.
And after we do all the doing, it
appears that we have to give everything we have to the poor. Has any of
us done that? Perhaps Jesus meant to be willing to give up
everything like the so many say. After all, I have yet to see a
minister without a car or TV.
Then, He said, we are to follow Him? How do we
do that? We can't physically follow Him like the disciples
did. And, as a matter of fact, they were no longer able to
follow Him physically either shortly after He said this. Could He have
meant to listen to His voice? Or the urging of the Holy Spirit? Maybe
He meant we should do as He did while He was on earth. What do you
He also told the disciples that it is difficult
for a rich man to enter Heaven. Who is rich? None of the rich men of
His day had a Cadillac, or a 50' screen TV, or a laptop computer. Since
the man (and we) was supposed to sell everything, is it possible that anything
we are unwilling to let go of (including our family, according to the
previous scripture) is considered as "riches?"
Perhaps this will clarify:
Matt 6: 19Lay not
up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth
corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20But
lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust
doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21For
where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Gal 6: 14:But God
forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
That's a hard one. Let's go one more.
John 17: 13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak
in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14I
have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they
are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
20Neither pray I for
these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their
word; 21That they all may be one; as thou. Father, art
in me; and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world
may believe that thou hast sent me. 22And the glory which
thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are
one: 23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made
perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and
hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
It looks like there is some more yet. As I read this, we are to be so
different from the world (normal people who are not converted) that we
will be hated by them. Are you hated? Of course, earlier we discovered
that "Hate" also means "Love less." However it appears to me that in
the case of Jesus and all His disciples, as well as the early
Christians -- He meant "Persecuted and despised."
He also said that He was giving us His "Glory."
Do you find any Glory in yourself? Of course He might have just been
referring to the Apostles, though He did say that He was not
only praying for them, but for all who would hear and believe.
Matt 7: 12Therefore
all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so
to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 13Enter ye
in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is
the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow
is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be
that find it.
15Beware of false
prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are
ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do
men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so
every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth
forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil
fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every
tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the
fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
2 1Not every one that saith unto me,
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth
the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say
to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And
in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful
works? 23And then will I profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity
Here we have more verses talking about our works. (As I see it, also
called "fruit.") But didn't the Bible say we were saved by Grace, not
Eph 2: 8For by
grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For
we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which
God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
I thought so, it does say that we are saved by Grace. But the
way I interpret these verses, we are saved by Grace - but for
the purpose of doing works. Maybe that has something to do
with this verse :
Phil 2: 12work
out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is
God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good
14Do all things without
murmurings and disputings: 15That ye may be blameless and
harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked
and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
There it is. But along with it is the evidence that it is not us that
is supposed to do the work, but rather God working through
us. I suppose that is what is meant by Jesus saying:
John 15: 1 I am the
true vine, and my father is the husbandman. 2Every branch
in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch
that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now
ye are clean through the word which I have spoken
unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot
bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye,
except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the
branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth
much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man
abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered and men
gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye
shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8Herein
is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my
There's "fruit" again. And it sounds to me as if those who don't
produce fruit will be cast out and burned. That doesn't sound so good
to me. It sounds a lot like what is going to happen to the Great
Unsaved. And He added that those who do produce fruit will be
"purged." That sounds kind of painful to me. Not at all like the "Peace
and Prosperity" messages that is used to get people to come to the
alter. Let me take a look and see what "Purge" means in the Greek.
Strong's tells us it means to "Cleanse," or to
"Prune." Here is something that may help clarify the meaning;
Psalm 79: 9Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of
thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.
So it appears that sin is what is pruned away so God can bear fruit
Matt 5: 14 Ye are
the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither
do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick;
and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and
glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Here we have works again. And added to works is that we are to be a
light unto the world. Do you feel like a light unto the world? I wonder
what we are supposed to use for fuel. We certainly can't be expected to
use ourself for fuel. Maybe this will shed a little light on
Matt 6: 22The light
of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole
body shall be full of light. 23But if thine eye be evil,
thy whole body shall be full of darknes. If therefore the light that is
in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
Perhaps these will help clarify it a little more;
John 8: 12Then
spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he
that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light
John 1: 1In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All
things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that
was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of
5And the light shineth
in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6There
was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7The
same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men
through him might believe. 8He was not that Light, but was
sent to bear witness of that Light. 9That was
the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10He
was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him
not. 11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But
as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on his name:
So it appears that
the light we are to show to the world comes from God, or more
specifically, Jesus Christ. And that He is also to be the source of our
works. But what are those works we are to perform?
John 3: 12Verily,
verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do
shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do;
Mark 16: 17And
these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast
out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall
take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt
them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Wow!! I don't know
about you, but I'm a long ways from any of that! I wonder if a Good
Deed a day will suffice?
Now, I know there are
people even today who can do many of those things - and some, according
to sources, are not very Godly people at that:
Matt 7: 21Not
every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom
of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many
will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy
name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many
wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I
never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
I only see few
instances of these being done by the early Christians. Even those who
lost everything for the Name of Jesus. And I wonder if those who were
thrown to the lions were able to drink poison? Jesus did say that these
things will be done in "My name," that might help clarify His
statement. I know that Paul was stoned to death, then stood up and
walked away. However Timothy didn't.
Maybe this will help;
John 14: 10Believest
thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that
I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in
me, he doeth the works.
12Verily, verily, I say
unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do
also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go
unto my Father. 13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name,
that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If
ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
21He that hath my
commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that
loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will
manifest myself to him. 23Jesus answered and said unto him,
If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him,
and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
26But the Comforter, which
is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall
teach you all things,
There's a lot in those final words of Jesus. But if the answer to my
question is there, I think I missed it. I have a suspicion though. It
may be that we don't experience those signs because we don't make it a
practice to drink deadly poison, or to play with venomous snakes. As
for healing, who can say for sure? I mean, when was the last time you
laid hands on someone to try to heal them?
And after all, we often hear about people being
miraculously healed from some disease or another, but only when they need
it. We don't seek healing when we are healthy. Perhaps you
have such a story yourself.
Also, there is this scripture to help
understand what Jesus meant;
1Cor 12: 7But the
manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withall 8For
to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word
of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another faith by the
same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To
another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another
discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to
another the interpretation of tongues; 11But all these
worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man
severally as he will.
27Now ye are the body
of Christ, and members in particular. 28And God hath set
some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly
teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
governments, diversities of tongues. 29Are all
apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are
all workers of miracles? 30Have all
the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
By the verses above, I gather that what Jesus
was talking about is Gifts of the Spirit. Some, like drinking poison
and such we rarely need. Besides, Jesus didn't say that we wouldn't die
- in fact the Bible makes it very clear that we will die. And
that those who die for Him, and those who endure to the end, are the
ones who will reap the rewards and will rule with Him.
Mark 13: 9But take
heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in
the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before
rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
13And ye shall be hated
of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto
the end, the same shall be saved.
Rev 20: 4And I saw
thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I
saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus,
and for the word of God,
6Blessed and holy is
he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death
hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and
shall reign with him a thousand years.
2 Tim 2: 11It is
a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also
live with him: 12If we suffer, we shall also
reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny
I ask again; Are you ready?
My thought is - Who could be?
But before drawing any conclusions, lets see if there is anything else
that might tell us if we are "in the sheepfold" or just wandering goats
outside the fence.
John 6: 33These
things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the
world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome
Phil 4: 6Be careful
for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And
the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your
hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are
pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are
of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be
any praise, think on these things. 9Those things, which ye
have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the
God of peace shall be with you.
Rom 8:5For they
that are after the flesh do mind the things of the
flesh; but they that are after
the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6For to be carnally
minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is
life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is
enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither
indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot
9But ye are not in the
flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
How about this well-known scripture;
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie
down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my
soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for
thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a
table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head
with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and
mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the
house of the LORD for ever.
[Just in case you
have ever wondered - the "rod" spoken of is for correction, for
beatings. And the "staff" is for support when weak or weary. How many
of us actually lend ourself to discipline so we can experience God's
Psalm 89:31If they
break my statutes, and keep not my commandments:
32Then will I visit
their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my
faithfulness to fail.
So, are you ready?