…“choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin”… Hebrews 11:25
“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has been released from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh in the lusts of men, but in the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in licentiousness, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In this regard, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same overflow of dissipation, blaspheming. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” 1st Peter 4:1-5
“You shall not follow the majority in doing evil;” Exodus 23:2a
Our society has a disease of false prophets, celebrities and a culture that promotes living for today. This is nothing new, but since the 1950’s this has been a message that was preached across the world and was happily accepted by the majority. I’ve heard it before and a good friend, who is now asleep in the Lord, used to make mention of these sort of things, as being older than I, he was of the era that grew up in the 60’s. Yet most recently I was introduced once again to these themes, at work.
After moving back to northern Michigan, I accepted a job at a restaurant, as a manager. I’ve been in the restaurant management industry from time to time throughout my life. However, with an upcoming event the restaurant is decked with relics of the 1950’s. There are pictures of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop. There are also phrases that talk about living for today mixed in with the memorabilia.
Given that it is 2019, certainly we as a people, we as a nation, those of us who all were Created by God Almighty can clearly see the fruits of these actions. So how has it gone? How is it going? How well did it go for those who were the front spokespeople for this message? Ultimately how well did it go for those who accepted this notion and took it with them to the grave?
The Bible is quite clear and provides a contrasting message to that of the world’s one. The Bible says that we should forsake our ways, individually repent of our sin and by faith believe into Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as our Lord and Savior. The Bible states that there is a way which seems right, but in the end it leads to death. The Bible, God’s Word to all of humanity very plainly tells us that each individual should live for God, not for today.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1st Corinthians 1:18
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Jehovah, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:7
“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has established a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed. He has given assurance of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31
…“testifying both to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21
“But what does it say? The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the Word of Faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Acts 10:8-10
“There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end of it is the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
I ponder and think of those who bought into this lie of living for today, for doing the things which displease God, for not living for Him, but living as they please. I think about those in nursing homes, those who might not have their whole mind anymore, those who are stuck in wheelchairs, who sit staring blankly out the window, hopeless. Their bodies are spent due to their age, sometimes due to living how they wanted.
Of what avail was it to leave as they pleased without Christ, of what now do they have to look forward to? The memories of hot dates, sports cars, rock ‘n’ roll, kicking back a few, hanging out with the cool gals and guys, smoking cigarettes and just doing as they pleased are but a blur as they wait to be shuffled to the dinner table to partake of their meal. They are at the end of their life, their eyes grow dim, their hearts hardened against their Creator, they are waiting until there is no breath left, there is little hope. Yet, even then, even then it is possible for them to repent and by faith believe into Jesus Christ.
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, without sin, unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:27-28
They have not yet taken their last breath, God has not yet allowed their fate to be sealed, there is still hope, if their mind is left and not altered by the drugs being administered to them. With God though, He knows the minds, He knows and with Him all things are possible.
“The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is longsuffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2nd Peter 3:9
“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
“And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
So what about James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and countless others before and after them, who have since died. They certainly lived as they wanted and preached their sinful message to the masses, who wholeheartedly embraced the idea. If the dead could speak, what would they now say? Would they hold to these same ideas or if they had that which is impossible, a second chance, would they warn everyone not to live as they want, but to live for God???
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it happened that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, nor can those from there pass to us. Then he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, that they not also come to this place of torment. Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them. And he said, No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent. But he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one should rise from the dead.” Luke 16:19-31
Certainly Hell is a real place, just like Heaven is. Funny thing is everybody is talking about Heaven, but hardly anyone is going there. Very little people talk of Hell nowadays, very few preachers will even preach on such a subject, due to the criticism that would be received from those who do not want to hear such things.
“Preach the Word. Be ready in season and out of season. Convict, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own lusts, desiring to hear pleasant things, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths.” 2nd Timothy 4:2-4
Do not be fooled, there are consequences for living for today and not living for God, your Creator (Gen. 5:2). Hell is a real place, living for today has real consequences, there are no second chances.
“Then one said to Him, Lord, are there few who are saved? And He said to them, Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us, and He will answer and say to you, I do not know you, where you are from, then you will begin to say, We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets. But He will say, I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.” Luke 13:23-27
“The wicked shall be turned away into Sheol, all the nations that forget God.” Psalms 9:17
“And the devil, who led them astray, 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. And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away. And there was found no place for them. 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, out of the things which were written in the books. And 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 their works. And Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.” Revelation 20:10-15
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, prostitutes, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
There are many who are older and already have seen how the fruits of living as they wanted have worked, yet why don’t they repent, why don’t they come to God who so loved them that He gave His only Son, that they might be Saved?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. The one believing into Him is not judged; but the one not believing is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But the one doing the truth comes to the Light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been worked in God.” John 3:16-21
There are many preachers, who do not follow God’s Word, nor are called by God, who will cater to the desires of such people by offering them a feel-good, watered down message of the Gospel, preaching God’s love, but neglecting to tell them of their sin, nor of the need of repentance.
Many of these same churches have women dancing on poles, rock ‘n’ roll music blasting as they blaspheme the holy name of the Most High God. They are on their way to Hell, leading more on the same road. Pretending to serve God, while making a mockery of His holiness and ignoring His ways, they are the despicable leading those who are as of yet doomed.
“I hate, I despise your feast days; and I will not savor your solemn assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not be pleased; nor will I regard the peace offerings of your fat animals. Take away from Me the noise of your songs; for I will not hear the melody of your lutes.” Amos 5:21-23
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and its lust; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have risen up, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that not all of them are of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that not any lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies, saying that Jesus is not the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father. Therefore let abide in you that which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us: Eternal Life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to lead you astray. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will remain in Him. And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He is revealed, we may have confidence and not be distanced from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who produces righteousness is born of Him.” 1st John 2:15-29
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unyielding, slanderers, without self-control, savage, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away. For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning, but never able to come to the full true knowledge of the truth. But as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so do these also oppose the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” 2nd Timothy 3:1-9
“For the leaders of this people lead them astray; and those who are led by them are swallowed up.” Isaiah 9:16
“Do not be led astray, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8
No longer live as you want, but live for God. Understand that this world is a mirage, it is passing away. The things of this world are not worthy, living for Jesus Christ is.
“And the world is passing away, and its lust; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1st John 2:17
Consider and consider well, this is not a joke. You are being lied to by the world, understand that there is nothing more serious than forsaking your ways and living for God Almighty!
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk decently, as in the day, not in carousings and drunkenness, not in cohabitation and licentiousness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:12-14