“No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it. All this I observed while applying my heart to all that is done under the sun, when man had power over man to his hurt.”
There is no way for man to “retain the spirit” or to keep himself alive in the ways that are followed by man, by his own strength. These ways are “under the sun” as Solomon calls them in Ecclesiastes, and are inferior to the supernatural ways of God. Let’s contrast this with Jesus’ words to his disciples in Matthew 10:8, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.”
We see that Jesus gave authority to accomplish God’s purpose here on earth which was not possible in human ability.
Let’s thank the Lord for his amazing intervention in the course of history, not only doing what was necessary for us to have the ability to find him, but also attracting us to his goodness by giving gifts through those who would move in faith.
Why is it we see that people are coming to repentance in the Bible, but we don’t see that happening in our world today? They preached to a different group of people, to a harvest that was ripe, but it looks like we don’t have that ripe harvest. I choose to believe that the Harvest is truly ripe, but perhaps well-meaning evangelistic types have told people that they are saved when they have yet to repent, never having experienced grace’s freedom from sin. Back in the New Testament Church they had Judaism and the law, just as we have Christianity and the sinner’s prayer*. So what really is the difference in the harvest today, and must we complain?
Will we preach the uncompromised gospel to the ends of the Earth to the ends of ourselves without apology? Will we cast out demons without hesitation, and will we persist as we grow in proficiency? Will we make disciples who do the same? What are we willing to give up, and what are we not willing to give up for the sake of the Gospel, for the sake of freedom from sin?
Will we keep our Focus on the King of Kings and the Lord of lords from the beginning of our day to the end? What will it take to keep us from falling to the world’s thought patterns?
We need to present a clear difference between Pharisaical rules and Godliness. God’s holiness was the fire by night and cloud by day in the wilderness, the acceptance of Jesus to the tax collectors and prostitutes, but the whip of cords to the money changers in the temple and the harsh words to the pharisees.
We are raising up a standard for all to look to, but if we present a gospel that starts with works it is nothing different from anyone else’s false gospel. We must have something setting us apart from the cults, not just doctrinal difference; we need some thing or things that are inherently and obviously different, and I see the primary two things of differentiation being the LOVE and the POWER of MIRACLES to prove the word which we speak. We could also add the biblical discipleship model, though that isn’t going to likely be initially visible, but the model’s basis is in love demonstrated.
(These are my thoughts on a specific matter, posted for consideration and input. These things are why I appreciate the TLR format to such a degree.)