Psalms 95:6-11 ESV
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your fathers put me to the test
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation
and said, ‘They are a people who go astray in their heart,
and they have not known my ways.’
Therefore I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
This is quoted for us in the New Testament in Hebrews 3:1-19 and in Hebrews 4:1-13, and this is referenced for us in 1 Corinthians 10:1-22. And in all three of those passages of Scripture, it is being applied to us who are Christians today (and/or to those who give lip service only to Christ). And it is warning us not to do as they did, that we are not to desire evil as they did. And so we are not to be idolatrous and sexually immoral and rebellious and those who grumble against God and who put Christ to the test.
So, what is our situation today in America? Or in your nation? Here the situation is that it appears that most of the church has gone the way of the world, and they have partnered with the world (with the ungodly), and they have adopted the ways of the world in order to draw in large crowds of people from the world into their gatherings. Thus, they have made many compromises of truth and of righteousness and of morality and of the gospel of Christ in order to win the world to their “churches” (businesses).
And so they have altered (adulterated) the gospel of Christ to make it more attractive to the world and to human flesh. They have made the gospel of our salvation more appealing and acceptable to human flesh in order not to offend human flesh and the ungodly of this world. And so they have turned the narrow road (the hard way), which few follow, into an easy road (a broad path), which many follow, but which leads to destruction and death, not to eternal life with God, and not to entry into God’s heaven.
But it is that gospel message which is permeating the church (or what is called “church”) here in America. And it is that gospel message which most people appear to be seeking after and desiring, because it only requires a once in your lifetime human faith in Christ (self-defined). And then they will tell you that all your sins are now forgiven (past, present, and future), and heaven is now secured for you, but you don’t have to obey the Lord, and you don’t have to repent of your sins, and you don’t have to do any works at all, for they will say that Jesus does it all.
Now, it is true that by grace we are saved, through faith, and that this is a gift of God, not of our own doing, and not of our own fleshly works lest we should boast that we somehow did something to earn or to deserve our own salvation, in our own flesh. But then it goes on to say that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for GOOD WORKS which God prepared in advance that we should WALK IN THEM. And all throughout the New Testament we are commanded to obey our Lord and to not walk in sin.
So, they dress up the gospel to make it prettier than it really is. For the true gospel teaches that we must die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, and that we must forsake our lives of sin to follow our Lord in obedience to his commands, and in walks of holiness and in righteousness. For if we do not, but we continue to walk in sin, in deliberate and habitual sin, and obedience to our Lord is not what we practice, then Jesus and his apostles taught us that we will not inherit eternal life with God. We will not enter into God’s eternal rest, into his heaven, regardless of what our lips profess.
So, what is the result of this “dressed up” gospel made to be more attractive to the world and to the flesh? We have many people professing faith in Jesus Christ who are living no differently from the people of the world. And they are living no differently from the children of Israel who rebelled against our Lord in the wilderness, and who put Christ to the test, and who practiced sexual immorality and idolatry. They are following in their footsteps, and so they are ignoring these warnings from God. And so they will get the same results. They will not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21-23).
So, we need to know and to understand the truth of the gospel of Christ so that we do not take God’s grace for granted and just presume that he is going to let us into his heaven regardless of how we live. For his gospel teaches us that we must die with him to sin and walk in obedience to his commands, living holy lives, pleasing to him, and that we must not walk in sin and in disobedience to our Lord, just like he told the Israelites. And they didn’t listen (the majority didn’t) and they did not enter into his eternal rest.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV
My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.
So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.
Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…
They know my voice, so they follow me.