Friday, January 6, 2017

by Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

                                 PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD!
    This was the admonition that Prophet Amos thundered out in his day. God’s people had backslid, corrupted themselves and forsaken the true and living way.
    They had gone after the strange gods of the heathen, and were worshipping at the altars of pagan idols. They had forgotten how gracious the Lord is and had  turned their backs on Him.
    But God had a man He could use. Amos was a prophet who had not corrupted himself as others had done. God had a vessel He could use - a mouthpiece with which to warn and admonish His people of coming judgment for sin, and forgiveness for those who would repent!
    God’s message to the people then is the same as now: “Prepare to Meet Thy God”One day every living soul will stand before God and give an account of his or her life.
    “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 
    "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works and death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. 
   "This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:11-15)
     The Bible says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Heb. 9:27) THE MESSAGE OF THE PROPHETS were always the same - they were two-fold - People must repent to receive mercy and forgiveness or reject God’s Way and be judged. It was a message of Mercy and Judgment!
    It is the same today. God has not changed, but many of ‘today’s preachers’ have compromised and are not preaching the whole truth because of fear. They lack the boldness, courage and faith to stand up and tell the Truth.
    It was the same during the time of MICAH the Prophet. Micah prophesied against the backsliding preachers, who had been bought off and corrupted by worldly-minded and sinful people around them, which caused them to prophesy only what the people wanted to hear.
     Micah declared, “But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord and of judgment and might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin”. (Micah 3:8)
    God is very merciful and will forgive all who come to Him in humility, desiring forgiveness and salvation (John 6:37; 3:16), but He also is a God of judgment and justice.
    The Bible says, “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments”. (Exodus 20:5-6)
     Remember my friend, you reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7-8), and be sure your sin will find you out (Jonah 1:7). And don’t forget “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31). 
     Sin must be paid for, if it isn’t repented of, and “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom. 6:23)
    You may be able to fool your husband, wife, friends or even the preacher, but you cannot fool God. He knows all about you, and if you reject Him as your Saviour, He will be your Judge on that day.
   “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the Holy Angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats - and these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal”. (Matt. 25:31-46)
                        JESUS OFFERS ETERNAL SALVATION!
     Have you ever wondered why God sent His Son to this sinful world, and why Jesus Who was true God from eternity and True Man by His virgin birth, gave Himself as God's Paschal Lamb to atone for the sins of mankind?
   The Holy Bible answers that question: "Forasmuch as know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold...But with the precious blood of Christ, as a Lamb without blemish and spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
   "Who by Him believe in God, that RAISED Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God" (1 Peter 1: 18-21)
"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed." (Is. 53: 4,5)
   "When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His Word and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled  which was spoken by Esaias, the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses." (Matt. 8: 16, 17)
    "Who His own self bare our sins in His Own BODY on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2: 24)
   Concerning Christ's great gift of Redemption, St. Paul wrote: "Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father." (Gal.1:3,4)
 The Bible says: "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. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. 
     "In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the Word was made flesh and, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." ( John 1: 1-4,14)
   St. John spells out the good news for lost and condemned sinners: "He came unto His own and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." (John 1: 11,12).
   Listen to the words of invitation given by our blessed Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ: “Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. (Matt. 11:28)
 Do not turn a deaf ear to this great offer of Salvation and blessing but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Receive Him into your heart by faith, repent and turn away from your sins, and you will receive the gift of Eternal Life. 
  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). Amen.