Surrender all…

Recently I attended a multi church night of worship in our local area. These were churches of various denominations and when I got there it was upheld as a ecumenical service (promoting or tending toward worldwide Christian unity or cooperation.)

I support churches tearing down man-made barriers to Jesus’ church. Jesus didn’t establish denominations. Man did. Jesus didn’t promote a “Book of Prayer” or a “Catechism”… man has done that. What I would like to see and be a part of is a church that believes, trusts and lives out God’s divinely inspired, inerrant word. To be born-again and love and serve Jesus, the hero of the Holy scriptures. I truly enjoyed being with other believers and followers of Jesus- it was a good night.

The theme for the night was “Surrender all.” And there were a couple of speakers who spoke to this… and unfortunately for me, it was “Bible light.” But the emphasis was on “not giving the Lord just a part of our lives, say Sunday mornings, for example… but keeping Friday nights for myself.”

But, what I’ve noticed in listening to different teachers… and various denominations, is that they seem to leave out the part about how to have a relationship with Jesus in the first place. It seems that many in the church are promoting getting close to Jesus… having Jesus as your friend, your pal to help get you through the difficulties of this life… a relational experience with Jesus. But I don’t hear much about how to begin that relationship.

That has been weighing on my heart lately. Because there is a reason Jesus went to the cross and died (and it wasn’t so we could wear some cool neck jewelry.)

The reason Jesus went to the cross- for humanity… is because we are sinners separated from God because of that sin. It seems that fewer and fewer “teachers” want to speak to people about being a sinner. But that is where the relationship begins. We need to know that we are sinners and that Jesus died so that we could repent and trust in His sacrifice on the cross to forgive us of that sin, so that we can then be sealed by the Holy Spirit… and begin to have a relationship with the One Who loves us so much, that He would die for us.

This is what Jesus said, just before ascending to heaven to be at the right hand of the Father… He said in:

Luke 24:46-47… and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

As Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3… “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 

So, I surrender all to Jesus… and I hope that you do as well- for He is worthy of our love, praise, honor and obedience… but to do so, you must know that you are a sinner in need of saving. And that is why Jesus came to this planet 2000 years ago.

And if you truly want a fruitful relationship with Jesus, you need to be proclaiming that message… until Jesus returns for His church (the one without denominations and extra biblical literature.)

A Great Multitude…

There is coming a time, that the Bible speaks a great deal about. It is a seven year period of time that is described as the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation. It is a time of judgment. The Lamb- King Jesus… will during that time unleash seven seal, trumpet and bowl judgments upon a sinful and rebellious world, led by the Anti-Christ.

However, if all God wanted, was to inflict judgment upon the world… He could just do that in a moment of time… in fact, when one gets to Revelation 19 they see that when Jesus does come back to earth the second time… and the Antichrist is waging war against Jesus… you read Jesus in short order will seize him, the false prophet and Satan and throws them into the Lake of Fire… it will not be a prolonged war, with the outcome in doubt… no, when Jesus comes back, He will set things in proper order in the world in a short time.

So truly, I believe that one of the reasons that the Tribulation is seven years is because … God has those “saints” that will believe and trust in Christ… set apart for Him. God is very interested in redemption… and He is long suffering, desiring that none should perish… as we are told in 2 Peter 3:9… God’s desire is that none should be eternally separated from Him.

Which brings this blog post to Revelation 7:9-17… this chapter in the revealing of what will happen in a time to come… is a pause in the seal judgments being released by the Lord Jesus.

And we read in this pause of judgement Revelation 7:9… After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;

A elder in heaven identifies who this great multitude is… we read in Revelation 7: 14… These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Even though much of the “Great Tribulation” period is directly related to Israel- its people and nation… you can not read Revelation without developing a global outlook… with judgments coming upon a sinful and fallen world… but also understanding what God is doing for people who truly seek the truth. The Lamb of God- the Lord Jesus, He died to redeem people from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues.

You see… there is power in the “gospel message” even in the midst of a godless, rebellious world that will the time of the Tribulation.  And I think this is significant.

I am reminded of the words of Paul in Romans 1:16… For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

The gospel message is the power of God… that word “power” is the Greek word: Dunamis, and it means “inherent power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature.”

The gospel is the inherent, omnipotent power of God operating in the salvation of a lost soul that excepts it. The power of the gospel message is eternity changing for the believer… even in the time of the Tribulation and the absence of the church.

But, we today live in a day and age of grace… with the Holy Spirit using the church to share the “good news” and so let us not be ashamed of the message, but rather, we should be looking for opportunities that the Spirit gives us to share that powerful message. Amen.