Once we are saved and born again, the Holy Spirit is there in our hearts to direct us on how to act and what to do in order to please our Heavenly Father Yahweh God. When we are listening, God’s Spirit will often encourage us and build us up when we are on the right path and doing what pleases God. Just as salt and light destroy germs, dispel darkness and decay, and bring life and healing to the Earth and our bodies, we are also called to be Spiritual Salt and Light in this wicked world:
Matthew 5:13-16 ~ “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”But God also rebukes and corrects even His own sons and daughters in ways that are not always so pleasant when we are not heeding the Spirit’s quiet voice within our hearts, and not being the Spiritual Salt and Light that we are called to be in this dark world. As it says in Scripture:
Hebrews 12:3-11 ~ “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If you endure chastening (i.e. discipline), God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”This Scripture makes it clear that we should expect God to discipline us by allowing us to suffer for our unconfessed sins when we do not comply to God's wishes. If those who profess to love and follow Yahshua continue to sin even though the Holy Spirit is warning that they need to change, believers will suffer from God's discipline and correction, which usually manifests itself as a withdrawal of His divine favor and protection.
Isaiah 1:2-6 ~ The Wickedness of Judah
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth!
For the Lord has spoken:
“I have nourished and brought up children,
And they have rebelled against Me;
3 The ox knows its owner
And the donkey its master’s crib;
But Israel does not know,
My people do not consider.”
4 Alas, sinful nation,
A people laden with iniquity,
A brood of evildoers,
Children who are corrupters!
They have forsaken the Lord,
They have provoked to anger
The Holy One of Israel,
They have turned away backward.
5 Why should you be stricken again?
You will revolt more and more.
The whole head is sick,
And the whole heart faints.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head,
There is no soundness in it,
But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores;
They have not been closed or bound up,
Or soothed with ointment.”
“I will punish the world for its evil,
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will halt the arrogance of the proud,
And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”
“But these two things shall come to you
In a moment, in one day:
The loss of children, and widowhood.
They shall come upon you in their fullness
Because of the multitude of your sorceries,
For the great abundance of your enchantments.
10 “For you have trusted in your wickedness;
You have said, ‘No one sees me’;
Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you;
And you have said in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’
11 Therefore evil shall come upon you;
You shall not know from where it arises.
And trouble shall fall upon you;
You will not be able to put it off.
And desolation shall come upon you suddenly,
Which you shall not know.”
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.”
“They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God,
Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season.
He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25 Your iniquities have turned these things away,
And your sins have withheld good from you.
26 ‘For among My people are found wicked men;
They lie in wait as one who sets snares;
They set a trap;
They catch men.
27 As a cage is full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit.
Therefore they have become great and grown rich.”
Matthew 3:6-10 ~ John The Baptist Condemns The Religious Leaders; John the Baptist Said: “Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Matthew 12:33-36 ~ A Tree Is Known By Its Fruit; Yahshua Said: “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.”
Matthew 23:29-36 ~ Hypocritical Religious Leaders Compared To Vipers; Yahshua Said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.”In addition to the condemnation that John the Baptist and Yahshua gave to the religious leaders of their day, the Apostle Paul said this about the deplorable conduct of unrepentant believers toward one another:
1 Corinthians 6:7-10 ~ “Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? 8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”Isaiah 64:8-9; Jeremiah 18:5-6). For this reason, they are heaping up judgment upon themselves because they are not allowing God’s Spirit to mold and shape them into the New Creations in Christ that God desires for them (2 Corinthians 5:16-19).
For those who refuse God’s discipline, there is going to be harsh judgment - even among those who profess to be believers in Christ. Although they may not be sent to Hell, the threat of this exists for those who refuse to repent - whether they claim Christ as their Savior or not. The judgment of the dead, and the condemnation of some to everlasting torment in Hell or the lake of fire is described in the Book of Revelation:
Revelation 20:10-15 ~ Devil Imprisoned, Dead Are Judged; The Apostle John Wrote: “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”There are many more passages in Scripture that condemn the unrighteous wicked who will not repent that are not listed here. All of these Scriptures show that our Heavenly Father God is not all warm and fuzzy all the time. He rebukes and punishes both His children and the unsaved when they repeatedly sin against Him without repentance. Though our Father God Yahweh is very merciful and He loves us all, He is also a God of Justice. Therefore, He will be forced to send some of us to Hell forever at the end of time if we do not repent!
Yahshua and the Apostle Paul also made it very clear that those who love Yahshua and His Father Yahweh deeply and do God’s Will by following His Commandments should expect to suffer persecution:
Matthew 5:10-12 ~ “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Matthew 13:20-22 ~ “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”
Mark 10:28-31 ~ “Then Peter began to say to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed You.’ 29 So Jesus answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.’”
John 15:18-21 ~ The World’s Hatred of Christ's Body ~ “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
2 Timothy 3:10-13 ~ “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystr - what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”Based on these Scriptures, it's not a matter of if, but when you will suffer persecution - not only for sharing your faith and joy in Christ, but for condemning the actions of the unrighteous. In fact, if you consider yourself a believer but you never suffer persecution, then you had better be questioning your salvation and inquiring of God, asking Him what you are doing wrong!
Scripture makes it it abundantly clear that those who love God WILL be persecuted, and some may even lose their lives at the hands of the wicked - as those who are dying as martyrs in Iraq and other parts of the world today can attest. But even so, while we still have the breath of life in our dying bodies of decaying flesh, we need to preach the following message to all who will listen:
Romans 6:22-23 ~ “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (i.e. Messiah Yahshua our Adonai).”For more Bible studies that show the importance of following Yahshua's Commandments, and the great need for believers to live a godly life if they want to be worthy to be included in the Rapture and Millennial Kingdom of Christ, please read the following articles also posted to my POEM Ministry Blog:
Helena Lehman of the
Pillar of Enoch Ministry
Ministry Web Site: http://pillar-of-enoch.com