Monday, April 6, 2009

Even Unto Death

As we walk another day, we see many Christians in peril, and even being killed. We see this in India, Africa, and many points around this world. When Jesus spoke of the end days, He spoke of His sacrifice as well, as the sacrifice that many today will, and must make.

Churches burn, Christians suffer and the world speaks not of these things, but rather they speak of governments, leaderships, and the over all good of man. Who then is man that we should speak highly of him? Who is saying that man has the answers, has the wisdom, and the knowledge, to bring peace upon this earth? Do you realize that with each conflict, struggle and war, we approach the end of man as we have know him?

Have you not seen that when a conflict comes between the poor and the rich, many times the poor are the first to suffer. They burn down their own homes, businesses and churches, this is all madness, for the rich are not influenced by these things, but rather rejoice over the destruction that the poor have brought down upon themselves. Are these things new to the Christian or followers of God? No, many things that we suffer today are being suffered by other brothers and sisters around the world. There is nothing strange about these events, for even in the beginning it was accomplished, lets read;

"Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." (Heb 11:35-38)

"being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:)"
We are the Children of the Most High God, we suffer, for Christ suffered, we roam in a world, and a land, that is strange to us, for we have no home as Christ had none. He was from above, and not below, He was from God, and is God, we are to be as He is, and not as we think. This world is not our home, but a place to witness and testify of the Glory of Salvation threw the Blood of Jesus Christ.

Destitute(Not having or possessing; wanting; as destitute of virtue, or of piety; destitute of food and clothing.)
Afflicted(The cause of continued pain of body or mind, as sickness, losses, calamity, adversity, persecution.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous. Psa 34.)
Tormented;(To tease; to vex; to harass; as, to be tormented with importunities, or with petty annoyances.)

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous."
We are to be harassed and tormented in these end days. Do not think that it is strange that war, murders, conflicts and persecution comes upon you, for as the word has stated that these things shall come about, it has.
These are the times of the end. A countdown was started when Jesus was born and we are almost at the midnight hour, when all this earth will be rocked as a drunkard.

"And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.
The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again." (Isa 24:18-20)

We are to endure many things, for we are, my brothers and sisters, the terminal generation that shall see great signs, and wonders, in the Heavens, and upon the earth.
"Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." (Act 20:23-24)

"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself." This is what we are to be about. These things that are coming upon this earth shall try our faith and also our patience. For it all comes down to faith and how we handle it.
Can your faith save you in these times of trouble? Yes. Can your faith keep you from these troubles that will come? No. Your faith gives you a weapon that you can rely upon. Many afflictions shall come upon those that believe. Just as with the conflicts that are taking place today, many Christians have their churches, homes and businesses burnt to the ground, and many will be beaten, suffer nakedness and even hunger. This all according to the will of God that must try the faith of this generation. This is not new for it happened even unto our Savior.

Our lives are purposed to be, born and die. There is always a reason for everything that happens to a believer in Christ. Are you unhappy or even disappointed in the life you have? Do you believe that you shouldn't suffer because you have faith? Have you not heard of our teacher of distresses? Read again;
Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. (2Co 11:22-30)

"in perils by mine own countrymen." Do you not see this today? Have you not heard of Nations being divided, riots and conflicts? So then we must, as Paul taught, If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
Thank the Lord that we are counted worthy to suffer as Christ suffered. Hold to your faith and hope, look up our redemption draws nigh.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Rev 2:11) ars

Temple of Spirit & Truth Ministries
A.R.Smith Ministries

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