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One wise preacher friend of mine would always say, “Men die as they live.” I have found that to be true over the years of observing people live and die, those who live to themselves, for themselves, who trust and look to themselves for righteousness shall die in their sin of unbelief and self-reliance. Our blessed Redeemer said, “If you believe not that I am, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).
Those sinners who by the grace of God, who are quickened together with Christ (Eph. 2:4-6) and live by God-given faith looking to the Lord Jesus Christ for all salvation, for all righteousness shall also lay down this robe of sinful flesh. But believers not only live by faith, “the just shall live by faith” but they also shall die in faith resting in Christ (Heb. 11:13). It is no wonder that the death of a believer is called precious; “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15). It is no wonder that the death of a believer is called a blessing from the Lord, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours” (Rev. 14:13).
Yes, it is true “men die as they live.” Now consider this! How are you living? Are you only concerned about the flesh (Matt. 6:33)? Do you have any thoughts about salvation and meeting the Lord in eternal judgment (Heb. 9:27)? May the Lord be pleased to grant us faith in Christ, to look to Him, live in Him and to die in Him. Won’t that be a blessing (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21)!
- Pastor Tom Harding
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Salvation is the most beautiful word that a lost condemned sinner could ever hear. It includes all the blessings of grace, and all the blessings of glory. It is the washing of our consciences from guilt, the redemption of our souls from the curse of the Law, the renewing of our heart by the Spirit of God, and the freedom of our spirits from the power and dominion of sin. It is to be loved and chosen by God, justified in Christ, born again by the Holy Spirit, pardoned of all wrong doing, received into the family of God, accepted in the beloved. It is to be an heir of God, joint heir with Christ. If I am saved, I have all wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption in Christ. - Pastor Milton Howard
Symptoms of A Fatal Disease
MOST fatal diseases do not show up immediately, nor do they kill someone overnight. They generally begin little unsuspicious symptoms, such as a sniffle, a sore, a small lump or a brief pain. Most times the person ignores these little symptoms until they become much worse and even others notice something wrong with them. So it is most times with the fatal disease called Apostasy.
Apostasy is a fancy word for missing Christ, departing from the faith, leaving the gospel and leaving the church. It most times begins with little symptoms, such as...no real desire to attend the worship services (but only do so to maintain appearances), no real fellowship with believers (quick to get in and out of services), avoidable absences from the worship service, little distractions at home, little temptations to work late, ‘little sins’ indulged (even enjoyed), the pull and call of the world, which, at one time was resisted, now quickly and easily answered.
The symptoms are many and varied, and if ignored, they eventually break out into glaring problems. The person begins to be unsociable with God’s people, unreachable, not easily entreated. They begin to resent and avoid the calls and concerns of their (supposed) brethren. They begin to find fault with their ‘brethren’ and especially the preacher. Until finally they see no need to gather with ‘those people’ anymore, or listen to ‘that fellow’ anymore. Little do apostates realize, but THEY HAVE MISSED CHRIST, then they leave; "they went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt would have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be manifest (revealed, exposed to all) that they are not all of us. Fact is, one who leaves never had life to begin with, never was born from above, never was quickened but was and is dead in trespasses and sins.
It is not too late if these words convict one’s conscience and prick one’s heart. If the symptoms are recognized early it does not have to be fatal ...hurtful and injurious, yes, but not fatal! If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself and are concerned, perhaps the Great Physician is dealing with you. The Lord will heal the backslidden in heart and readily receives every prodigal.
If left to our sinful selves we all would fall away. It can happen to anyone. Many have left and many more will do so, according to scripture. But, by the grace of God, all who call on Him, come to Him, no matter how sinful, how fallen (or how many times), how wandering, how downcast and dirty, He mercifully receives and quickly and freely forgives.