Things Hidden

Monday, March 13, 2017, 8:55 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Is He Satisfied?” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 22 (Select vv. NASB).

Awesome! (vv. 1-5)

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

Doesn’t this just move you to tears? It does that to me. All the heartache, sadness, hate, bigotry, lies, deceptions, wars, murdering of innocents, abuse, and adultery caused by sin in this world is just devastating! Jesus hates sin because of what sin does to human lives. It destroys them! Yet, through salvation we can be healed, and when this life is over we can be completely healed to where we feel no more pain, sorrow, and suffering. There will be no more curse. Sin will be no more! Yay!! We will be with Jesus face-to-face. Amen! And, Satan and sin will no longer be able to touch us.

Faithful and True (vv. 6-7)

And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.

“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

We can count on God’s Word to us to be completely true, and on him to be fully faithful in all that he does, and in all he has said he would do. The words of human beings can be flawed, though, and often, more than not, they are not to be counted on because people lie. They deceive. They say one thing and do another. But, when God says something, we can take it to the bank (an expression meaning we can count on it).

If we have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, and we are walking in the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, because we have been born again of the Spirit of God, we can be assured of these promises. But, we can’t just make a profession of Christ as Savior and then live however we want and think these promises apply to us. They don’t! We are blessed if we heed (if we are keeping) God’s Word, i.e. if we are preserving his Word in our hearts, and if we are obeying them, not just listening to them. This is not saying we will never sin. This is talking about making obedience a lifestyle (a practice) of doing what the Word of God teaches us we must do. If we do not, the Bible says we don’t really know God.

Shortness of Time (vv. 10-15)

And he *said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

“Sow an act—reap a habit: sow a habit—reap a character: sow a character—reap a destiny.” (Charles Reade)

This is the picture the Lord is giving me here. The law demands that we pay for our sin. It demands death. So, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for us on a cross. He took our punishment for us so we could go free from the curse of sin and free from slavery to sin. We are now free from the law of sin and death if we are believing in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, having been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and having been resurrected with Christ in newness of life to be lived to his righteousness.

This is called grace because we did nothing to earn it or to deserve it. It is a free gift of God to all who would receive it. Even the faith to believe in Jesus is a gift from God, i.e. it is God’s divine persuasion of us as to his will for our lives. Yet, there are those who would have you believe that God’s grace, because it is free, requires nothing of us, and this is wrong teaching. God’s grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live godly, upright and self-controlled lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). God’s grace to us is not a free license to continue in sin, for his grace delivers us FROM bondage to sin.

This false grace is akin to the law, though, for they both produce death. Neither one can save you. One shouts out that you must pay for your sin, while the other tries to bypass God’s laws entirely and says you can live however you want and still go to heaven when you die. Yet, Jesus says that if we want to come after him we must deny self, take up our cross daily and follow (obey) him. He said that if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin) we will gain eternal life. Paul said something similar when he said that if we walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh that we will die in our sin, but if by the Spirit we are putting the misdeeds of the flesh to death, we will live with Christ for eternity (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14).

This idea that we can just pray some words after someone and then have salvation and heaven guaranteed is just not biblical. The Bible is real clear in its teaching that if we walk in (practice) sin, we will die in our sin. But if we walk in the light as He is in the Light, his blood cleanses us from all sin. God’s grace gives us the faith to believe, and it grants us repentance, and it empowers us to live godly and holy lives while we live on this earth. Through faith in Jesus Christ we can be delivered from bondage (addiction) to sin. Those who would try to convince you that this is works-based salvation are lying to you. The law telling you that you must pay, and the teaching that gives carte blanche (free rein) to continue in sin, both result in death!

So, Jesus Christ, who suffered the penalty for our sin, is calling out to the people of this world, and to those who think they are saved but who have not truly repented of their sin, and he is telling them that if they do not believe in him with repentant hearts, and they continue in their sin, that they will face punishment. No matter how many tears they have cried, or how many confessions of sin they have made, or how many Bible verses they know, if they do not accept what Jesus did for them in dying so they could be delivered from slavery (addiction) to sin, then they are numbered among those on the outside who love wickedness and who practice lying.

Yet, many are not listening, but they are continuing to go their own way. They are running around being deceptive, lying and evasive, trying to hide their sin so that no one will find out. Yet, they must realize that time is not on their side. If they do not turn away from their sin and obey God, they will have to pay for their sin. God says it, so it is true. And, he is faithful.

Come! (vv. 16-17)

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

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.

So, Jesus is saying “Come” to him, listen to what he is saying, and don’t turn a deaf ear to his calls. Don’t run after things which will never satisfy. Come to Jesus and trust him with your life. Turn from your sin and turn to follow him from this day forward if you want to be free. If you don’t, then all you have to look forward to is death, hell and punishment for eternity.

IS HE SATISFIED
words and music by A. Hamblen

Do you ever search your heart
As you watch the day depart?
Is there something way down
deep you try to hide?
If this day should be the end
And eternity begin
When the book is open wide
Would the Lord be satisfied

Is he satisfied, Is he satisfied?
Is he satisfied with me?
Have I done my best?
Have I stood the test?
Is He satisfied with me? …

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