21 When Jesus had said this, He was troubled in His spirit and testified, "I assure you: One of you will betray Me!" 22 The disciples started looking at one another-uncertain which one He was speaking about. 23 One of His disciples, the one Jesus loved, was reclining close beside Jesus. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to find out who it was He was talking about. 25 So he leaned back against Jesus and asked Him, "Lord, who is it?" 26 Jesus replied, "He's the one I give the piece of bread to after I have dipped it." When He had dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot's son. 27 After [Judas ate] the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Therefore Jesus told him, "What you're doing, do quickly." 28 None of those reclining at the table knew why He told him this. 29 Since Judas kept the money-bag, some thought that Jesus was telling him, "Buy what we need for the festival," or that he should give something to the poor. 30 After receiving the piece of bread, he went out immediately. And it was night. ~ John 13:21-30, HCS)
If you are living a deceived life, a life that listens to all the outside influences, a life quick to fall for anything, spiritual death is already residing in your soul. It is from our very soul where we first feel hope or hopelessness, truth or lies, belief or fearfulness, protection or insubstantial, acceptance or rejection, love or loathing, God or Satan. Anyone that gives up on God, allows Satan to take over their lives, they are giving in to the lord of this world. Anyone is at risk when they are absorbed with self-conceited contrivances of excluding and backstabbing Christ. Anyone who does not put Christ first is in desperate need of life changing heart regeneration.
Judas had been with Jesus for three years, intensely for 18 months, thoroughly knew the subject of faith, and what if meant to Jesus. Yet, Judas decided that faith did not matter. His hesitant soul gave into the immediate fleshly passion, instead of staying the course with Christ authority. Judas quickly learned the painful lesson that the ramification of our actions last long after the deceit was over. Jesus knew what Judas was going to do long before kissed in the Garden. Jesus was in on God’s plan and knew His Fathers purpose was at hand, so He let Judas’ deceived heart lead him, Judas gave his life on the table of Satan’s devilry.
4 "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood," he said. "What's that to us?" they said. "See to it yourself!" 5 So he threw the silver into the sanctuary and departed. Then he went and hanged himself. ~ (Matthew 27:4-5, HCS).
Once it was too late to turn-back Judas knowing the betrayal he had committed was too great to shoulder ended his life in a tragic way. My question is, are we as a nation, headed in the same deceitful way that Judas went? Are we first deceiving ourselves into believing that scripture is not the very Word of God? Are we lying to ourselves saying that sex with multiple partners and with others of the same sex is not immoral? Are we falling into the trap that we have plenty of time for God later but first I must work for my family, care for my children, build up my business, bury my dead… oh... wait... what was that Jesus said?
22 But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." ~ (Matthew 8:22, GWT)
Are we a nation at risk because we continually push Jesus Christ out of our very lives? Out of our culture, out of our conversation, out of our schools, out of public view, tolerating everything the world has to offer except God’s Word. If we allow the “world of tolerance” to snuff out the truth of God’s Word then what is next? Will this great nation, once the most powerful on the planet earth, governed with the guidance of God’s Word become a shadow of its once greatness and then slowly sink from existence? If we want to avoid this disaster we first must turn back to God, be on our knees, become dedicated once again to His Word, to Him Who Created us, and to His Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. ~ (2 Chronicles 7:14, NLT)
Even if this nation crumbles and falls, it is not too late for anyone who receives Christ love will find life in Him that gives life. The Body of Christ, His Bride will remain faithful and discover, we will prosper with His Grace and He will add to our numbers daily those being saved!
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. ~ (Acts 2:42-47, ESV)
This brothers and sisters is the key, the pattern of who we are to be and what we are to be about. This is where we find tolerance, love, and peace, joy, and hope; this is where God wants to prosper us. This is here disciples will flourish and multiply, families will be strengthened. Most importantly, this is where we will find Christ and where we find life! We must pour our hearts and souls into one another and into our praise and worship of Christ. If we are not electric about the matters of Christ then we have lost our connection to Him. If we are weary, it is because we do not know Him intimacy. A very dear friend, Pastor Joe Freeman turned me on to an acronym for intimacy, when we want to be intimate with anyone we are asking them, “in to me see.” So when God wants us to be intimate with Him He is asking us to see into Him as well as wanting us to open ourselves for Him to see into us. If we accept this we become reborn, renewed, refreshed, and revived to carry His Word, His message of the Good News that is Him Who Saves!
4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. 5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. ~ (Psalm 42:4-5)
May we be forever in His presence, on our knees, singing His praise and living in His Glory! Amen.