Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's Not What You Did, It's What You Didn't Do That Will Cost You!

Many people doubt their salvation and worry much whether God is merciful enough to forgive all of our sins, especially our own unspeakable sins that few know about, except for close friends and family members. We speak not about those sins such as murder, rape, robbery, theft, larceny, embezzlement, sins that are unlawful and require jail time. We speak about sins of omission such as failing to adhere to the role designed for a spouse, treating each other in a respectful and honorable manner, and failing to submit to one an another as God has ordained in his word. Now, I’ll probably get many negative responses with this particular message, especially by the wives in your respective families. So be it; this message is Bible truth.
The first subject matter deals with the formula God established in regard to marriage, one that we believe works well by those who practice it: Submission! We find this formula in Ephesians 5:21-33. Oh, I can hear the groans and moans already, especially by the younger and more liberal-minded wives who say, “Here comes one of those submit to your husband sermons!”
“We are living in the 21st century and those verses need to be applied by today’s standards,” lament many of today’s wives, especially by (believe it or not) Christian woman. “Besides,” they complain, “you have no idea what I have to deal with this lummox I married.”

This is true! Especially when one considers the images that the Pharisaical-controlled media have subtly foisted on society these last 50 years or so, which demasculinize the male image and conversely give a preponderantly masculine character to cause (a female) to take on male characteristics. While there is proof that the females throughout history were denied numerous ‘rights’ (voting, owning property, entering male dominated vocations, etc), there has been a concerted effort to focus largely on promoting the female as a strong, independent and ‘take charge’ person, characteristics that often diminish traditional male role models.
There is no need to debate this at this time, albeit it would require about ten years before any mutually acepted and rational conclusion could be realized. Therefore, we will focus on the biblical mandate as difficult as it may be to make the salient point being addressed in this article. Actually, if the reader will take the time to read Ephesians 5:21-33 before moving forward, it will become abundantly clear that the man’s responsibility in this formula carries a heavier burden, one that requires his life. (Please go back and click this group of scripture, if you haven’t done so already) and then return to the following paragraph.
Another issue that will also incur an indignant outcry from woman is what Paul speaks about the role a wife should play concerning teaching and preaching in a church setting. Brother Al Shannon, who writes for the BIBLE PROOF, in his most recent article addressed this issue in his article entitled “Not Every Saint is a Preacher.” He stated thus:
“Can Women Preach The Word? It takes a Saint to be a preacher, but not every Saint is a preacher. This is evident because women can’t serve as a gospel preacher because they were forbidden to publicly address the congregational assembly (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). Women were prohibited from teaching the Word of God anywhere, (1Timothy 2:11-15). They were not to take that authority away from men. Women with their godly behavior could win her own husband to Christ, but were prohibited using the Word of God to do the same. (1 Peter 3:1)
The prohibition of women teaching and preaching was only in regards to the Word of God. Aged women could teach younger women to be chaste keepers at home, to love their husband and children, (Titus 2:3-5). Women can sing songs of praise to God as all Christians are commanded, however, they can’t lead the singing. (Ephesians 5:19),” [Al Shannon, BIBLE PROOF, August 17, 2012].
Shannon’s reminder of this biblical proof must have taken tremendous courage to write. Most Christian churches fail to preach this part of the Bible, and it’s understandable why. Obviously, if a preacher delivered such a sermon, you can well imagine that on the way home from church the husband would be the recipient of those peering eyes from his wife, as if to say, “Don’t you even think about it and don’t you even go there!”  Many church-active and studiously trained Bible-based woman, probably do know their Bible better than most husbands.
 Nevertheless, the wise woman (in such a case) has an opportunity to approach her husband and ask him to take a more leadership role in the family by studying and becoming more knowledgeable of the Bible than her.
Lastly, many married couples have skipped over a very important part of the Bible, where we are told in Matthew 13:57-58 that a Prophet is never without honor except in his country and within his own house:
57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.  
The most interesting aspect to this group of scripture is verse 58, which confirms that very little positive work can be accomplished under a familial or communal atmosphere where exists little faith. How many anointed and dedicated men’s ministry have failed for this exact reason? How many great ministries have failed to get off the ground because the family members, collectively did not practice what is stated in Ephesians 5:21-33?
Understandably (and I have experienced this to a great degree), whenever you start sharing the word of God to close friends and family members, especially with the younger generation, they look at you like, “Give me a break. I remember you in your earlier years. Now you got religion and you are Mr. Holy Roller. Where’s that fun guy we remember so well?” Believe it or not, this is felt to a greater degree among married couples:
“Come on honey, save it for your audience,” said the smug wife.
Sadly, with many couples, ‘familiarity does breed contempt’ especially when both of you have experienced many trials together, exposed yourself to numerous emotions that would appear trivial, childish, juvenile and most importantly involving situations you would share with none other but your spouse. Yet, opportunity presents itself that this is the time to reinforce your obligation where the wife MUST submit and show reverence (respect) to her husband. (Excuse me, I had to check my ear plugs due to all that screaming noise).
Nevertheless this brings us back full circle. As we stated at the beginning, God will no longer remember our past sins regardless of how severe. You may have committed murder, rape, robbery, embezzlement and other heinous crimes that many view God is so small He can’t forgive. Oh, you will pay the price in jail or even be executed for that grave peccadillo. But, He will forgive you, and you may still qualify for the Kingdom.

Likewise, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that not all Christians will enjoy the same positional status and have the same honor, responsibility and blessing in God’s Kingdom. It is true that each one who trusts in Christ has the same salvation and will enter into the Kingdom.

But beyond salvation there will be rewards for Disciples according to their service, and each must give an account for failing some of the tasks they were given by God. Many will fail those missions because they believed what worldly pastors taught , based on their own conduct and example. These church leaders may have been charismatic, eloquent, dynamic orators, writers of great books, articles and blogs with great literary flair, being able to spew out scripture and their corresponding numbers like a local auctioneer. But, yet, failing to preach the simple gospel; never realizing that your call was a simple one.

'Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad,' 2 Corinthians 5:9-10).
We know Paul worked hard, we know why he endured such persecution, gave up home, family, good name, ease, honors, in order to win souls. He was laboring to be acceptable to Jesus Christ! He knew that he would one day meet the Savior and longed to have Jesus say to him, 'well done, good and faithful servant' (Matthew 25:23). But, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, what we did for the glory of Christ will be measured:
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire, (1st Corinthians 3:11-15).
A person who genuinely believes they have been called by Christ to preach or teach the word of God, needs to pray and examine what God truly desires in their lives. Those motivated and committed individuals may go out and pass out 1000 Bible tracts a day, they may go on the Internet and post 35 Bible verses a day, post 100 religious photos on their web site, write 10 books, host a weekly 5 hour radio shows, or pastor a church that has 20 thousand members, and make claim they led 100 souls to Christ, and smugly sit back and say, “Yes, I worked for the glory of God’ I will reap much in the Kingdom. Maybe; however, as the word of God tells us, all of those claims can burn and cause great loss!
What works do not burn? 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law, (Galatians 5:22-23).
God knew beforehand how He would redeem His creation. He designed the manual for life based on His own unique wisdom; which no man or woman has been able to discern or understand why He does the things He does in His own way and in His own time, to form the effective family unit He has always desired.
I am reminded of a sermon given by Charles Spurgeon, on June 19, 1989, about what was said in the book of John 5:2, as the most renowned woman in the world was dealing with taking care of her guests.

It does not need a strong imagination to picture Mary, probably at that time the widowed mother of our Lord. She is full of love, and of a naturally kind, sympathetic disposition. She is at a marriage; and she is very pleased that her Son is there, with the first handful of his disciples. Their being there has made a greater demand upon the provisions than was expected, and the supply is running short; so she, with an anxiety that was natural to such a mother, of her years, and of her gentle spirit, thinks that she will speak to her Son, and tell him that there is a want, so she says to him, "They have no wine."

There was not much amiss in that, surely; but our Lord, who seeth not as man seeth, perceived that she was putting to the front her motherly relationship, at a time when it was needful that it should be in the background. How needful it was, history has shown; for the apostate church of Rome has actually made Mary a mediatrix, and prayers have been addressed to her; she has even been asked to use her maternal authority with her Son. It was well that our Savior should check anything that might tend to give any countenance to Mariolatry, which has been altogether so mischievous; and it was needful for him to speak to his mother with somewhat more of sharpness than, perhaps, her conduct, in itself alone, might have required.

So her august Son felt bound to say to her, "Woman, what have I to do with thee in such a matter as this? I am not thy son as a miracle-worker; I cannot work to please thee. No; if I work a miracle as the Son of God, it cannot be as your son; it must be in another character. What have I to do with thee in this matter?" And he gives his reason: "Mine hour is not yet come."

It was a gentle rebuke, absolutely needful from the prescience of all that would follow. You can easily picture how Mary took it. She knew Christ's gentleness, his infinite love, how for thirty years there had never come anything from him that had grieved her spirit. So she drank in the reproof, and gently shrank back, thinking much more than she said; for she was always a woman who laid up these things, and pondered them in her heart. She says very little, but she thinks a great deal; and we see in her after conduct, in respect to this very miracle, that she thought very much of what Jesus had said to her. Brethren, you and I, with the very best intentions, may sometimes err towards our Lord; and if he then in any way rebukes us, and puts us back, if he disappoints our hope, if he does not allow our ambitious designs to prosper, let us take it from him as Mary took it from Jesus. Let us just feel that it must be right, and let us in silence possess ourselves in his presence.”

Are you doing the things that Christ wants you to do, or are you still trying to do it your own way?


For more information about the author and his books, blogs and web sites, please click on Joe Ortiz.