Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Company You Keep

The atmosphere of Hope, or despair?

Are you, or do you know an Alcoholic? Are you, or do you know a drug addict? Are you, or do you know a Smoker? Most want to quit. Some do. Many do, and then end up going right back to it. Why? They go right back to the routines and they go right back to the people, that they knew and did these things with. They lie to themselves and say it's OK. Just because they are doing it, doesn't mean I have to. It doesn't mean I can't be friends with them.

I tell you these things from first hand knowledge. I am a smoker. Once a smoker, always a smoker. Once a drunk, always a drunk. Once an addict, always an addict. I took a Vacation from work. I used to smoke more at work then I did at home. So I took a Vacation, I didn't even leave my house. I quit. I gradually went back to work and the routine that I had before. I eventually went back to hanging out with the same people I did before. I lied to myself. I said, just because they smoke, doesn't mean I have to.

Three and a half years later, I had the worse day of my life. No exaggeration. My friend was talking with me, smoking a cigarette. I said to myself, you know, after three an a half years, one isn't going to kill me. I bummed one off of her. I found myself that day, or perhaps the very next, going out and buying a pack. I picked up right where I left off.

That is a physical truth, as well as a Spiritual one. Once you are an addict, you are always an addict. If you do not change your routine, and the people that surround you, you can easily fall right back into the same bondage of the things you got freed of. Jesus put it this way.

Matthew 12:
43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
You see, once you receive the Spirit of Adoption, you become a new creature. You are washed clean of Sin, by the Blood of Christ. You are now in total control over the flesh, because you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you and with you.

However, you still have free will. You still have a choice. You can learn and grow in Strength and Holiness. Wisdom and Righteousness. Or you can decide to go back to your old ways. To go back to your routine. Go back to hanging out with your old friends. Remember, Jesus told a couple of people, to forget all things, and follow Him.

Matthew 8:
22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Luke 9:
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Then when Peter said to Him that they have gave up all to follow Him, He told Peter, not to worry about that.

Mark 10:
28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,

30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
It is extremely important, that now as a Child of God, you get founded in the Truth of God. For many will come and say it's nothing but fiction. Many, some may be old friends and family members, will try to tell you that God doesn't exist. and there is no reason to believe any of it. Just live and let live.

Peter wrote about these people in his Second Epistle.

2 Peter 2:
1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
These are false Religions and false teachers. Those that attempt to get you to follow anything other than God, and or Jesus. Continuing, Peter said this...
17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Continued in the next chapter..

2 Peter 3
1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
I'm willing to bet you know someone like this. Especially if you are a new Child of God. Once you were just like them. Doing the same things they did. Now, to them, you seem to think you are better than they are. They may even say things like, "What make you think your "religion" is any better than all the others out there?" "Who died and made you better than me?" "You can keep this Jesus stuff to yourself. I do not have time for this nonsense. The Bible has been talking about the end of the World for thousands of years. We're still here." One of my favorites? "Look at me. I have money, I have a job with power. I have everything I ever wanted. You? What has your God done for you?" Or "I do not believe in this book, written by a bunch of men, in the desire to control people's lives and actions." "There is no God."

You see, it's simple. No God, no devil. No devil, no Sin. No Sin, no need of a Savior. just live as you will. These are those that have no clue as to what reality is. What Truth is. If you are not founded in the Word, spend time with your Father, and you do not strengthen yourself in the ways of God, you can easily be mislead. You can easily be lead astray. Especially by those you actually love and care about.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Could God bring about the end of the world as we know it tomorrow? Of course He could. Why is He waiting? He wants as many to find the truth as possible. He wants as many to accept His gift as possible. He doesn't want to destroy you. He wants to save you. But He will not wait forever...
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Jesus tells us that in the Tribulation, He had to shorten the days. Why? Because if He didn't, even the Elect could be lead astray...

Matthew 24:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
And in...

Mark 13:
19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
Remember the story of Peter, and those with him when they found Jesus gone from the tomb? What did they do? What was their first instinct? Go back to what they knew. Peter said, "I go a fishing."

John 21:
2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
It goes on to say how Peter realized it was Jesus and the rest, as we know, is History. However, Peter and the others with him, just went back to what they knew. After all that they went through, with Jesus, and even the things they did themselves, human nature lead them right back to where they were before Jesus. If they missed Jesus standing there, we would not be talking about Peter's Second Epistle right now.

This is why it is important, that when you first get adopted into the Family of God, you leave behind your old self. Let the dead bury the dead. You leave behind the old you. You need to lay up for yourself a solid foundation. You need to continue to grow in Faith. You need to understand the Truth.

You have a choice to make. Just like an addict. You can put yourself in an atmosphere of Hope, or despair. You can surround yourself with others of like mind, or you can run with those that are already condemned. You can place yourself in a place where you continually get fed and replenished with Righteousness and Grace, or go right back to the things of the flesh. The choice IS yours.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

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