WEATHERING THE STORMS OF LIFE:
Winning the Battle & Seizing the Prize!
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“For yet a little while, and HE THAT SHALL COME WILL COME, and will not tarry. Now the JUST shall live by FAITH: But if any man DRAW BACK my soul shall not have any pleasure in him. But we are not of THEM who draw back unto perdition; but of THEM that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Heb.10: 37-39)
The Word of God is divinely inspired, inerrant, authoritative, unchanging and immutable! It is just, pure, perfect and totally reliable! The Bible says: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” (Psams19: 7-9)
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Tim.3:16);
The BIBLE is the WRITTEN Word of God and JESUS is the Living Word of God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the ONLY begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 1,2,14)
THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH!
Our FAITH is not grounded in illusion, folklore, ancient myths or the figment of someone’s imagination or concocted by a company of deluded or deceitful human beings! Our belief in the Almighty God is based upon Divine revelation, undeniable facts, historical evidences, and spiritual experience anchored in the Eternal Word of the Living God!
St. Peter stated unequivocally: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty. For He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory: This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.
“And this voice which came from Heaven we heard, when we were with Him on the holy Mount. We have also a MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the daystar arise in your hearts.”
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1: 16 - 21). Our Lord promised to return and take his children Home. He said: “… I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14: 1-3)
MYSTERY OF THE CATCHING UP!
Here are his anointed words: “But I would not have you to IGNORANT, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.
“For this we say by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the Coming of the Lord shall not prevent (impede) them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thes.4: 13-18)
There are some Ministers of the Gospel who being unlearned, have become “bind leaders of the blind” regarding this doctrine of Christ. Unfortunately, they also perpetuate the error and mislead others, as well. That is why
cautioned: “But, I would not have you to be IGNORANT,
brethren…” (1 Thes.4: 13) St.
St. Peter didn’t fully understand the doctrine of “being caught up” and preached the Old Testament teaching of the ‘Day of the Lord’ and the Judgment of God. He states: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works therein shall be burned up.
Then, he refers to
: “And account that the longsuffering
of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to
the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you. As also in all his epistles,
speaking of them of these things: in which are SOME THINGS HARD
TO BE UNDERSTOOD, which they that are unlearned and unstable
wrest (twist), as they do the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2
Peter 3: 9-16) St. Paul
Peter was referring to Paul’s teaching about the RAPTURE!
St. Paul warns those Jews who are considering forsaking Christ and returning to Judaism: “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and counted the Blood of the Covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Heb.10: 29)
He instructs them to remain strong by staying close to Jesus, “For yet a little while, and He that shall come WILL COME, and will not tarry.” (Heb.10: 35-39) Let us also remain firm of faith in our Saviour!
GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU!
There are 33,000 promises in God’s Word available for believers through Jesus Christ our Lord! He promised: “All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations …and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt. 28: 18-20); “…for He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” (Heb.13: 5).
Jesus used a double imperative here, which makes this promise even more powerful. He actually said: I will never, NO NEVER, leave thee; I will never, NO NEVER forsake thee…” How could anyone doubt Jesus Christ, Who is the same yesterday, today and forever, and the Way, the Truth and the Life? (Heb.13: 8; John 14: 6)
DR. DAVID LIVINGSTONE, renowned Medical Missionary to
Africa, died on his knees with
the Bible opened to this Scripture. Here are the last words he penned: “These
are the Words of a Gentleman of the Highest Order. They are true, certainly.
Doubt is inadmissible. I will not doubt. All will be well.” Dr. Stanley, the explorer, found him dead with
his face resting on the pages of the Bible with Jesus’ promise in Matthew 28:
JESUS CHRIST ABIDES IN US! He is Greater than all the powers of sin, fear, depression, sickness and disease that have been unleashed against the Church! Greater is the Holy Spirit Whom Jesus sent to lead, direct and heal us! Greater is the Word of God, the Blood of Jesus Christ and His holy Name, than all the powers of darkness and hordes of Hell!
The Mystery of the Ages that God revealed to
declares: “CHRIST IN THE BELIEVER, THE HOPE OF GLORY.” (Col.1: 26, 27) What does that mean? Simply this:
Christ lives within me. He owns me. I am His property; purchased with His
precious BLOOD! I am in Him and He is in me. (John 15: 4,5, 7) I have nothing
to FEAR because He is not only with me, but He is in me. (John 14: 17,18);
PERFECT LOVE casts out fear! (1 John 4:
18); I am Safe! St. Paul
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal.2: 20)
PRESSING ON FOR THE PRIZE!
We are all marching toward the climax of our lives. Some are nearer and others farther away, but we must all make the final exit. Death is the last enemy but believers in Christ have a distinct advantage – JESUS our Lord and Saviour has gone on before us and makes it easy for us! He has conquered death!
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. Be not therefore ashamed…but be thou a partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel…But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished DEATH, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” (2 Tim.1: 7,10)
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK for the prize of the High Calling of God, in Christ Jesus.” (Phil.3:10 -14)
Let us resist the DEVIL, mortify the deeds of the FLESH and live in the SPIRIT, so that we also become like JESUS. We have His guarantee: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will FLEE from you.” (James 4:7); “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Phil.4: 13)
“Now unto Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly ABOVE ALL that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” (Eph.3: 20. 21) Amen.