We must have a personal relationship with God the Father through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If we do not have a personal relationship with God in Christ but otherwise believe that we do indeed have a relationship based on our own logical thinking and personal reasoning because we believe that God and Jesus are who the scriptures say they are, but we do not carry out His will (live out His word) in our lives, then we deceive ourselves. James tells us that even the demons believe in God and Christ His Son and tremble (James 2:19), and if we only believe alone, then we are no different than the demons and the fallen angels for they even fear and tremble but will still end up in the eternal lake of fire.
Without a relationship with Him, you are in constant darkness. Perhaps you have stopped reading and studying the Bible because it has offended you? If so, that is what it’s supposed to do! When we live in the world and fellowship with the darkness of sin, we reject and run from the perfect Creator (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 18:30; Matthew 5:48), the Great God Almighty, Jesus as the true light since the light exposes all our darkness (John 3:19–21; Ephesians 5:8–14). Jesus tells us that if we live in sin, then we will hate the light as revealed in John 3:19–20, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
We must not trust in our own understanding but must put all our trust in God and His word. Our ways lead to death and destruction as uncovered in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but its end is the way of death.” God will direct our paths as long as we trust in Him with all our heart and acknowledge Him along the way as illustrated in Proverbs 3:5–6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
Jesus revealed God’s two greatest commandments that we must follow as unveiled in Luke 10:27, “…YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” We are His disciples if we carry out these greatest commandments (John 13:34-35). Paul also tells us that we are to serve one another through love as stated in Galatians 5:13-17, “For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through love serve and seek the best for one another. For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is fulfilled in one precept, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF [that is, you shall have an unselfish concern for others and do things for their benefit].”
God’s word tells us that we cannot serve two masters. We must choose God, or the world of whom we will serve as revealed in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord].”
If we love the world and the desires of it, we are enemies of God as disclosed in James 4:4, “…Do you not know that being the world’s friend [that is, loving the things of the world] is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” We are commanded not to love the world and are called to oppose the sins of the world. We will live forever as we obey and carry out God’s will for us in Christ as explained in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world. The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever.”
Jesus gave us a bold statement in John 14:15, “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments.” If we are a true follower of Jesus, then we are considered His disciples and His sheep that will hear His voice and obey His commandments as stated in John 10:27-28, “The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they will never, ever [by any means] perish; and no one will ever snatch them out of My hand.”
Jesus explains that we cannot love another more than Him or put anything (idols or desires) ahead of Him. Jesus must be our “number one” and be first in our lives for us to be considered as a true disciple of Christ. Jesus reveals this in Matthew 10:37-39, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity].”
The Gospel of Luke tells us that we cannot be a disciple of Christ if we do not put Him first and endure similar trials and persecutions for His sake as disclosed in Luke 14:26-27, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God]—he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow after Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] cannot be My disciple.”
Jesus tells us that only those that carry out the Father’s will and keep His commandments are those that will enter the kingdom of heaven into eternal life as revealed in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME [you are banished from My presence], YOU WHO ACT WICKEDLY [disregarding My commands].”
God’s word also tells us that whatever we do, we must do it in the name of Jesus, our Lord, by giving thanks and honoring God in all things through Jesus (Colossians 3:17). Jesus tells us that if we love Him and keep His commandments, He will provide us with His Holy Spirit to live in us as we read in John 14:15–17, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
Our spiritual gifts are given to us by God and His Holy Spirit; the Bible teaches us that even though we have gifts, we are nothing if we do not have love as explained in 1 Corinthians 13:1–2, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” If we do not have love, then we do not know God, and, therefore, will not inherit the kingdom of God as revealed in 1 John 4:7–8, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
The works of the flesh are evil, and they have no love since evil is not of God. Paul tells us the evil items of the flesh and compares these with the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit, where we should always strive for this good fruit as explained in Galatians 5:19–24:
The works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Since God first loved us and died for us through His Son Jesus, we can be saved with true salvation, where His love will live within us by His Holy Spirit. This is where we are a new creation, and our old sinful self has passed away. After being born again, we are to now live in the Spirit of love by resisting all forms of evil. God’s word explains this in 1 John 4:16, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
We must keep the commandments of God in Christ as explained and spelled out in His word that was written by His Holy Spirit. The authors of God’s word are the ones who physically put the ink to the paper (scrolls), but it was God’s Spirit that inspired them on when and what to write (Psalm 18:30; John 6:63; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:21–25; 2 Timothy 3:16–17). God’s Spirit wrote His word, the Holy Bible.
God does give us free will to choose whether to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior or not and does not force us to love Him (John 3:16–18). If you are not studying His word and praying to Him daily, then you are not actively walking with Him and keeping His commandments. How can you have a relationship with God in Christ if you never speak to Him in prayer or experience Him through His Holy Spirit by studying His words? You must be born-again by His Spirit (John 3:3).
Paul tells us that we must live by His Spirit and not by our sinful flesh to inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:16–25). This is why we must repent, humble ourselves before Him, and return to Christ, completely trusting in Him, believing in Him, and focusing on His gospel (Mark 1:15). He died for us, and we must live for Him! We must love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 22:37–38). We cannot carry out this most important commandment if we have idols in our lives, where we honor other things more than Him, like self-centeredness, more love for another, worshiping the job, love of money, desiring excessive material possessions, constantly seeking pleasures, overwhelmed with entertainment, and so on (Matthew 6:24; 1 Corinthians 10:21). If we are friends of this world, then we are enemies of God, and His love does not dwell within us (Romans 12:1–2; James 4:4–6; 1 John 2:15–17).
We cannot love anything or anyone more than Jesus. He has to be first and foremost in our lives as we read in Matthew 10:37–39, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” We cannot be ashamed of Jesus or deny Him since He will be ashamed of us and deny us in heaven (Mark 8:38; Luke 12:8–9). You may say, “But it’s impossible to put Jesus first while experiencing the daily trials and temptations of this wicked and sinful world.” Agreed! It is impossible to do this on your own and by your own strength, but nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37; Philippians 4:13). It’s not by might or by power but by His Holy Spirit as detailed in Zechariah 4:6, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” Without Christ, we can do nothing (John 15:5)! Jesus is the only narrow way that leads to heaven (Matthew 7:13–14; John 14:6).
If we are living in sin, then we are heading down a treacherous path of condemnation as detailed in Mark 9:43–44, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” To be counted as one of His sheep, we must have a relationship with God in Christ by carrying out His will for us by keeping His commandments. We must continue this Christian walk daily by praying, studying His word, and living out His commandments in our lives as we read in John 14:23–24, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”
We cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless we are baptized with His Holy Spirit as described in John 3:5, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” The Spirit of God utters groanings on our behalf that we cannot explain or put into words as stated in Romans 8:26–27, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Jesus is the true vine, and we are the branches. God the Father is the vinedresser, where He prunes us as the branches, which includes cutting away the dead or bad branches that are unfruitful for His kingdom as disclosed in John 15:1–8:
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
We are true disciples of Christ and have a relationship with Him and God the Father when we love Him and keep His commandments, which ultimately produces righteous fruit for expanding His kingdom. We achieve this by being the salt and light witnesses for Christ and His gospel to the world (Matthew 5:13–16; John 8:12; Philemon 2:15–16).
Watch this inspiring video by Servants for Jesus Christ – Jesus Fulfilled All OT Prophecies. Watch another inspiring video by Servants for Jesus Christ – God Has Always Been. Watch another inspiring video by Servants for Jesus Christ – Be Filled With The Holy Spirit.
Do you know where you will spend eternity after you die on earth? Will Jesus be your Lord and Savior or your eternal judge – John 3:15-21, Romans 2:16, 2 Timothy 4:1? Jesus says He is the narrow gate to heaven where it is difficult to find and only a few will enter by it where many will enter the easy, wide and broad gate that leads to Hell and destruction – Matthew 7:13-14. Will you experience the second eternal death (spiritual death) – Revelation 2:11, Revelation 20:6, Revelation 21:8? Do you know for sure that you are written in the eternal Lamb’s Book of Life – Revelation 3:5, Revelation 20:12-15? The place called Hell is NOT a myth and is very real and an extremely scary place – Watch this Video!
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