Have you ever had an encounter where you shook with fear of the Lord God? I did today. I have always known on this blog I will have to be transparent, and I knew it would not always be easy.
Today at church Pastor gave a message about “Holiness or hell”. I have had the head knowledge of heaven or hell, but as believers we are called to be holy.
1 Peter 1:15-16 (KJV)
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
One of the ways to be holy in all manner of conversation is to tell the unadulterated, unaltered WORD of GOD. If we’re telling even other believers who confess their sin to us that “It’s all right, God knows your heart”, we are in serious error. We are not to conform to man’s way of thinking for God’s ways are higher. We as believers, are called to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Within that message is speaking the truth without fear. Our response should be, repent before God and seek His truth. We are not called to be flatterers. To encourage is great, but we are called to a higher standard.
Pastor forewarned us that some may not like to hear the message coming forth today, but glory to God, for His ways are higher. She opened with: “The knowledge of God’s truth overcomes the lies that are with us. A lot of people think they want to hear the truth until it’s served. There are two realities: Holiness or Hell. A lot of people think they want the truth but become superficial. People want to hear a grace message but not a holy one.”
Before I go further there is something I need to explain. Growing up, my dad would not discipline children down the street, but because he was my father he did discipline me out of love. He did not want me to grow up being to be disobedient. It is the same with God the Father, discipline begins at His own household, the church (us). It is a process of purification. He requires that we turn away from our sins.
1 Peter 4:17 (KJV):
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Just as being disciplined by my natural father, discipline is not comfortable. We are promised by God that we will be shaken during the process.
Hebrews 12:26-27 (KVJ):
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
The intent of our Lord God is that we repent (turn from our sins quickly), as He is reserving final judgment for those who choose to reject Him or continue in their sins.
1 Corintians 11:31-32 (KJV):
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
So after everyone else had left the church, I was shaken to the point where I laid before the altar, crying out to God to help me change. When it comes to sharing the truth with my own family I have remained mostly quiet. That too, is disobedience, for in reality it is fear of man, fear of rejection. Now I cannot lie and say it has not been known to me that I need to share the gospel with my family. But before today I was content to pray for them believing God would do the talking through someone else.
So here’s the thing… as believers, we will stand before God and give an account of all that we have done, good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:10 (KJV):
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Not sharing the truth is indeed bad. That is why we need to allow the Holy Spirit to convict us and then turn away from all sin, including holding back from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel 3:18-21 (KJV):
18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
I want to be able to boldly share the message of Jesus Christ, especially with family and friends. If I do not share what was so freely given to me, then their blood would be on my hands. It may be a risk to lose them for a while, but better to speak truth, than lose them for all eternity.
If this is something that you too have struggled with, I beseech you to pray this prayer along with me:
“Father God, I have sinned against You by remaining quiet with my family and friends about Jesus. I confess that I was afraid and filled with fear that they might reject me. Help me, Lord God, to profess to my loved ones that Jesus, Son of God, came to earth as God in the flesh. He who was perfect and blameless, without sin, carried the weight of our sins to the cross. He died in our place and three days later arose and ascended into heaven. I want to be able to share what He has done, for all who would believe in Him and make Him their Lord and Savior, that they too, could spend eternity with you. Strengthen me, Lord God, fill me with Your truth, giving me the ability to share it with my loved ones, without fear. Help me to be reminded that I have the responsibility to share it with those I love most, as much as sharing it with all that I can. I don’t want to waste any more time. And I thank you, Lord God, for I know that I am praying within Your will, that it will be done. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”