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Two Separate Roads
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Proverbs 10:3 The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He cast away the desire of the wicked. (NKJV)
Proverbs 10:16 The labor of the righteous leads to life, the wages of the wicked to sin. (NKJV)
Have you ever been on a road trip with your family? Inevitably, there always comes a point where a decision on the right direction or exit to take somewhere in the trip comes before the entire family. Well, the ultimate fork in the road (in this life is the gospel) with reception of the gospel ending beautifully and rejection or resistance of the gospel leading to more bondage or enslavement to sin and a famished soul or mind. It would appear that the choice should be easy for every person. However, we know that is not the truth. The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is so simple that it is very hard and difficult. It requires complete trust and complete surrender of one's life to Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (stupidity or meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. (Quick Amplified Bible)
We are programed from birth (due to our corrupt nature) to reject or resist the gospel. It has been very sad for me to discover the road that Oprah Winfrey has chosen to travel. My Mother, as well as many other people, love Oprah Winfrey. However, if we truly love her we will pray for her very passionately. She is a very kind, warm, friendly, and generous person. However, we all know that is not enough. She grew up in the south and in a black Baptist Church. She has heard the gospel many times (I'm sure) and yet did not quite comprehend its full meaning. The adversary of man is very subtle with his lies and he makes them sound so much like truth.
I also just learned recently of an evangelist who started out during the same time as Dr. Billy Graham. He preached many evangelistic messages at their Youth for Christ rallies held all over the U.S. and in Europe. He completely fell away from faith in Christ. How could this happen? Didn't the Lord Jesus Christ say that all who come to Him, He will in no wise cast out. Well, what happened to Oprah Winfrey and the evangelist? Did they lose their salvation? Of course not, they never had it. You see the resistance of the gospel is just as bad as the outright rejection of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 2:20-22 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through [the full, personal] knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they again become entangled in them and are overcome, their last condition is worse [for them] than the first. For never to have obtained a [full, personal] knowledge of the way of righteousness would have been better for them than, having obtained [such knowledge], to turn back from the holy commandment which was [verbally] delivered to them. There has befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and, the sow is washed only to wallow again in the mire. (Quick Amplified Bible)
You see our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. All means anything in the universe. Man's heart is the most the deceitful thing anywhere. There is nothing wrong with having doubt or questions. For example, Why does a loving and merciful God allow seemingly innocent children to suffer from disease and violence? Why the Holocaust? Why Rwanda? Why 911? Why Katrina? Well, we can't know all the purposes and plans of God as He works out His Sovereign will here on earth. However, I believe that this verse of scripture gives us some glimpse or idea into our response here on earth to some of these questions. Hebrews 10:38 But the just shall live by faith [My righteous servant shall live by his conviction respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, and holy fervor born of faith and conjoined with it]; and if he draws back and shrinks in fear, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Here is what Matthew Henry had to say on the subject of our response to uncertainty, doubt, or questions of suffering; “He presses them to perseverance, by telling them that this is their distinguishing character and will be their happiness; whereas apostasy is the reproach, and will be the ruin, of all who are guilty of it. (1.) It is the honorable character of just men that in times of the greatest affliction they can live by faith; they can live upon the assured persuasion they have of the truth of God's promises. Faith puts life and vigor into them. They can trust God, and live upon him, and wait his time: and, as their faith maintains their spiritual life now, it shall be crowned with eternal life hereafter. (2.) Apostasy is the mark and the brand of those in whom God takes no pleasure; and it is a cause of God's severe displeasure and anger. God never was pleased with the formal profession and external duties and services of such as do not persevere. He saw the hypocrisy of their hearts then; and he is greatly provoked when their formality in religion ends in an open apostasy from religion. He beholds them with great displeasure; they are an offense to him.”
Every man or woman born into this world in the flesh is faced with a choice of Two Roads. Both roads will encounter earthly difficulty and trouble. Job 14:1 Man who is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. So in choosing which road to travel will not stop pain, suffering, disappointment, tragedy, and even death. However, life on each road is completely different and they end at two completely different destinations. The road of rejection or resistance of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is loaded with confusion, bitterness, hate, enslavement, bondage, and frustration. Those on the road of rejection or resistance are enemies of God and have Him as there adversary. However, the road of receiving Christ into the heart and life is full of love, joy, peace, long suffering, patience, meekness, faithfulness, and self-control. All of us who truly know and love the Lord Jesus Christ have crucified or put to death our flesh with its passions and desires and are at peace with God. We suffer all things with Him that we may be glorified with Him. Do you know someone on the wrong road? Tell them about the Lord Jesus the mighty to save, whether they want to hear or not. It is our duty and obligation to the Lord and to those who are lost. God has made you and I watchman where ever we are and we must warn.
Ezekiel 3:17-19 Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at My mouth and give them warning from Me. If I say to the wicked, You shall surely die, and you do not give him warning or speak to warn the wicked to turn from his wicked way, to save his life, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand. Yet if you warn the wicked and he turn not from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered yourself. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)
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