It was a beautiful day. Vivian and her two children were getting ready to go joyriding on their four-wheeler. Her niece Sally wanted to ride with them. There were four of them, but only one four-wheeler. How many people are supposed to ride on a four-wheeler at the same time? There are warnings on A.T.V.s that say “ONLY ONE RIDER AT A TIME”. But in spite of that warning, Vivian put all four kids on the four-wheeler with her.
I don’t know how long they rode, or how much fun they had, but somehow the four-wheeler flipped backward on top of them. When Vivian regained consciousness, she could hear her son moaning and her daughter crying. Both her children were hurt and had cuts and broken bones, but Sally wasn’t so lucky. Vivian saw her lying there, her body all broken and twisted, and her face a dull blue color. One of the handlebars of the four-wheeler had fallen on her neck and she had suffocated.
What a sad story. Accidents happen, but many of them could be avoided by simply following rules and warnings. If Vivian had only heeded the warning, she and her children would not have suffered all the pain of that accident. They would not have had to spend all the time and money on physical therapy. If she had only obeyed the warning placed there by someone who knew more than she did about ATVs, her niece would not have had to suffer such a horrible death.
We are given warnings for a reason. And most of the time they come from people who know more than we do. But, too often, these warnings go unheeded. God, who knows the end from the beginning, gives us warning after warning in His Word. He warned Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 2 16-17
16. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “of every tree of the garden you may freely eat:
17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat from it, you will surely die.
God warned them, but they disobeyed and brought the curse of sin upon all the inhabitants of the Earth. He tells us what will happen if we do not turn from our sinful ways and follow his laws, but many are ignoring his warnings. He also tells us that he is coming back to rescue those who have been born again and to destroy sin once and for all.
1. Don’t let your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
2. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if not, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, you may be also.
Unfortunately, all those who cling to sin will be destroyed in the lake of fire along with sin, Satan, and his angels.
2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
7. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8. In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who don’t know God, and don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
A marvelous promise to those who obey God and a terrible warning to those who refuse to obey. God loves us like a parent loves a child and much more, no matter what we do or say, no matter how we act, and even if we never follow him. But like a parent, he can not excuse the wrong that we do.
He has a plan. We can be part of it if we want to, or we can choose to ignore his warnings and go our own way and do our own thing, but someday, God will put an end to sin once and for all. Please, don’t allow yourself to be destroyed with sin. Jesus wants to save you, but he won’t force you. He needs your permission.
Hebrews 5:9 says, And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all those who OBEY him;
John 3:36 says, He that believes in the Son has eternal life, and he that does not believe the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God rests on him.
2 Tim. 3:15 says, And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
According to these three verses, we gain faith in Jesus from reading the Bible, and prayer of course. When we get to know him and believe in him, we can receive eternal life and we will want to obey him. But, if we refuse to obey, God’s wrath rests on us.
One more warning.
44. So, you be ready also because the Son of man will come in an hour you do not expect.
Jesus says we need to be ready for his second coming. How can we be ready? Only by accepting his free gift of salvation. There’s nothing we can do to earn salvation but we do have to accept it. God WILL NOT take anyone to heaven who does not want to go. Contrary to popular belief, we can’t live any way we want and stay saved.
Hebrews 13:5 says,
5. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
That’s a quote from the old testament book of Deuteronomy, chapter 31 and verse 6.
6. Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for it is the LORD your God, that goes with you. He will not fail you, nor forsake you.
Like most promises in God’s word, this Promise is conditional.
2 Chronicles 15:2 says,
2. The LORD is with you, while you are with him; and if you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
The word of God is consistent throughout, from Genesis to Revelation. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the God of the Old Testament is a different God from the New Testament. Times have changed and people have changed, but God never changes. He Loves us all and he has prepared the plan of salvation so everyone has a chance to be saved, but the Bible is clear that not everyone will be saved. Just believing is not enough. God requires obedience.
19. You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20. But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
The works that James is talking about are not works to earn salvation, but work we do because we are saved. Sin doesn’t stop being sin, just because we are saved. Whatever was a sin for an unsaved person is still a sin after that person is saved.
26. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins,
27. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which will devour the adversaries.
We must OBEY God to remain saved. Heed his warnings. This is serious. Jesus is our only hope. Cling to him for dear life and obey his rules. If we truly love him, we will WANT to obey. It’s hard sometimes even then, but Jude 1:24 says that he is able to keep us from falling if we just trust him and obey. That’s a beautiful promise and something we should all hold on to.
© 2015 Teddy Lynn – All Rights Reserved
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