Christ said to us “PICK UP YOUR CROSS, FOLLOW ME.” The modern Christian says “WHAT CROSS? CHRIST DID IT ALL FOR ME, I HAVE NO CROSS, ONLY TO BELIEVE IN HIS WORK FOR ME.”. So what is the truth here? Are we to pick up OUR cross? Are we DIE A DEATH as Christ commanded? Are we to seek, ask, knock and strive for the truth? Are we to CONTINUE in His doctrine to be set free or not? What part of this is US, and what part is it of Him OR HIS “FINISHED WORK”.
Did not Christ say we are to COME TO HIM? Not just “believe” or have “faith” in Him but rather to come TO HIM AND HAVE UNION WITH HIM, TO BE ONE WITH HIM (John 17). How then is this done? Seems like Nicodemus did not know, for he asked Jesus what all of this meant when Jesus said you had to be born again. A mystery, a hidden thing, something that has to be searched out. That which is hidden, that which is a secret must be searched out and ONLY A FEW EVER FIND IT. Not because they can’t, but rather, because they REFUSE TO DO SO.
So then when in the Old Testament where it says that we are to SEARCH OUT THE LORD WITH ALL OF OUR HEART, MIND AND STRENGTH, or in the New where Jesus said to HUNGER AND THIRST after righteousness, it seems that it is something we are to do – for when Jesus said if you hear my words and DO THEM NOT, you are foolish, but if you hear them and DO THEM, you are wise.
I often here the words “sincere” applied to Christians. If the heart is wicked, so vile and so wicked no one can actually know it, then where can there be any sincerity? Just asking, that’s all.
Seems to me that OBEDIENCE is true faith, for one would not enter in the STRAIT GATE, or travel the NARROW WAY unto LIFE unless they actually believed that Christ was who He said He was. Jesus asked us, what was it to gain or win the world through hard hours of toil and work only to lose the soul? In contrast then, He seems to be implying that the same effort, if you will, ought to be applied to leaving this world behind you and traveling along this mysterious NARROW WAY, a way wrought by the Holy Spirit, but a nasty experiential walk nonetheless as the Holy Ghost’s job is to convict the sinner of SIN, RIGHTEOUSNESS and JUDGMENT.
Look up the word JUDGMENT SOMETIME. It means to be judged to eternal damnation. Have you ever known beyond all doubt you were going to hell? I mean beyond any belief you might have, rather a certain total absolute KNOWING your destination? If not, you might want to ask why? It is part of the work of the Holy Spirit to CONVICT YOU OF THAT. Of sin, because we are all sinners of the worst type, and of righteousness because we have no clue as to what it is!!
Now then, is OBEDIENCE to ENTER IN, as commanded by Christ, a “work”? I don’t find that anywhere in the Bible, I find rather that any attempt by “good works”, that is, we think right thoughts, we do right deeds and all of that so God will approve of us because of all our good “works” is to no avail. If ye be fallen, no matter what your works, good or bad, how does that avail you of anything? “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must be born again”. Being born again has nothing to do with good works or bad works. It is not that we are not to do “good works”, for God commands us to be Holy, right, just to others. But these works have NOTHING to do with salvation, never have and never will.
We are told over and over again to SEEK OUT WITH ALL OF OUR HEART, MIND AND STRENGTH the truth of all of this. We are also told over and over again that only a VERY FEW in this world will do it, as Jesus said the way is NARROW, and if you look up the word NARROW, well it is most unpleasant and few will actually do it
So what Satan did was to eliminate any NARROW WAY, or if there was one at all, well, let’s put it AFTER WE ARE SAVED. In other words we are SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH, and NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST SIMPLY BE BELIEVING, and after that we travel this NARROW way. Both are dead wrong, and totally a satanic deception, or from the Lord point of view, the STRONG DELUSION for the Christians who are disobedient and refuse to do as He commanded them. “Why do you call me LORD, LORD, and NOT DO, what I say? Seems to me WE ARE TO DO SOMETHING, and DOING THAT SOMETHING is our FIRST RESPONSE TO THE CALL OF THE LORD.
The other thing I find is that CONVERSION is classified as REGENERATION OR REBIRTH by the church today. It is not, and never was. True CONVERSION should lead to REGENERATION if the believer does as commanded and responds to those commands. Conversion is NOT regeneration. Conversion is something YOU DO WITH YOUR MIND, and regeneration is something God does WHEN HE DECIDES. You have nothing to do with your regeneration in that way, it is an act of God, by God and ONLY when you have done YOUR FINISHED WORK by walking the narrow way and finding life.
Now Jesus did a work for us to reconcile God to the world. Says so in the Bible. The finished work of Christ RECONCILED GOD TO THIS WORLD. Please understand what that is actually telling us. Look it up for yourself. Now the Bible tells us that unless TWO BE IN AGREEMENT THEY CANNOT WALK TOGETHER. OK? Would we all agree that unless two people be in agreement on the basics they could not walk together?
What modern Christianity has done is to REMOVE TOTALLY mankind’s RECONCILIATION BACK TO GOD. The finished work of Christ DOES NOT include OUR reconciliation back to Him. When Jesus said PICK UP YOUR CROSS He was not referring to HIS CROSS, but rather to YOURS. He also told us that WE WOULD BE BAPTIZED WITH THE SAME BAPTISM HE WAS BAPTIZED WITH, and that is DEATH ON THE CROSS – hence UNLESS A CORN OF WHEAT FALLS INTO THE GROUND AND DIES, IT REMAINETH ALONE. Christ was never alone, EXCEPT for when He was dying and said “Why hast though forsaken me?” That was part of KINSMAN REDEEMER LAW, part of the PRICE Christ had to pay in order to REDEEM THE HUMAN RACE.
When mankind fell, he was severed from God and walks alone. Always alone. That is why Jesus said we MUST DIE or we will remain ALONE. IF WE DIE this mysterious death of the narrow way,, and fall into the ground, we will bear fruit and join in UNION with Christ and NEVER BE ALONE EVER AGAIN, for He will always be with us via the SPIRIT OF CHRIST WITHIN.
Now then, if we be alone, and we all know we really are all alone here, even if we be married, even if we have close friends, we are ALONE. We are born into this world ALONE, and we DIE ALONE. We were severed from God at the fall, which is why the Lord said “in the day you eat thereof, you shall surely die.” SEVERED. ALONE. CUT OFF from the one who created us. So then, THE WORK OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS WAS TO FINISH THE WORK, MAKE AN END TO SIN, but ONLY if and when a person RESPONDED TO THE CALL OF THE LORD. The world does not respond to this message, only a very few ever do.
The response we are to have, according to Christ Himself, is to ENTER YE IN, WALK THE NARROW WAY UNTO LIFE. Inasmuch as LIFE is in the Son, then obviously Christ is at the END of the NARROW WAY, waiting for those who will RESPOND. In order to RESPOND, we must PICK UP OUR CROSS, a mystery to the many and foolishness to those that perish. Why is it foolishness? Because the STRAIT GATE and NARROW WAY are the only way we can RECONCILE OURSELVES BACK TO GOD. The finished work of Christ OPENED THE DOORWAY FOR US TO DO IT IF WE WOULD. Obviously not many will. Reconciliation BACK TO GOD is actually another word for TRUE REPENTANCE.
Every one born on Earth will stand before their Creator and be judged by the LOVE OF GOD, or DIVINE AGAPE. No one can stand. Not one. There is none righteous, no not one. They have all gone astray. THE STRAIT GATE and NARROW WAY is our way (brought by Christ via grace), to reconcile ourselves back to God. Our response is to be ASK, SEEK, KNOCK, STRIVE AND CONTINUE IN HIS DOCTRINE if we are to find the actual truth, which is very well hidden away. There is a HUMAN RESPONSE TO ALL OF THIS. It is not a work to comply with the commands to ENTER IN.
There was a song done by “meatloaf” and the refrain is this: “I will do anything for love, but I WILL NOT DO THAT.” That is the modern Christian of today. They will do anything but THEY WILL NOT PICK UP THEIR CROSS AND DIE. They have no clue as to what it even means. So they will do anything for love, but will NOT to that. In spite of anything you may believe, if you will not pick up your cross, you will die in your sins. Believe anything you want, the commands are there, and yes, YOU HAVE TO RESPOND. It is something YOU are told OVER AND OVER AND OVER. To then say “I do nothing, Christ did it all for me”, means you do not understand reconciliation, repentance or the true nature of GRACE and DYNAMIC FAITH.
Yes, the Holy Ghost guides and instructs, but you must respond to it, and continue in it. That is the obedience that God commands of us. To say we do nothing, Christ did it all for us is to invite certain ruin and damnation, because the Bible says over and over again wer are to SEARCH THIS MATTER OUT WITH DUE DILIGENCE. Here is ONE area of response found in the Old Testament, verified over and over again in the new:
Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
So it appears we are to respond, to do something. We are to seek, ask, knock, seek diligently and STRIVE to be overcomers. We are to be OVERCOMERS, to have done battle with a real adversary, whose name is Satan and his demonic hordes. We are to OVERCOME our own worst enemy, ourselves. We are to travel down this most mysterious “way” if we are to be overcomers, we are to enter into our Holy of Holies and UNSEAT our antichrist spirit that is so vile and wicked, the inner hidden heart of man. We are to DO SOMETHING, and that something PROVES OUR FAITH by OBEDIENCE. Divine agape MUST BE LAID HOLD OF, it must be FOUND, and when it is, CHRIST GIVES US HIS ROBES OF RIGHTEOUNSESS. We are nothing without Him. We can do nothing without Him. Yea, the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST opens up OUR WAY TO RECONCILE OURSELVES BACK TO GOD. Indeed, except two be agreed in DIVINE AGAPE, they cannot walk together. That is what TRUE REPENTANCE ACTUALLY IS, it is to repent of all of our so-called loves and realize how vile they really are and to embrace DIVINE AGAPE, WHICH IS CHRIST, HIS SPIRIT AND UNION WITH THE DIVINE. Call it mystic, all it esoteric, call it gnostic, call it whatever you will, it is A TRUTH, it is written everywhere in the Bible, and few there be that find it. Not because they cannot, but because they REFUSE. Why do they refuse? Because they are fallen, because they are in deep rebellion. Because there is a veil over their minds and they cannot hear, see or know because they do not want to.