The Greatest Commandments
It's hard for me to have patience toward people who claim to be disciples/followers of Christ and yet blatantly refuse to love their neighbors as themselves. Anyone who has truly come to Christ knows that they were at one time enemies of God themselves. Through God's mercy we were reconciled to God through the death and shed blood of the Lord Jesus the Christ. That means, we don't have ANY righteousness or goodness of our own. That means we who have received God's mercy would only want to share it with everyone we meet. The gift of God's undeserved mercy and favor was extended to us by God through His holy and beloved Son. This He did while we were all unsaved sinners and guided by darkness and ignorance. Then God shed His light upon us and we believed the gospel. Not because of any works we had done. Quite the opposite. Therefore, because we have received God's love, we have a duty to, are OBLIGATED to, are INDEBTED to share that love with every soul we meet to the best of our ability. And that ability grows and grows as we seek God everyday.
"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." ~Revelation 13:15
“We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us responsible for this man’s blood.” But Peter and the other apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men.”
— Acts 5:28, 29
Therefore, none of us have any right to be hating our fellow man, painting them with a broad brush as evil or condemning whole groups of people while attempting to justify hatred by touting some kind of unjust man made law. Any man-made law does not and never will trump God's law of loving neighbor as our self. (Matthew 22:36-40; Romans 13:10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8 and many more references in the Old Covenant writings)
IF you were ever forgiven by God through Christ, you would not be preaching any man-made law over God's law. You would see every soul you meet as an opportunity to preach the Good News of Jesus the Christ to them. So those of you who judge souls unworthy of hearing the gospel have either never been forgiven by God through Christ OR you have forgotten that you were forgiven by God through Christ. That is exactly what Peter says, "But whoever lacks these traits (faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love) is nearsighted to the point of blindness, having forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins." 2 Peter 1
And you see, these people who made themselves my opponents, they will not listen to God's words. They can only repeat rhetoric they heard from Fox News and Right Wing News sources. These people are self righteous hypocrites who are full of hate. Those who have been born again can clearly see the difference between these political cultists and the testimonies in God's Word. Paul says that the works/deeds/acts of the flesh "ARE OBVIOUS." He then lists 17 words describing the works of the flesh. Paul then says, that they who live after the flesh and do the things on his list "will NOT inherit the kingdom of God!" (Galatians 5:19-21)
Now, I don't want ANYONE to be shut out of heaven! I want them to realize how wrong they are and repent. And to do that, we have to SPEAK the truth and take a stand. Because we who have God's Spirit dwelling within us know they are wrong. What does God say if someone knows something is wrong and doesn't warn the person in error? He says that person's blood will be on OUR HANDS...(Ezekiel 3:17-19; Ezekiel 33:7-9) And I'm NOT going to let that happen. I am going to do my job as a watchman and warn the people. Because as God says, His sword is going to fall upon them sooner or later. God's word says "suddenly" it happens. (Luke 21:34-36; Proverbs 29:1)
Now listen very closely to what Paul says here and learn something very important. He says, "This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. BUT FOR THIS VERY REASON I WAS SHOWED MERCY, so that IN ME, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His perfect patience, AS AN EXAMPLE TO THOSE WHO WOULD BELIEVE IN HIM FOR ETERNAL LIFE.(!!!) Now to the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." 1 Timothy 1:15-17 Amen!
Now we have to also understand who Paul was and what he was doing before he was saved. Out of his own mouth he confesses, "I persecuted this Way (of Jesus the Christ) even to the death, detaining both men and women and throwing them into prison," and "And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.'" Acts 22:4, 20
Who are you saying is beyond redemption? Who are you to judge in the place of GOD? God saved Paul. And if God can save Paul, God can save all these immigrants, Muslims, Liberals and everyone else.
But can He save YOU??
He can, if you can see yourselves for who you truly are. Unworthy sinners. Not worthy of God or the death of His Son. Lost. Doomed. On your way to an eternal hell. IN desperate need of a Savior, the Lord Jesus the Christ!
Read what Christ said to the self-righteous hypocrites, “Truly I tell you, the sinners and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. " Matthew 21:31
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Luke 5:31, 32
So what in God's Name are YOU trying to do? Stop people from entering heaven? You are only stopping yourselves!
God's faithful witness Stephen knew this righteousness was only through faith in Christ. A gift from God. And right before Stephen was killed it is written, "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55, 56And as he was being stoned to death it is written, And Falling on his knees, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Acts 7:60
Stephen fully knew that the only difference between himself and his murderers was God's undeserved mercy which God had on Stephen through Christ. These murderers who, btw, were acting in a "legal" manner.. "it's duh law of duh land." they said.
We all need to be where Stephen was. He was described as "a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit." and "full of grace and power," who, "was performing great wonders and signs among the people." Acts 6:5, 8
Stephen was a true follower of God. And we all need to strive to be like him. Study his death and his last words. Could you do that? Could I? We need to be in that place.
May God have mercy on us all and help us.
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Thank you. And may God bless all those who seek Him with their whole heart. In Christ, Amen
You can be saved!
God loves the people in the world so much that He came down to die for us. If God is opening your heart to His message and you feel convicted for your sins which have separated you from a holy God and you feel the need to be forgiven, then say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully converted to the Christ in 1997!
Say, "My Lord and my God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe Jesus the Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and is now on the right-hand side of God listening to this prayer. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You in, Lord Jesus. Thank you, God, for saving my soul and I vow to serve you with all my heart which is the first and greatest commandment. Amen."