Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What if...


(Matthew 25:11) Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  (25:12) But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.  (25:13) Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour.  
         
I’m not a prophet or a watchman but sometimes I am compelled to say hard words that no one wants to hear. This usually gets me in trouble. In the past, much less often nowadays, I have made the mistake of pointing out the simple fact-based truth about popular End Days doctrines to some earnestly devoted believers. For my effort, I was rewarded with the unpleasant lesson that spitting in the wind results in spit on your face. So, I rationalized, well, what difference does it make what people believe so long as they profess Jesus as Christ; time will tell, I reasoned. But this never quite sat right and it poked at me so I postulated that perhaps it did matter a little because, if for no other reason, when things don’t happen as expected, they might lose their faith. Perhaps some would be disappointed but not devastated?  I hoped.
But, in time, this also presented as a weak position as well. At its core, this perspective is skewed because it ignores what Scripture tells us over and over that what Christ wants from us is abiding faith, even in the clinches.  (Matthew 24:13) But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.  God doesn’t interfere or manipulate whether or not we have faith; that is up to us. In fact, we get lots of testings to prove our faith. Crisis, tribulation, temptations. While salvation is a free gift, sanctification is entirely our responsibility. We choose how and whether we will grow or not, learn, mature, and share, multiply what we have been given by giving it away in order to further the cause of Christ.  So, using that reasoning, why would He make allowances for anyone who loses his/her faith because he/she chose to believe a “safe” doctrine that had been made up to further a specific agenda a mere three hundred years ago? 
  
More importantly, are we really willing to test how long He will strive with those who are determined to turn doctrine, of any kind, into an idol, choosing, instead, to honor the doctrine more than the Savior?
With that in mind I took it to the next level and considered, okay, what if it does matter what we choose to believe? What if, when the worst happens, there are those who might be able to hang onto their faith anyway but the door is shut and qualified faith (the I’ll-have-it-when-I-need-it kind) is rejected? Those who have always called themselves Christians, snug in their religiosity and devotion to doctrine, might be likened to the five unprepared virgins who knock on the closed door crying, “Lord, Lord!”  What if they are unprepared not only because their lamps were low on oil (TRUTH) but also because they never desired to fill up on the truth to begin with?  
What if the foolish virgins not only don’t know that they are foolish, at some point, they are actually blinded so that they aren’t able to wise up in time?  But if their eyes are blinded and their ears closed are they still accountable? Will He say, “I know you not” and thus they will be “ ... punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thes. 1:9). Talk about hard words. Can this mean what it says? What if being a Christian is not looking like one outwardly but being one inwardly? What if the foolish virgins were only pseudo-saved and that’s what He meant by “I know you not”? 
What if a little errant belief is more than enough to destroy all ability to discern truth? A little leaven does leaven the whole lump. Granted, it is easier to acquiesce to something that has been neatly laid out for us rather than simply read the Word, praying to be filled and guided by the Holy Spirit and follow the clear, simple gospel of Jesus Christ even if it requires the sticky business of acknowledgement of sin and repentance on our part and having to endure...until the end.  
After pondering all this I have to admit I am left with two strong emotions. First, I struggle with not wanting to believe that there is a door closing, an ending to a grace period because I have loved ones who aren’t there yet. I can’t want to accept that because their hearts are disinterested in the things of the Kingdom today that they might be hardened at some designated moment so they then are not allowed to see. Second, I don’t want to consider that if this scenario is a reality, the time for this metaphorical door to shut has either already come or is close at hand. 
So many what ifs.
Regardless my personal concerns, if this is true, what if there is no great END DAYS REVIVAL either? Though I can’t find this event in the book of Revelation, I’ve been given to believe all my life there would be one and then we’d know for sure it is the end. But what if the last two thousands years has been all there is going to be? Isn’t Christ our First-Fruits and Latter Day Rain as the original church fathers believed? Did He not fulfill those prophecies for us already? Are expectations of one last glorious chance to be called merely diversions to lull us into thinking that we have plenty of time before we have to get serious? If we are busy doing anything and everything but filling our lamps because we are depending on and giving credence to expected signs and wonders are we not actually fulfilling Matthew 25:1-13?
We have always been taught that we can be reconciled to God if we exercise the faith to believe on and follow the gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ. We have also always been taught that one day Christ will return and this heaven and earth will pass away. You cannot accept this without also agreeing that this means time is indeed finite and thus there is an end when, by default, it will be too late to get it. 
Here’s a sobering what if...What if the beginning of eternal torment and everlasting destruction is kicked off by seeing the truth too late?
Whew! I don’t know about you but just the possibility of this “what if” is enough to send me to my knees.
For Christ,
Meema
 (2 Peter 3:17) Ye therefore, beloved, knowing [these things] beforehand, beware lest, being carried away with the error of the wicked, ye fall from your own stedfastness.  (3:18) But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] the glory both now and for ever. Amen. 

6 comments:

  1. Meema - Some days I can't wrap my head around the lateness of the hour. As much as I am ready to have it all over with, I am grateful the Lord saved me before it was too late. But then I think of all the unsaved. At some point time is just over.

    Here is a study I did of the parable of the 10 virgins on my other blog for your consideration. A little different view to the foolish ones.

    http://jesus-bride.blogspot.com/2012/04/5-were-wise-and-5-were-foolish.html

    God bless you!! Sarah

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    1. Hi Sarah,
      Sorry it has taken so long to acknowledge your post. Had a busy family weekend. Also, I needed to prayfully consider how to respond. I am not good at debate because it rarely concludes well so I don’t plan on making this into one. But I do feel there is point that is so important to make right now, in this age of increasing apostate religion.

      In your blog post about the Bride of Christ you state that no where does it say that the five foolish virgins go to hell. That’s true, but using the same logic, no where does it say they don’t. The imagery is not of Christ standing in an open door issuing chastisement. A closed door is a sobering, conclusive visual. Further, the parable begins in Matthew 24:43 with the foolish servant and the words are pretty clear what happened to him. (24:51) and shall cut him asunder, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.

      Nevertheless, my focus is not on whether or not the foolish virgins are sent to hell. The debate about once-saved-always-saved never takes into account those who claim to be saved but are nothing more than imposters. Ananias and Sapphira come to mind. Many assume the tares among the wheat and the goats among the sheep are non-believers, but that assumption is myopic because both the old and new testament are written directly to and for His people, not those who stand proudly in unbelief, so references will always be about His people, the wheat that bears fruit and the tares who look like wheat but are just fruitless imitators.

      But even this is not the point that needs to be made and is really nothing more than a diversion. Truly we do swallow camels and strain at gnats.

      Right now, I am burdened and feel an urgency to warn how dangerous it is, at this late hour, to be attracted to and allow ourselves to be swept away by dogma that is nothing more than a thinly disguised spiritual arrogance and/or humanistic diversity that draws us away from what our focus should be, i.e., on Him. Synthetic strings, like the “love wins” theology are being added to the warp and weft of the Gospel tapestry quickly now. These are overwhelming and obliterating the golden threads of the truth so that they are nearly invisible to anyone other than those who absolutely intend to seek and see them.

      So, this is the point: it seems to me that God is allowing this inability to see in order to sift us. Are we tares or wheat? Goats or sheep? Foolish virgins or wise?

      There is only one doctrine, one genuine golden thread that speaks to where we stand with God; John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him shall not perish but have eternal life.

      Who can argue that everything is not in this statement? The who, the why, and the wherefore and the consequences of choice, both good and bad. Jesus, and Who He is, is the only correct focus. Anything that diverts the light to us is counterfeit. That sounds too simple doesn’t it?

      Who is the Bride? Is that what we need to be asking? I don’t believe on Him to assure my membership in the Bride. That would be self-serving and make my belief all about me. I seek and believe in Him because He is worthy, and by His grace, I, who am not worthy, can be accepted because of Him. This turns it 180˚ and makes it all about Him. I would trust in Him and serve Him, even though He slay me, and whether I am one among the elite Bride or not.

      I reiterate, the Gospel is about Him. I want to know who He is, what He wants, what His will is. My question now is, when I look at the now tangled mess of self-centered religious nonsense that has replaced the true message, how long will He strive with us? How long before He shuts the door and leaves the hypocrites in outer darkness?

      God bless you in your quest to know Him,

      For Christ,
      Meema

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  2. God bless you Meema and thanks for your reply. I can't and don't do theological debates either. And I certainly do not know all and I am humbled by your response.

    It is all about Him and I agree with you 1000%!! I am so longing to behold Him in that day and I pray I am worthy to do so and that I am not ashamed.

    Meema, my question is, concerning the 5 unwise virgins, what is God's will?

    In Christ, Sarah

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    1. Hi Sarah,

      I am so glad you asked. ;-) My answer is my newest post.

      For Christ,
      Meema

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  3. Meema,
    I'll check it out.

    I just want to say that if I had died one minute before 6:30 pm on Feb 29th, 2008 I would have gone straight to hell and everlasting torment. It was the mercy of God that opened my eyes and pulled me out of the fire.

    Jesus said that He is not going to let anyone take His sheep out of His hands, and I have seen many that have been awakened before His soon return. Praise the Lord!

    It is my belief, based on scripture alone, that those foolish virgins, the Laodicea church will be thrown into tribulation to have their robes washed white. He wants the lazy and the unfaithful to repent!

    Jesus did not command us to pray to be accounted worthy to escape the trial for no reason. He said that those who obeyed His commandments would be kept from the trial for a reason. He wants all to repent. Sadly I know that some will not make it and will fall away.

    In my opinion the tares are the children of the devil and they have no chance anyway.


    God bless! Sarah

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    1. I know it's old-fashioned but I still believe the angels sing when a lost sheep is found. :-)

      For Christ,
      Meema

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