Are you Stake Ready?
by Charles Carter
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What is it that makes a soul Stake Ready (i.e. ready for persecution)? A soul is Stake Ready when he or she believes in the God of the Bible and believes the God of the Bible. This may sound simplistic but it is an all encompassing definition.
When a soul believes in God they believe in God as He has revealed Himself in Holy Scripture. They believe that He is the eternal God, Creator of heaven and earth and all that is within them; that He is the powerful Sustainer of His creation; that He is sovereign and sole Ruler over that creation; that He is the Savior of mankind; that He is the just Judge Who will surely judge all people of the world in the end. Further, they believe in God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, the Alpha and Omega. Because they believe on this God they utterly reject all other 'gods' knowing them to be no gods at all. They will not follow the lies of demons and men who declare other gods.
When a soul believes in God rightly they will also believe God purely. The Scriptures will stand out as utterly truthful and completely reliable. Whatever God says is absolute truth, to be believed, followed and obeyed. Of course the greatest truth is that there is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). Yet many other truths follow. There is one and only one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:5). There is only one body of people on earth qualified to be God's people, the Church. There is only one faith, that is, one conviction, that God exists and that He is the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. This conviction is met with unqualified trust and a holy fervor for faithfulness in the hearts of the Stake Ready soul. There is only one baptism, that is the act in which one, after confessing his sins and professing his faith in Christ, having been born again by the Holy Spirit unto a new life, identifies publicly with the fellowship of Christ and the Church. There is only one Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity (Ephesians 4:4,5).
Moreover, when a soul believes God he believes Godís verdict upon fallen humanity. They believe, and proclaim, that men are sinners before God, under condemnation of death for sin and in need of the One true Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him alone for salvation!
Such adherence to God and His truth will lead people into direct and dangerous conflict with the world. As we have seen, exclusive beliefs are suspect in that they are viewed as intolerant (see article: What do you want on your Tombstone?). Moreover, the world is basically anti-Christ in it's thoughts, beliefs and dealings. People do not want to be confronted over their sin, told that they are not good but depraved, called to humble themselves in repentance and faith before their Creator or rebuked when they follow other gods, the world, the flesh and the devil. The seeds of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil are deeply embedded in the hearts of fallen man. They are, so they think, their own gods. They follow their own 'divine' initiatives and regard God's word as insignificant. This causes men to be violently opposed to God and His truth. Jesus has warned His followers that if they (the unbelieving world) hated and persecuted Him they will, undoubtedly, hate and persecute them (John 15:18-25). Paul warns us that all who live godly, or pious, lives in Christ Jesus, as His born-again, God fearing, God loving, people, will (not might) suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12).
Do you fit this description? Congratulations, you are Stake Ready.
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