|Saturday, March 14, 2020|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Heb 12:24
In Heb 12:14 God emphatically says you will not see Him without holiness.
Many think it is a joke. But God is not a joker. Why do they think he is a joker?
Because right now even though they are not living in holiness they get God’s ‘attention’ God’s goodies. Their needs are met. Things are working for them spiritually, socially, financially and academically. Simply put they prosper. Even though they live unholy lives it appears to everybody as though they are making progress. Consider the spiritual perspective; many tell lies to get a job, get a favour , get permanent stay as refugee claimant in a country. They tell lies and get that big contract and give testimony in church, even paid tithe and gave generous offering. Some sleep with someone and secure a job and share impressive testimony. Many cheat to pass exam and secure admission or get promoted and pray that their wishes will be granted and it was so. Many steal government funds and still believe they are doing God’s bidding. Some take bribe or give bribe to secure a favour. They know these are unholy acts, the attitude is who cares or more soberly God understands. Holiness does not seem to have any immediate bearing. Some can evil argue who on earth can live a holy life?
Many so called ministers are living unholy lifestyles, doing fake miracles and they seem to be getting away with it. The crowd is there. Money is coming. Fame is growing. They have connections to the high and mighty in the society and in the government yet, they sleep around with church members. Some use charms to manipulate the people even if they are not involved in voodoo or occultic powers and they get to the pulpit and pray in the name of Jesus, miracle still happen. What they don’t realize is that the miracle is synonymous with the name of Jesus. Power for miracle is in the name of Jesus. You don’t need to be a Christian to do a miracle in the name of Jesus .
I recall the testimony of one my mentors when we were in college. He told us how he had preached and a Muslim girl gave her life to Christ. The next day, the lady came back requesting that this brother should pray for her. The brother asked her to narrate the problem. When the brother heard the problem, he said he was afraid. He could not imagine how God will solve the problem. However, he summoned up courage, told the girl to close her eyes and he closed his. He said he just started the prayer and said “In the name of Jesus” all of a sudden he heard a loud voice, the lady fell down under the anointing. That was the end of that problem! I heard another story of an unbeliever who was totally drunk. Then in his stupor as he was staggering home a tall dark figure like a demon appeared to him and he shouted “get out out of the way in the name of Jesus”. And the figure disappeared immediately.
The name of Jesus has inherent power of its own. Whether a child or an adult strikes a match it is irrelevant. The fire will break out. It is the power given to phosphorus! Knife must cut things. Cutlass must cut things. Gun kills. Any one that strikes a stone against a stone will bring fire out . The power is in the stone. That power is in those items not in the user. Man or woman, boy or girl , saint or sinner. It has nothing to do with the person. That is why the bible says in my name you will cast out devils. The power to cast out devils is in The name of Jesus not the carrier. In Phil 2: 9-10“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth”
The power is in the name not in the user.
The user is using the name to provide service to humanity .
It is the same process when it comes to salvation: People get saved not because of the eloquence of the Evangelist or the preacher, it is in the name : “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved “Acts 4:13
Holines will however matter at the gate of heaven. That is where the holiness test will take place. That is where every service will be tested. As it is written: Matt 7:21-23. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.“
Some people reading this will ask so where does grace come in, are we not save and sustain by grace- you are, but let me help you to understand the limit of grace-“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein”Rom 6:1-2. Grace does not take away your choice to live holy or not! When a company employs you and gave you your entitlements, yet you go and steal, when you are caught you suffer the penalty.It is consequence of your choice not the employment letter!
Sometime last year as part of my assignment in a Leadership course at Tyndale University, I watched a video on emotional intelligence by Daniel Coleman. He was speaking to the staff of Google employees.
He said something very profound. He said all of you that are working in this company have something in common - high IQ. That none of them would have gotten to that place without that basic prerequisite. But that what will make a difference going forward is their measure of emotional intelligence - their ability to relate well . The significance of that to the body of Christ is that you did not qualify to become a Christian without the measure of grace based on what Christ did for you at Calvary. Jesus paid the price for your sin. But what takes you further in the sight of God, your equivalent of emotional intelligence will be your measure of holiness.
According to Matt 7:21-22 what will flung the gate of heaven for you is not the service ( the acts you perform in the name of Jesus ) but your holy living. That is why Heb 12:14 - will make meaning to the body of Christ - without holiness no man will see the Lord( in heaven).
My prayer is that we shall walk and work in holiness, serve God and make heaven . Is holiness important- Yes!