SALVATION IS BY CHOICE AND A STRUGGLE TO ABIDE IN IT.

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April 10, 2018

SALVATION IS BY CHOICE AND A STRUGGLE TO ABIDE IN IT.

The tip of the iceberg:

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matthew 11:12).

Many people are  experiencing  the world and all the hardships in it today. Some people have through struggle chosen Christ. It is not an easy way which we are treading to heaven. Despite persecutions, many are forging ahead. We must struggle to join people  on that way to Christ. No labour or effort for the cause of Christ is too much.

PREAMBLE :

Consistently people who understand the dynamics of being saved will always say ” salvation is personal”, and this is another way of saying that salvation is by choice.

When this issue is mentioned people browse over it as one of those things which people say. I wish to add here that it is not ony by choice,  but through struggle.

Can you imagine this : 

Peter was the first of the disciples to be called by Jesus along with his brother Andrew :

“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. (Matthew 4 : 18 – 20).

  1.  Peter was the first among the disciples,  to recognise that Jesus was the Christ.

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  (Matthew 16 :15-17).

  1. He was among the three that witnessed

the Transfiguration of  Christ :

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.” (Matthew 17: 1-3).

This means he saw the glory of God.

 

BUT NOTE THIS :

  1. Three times he denied Jesus :

“Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.  But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.  And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.  And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.  Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.” (Matthew 26 : 69-74).

  1. And after the death of Christ, Peter went a fishing and caught nothing.

Read John 21 from verse 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. ( John 21 : 3).

THEN JESUS CAME IN AS USUAL :

Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.

And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. (John 21 : 5, 6,).

THE MESSAGE  : 

Many Christians have not got a perfect choice.  It is like circumstance brought some to Christ. Remember that Jesus made  two important statements  ( i ) if you love me keep my commandments  (ii) you cannot be my disciples unless you carry your cross and follow me.

Peter was threatened and he denied Christ, and as the Master Jesus had died and left them   they were like orphans and he decided to go back to his monetry business of fishing. Here is man for you.

And if you read John 21 : 15-17, you will note the drama, where Jesus asked Peter three times,  if he loved Him. Peter was  agrieved when Christ asked this question the third  time , but he had quickly forgotten that hitherto,  he had denied Christ thrice and even gone a fishing. Many have backslided and still think they are in Christ. Let that never be our portion.

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Let us pulse awhile :

Have we taken time to pray for our salvation? Have we once stepped aside and felt remorseful about  what will happen,  if we are not in the number? Could we make this prayer as an individual : “Lord I want to be in the number of those saved by grace. Remember You prayed for Peter, so also pray for me”.

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CHOICE IS A STRONG WORD IN HUMANITY.

When a choice is made it should control the thought and mind ( emotions) and the whole being is supposed to be directed by that choice. A priest cannot toy with holiness, a boxer cannot develop pot belly and  so also,  is a footballer. Saints of Christ must remember they are engaged to Christ and must resist satan as a suitor.

HAVE YOU CHOSEN THE GOD WAY? 

What are the things you have decided to do and the things which you must never do?

ARE YOU TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT THIS JESUS?

It is evangelism that has preserved this faith right from time. Are you an evangelist? When we choose to be with Christ, we are supposed to be in him with many sibblings in the brotherhood of Christ. Have you once won a soul?

And Jesus asked Peter:

21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

But remember that Peter was about going  a fishing and abandoning the sheep. Jesus asked whether he loved him more than any other thing. When he responded positively, Jesus asked him to feed the sheep. If we love God, evangelism is foremost.

Teach them , preach to them and encourage them. These are obligations.

And Christ went on : 

John 21:16 :  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (John 21 : 16 – 17).

SUCH QUESTIONS ARISE BEFORE PEOPLE WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO FOLLOW THE LORD.

In the midst of doubts in his heart whether  Israel will follow the Lord, Joshua put forth the same question:

24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”  (Joshua 24 : 14-15).

The people in subsequent scriptures  before  Joshua said they will serve the Lord.  But we know that the resolve had no fruit. It was a barren choice because they faltered.

Moses told the people of Israel  to choose life.

Deut. 30:19 : I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

30:20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (Deuteronomy 30 : 19 – 20).

No one will get into eternal life without paying a price. The world of churchism today,  is a world of musical instrumentation.

It has become an arena of merriment. Some even invite entertainers to make people to  laugh as if that is the  essence of worship. Are  we not supposed to stand before the Lord in sober attitude?  Many pastors are gathering sinners and preaching  what they want them to hear. God is awesome. Such worship houses must remember that salvation is a struggle.

And Jesus said to them :

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11 : 12).

Many people have experienced the world and all the hardships today. Some are by struggle choosing Christ. It is not an easy way which we are treading to heaven. We must struggle to join those on that way. We must constantly pray for ourselves,  that we would never deny Jesus.

Miracle Valley Messages April 2018.

Call +234 8037179735.

 

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