June 5, 2019 at 5:08 pm #5362
Aside from all the promises false prophets and evangelists have made over the years, with regards to people being saved. Embracing the idea that without the Church none shall be saved. Two critical points of fact distressingly are not mentioned.
Firstly many fail to acknowledge God’s sovereign and independent efforts apart from the Church! And secondly the fact that even during the Millennial reign under ideal conditions many shall still refuse Christ!
Indeed even against many promises of huge worldwide revivals, we are seeing not an increase in the harvest but rather a dwindling! Preaching the gospel of Christ is still important and necessary, in an ever increasing dark world. That whosoever would hear and respond to the love and grace of God Almighty.
But self perpetuating ministries of the Church seem to be awash with a sense of their own importance! IMHO.
What say you ?
June 5, 2019 at 6:58 pm #5367reginaParticipant
hi TR. well, in the matthew 13 parable about the sower, only one type of soil out of four kinds was fruitful, and that soil produced inconsistent results. this world isn’t going to all repent before the rapture or before the second coming. its amazing that people alive in the millennial kingdom will not want to be loyal to Jesus, who provides the best rule that society has ever been under. it goes to show that we are born with error, inherited from Adam.
It takes relationship with Jesus to fix us, not an ideal environment.
In this age between the first and second coming, this is how production goes…
“And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Matthew 13:23
we scatter and water the seed, but its God who brings the increase
1Cor 3:6-8, 2Cor 9:10
more about that parable…
June 5, 2019 at 7:22 pm #5371
with you both.
Down through the ages its always has been a small remnant of believers. Before the church age, during the church age and after the church age because strait and narrow is the way – thru the finished work of Jesus Only.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The only great revival will occur after the rapture during the first half of the tribulation from the effective ministry of the 2 witnesses and 144,000 Jewish men.
Revelation 7: 9,13, 14
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
In a perfect environment with Jesus reigning in person its hard to comprehend that man will still reject Him and choose to follow satan. What in the world is satan going to promise them so they rebel? Will it be the same trick he used to con the 1/3 angels to their doom?
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Meanwhile Isaiah 5:14-16 indicates hell keeps enlarging itself …
Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled: But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
I can picture at the Great White Throne the unsaved will try to plead “if only we had a perfect environment to live in, then we would have believed and followed”. But Jesus is going to show them – He provided that perfect environment and many still rebelled and rejected Him as their Lord.
June 5, 2019 at 7:52 pm #5373
June 5, 2019 at 7:59 pm #5375
Unbelievable, how true! It’s not so much what he promises them as much as he continues the same 95% truth and 5% lie. They continue to be blinded by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life.
An example, a drug addict or alcoholic lives from fix or drink to the next, many do not acknowledge they even have a problem, many say they can quit at any time. Yet, they will at times sell their very soul for the next high or escape. I once had a patient look me right in the eye and say about Heroin “ it gets into your soul and takes your life”. So true, is the verse John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
I cannot even imagine seeing Christ and not loving Him, only through God’s mercy and the Holy Spirit guiding will a soul even desire to draw near to the Son. Yet, I believe that even during the millennium (no proof here, just hope for the lost) Christ will continue to draw those that are to be saved. Like the hired servants in Matthew 20:1-16
1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.
2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing.
4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’
5 So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing.
6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius.
10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.
11 When they received it, they began to grumbleagainst the landowner.
12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?
14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you.
15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
June 6, 2019 at 10:29 am #5398
I just did an interesting study on “first will be last and last will be first”. Gotquestions.org gave some really good examples explaining the concept. What it all comes down to is … the Lord looks at our hearts and our motives and He will reward accordingly.
What did Jesus mean when He said the first will be last and the last will be first?
Answer: Jesus made the statement “many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” (Matthew 19:30) in the context of His encounter with the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16–30). After the young man turned away from Jesus, unable to give up his great wealth (verse 22), Jesus’ disciples asked the Lord what reward they would have in heaven, since they had given up everything to follow Him (verses 27–30). Jesus promised them “a hundred times as much,” plus eternal life (verse 29). Then He said, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” (verse 30).
Jesus reiterated this truth in Matthew 20:16 at the end of the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, a story designed to illustrate the last being first and the first being last. What exactly did Jesus mean when He said, “Many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first”? First, we should eliminate what He did not mean. Jesus was not teaching that the way to get to heaven is to live a life of poverty in this world. Scripture is clear that salvation is by grace through faith, not of works (Ephesians 2:8–9)—and independent of one’s financial status. Also, Jesus was not teaching an automatic reversal of roles in heaven. There is no heavenly law wherein the poor and oppressed must rule over the rich and powerful. The rich aren’t always last in heaven, and the poor aren’t always first. Nor will believers who enjoy wealth and prestige on earth be required to somehow be abased in heaven. Earthly rank will not automatically translate into an inverse heavenly rank.
When Jesus told the disciples they would be greatly rewarded in heaven for what they had given up on earth, He was contrasting their sacrifice with the rich young ruler’s lack thereof—the young man had been unwilling to give up much of anything for Christ’s sake (Matthew 19:16–22). God, who sees the heart, will reward accordingly. The disciples are an example of those who may be first, and they happened to be poor (but their poverty was not what makes them first in heaven). The rich young ruler is an example of those who may be last, and he happened to be rich (but his wealth was not what makes him last).
The Lord’s statement that the last would be first and the first last might also have held special meaning for Peter, who had just spoken of having “left all” (Matthew 19:27). Perhaps Jesus detected in Peter’s statement a bit of boasting—Peter was on the verge of becoming spiritually complacent—as the rich young ruler was, but for a different reason. Jesus’ response in verse 30 may have been an indirect warning to Peter to always find his sufficiency in Christ, not in his own sacrifice. After all, without love, even the greatest sacrifice is worthless (1 Corinthians 13:3).
In the chapter following Jesus’ statement that the first will be last and the last will be first, Jesus tells a parable (Matthew 20). The story concerns some laborers who complain that others, who did not work as long as they, were paid an equal amount. In other words, they saw their own labor as worthy of compensation but considered their companions’ labor to be inferior and less worthy of reward. Jesus ends the parable with the statement, “The last will be first, and the first last” (Matthew 20:16). The most direct interpretation, based on the content of the parable, is that all believers, no matter how long or how hard they work during this lifetime, will receive the same basic reward: eternal life. The thief on the cross (Luke 23:39–43), whose life of service was limited to a moment of repentance and confession of faith in Christ, received the same reward of eternal life as did Timothy, who served God for years. Of course, Scripture also teaches that there are different rewards in heaven for different services, but the ultimate reward of eternal life will be given to all equally, on the basis of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.
There are several ways in which “the first will be last and the last first” holds true. There are some who were first to follow Christ in time yet are not the first in the kingdom. Judas Iscariot was one of the first disciples and was honored to be the treasurer of the group, yet his greed led to his undoing; Paul was the last of the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:8–9) yet the one who worked the hardest (2 Corinthians 11:23). There are some who were first in privilege yet are not first in the kingdom. Based on the terms of the New Covenant, the Gentiles had equal access to the kingdom of heaven, although they had not served God under the Old Covenant. The Jews, who had labored long under the Old Covenant, were jealous of the grace extended to the Gentile “newcomers” (see Romans 11:11). There are some who are first in prestige and rank yet might never enter the kingdom. Jesus told the Pharisees that the sinners they despised were being saved ahead of them: “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you” (Matthew 21:31–32).
What Jesus is teaching in Matthew 19:30 is this: there will be many surprises in heaven. Heaven’s value system is far different from earth’s value system. Those who are esteemed and respected in this world (like the rich young ruler) may be frowned upon by God. The opposite is also true: those who are despised and rejected in this world (like the disciples) may, in fact, be rewarded by God. Don’t get caught up in the world’s way of ranking things; it’s too prone to error. Those who are first in the opinion of others (or first in their own opinion!) may be surprised to learn, on Judgment Day, they are last in God’s opinion.
June 6, 2019 at 1:16 pm #5406
June 6, 2019 at 2:19 pm #5411
I agree … what a joy its going to be to lay down our crown(s) at Jesus’ feet while worshipping Him and thanking Him for all that He hast done for us!
I wouldn’t at all be surprised though if He later hands out those crown(s) back to us again, because if we are given job assignments of ruling and reigning … perhaps we will be wearing a crown?
June 6, 2019 at 3:37 pm #5416
Tammie, you just might be surprised. I believe that your crown may be a little bit bigger and brighter than you might imagine! Wouldn’t surprise me though!
As pointed out, it’s not so much what’s there, but who! Our joy shall certainly be increased in seeing each other there. Again, it’s been a joy and an honour waiting with all of you!
June 6, 2019 at 9:49 pm #5429
Thank you TR for the encouragement. I hold to Paul’s writing in 1 Timothy 1:15 “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
I feel so honored that God has allowed me to be watching, praying, and believing with such a great family. My heart is full.
June 7, 2019 at 9:38 am #5442
Geri7, I have had the same thought!
When I first read that the Lord was going to release Satan after a thousand years, my initial response was that of horror. Lord, what are you thinking? Then idea of God being just and fair, kicked in.
You’ll have to forgive me, but given man’s track record, I have grown cynical! Even with believers and the Church, given the Church is comprised of broken vessels.
Seems to me that being an “overcomer” is a matter of overcoming ourselves and our nature.
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