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            As the return of Christ approaches, those living the true Christian life, would decrease.  Jesus said that the spiritual condition of the world and a preparation for His return, would be the same now as when only eight people escaped the rising waters.  Luke 17:26 “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man.”  It was going about living as usual, when 27 “the flood came, and destroyed them all.”

            Only eight true believers in God could be identified.  By obeying God’s Word in faith, eight escaped death by drowning—and it made Noah a righteous man.  Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”  That refutes every excuse anyone could make.

            The spiritual blessings people received in the Bible, can be received today; and if anyone does not receive them, they can know the reason why.  If one person could receive those blessings, then everyone could.  We must eliminate every excuse concerning any lack in our life.  Excuses may pass on earth, but they will not pass in heaven—they are like counterfeit bills, after leaving this world.

            The Word speaks clearly so there is no excuse.  Matthew 22:11-13 “When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.  So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.  Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

            It is Satan who manufactures excuses—and the man, no doubt, had a few excuses why he was not ready or why his faith faltered—but when it came to eternal life, there was no excuse.  Noah eliminated all excuses—Hebrews 11:7 “By the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”  Noah really believed God, so his actions proved he trusted God for protection from drowning.  This faith in God made him right with God.

            Jesus asked if He would find many receiving answers to prayer from God, as the widow received the answer from a judge.  Luke 18:1-5 “There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.  And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

            The parable is applied to us—Luke 18:6-8 (You) “Hear what the unjust judge saith.  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.  Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”  Would He find people receiving answers to prayer and getting victories by persevering in faith and trust on God—He meant.

            The fact that there are so few who will trust God to the end, makes our spiritual interests of the greatest importance.  Heaven is such a magnificent and glorious place; and Hell is such a horrible and repulsive place, that it is critical to not only know what it means to be a Christian believer, but more importantly, to actually live it every day.  The Christian believer can be identified.

            First—condition is a new birth; being born again—having a humble and submissive attitude of trust on the living God.  John 3:5-6 Jesus said—“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

            The conditions of a rebirth are clear 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  That is a new birth, and a real confession always brings that result.  When we confess and forsake all past sins, and we believe on the authority of that Word that we are forgiven and cleansed of sin, then we are truly born again.

            To not believe that we are forgiven and cleansed, is to believe the devil—who wants to condemn and accuse us.  God’s Word is always true and says—God “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  We will not have a clean heart until we believe that—and then continue to believe it.  A clean heart is the basis of true faith in Christ.

            Multitudes profess to have faith in God, and they think that if someone has a born again experience, they are sure to make eternal life.  They think that it does not make any difference what happens after that experience—they will enter Heaven simply because they were once born again—citing John 3:3 “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

            Jesus did not say that everyone who was born again would enter Heaven, but gave that as a first and very important step.  There are qualifications for being President, but just because we are a natural born citizen of the country, does not guarantee reaching the presidency.  It depends entirely on what happens after our birth—whether we become President or not.

            Second—condition for eternal life is a total commitment of our life and submission of our will, to the will of God.  Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”  We are His possession by creation and purchase—only He has the right to say how we should live.

            With anything that we own, we say how it is used—that is our right, and it is God’s right to say how we are to live our life.  It is not because He just wants someone to obey Him, but He knows that if we are not submissive to Him, we would be to Satan—who then possesses us; controls our attitudes; and robs us of everything we could have in this life—and it will land us in Hell with him.

            A total surrender to the will of God is for our spiritual benefit—it is an absolute necessity.  God is not able to do anything for us spiritually, and He cannot prepare us for His kingdom, until we surrender our life to Him.  This means that we are willing to meet the circumstances of life as the New Testament teaches.  That is the description of a Scriptural life—and a true believer in Christ.

            God does not condemn us for not knowing His will at first, but we are responsible for one thing—to have an attitude that is willing to obey the Word as we know it, when a choice has to be made.  God does not ask us to do anything or meet any difficulty in our own strength or ability, but He gives the power to obey His Word, when we are surrendered to His will.

            The Blood of Christ on the cross, is the value paid for victory.  The power of God is the means, and the Word of God is the instruction.  We must know that we are responsible for the surrender of our will to God without compromise.  It is to be unalterable.

            We must make a total commitment to do God’s will—because if we allow ourselves any excuse to disobey the Word—or to do something other than what it says to do—we will disobey it.  Obedience to the Word is not possible if we tolerate any rebellion.  A complete surrender means absolute subjection—to God.  We must not allow any loophole for Satan to tempt us, which could lead us away from the Word, and rob us of our blessings.

            If we are willing to obey God in just those things that suit us; but to disobey Him where it does not, the devil will supply all the excuses to convince us that we do not have to obey the Word.  If we give ourselves a license to not meet things right, we will simply not meet them right.  This rebellious attitude will land us in the flames—if not recognized and corrected.  Luke 13:3 “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

            Our surrender to the will of God must be a continuing sacrifice.  People are often offended when treated unfairly; or easily insulted by an inconsiderate remark.  But if they were surrendered to God right, they would meet it right—they would rejoice rather than complain about it.

            The apostles were severely beaten for teaching in the Name of Jesus, but they went home praising God for the privilege of suffering because of His Name.  The disciples taught God’s Truth, but the religious leaders opposed them.

            Acts 5:40-41 “When they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”

            It should be our highest ambition to meet every test in God’s way; it should be our greatest delight to respond in a scriptural way to everything.  When we know that meeting such things in a right and scriptural way will lead us to eternal life forever—it will be our delight to meet it right.  We will immediately think—What does God’s Word say, and how can I meet it according to His will?

            If we are not totally committed to God, we will complain and be upset when offended by someone; but if we are totally committed to God, we will praise Him and glorify His Name for giving us the privilege of meeting such a thing—which would search our heart and give evidence that we are a bona fide Christian and follower of Christ.

            We will instantly and immediately praise God for the test, even though it might not come in a very nice looking package—but we will know that God has a spiritual blessing in it for us, and that He is just preparing us for His eternal kingdom.  That is the Christian Life Identified!


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