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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Personal savior; personal relationship with Jesus

Here are some notes and thoughts from last Sunday’s message titled YOU! (ME):

So often we hear people saying that Jesus is their ‘personal Savior.’ We also hear many say that we must have a ‘personal relationship with Jesus.’ More often than not, while they are ready to claim Jesus as their own and claim his promises, they are not ready to pick up their cross and follow him. They want to have all the ‘good stuff’ and still do their own thing too.

Jesus said, “Except YE repent, YE shall all likewise perish.” He’s talking to each one of us, not just those ‘really bad people’ who are stuck in obvious sin. Think of the tax collector. When he heard the call of Jesus, he left ALL, rose up and FOLLOWED Jesus. David K. asked the question: Where are you in all of that? Do you hear Him calling, or is that for somebody else? “I don’t care who you are – unless YOU hear Christ, you are going to die in your sin and go to hell! You! Me! Hear that. Forget about ‘you’ looking out at others; look at ‘me’ – look inward. Except YE repent, YE shall all likewise perish.”

“I don’t know how many times we’ve been accused of being a cult or something of the sort, like we think we are the only ones saved. No, no, no. Except I repent, except I hear the voice of the Lord, except you hear the voice of the Lord and follow Him, you are going to parish too. If you are just deadly walking through the motions, if you know there are things you are not doing right, you know there is a cross in front of you and you are not going to pick it up and take it, you are going to split hell right open and Jesus is going to look at you and say, “I presented the way to you and you chose not to take it.” And I’m not talking to anyone outside of this room; I’m looking at each one of you and if I had a mirror I’d look at myself because this message is a personal message.”

“That’s why you can’t hardly offend a true Christian because he is more worried about ‘me’ (himself), and I don’t mean worried like we are sitting on the edge of our seats. I have confidence that I have heard His call and I am following it and if He shows me something else, I’m going to do it. And there is rest in that. There is peace in that. The turmoil comes when we are facing that cross and we don’t want it! But when you get on it and die, there is peace. There is peace there. I found it! And I want to walk in it.”

David cautioned us about what he calls ‘religious bulimia.’ So often we know of people (or have been there ourselves) who study all the theology and gather a whole bunch of knowledge. Pretty soon, our knowledge or theology outruns our walk – the walk of just simply hearing what Jesus has to say and putting it into practice. ‘Religious bulimia’ would be those who fill their heads all full of (religious) knowledge and the go puke it up on someone. They can talk the talk, and might even have it all correct, but they are not walking the walk. “We can argue theology and have it straight as a gun barrel and, as Tozer used to say, just as empty. It won’t mean a thing if you didn’t take this personal.” People come up to us when we are on the streets and try to argue theology over a simple teaching of Christ that we have written on our signs. It’s easy to want to get into a debate with them but really we must be careful not to do that. Debating theology misses the whole point. Jesus says what He says. Either we believe it and follow it or we don’t.

Atheists love to come up and argue – whether on the streets when you are preaching, or even just someone you know, like a friend or family member. You do not have to defend or argue the word of God. It is simple: “He that believeth not shall be damned.” Paul warned us to not use reasoning words with this world’s wisdom. We have the word of God! All we are required to do is apply it to each person that is in front of us. “You might change their mind in an argument, but all you are going to do is convert one to your way of thinking, and they are on their way to hell thinking they are saved because unless THEY hear the word of God preached …” He that believeth not shall be damned. Period.

Preaching the gospel can be hard. It’s a hostile word, especial against the truth. All through the bible (prophets, disciples, etc.) men went out “not to try to smooth things over for people – they went out as ambassadors for Christ representing God, calling men to repent! We have two kingdoms at war and it isn’t too fun getting ready to go battle when you know that you are going to step out and everyone there is going to be against you because you have a message for them that they do not want to hear. They are not going to like it and will say, ‘why do you come here and tell us those things’ because we don’t belong there. There are two worlds and YOU are either on one side or the other. There are no in-betweens. When you step up to that cross and pass through to the other side, you leave the old life behind. You die. You can’t drag the old through; you have to leave it.”

“When Jesus speaks, He is not talking about an idealistic gospel out there, a beautiful little church out there … he’s saying, “You listen!” And the man who says, “Me?” and does it, is like a man who builds his house on a rock and when the storms come, it can just rage. He’s heard the Voice. He’s heard the call, and whatever the world throws at him it can just beat all day long and rage against him. He is standing on a rock! He’s heard it and is putting it into practice. He’s going to follow it. He believes it and wants to live it out.”

And then to those who hear but do not heed: “They heard it but thought, “Oh, that must be for so-and-so over there.” This message is for YOU – listen up. When the storm beats, your house is going to fall. YOUR house is going to fall. It’s a real message and it’s to YOU. It’s just amazing how many times He says, “YOU” or “YE”. How many times do we HEAR that “you” in a personal way? Are we seeing it? Or have we just got our theology figured out, ‘boy they are sure wrong in what they are teaching. They are all messed up in what they are teaching.’ Woe unto me if that’s all my religion is. Woe unto me if I haven’t come to the place where Jesus said, “Rise up and follow Me. Forsake everything and follow Me.””

It’s a personal message. Look through the teachings of Christ – when he says YE or YOU point the finger at yourself and see how it applies to your life. Don’t think what he said was for another time or another culture. Except YE repent, YE shall all likewise perish. YOU must change for Christ to accept you.

EDIT:
I had to edit this and add something a sister shared on her blog. It fits well here I think:

Personal Responsibility OR no one can choose for you

Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 1 Cor. 3:8

You have a charge to keep
You have a soul to save
Now is the day
No one can do it for you
No one can take your place on Judgment Day

I must haste, procrastination waits till time has flown.

He who runs his chance aground
Forfeits life, reward, and crown.

3 comments:

  1. THank you Joanne! And thank you for emailing me. I hope you received my reply. Looking forward to hearing from you again. Yes this blog post is like my life...I needed a TRUE repentance & a TRUE encounter...<3

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  2. Joanne, thanks for sharing. I will remember this when I am tempted to be discouraged that many 'agree' with the gospel but so few actually take it seriously for themselves.

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  3. Joanne, I must say that I love your stuff.I really enjoy reading your posts while listening to free audio sermons. It just makes my day.

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