Mood: not sure
Topic: Friend Or Foe
FRIEND OR FOE
By: Elder. John Neal
Pastor Of The Shining Light Apostolic Church
James 4: 4 says, “Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God.”
How can this scripture be made any plainer than what James wrote? It’s harsh, but true. There is nothing hid here. It needs no translation, no interpretation, it says what it means, and means what it says.
The choice is up to each individual. Do we want to be a friend of the world, or the world system, or a friend of God? One way leads to salvation, the other leads to damnation. The one leads to Heaven the other leads to Hell. There is no way to sugar-coat it. It speaks for itself.
Isaiah 30: 9-10 says, “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the Lord, who say to the seers, see not, and to the prophets, prophesy not unto us right things; speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.“ I cannot believe that anyone would want the Lord for an enemy. Preachers preach “God is love,” Yes, He is, but God also has a wrath, that we do not want to see.
Jesus is coming back soon to gather up his people. The ones that have made themselves ready. He is not coming back for just any church, but for His true Church. A church made up of individuals that are ready to go back with him. Many may say, but I’m not ready, I have been putting off coming to the Lord. When I go to church, I come home feeling more confused than I was when I came to church. All I feel is depression and confusion.
Isaiah 1: 18 tells us, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Let us reason together. God would no man be lost and go to hell. Salvation is not to be taken lightly. Where we spend eternity is weighed in the balance. God is waiting to see what you’re going to do.
“All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We were born in sin, and in iniquity were we shapened.” We can have forgiveness for all of our sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord. The scripture said, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Is not this a wonderful thing to know? Why should we want to spend all eternity in a place of torment, when heaven is within our grasp?
Jesus died on the cross of Calvary for us. He took all our sins, and nailed all of them to the cross. He became sin for us. We may all ask ourselves the same question as in Heb. 2: 3 “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.”
There is no escape if we neglect our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Everyone is going to be judged by the Lord, for every deed we have done in this body, judged for every idle word spoken, every thought that we have, for many have very evil imaginations.
Let us reason together a little more. Are the pleasures of this world worth going to hell for? A few moment of pleasure, worth missing out on an eternity of joy and peace, eternal life; walking on streets of pure gold, and seeing Jesus in all His glory?
Nobody likes to hear the word, “hell” but it is a reality. It was not thought up to call some child into obedience.
Revelation 20: 15 “And whatsoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.” I don’t know about you, but I had rather be found in the Book of Life. This is reality, it’s too later to sugar coat the word just to please someone. There is no feel good message, but thank God there is hope for all through the Blood of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul looked at himself one day and said; “Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin. ( Rom. 7: 24-25)
Are you a friend of Jesus or a foe? He leaves the choice up to you. But if you want to be a friend, then I will tell you what to do. James 4: 7-8 says, “Submit yourselves, therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you, cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.”
The reason that we sometimes have trouble doing the right thing, is because we are going about it the wrong way. Many people keep trying to resist the devil by their own strength, and can’t, because they have not first submitted themselves to God. God is where our strength lies, not in ourselves.
The flesh is weak, as Apostle Paul wrote. The catching up of God’s true church, I feel, is not far off, and instead of getting caught up, many are going to be caught off. This is no time for sugar-coating God’s word. Are we still reasoning together? I hope so. It is time for us to get serious with the Lord.
St. Luke 13: 3-5 Jesus said, “I tell you, nay, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
I hope to help you get a better understanding of God’s word, that some soul may be saved. That you may find hope, and find encouragement to read the Bible for yourself. If we can put aside denominational belief and look at God’s word honestly. Think about it. God did not make denominations, man did.
Peter, on the day of Pentecost, with the authority that Jesus had given him, opened the door to the true church. One church, one belief or doctrine, that of the Lord. “For upon this rock, I am going to build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Tell me, where did the rest of the beliefs come from? There was and still is only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.
My faith, my belief is the Apostolic faith. It is the same belief that Peter, Paul and the other apostles were martyred to bring to us.
What was the first message preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost, when the people asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do? (Acts 2: 37-39) Peter stood up and boldly answered, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for this promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord, our God, shall call.”
If you feel the Lord is calling you, if Jesus is dealing with your heart, please, take heed and find a church that is teaching the same gospel that Peter preached on the day of Pentecost. It is too late to be playing church.
Why do I have to be baptized in Jesus’ name? You may ask, and I think that is a reasonable question. Ask yourself, who shed his blood, and died on the cross for us? Was it not Jesus?
Col. 3: 17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, and the father by him.” Is not baptism word and deed?
Also, Col 2:9 “For in him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power.”
Who makes up this Godhead? The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And we are complete in Him.” (Jesus) Don’t look for another, for there is no other Savior, and he is coming back.
The Holy Ghost that Peter spoke of on the day of Pentecost Acts 2: 1-4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit Gave them utterance.” If you can believe it, you can receive it. It has not changed, the Spirit of God still comes the same way, with power and with other tongues.
Many say that the book of Acts is not for us today, that it was only for the apostles, but that is not true. They are not preaching what Peter preached, or any of the rest of the apostles, for they all had the selfsame Holy Ghost, it does not come any other way.
A lot of people, too many of them, have become stubborn, hard headed, too grounded in what Grandma believed, or Grandpa believed, they will never come to the simple truth of the gospel. They feel, “What was good enough for them, is good enough for me.” Are you willing to bet your soul on it? “We have eyes, but we see not, ears, but hear not, a heart, but we feel not.” Please, let us reason together.
Look around you, see the time in which we are now living. Hear the word of the Lord. What is the Spirit saying to His church today? Listen, not to my words, but to the words of Jesus, words of Peter and Paul, they all died for the gospel that was preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost. When we go to church we need more than just a feel-good feeling kind of service. We need one that is powered by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
I am not of the same belief that my parent were. Jesus dealt with my heart and saved me one day, and he led me to the church of his choice, not mine. I had no idea what apostolic meant. I knew nothing of the baptism, or of the Holy Ghost, but Jesus taught me. He made me a believer. He can also do the same for you, if you will let Jesus have his way in your life, he can and he will make a believer out of you.
Apostolic is a way of life, a saved life, not a denomination. If you can believe it, you can receive it.” Then you will know for yourselves that the Holy Ghost comes with tongues. This is the only proof in the Bible that a person has been “Born of the Spirit.”
Jesus told Nicodemus in St. John 3: 3-10, “Jesus answered, and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Verse 5 tells us, Except (or unless) a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
It goes on to say, “Marvel not that I said unto you, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth (willeth) and thou hearest the sound of it, but you cannot tell from where it cometh, and where it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
This happened on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:2-4 “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting, and there appeared unto them cloven tongues as of fire (it did not say that it was fire, but that it appeared as of fire) and sat up on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with others tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Jesus went on to say, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak that which we do know, and testify to that which we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.”
Many today can testify and be a witness, that these things are real. It is for all that will let themselves believe. Does not reasoning tell you, that Jesus knows those that are born again of his Spirit? There is no one who can fake Jesus out. You may deceive yourself, you may even deceive others around you, but there is no way you can deceive Jesus. He knows who He has placed his Holy Spirit in. May God bless each and every one of you, and may you let the truth of God’ word shine into your hearts