Meet thy God!
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
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 backslidden, 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!
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! The Bible says: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor.6: 10,11,17,18)
In a T.V interview, Billy Graham revealed that during a recent bout of illness he thought he was going to die. When he realized that he would meet God - face to face - he began to repent and ask God’s forgiveness for any sins of commission or omission of which he was guilty! He kept saying: “I should have studied more. I should have prayed more!”
Recently, Oral Roberts told of a vision he had just received from the Lord. He was walking down a road, when he saw a dark cloud over America and God told him that judgment was going to fall upon that nation. The Lord told him that preachers were not preaching the gospel.
God wants preachers to get back to the Bible and “preach the gospel!” Oral Roberts then revealed the conviction that gripped him as God made him aware that time was short and that Jesus would soon return! He said: “I tried to remember the last time I preached on the Second Coming of Christ and I couldn’t remember.” He repented and asked God’s forgiveness. The “Man of God’ repeated: ‘Preachers, get the fire of God in your bellies and preach the gospel!”
THE BOOK OF LIFE TO BE OPENED!
“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’ was always the same. It was two-fold: Man 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 it like it is! ‘Easy believe-ism’ doesn’t make any room for repentance!
JOHN WESLEY - founder of the Methodist Church - whose Ministry is credited with turning England back to God and saving that nation from the same fate as that which befell France in the ungodly, brutal and bloody French Revolution, stated: "I must preach law before I preach grace."
What did he mean? In order for people to realize that they need God's FORGIVENESS, they must be convicted of their sins! And how does that take place? In several ways: God can arbitrarily speak to people by His Holy Spirit in answer to the fervent prayers of relatives or other concerned Christians!
MESSAGE ON BUS SEAT BENCHES!
Usually, however, sinners are convicted through the anointed preaching of God's Word. Millions of people are saved today because of the powerful preaching of anointed Spirit-filled men and women of God, who have refused to compromise their message!
In 1970, Edmonton Transit bus driver, Eric Dykstra and his entire family were converted to Christ because of the dozens of bus seat benches which carried our advertisement with the clear-cut message: ‘Get Right With God!’
In a letter dated May 8, 2002, about five weeks before his death, Eric wrote: "It has been 32 years almost to the day that I accepted the Lord's saving message as preached by you that Wednesday evening at the Edmonton Revival Centre. That was May 6, 1970.
"After you laid your hands on me and my family, the roof of the old theatre didn't split open for angels to descend, but I received a depth of peace in my inner being I had never before experienced. Without realizing it, we stood at the jump-off point of an exciting brand new phase of our lives.
"Our kids all believe in their Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. (One is even an M. Div and pastored for five years). Our grandchildren are taught the Word and the ways of the Lord Creator, at home and at their respective churches. Your faithfulness to God and perseverance in your Ministry has brought wonderful blessings to countless families around the globe!
"I have at times speculated what would have happened if in the late 60s all these messages, 'Get Right With God!' hadn't been scattered throughout the city by way of bus stop benches. Driving my routes and spotting those ads repeatedly gave me opportunity to meditate on their meaning!"
Eric’s last wish was that since I was the one who brought him into the kingdom of God through the ‘message of the cross’, it would be appropriate that I should close the last chapter of his life by officiating at his funeral!
In the packed Highlands Baptist Church, his family members related the story of his wonderful conversion and his godly life thereafter. And by the grace of God, I had another privilege of presenting the claims of Christ once more!
DR. OSWALD SMITH SPEAKS OUT!
In his book 'The Fire of God' (1948), the man that Billy Graham called, "one of the world's greatest Missionary Statesmen" wrote: "In my study of revival and evangelism I have discovered that those most mightily used of God always majored on five subjects.
“These five subjects inevitably produced conviction. First, sin and salvation, then heaven and hell, finally judgment! You see, a great many messages must necessarily be given on sin for sin to be exposed if there is to be genuine conviction!"
Dr. Oswald Smith states: "When I was converted in the year 1906 in the great Torrey-Alexander campaign which was held in Massey Hall, Toronto, I noticed, as I walked along the streets or through the stores, or rode in the street cars, thousands of little white cards, one inch wide and six inches long. On both sides these four words were printed in bright red type, "Get Right With God."
"It made no difference which way the card fell, the message was always there! As a result, thousands were convicted. So many tens of thousands of these little white cards had been distributed that it was impossible to get away from them. Everybody saw them. They were lying about on every side and those four little words preached a sermon that could never be forgotten."
I remember hearing Oral Roberts - while in his prime - speaking on the sin of compromising the truth. In his anointed message, the man who won ten million souls to God and brought the healing power of God to our generation thundered out these words: "I hate compromisers!"
I’m sure that Oral Roberts meant that he hated the SIN of COMPROMISE rather than those who compromise, in the same way as Jesus stated: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans (an heretical cult), which thing I hate.” (Rev.2: 4)
Some say: “I don’t preach from the Old Testament prophets”, others reject the epistles of St. Paul or the letters of St. John because of the strong disciplinary messages they bring! They only preach the saving grace of Jesus Christ, but have forgotten that our Lord Himself warned strongly against sin and sin’s corrupting and damning influence!
Here is what He said: “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” (Rev.2: 6,15,16).
“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He that searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” (Rev. 2: 20 -23).
PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD!
Jude, the servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and brother of James writes: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before ordained unto this condemnation, ungodly men, TURNING THE GRACE OF GOD INTO LASCIVIOUSNESS, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward DESTROYED THEM WHICH BELIEVED NOT. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, HE HATH RESERVED IN EVERLASTING CHAINS OF DARKNESS unto the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 3-6).
And 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: “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”. (Ex. 20:5-6)
The Bible says: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit real life everlasting.” (Gal.6: 7, 8)
Remember my friend, you reap what you sow 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 (turned from), and “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom. 6:23)
We are living in a day when preachers have given in to 'political correctness' and the 'seeker sensitive' philosophy, so that there is no longer any conviction of sin! It's easy to get swayed by great crowds who applaud a "God loves you" message, with no demand for a new lifestyle! But, the Bible says: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things become new." (2 Cor.5:17).
IN MY CRUSADES AROUND THE WORLD, I have noticed that multitudes delight in repeating the sinner's prayer and receiving physical healing, but only a small segment desire to make Jesus their Lord and forsake their idols and leave their pagan beliefs. If a preacher, therefore, isn't clear on God's hatred for sin and idolatry, he leaves them in a very precarious position!
The Evangelist goes away with pictures of the great crowds, but the missionaries and pastors have a difficult time, to make disciples out of them, unless the messages they heard were empowered with the conviction of the Holy Spirit, causing genuine repentance and the ‘fear of the Lord’!
JESUS WARNED PREACHERS!
Our Lord Jesus Christ emphasized: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." (Matt. 23:15).
He said: "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me: and him that cometh to Me I will in wise cast out." (John 6: 37). He also stated: "... but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 3: 13).
I remember preaching in Wetaskiwin, Alberta in 1962. The pastor of the Full Gospel Church was a man of faith and a strong advocate of the ‘eternal security’ doctrine!
Donna and I stayed overnight in the manse and while having a snack with them, he was eager to debate the merits of that teaching. Being a guest in their home, I sought to side-step a verbal debate. He was a gentleman and declared that there would be no hard feelings, if I disagreed with him! He stated that Judas had been “a devil from the beginning” and was not a believer, and therefore could not have fallen from grace!
I quoted the Bible: “For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.” (Acts 1:17); “…That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” (Acts 1:24, 25).
I also shared the Scripture: “And after the sop, Satan entered into him.” (John 13:27). He countered that the Bible says: “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil.” (John 6: 70). Then, I asked him: “Can a devil cast out a devil?” He answered, “Certainly not!” I concurred that our Lord Jesus Christ stated, that it is impossible for the devil to cast out a devil or he would make an end of himself! (Mark 3: 22-26)
THEN, I DROPPED THIS BOMBSHELL!
“And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits: And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mark 6: 7, 12,13)
Was Judas one of the twelve apostles to whom Jesus gave the power to cast out devils and heal the sick? Yes, He was! The Bible says: “And when He had called unto Him his twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of disease.
“Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon…and Andrew his brother…and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.” (Matt.10: 1, 7,8)
That pastor then turned to me and said: “You are right!” He clearly indicated that his teaching was spurious! I asked him point blank: “What are you going to do about it?” He stated that he did not know! I wondered if he would begin preaching the truth! Sadly, some time later I heard that he had started a new church in Calgary and was preaching: ‘Ultimate Reconciliation & Restoration of all Things’- which is diametrically opposed to the Holy Scriptures: Everyone - including the devil - will be saved and restored!
PASTOR SAYS ‘THERE IS NO HELL’!
During a Mission in Norway a number of years ago, I was watching the National news and saw an interview that made my heart sick. A leading Swedish Pentecostal pastor - in whose former church I had preached - was being interviewed by the News Media. He stated that he no longer believed in the existence of Hell!
He was asked: “What about Adolf Hitler? What would be done with him?” His answer was: “He might have to walk barefoot on a rocky road for some kilometres, to atone for his sins”! The same demon that convinced Adam and Eve that God didn’t mean what He said, had apparently convinced that preacher that he knew more than God about Hell! What was the devil’s lie? It was the damnable teaching of ‘Ultimate Reconciliation & Restoration of All Things’!
That pastor didn’t change his doctrine instantly. He had been listening to the wrong voice for a considerable time, before it overtook him completely!
I am saddened, when I hear that a preacher has suddenly opted for a doctrine which negates a certain portion of Holy Scripture, in changing the laws and structure used by the Almighty in His great plan of salvation! The immediate effect of tampering with God’s Word, makes the “Cross of Christ of no effect”, because the wisdom of man – which is foolishness to God – has usurped God’s profound and perfect wisdom!
If a ‘man of God’ changes his message to please the world, flesh or the devil, that is a sure sign that he is heading in the wrong direction! It is true that God has given us the ‘ministry of reconciliation’, but there are no short cuts! God makes certain demands on all of us, and the first is that “we fear and love God”, as anyone who has studied Martin Luther’s Catechism would have learned at a young age!
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
As the Word of God reaches sinful man, conviction grips his heart and repentance (godly sorrow for sin) births within him a holy reverence for God! As that sinner cries out to Almighty God for mercy and forgiveness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is an explosion of Heavenly love. The Holy Spirit and the Word join together in a holy union and Christ is formed within him!
And as the blood of Jesus is applied to that seeking soul, the joy and peace that only God can give fills his spirit, soul and mind! Hallelujah!
St. Paul warned: "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." (Rom. 13: 11-14)
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror (wrath) of God, we persuade men..." (2 Cor. 5:10-11)
The great Apostle admonished: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick (living) and dead at His appearing and His kingdom. Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Tim. 4: 1-2)
MY MESSAGE TO BISHOP ÅRFLOT!
While in Norway a number of years ago, I read about an interview a newspaper journalist had with the leading bishop of Norway’s Lutheran State Church, regarding ordaining homosexual priests into the Ministry!
I was shocked to learn of his perverted view. He stated: “I cannot find any clear direction in the Bible about homosexuality!” In my interview on TV, I was asked to comment on his position.
I said: “Bishop Årflot, if you need new glasses, I will gladly buy you a pair of glasses. If you need a Bible, I will buy you a Bible. If you need theological training, I will pay your fare to Canada and all your expenses at a Pentecostal Bible College, so that you will know what the Bible teaches.”
He didn’t accept my offer. I didn’t hear from him! Too bad! I am wearied and disgusted by ‘men of the cloth’ who blatantly disregard the Word of God to preach their own warped and confused theories, philosophies and sickening views!
How dare they cherry-pick which part of God’s Word that they will believe and which part they will disregard and throw out? Without doubt, they are apostates and cultists!
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. (Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20: 10–15).
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 His great offer of Salvation and blessing, but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today, my friend! Receive Him into your heart by faith, repent and turn away from your sins, and you will receive the gift of Eternal Life. Do not delay, but call out to the Lord for mercy now!
Here is His personal promise to us all: “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.