Thursday, August 27, 2015

Judging And Condemning

A common expression in our day is “Don’t judge.  The Bible says you are not to judge.”   My question to you is this:  Does the Bible really teach us that we are not to judge?  What is the Bible criteria for judging?  Is there a difference between judging and condemning?  We must let the Word of God and the Holy Spirit be our teachers.  We must be willing to set aside the opinions of other men and women if their opinions conflict with what the Bible teaches.  

Matthew 7:1-5
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

The proper understanding of words and their true meaning is essential to   knowledge and wisdom. If you attach the wrong definition to a word, you will be subject to deception.  Satan is a liar and he will misinterpret the word of God so as to cause you to believe his lies.  Satan has many false  prophets and teachers who will misinterpret God’s word   There are many people who are simply ignorant of what the truth is and what the Bible teaches.  There are others who knowingly lie to the people because they are covetous and their hearts are evil. 

What does the word “judge” mean as it is used in Matthew 7:1? 

NT:2919 GREEK krino (kree'-no); properly, to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish: Translated as the following words in other KJV verses:  - avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law.

The Greek word “krino” as it is used here in Matthew 7:1 means more than just forming an opinion.  This word mean that a decision has been finally made.  A judgment has been reached.  A condemnation has been decreed.  Who among us is authorized to condemn and damn another soul?  None among us has the wisdom, knowledge and authority necessary to condemn another soul.  Jesus only is able to save or condemn.  It is possible to know that a person is a sinner without being the source of judgment by which the sinner’s spiritual condition is made known. 

When Jesus was here on this earth He said in: 
John 3:16-21
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

God has established His laws, His commandments and His judgments.  If you knowingly and wilfully disobey His commandments, you have condemned your own soul by your own decision to rebel against the will of God.   Although Jesus did not come to condemn, the light of truth which He revealed to others brought condemnation because their conscience was guilty of willful disobedience.   

Luke 6:35-38
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

If you love your enemies, you will not want to condemn them.  If you love them, you will be merciful and not judge or condemn.  You may and perhaps must correct them and exhort them to be righteous and keep the commandments of God; but, you will not condemn them or judge them in the sense of the word which means damnation.  To damn someone means that you personally have concluded that they are wicked and spiritually lost.  To condemn someone means that you have decided and passed judgment that they are not a child of God.  That is a very serious act which has grave spiritual consequences. 

I have personally experienced the condemnation of certain men who claimed to be ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They insisted that I was a sinner and judged me as being lost without the grace of salvation while I insisted that I had not sinned against God.  They judged me and condemned me without any proof of willful sin.  They did not want me to be the pastor of the congregation because I did not agree with them on certain symbolic scriptures in the Bible.  They refused to accept my testimony of salvation based on another person’s belief that I was not sanctified and being led by the Holy Spirit.  When Jesus said “Judge not” this is the very thing that He was talking about. 

If we are not to judge someone as being lost, what should we do when we think that someone is lost?  We must exhort and instruct with love and patience until we can reach a mutual understanding of the true condition of the individual’s soul.  If we cannot reach a mutual understanding, we must submit the situation to God and let the Holy Spirit reveal the true condition of the heart. 

2 Thessalonians 3:10-16
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

Many individuals, who claim to be justified and sanctified, do not have the patience, love and mercy to labor with someone who is disobedient or lacking in understanding.  We ought to remember the patience and mercy of God toward us when we were disobedient and out of order with God.  Do we manifest the loving character of God toward those who are confused, deceived or disobedient? 

1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

As ministers and teachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we must teach people the truth.  We must exhort and admonish.  We must instruct and command.  But we are not to condemn, damn or conclude souls to be lost except when the Holy Spirit has revealed this terrible condition.  Too many people are hasty to condemn and judge a person to be a sinner when they do not know the very thoughts and intents of the person’s heart.  Some ministers have been too hasty in condemning an individual whom they deemed to be a sinner.  God has not called us to sit in the Judgment Seat of Christ and condemn the souls of others. 

There are some strong words used to describe the responsibility of ministers to those whom God has appointed them to oversee.  Let us define these words which the Bible uses to describe our responsibility to others:

Admonish:  to put in mind, i.e. (by implication) to caution or reprove gently.   When we cause a person to be mindful of their actions and attitudes which are contrary to the righteous principles of God, we are not judging their soul.  A word of caution or reproof is not the same as condemnation. 

Exhort:  to call near, i.e. invite, invoke (by imploration, exhortation or consolation).  It is good to call people to be obedient and righteous. 

Warn:  This is the same Greek word as “admonish”, to put in mind, i.e. (by implication) to caution or reprove gently.  This must be done without passing judgment on the condition of the soul.  Do not join the devil in accusing the children of God. 
                       
These words describe the grace and mercy of God at work to save the sinner and to reconcile the confused and unlearned. 

2 Timothy 4:1-5
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

In Paul’s counsel to Timothy he uses some stronger words to describe the responsibility of the ministry toward that person whose conduct is out of order.  Paul tells Timothy to be prepared to reprove and rebuke.

Define these two words.

Reprove: to confute, admonish:  KJV - convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.  To confute means to “prove a person to be wrong.”  To reprove a person, one must have sufficient, reliable evidence to prove a person to be wrong.  This involves more than just a personal opinion based on incomplete circumstances. 
                                                                                                    
Rebuke:  to censure, forbid.  To require a person to refrain from certain acts and to command them to live by certain rules is not judgment or condemnation.  A rebuke is a method of correction and instruction. 

If a minister cannot attend to the teaching, correcting, reproving, rebuking and admonishing the members of his congregation without condemning and judging the souls who have submitted to his rule, then he has not been called of God to pastor the people. 

A sanctified person will avoid the snare of condemning and damning the souls of others.  It is likely that God has not given Holy Ghost discernment to know the thoughts and intents of another’s heart as often as this gift of discernment is claimed. 

We know that a sinner is not a child of God.  But, they are a sinner because they have wilfully and knowingly disobeyed God.  They are not a sinner merely because they have disagreed with our opinion or doctrine. 

We know that a person cannot be a Christian and deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only Redeemer of souls.

We also know that a person cannot be guilty of a long list of sins which are naturally known to be contrary to holiness and be a Christian.  (Galatians 5:19-21).  However, to reject a person’s testimony of salvation without a provable sin charge is an offence which carries a serious threat of self-damnation. 

Matthew 18:6
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.


According to this verse, if you condemn a child of God and cause him to give up his crown of salvation, you are in danger of hell.  

CHRISTIANS DO NOT KILL PEOPLE

Wikipedia Quote:
The Crusades were military campaigns sanctioned by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. Pope Urban II proclaimed the First Crusade in 1095 with the stated goal of restoring Christian access to the Holy Land leading to an intermittent 200-year struggle. Some of those involved at the time, like Bernard of Clairvaux, and many historians include other papal-sanctioned military campaigns such as the Albigensian Crusade, the Aragonese Crusade, the Reconquista, and the Northern Crusades for which there was varied religious, economic and political motivations. Following the fall of Acre, the last Christian stronghold in the region, in 1291, Roman Catholic Europe mounted no further coherent response.[1]

Hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholic Christians became crusaders by taking a public vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the church.[3][4] Crusaders were from all over Western Europe and from all classes under feudal rather than unified command structure. The politics were complicated and led to intra-faith competition and inter-faith alliances between combatants of different faiths against their coreligionists. One such example was the Christian alliance with the Islamic Sultanate of Rûm in the Fifth Crusade. Pope Urban II promised forgiveness of all sins to whosoever took up the  cross and joined in the war. The crusades also provided opportunity for economic and political gain, adventure, and satisfied the feudal obligations of followers to their liege lords in addition to demonstrating devotion to God. Typical of medieval warfare the crusaders often pillaged the countries through which they traveled and the leaders retained much of the territory gained rather than returning it to the Byzantines as they had sworn to do.[5][6]

Christians do not kill people.  The Roman Catholic church was not and is not doing the work of God.  The Roman Catholic church was and continues to be an apostate man-made organization.  It is not representative of the true church of God.  The true Christians were the righteous followers of Jesus Christ who were martyred because they would not submit to the wicked rule of the pope.  The conclusion of the whole matter of the existence of false religions and false doctrine is the fact that Satan has devised and established numerous groups of men who have presented themselves as the holders of truth.  They demand loyalty to them rather than the liberty to follow the counsel and leadership of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

In our world, we have dictators, kings, presidents and rulers.  We have armies and police to punish the evil doers and protect the people.  But, we do not have God’s divine protection throughout our nations and countries.  Regardless of what has taken place in the world and in our nation, God still expects and requires His people to let Him be our Protector, Physician and Provider. 

God has not changed.  He still wants to be Lord of the whole earth and Master and King in your life. 

Romans 12:17-21
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Isaiah 54:13-17
13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.


Luke 3:14
And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

John is teaching the soldiers that He does not want them to do physical harm to any person.  Do not intimidate any person with your power and authority.  Do not shake any person or handle them roughly. 

Matthew 26:52-53
52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

Jesus did not need some man to defend and protect Him.  If He desire physical protection, He could call on twelve legions of angels to come to His rescue.  Can you imagine the force of power which 36,000 angels could bring to bear upon your enemies?  Can any human power withstand the power of God? 

John 18:36
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Since the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is not of this world, does He want us to fight a fleshly, carnal warfare?  Does He want us to kill our enemies? 

1 Samuel 8:1-22
1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beer-sheba.
3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.
7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.
22 And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

God never intended for His people to need or have national kings and presidents who engage in war with our enemies and kill those who would desire to kill us.  From the very beginning, God intended to provide our protection. 

2 Corinthians 10:1-4
1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

True Christians do not resist their enemies with carnal weapons. 

Isaiah 2:1-5
1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

This prophecy was fulfilled with the establishment of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.  In these last days, the church of God is called to be peacemakers.  We love our enemies and pray for their deliverance from the evil intentions they have toward their fellowmen.  We do not kill them.  The Christian religion is the only true religion.  It is the only religion which teaches and practices such high moral character.    
               
Matthew 5:38-45
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Does this commandment from our Lord Jesus Christ sound like we should go to war with our enemies and kill them who would do us harm? 

The Roman Catholic church is not a proper example of how we should treat our enemies.
The Crusaders were not proper examples of how we should treat our enemies. 

The Christian Martyrs were the true example of how we should face our enemies.  They embraced death for the cause of their Christian testimony with grace and joyfulness.  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Remember Lot's Wife

Luke 17:31-32
31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
32 Remember Lot's wife.

What lesson or lessons can we learn from this exhortation to “remember Lot’s wife?”  
1.    When God tells us not to do something, don’t do it.
2.    Don’t give in to temptations to look back at our past with a desire to have the old life.
3.   Your future is more important than your past.

Hebrews 10:38-39
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

As children of God we must have a determination to not turn back to the beggarly elements of the world.  Our love for God and the way of righteousness must be so strong that we do not turn back to sin.

John 17:12
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

Salvation does not make a person infallible.  We continue to have a free will to choose how we will live each day of our life.  If we so choose we can decide to back to pleasing the flesh instead of pleasing God. 

Hebrews 11:13-16
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

If you do not want to live holy, you can choose to turn back to the world of sin and self-serving people.  If you turn back to sin, you will pay a high price for your unfaithfulness. 

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Don’t be troubled or shaken in your mind when people backslide.  That will happen.  We must not follow those who fall away and become guilty of apostasy.  Don’t turn back when a preacher or a group of preachers decide to build their own religion contrary to that which has already been established by the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Don’t turn back from the message of three thirds light: justification, sanctification and unity.  Don’t follow a carnal person, they will fall into error.   

2 Timothy 4:10
For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
Paul named Demas in the letter He wrote to Timothy which became one of his epistles for all the world to read and know about.  What was going on in Thessalonica that would cause Demas to go there?  It may well be thought that Demas found in Thessalonica certain people who supported his opinions and beliefs.  Demas did not take heed to the warning “Remember Lot’s wife.”  He turned back from the apostle Paul and the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Demas loved this present world.  How are you doing? 

Acts 17:11-13
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.

The saints at Berea were faithful to seek after the things of God.  But the people at Thessalonica turned away from the truth.  They were in agreement with Demas who had forsaken the right way.  Some people will not only turn away from the truth, they will also try to get you to turn away from the truth. 

John 6:59-68
59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

If you turn away from this gospel and this truth, to what and to whom will you turn?  When Jesus asked Peter, “Will you also go away?” Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” 

I am not here to tell you my words.  I am here to tell you the words of Jesus Christ.  Peter said to Jesus, “thou hast the words of eternal life.”  You will be destroyed and lost just like Lot’s wife, if you turn to anyone other than Jesus Christ. 

2 Peter 2:20-22
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

If you have repented of your sins and been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, then you know and you should remember what you was delivered from.  If after you have escaped the wickedness of the world of sinners and then you turn back to it, your end will be worse than before you first repented.  You cannot know the truth and then turn away from it and not suffer the consequence of your awful decision. 

Remember Lot’s wife.  Do not neglect or forsake the truth once you find it. 

Proverbs 23:23 tells us:  Buy the truth, and sell it not
Matthew 16:26 says:  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

What in this world is worth turning back to the bondage and penalty of sin?

Be smart.  Be wise.  Remember Lot’s wife.

WATCH!!!

What does it mean to watch?  Dictionary definition:  “Look at or observe attentively over a period of time.”

Many automobile accidents happen because people are distracted and do not watch the traffic around them.  Many children grow up without proper parental guidance because the parents do not watch what they are doing and instruct them in the right way.  Many things we could name which go wrong because someone was not watching, looking at attentively over a period of time. 

Men and women, boys and girls are not watching.  They are not paying attention to the cause and effect of what others and themselves are doing. 

Mark 13:32-37
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

WATCH, WATCH, WATCH!!!  Has Jesus given us sufficient warning? 
People are hasty to judge and hasty to act.  They do not take the time to watch and consider the consequences of their actions.  We should watch our thoughts, watch our words, watch our attitudes and watch our desires.  We should watch our ambitions, our plans and our past.  We should learn by observing for an extended period of time.    

Will Jesus find you watching?  Do you know why you believe what you think is true?  Is it true?  Have you proved it by the confirmation of the Holy Bible and by your observations of actions and results?

Luke 12:35-40
35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Verse 35 speaks to us of a diligence to be prepared and ready.  Our lights must not be allowed to go out and cause us to walk in darkness.  When Jesus calls you out of this world, will you be ready?  Will He find you watching?  You do not know when your end will come.  You must live holy, obeying the commandments of God each and every day to be ready to meet Jesus Christ.  We live in a sleepy, lukewarm day when many people are sleeping and not watching for their own safety.  Their soul is in danger of being eternally lost and yet they are carelessly sleeping. 

Psalms 141:1-3
1 Lord, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.
2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

King David prayed that the Lord would set a watch at the door of his lips.  He realized the importance of watching what words came out of his lips. 
What standard will you use to measure the things you watch for?  Except you watch with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, you will err in judgment. 

Matthew 25:1-13
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

If your light has gone out; if your light has been extinguished by evil deeds; then, you will not be ready when Jesus comes.  If you are not ready when Jesus comes, there will be no second chances.  There will be no time to repent.  The Day of Judgment will be come and we will give an account for how we have lived. 

1 Thessalonians 5:5-8
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

The children of light and the children of the day walk in the light of truth.  They watch for righteousness.  They watch for the fruit of the Spirit which must be evident in the life of God’s children.  They watch for expressions and acts of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.  When people watch you, do they see the fruit of the Spirit? 

Revelation 3:10-11
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Satan will use people to tempt you to turn loose of your crown of salvation.  Satan wants you to doubt, give up and surrender to his accusations and temptations. 

Revelation 16:15
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Jesus is not speaking of a physical nakedness of the human body; but rather, a spiritual nakedness of not be clothed with a robe of righteousness.  Sinners are walking in the shame of their spiritual nakedness and many can see their shame, which they ignore and some even boast of their evil deeds. 

What do you watch for?
How attentively do you watch?
When do you watch?

Who is influencing your watching?