Tuesday, 26 November 2019

A Crown of Righteousness

Scripture: 2 Timothy 4 v 1-8:  "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 
6  For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

Jesus will give a Crown of Righteousness to those disciples who, throughout the ages, have faithfully allowed God's plan for their lives to be fully manifested. 

If they have been obedient and honest in their ministry and taken good care of the flock of God, putting their needs before their own, then there will be a righteous crown for them. However I believe they will lay every crown at the feet of Jesus for He alone is worthy.

Paul led Timothy to the Lord and gave him the best foundation for his ministry; exhorting him to be an evangelist and to be very watchful over using the right doctrines. Paul told him to reprove and strongly rebuke those who preach false doctrines. For us today this must also be true as with apostasy abounding in the church the false doctrines are rife and the true gospel in freefall.

In this modern era churchgoers have itching ears for every new fangled religious idea or teaching and intermingle new age doctrines with some verses out of the Bible to justify their stance.  Out of this came the politically correct Interfaith Movement.

In Interfaith all the religions of the world are free to worship whatever deity appeals to them.  In their meetings different gurus, imams, prelates, priests and lamas take turns in praying to their chosen idol.  However, it is requested or insisted, that no mention is made of the name of Jesus because that would offend many.  It offends many demons of false religions that's for sure and they truly fear that name.

Paul had come to the end of his Earthly ministry and had created a legacy for the Church of wisdom and stability. He had great passion for Jesus and had suffered beatings, whippings, imprisonment and other awful persecutions because he taught the people to oppose the reigning Caesar, the Ruler and god of Rome to over a billion Roman Catholics who are unaware that they belong to a cult. The Pope and all Catholics have elevated Mary to goddess status as Co-Redeemer with Jesus Christ.  She has become their idol.

Mary was the lovely Earthly mother of Jesus but died and went to Heaven just like each one of us. She received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room with all the other disciples, and was never born without sin. Jesus never elevated her nor is there any scripture that says salvation is through Mary. She does not answer prayers and any communication with her is occultic spiritualism. Mary herself would loathe the religious nonsense going on about her.

Paul knew that Jesus had a crown for him even though he considered himself the least of all the saints because he had been guilty of persecuting the Church and consenting to the death of Stephen.

Saints are born again Christians; sinners are not yet born again. That is how God sees the people of Earth - either saint or sinner, no nationality nor religion nor colour nor gender. In the Catholic Church you can only become a saint after performing two miracles after your death. Seriously? 

We must endeavour to do our utmost for the Kingdom of God whether or not there is any reward other than to be in Heaven for eternity. Our work is to lift Jesus up so He can draw all men to Himself. The Holy Spirit has given us spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, miracles, healings, faith, prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits of good and evil. We must use these gifts under His guidance to help one another and overcome the wiles of the devil.

Our true crown is to bring glory to the name of Jesus as faithful followers. Let people see us as beacons of light to draw them into the bosom of our Father.  Let our crown be the good we do, the love of God that is reflected by us, the modest way we live as witnesses of truth.

Prayer: Heavenly Father Jesus is coming again and there is an urgency in our hearts for the lost to have a chance to be saved. If our friends and family are unsaved please help us to share the gospel with them. Give us the courage O Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.