A Shaking Is Coming

“See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns from heaven. At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:25-29 ESV

With all of the things happening in the world right now, we feel uncertain and uncomfortable. More than ever before we feel that our circumstances are unstable–that life as we know it could change at any moment. We feel shaken.

But this shaking we feel isn’t the shaking that this scripture is referring to. This shaking in Hebrews 13 is referring to the great shaking of God’s judgment that is described in the book of Revelation. This is the shaking that the world is being warned of now. We are now seeing the beginnings of what will eventually come. The events of today are like the proverbial puzzle pieces that are being put into place. They are also a warning of what the world will eventually experience.

Throughout the scripture God clearly communicated warnings to the world and to His people. He never surprises us. 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 tell us that God desires that all people be saved. Revelation shows us that not all people will humble themselves before the Creator and choose salvation. Nonetheless, God is providing every opportunity for people to know Him. He has and is revealing Himself to those who have listening ears and soft hearts. His Word is proving true yet again with the “labor pains” that we are experiencing (Matthew 24).

The Scripture warns of pestilence and unrest that precedes the return of Christ. The illness, hatred, destruction and instability that we see and feel are nothing compared to what is coming someday.

Today is that day of salvation. Choosing to submit to God and accept Christ will not only save you in eternity, but it will save you from the fear, stress, depression, and worry that these times press upon us. As a believer, a child of God, when those moments of struggle creep in upon us, we can rest in knowing that this is not our home. This is but a foreign war zone that we are passing through. Our home is a place of peace and beauty that is beyond description. Our home is a place we cannot see, but the peace of God that rules it will rule in our heart when we keep our eyes on HIM.

Human words cannot adequately explain the peace of God that is in my heart. No matter what I hear and see, I remember to keep my face and heart turned to my Savior and to stay steeped in His scriptures. Because when I do, I can relax knowing that my God is bigger and greater than anything in this universe and He has a plan that is in place.

Today is that day to surrender to Him. It will save you from the shaking day of judgment that this world will someday experience and it will save your peace of mind now. I pray that as you read these words you know that He loves you, that you bend your knee and heart to him, and that you cry out to Him today. He will hear and He will give you a new life and peace. Today is the day of salvation.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV

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Salvation, Grace, Faith & Works

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7 ESV

Salvation is the core of all religion. When we look at all religions there is salvation in some form that includes us atoning for our sins, shortcomings or failures. In all religions there is some form of a god that needs to be satisfied in various ways–sacrifices, penance, whatever it may be that needs to be done to keep that god happy and prevent human punishment for here or eternity. Since that is the core of all religion, then it doesn’t matter which one we choose, right? Pick the one that is most comfortable to you and then spend your life striving to keep your god or gods happy. But that is what makes none of those religions worth choosing. They sound terrible–a life trying to please a god(s), to make atonement for our continual failures, trying to live up to impossible standards and die unsure of where we stand, hoping that we have an eternity of something good rather than punishment. No wonder people give up on religion and go their own way.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is different. I know some will disagree and say that even in Christianity, we must earn our way to heaven through good works or that through our works, we hold on to our salvation and without those good works we will lose it. This has been commonly taught (the apostle Paul called it a “perversion” of the Gospel which cursed anyone who taught it–Galatians 1:8-9) and has also pushed people away from Christ–so much so that now many teach that it is impossible to not be saved and that holiness has no place in the life of a Christian. This, too, is a perversion of the gospel (Romans 3:8, Romans 6:1)…My how the pendulum swings….the enemy must be delighted to see the focus be on everything but Christ and the cross.

So to answer this question about salvation, we must ask what is the gospel of Jesus?

{I am going to give a lot of scriptures, but I am not going to type them all out word for word, so I want you to go read them for yourself and pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you about this (John 14:26, 1 John 2:27, Hebrews 8:11). This is not all the scriptures on each of these points–they are a place to begin your study.}

  1. God, the Father and Creator of all things, created every living thing–trees, animals, etc, but into mankind He did something different–He breathed His very Spirit into Adam. (Genesis 2:7)
  2. Adam and Eve’s sin did not kill them physically–it killed them spiritually leaving all their descendants also dead spiritually, so all of us have been born into sin and require a savior to reconcile us with God. (Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12, Ephesians 2:3, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:12, Romans 3:10)
  3. Within our human ability, we are unable to keep God’s perfect law which He gave as teacher, a sort of measuring stick, to show us our guilt our need for Him and to “stop our mouths.” (Romans 3:19, 6:23, 7:5, Galatians 3:19, Galatians 3:24, Ephesians 2:12, Matthew 7:23, 1 John 1:8)
  4. Blood has to be shed to release us from the guilt and penalty of sin. (Hebrews 9:22)
  5. God became the savior we need. He became a man, walked among us and as a man without sin, He willingly died on a cross and defeated death. (Romans 5:8, John 1:1, John 1:14, John 10:18, Galatians 4:4-5, Hebrews 9:12, Hebrew 10:10, Galatians 3:13, Revelation 1:18.)
  6. We are saved when we surrender our lives to Him and become born again in our Spirit. (Romans 5:18, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 3:7)
  7. We cannot save ourselves. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” We are saved by the grace (favor that we do not deserve) of God, through our faith (also a gift of God), not as a result of our works or efforts–this prevents us from boasting in our goodness or ability. (Romans 5:19, Romans 5:2, Galatians 3:7, Galatians 3:26)

Salvation is gained by acknowledging our need for Him and placing our faith in HIS sacrifice, not in our works, good deeds, religious rituals, pleading prayers. The scripture makes it clear that after we are saved, we are under no obligation to follow any religious rules, regulations or to try to keep the law within our own ability. (Colossians 2:14-20) We can do penance, we can abstain from certain foods, we can observe holy days, we can follow rules laid out by others, but if we place our faith in those things, we will never be saved. We are only saved by placing our faith in Jesus. This separates true Christianity from all world religions. Christ’s gospel is that we give up trying to bear the load of righteousness and accept His free and costly gift of His righteousness by faith. (Matthew 11:30, Romans 3:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Genesis 15:6, Hebrews 11, Hebrews 4:11)

Salvation by His grace through our faith does not exclude holy living, nor does it mean that we cannot harden our hearts and walk away from our salvation–relationship requires time spent together. (Hebrews 2:1, Revelation 3:11, Philippians 3:18-19, 1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:10, 2 Timothy 4:7) Our holy living without faith in Christ will not earn or keep us saved, it is our heart that God looks upon. (Hebrews 4:12, 1 Samuel 16:7, Acts 1:24, Acts 15:8, 1 Corinthians 4:5, 1 John 3:20) Holy living comes from Him living within us. It comes as the fruit of His Spirit now breathed into us when we become born again. His grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and to walk in holiness, through His power. (Titus 2:11-12) When we die to sin, we are in Him and Christ is holy. We grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus and over the time that we walk with Him day by day, we care less and less about this world and its temptations for our eyes are on better things, eternal things and holiness becomes our way of life. The fight with the flesh and the enemy of our souls will not end until we are at the end of this earthy life and walk the streets of gold, but praise God that when we fail and sin, Jesus is our advocate, our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5, 1 John 2:1, 12) and is there seated at the right hand of God our Father and because of Him our sins are forgiven.

The Creator of the universe loved us enough to limit Himself into human flesh for the sole purpose of dying just to save us. Now all we have to do is put our faith in Him…keep our eyes on the cross—choose Him every day and give Him what we have of this short life and in return, we have peace with Him for eternity and yes, even peace now, in the midst of evil, turmoil, disease, and all of the trouble that sin has brought to this world. How can we say no that?

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Hebrews 1: 1-3 ESV