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God's Purposes

 

By Dr. Richard Ing

June 24, 2008

 

GOD’S PURPOSES SHOULD BE OUR PURPOSES

 

God has an individual plan and purpose for the life of every Christian; but He also has a common purpose for every born-again Christian that ever lived.  That purpose and plan is the foundation for everything we do.  It is the reason why God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it.  It is the reason why God created Adam and Eve and each one of us. 


What was God’s reason?  He is looking for perfect sons and daughters in the image of His Son, Jesus.  Ro. 8:29.  Collectively, the mature, perfected Christians will make up a perfect church that will eventually become the bride of Christ throughout eternity.  (Perfect saints do not automatically become a perfect Church.)


Jesus is the firstborn of a new race of people in His image.  Ro. 8:29; Col. 1:18;  Before God brings an end to this world as we know it, He will have accomplished what He has desired deep within His heart of hearts from the very beginning.  The events about to happen at the end of the world are part of His plan and strategy to separate the chaff from the wheat.


He knows that without persecution and suffering most people will not change.  Riches and possessions lull people into complacency and lukewarmness.  The Bible says that He chastens and even scourges those that He loves, in order to perfect them.  Heb.  12:6-13. That is why the coming tribulation is a blessing to God’s people.  Many will not appreciate persecution, but it is exactly what the Church needs.  It will separate the sheep from the goats.  The true sheep will continue to trust God and will be willing to die for His great name’s sake.  The goats will fall apart and forsake Church and God.

           

THE SHORTNESS OF TIME

 

No one knows for sure when Jesus will come back and put an end to the evil of our world, but we know that time is short – perhaps three to five years before tribulation starts.  (I am not prophesying)  Therefore, our perfection must come within that period of time or soon thereafter.  The Bible calls God’s perfected ones “overcomers.”  Christian writers often use different terms such as “Woman in the Wilderness;” “God’s Army;” “The Elijah Army;”  “The Remnant;” and “the Joel Army.”  While scholars argue about what God’s Army really is, we can all agree that God is looking for His perfected sons and daughters and a perfect church.  The up side is that those that overcome in the end times will be exalted throughout eternity.  The down side is that those that fail to overcome may end up renouncing Jesus and Christianity and lose their salvation.  Rev. 14:9-11.


What if your doctor tells you and you have only six months to live?  What would you do?  What if the Lord tells you that you have only 3 years to learn how to be an overcomer and be in God’s Army, otherwise you perish?  What would you do?

 

UNITY

 

Last October, God began to speak to me about unity and integrity in the body of Christ.  In the Philippines, we had some grounds for complaining about the team.  God showed us that we needed to repent and ask forgiveness and strive to be united.  As a result, the anointing during the trip was incredible.  In addition, a trusted team member saw a huge angel holding a scroll in his hands.  It was, no doubt, the same angel that appeared to us in Lal-lo in 1998 and 2001.  He was the angel that announced that a great revival was going to start in the northern provinces of the Philippines.


We need to strive with all our hearts to not allow Satan to divide us.  We need to trust God and quickly forgive those that commit trespasses against us.  I’m speaking about the local church.  Sometimes we are quick to judge and to come to negative conclusions about people.  We need to learn how to ignore minor offenses and little things that upset us.  After all, we will be judged by God according to how we judge others.  The mercy and long-suffering we have and the forgiveness we show others will be how God will judge us.  If that is so, we should be very forgiving and loving.

 

LOVE

 

The Lord spoke to me about how Jesus declared that the great commandment is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  Mt. 22:36-40.  Perfection in Jesus Christ requires perfect love.


God’s love is far higher than ours.  Our kind of love is very shallow and fragile.  Most of us don’t even care about others.  We give lip service about the poor people in the Philippines that died in a recent typhoon and ferry boat sinking.  We shed crocodile tears, but ten minutes later, it is business as usual.  We say nice things and sympathize with the thousands of Chinese that were killed and devastated in the recent earthquakes in China.  One week later, we don’t even remember it.  Truth be told, we are unmoved in our hearts and minds and give only token acknowledgement.  We have no idea how low our level of love is.


What would it cost you to get out of the safety zone that you have built for yourself all these years?  Would you be willing to love those that hate you or bless those that curse you?  Jesus said,

 

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you . . . For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye” do not even the publicans the same?  And if you salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?  Do not even the publicans so?  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.  Mt. 5:44, 46-48.

 

In verses 39 – 42, the Lord said,


But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.  And whoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away”

 

Truth be told, we love ourselves and our comfortable lives far more than we love God and fellow man.  We cannot even love our fellow Christians, much less our enemies.

           

We should strive to love our brothers and sisters in the Lord, especially those that have offended us.  Don’t let the devil take them.  Fight for them.  It is not a matter of right or wrong.  It is a matter of righteousness and love.  One can be right and unrighteous at the same time.  One of my sons was driving late one night and was making a right turn into a major boulevard.  Someone three lanes to his left suddenly cut across and made a right turn in front of him that almost caused an accident.  My son honked his horn and yelled at the man.  On the way home, the Lord spoke to him and said, “Son, you may have been right, but you were unrighteous.” 


Sometimes, Christian brethren sin against us or offend us.  You can be right in terms of their bad behavior, but tearing them down or dismissing them can make you unrighteous at the same time.  One can correct, chasten and even dismiss them in love.  It is a matter of the heart.


Love and restore those that fall away.  Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”   What is the law of Christ?  It is the law of love.

           

Love will definitely be something that God will look for in His children.  Those that are in His image will love a lot.  After all, God is love.  1 Jn. 4:8, 16.

           

Love has to be the greatest characteristic of all those that desire spiritual perfection in Christ.  In the end of the age, “. . . because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”  Mt. 24:11.  God is going to separate the sheep from the goats and love will be one of His tests.

 


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