WE NEED TO STAND OUR WATCH

By: Gary L. Rodgers

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BE READY

We need to be ready for the coming King! As the old song goes, “Soon and very soon we are going to see the King.” Any day now there will be a sound of a trumpet and the voice of the Archangel (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) will shout “come up hither” (Revelation 4:1) and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we that are alive shall go to meet Him in the air. People need to get really serious about the second coming of Christ. We are living in exciting times. The Apostle Paul, John the Revelator on the Isle of Patmos and the prophets of old have been looking for this time frame which we now live in. They prayed for this day and have always had a hope for this day in which we live. Christian brothers and sisters we need to get serious and get busy during this period in history. We should be living both a happy and a fearful life. Happy because our Lord will soon be here for us. Fearful in that there are people who we know who will face this awful time known as the Tribulation period, also referred to by many as the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble. (Matthew 24:21) Do I know the exact day? No! None of us do, but if you’re counting on us having years before the return of Christ then I can’t help but think that you are living in a dream.

TURNING AWAY FROM GOD

This election that we have just gone through for the Presidency of the United States is probably the single most important election in the history of our country. We live in one of the most ungodly periods in the history of man. We as a nation have turned our back on our God and have turned every man to his own way. We thumbed our nose at God and His Word for what I believe to be the last time. The so-called intellects of our day, the twisted reviews of the news media, and the self interests of our government and this so-called perverse society of entertainment called Hollywood laughs and mocks at our beliefs and at our God. Does all of this make them right? They seem to think so! My convictions are laid upon me by the power of the Holy Spirit and I am convinced that the Lord is so close that the Angel of the Lord now stands ready with the trumpet pressed against his lips. I believe that he has taken a deep breath and is about to sound out to the world that the Bridegroom (Jesus Christ) has come to receive His bride (the church). My greatest fear is who do I know and love that will be left behind? There is no one that I can think of on this earth that I would want to see go through this horrible time of God’s Judgment that is about to fall upon the nations of the world.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31)

Let’s suppose for a moment that what the world believes about there not being a God, there not being any judgment and Hell not being a real place. Let’s suppose that his were true, what would I have lost by believing in a God that was not real? Would I have missed out on a number of divorces and affairs that went wrong? Nights of sickness because of an over indulgence of liquor. Money thrown over a bar or thrown down the drain while trying to live a life of pleasure in the flesh? What about a fortune in trying to buy back my health after having contacted some horrifying disease such as Aides or Syphilis or sclerosis of the liver? Is all of that worth the gamble that there is no God; there is no judgment? It doesn’t seem like a very smart choice to me. The fact is that there is a God of Heaven and regardless of what man says there will be a judgment where sin and all that have forgotten God will be cast into the lake of fire. When the world tells me that there is no God all that proves to me is that man has gotten a little too big for his britches.

KING DAVID

We have heard the Story of David and how he decided to fulfill the lust of the flesh with Bathsheba. This is a man who wrote one of the most loved books of the bible the book of “Psalms.” David’s sin cost him so very much when he made that decision. (2 Samuel 12:10) He lost four of his children because of his sin. The first child dying shortly after birth. (2 Samuel 12:14-18) A daughter (Tamar) was raped and ruined by her brother (Amnon) in 2 Samuel 13:1-20 who was influenced by a friend Jonadab; who in reality was a cousin that helped to devise a plan to get Tamar and Amnon alone. This same son (Amnon) was murdered by his brother Absalom for his crime against their sister. (2 Samuel 13:22-29) Absalom rebelled against his father King David and later died at the hands of Joab’s armor bearers. But how many of us know that David had contacted a communicable disease? See what David said about the loathsome disease in his loins. (Psalms 38:7) People! Whoever you may be, know this! There never was and never will be a free ride with sin. Sin has a penalty and God’s justice demands payment. If you are without Christ you will come to know first-hand what it will be like to be face to face with a righteous angry God of Judgment. When I weigh all of this in the balance I would rather take my chances by putting my trust in Christ than to put my trust in the philosophy of a generation of people who have no peace and no assurance of a peaceful eternity. I would hate to wake up some morning to find that I gambled and lost because I chose to follow after the ways of the world and rejected my only chance to be saved.

YOUR SIN WILL FIND YOU OUT

Christian brothers and sisters I warn you that your sin will find you out. (Numbers 32:23) If you blatantly live from day-to-day knowingly and willfully live in your secrete sins then you are about to come full circle with the Lord and face those sins publicly before the congregation of the Lord. I believe that one of the most difficult times that a Pastor and the Deacons of any church face is when church discipline needs to be administered to a member of their congregation. It’s a grievous time for them and everyone else involved. It’s never a pleasant time and it must be done to keep the Lord’s Spirit strong and active in the life of a church body of believers. The Pastors and Deacons have a serious responsibility in keeping the bride of Christ (His church) clean and pure before Him. If you are a professed born again believer in Christ and you are walking in purposeful disobedience against the Lord then you need to make it right and turn from you sin. If you don’t it will bring you to ruin.

SIN HAS ITS CONSEQUENCES

Remember when the woman who was caught in the act of adultery was brought before Jesus. And as we know from scripture that she was brought there by the religious leaders of the day to try to trip up Christ so that they would have an occasion to bring an accusation against him. And because these leaders went about this as a means to find fault with Christ notice what happened. Their own sin had condemned them and they could not stand in judgment of this woman. They too would have had to admit that they were a guilty sinner. And what would it matter which sin held them under conviction when you consider that the scriptures tell us that no sin will enter into Heaven? (1 Timothy 1:9 & 10, Revelation 21:8, 22:14 & 15). We need to always bear in mind that the scriptures tell us “For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10) And yes this includes the little white lie. Notice also that this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. An act that was worthy of death by stoning. Jesus said woman where is thine accusers. She replied that she had none. Jesus then went on to say that neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more. (John 8:11) What Jesus was telling her was that this willful act of sin must stop and it must stop now. If she didn’t then she could expect that a more fearsome thing would befall her. None of us are perfect. We all sin in some way every day. Yes even those of us who have tasted that the Lord is good, yes we too commit sin. But the sin unto eternal death wherein a soul rejects the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we no longer are under its power. We are free from facing the second death. And it is so very important that we keep short sin accounts with the Lord and go to Him daily confessing those sins. Not because of a loss of salvation for those of us that have accepted Christ as our Savior, but because of the loss of rewards and because of the shame and reproach that we bring upon our Lord. And because sin still carries with it consequences!

WILLFUL SINS

So what happens to people who willfully continue in their sin and refuse to make any move towards confessing their sin and making things right with God? Read 1 Corinthians chapter 5 to see what happened to a saved born again believer that was committing the sin of fornication with one of his father’s wives. Notice that through church discipline this man was turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh but the soul itself was saved from such destruction. (1 Corinthians 5:5) Christian brothers and sisters we need to be careful to not allow our sins to lead us into a life where we would face this type of discipline. There are people that have faced the consequences of their sin and died a premature death. People that God has repeatedly convicted and tried to turn them around, but they refused to let go of their sin. They were head strong about what they wanted and determined in their heart that they would continue with it. People that so utterly destroyed their testimony that it caused others to think that they too could get away with sin. I repeat sin has a penalty and there will be a payday someday. If you have trusted Christ as Lord and Savior your sins have been washed away by the blood of Christ. But if you have determined in your heart to allow sin to reign in your mortal bodies after that you have received the gift of His promise then there remains a fearful looking toward the chastening hand of the Lord.

There is a payday someday where all sin will be cast into the Lake of Fire! Once you have gone to the pool of Bethesda (Jesus Christ) and have been cleansed (washed in His blood) then do not go back and put on those leprous clothes of unrighteousness, but rather put on the righteous robe of Christ and live a clean life.

CHOICES

Getting back to what we were saying about which to choose. Salvation in Christ, or keep our sins and gamble at the consequences. Which would you choose?

Christian if the Rapture were to take place this day, of all the people who you know which ones would you warn of their way and which ones would you not? The bible teaches that God will wipe away all tears. But tears can’t be wiped away unless they are first shed. I have often asked myself will I stand before the Lord someday and have Him show me all of the people who I failed to witness to for one reason or another. Will I see people who I have truly loved and failed to give the gospel to be thrown into the Lake of Fire which burneth forever and ever? Will I see the terror in their eyes, or hear the terror in their voice as they are thrown into that awful eternal place of suffering? Will I hear them curse my name for failing to do my part by telling them that they too can be saved? It’s a very sobering thought isn’t it?

RUNNING OUT OF TIME

Time is running out and we all need to get busy today, for tomorrow is too late! There is no excuse for any of us not to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ! No excuse! We are commanded to go into all of the world and preach the gospel to every living creature. You say that you’re afraid to talk to someone about Jesus. Well you’re not the first person to feel that way and you certainly won’t be the last. So what are we afraid of, someone yelling at us? Being thrown in prison? Being beaten and killed? Have any of the prophets or apostles experienced these things? Did Jesus experience any of this?

Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

We need to get it into our heads that we are no longer a part of this world; this world will be destroyed some day. Our home is in Heavenly places and we need to realize that we will at times suffer for the cause of Christ. When it comes to this world and our home in Heavenly places you need to hear this. No! You – can’t – have – both!!!!

If you yourself will not go to the field of harvest then support those that will! There should never be a shortage of funds for missions in any church. When you support missions you become a part of their labors and when they win a soul to the Lord then you the supporter will also share in that reward because you have been faithful in giving and making that work a reality. When you hand someone a tract or leave it where someone will find it, God will bless your efforts: and again you will share in the reward of that soul getting saved. I realize that not everyone will go into the fields of harvest, but someone needs to supply the tools to the workers. And in doing so both the labor of the worker and the support of the suppliers become a joint venture in this harvest.

Time is running out. We need more workers and we need more suppliers. There is no time to think about it. The command is to go! The need to supply is now! Wouldn’t it be great to see the tears wiped away from someone’s eyes that you love because they have just asked Jesus to save them, rather than to see them shed a river of tears because they just heard the Lord say depart from me ye cursed into everlasting punishment because I never knew you? (Matthew 25:41-46)

A HELP OR A HINDRANCE

Like it or not you are either a part of the gospel going forward to the unsaved or you are a part of those that hinders the work. If every one of us gave up the price of one fast food meal each week then we would soon have more than enough to meet our current need for Missions. We would be able to give more to those that we now support and we could take on more missionaries. Lord please convict me and help me to not trade the soul of one person for the pleasure of one meal.

THE INVITATION

If you are lost in your sin I want you to know that Jesus loved you beyond all of your faults. When He went to the cross you and all of your sins were future. Well my friend the future is now here. You need to decide for yourself. This will be the most important decision that you will ever make in your life. No one can make it for you, but it is a decision that you must choose for yourself. Will it be for the Lord or will it be for the world? If you have made a decision to ask the Lord to save you then I invite you to follow along in this prayer and say with a sincere heart.

Dear Jesus, I know what sin is, and I know that I am a sinner. I ask that you would please forgive me and wash away all of my sin with the blood that you shed for me. Please send the Holy Spirit to come too live in my heart to teach me and guide me in righteousness. I know that you personally died for me, and that you were buried in a tomb and rose from the dead for me. I believe that you are now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. I put my complete trust in you alone as my Lord and Savior and I am trusting in you only to get me to Heaven. In your Holy and Precious Name I pray. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.