WHO DO YOU
Now you might very well say that there are plenty of carnal (non Christians) who are out there in the world unselfishly doing great things for others without recompense. And I would have to agree. There is certainly some "flesh" that is much better than other "flesh." Just like there is dirt that is much better than other dirt, which will grow a much better harvest.
What are the rewards for those who serve others so magnanimously? Anything at all? Do they get a good feeling about themselves knowing they are helping others? Do they get praise for their service? How about appreciation? What about a Heavenly reward? Perhaps they believe they will return to earth in a higher life form?
This is not to say that for whatever their reason, those gallant souls who sacrifice themselves for others are not doing a great thing for mankind. I applaud them. My question is: would they continue doing the same if that reward, whatever it may be, was short in coming or withdrawn all together?
The Old Testament Jews "Served" God faithfully as long as serving did not conflict with their personal desires. Once a conflict of interest arose, the Jews withdrew their service to God to serve other gods, or themselves, whichever they felt would bring them the most satisfaction.
There are Muslim sects who sacrifice all by blowing themselves up along with anyone they consider as enemies of God, for the sake of earning themselves a place in Heaven where they will be treated Royally.
Buddhist Monks have been known to burn their mortal bodies in protest with the belief that they will return to earth possessing a "personality(?)" that will be closer to achieving perfection.
The Japanese laborers during WW2 ran weaponless at the "enemy" knowing they would be killed having been told that by doing so they would get to Heaven.
In the history of the Church people were buying "indulgences" believing that they could sin all they want and still get to Heaven.
Human history is filled with such sacrifices - all in the name of "God."
Would you say that any of them were serving God? Or were they looking out for themselves?
Would any one of them, if they knew ("Believed") that they would go to hell rather than Heaven, do what they did?
And would you say these people had a lot of Faith? If Faith was actually a True Road to Heaven, wouldn't you say these people did indeed prove that they have Faith?
Who do you serve?
And that void might very well be a need to find God.
Whatever the reason for someone turning toward God, it will be a selfish one. And, in fact, the Bible makes it quite clear that God expects us to come for no other reason than to satisfy ourself. (Mat 6:37-38; Jer 17:7-9; Gal 5:16-18)
Why else would any of us carnal, selfish humans bother?
They now serve who they set out to serve - themselves.
Who did Jesus Serve?
Jesus owned nothing, was an outcast, healed the sick, raised the dead - washed the feet of His Disciples.
Who did Jesus Serve?
Jesus gave up his life and died the worst death imaginable, yet, as a perfect Man He was unable to die.
Why? Who for? Himself?
Who did Jesus Serve?
Did Jesus set any example of what we are to do if we are to be His disciple?
You are a church member; a very loyal and active and respected church member. In everyone's eyes, including your own, you are doing just what you should be doing.
How about in God's eyes?
Who do you serve?
Service to the Church is good. Jesus set that as an example. Service to God's people is Service to God Himself. (John 13:113-15; Gal 5:2; 1John 4:20-21)
At least it can be - if we are serving in such a way that gives God the Glory, and not ourselves. (1Cor 10:31)
What if you are serving as choir leader, or a youth Pastor - and God told you He wants you to give up that position and be the janitor instead. Could you (joyfully) give up your own glory?
What if, in your growth in the Lord, you discovered that whatever Doctrine was being preached at your church, the one you are firmly and respectably planted in, is not really the Truth as you now believe it - could you leave that church and begin all over again?
And there are plenty of churches with plush seats and worldly entertainment wherein those who seek their own comfort may find it.
Many churches (I would rather say "most") have taken a plastic overlay called Doctrine and placed it over the top of the Scriptures and softened down the Message until it serves man, and not God.
What the Bible explains, the churches explain away.
They have created a condition where everyone can do whatever they want, and still firmly believe that they will be going to Heaven.
The Church Jesus is creating is strong and Glorious, befitting the company of God.
But the churches of today are trying to turn the Body of Christ into a wimpy, marshmallow body incapable of holding up the Head of Christ.
Don't we know that if the Head is Christ, so is the Body??
Didn't Jesus say that we would be doing even more than He did? Not less!! (John 14:12-14)
Are you encouraged by your church to read the Bible in order to confirm what they have taught you it says? Or have you been instructed to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as you read and learn what God wants you to learn? (John 14:25-26)
Are you taught that Jesus is your True Shepherd and you should follow Him? Or are you told (or led to believe) that your Pastor and church is your shepherd and you should follow just their leading? (John 10:1-18)
If you feel the Lord is directing you to do more for Him, that is do more than the church says you should do, although what you desire to do is clearly defined in the Bible; does your church support your growth, or does it try to quell your enthusiasm by considering it misdirected?
Paul and the Apostles had that problem from the very beginning. And so did many, many Martyrs throughout history.
In fact, Jesus not only had the church of His day trying to stop him from doing what was His Godly duty; but even His family, who should have certainly known better, didn't believe and tried to stop Him.
It is my belief that all the Apostles would have continued to serve God even if it meant ultimately going to the same destination that all the rest of the world will be facing. They knew who they served - and why!
New converts are taught that the moment they come before the alter and say their sinner's prayer, they have received all there is to have and they are on their way to Heaven; that they are just as much a Christian as they will ever be, and just as much a Child of God as Abraham or any of the other Saints.
In your heart you know this is not true; and as you read the Word you can plainly see that vast amounts of Scripture has been skipped over in order to convince you that you are at Heaven's door, instead of the door of the sheepfold.
Jesus gave His life for His Church, that is, His body. And those who are part of His Body desire to be all that Jesus was (and is). They desire only to do His will and to please Him. His Body is not out to selfishly manipulate Him to serve them. Those who seek to satisfy themselves are not part of the Body of Christ. (Mat 7:21)
The church is a building full of selfish people who have been deluded, or have deluded themselves into believing that by being a part of that church they are better than others who belong to other churches (or no church at all); and who believe they are going to Heaven because of their self-righteousness and imagined favor with God.
The problem is not always behind the pulpit, but very often the problem is that the pews are filled with tares with just a sprinkling of heathy Spirit-Filled wheat.]
For more, check out "serve" and "overcome" in a concordance, or see the study "Overcomer" on this website.
10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Mat 4:10)
24No 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. (Mat 6:10)
24Verily, 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. 25He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. (John 12:)
9For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; (Rom 1:)
4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: (Rom 6:6)
24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Rom 7:)
What Paul is saying is his flesh continues to serve the Law of sin, that is all the temptations and restrictions that flesh must endure. He is not justifying sin, as the Scriptures above and following this one clearly indicates.]
12Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb 9:)
28Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29For our God is a consuming fire. (Heb 12:28)
These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (Rev 7:)
3And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (Rev 22:)
30A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this. (Ps 22:30)
37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Mat 6:)
7Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. 9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jer 17:7-9)
2Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5For every man shall bear his own burden. 6Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Gal 6:)
1I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:)
19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Rom 1:)
17These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (2Pet 2:)
3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (2Pet 3:)
15To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. 17But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. (Jude)
16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (Gal 5:16-18)
2Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Gal 5:2)
20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1John 4:)
13Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (John 13:13-15)
31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1Cor 19:31)
12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:)
25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:)
1Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. 7Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:)
12Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21Not 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. 22Many 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? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Mat 7:)
24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. 31Another 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: 32Which 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. 33Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. 34All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 35That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. 36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Mat 13:)
6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Heb 11:6)
14Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; (Heb 12:)