The “Good Ole Boy” Masquerade

A POSSIBLE YOU
FINDING GOD’S DESTINY FOR OUR LIFE
PART 33
THE “GOOD OLE BOY” MASQUERADE

We do not need to go very far to hear a person telling someone else to go to hell, or a story being told at a funeral about some good ole boy, but within the theological doctrines and philosophical worldviews, there is nothing wrong with being honest about heaven and hell and who is going where. You would not think that people who have the Bible at their fingertips and libraries of study helps would be clueless about who is saved and who is lost – but sadly that is the case. All of this is in addition to the indwelling Holy Spirit which is ready to help teach us and interpret the Holy Scriptures for us, still many people will respond to this subject by saying that no one knows another person’s heart and that we should just believe the best in everyone. This would be fine if we wanted to live in “whoville” but when we are trying to teach our children God’s absolute truth, we need to have real answers to real questions! I believe one reason that people start feeling uncomfortable about eternity is because they are not sure about their own. The way people act about their spirituality is definitely strange especially those who declare to be Christians but do not really want to act like one. As we will discover, this is not war-games where we pretend to be in a battle or a heavenly “try-out” to see who makes the team, this is spiritual reality and everything that is done or not done – is what defines who we are!

I have worked with men all my life and noticed how they act and how they respond in different situations. I am sure the attitudes are all the same with men and women as I have seen the weak being bullied and the quiet timid ones that usually end up being the followers that submit to the aggressive ones. The leaders are usually boisterous and arrogant and swelled with pride and self-confidence. This is probably due to an overactive hormone release of testosterone or maybe a strong will and charismatic personality, but whatever the case, it is interesting to listen and watch how people react to the gospel. It seems that deep within the fabric of our mentality there has always been a hesitancy to be proud and bold about God and His Word. Many that were raised in Christian homes felt the security and peace to be themselves and enjoy the contentment of family unity and love but when people leave this environment and begin to express their own identity, the Word of the Lord all the sudden is not so “cool” or comfortable. Most young men try to be tough and fearless because it seems to generate respect from both sexes but what puzzles me is how and why older men hang on to this ideology or philosophy that measures the worthiness of a man according to his strength and intimidation factors. I have seen older men, (professing Christians with families) instructing in a classroom of younger men, be perverted, childish and curse – then literally make fun of the faith with laughing and half-hearted apologies to the clergy who are present. Now brother, these are just good ole boys having fun – they do not mean any harm. Yes, I know and here we go again with trying to paint a horse to look like a zebra. We must stop playing games with God and those around us and become mature enough to understand what being a Christian is! Being a follower of Christ is not going to church on Easter and then acting like the devil all the rest of the time. I have heard many stories where people in the workplace act like heathens then are discovered to be an active member of their church. We must realize this is why the general church environment is polluted and stagnant. These “split personality” Christians are hindering the move of God because of their carnal impurity and intentional rebellion. Allow me to say that it is NOT “cool” or “cute” to be a smart-aleck rebel against God! Showing off and making fun of what is holy is very immature and deserves a trip to the woodshed. May I add that if someone is truly a Christian and has made the choice to live in the “middle of the road” the Lord is not lenient about bringing discipline. If a person can live this type of lifestyle and feel no remorse or conviction from the Holy Spirit then it is clear that the outside behavior does not match the claims of an internal transformation! Please listen to these words carefully; if no one around us would consider us a Christian – then maybe we’re not one!

Just out of curiosity, if we could ask everyone who they think is going to hell, would you not say that most people would confidently reply that all sinners end up in hell? Well, that might sound like a good answer but we may need to stop here and do a little more research about it. The old time preachers would say there are two kinds of sinners – lost sinners and saved sinners. This pretty well sums up the entire human race, and I agree this is a correct statement. Though many are saying that no one should judge another person especially where they will go after death, (and I partially agree with this position), I still believe that we should NOT walk around in confusion as to what God expects of His people or how to be aware of the lies and confusion of the devil. You see, Satan wants everyone to believe that we are all good and that it does not matter what people do or say or how they act. Now, I would like to discuss this situation with of course asking God to first help us all to see HIS interpretation about the saved and the lost.

A lost person is someone that has NOT received Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. They were born with a default spirit that needs to be redeemed and transformed by the power in the blood of Christ. These lost souls are commonly called sinners not out of disrespect or ridicule but simply because they have not been forgiven or delivered from sin. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word and when the heart is convicted this means the conscience realizes that we are heading in the wrong direction and that we need God’s love to be cleansed and saved.

A saved person has accepted the free gift of salvation which forgives their sins and changes their identity into a righteous state of being. A saved person accepts Christ as Lord into their heart to be the center of their love. As the saved person meditates on God’s Word, they are transformed into His image from the inside-out. However, being saved does not necessarily mean that a child of God will not continue to stumble and commit trespasses. Being made righteous means when God looks at our sin, He sees the covenant that Jesus established between God and man and this last will and testament backs the promises of redemption, justification and a continual forgiveness. Being born-again is being re-created as a new person that becomes convicted when they do wrong and exercises repentance while being determined to have their mind renewed and their old nature completely overhauled. Even though the newly saved person still sins, they have God now dwelling within their conscience and as promised by Christ, the Holy Spirit will guide and lead them into God’s perfect will if they choose to follow His voice.

So, we can establish the basics of the sheep and goats as; the lost have not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior which is the cause of them going to hell and the ones that have received Jesus and are born-again are “saved” by His grace and will go to heaven. Nonetheless, the concept of eternal destination is not what many people think it is because it matters not what a lost person does to try and “EARN” their way into God’s favor. The Lord has one way of fulfilling His great plan of salvation and mankind must follow His divine reality. We must remember that being bad does NOT send anyone to hell – it is not receiving Christ in our heart. Selah. The same is true with being good does not send someone to heaven; again it is whether or not Jesus is our Master. I know this sounds simple but actually it is one of the most confusing subjects of spirituality. Those who are LOST and trying to be good on their own may go throughout their entire life in a fog of deception and never understand that their world-view is wrong. We are not on a “point system” where God gives everyone credit for what they have done and will add it all together in the end for a grade. Some people actually think that if the good outweighs the bad that the Father will give them an admission ticket to paradise. It is amazing to notice that at most funerals it is usually presumed the person went to heaven and stories are told about how they would give the shirt off their back to anyone that needed it or other worthy deeds and attitudes of generosity. This may present the deceased as a giving person but it actually has no accuracy in confirming if they are saved. There are many “crafty” individuals that give charitable donations only for the prideful reason to look good in the eyes of others and it is actually common to see the lost having emotional compassion and helping others in need. We do not think about this subject or talk about it that much, but let us take a moment to recap. Number one: Hell is a place without God’s presence. Number two: God does not send anyone to hell. Number three: People do not go to hell because of what they do or do not do. And number four: People go to hell because they have NOT accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord.

If we are truly SAVED we have the presence of Jesus within us that will guide and help us in our everyday affairs. Our salvation is not based on works because our deeds could never reserve a chair for us at the table but rather our place has been guaranteed by the blood of Jesus and His covenant with us. No one is “good” and all were lost since Adam and Eve fell – BUT, Christ paid the RANSOM for the sheep and delivered the “whosoever’s” from darkness into His marvelous light. Praise God! The remnant saints will NOT be ashamed to stand for God and His Word and will NOT be intimidated when the devil tries to run them off! It is time that Christians walk boldly in the power of God’s anointing and accomplish their calling. If we ask for more faith and courage He will give it to us and we will NOT fear what man can do to us! Amen!

As we study God’s Word, pray and walk in obedience to His voice the new Christian will develop and mature into a reflection of God’s image. Even though we do not work to go to heaven, we work because we love to obey God! Selah. We do not live holy in order to earn His favor, we live pure because we love Him and want to be as close to Him as possible! When the refiner is purifying gold he knows the dross has been burned out when he can “see” his reflection in the gold and likewise we are to reflect His image in our life. We realize that we will not walk perfect all the time and are faced with trying to explain how God’s children (which are supposedly “saved” from hell) yet still sin on a regular basis? First we must clarify that we all stumble and make mistakes but this is not the same as living a deliberate intentional life of evil thoughts and deeds. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall NOT inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (womanish), nor abusers of themselves with mankind. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God.” (I Corinthians 6: 9-10) It is important to notice that the passage continues with the reminder that many people that are saved now have done these things in the “past” and even more hideous acts and deeds BUT these sins were NOT keeping them from heaven! These deeds were the result of a person NOT being born-again! We must also remember that The Lord forgives sin when there is genuine repentance but there are still consequences for our actions and those who have been forgiven may still suffer from the damages that cannot be changed. Salvation is all about God’s mercy rescuing us from destruction and is given as an expression of His love as we continue in verse 11, “And such were some of you: BUT you are WASHED, but you are SANCTIFIED, but you are JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” We also find another passage of warning found in Revelation chapter 21 and verse 8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death.” When we give our heart completely to God and are redeemed by His great sacrifice, we make a 180 turn completely in the opposite direction and do not look back! We are NOT finished or defeated because of our past. We are not to return to these sins after He washes us clean in the blood of Jesus. He is the God of many chances and is filled with pardons and liberty that can free us from the oppressive haunting and nightmares of our old life. This is the power of starting all over, a CHANGE that only Jesus Christ can bring as He receives all the glory from every transformed life.

Those who are God’s children do not want to sin in their new spiritual relationship with Christ and recognize sin as hurting and offending Him. They learn over time that His presence is the most important blessing in life and when they are dirty, there is no holy intimacy in the secret place. If those who are saved continue in their carnality He will step in and correct them as the Bible clearly teaches (which is another wonderful confirmation that we are His). “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks unto you as unto children, my SON despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him. For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every SON whom He receives. If you endure chastening (discipline), God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not?” (Hebrews 12: 5-7) In this light, it is obvious as to what is happening in an individual’s spiritual life. If someone says they are a Christian and have no evidence or demonstration, then either they are being disciplined by THE Master or being deceived by the father of all lies!

To bring a balance to our conversation, it would only make sense to admit that everyone wants to go to heaven – but very few desire to go about it the right way. People are always looking for something free because they do not want to pay for it. It is also common to not care as much about things where we do not have a personal attachment or that have not cost us dearly. For example if we were to give $20,000.00 for a bar of solid gold, we would definitely be sure to put it in a place of safety and be very careful with it. Why? Because we worked very hard for it and it is of great value to us. When we choose to abandon our will, this becomes the highest cost and sacrifice of our life; in fact it is our highest carnal treasure. If we stop and ponder this truth, we can agree how this can be measured as to how serious we are with God. In other words, if we have put very little “investment” into following Jesus, our spiritual life will have little value to us. Selah. On the other hand, those who have loved God with all of their heart, mind and strength are focused on His face because they have given everything. The ones in this life that have enjoyed this world’s pleasures but have ignored the Lord will have nothing in the end but the ones who have surrendered their will for God will be blessed with an eternal inheritance. “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called but few are chosen. “And every one that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my names sake, shall receive a hundred fold, and shall inherit ETERNAL LIFE. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” (Mathew 19:29-30)

I receive magazines that talk about the integration of spiritual ministry into the world of health care and I realize that there are many different faiths and spiritual views among those who have serious illnesses. I also understand that the “system” forces professional clergy to work within strict guidelines when it comes to respecting whatever or whoever someone considers their “higher power”. However, the point of writing a letter such as this is to NOT follow the religious/political agenda that only attempts to make people “feel” better within their emotions. The mission of God’s saints is to TELL THE TRUTH of the gospel so that people are not comforted with a generic peace as they pass away into eternal darkness. There are way too many intellectuals that are highly trained in the psychological and socially acceptable “ministry” of trying to calm people’s fears but they do NOT have a clue about the reverential fear of the Lord and His demand to obey His voice. This is another example of those who dedicate their life to trying to help people but actually will have much blood on their hands in the day of judgment. Our duty has never been to just make people “feel happy” about themselves or try to get them to see how good they have been. Our calling is to tell them that Jesus Christ is the only power that can save a soul – His Word is the only message that is true – and His salvation is the only way to heaven. I do not care how offensive, non-tolerant or rude that seems to the world, it is necessary to offend in order to convict! Smoothing the truth like spreading frosting on a cake just so that people will not become angry is actually loving our reputation more than their soul! Selah. The Lord has never been afraid to tell the truth and neither should we. “Herein is our love made perfect, that we might have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.” (I John 4:17) All Glory, Power, Honor and Praise to His name forever! Amen.

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