Philippians 1:9-11 “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think that Jesus is going to come back soon and the rapture take place. Every time I turn on the TV and hear a preacher, or listen to the various preachers from our church, there is a running theme… a scarlet thread… they are all preaching, The Rapture Is Coming Soon! Be prepared.
Now, you might say that preachers have preached this from the time right after Jesus died on the cross, but one thing is different now. In my lifetime, I have not heard so many preachers at one time saying it. Throughout my life, I’ve heard the occasional sermon on the rapture, but not every preacher you hear, every one of them, preaching it.
I don’t have to have much wisdom to begin to think… humm… I wonder if Jesus is coming soon, and maybe I should be getting ready.
But, people are not getting ready. They are continuing to do the things they have always done, in the way they have always done them. They are looking for pleasure, worldly gain, still committing the same sins they have always committed with no thought of… hey… maybe I should clean up my life, Jesus might be coming back soon.
And I watch, and struggle with my own sin and think… should I tell them? And the answer… it’ll just get me in trouble.
But here is what Galatians 6:1-3 says and I will use the NLT version (although my favorite is KJV) because it is easier to understand and get the clear picture of the meaning of these verses: “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” [This part makes me laugh even though I do agree… I’m not that important:)]
One thing that I have started hearing in many of my writing circles is that… Christians should write for the secular market to reach non-Christians. But to follow through on this, there are certain things you must do:
- Don’t be preachy.
- Be very subtle (sneaky) with slipping the message of Christ in. (In other words… trick them into hearing about God.)
- Make your writing sound like what they already read so they will actually pick it up and read it.
The problem with these “rules” is that:
- People consider it “preachy” when you just quote God’s Words from the Bible. And the reason is— God’s Words offend those who are doing what is wrong. If you are living as you should, you don’t mind hearing from God’s Word. In fact, you crave to hear His Word. The people that get left behind when the rapture occurs because we were afraid to talk to them because we might sound “preachy” will probably be thinking… now why didn’t one of those so called Christians ever tell me about this?
- You can’t sneak Christ into your writing and a non-Christian get it. The Bible is hard to understand if you don’t have the Holy Spirit to help give you comprehension, and one little word of Christianese in a book full of smut and curse words is not going to win anyone to the Lord’s side. People will pay attention to the smut and curse words and the one little Christian word will be a blip. (Ephesians 4:29 and Ephesians 5:4 addresses this.)
- The Bible says that we are to come out and be separate from the world, not like them. See 2 Corinthians 6:16-18. And, if we are afraid to speak up there is a verse for that… Matthew 10:33.
So… to anyone out there who might read this blogpost on this day that does not know Christ as Lord and Savior of their life I would just like to say:
- Scripture and Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled every day.
- It points to the fact that Jesus is coming back soon to rapture His people and take them to live with Him in heaven and then a terrible seven year tribulation will start for those left behind.
- You need to be asking the question “What must I do to be saved?” (See Acts 26)
- First you have to realize that you need a Savior. This means you realize that you are a sinner and God’s wrath is upon you. You need forgiveness and a turning away from those sins. The Bible says that everyone of us are sinners. See Romans 3: 9-18.
- And that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23.
- To be made right before God we have to be justified by faith in Christ. See Romans 5:1.
- Romans 5:8 says that “God commendeth His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
- And “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 Meaning: we’ve earned our wages through being sinners— and it is death.
- If by this time you are asking the question: What must I do to be saved then read Romans 10:9-10 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
What are you confessing?
- That you are a sinner deserving death.
- That you know you need Jesus Christ’s blood and death on the cross to cover your sins and make you right before God (that’s why He came to die for us).
- That you believe He died for you.
- That you want to turn from all your wicked and evil sin and lead a pure life before God.
- That you want Christ to come in and be Lord of your life and help you live as you should before Him.
- That the gift of salvation was accomplished for you when God raised Christ from death.
With your heart you believe and with your mouth you confess the belief, calling upon the name of the Lord to be saved.
My seven-year-old grandson did this recently. He had been troubled for weeks … knowing all the wrong that he was doing (sins)… he was constantly in trouble for it:) He had wanted to turn his life over to God two weeks before he actually did. He came to the place of praying and asking God to save him but changed his mind at the last minute. So he went through the misery of two more weeks. When he finally decided to pray for his salvation, I have never seen a happier child. He couldn’t stop talking about it and it was such a good feeling to him that he wanted everyone he knew to be saved and started telling them. That’s when you know it is real:)
Now he still has issues and gets in trouble with his mouth and actions, but he is trying harder than he ever has to be pleasing to God. I pray for him. Satan loves to come after the newly saved and give them grief and show that they are still the same and nothing has changed in them. So we have to pray hard for the newly saved to stand strong against temptation.
If you are recently saved Ephesians 4:17-31, and chapter 5:1-19 tells you how you should be living. You can’t live the same way you always have. But the Holy Spirit will help you.
Find a good Bible believing church. Get a Bible and study the scriptures. If you are truly saved… your desire is to hear every bit of God’s word and to try to live by it. The Bible tells us to live a life filled with love. This means that we love others so much we are not afraid to speak up and tell them when they are doing something wrong. We don’t want them to struggle with sin and not help them.
To my fellow writers who are thinking of writing for the secular market, I would like to encourage you to write good clean books, but study the writing craft so you do it well. Every time I read something a Christian wrote that has curse words or a sex scene in the manuscript, I internally shake my head and tell myself… you just sold yourself out. I pray for you. (I also get rid of the book. If I bought it, I throw it away. If it is a library book, I return it and make a mental note to never check that one out again.)
The Christian life is hard, but we don’t live a Christian life doing the same things the non-Christians are doing. We are supposed to look different. We are to be a shining beacon of light —to light up the world for Christ.
I pray that I can do as I should without stumbling. I pray that for you.
That is love.