Drastic Measures

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   We live in an age and in a generation that has little or no concern for their soul.  They don’t stop to ponder the deep issues of life and death, and if they believe in a heaven at all, they pretty much assume they will end up there when they die.  Or they are deceived to believe that there is no life after death, so “live it up” and “enjoy life” on their terms.

   Their primary motive for living is based on pride, self, accumulation, experience, and popularity.  Little do they realize that these things will ultimately be their undoing, because they have forgotten God.  Oh, they may believe in God, but they’ve forgotten to inquire of Him how to live their lives.  Actually, they’ve willfully shunned God, the real Living God, out of their lives.  It’s a decision they’ve made.

   Psalm 14:1 says:  “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God..”  It immediately follows by saying:  “They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”

   They have their own pursuits, their own ambitions, and they do not want God (or anyone else) to interfere with those plans.  They seek treasures for themselves on earth, and life lived “their way.”

   The Lord Jesus Christ warned such persons (meaning all lost unregenerate people) in Luke 12:20, “Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee:  then whose shall these things be, which thou hast provided?”

   The Bible warns in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.”  These are serious words, grave words!  They should frighten the lost to their core, and yes, they should frighten even the redeemed of the Lord, knowing that judgment and the lake of fire await perishing souls.

   Getting right with God is not something to trifle with.  We are not promised tomorrow, or even the next five minutes.  Second Corinthians 6:2 tells us,  “...Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

   The anthem for this generation can be summed up in Frank Sinatra’s famous song “I Did It My Way.”  But...your way will land you in Hell!  It’s the worst place imaginable!  Never ending torment in excruciating pain!  No one can even begin to imagine how horrible.  Nothing we’ve ever known or comprehended, or sensed with our five senses can even come close to describing the utter despair and torture of this never-ending existence!  Compounding the torment is knowing there is no hope — ever! — of getting out!  No hope of dying to escape it.  And there is no appeal to God to deliver one from Hell, because He is the One who sends people there.

   As proof, Jesus Christ said “Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into Hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him.”  (Luke 12:5).

   As a result, the apostle Paul declares in Second Corinthians 5:11, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”

   Yet, most people, even most believers I might suggest, take lightly the things of the Lord, including His laws, ways, judgments, and warnings.  They believe that life is to be enjoyed as they’ve determined, and while some would like God’s stamp of approval to alleviate their wayward consciences, they still thrust out in the direction that feels right to them.  They ignore Proverbs 14:12 which says “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

   We need to take the Lord Jesus Christ seriously.  He stated “Strive to enter in at the strait gate:  for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”  (Luke 13:24). Christ then goes on to say that many will seek to enter in at a later time, after the door (of salvation in Christ alone) is shut, but will not be able to, and they give a number of excuses and explanations to convince Christ to open the door, even claiming to have supped with Him and spent time in His presence.  Yet, He says to them “...I tell you, I know you not whence ye are:  depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity.”

   The bottom line:  They did not love Christ enough to give up their lives of iniquity, they only gave Jesus lip service.  Jesus isn’t into lip service, He demands death to self!  He said in Matthew 10:38, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me is not worthy of Me.”  To some these are hard words, but they are TRUE Words of the Saviour.

   Eternal Life, Forgiveness, Heaven, and Salvation are so important that the Lord Jesus warns how all-important it is to seek it, to seek Him, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, in the following passage:

   “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee:  for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that they whole body should be cast into Hell.  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee:  for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into Hell.”  (Matthew 5:29-30).

   So not to miss Jesus’ point here, He is saying that if it takes removing one’s own eye or hand that is keeping one in the bondage of sin, then do so rather than to be thrown into Hell.  In other words, cut off the offending sin, casting oneself at the mercy of Jesus rather than to hold onto one’s sin, making excuses for it, and refusing to repent and acknowledge one’s lost condition.

   Jesus is saying, to avoid going to Hell, take Drastic Measures!  Don’t take this thing lightly.  Your lost sinful condition should cause you heaviness, brokenness, and a weight of doom.  “Doom,” you ask?  Absolutely!  Hebrews 10:31 declares “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  It’s a fearful thing.

   So fearful, in fact, that Christ tells all to take Drastic Measures to get into His Kingdom.  Most are so consumed with their plans and pleasures, they just assume all is well with their soul.  It’s a state of false security.

   What are some of these plans and pleasures that give a false sense that all is OK with their future, and their eternal destiny?  Here are a few:

   1).  The desire to have fun and good times.  This often involves alcohol, getting drunk or tipsy, reveling, smoking, partying, laughing at sinful things or nonsense, gluttony, following the crowd, and seeking approval and popularity from others.  Yet Christ told us that His followers would be hated on account of Jesus’ sake, and would not be the “life of the party.”  These pleasure-seekers will not take Drastic Measures, and they will end up in Hell.

   2).  College, career, and ambition.  These, in and of themselves, are not necessarily wrong, yet they are often a deceptive diversion that focuses on one’s self, one’s goals, and one’s own achievement, but not for God’s glory, nor a life that’s lived for Him.  And often in order to achieve one's goals, compromises against God’s ways are welcomed as a means to an end.  Again, the end is glorying in self, and failing to surrender to Christ as Lord.  These are the “respectable” sinners in the eyes of the world.  No Drastic Measures taken here either!

   3).  Then there is the sexual-fulfillment crowd.  They have decided what is right in their own eyes, and so lust, sexual conquest, deviancy, and rejection of God’s commands of purity characterize their lives.  And yet there are many who may live sexually pure (as a single person or faithful to their spouse), while at the same time approving the sins of others, particularly their family, friends, and loved ones.  People are more important to them than God.  Drastic Measures are not taken on either end of this spectrum.

   4).  And this next stumbling block follows closely with the previous one.  Family.  Kinfolk.  The false god of relationships.  This keeps many in bondage, and blinds them to the words of Jesus.  Again, these put greater emphasis on the opinions of others than what God has to say in His Word,  the Holy Scriptures.  In a world of relationships, Drastic Measures take a back seat.

   5).  Entertainment.  Hollywood gods!  Did you know that Hollywood, television, the music industry, etc., has its own pantheon of false gods that it promotes?  Yet, vast multitudes willfully absorb the values, messages, subtle hints, off-color humor, and (though often not thought of) the mocking of God as a form of entertainment, because — as we all know — entertainment is more important to our modern culture than oxygen.  And certainly more important the serving the Living God and taking Drastic Measures to know Him through His Son, Jesus Christ!

   Are any of these things (and dozens beside) more important than finding eternal life through a daily living relationship and surrender to the one narrow path to salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ?  Is there anything worth missing eternal life for, and ending up in Hell for all eternity?

   Jesus asked this in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  That’s about as blunt as one can get, isn't it?  Verse 37:  “Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”  What’s worth selling off your soul for?  Family, career, education, success, possessions, wealth, pleasure, entertainment, popularity, pride, safety, health, SIN?...

   Jesus said to take Drastic Measures to enter into Life.  I’m going to follow what He said, and not the party crowd, not the entertainers, not the clowns and the mockers, certainly not the broad way!  But the Narrow Way —  Jesus Christ and His Word!  I pray that many will want to come with me.

Email Contact:  dflein@yahoo.com

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