Paul the apostle said that when the fulness of the Gentiles have come in, Israel will receive her salvation. So, has the fulness of the Gentiles come in yet? If by this we mean that have all the Gentiles who are meant to be saved saved, then the answer is ‘no’. The gospel is still making its way westward around the globe and it is almost at its journey’s end: Jerusalem, where it started more than two thousand years ago. Between where it is now and Jerusalem stands the nations with the highest concentration of Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. I’m sure you’ve already guessed it. The nations I’m referring to are Japan, Korea, China, India, and the Arab nations. In its final lap, the gospel will sweep through these regions quicker than anyone can say “Praise the Lord”. Traditional missionary methods will not be employed in reaching the people in these nations. No. They will be reach supernaturally through signs and wonder, and divine visitations by the Lord Himself in dreams and visions. Already, thousands have come to faith in Him this way. This said, the final lap could be completed in within as short a time period as a decade, or a little more.
Why am I telling you this? With the time remaining (supposing that I am right), what should every Christian be doing? Knowing that the end is really near, we cannot go on ‘business as usual’. My heart is heavy as I write this because I fear that many who call themselves Christians are living a lie. They think they are Christians but could very well be surprised at the end. Jesus has given us ample warnings of this. For example, He said that not every one who calls Him “Lord, Lord!” will enter the Kingdom of God. That’s us He is talking about and I include myself in it. Whatever I am about to say to you, I am saying it to myself too for I too must work out my salvation with fear and trembling.
As the end approaches – even races towards us – God is beginning to take stock of His people, as seen in the book of Revelation. He looks at His church(es) and evaluates them. Then He gives to each one a report, telling them the good they have done as well as the areas they need to grow in. If this is what God is doing, shouldn’t we be doing the same? Shouldn’t we be asking and waiting to receive our report cards? Shouldn’t we be eager and anxious to know where we are falling short? It cannot be ‘business as usual’.
Jesus also spoke about the “tares” that the enemy has planted among the “wheat”. The tares are the fake believers, while the wheat are the true believers. But it is almost impossible to differentiate between the two..for now. Only angels, who will be sent to harvest the earth at the end, will be able to tell the difference. This means that in the meantime we must not judge one another. We must, however, work out our salvation with fear and trembling to make our election sure. That is to say, we must find hard evidence that we have indeed been Born Again.
Too many Christians take it by faith that they have been born again. We are born again by faith, but those who have been born again will display signs of their new life in Christ. Here, I will state just a few of them.
Those who have been born again will have the Holy Spirit. And where the Holy Spirit is there is liberty (2 Cor 3:17).
Those who have the Holy Spirit will know God, even the deep things of God (1 Cor 2:10).
Those who have the Holy Spirit will have the conviction of sin (John 16:8).
Those who are born again will be spiritually minded (Rom 8:6).
Those who are born again are new creations (2 Cor 5:17).
Those who are born again do not sin continually (1 John 3:9).
God is a Person and therefore is capable of having a personal relationship with Man. He not only is capable of it, He is in fact desirous of it. Yet, it is my fear that many are not in a direct and personal relationship with their God. As I talk with Christians, they seem to be relating to God through a proxy – for example, the church or a Christian mentor. Church attendance has become important to them because it gives them the sense of being “connected” with God and His Body. But, truth be told, many who might be attached to the Body are neither moved by the impulse of the head (Christ) nor receive the life-flow of the heart (the Holy Spirit). They are indeed a withering limb that will very soon fall off.
They have substituted hearing God for themselves with hearing the sermons (which might or might not be inspired by God). Many have asked me to teach them to hear the voice of God. I say, “Does an infant need to learn to hear? They were born to hear. It is a fact that a child’s sense of hearing is fully developed within a month of being born.” Hence, the hard truth is: you will be able to hear God’s voice if you are truly Born Again.