| The Cross |
Once in a while I return to the thoughts, Lord where is your power? And He always brings me back to the cross.
1 Corinthians 1:18
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
In order for me to have a relationship with Him, the cross was necessary. For me to have all that I want in life, family, relatives, love, friends, I need the cross.
Christian, believer, I think we have to remind ourselves from who and where do we get this power.
My sister called me and told me she was getting ready for divorce. I told her, both of you need to return to the cross. There is the power that will save your marriage. Not good feelings, the cross. There is the power that will save you. Save you from your sins. I need to turn away from myself. I need to turn away from my will to God's will.
I reminded them of the promise they made in marriage, to be with each other through the trials. That is not possible without the cross. Because you have to be crucified. Crucified with Christ so that you can be united with His will.
I think there is nothing more amazing that the creation of a family and church. And I think the Holy Spirit always participates in that creation! The Holy Spirit always leads us to that cross, whatever relationship. whatever you may be doing, this you need to remember.
The world is too fast. Too many events. The need to think about many things. You do not realize how much you slip away from a person. You do not even realize how you slip away from relationship with God. How your heart hardens. Indifference. Doubts. Lack of trust. Resentment. No desire to deal with problems.
But I believe God sees it all. I believe His heart is with every one of those people whom He has called into intimate fellowship with Himself.
I come for prayer and in my room there hangs a clock. And it is ticking...It is bringing new. Powerful news. It is reminding the church, it is reminding me, that time is short.
We received the greatest news from God. He sent His Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish! but have eternal life!
He gives the best that He has. So that the person would turn away, turn away from himself, from life for himself, look at His Son, and discover himself, discover himself in that relationship. Because your life will change, it will change because it cannot be that this news would come to your life and it would not change anything. That does not happen.
That news comes with a purpose. Either you repent and accept God's will, like a guidepost in your life, or you harden yourself and go towards destruction. There is no other road.
Thank God when those thoughts awaken us. Thank God that God wakens us, saying, Wake up! Wake up sleeper! And I think, what message can wake up the church today? What message wakens me? What message softens me? I find in Scripture the message. Jesus is returning.
Jesus Christ will return. All prophecies about His coming were fulfilled. To think differently that He will not return is no longer an option.
And it seems, you sit in the room and hear the clock. What do you find in yourself? What does the running time tell you? What do you think about? What desires do you find in yourself? And I think every one of us would find endless many things. Because this world in these days is endlessly wicked, endlessly deceiving, and to recognize wickedness is hard. Really hard.
That is why God has left us His word. When it turns dark that you can turn on the lights and look realistically at your future. Realistically at your life. The fact is that you will not understand everything. But the light will help you. Help you realize things that are dangerous in your life. Realize things that are good, things to practice, improve, use.
Speaking about that longing. Prayerful longing. If you are truly longing for His appearing. We see in the New Testament it is a central theme, theme of the apostles, who lived with that longing. You get a sense that they were waiting for him today. A sense that, if not today then look, look, look, He is returning.
I often ask myself a question, if Jesus return here and now, you are sitting in this church, you came to a meeting of the saints, and Jesus returns, what will He find in you? What is in your heart? To whom does your heart belong? To whom does your strength belong? To whom does all your motives belong? Where are they moving? And I believe, awakening a person, Jesus has something to say to us.
He knows where to lead us! Because He is the Shepherd. He is the Leader. He leads your heart. He leads you to the things that are important to Him!
I will read a few places in Scripture. This is Acts 1, about Jesus Christ's leaving to heaven...
I can imagine it. You are standing watching such a miracle. I can't even imagine it, sorry. I can't even imagine it. I'm standing and watching such a miracle. I see that which I will never in my life be able to explain.
As they strained to see Him rising into heaven, two white-robed men stood among them. Men of Galilee, they said, why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday He will return from heaven in the same way you saw Him go.
I think longing is that true expression of love. When you are waiting. You find out how important that is to you. When you are sitting and waiting. Are you really waiting? Does your heart know this longing? Realized love.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on, the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award me on that day--and not only to me, but to all who crave His appearing.
And I think when you are sitting in prayer and you examine yourself, Jesus, am I waiting for You? And sometimes that clock appears to be louder, when your worries shrink away and you hear His footsteps clearer and clearer.
I will read Matthew 25:13, So stay awake, because you do not know the day or the hour, when the Son of man comes.
His Master said to him, Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Enter into the joy of your Master.
And I think, Lord, You as our Master, what have You given us to do? We are your followers. What do you want to teach us? And I think He Himself is the answer. He came to this earth and He taught people the gospel. And so His purpose is that we, either by one or two or three or a hundred gathered, would bring the same news that He has passed on to us.
He doesn't want us to be silent. Why do we stay silent? Because we don' t believe.
Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long to help them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?
To desire to give your life for Jesus, there is no more. Because there is no faith. Because there is no seeking Christ. No discipleship. There is no more. People don't want to learn from Him! People don't want to do what He did. They no longer want to!
We all want to receive and bring back to our homes and sit. That is what we want! And it feels good. And then we wonder why nothing is happening in my life? Why don't I see God's power? Why don't I see people coming to repentance? Because you don't do nothing. You received and you sit. I'm also in that danger. The better I live, the greater the chance I will close myself up at home. It feels so good. So much do I want to close myself up. And the better it is, the more you want to.
But if we look at who did the Holy Spirit come upon in Scripture, we see that there is something important to God on this earth. And that answer is so simple! So blessed! It works in all circumstances everywhere.
Turn away from yourself, see who has it worse, and do good to them. Turn away from yourself. For the gospel! For love for the person. And the Holy Spirit will lead you. You will see miracles. You will see people weeping. How amazing it is to feel the Holy Spirit working through you! When you feel your lips overflowing with the love of God! When you see His word restoring a family. When a prisoner becomes a preacher. How good is it to rejoice in these fruits. When an alcoholic who has been drinking for 30 years is raised to new life! And you are a part of that, a small little part.
But not a single person can do that alone. How good is it that we can meet together to remind ourselves of this. That we have been taken out of this world! We are no longer part of this world!
I will read some of Pete's thoughts.
2 Peter 3:10-13
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. On that day the heavens will be set on fire, and the elements will melt away with intense heat. But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these things, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
The Scripture says before you start teaching others, examine yourself. Who are you? What controls you? What desires control you? 1 Timothy 4:!6 says, Pay close attention to yourself! and your teaching. As you do this, you will save both yourself and your hearers!
First is yourself. Are you living for yourself? Or are you controlled by the gospel?
Second is the family. The man must pay attention to his family. He must turn away from himself and be the priest of his family. The woman must turn away from herself and together with her husband learn to reflect the glory of God. But that requires the cross! That requires death. Death to self. Your desires, your lusts, your will. But having found this, do we forget about those who are perishing?
When things don't work I have the opportunity to kneel before my Lord and ask Him to fix me by His Spirit. To strengthen me by His Spirit that my heart would walk in the right path. When things don't work I can go to the brothers and say, brothers, pray for me, I'm finding it hard to stand in my choices I have made in my life for God.
When we come to be baptized, we also make a promise like in marriage. I give my promise in my life with Him. Often that promise is broken. But God has grace to restore me. That is why we can rejoice church. That is how important and needed we are to one another.
So in Christ, we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another.
If you look at the history of the Church, you will see, those who went ahead have their lives for Christ. All were killed for their faith. Today, the most you can expect is getting hit in the head. Maybe no one will kill you. But do you believe? Do you believe the word of the cross is the power to save every person who believes?
I pray for all of us including myself that each one of us would examine ourselves. Who do you belong to? Do you obey your will, or His will? Are you living for yourself or is the gospel in your heart? And you are united knowing that the Lord through His church is proclaiming the gospel.
I think about how there are so many available places. The city is so big. How big is Lithuania. Ask yourself a question, when was the last time you prayed that someone through your witness would come to repentance? When was the last time you prayed for a person when witnessing to them? When was the last time you called a sinner to repentance? When was the last time you joined yourself to God's work for the gospel? When was the last time you hurried to help someone? When was the last time you repented before a loved one and Christ in your family?
These are questions. The answers are in you and in me.
Remember He is returning. Maybe today. Many people are perishing. Going to hell. We allow ourselves many sins, some we know, some we don't. We simply allow them. But is this how it should be?
Thank you for listening. Let us pray. Let us pray the Holy Spirit will help us examine ourselves. Let us pray for this city, our country. If you believe He is the answer, this hall will always be full, you will always have people coming with you, you will not be able to keep quiet. You simply will not be able. You will see a person and you will take him along with you and say, I know the answer! Come with me! You will see how Jesus changes lives! You will see how Jesus answers prayer.
But take part. Fan into flame the fire of the Holy Spirit. Offer your body as a living and holy sacrifice. Offer your body in service to God. Sacrifice. Do not fear.
Our Dear Father, we thank You for Your Son Jesus, we thank You that You have declared through Him, the forgiveness of sins. That we can turn to Him at any moment and confess to You our wrongdoing and restore our lives. I thank You for the brothers and sisters, who can help me return to the way. I thank You for the Holy Spirit, who shows us our wrongdoings. May Your Holy name be blessed Lord. I believe you desire salvation for all of Lithuania. Every person. I believe this Father. That Your Son died for the sins of the whole world. That Your blood can raise to repentance the entire world Jesus. I believe this Jesus. I believe You chose us to carry Your message Lord, I pray this believing Lord. I pray that the Holy Spirit would distribute gifts, Jesus I ask You, I desire gifts, I long to see how the Holy Spirit works Lord, I long to see people coming to repentance, I long for repentance in my heart Lord. I long to see people healed Lord, freed, raised from the dead. I long to see this. And if it be Your will Lord, Please use us.
(Miesto Baznycia 2017-10-29)
| 2017/11/5 22:45||Profile|
| Re: The Cross |
Was this your writing or someone else, I could not understand
language on u tube.
| 2017/11/5 23:26||Profile|
| Re: The Cross |
If this Brother keeps preaching this way, it will not be long before he has a Church filled with people who will praise him for good sermons, scripture quotes and passion.
Sermons like this are a dime a thousand in America, this is not preaching the cross, this is preaching moral reform, get with the church program and lets get excited about Jesus...what do you say?
yes, its got plenty of scripture quotes and yes he sounds interesting and passionate...but no this is not the preaching of the cross...and I felt as convicted reading this entire sermon as I do watching a Christmas Hallmark show.
| 2017/11/9 20:26||Profile|
| Re: GloryandGrace|
You said, "this is not preaching the cross".
Just for interest, how do you yourself preach the cross?
| 2017/11/10 1:35||Profile|
| Re: |
The preaching of the cross entails two ways of dealing with the subject matter.
1. Addressing the persons spoken to as sinners, alienated from God, enemies in their hearts, lovers of themselves and their vices. Here the cross is a narrow place entered into through a specific gate. At this place the sinner is exposed to what makes his sins so odious and repulsive. Jesus crucified declares this is what you have done to me, this is how God views your goodness, this is where you are confronted with Gods righteousness and your wickedness. This innocent Son of God is where you should be, but for your sins Jesus took them upon himself satisfying strict justice and once and for all removes them and delivers you from the just judgment that was to come upon you.
2. This cross is the end of your life, it is here you not only believe but by faith recon yourself crucified with Christ, Gods design was to bring to death the sinful arrogant and independent self so that Jesus would now in your mortal body reside and live his life through your body, speaking, doing,
All that Jesus did while he lived 2000 years ago.
This cross defines the death of self and new life lived by the spirit of God.
The true cross cannot be side stepped by getting on the rara band wagon because the Church pastor has a new hobby for you.
The sinful nature HATES to yield anything of self so when the cross is used in a non chalant manner its not going to be understood as a place of death to them. No one just goes to the cross like its a MacDonald's and gets what he wants, if he attempts it by religious programming or ignorance he comes away without the death working power of that cross to liberate him from the power of sins hold. He does not have a redeemed and living spirit, just dead religious verbiage creating a visade of spiritual reality.
Sermons pretending to point the cross in the manner of this sermon display a gross lack of articulation at best and worst it points to a shallowness of understanding the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.
When the cross is preached to a believer it a reference point where the believer remembers what he was and what it was to walk away from his sins. The cross he carries because death to self is Christianity, there are no cross-less disciples, those who are cross-less are fake. Treating the cross as a mere passkey or ritual defeats everything in the sermon because the cross is the place of death and that death to self is never effected without Gods Spirit working a transforming what was an enemy into a friend.
Hope this helps to clarify.
| 2017/11/11 2:18||Profile|
| Re: Gloryandgrace|
Thank you, Marvin, for your clarification.
“This cross is the end of your life, it is here you not only believe but by faith recon yourself crucified with Christ……”
“This cross defines the death of self and new life lived by the spirit of God.”
“……the cross is the place of death and that death to self is never effected without Gods Spirit working a transforming what was an enemy into a friend.”
“No one just goes to the cross like its a MacDonald's and gets what he wants……”
Isa. 55:1-2 ---
Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
Rev. 22:17 –
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
| 2017/11/12 23:07||Profile|
| Re: The Cross |
Thank you, Arthur, for sharing the article.
“Once in a while I return to the thoughts, Lord where is your power? And He always brings me back to the cross.”
1 Corinthians 1:18
“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
“In order for me to have a relationship with Him, the cross was necessary.”
“Christian, believer, I think we have to remind ourselves from who and where do we get this power.”
“I need to turn away from myself. I need to turn away from my will to God's will.”
“Because you have to be crucified. Crucified with Christ so that you can be united with His will.”
“The Holy Spirit always leads us to that cross”
“You do not realize how much you slip away from a person. You do not even realize how you slip away from relationship with God. How your heart hardens. Indifference. Doubts. Lack of trust. Resentment. No desire to deal with problems.”
“But I believe God sees it all. I believe His heart is with every one of those people whom He has called into intimate fellowship with Himself.”
“We received the greatest news from God. He sent His Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish! but have eternal life!”
“He gives the best that He has. So that the person would turn away, turn away from himself, from life for himself, look at His Son, and discover himself, discover himself in that relationship. Because your life will change, it will change because it cannot be that this news would come to your life and it would not change anything. That does not happen.”
“That news comes with a purpose. Either you repent and accept God's will, like a guidepost in your life, or you harden yourself and go towards destruction. There is no other road.”
“He knows where to lead us! Because He is the Shepherd. He is the Leader. He leads your heart. He leads you to the things that are important to Him!”
“Do you believe the word of the cross is the power to save every person who believes?”
“Do you obey your will, or His will? Are you living for yourself or is the gospel in your heart?”
“You will see how Jesus changes lives! You will see how Jesus answers prayer.”
I would like to add some thoughts of my own but don’t have time now. Write again when free.
Eph. 6:24 - Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.
| 2017/11/12 23:10||Profile|
| Re: |
Scriptures do not nullify other scriptures.
Your reply leads me to believe I am suggesting some kind of work, therefore you quote the "free grace texts" as if I didn't read those.
The free grace of God is what brings a man to the cross, but when at that cross there is a necessity of death to self. When I say it's not like going to MacDonalds I mean that going to the cross is no trivial mindset..."Oh, I'll drop by Church today and pick up some salvation on the way home".
It might be our reductionist preaching has lead to this kind of thinking but it's not a godly or biblical one.
There is a great exchange, coming to a crucified Lord, only to find out his salvation entails Jesus and placing that cross on my flesh, whereby it is to be crucified and forever under the burden and execution of the cross.
The new man, the new creation in Christ now lives by faith in Christ...and that faith is his gift for our complete salvation, freed from the penalty of sin and now freed from the power of sin.
This sermon lacks all of these elements of death to self, its flavor like so many I hear today is Christianity-lite, where we just change our mind and get with the program and start doing new church-stuff.
I'm sure you know all of this and so do my readers, anyone listening to Major Ian Thomas, or Art Katz or Alan Redpath, Paris Reidhead etc know exactly what I am referring to.
You see, there is water and Jesus supplies it, but the man who will not carry a cross never really gets to drink much if any.
When one is able to partake of the water of life, its because that great exchange has taken place.
There is NO SUCH CHRISTIAN as a man who comes to the cross and finds Jesus there and says " thanks for the salvation Jesus, now you just stay there while I go do new Church stuff"
That man walked away pretending to be a disciple, thinking that he really met the crucified Lord, and thanks to plenty of awful preachings, terrible sermons, cross-less pseudo-Christians that man is assured that he has "gone to the cross and can now partake of the water of life freely".
Truth is, he won't, he's still dead in his sins, he hasn't spent one day in Jesus discipleship school...but oh boy does he have a testimony...and will reverse engineer from that testimony how free grace works.
The missing element? When we said we went to meet the crucified Savior "we met Jesus and we are not carrying a cross"...this is exactly the same as a man who lacks a wedding garment...he will be cast out.
The preaching of the cross requires the understanding of exchange, death to self, crucified with Christ, a new creation in Christ, repudiating what we were and what we loved and how we lived in the world. Poor preaching claims to preach a cross but no one feels the slightest pinch of what it means to die to self.
The way around that...modify our lives some, sing different songs, create different tastes, make new friends, read new books, and pray for the kids.
You want a revival? It will never start with sermons like was preached by that pastor.
| 2017/11/13 0:12||Profile|
| Re: |
A word like that could get you crucified with your Lord.
May He keep you full of His Holy Spirit and faith.
| 2017/11/13 11:30||Profile|
| Re: |
Mary: Amen, may the Lord receive the reward of his suffering in me and in all of us who love the truth.
| 2017/11/13 19:21||Profile|