27 December 2015

OUR COMPASSIONATE SHEPHERD


John 10:1-21

The Lord Jesus has been given many names, He is called……..
  • The Amen [Rev 3:14]
  • The Alpha & Omega [Rev 22:13]
  • The Advocate [1 John 2:1]
  • The Author of Salvation [Heb 2:10]
  • The Bread of Life [John 6:35]
  • The Cornerstone [Eph 2:20]
  • The Great High Priest [Heb 4:14]
  • The Lamb of God [John 1:29]
  • The Son of David [Matt 12:23]
  • The Son of God [Luke 1:35]
  • The Son of Man [John 5:27]
  • The word of Life [1 John 1:1]
  • The Resurrection and the Life [John 11:25]
  • The Son of the Blessed One [Mark 14:61]

But none quit describe the term of endearment that Jesus has towards sinners like the name that He has been given “Great Shepherd” See! A shepherd is someone who guards, guides, protects, tends and generally cares for the well-being of what they are overseeing. The Old Testament predicted this truth about Jesus. “I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them.....” Eze 34:23. In Micah 5:4 says “And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God; And they shall abide, For now He shall be great To the ends of the earth;"

Who does the Shepherd care for? According to the New Testament, the Church is compared to many things in the Scriptures. It is described (among other things) as a Bride, a Body, a City, a House of Living Stones and a flock of sheep. If you could pick an animal to characterize who are you are, what would that be? I don’t think anyone would choose a sheep. Why? What are sheep like? For one thing, raising sheep has been an important way for people to make a living for thousands of years especially up to and during the time of the Jesus. We as humans have so much in common with sheep….whether you like it or not!

For example: 

Sheep aren't very smart. If a sheep tries to go through a hole in the fence, and the hole is too small, he will just keep on trying to go forward instead of backing out. Like sheep, we aren't very smart either. We keep on doing the same things over and over and expect different results.

Sheep are followers. If one sheep moves, the others will follow even though it may not be a good decision. If the lead sheep jumps over a cliff, the others are likely to follow. Sometimes we are followers too. We follow what other people are doing, even though it may be harmful to us.

Sheep sometimes wander. They graze without paying attention to where they are going. They may be unable to find their way home even when it's within sight.
We sometimes wander too. We stray away from what God has taught us to do. Like the sheep, we sometimes can't find the way home even when it is in plain sight.

So we can summarize that sheep…..
  • Are creatures of habit
  • Have limited intelligence
  • Are prone to listless wandering
  • Can be very timid and stubborn
  • Easily frightened by the most ridiculous things
  • They are absolutely defenceless if ever attacked

As one writer said “the existence of the sheep was the prime evidence against the theory of evolution, there is no way sheep could have survived.” Let me ask you…….Can you relate to some of those character traits that describe a sheep in your life?
  • We are people of habit, do the same thing over and over again.
  • We are people who are limited in our understanding.
  • We are people who are prone to wander.
  • We are people who are shy but aggressive when we want something.
  • We are people who scare easily.
  • We are people who are defenceless most of the time, 9/11 proved that.

This is why the Shepherd came, to save us from entering the wrong door because we are just like sheep! What door?
  • The door of deception
  • The door of false promises and dreams
  • The door of misguided truths
  • The door of false religion and religious leaders (v8, v10, v12-v13)

“Hired hand” represents the religious leaders who perform their duties but don’t sacrificially care for the sheep. They stand in contrast to Jesus because they truly don’t care about the sheep at all….and their job is to shatter the sheep. Paul told Timothy “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,” 1 Tim 4:1-2. False shepherds whose consciences are cauterized and hardened to the truth of God’s word. See according to Jesus there are certain individuals [religious leaders]. Who will try to steal your hearts affections and they will do whatever it takes to destroy your soul, even if it means removing you from the flock. Many will try to deceive fallen sheep from entering the right door! Many will or try to pull the wool over your eyes, so that you don’t see or taste the truth of the gospel. 

In Eze 34:1-31 proclaims this clear warning against the false leaders “And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: "Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. Ezekiel goes on to say for the LORD 'Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: "As I live," says the Lord GOD, "surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock" therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them." But we see the promise from the true Shepherd ‘For thus says the Lord GOD: "Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down," says the Lord GOD. "I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment."  Eze 34:1-31. This is who Jesus is warning us about and to be aware of. Jesus said "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” (v1) And then Jesus goes on to say “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (v10). This is a clear warning to all who would listen…….including the Pharisee’s about the clear warning of entering the wrong door or way. 

"Thieves and robbers!" What does Jesus mean by this statement? They rip-off  the church or into an office, and rob God or Christ of their power and authority; and such were the Scribes and Pharisees….and we see this up front and center today in churches, not just in North America but also around the globe. As this one pastor David Yonggi Cho, founder of world's largest Pentecostal congregation, was found guilty by South Korean court for committing breach of trust and corruption of 13 billion won (US $12 million), after stealing from his church family! To that I say “listen to the warning of  the great Shepherd” because they stand behind pulpits every Sunday deceiving people, robbing people of the true beauty found in the gospel of Christ. Treating people as numbers and not as people created in the image of God. Listen to the heart of a shepherd named Robert McCheyne, a preacher of the 1800 as he warns the people of his day “You know, dear brethren, this is Satan's great object in the world; it is to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. This is the object of Antichrist. This is the object of the world. This is the object of all false ministers. This is the object of your enemies, little flock, for whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Satan comes to rob God of your souls; Antichrist comes to rob God of his throne -- to rob God of his laws; and the world comes to rob God of his Sabbath. So with worldly ministers in like manner, they come to rob you of your soul, of peace, of joy, of holiness. Antichrist robs you of the true way to the Father. And the world comes to rob you -- that pleasant world which says, 'Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant, (Proverbs 9:17). And so with worldly ministers - this is their object, to rob, to steal, and to destroy. 0 my brethren, be warned to flee; be warned to flee from Antichrist; be warned to flee from an ungodly world! See, a shepherd’s responsibility is to teach the sheep how to hear the voice of the Lord. We want to be sure we are following Him and not listening to the voice of a stranger or a counterfeit. This passage, this chapter displays for us what a true shepherd does for His flock! Jesus wants to protect us from people who are selfish and untrue. Who deny the true promise of the gospel! A shepherd cares for his flock, his people! This leads me to the first point!

A SHEPHERD CARES AND PROTECTS HIS FLOCK (v1-v10)

This, first of all, shows the complete knowledge he has of the sheep. Remember of Zacchaeus? When he was a stray sheep, Christ said to him when he was in the tree, “'Come down; for today I must abide at thine house'” (Luke 19:5). Jesus says “I am the Door of the sheep” Go back to the sheepfold imagery once again. The sheep are with their shepherd inside the stone enclosure during the night. There was no door of any kind in these enclosures. In place of the door there was just an open space. At night after the shepherd called in his sheep and herded them within the fold. The shepherd himself lies down across the opening and entrance into the sheepfold…..literally the shepherd was the door. No sheep could get out and no enemy could come in except over his body. In a very literal sense, the shepherd was the door. There was no way in or out except through him. What picture of our Lord Jesus Christ who is one who cares and guards our souls for all eternity. Jesus is saying, “I, and I alone, I and no other am the Door of the sheep.” (v7). Jesus is the one and only gate into heaven. Jesus Christ is the sole way to God. There is no other way as Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6. Remember! If there is no Christ, there is no way to God….(PERIOD). If He is not the Door, there is no entrance into God’s presence. As the Door, Jesus is, the one way of entrance into salvation and rest with the Father.

A SHEPHERD HAS COMPASSION FOR HIS FLOCK (v11-v18)

He will lay His life down for the sheep according to (v11)Where else have we seen this statement about Jesus? Paul wrote “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Eph 5:1-2. That’s the gospel, which is filled with love and compassion for lost, prone to wandered sheep. Where do we see the compassion for lost sheep in the gospels? A prime example of this is found in the Luke 15 when the one sheep wanders off and the shepherd searches endlessly for that lost sheep. And what does he do when he finds the sheep that wandered? Luke pens these words “And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” Luke 15:5. See shepherds who tend their flocks according to Jewish custom, did not tend the sheep in order to slaughter them, unless they were used for sacrifice. Shepherds tended them that the sheep might give wool, milk and baby lambs. The bible says “"I am the good shepherd” which means according to scholars, Jesus is “fundamentally good, beautiful or fair” It described Jesus, as the model that others may safely imitate. To call Jesus “good” is to call Him “God”(v11). In Mark 10:17-18 we read “Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” We see this affirmed by Jesus himself in(v17-v18) and in (v30) He is a God who cares and has compassion for lost sheep who are prone to wander and fall! This is why He came to please the father’s wrath for our sin by becoming one of us to lay His life down as a ransom for us. As the Good Shepherd He is the One who cares for the sheep and provides for their salvation at the cost of His own life.

What am I supposed to do with this passage? You must believe on Christ and trust in Him personally to save you. We are never to trust in possessions or ourselves as a means of salvation. Remember you are a sheep! See, the Door is a person, the Lord Jesus Christ; the only thing necessary for you to do is believe, repent of your sin and trust in Jesus Christ. So my only Sunday question for those who have not tasted that grace of the gospel……………Have you believed or trusted in Him for everlasting life? As for the believer, find great comfort in this passage as the GOOD SHEPHERD leads you along the story book path of your life that He has written for you. Though it’s easy for sheep to wander and leave the God we love as Robert Robinson said in his song “Come Thou Fount” But we also know in his song “Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger,” Though we will face and walk through cold, dry days down some ugly dark valleys as helpless sheep, we can find great comfort in the GOOD SHEPHERD! As David said “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.” Psalm 23

02 December 2015

TERRIFYING TIMES (PART 1)


2 Tim 3:1-17

I grew up in a time when hair bands of the 80 and 90’s ruled the main stage of my personal life! None of this: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, corporate bubble gum talent sell out garbage! I grew in a generation of talented musicians like: Kiss, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and Scorpion’s, Canadian bands like: Helix, Kick Axe, Rush and Triumph. But I think one of the biggest bands that exploded on music scene during my time was a band called AC/DC. Sadly, at the young age of only 33, AC/DC's lead singer Bon Scott, “drank himself to death,” according to the official coroner's report. Bon Scott recorded six studio albums with the rock band AC/DC, beginning with 1974's "High Voltage." It was shortly after the release of the somewhat foreshadowing sixth album, 1979's "Highway to Hell," that Scott died (February 19, 1980). In keeping with his rowdy persona, the official coroner's report stated that Scott had drank himself to death. "Highway to Hell" sold over a million copies during its initial run (it has sold seven million to date) and climbed to place at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. Bon Scott epitomized the role of a God-hating rebel, who abused drugs and indulged in sinful living. Scott was found dead in his car after an indulgent binge left his body lifeless and his soul at the reality of the “Highway to Hell” which Bon Scott recorded just months prior to his tragic death. Bon Scott, who wore a satanic pentagram around his neck, sang in his infamous song entitled Highway to Hell “Hey Satan, paid my dues, playing in a rockin' band, I'm on a highway to hell.”Our generation and the next generation are still buying into this lie as I once did, which comes from the pit of Hell. 

In light of these past weeks….. Things are becoming clearer to me! How much worse can it get? The bible says……“Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the Day of Judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.” Matt 10:13. Our society is falling apart and the people [even the church] are falling for this world. Our culture is still being adapted by what we see, hear and touch, and they embracing this fallen world! Jesus said “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”.  Matt 24:37-39. So my question for us is this………Are we ready for perilous times? Are we ready to fight back to protect our marriages, our children, our families, our sexual purity and a biblical world-view? From a culture that says “there is no absolutes, all sexual types orientation is good, there is no God, the world just evolved, let the professionals teach and train your children, majority knows best, do what makes you happy, climb the corporate ladder, don’t think for yourself, live for self and forget about anybody else.” Or a culture that says “Stay busy, prepare for that freedom 55, and so on.” Sadly, our culture is getting more perverse by the minute! Again with the news and entertainment hype about Bieber, Miley Cyrus’s, Lady Gaga perversion and open sin……millions of young people look up to them as a role model. Can I tell you, that they’re no role model for our young people! They are the Bon Scott of this generation who desperately needs Christ. They are on a road that only has one off ramp that can save them from the famous song by AC/DC!.................... The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So again the question is again! Are we ready for perilous times? Increasingly, we are hearing people talk about “The Last Days” or “The End of the World,” “Last days” are not only the days immediately preceding Christ’s second coming. Rather they began at Pentecost and will continue until that day. In other words, we have been and still are living in the last days. The new age arrived with Christ’s incarnation and the old age began to pass away, ushering in the “the Last Days” This world system and the generations to follow are living in perilous times. What does that look like then and today? "……For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Rom 1:16-18. Further down Paul mentions those who suppress the truth! Whose hearts are filled with their own lustful passions (v24-25); whose hearts are filled with sexual immorality (v26-v27). The ones who are “filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Rom 1:29-32. Do see what Rom 1:32 says? “….they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Our present world system rejoices, boasts and encourages such wicked behaviour. Society has become ruthless, craving the bloodiest and most horrid behaviours and lack of morals... It’s the promotion of give us more, more, and more!

For Example:
  • Sexual immorality is increasing by the minute around the globe.
  • Decency and morality is being thrown out the window as garbage and old fashion.
  • Young people are giving up their purity so that they can fit into the mold of this generation to find acceptance and love.
  • Having more than 2 children you are considered selfish and overcrowding in an “already crowded world.”
  • Marriage is no longer an institution between two believers under God’s covenant of marriage.
  • Demonic activity is hitting the big screen and taking over the movie box office and the television.
  • Homosexuality and trans-gender is considered a normal sexual lifestyle.
  • A mother killing and drowning her 4 children in a pool is considered murder, but killing a child in the womb is considered “choice”.
  • Helping someone end their life is considered human, but beat or torture an animal is considered barbaric and cruel.
  • The bible is considered hate speech and intolerant, but to be-head someone in the name of “Allah” is considered ok.

I don’t mean to wreck your Sunday morning worship, but we really need to open our eyes to what is going on around the world. Might I remind you that Paul wrote this to Timothy some 2000 years ago? Paul said perilous times were coming for the church. This fallen world is falling into a deep depravity, but the church was going to face this sort behaviour and total disregard for anything that is attached to the name Jesus Christ. “Perilous times” means times of great difficulty, grievous, stressful, hazardous or dangerous, unsafe. It’s like those of public plagues, when death lies at every door, also referring fierce, violent dangerous or even savage.

PERILOUS TIMES: WHEN PEOPLE’S LIVES ARE SELF-CENTERED (v2-v4)

The self-centered people described first had a misdirected love. Paul says “lovers of self”, “lovers of money”, “unloving” .Everyone worshipped something other than the One who created them for His glory. So in these perilous times will see more narcissism (love of self), materialism (love of money), and hedonism (love of pleasures)

PERILOUS TIMES: WHEN PEOPLES’ RELIGION IS A SHOW (V3-V5)

Paul says some merely have a “form of godliness “but their lives a not pleasing at all to a holy God. It’s a person who has external practices, but they are morally corrupt. This means their religion is a show (phonies), false converts, apostates, wolves in sheep’s clothing! They are stubborn and refuse to believe the truth of the gospel; by doing this they don’t see Christ as supreme over their lives. Paul said earlier to Timothy in 1Timothy 4:1-2 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,” And Paul says avoid them! Why? He gave the answer in the second chapter of this letter “But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.” 2 Tim 2:16-18

PERILOUS TIMES: WHEN PEOPLE PROSELYTIZING IS EVIL (V6-V9)

Paul says that certain people would try to win converts to their wicked religion. And they would use subtle ways to do that! How? “capture them in their home” Now “home” might be a spacious home of the wealthy where the church often met. But where it’s a JW, Mormon coming to your home or in a church setting, they come to destroy by “capturing their victims” Look at who the most vulnerable ones are “idle women burdened down with sin” This is a woman (not all women) who is easily led by their emotions and passions. It’s a woman who is immature, childish, silly, weak, and especially burden down with sin. This is a person who is prone to accept new ideas and easily swayed to believe something over the truth. And what’s worse is that they would listen to anybody, but they were never able to come to “a knowledge of the truth.” (v7) Why? Perilous time’s people will be lovers of self, lovers of money and lovers of passions over the truth of God’s word and the gospel. What makes their so-called evangelising evil? “men who oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith” And Paul uses two names “Jannes and Jambres” Though their names do not appear in the Old Testament or early Christian writings, but they are in extra-biblical sources. So Paul applies these two men to the Egyptian magicians who performed counterfeit miracles in opposition to Moses. “Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs. Still Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.” Exo 7:11-13

Paul said something else “oppose to truth” Doctrine would become compromised by the leaders. Doctrine would be distorted by wolves in sheep’s clothing. The church would be faced with greater trials then their predecessors of old. The world system would and will turn against any and those who oppose their ideology of life and happiness. Isn’t this true! Doctrine has been compromised and corrupted in the church, because we don’t want to offend someone or make them feel uncomfortable. Doctrine has been distorted by many false teachers and many are greatly confused to what truth is and what isn’t.

“Doctrine” is a set of accepted beliefs held by a group. In religion, it is the set of true beliefs that define the parameters of that belief system. Therefore, there is true doctrine and false doctrine relative to each belief set. In Christianity, for example, a true Biblical doctrine is that there is only one God in all existence (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8). A false doctrine is that there is more than one God in all existence.

The churches doctrine today is like pinning Jello to the wall, it just won’t stick or stand. This is a battle that we need to defeat in our church. Our doctrine defines who we are in Christ. This doctrine or God’s teachings are worth dying for and worth saturating our lives into. This has fight has been the backbone of the early church to the present church. There has been over 100 million Christians martyred for the gospel since the early church was established by the apostles. We are “knee” or “neck deep” in “perilous times” But in these perilous times, where would we be without Christ and the gospel? Answer! We would be on the side lines cheering and applauding Bruce Jenner’s perversion and dishonoring and offensive lifestyle against all women. We would be no better or different than Miley Cyrus, or Justin Bieber wanting the things of this world to satisfy our lustful passions and desires! Perilous time is why Christ came! To save sinners like us, to die for the sin of this young girl, to take the punishment of the mother who chose to terminate a life. For the sexual immoral, the disobedient person, child, the church. So that we could be saved through perilous times as we wait our Lord’s return. That’s why the gospel so precious and personal! But we need to understand the church is under attack not just from the outside but also from the inside. (v2-v4)

What does a perilous time mean for you and me?

Get serious about your relationship with Jesus Christ. In other words, make Him the number one priority in your life.

Don’t bury your head in the sand thinking that this will all go away sometime soon! Remove the blinders, perilous times are here to stay and we must push on persevere through them until the Lord`s return.

Walk by the Spirit and not by sight. God will make it clear to you what He wants you to do but you must step out in faith and actually start doing it.

Separate yourself and your family from this present world system and all it has to offer you. Do not be enslaved to the many enticements and distractions that are in the world today. Find spiritual substitutes, for example, fill your mind with Christian teachings, music, meditation on the word

Attend a Bible believing church regularly [meaning more than just Sunday’s] and get plugged in with other believers. As things grow worse in this world this might mean that you will meet much more often than you do now

Don't just believe or follow those with their own radical agendas, use discernment and test all things to scripture. There are many false teachers who will try to steer you away from the truth to the lies of this world.

Redeem this time wisely for the Kingdom of God. The apostle Paul said “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph 5:16. Paul also said “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” Col 4:5

There is an Illustration I came across that speaks volumes to the human soul. “Spurgeon use to tell a story about two men in a boat. They were caught in a very, very severe rapids and they were going to a place where there was a waterfall and even worse rapids and there was really no way, if they ever hit those rapids, that they would ever live. And they began to struggle for their lives. And as they were carried swiftly downstream, they were carried toward the perilous rocks and the falls and some men on the shore saw them and tried to save the two men and they threw a rope out. By this time the men had fallen out of the little boat, were struggling in the current. One man caught the rope and was saved. At the same instant, said Spurgeon, the other man who could have seized the rope, in the panic of the moment, grabbed onto a log that was floating by and that was a fatal mistake. One man was drawn to the shore because he had a connection with the people on the land. The other clinging to a log was carried down through the rapids and never found again. Spurgeon went on to say “Now, you see, what faith does is faith gives you a connection with the shore. Faith gives you a connection to Jesus Christ. Grabbing a hold of anything else is grabbing a log. It doesn’t go anywhere but along with you to your doom.”

Think of these PERILOUS TIMES we live in as a raging sea. All around us the WINDS of CHANGE are blowing. Off in the distance we can hear the rumblings of an approaching STORM. How tempting it is for you and me to take our eyes off JESUS and focus on all the bad things going on around us. As one preacher said “But let me remind you of a very important truth: The fact that the whole world seems out of control just means the Lord has everything in CONTROL!” This is our culture! They are clinging to that log and its guiding them to their doom. Perilous times call for radical Christians, not spectators! Perilous times call for gospel saturated living, not complacency! Perilous times call for selfless love for self-destructive people!

As Isaiah said “…..Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts."…Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." Isa 6:5-8. Despite perilous times may we go to the Miley Cyrus’s, the Ninevites of this world with the gospel that saves to the uttermost parts!