Copyright 1994 - 2023 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
May 3, 2012
Last Updated :
May 3, 2012
NOTE: This article or series has not been updated recently. As such, it may possibly contain some outdated information, and/or ideas and beliefs which I no longer embrace, or which have changed to some degree.
Become Involved In Affairs Of God's Kingdom, Members Of God's Household, Seek God's Will For Your Life, Bear Fruit For His Kingdom, Don't Become Entangled In The Affairs Of This Life, We Are Not Of This World, Treasures In Heaven, Love Of Money: Root Of All Evil, Strangers And Pilgrims, Blinded By God Of This World, A Jealous God, Idols And Time Wasters, Shame And Everlasting Contempt, Judged And Rewarded According To Our Works, Faith Without Works Is Dead, Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Faith, Boldly Preach The Gospel, More Sure Word Of Prophecy, Isaiah Prophecy: They Shall Not Be Ashamed That Wait For Me, Scoffers: Where Is The Promise Of His Coming?, Build On Right Foundation, Purged And Saved By Fire, Different Members But One Body Fitly Joined Together By God's Spirit, Conclusion
As I concluded in part one, once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, that is not the end of the road. It is really only the beginning of our journey of faith. From that point forward, our Heavenly Father expects us to demonstrate our appreciation for the free Gift, by loving Him, and also by becoming involved in the affairs of His Kingdom in some fashion. After all, as the Apostle Paul informs us, once we accept Jesus Christ, we are spiritually born into the Royal Household of God, as we can determine by this verse :
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"
Ephesians 2:19, KJV
No parent desires to raise a slothful child. How much less our Heavenly Father? Thus, we each need to endeavor to find out how God can best use us for His glory in His Kingdom. We each need to earnestly seek His Will for our lives. I noted in part one that sometimes our particular place or calling in His Kingdom -- at least here on Earth -- may be directly related to the skills and talents which He has given to each one of us. For example, in my younger days, I was a preacher and soul winner for the Lord in a few different countries. Now, in my later years, the Lord has inspired me to feed His children by way of this online writing ministry.
The point is, we can't afford to be lazy and slothful in our Father's Kingdom, lest we receive the same reprimand as the evil servant in the first Parable that we examined; or lest we be shut out like the unwise virgins in the second Parable; or lest we be rebuked like the unprofitable servant in the third Parable who failed to put his master's talents to good use. We must find some way to be fruitful for the Lord. This issue of bearing fruit for the Lord is in fact discussed in a variety of verses which are found throughout God's Word, as we can determine by the following:
"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
Psalm 1:3, KJV
"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise."
Proverbs 11:30, KJV
"But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold . . . But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
Matthew 13:8, 23, KJV
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof."
Matthew 13:31-32, KJV
"And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred."
Mark 4:20, KJV
"But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."
Luke 8:15, KJV
"He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."
Luke 13:6-9, KJV
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
John 12:24, KJV
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned . . . Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
John 15:1-6, 16, KJV
"Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."
Romans 7:4, KJV
So what about you? If you have already accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, what are you personally doing in your life right now in order to please your Heavenly Father? Are you storing up Eternal Rewards in Heaven, or have you become so caught up in this materialistic life and the human rat race, that you have sorely neglected the needs of your spirit? Are you so busy serving this temporal world and just endeavoring to survive in it that you have neglected the more important affairs of God's Kingdom? If you are truly fighting the good fight of faith, then as the Apostle Paul writes, you simply have no time to become entrapped in the time-consuming affairs of this present earthly life:
"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
2 Timothy 2:4, KJV
Do you honestly believe that verse, or do you just blow it off and convince yourself that while what Paul writes is obviously true, it is just meant for other Christians, but not for you? Have you deceived yourself into believing that it is acceptable to have one foot in God's Kingdom, while the other foot is still in the world? Are you trying to be a dual citizen? If so, please allow these additional verses to speak to your heart:
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
John 15:19, KJV
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"
2 Corinthians 6:17, KJV
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
James 4:4, KJV
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also . . . No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Matthew 6:19-21, 24, KJV
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
Colossians 3:1-2, KJV
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:"
1 Timothy 6:6-14, KJV
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Hebrews 11:13-16, KJV
It is plain to see then that, truly, we Christians are not really of this world. Just like the Patriarchs of old, we are strangers and pilgrims here, who are on our way to the Promised Land of the eternal Kingdom of God. Isn't it time that we start acting and living like we truly believe this? You must understand that you belong to God now. He is your Master, and not Satan -- who Paul refers to as the god of this world -- and his human puppets who rule this current world. Consider this verse:
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
2 Corinthians 4:4, KJV
The Bible informs us that our God is a jealous God, and He will have no other gods before Him. It is important that we all realize that anything which we put before God, and our service to God, is making an idol out of it; whether it is our job, our fancy car, money, our girlfriend, our status in our local community, our multitude of electronic gadgets, the time that we waste playing computer games, the hours on end that we watch television, or anything else. As I pointed out in part one, some Christians are going to be very surprised on the day that death knocks on their door, and they go to meet the Lord. Why? Because, sadly, they were sluggards and sloths in this current life, and they will have nothing to present before the Lord. They will arrive in the Heavenly Courts quite embarrassed and empty-handed. I am reminded of the following verse that is found in the Book of Daniel:
"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
Daniel 12:2, KJV
We need to remember that the Scriptures inform us that our works will follow us after this life has ended, whatever they might be. But if we have been lazy and slothful in the affairs of God's Kingdom, or if we have foolishly placed the things of this present world above our service to the Lord, what works will we possibly have to present to Him? Isn't it important then that we each make sure that our lives and our works will be pleasing to the Lord? Consider the following verses:
"If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?"
Proverbs 24:12, KJV
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."
Matthew 16:27, KJV
"And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:"
1 Peter 1:17, KJV
". . . I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works."
Revelation 2:23b, KJV
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."
Revelation 14:13, KJV
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."
Revelation 20:12-13, KJV
While the Scriptures inform us that we are not saved by our good works -- Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, etc. -- they do tell us that people will recognize that we are truly saved Christians by the works which we perform for the Lord. This is because they will see the positive fruit in our lives. Our works for the Lord will be a manifestation of our faith to them. So as the Apostle James writes, we must put feet to our faith, and not just talk about it alone. Please consider the following verses:
"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
Matthew 7:20, KJV
"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
James 2:20-26, KJV
As we saw in part one, we should not attempt to conceal our spiritual light, or hide our candle under a bushel. We must not be ashamed of the Lord, the Gospel and our faith. If we are ashamed for whatever the reason -- such as being afraid to offend people by sharing the Gospel with them -- Jesus plainly tells us that He will likewise be ashamed of us at His glorious Coming. We are given the very same message in other Books of the New Testament as well. Consider these verses:
"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Mark 8:38, KJV
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
Romans 1:16, KJV
"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
2 Timothy 1:12, KJV
"For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,"
Hebrews 2:11, KJV
Rather than be ashamed, and try to hide our light under a bushel, the Scriptures admonish us to do the exact opposite. That is, we are to boldly preach the Gospel, exactly as the First Century Apostles and Disciples did, as we can see by verses such as the following:
"Now when they saw the BOLDNESS of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus . . . And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all BOLDNESS they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with BOLDNESS."
Acts 4:13, 29-31, KJV
"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."
Acts 5:29, KJV
"But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached BOLDLY at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake BOLDLY in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him."
Acts 9:27-29, KJV
"Long time therefore abode they speaking BOLDLY in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands."
Acts 14:3, KJV
"And he began to speak BOLDLY in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."
Acts 18:26, KJV
"And he went into the synagogue, and spake BOLDLY for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God."
Acts 19:8, KJV
"Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more BOLDLY unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,"
Romans 15:15, KJV
"And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth BOLDLY, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."
Ephesians 6:19-20, KJV
"According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all BOLDNESS, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death."
Philippians 1:20, KJV
"For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible."
2 Corinthians 10:10, KJV
"So that we may BOLDLY say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
Hebrews 13:6, KJV
"Quench not the Spirit."
1 Thessalonians 5:19, KJV
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, KJV
So as you can see, if we behave like sluggards, sloths and unfaithful servants; and if we try to conceal our spiritual light under a bushel because we are ashamed of our faith in the Lord; Jesus will most assuredly be ashamed of us as well at His Coming. To the contrary, if we are burning embers for the Lord who boldly preach the Gospel of Salvation, neither will Jesus be ashamed of us when He returns. In fact, in the following two verses, the Apostle Paul informs us that if we believe in Jesus, we will not be ashamed:
"As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
Romans 9:33, KJV
"For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
Romans 10:11, KJV
Why is Paul so confident that we will not be ashamed if we believe in Jesus? The answer lies in the fact that we have what the Apostle Peter refers to as "a more sure word of prophecy", as we see by this verse:
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:"
2 Peter 1:19, KJV
As you can see, that word of prophecy assures us that "the day star" -- Jesus Christ -- is coming -- the day dawn -- and will arise in our hearts. The Apostle Paul was obviously aware of this marvellous prophecy that is found in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah. In the prophecy, Jesus advises us to wait for Him. Thus, with good reason Paul could tell his readers with such confidence that we "shall not be ashamed". Consider the following verses which prove this point:
"Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me."
Isaiah 49:22-23, KJV
I find it interesting that the previous verse from Paul's Epistle to the Romans where he informs us that we shall not be ashamed comes right after a pair of verses with which many Christians are familiar. In fact, these verses concern our Salvation, and boldly proclaiming the Christian Gospel. I am including all three verses together below, so that you can clearly see that what Paul is actually saying is that if we believe in our hearts, and boldly confess our faith in Christ with our mouths, we will not be ashamed, because He is coming back for us:
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
Romans 10:9-11, KJV
So, it does not matter what nonbelievers say and think. As the Apostle Peter writes in his second Epistle, it does not matter in the least if they daily mock us and scoff at our beliefs, and sarcastically ask us "Where is the promise of His coming?". They can laugh at us, roll their eyes at us, and do whatever else they want. But guess what? In the end, we will have the last laugh. Why? Because we have "a more sure word of prophecy" which tells us that we "shall not be ashamed", and that is good enough for me! How about you?
Thus, it should be evident to you that by boldly proclaiming our faith with our mouth -- or with the keyboard I might add -- we are truly letting our spiritual light shine before the world. We are not being sluggards, sloths and evil servants. Neither are we unwise virgins who ran out of oil. We are in fact faithful and diligent servants, and faithful ambassadors for Jesus Christ, who are actively engaged in the affairs of God's Kingdom. We are doing exactly what the Lord wants us to do; and in so doing, we are building on the right foundation -- Jesus Christ -- and performing works which will last into the next life. It is only these kinds of works which will not be burned by the Lord's fiery judgments. All others will be destroyed. Please consider the following verses:
"According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
1 Corinthians 3:10-15, KJV
In conclusion, let's all strive to be fruitful branches for the Lord in whatever ways He reveals to each of us. As the Apostle Paul explains to us in his Epistle to the Corinthian brethren, we are all different members of the same Body of Christ. Our gifts and talents may be different, but it is all the same Spirit working in us. Thus, if we are well-oiled by God's Holy Spirit, we will be "fitly joined together" as Paul also writes in the following verses:
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
Ephesians 4:14-16, KJV
With these verses I will conclude this article. I trust that you have found it informative, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life. If that is the case, please consider sharing its URL link with your online friends. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or with any other social network, I would also very much appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly! For additional info, you may want to refer to the list of resources below which were also mentioned in this series, and which are likewise located on this very same Bill's Bible Basics website:
Are You a Burning Ember for the Lord?
Study, Work and Don't Be Ashamed
Parable of the Sower: Salvation and Service
My Personal Vision and Your Challenge
Are You Just a Baby Huey?
The Only Credentials You Need
Are You Crucified with Christ?