Obedience Changes Lives!

Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed. Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.” At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. Acts 5:16-21a NIV

When people are jealous and envious of those who obey The Lord, they concoct all manner of complaints against them. We know because of what happened with Jesus the night He was arrested. That was all part of God’s plan–the sacrifice for our sins–by one who had not committed any sin.

Jesus also told us that if people hated Him–the Son of God–they would also hate those who followed Him and loved The Lord with all their heart and soul. Since Jesus could not lie, we should not be amazed at the treatment of Christians today. They were treated horribly by those who did not understand the force of their faith. They were set on fire and used as lights in the night for the games for the cruelest man on earth–Nero. They were wrapped in animal skins and attacked by other vicious animals for sport. They were killed because of their stance–remaining faithful to God–and in obedience to His Word.

Are we worthy of the same hate displayed towards those who came before us? Are we obeying God in all we do so lives will be changed? Has He spoken to us in the middle of night and we arose and obeyed? Are we hated because we refuse to back down from those who choose to follow Satan? Are we tormented because we obey God in all things and teach others to do the same?

What we have to realize is that when Believers obey God, the enemy will hate us and do everything they can to destroy us. With God on our side, nothing the enemy does will matter. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. And even if it seems that all is lost, we must maintain our stance–our faith must be unshakeable–as we move forward in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Satan has tried to stop the move of God for centuries and has never been successful and he won’t succeed now. We must remain steadfast, immovable in the face of the persecution, belittling and mockery demonstrated by the ungodly who are actually fearful of us. When there is a possibility that lives will be changed for the better, the enemy is afraid of losing his influence on the masses so he influences those with either weak faith or no faith in God to hate those of us who love God.

Today, just like so many years ago, the unbelieving are jealous of our obedience to God and they hate it when lives are changed for the better because of the faith instilled in them by our teaching God’s Word. We need not fear the enemy, but maintain our faith in teaching The Word and let the enemy fear us!

Self-Control

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—” (2 Timothy 3:2-4 NIV).

In the last days (begins verse 1) there will be terrible times–times in which people who have not acknowledged God, will not study His Word, will not hear Him, will not obey Him, will become–all of these things.

Their priorities will be greed–getting all the money they can amass by any means necessary, no matter how it may impact others.

They will brag about how they cheat and undermine others–bully others into espionage of all sorts in order to gain the upper-hand, financially over others.

They will abuse the power of their positions at home, in business, in communities, and in the government.

They will start by being disobedient to parents because they did not understand that honoring “mother and father” would guarantee them long life and then move out into society with the same spirit, defying spiritual and natural laws to do what they want to do.

They will be unholy–doing all things against God because their god is Satan.

They will be without love because they have never accepted God’s love and they cannot truly love themselves–they are empty and void of compassion for others and they are the only people who matter.

They will hold grudges against others and never forgive even though they are in need of forgiveness themselves.

They will lie and cheat to get what they want without regard to the destruction that occurs along the path they take.

They have never learned to control themselves and function on feelings rather than common sense, they allow negative emotions and thoughts to guide their every move which leads them to becoming brutish–manglers of human beings and murderers without flinching, creating chaos and confusion wherever they go and yet they do not see themselves as they are–devoid of human emotions and ability to interact appropriately with others.

They are more inclined to give into feelings and those negative thoughts that intensify into unbridled lust and they will do anything to gratify the desire.

Carnal, fleshy pleasures mean more to them than loving God and living according to His Word because they lack self-control and do not want to live an orderly life.

These are the people who will not control their thoughts, their mouths or their deeds. They think evil thoughts and then plot to carry them out–they cuss at the drop of a pin and then think it’s their right to infringe upon the rights of others. They are disorderly every where they go–loud and obnoxious–foul-mouthed and dangerous.

They understand “control” when they find themselves locked into situations where others are controlling them–jails, prisons, gangs, mobs.

They do not understand that although they may be locked up or locked into situations; they are never locked out of God’s love--if they are willing to receive it.

These indeed are the last days. The writing is on the walls of society all over the world. What are we–who understand–going to do about it?