Your Greatest Crisis

Every person who has ever lived, and every person who ever will live, has a crisis of the highest magnitude.  It is a crisis which transcends finances, health, comfort, and love and marriage- and any other matter.  It is a crisis that can end up as our greatest blessing or can end up as our greatest curse.  

We were created by a holy God who by His very nature is infinitely important, perfectly good, all-powerful, possessing authority of the highest magnitude, and who made man in His image with an implied accountability therein which is inescapable.  He has appointed a day in which He will judge all people in righteousness and without partiality (i.e. without respect of persons) through His Son Jesus Christ.  He is a consuming fire; and our responses to Him will be tried in the light of His blazing holiness, down to the smallest details which we could possibly be aware of, even our most secret thoughts and intentions.  

Hebrews 9:27: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”

Luke 12:2-5: “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

God’s Son Jesus Christ has given Himself for our sins on the cross that He might redeem us from this present evil world.  His Truth and Righteous authority will be vindicated in us whatever we do with His grace.  However, His grace prevailing in us and being demonstrated in us is a special victory- and one which we can’t afford to not obtain!  Ultimately, God seeks to redeem a special, holy people to Himself through Jesus Christ.  We are in a crisis regarding whether or not we will be a part of that people, our influence in responding to the Lord surely is significant enough to affect others who are in this crisis (and of course all are), and there are many other related implications which the Day of Judgment itself will reveal.

Consider a beautiful and/or wealthy person, or perhaps a happy, healthy young couple which you may be tempted to envy.  Such are in the same conflict as you, under the same trial, with the same basic hope and danger set before them.  Or consider that person whom you consider miserable- maybe alone, in poverty, in poor health, or all of these.  He or she may seem the polar opposite in happiness compared to those you may be tempted to envy- yet how well off those on both sides of the spectrum really are has nothing to do with any of these things!  And that is because ultimately how they respond to God in their circumstances, and whether they use their circumstances faithfully in His eyes, is truly all that will ever matter about them soon enough.  We would have been tempted to conclude that the rich man was much better off than Lazarus, had we seen them both when they were alive- but not so after they had both died  (See Luke 16:19-31 if you are not already intimately familiar with the story).

It is not too uncommon for someone to acknowledge that this life is a preparation for the next life and that the things of earth will pass away.  But if we actually consider that truth to be trite, we really still have a vision problem and our belief in God’s Word is at best unstable and inadequate.  Jesus is really going to return!  You and I are really going to stand before the Great God, who made the Universe, and be recompensed by Him according to our works.  Our works will prove whether we have really turned to Him and come into alignment with His righteous ways.  Christ’s blood will atone for and wash away the sins of those who have so believed in Him as the Great Ruler and Deliverer that He is  – and for none other (1 John 1:7, Luke 6:46-49, etc).

Our accountability to God implies that life is a test wherein He examines our choices in  the light of His Word; and thereby also examines our gratitude for the opportunity which He has provided through Jesus Christ to be reconciled with Him and justified in His sight.  Whether you are rich or poor, whether you are strong or crippled, whatever your marriage state is, or whatever your lot is in anything else pertaining to this life, does not make you better or worse off in the biggest issue for you.  For none of these things relieve you from the trial which you are under, and the court date which you have, with the Almighty God!  If you are happy, comfortable, and feel blessed- you still have this crisis to deal with.  And if you are overwhelmed with grief, uncomfortable, and/or feel anything but blessed for whatever reason- you yet have a bigger crisis to deal with.  And that is the very same crisis which the people that seem the opposite of you right now have.  There is truly no partiality with God nor any discharge from the ultimate trial which He has placed upon each and every man and woman.

Even Jesus in His incarnation and humility was under trial from His Father and never let that slip from being His primary concern to attend to.  If we are going to faithfully follow Him and inherit salvation through Him, we need to squarely fix this before our eyes also and learn not to let them look away from this incredible and weighty reality of our existence, which will never cease to be reality on this side of Judgment Day and eternity.

Hebrews 5:7-9: “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” 

When Jesus commanded in Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” there is also a judgment or a verdict there about what man’s greatest crisis is.  Nothing else could possibly be that important!  Be sure you obtain that- even if you should lose in everything else.  Along the same lines, we are told in James 1:12-15: “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” Shortly afterwards, we read in James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  That is surely an elaboration of enduring temptation faithfully, and not rather succumbing to sin, spoken of earlier in the same chapter- and that of course encompasses all of the instruction in God’s Word.  Hence Jesus said in Matthew 4:4: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

(And by the way, it is only right that I inform you that we do have a terrible crisis of needy people in great affliction in the horn of Africa who really need help.  A horrible drought has left many people without food or water.  It was generally a very poor area already; and now it is exceedingly worse.  Jimmy, whose channel this audio recording is being posted on, oversees a mission and works with a missionary (Brother William) in Northern Kenya, a region greatly affected by this drought.  Besides all the suffering the residents in his own area are going through, a large group of people from Ethiopia have also come down to his area to find something in terms of food and water in order to stay alive.  A refugee camp has sprung up outside of Brother William’s community where there are hundreds, perhaps over a thousand by now, whose lives are hanging in the balance.  People have already died of starvation there, right in this camp of refugees.  William is doing all he can with what he is being provided, but a lot more is needed.  Everything and anything he is sent makes a difference for the poorest of the poor- and even has the very real potential to save lives.  The situation is that bad!  Though obviously being a faithful Christian and walking by faith before God involves much besides helping those in need, it sure necessarily involves that!  Jimmy himself has done a teaching called “The Biblical Commands on Serving the Poor.” We sure can’t be faithful Christians who live acceptably before God if we don’t consider how to use our abundance to help the poor and if we don’t minister to the needs of those in distress which come to our knowledge.  This is a dire need and a real opportunity to help where help is greatly needed.  If you go to you can learn more about it and give there if you choose to.  Jimmy, the leader of the mission, is pouring his own money into this and the other mission fields he oversees.  He has committed to giving much himself, he is using more money yet to make up the lack when donations run short, and he gives yet even more when circumstances like this drought and other things like medical emergencies require more. So overseeing, helping, and being involved in this is really costing him and not profiting him.  Jimmy is taking zero for himself; he is sending what he gets straight to those ministering at ground zero). 

If only we would consider meeting God on Judgment Day constantly; and in light of that strive continually to come into line with Him and do right before Him, it would help us to bring our view of our circumstances in life into their proper perspective.  If we take to heart and don’t withdraw from the consideration that God created and sustains this vast Universe by His omnipotence; and that mountains and islands will flee from before His face; and yet we cannot be discharged from standing before Him on our court date with Him, then choices and deeds which are unrighteous and ungodly before Him should logically be exposed.  Indeed, everything then that is contrary to the righteous manner of life prescribed by the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ would logically be cast away as the devastating, detrimental, and lethal things that they are.  And God’s true grace, which many vilify by calling things like bondage and legalism, will logically be brought to light as truly amazing and more than valuable enough to continually cling to for dear life.

Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Deuteronomy 13:4: “Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.”

Deuteronomy 13:17-18: “And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers; When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord thy God.” (The multiplication aspect of this was specifically for Israel as a nation, but the principles here for being in God’s favor are eternal and timeless principles extending into the Christian era- proven by how the Apostles illustrated salvation by grace through faith from principles established in the Old Testament; and from people in the Old Testament).

Revelation 6:12-17: “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” 

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