Tag Archive | Eternal Life

The Music of “LIFE” Series ~ When He Shall Come/ Will Jesus Find Us Watching?


Ephesians 5:19 – “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

The Music of “LIFE” Series:

When He Shall Come/ Will Jesus Find Us Watching?

or

“Here Comes the Bride”

We who name the name of Jesus as Savior, Jesus as The Christ, have this hope, this expectation, this promise, that Jesus will return for His Bride, the Church. 

2 Thessalonians 1:10-12 says this:

“When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.  Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power.  That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

It gives us comfort and a settled peace in knowing that one day we will be with Him forever.  As He has promised “all tears shall be wiped away” and all the cares and issues of this present life will be of little consequence, ‘When He Shall Come’.

      Verse 1 :           When He shall come, resplendent in His glory,

                                   To take His own from out this vale of night,

                                   O may I know the joy at His appearing—

                                   Only at morn to walk with Him in white! 

      Verse 3:             When He shall call, from earth’s remotest corners,

                                    All who have stood triumphant in His might,

                                    O to be worthy… then to stand beside them,

                                    And in that morn to walk with Him in white!

 We have this promise and desire to be with Him when He calls, to see Him as He is!

To rejoice with others who make up the Bride of Christ, and await all that  Christ has said and promised, will come to pass.  But, the question is ‘Will Jesus Find Us Watching?

      Verse 1:              When Jesus comes to reward His servants,

                                    Whether it be noon or night,

                                    Faithful to Him will He find us watching,

                                    With our lamps all trimmed and bright?

      Verse 2:              If, at the dawn of the early morning,

                                    He shall call us one by one,

                                    When to the Lord we restore our talents,

                                    Will He answer you—“Well done”?

  Matthew 25:1-13  gives us an account of The Parable of the Ten Virgins:

1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their   lamps, and  went forth to meet the bridegroom.

2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

3  They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them.

4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

9  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him in the marriage: and the door was shut. 

11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

From verse 1 we see that there are ten virgins who go to meet the Bridegroom. 

Ryrie notes that “the virgins represent the professing Jewish remnant on earth at His return.”

In this Parable of the Ten Virgins, the setting is the time of the Lord’s return to reward His faithful servants and to take vengeance against those who are not faithful.

Those of you who are familiar with the story know that this parable teaches we must be prepared for the Lord’s coming; we must be “watchful”, as it says in verse 13.  Not everyone that names the name of Christ is part of His Bride.  Only those who have received Jesus as their Savior; those who have acknowledged and confessed they are sinners and have repented of their sin and have turned the control of their lives over to trusting their lives to Jesus because they believed and accepted His shed blood at Calvary was for their sin.  Jesus Christ’s finished work paid for our sin in full.  Having made this declaration, we are born-again and have received the Spirit of Christ.  Our lives as newborns is one where we live as unto Christ and await His return.

At this juncture, let me just inject this:  what are YOU trusting in to go to Heaven; to be with the Lord Eternally; to be with the Lord forever and ever?  Are you trusting in your religion?  Are you trusting in your good deeds?  Are you trusting that you ‘do the best that you can’?  Are you trusting in that you are ‘not as bad as’ someone else?  If this sounds to you, like what you are thinking and what you are trusting in…I am sad to tell you that this is not what God’s Word says is ‘good enough’.  It is not what God’s Word says He wants of you and me.  He has told us in no uncertain terms in His Word, the Bible, that the only acceptable way to be with Him in Heaven Eternally is through Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross.  It is a matter of faith and trust in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.  A matter of turning over your will to His will and living for the Lord Jesus Christ.  And, THAT is the good news!  It is something that as you are reading this, right now, you can change.  Stop trusting in what you think you can do and trust in Christ and what He has already done!

In our walk of faith, our attitude is to be one of expectation and vigilance; one of watchfulness; one where we focus on Eternal things until He does returns.

What then?  Can we reap in Eternal benefits and enjoy a life of God’s blessing without accountability or responsibility thereafter?  This is not what Jesus had in mind when He told us to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” – Philippians 2:12b.

I Thessalonians 5:6 tells us to not “sleep as do others; but let us watch and be sober”.  We need to be alert and watching for the enemies of our salvation; we need to be edifying one another.  If we will get up and dust off our spiritually sluggish ways we will find, as it says in Ephesians 5:14, “Christ shall give thee light.”  We are not left as orphans, alone, to ‘figure it out’…Christ’s light will illumine us, if we will get up!  Get going! Redeem the time!  “Lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.” as it says in Mark 13:36.

Will Jesus Find Us Watching?

      Verse 3:              Have we been true to the trust He left us?

                                    Do we seek to do our best?

                                    If in our hearts there is naught condemns us,

                                    We shall have a glorious rest.

 

      Verse 4:             Blessed are those whom the Lord finds watching,

                                    In His glory they shall share;

                                    If He shall come at the dawn or midnight,

                                    Will He find us watching there?

 

The world sings:  “Here Comes the Bride, all dressed in white…”

Our hope and expectation as believers and the Bride of Christ as we await His return as we read in verse 3 of ‘When He Shall Come’:

                                    When He shall call, from earth’s remotest corners,

                                    All who have stood triumphant in His might,

                                    O to be worthy… then to stand beside them,

                                    And in that morn to walk with Him in white!

Thank you for stopping by Beyond the Strait Gate today.  I hope that this short post was a blessing to you and if it was, it would be most encouraging to hear how God is working by you leaving a comment.    If you would like to be alerted to the next post, and have not yet done so, please subscribe in the column to the right where it says: SUBSCRIBE.  You will be alerted by email of the latest post.  Feel free to share and invite your friends who might be interested in a spiritual blog also. 

Blessings,

Mercedes

 

 

 

 

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The Music of “LIFE”: Springs of Living Waters


What a delightful picture comes to mind when I envision “springs of water”! Perhaps you can imagine with me clear, cool, refreshing water and can see in your mind’s eye God’s handiwork across His earthly canvas of bright yellows, red, pinks, blues and greens with the wafting scent of delicious aromas perfuming the air…it’s spring! Living in the northeastern part of this country, there are many who are anxiously awaiting these beauteous and delicate visions of delight. The calendar indicates that March 20th is labeled the “first day of spring”, however, it may be a while before we can see that first crocus pop its head up through the ground. In front of my living room window I have about 4′ of snow mounded up; it may take a while for us.

Yet, we can delight in “other things”, things that are far more important; things that are not temporary but things that are eternal. We begin with God’s Word, our first and foremost delight as we await the change of season. God’s Word is a “Spring of Living Water.” Despite our environment or our circumstances in life, God’s Word gives us direction as to how we can rejoice and claim the music of life.

Ephesians 5:19 says this: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

Yet, there is another “spring” that refreshes and it is not seasonal, nor is it temporary, but eternal. It is Living Water, and it springs from Jesus Christ, the Giver of Life. In the Gospel of John, we encounter a woman at a well who has come to draw water from a well and while she is there she encounters The One Who can giving her water; everlasting, eternal water. Receiving this “water” she will never thirst again.

John 4:1-15
Verse 7 – “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, “Give me to drink.”

Verse 10 – Jesus …said unto her, ‘If thou knewest the gift of God, and Who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water.”

Verse 14 – Jesus…said… “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Gospel song: Springs of Living Water,(Chorus)

“Drinking at the springs of living water,
Happy now am I, My soul they satisfy;
Drinking at the springs of living water,
O wonderful and bountiful supply.”

This living water, we know, speaks of Eternal Life that springs forth, abounding and continually refreshing our souls in our new life in Christ.

But what of the sinner? Can they possibly understand the concept of ‘living water’?

Evidently this Samaritan woman did not really know what Jesus was saying to her about ‘living water’. She only understood physical water; that which she could drink with a cup and satisfy her thirst for the moment. She meets Jesus at a well and hears something totally foreign to her. Living water?! Did this living water mean she would never have to come to this well again? Perhaps, she thought, ‘That would be wonderful.’ We see in verse 15 she asks Jesus for this water, thinking that the water Jesus was offering her would satisfy her physical thirst. She could only respond in this manner because this was the extent of her experience and where she was coming from. She said the same words Jesus was saying, but the intents and meanings of each of them were in complete opposition to each other: physical thirst versus spiritual thirst. She didn’t understand.

The Samaritan woman’s experience is much the same as the words in stanza 1 of this gospel song:

“I thirsted in the barren land of sin and shame,
And nothing satisfying there I found;
But to the blessed cross of Christ one day I came,
Where springs of living water did abound.”

Only Jesus has the Authority to give this gift of living water. The prerequisite for receiving living water was that we believe as stated in John 7:38, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

And, the way to receive the living water? Jesus declares in John 7:37, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.” The springs to satisfy our spiritual thirst are available, but we must needs take the action.

The Samaritan woman is interested in Jesus’ offer of living water…but, doesn’t yet understand that she must see her need for this living water. Jesus understood this…He is God, He is Omniscient and His Wisdom is perfect. She was not to receive what God was offering her without first understanding her need.

Many times we come to Jesus in prayer and ask of Him, just seeking to receive something we ‘want’, but not necessarily seeking Him. We, who are believers, should know better than to do this, but sometimes our own sinful flesh gets in the way. This Samaritan woman, because she didn’t yet have this benefit of Eternal Life, needed to see from Jesus’ perspective her need for this living water.

In the verses that follow: John 4:16-18, Jesus sets out to do this and asks her questions. Questions that bring her to full admittance that she is living in an adulterous relationship. She is a sinner. The Samaritans, as do the Jews, believe in a coming Messiah; they believe in The Christ. The Samaritan woman expresses this in verse 25: “I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things.”

Think for a moment…this woman believed in a coming Messiah and I’d imagine, she considered all the implications of what it would mean for her when He did come. Yet, her lifestyle was not lived in preparation for His coming nor in fear of His coming, but with a wanton self-interested response. We who have God, the Spirit, in us have this same choice. Knowing that Jesus will one day come as Judge, will we live in our old nature and not in the newness of life? We have God’s gift of Eternal Life and it is a ‘spring of living water’. It is an ever abounding spring that never dries up…a spring that refreshes and when we drink from His Well, our days will be filled with His grace and blessing in our lives.

In verses 28 and 29 we see the Samaritan woman’s response to her encounter with Jesus. “The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”

She left what she had in her hand, behind, and went to declare or witness to others of her encounter with Jesus. Can you hear her now…excited, declaring God’s glory and spreading the news of ‘living water’?

In the second and third stanzas of John Peterson’s Springs of Living Water he pens these words:

“How sweet the living water from the hills of God
It makes me glad and happy all the way;
Now glory, grace and blessing mark the path I’ve trod,
I’m shouting “Hallelujah” every day.

O sinner, won’t you come today, to Calvary,
A fountain there is flowing deep and wide;
The Savior now invites you to the water free,
Where thirsting spirits can be satisfied.”

These words speak well of this passage in John 4 and of the new life response of the Samaritan woman.

Do they speak well of our response to new life in our daily walk? Are we thirsty? Do we need refreshment to our souls? Are we keeping our souls alive in Him and allowing His living water to permeate every miniscule part of us, thereby having our lives blessed with His grace and. In turn glorifying our God?

Let us purpose to ‘drink’ daily at The Springs of Living Water!

Gospel Song: Springs of Living Waters,
Penned by John W. Peterson, 1950

Thank you for once again stopping by and visiting with me Beyond the Strait Gate. My heart’s prayer and goal is that the believer be encouraged by these posts and by obedience to God and His Word. If this is your first time visiting, thank you for stopping by. If you would like to be alerted to further posts, please subscribe on the right-hand side of this post where it says, “subscribe”. You will then be alerted to the new posts via email.

If this was a blessing to you, please either ‘like’ the post and/or leave a comment. Thank you. Mercedes

Gleanings from James 3 ~ Who Is A Wise Man?


It’s been a while since continuing with my Gleanings from James theme. In all honestly, I found it difficult to continue with James 3 as concerning God’s Word on “the tongue”. I found my thoughts going in so many different directions and just needed to pull away from this for a season, until now. I will be addressing this topic in this post, however, I am going to approach it by jumping over the first twelve verses of James 3 to James 3:13-18, and then referring back to the portion skipped, by applying God’s Word from the latter portion of James 3.

“Who is a wise man…”, verse 13 begins. A whole book in God’s Word, the Bible, is dedicated to truths given to us by God, that we might have wisdom…God’s wisdom. It is the book of Proverbs. Shortly, we will be referring to some of what Proverbs has to say regarding wisdom and from those verses, perhaps we, each, might be able to better determine an answer for the title of this post, for yourself.

In verse 14 of James 3, we read what wisdom is not! It is not bitter envying and strife in our hearts. Interestingly enough God’s Word goes right to the ‘heart’ of the matter: pun intended. Man may be able to discern bitterness between men when it reaches the obvious outward stages: whether by body language, insinuations, physical interaction, hurtful or slanderous words…but God sees the heart, Scripture tells us, and it is there, in that seedbed, where God’s searchlight first spies those early seedlings of bitterness. It is there, in our hearts, that we first sin against God.

Earlier, in James 1:20-22, we read “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” We deceive OUR OWN SELVES!! So it seems that no one else is deceived…not those that observe us, and in particular and foremost, not God.

Why are we so obvious to everyone? What is it that they see and know about us that we have missed? Are we so overcome with our own pride and passions that we are blind? What is it that we must do to not fall into this worldly response; this ‘trap’ that belies our identification as a follower of Jesus Christ? The Lord considers perversity as an abomination to Himself; Proverbs 3:32, “For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.”

In James 3:17 we find God’s wisdom on the matter: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

Wisdom that is “from above” will reveal and manifest itself with these fruits of righteousness…but it must have a beginning and that beginning is with God Himself. These attributes are Who He is and because He is Holy and has called His own to be holy, also, we must also respond with these same fruits of righteousness; our identification with Him.

Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy is understanding.”

That fear, is that awe, that reverence due God because He IS God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, Proverbs 3:19-20.

God embodies knowledge and understanding and if we need His wisdom, Proverbs 2:6 assures us God will give us of His wisdom, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

In our earlier study of James 1:5,6a we recall God’s Word saying, “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing waivering…”

Returning to the thought in James 3:17 concerning the fruits of righteousness which those who are exercising God’s wisdom display: pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be intreated, merciful, bearing good fruits without partiality or hypocrisy, let’s return to the beginning of James 3, where James discusses the tongue.

In James 3:5-6 James points out how small a member of the body the tongue is, yet this tiny member is very powerful; powerful enough to to set ‘a fire, a world of iniquity; it defiles the whole body; it sets on fire the course of nature; and the destructive power of the tongue comes from Hell.’ Pretty strong edict on the tongue!

James 3:8 further describes this seemingly insignificant member of the body and reveals the tongue to be ‘untameable; an unruly evil; full of deadly poison’.

This same, tiny member of the body can both bless God and curse his fellow man. James 3:10b tells us “…these things ought not so to be.” Remember how in James 1:8 we read, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” The tongue displays a ‘double mindedness’ in its use.

And then James goes on to say in James 3:2 says “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” “Perfect man” meaning, mature man; a complete man. This man has understood all that we have already said concerning a man of wisdom.

James concludes this chapter saying in verse 18, “…the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

In closing let me share one more verse from Proverbs 1:7, that you might consider the question posed as you consider and meditate on this: Are You A Wise Man?

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

The fool is interested in only following his own heart and not interested in seeking after God. His ways, he thinks, are right ways but in truth they are corrupt ways that lead to destruction both physically and spiritually. This man is always running from God and not toward God. The man that is running toward God and seeking God is ready to confess he is a sinner and ready to forsake his own way of thinking, his own way of living and repent; that is to turn from himself and his ways, to God and His ways.

When Jesus, whose birth we recently celebrated, came to earth as a babe, He came for the express purpose of fulfilling His Father’s will: to die on the cross of Calvary. It was in the shedding of His own blood for our sin that we, through His sacrifice, might gain entry into Heaven and have Eternal Life with God forever. This is God’s Mercy: giving us what we don’t deserve. It is God’s gift to us, but like any gift, we must receive it by faith. It is the only way to gain access to Heaven, according to God’s Word; John 14:6.

Will you accept the gift of Eternal Life God is offering you?

Are you a wise man?

Thank you for stopping by Beyond the Strait Gate. Please consider signing up in the right-hand column to be alerted of new posts. Also, if you would like to comment, I look forward to hearing from you.

Blessings,
Mercedes

Passion Week: Is It Nothing to YOU? – Part 2, He Took My Place, And Yours, Too!


“Who His own Self bare our sins in His own body on the tree,…that we,…should live unto righteousness by Whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray;…”
I Peter 2:24-25a KJV

Today, commonly known as Good Friday on the Christian calendar may, for some, mark the nearing of the end of a period of sacrificial abstinence. For others, it may be a day off from school or perhaps a half day of work and the beginning of a weekend filled with Easter egg hunts, family gatherings with sumptuous meals to celebrate…Uh, WHAT EXACTLY ARE THEY CELEBRATING? Do they know? And, for others, it is the reminder of the tremendous sacrifice of God, who provided a way for sinners to be brought into oneness with Him through the Cross of Jesus, the Christ.

February, the month of “LOVE”, cannot compare with the Greatest Love story given to us by God the Father, when He sent His Beloved Son to die on the cross in OUR PLACE! And, astoundingly, Isaiah 53:10 says, “…it pleased the LORD to bruise Him…” (that is, His Son, Jesus) to “make His soul an offering for sin…” Take that in for a minute! It PLEASED GOD, the Father, to bruise, Jesus, God the Son!!

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” ~ John 15:13

Jesus Christ, God the Son, gave us THE HIGHEST expression of love when He lay down His life for you and for me…ON PURPOSE!! He took OUR PLACE! He died on the cross in OUR PLACE!! Has it sunk in yet!? Jesus Christ, is the “Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world”, Rev. 13:8

Was the cross, the shedding of blood, the sacrifice really necessary? Why did Jesus willingly lay down His life for us? Was there another way…something else that could have been done to accomplish our attaining Heaven?

Let’s try to remove and peel apart the layers of all we have ever heard, ever been taught, ever imagined, ever surmised and discover for ourselves from God’s Word, the Holy Bible, to know God’s perspective concerning these questions.

We have already established from this post and previous archived posts that man is a sinner because of Adam’s sin. We are of Adam’s race and inherently, sinners. There’s nothing we can do to remove our sins: good deeds cannot make us righteous in the sight of a Holy God. He cannot look at sin and because of our sinful nature, we cannot enter into Heaven when it is our appointed time to die. We know from Old Testament Scriptures that men made sacrifices to God annually to be cleansed of their sins and sacrificed spotless, unblemished lambs. This they did year after year in hopes of pleasing a Holy God. God, made us for Himself but without a means of our being acceptable in His sight, we cannot abide with God in Eternity…our sin separates us from Him.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity (sin) of us all.” ~ Isaiah 55:6 KJV

God had HIS “PLAN” for us but only ONE, The Begotten of God: Jesus Christ, His Son, the unblemished Lamb of God could fulfill God’s purpose in bridging the path from our sinful state to His holy place. The Cross is that bridge. The Cross is that pathway to Heaven to be with God in Eternity, and Jesus, His Son, was the ONLY ONE that could fulfill His purpose for us. WE should have been crucified, but He died in our place. He Who had no sin…died for our sin. He took upon Himself, OUR SIN and hung them on the cross; the Cross, a shameful place to die! Yet, He loved us so much, that He willingly died in our place to give us a way, a means of being with God forever in Eternity…if we accept His way and His finished work on the Cross, by faith.

Why did God do it? Because of His Mercy! “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs, according to the hope of eternal life.” ~ Titus 3:5-7 God, in His Mercy, gave us what we didn’t deserve.

Because Jesus’ dying on the Cross for us is a “finished” work, meaning nothing else need be added to it, to make it complete. We do not need to add to it by doing good deeds to achieve Heaven, we need just believe in Him and His finished work as being the means of Eternity with God forever when we die. We need to confess with our mouths and hearts by a faith that believes the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross redeems us from our sin, and we will receive His gift of righteousness, because now we are in Him and He in us; all of our sins have been forgiven because the death of Christ paid for these sins fully by Jesus’ finished work.

Romans 5:17-21 says,

17. “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

18. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

19. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

20. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

21. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

I close with this question to you dear reader…WHAT IS IT TO YOU that Jesus died on the Cross for your sin and mine?

WHAT IS IT TO YOU that He took our place on the Cross?

The story doesn’t end here. Resurrection Day, some call it Easter Sunday, is yet to come. It is the day of celebrating Christ’s VICTORY over death and the cross! He lives! Jesus Himself said, “I AM the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”

What will you do with Jesus? The way to life everlasting, Eternity with Jesus Christ, is open. Will you choose life or death? We only know we have this moment right now and are not guaranteed the next moment of breath. I encourage you to choose life and to do it now, if you have never considered the choice before. Now is your opportunity for the salvation of Jesus Christ!

Author’s Note:
I am so blessed to report, thus far in the short time of this blog’s publication, Beyond the Strait Gate has been read in 14 countries throughout the world. My prayer is for God’s Word to reach “the outer most parts of the world”. If the Lord would have you to be part of reaching beyond your own Jerusalem, please forward the link to this website to those you know; to those on your salvation prayer list; to those you want to encourage.

Thank you once again for visiting Beyond the Strait Gate. I look forward to your return, if the Lord tarries. And, if you have not yet done so, please do sign up to subscribe to be alerted of the next publication.

Passion Week: Is It NOTHING to You? – Part 1, Jerusalem’s Hosanna


The title of this post is taken from John Stainer’s oratorio, The Crucifixion. The melody has been running through my head all day. Being “haunted by the tune and words, “is it nothing to you?”, I sought to find the words online and use them as the theme basis for this post and its follow-up during this particularly sacred season on the Christian calendar. We begin what is known as the ‘Passion Week’; the week leading into the passion of Christ and ultimately and gloriously culminating with His Resurrection: His victory over death and the grave.

The words that follow are from Stainer’s oratorio: Jesus is speaking. These precede a few thoughts that I will leave with you to consider, to contemplate, to meditate on, and to search out the depths of your heart and ask yourself, “Is It NOTHING to YOU?”

“Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?
Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow.
Which is done unto Me,
Wherein the Lord hath afflicted Me in the day of His fierce anger.

I laid My eternal power aside, I came from the Home of the Glorified,
A babe in the lowly cave to lie.

Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

I wept for the sorrows and pains of men,
I healed them and helped them and loved them,
But then, they shouted against Me,
“ Crucify!”

Is it nothing to you?

Behold Me and see: pierced thro’ and thro’ with countless sorrows,
and all is for you;
For you I suffer, for you I die.

Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

Oh men and women your deeds of shame,
Your sins without reason and number and name,
I bear them all on the Cross on high,
Is it nothing to you?

Is it nothing to you that I bow My Head?
And nothing to you that My Blood is shed?
Oh! Perishing souls to you I cry,
Is it nothing to you?

O come unto Me, by the woes I have borne,
By the dreadful scourge, and the crown of thorns,
By these I implore you to hear My cry,
Is it nothing to you?

O come unto Me, this awful price,
Redemption’s tremendous sacrifice,
Is paid for you.
Oh! Why will ye die?

O come unto Me!
For why will ye die?
Come to Me.”

After these words and music, the play continues thus:
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished saith,

Jesus said,
I thirst.

When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said,

Jesus said,
It is finished.

Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.

And he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

I hope you have allowed your imaginations to flow freely as you read the words of this song, the pleading of Christ for the souls of man to relinquish their sinful ways and accept His finished work of salvation for mankind.

The week leading up to the crucifixion began quite joyously, as we read in the Gospels. John 12:13-19 gives the account of a great crowd of people who had come together to celebrate the Feast of Passover in Jerusalem. Hearing of Jesus’ coming, they “took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” John 12:13, KJV. In the fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9’s prophecy, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Jesus had entered Jerusalem riding on a colt.

The people did not necessarily understand Who Jesus was,that Jesus had come to bring them salvation; that His coming was for a spiritual salvation and that the King that had come was not there to free them from the oppression of their earthly circumstances.

Verses 16-18 of John 12 clearly tells us how the crowd had heard of Jesus’ miracles, and “for this cause the people…met Him.” The crowd responded to Jesus’ works but not necessarily to Him, the Redeemer of the world Who had come to save them from their sin; the One Who would tear down the wall between their sinful souls and a Holy God. Jesus, God the Son, the Savior, the Redeemer, was God the Father’s answer to their sin problem and the only way, the only assurance of securing a place in Heaven for Eternity. This is not my opinion but clearly stated in John 14:6 where Jesus, Himself, says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” Again, a reiteration from previous posts about “Faith and Works”, works do not get us to Heaven.

How different is the world today? How may cry out to God for reasons that are personal or reasons that are selfish but never cry out to Him for the only reason for why Jesus was born? He came to die that we might live with Him eternally. See John 12:24-26.

Are we seeking Jesus? Why do we seek Him? Does our reason for seeking Him agree with His reason for coming and dying on the cross? Perhaps it is time for some self-examination and some self-evaluation for the motives for which we say, ‘we love Jesus’?

These Hosanna-sayers were not truly seeking Jesus, according to His purpose. His last invitation to accept Him and the salvation He brought them is found in John 12:35-37:

“Yet a little while is the Light with you. Walk while ye have the Light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have Light, believe in the Light, that ye may be the children of Light.” KJV

There is always a percentage of those who having heard God’s word, will believe, but are ashamed to speak up for the Name of Christ. and His Word. Why is that? They fear man, that is, their peers, family traditions, family ties and relationships, and fear, binding them, will turn coat and not take a stand. John 12:42-43 gives us such an example: “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

We cannot be “secret admirers” of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “…if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejected Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me so I speak.”
John 12:47-50 KJV

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