Pastor Max Solbrekken Warns:
The ancient prophetic utterances in the Holy Bible about the end of time and the Return of Jesus Christ, are being rapidly fulfilled. That we are living in perilous and dangerous times is an understatement. We are indeed nearing the end of God's dispensation of grace and mercy, to a wicked and rebellious world!
That this generation is ripe for God's wrath and judgment is a 'given'. Let's not be found sleeping, but be awake to the reality of the coming judgment!
Jesus warned: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up; and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
WATCH AND PRAY!
“For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth, Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Saon of man.” (Luke 21: 28, 34-36)
What a tremendous responsibility is laid upon those who have been called to "let our lights shine before men so that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven". (Matt. 5:16)
What an awesome commission we - who are God's servants - have received, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. And to obediently respond to His call to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature". (Mark 16:15)
No wonder St. Paul emphasized: "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel". (1 Cor. 9:16) Again he declared: "A dispensation of the gospel is laid upon me". (1 Cor. 9:17)
A dispensation is a God-given order; an allotted period of time. It is also a calling to dispense or give out, deal and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our fellowmen!
The great apostle wrote: "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth". (Rom. 1:16). Why is is this so important?
1) ALL HAVE SINNED AND ARE GUILTY BEFORE GOD!
Adam's sin and consequently our own sinning has pitted God's wrath against the human family. Our transgressions against His laws have earned us God's judgment and condemnation.
In the natural there is NO ESCAPE, for the Bible emphasizes: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23), and "God hath concluded all under sin". (Gal. 3:22); The Scripture says, "There is none righteous, no, not one". (Rom. 3:10)
2) THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH!
The Bible says, "The soul that sinneth shall die" (Ez. 18:30) and, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". (Rom. 6:23)
God's ultimatum to Adam in the Garden of Eden was, "But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die". (Gen. 2:16)
The original Hebrew states - "in dying, thou shalt die". In other words, "If you transgress in disobeying My law, you will begin to die and eventually die".
THEY DIED SPIRITUALLY!
It is true that the moment Adam and Eve transgressed, they plunged the entire human race into sin and death. They died spiritually then, as fellowship with their Maker was ruptured and God immediately inaugurated the sacrificial system - when He slew an innocent animal - based on His promise to send the Saviour, Who would "bruise the serpent's head"! (Gen. 3:15)
Immediately after rebelling, the 'process of death' began in their human bodies and they eventually died physically! And since that time, every baby born has had the process of death functioning within their mortal bodies, from DAY ONE!
The bottom line is that all who die in their sins, in an unconverted state are "outside of Christ" and will be lost throughout eternity, with no hope of repentance or reconciliation!
The Bible speaks of those who "have no hope" (1 Th. 4:13) and "having no hope and without God in this world". (Eph. 2:12)
3) JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS. HE IS OUR SUBSTITUTE!
The Bible says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life". (John 3:16)
The Gospel of Christ teaches the 'Doctrine of Substitution' - one taking the place of another - and that is what Jesus did on the cross. ..He took our place, He died for us!
St. Paul declared, "For when we were yet without strength (helpless), in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would dare to die.
"But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood we shall be saved from wrath through Him"! (Rom. 5:6-9)
THIS IS THE TRUE GOSPEL!
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" (1 Cor. 15:1-4)
CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES!
In his defense of the Gospel, St. Paul was very exuberant and excited about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ:
He stated: "For whether we be beside ourselves (insane), it is to God: or whether we be sober (of sound mind), it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead, (in our trespasses and sins):
"And that He (Jesus) died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again". (2 Cor. 5:13-15)
In his apologetic on the rapture of the Church, St. Paul links our believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to our future resurrection from death!
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep (died in the faith), that ye sorrow not, even 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". (1 Th. 4:13-14)
Again, the Apostle nails down this cardinal doctrine of the Church: THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST FOR OUR SINS AND HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION!
"But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, "Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him". (1 Th. 5:8-10)
The word justification signifies, that gracious act of God whereby sinners are ‘made just’ through their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His subsequent resurrection from the dead, by the blessed Holy Spirit. (Rom. 1:4)
Christ's righteousness becomes ours, when we receive Him as our personal Saviour and Lord! The Bible says, "But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption". (1 Cor. 1:30)
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9)
"But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed (counted), if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered (given up) for our offenses (sins); And was raised again for our justification." (Rom. 4:24-25)
4) ONLY JESUS CHRIST HAS THE POWER AND ABILITY TO SAVE US! OUTSIDE OF CHRIST THERE IS NO HOPE!
Jesus Christ stated unequivocally, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me". (John 14:6) Again He said, "I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture". (John 10:9)
Christ alone and He only has the power to save, heal and deliver from sin, sickness and death! (Heb.9: 14, 15: Col.2: 14, 15)
St. Paul stated, "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time". (1 Tim. 2:3-6)
5) GOD HAS COMMISSIONED US TO DISPENSE, SPREAD AND PROPAGATE HIS GOSPEL TO EVERYONE!
In His Great Commission Jesus commanded, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover". (Mark 16:15-18)
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (age). Amen." (Matt. 28:18-20)
6) GOD HAS ORDAINED THAT BELIEVERS WITH MEANS, SHOULD SUPPORT THOSE WHO GO WITH THE GOSPEL MESSAGE!
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom. 10:13-15)
"Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And the labourer is worth of His reward." (1 Tim. 5:17-18)
What does this mean? Let us support the preacher who is getting the job done, with our tithes and missionary offerings!
7) GOD HAS WARNED US THAT TIME IS SHORT! WE MUST HURRY! THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE!
Jesus said, "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
“And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together". (John 4:35-36)
To the women who had come out from behind closed doors - with spices to anoint the body of Jesus - the angel of God said, "... Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead". (Matt. 28:5-7)
Dear Friend, we hold the destiny of this generation in our hands. What will we do with the gospel of Christ?
WILL WE SHARE IT WITH THE LOST, BEFORE THEY ARE LOST FOREVER, WITHOUT HOPE FOR TIME AND ETERNITY?
We must do as the disciples did: "And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word". (Matt. 28:8). Amen.