I have placed a bumper sticker on my car that is confronting, one that uses the worst of four letter words. It reads this way:
“STOP, DROP, ROLL, WON’T WORK IN HELL!”
I am so convinced that one of the reasons we don’t have revival, life in the Spirit resulting in the salvation of souls and Holy living, is because we don’t speak of Hell. It is upsetting to people. Well, shouldn’t it be?
Not only is Hell a fact to be acknowledged, but Hell is a reason to consider Jesus, and a reason for accepting Him for salvation for deliverance from Hell.
Even some who claim to believe in Jesus live their lives in utter lack of concern for what His rules for us are; oh dear, there is another unpopular word; “Rules.”
Last week I heard a well studied and well presented sermon on Ezekiel 11: 19 -21, but only a portion of the message presented there was highlighted. In my opinion it gave a beautiful thought, but did not complete the message presented by the Word of God.
The thought presented was that we live by the desires the Holy Spirit places in us and therefore do not need to live by “rules.”
I made a comment about the message content to the friend I was with who rebuked me sharply.
Speaking to Ezekiel, God told Ezekiel that He would put a new heart and a new spirit in His people, a heart of flesh taking away the stony heart: that’s good; but then what is said is that it would make them able to “walk in His statutes, and to keep His ordinances, and to do them.”
Last time I looked, statutes are laws, and ordinances are what God has prescribed to be done the way He says it, He wants us to do what He says.
Just in case the thought that all this was said in the First Testament arises in anyone’s mind, this is exactly what Jesus says in the New Testament: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments; if you don’t love Me, you won’t keep them.”
Commandments: are those sort of like “Rules?”
The very next day, my young friend who assured me that no one mistook the preacher’s message, said to me that she did not want to disrespect her parents, not because of the RULE, (The Ten Commandments) but because it was in her heart to respect them. Okay. But what about the times you don’t feel it in your heart? At those times you need to follow the Rule!
I see this as a serious problem that is taught in the Church of today. The Solo Subject of the Love of God and His mercy, taught without mention of His wrath and anger with the wicked, every day. Psalm 7: 11
We have never been excused, by the Lord from giving consideration to the Ten Commandments as God’s “Do and Do Not Do List” to us.
Of course I realize that the intent of those who teach others to disregard the “rules” is to deliver people from the other extreme of thinking that as long as they follow the “rules” they are in good standing with God.
One of the problems with our Western style of thinking is that we weigh what is right and wrong by looking at the options as, This OR That. Sometime it is This OR That, and sometimes it is This AND That.
In the case of salvation being of faith in Jesus alone and without any other consideration, it is a fact. However, the Scriptures instruct us that IF we don’t have the works, the faith is not real.
“For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His father with His angels: and then shall He reward every man according to his WORKS.” Matthew 16:
“Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works,” says James. James 2: 18
Should we not all be concerned lest we think we belong to Jesus and find at the time we meet Him that He did not know us.
There will be those who say to Him, “We have cast out devils in your name,” and many other things, and He will say to them, “Depart from Me I never knew you.” Matthew 7:23
We must be careful to not either trust in “dead faith” which produces no or few works ; nor should we trust in our “works” for salvation.
What we are offered, is salvation which we cannot earn; but when it is truly accepted, it does produce works and and righteous living.
Any seed planted grows something, unless the seed was without life. A dead seed produces nothing; a seed planted having life grows the fruit of its kind.
Self control and righteous living on all levels is required of us; and if we belong to Jesus, for true and for real, we will be happy to produce the works in our life that He requires. We will choose to do so.
Conclusion: We must each one evaluate the activities and style of life we are living and “make certain that we do indeed possess eternal life” by a little fruit inspecting.
We must do this because there is a Hell and some will be going there who did not think they would go there. Jesus said it.
Those who live in disregard for God’s Rules in an open, blatant and uncaring manner, should be concerned.
Any of us who fails at times, but who confesses the failure to God and turns from the wrong doings, are assured of forgiveness and Heaven through Jesus. “For IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
It isn’t scary. It is strict. The unwillingness to live restricted from things we enjoy, but which God calls sin, is what is preventing us from Revival that can change the World, delivering many from the terrors of Hell.
(I invite you to use this without charge; but I require that my name be credited as the author.)
Read more articles by Ramona Cook or search for articles on the same topic or others.