YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO FALL (II)

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 In Part I we looked at what persecutions and temptations are and what the devil and his agents hope to use them to achieve – make believers turn their backs on the Lord and go back into the world. We also looked at one of the reasons why someone who has belonged to the Lord, served Him, and worked against the kingdom of hell cannot afford to fall – the devil and his cohorts would take more than a pound of flesh from him; they would want to ridicule him, kick him, do worse things to him than he did to them.

In this part we will look at Ezekiel 33:12-13 for the second reason why we cannot afford to fall. It says, “Therefore, thou son of man say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity which he hath committed, he shall die for it.”

 

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If someone has been in the Lord for years and has made conscious efforts to live for and serve Him, and suddenly decides to go back to the world, either because of persecutions or because of temptations, we are made to understand from the scriptures that all the good things that that Christian has done will be forgotten. And of course if they are forgotten that means there is no reward for them; the Christian loses his/her reward, which means that he/she has labored in vain. Take another look at your life since you surrendered to Jesus. Think about the days and nights of fasting and prayer. Think about the nights when you had to attend vigils in church whether it was raining, cold or hot. Think about the days you had to go out for evangelism, even in the rain or under very hot sunshine. You have probably endured mosquito bites, frost bites, etc. It’s possible that you’ve received insults from all kinds of people; people have cheated or taken advantage of you but you kept quiet because the Bible says that you should hold your peace. You probably have been disowned by family members, looked down upon by others, despised by your neighbors, denied promotions at work, all because of your relationship with Jesus. You have sacrificed a lot of your time, energy, and money to attend choir practice, prayer meeting, workers’ meeting, etc. What about those nights you were exhausted or even had a nagging headache but you had to minister at a church vigil, so you dragged yourself to church in spite of how you felt. Even the offerings and tithes you have made are sacrifices because you could have used the money to take care of personal things. Why would you now turn your back on the Lord and have Him forget and not reward you for all the sacrifice you have made in His Name?

 

The last reason we want to consider here why we cannot afford to fall now or at any other time is found in Luke 9:62, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” The ultimate goal of every Christian is to spend eternity in heaven with the King. But it is very clear that anyone who looks back and takes his hand from that of the Almighty is not fit for the kingdom of God. Being separated from God and spending eternity in a lake that burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8) is the worst thing that could happen to anyone, especially someone who has walked in the path of righteousness before and knows that he could have made it to heaven if only he had persevered. Again Isaiah 1:28 says, “And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed.” To forsake means to abandon, surrender, desert, leave, disown, renounce, give up, turn one’s back on, relinquish, etc. So we understand that if the Bible says that anyone who forsakes the Lord shall be consumed it is not talking about someone who has never known Him; it’s talking about someone who has accepted Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. Anyone who belongs to Jesus and decides to turn his back on him (whether it is because of persecution or because of temptation) that individual forfeits his place in heaven and will be consumed. Note that the one who will be consumed is the one who forsakes God – no matter how long he has been born again, no matter the title he holds in the church – brother, deacon, assistant pastor, pastor, general overseer, priest, reverend, evangelist, etc. – and no matter how zealous he has been in the things of God.

 

Is the devil breathing down hard on your neck? Are you facing persecutions of different types? Are you being tempted and you are thinking of giving in? Please don’t. Psalm 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” If only you keep waiting for the Lord your time of deliverance will come and He will help you so that you get out of your afflictions without losing your place in His kingdom. As for temptations that the enemy wants to use to get you out of the hands of the Lord you do not have to yield to them. 2nd Corinthians 12:9 says, “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness…” We all face temptations daily as we inch our way to the Promised Land. God has made His grace available to help us overcome these temptations because He desires for us to make it. Unfortunately a lot of times believers don’t take advantage of the grace of God and so they allow temptations to overcome them when Romans 6:14 says that sin shall not have dominion over us. Many Christians have been turned out of the path of life through temptations and persecutions. Let us hold on tight to the hands of the Almighty and do everything we have to in order to keep standing because we cannot afford to fall.

By victoria baiye

 

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