Sound The Alarm

Mark Office

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Joel 2:1 (NLT)

Sound the alarm in Jerusalem! Raise the battle cry on my holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the LORD is upon us.

In my nearly 20 years of ministry I’ve never really considered myself a “Hell, Fire, and Brimstone” preachers. My preference has always been to focus on God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. However, there are times when we need to warn people that a life of sin results in some dire consequences. For example a life of alcohol and drug abuse can have some substantial effects to our bodies. Yet there are other ramifications to a life of sin, and there are eternal. It’s a nice thought that all of us no matter what we do in our lives we go to heaven when we die, but the Bible paints for us a completely different picture. Scripture is very clear that a life filled with sin and rebellion against God results in an eternity in hell. Now I know that people don’t life to hear about hell, nor do they want to talk about it, but it is a reality for those who refuse to repent of their sins and accept Jesus as their Savior. Another thing that Scripture is clear about is that we as believers have a responsibility to warn people about hell. For example, the Prophet Ezekiel tells us, “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ 11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die” (Ezek. 33:10-11). Just a few verses before this the Lord warns Ezekiel the consequences for him if he doesn’t tell them, “Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. 8 If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 9 But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself” (Ezek. 33:7-9). So we as believers have a responsibility to warn others about the consequences of not accepting Christ. Are you being a faithful messenger of God’s truth?

 

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Dealing With The Problem

Mark Office

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Romans 6:23 (NLT)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

 In his book I Surrender, Patrick Morley writes that the church’s integrity problem is in the misconception “that we can add Christ to our lives, but not subtract sin. It is a change in belief without a change in behavior.” He goes on to say, “It is revival without reformation, without repentance.” The sure test of the quality of any supposed change of heart will be found in its permanent effects. ’By their fruits you shall know them’ is as applicable to the right method of judging ourselves as of judging others. Whatever, therefore, may have been our inward experience, whatever joy or sorrow we may have felt, unless we bring forth fruits meet for repentance, our experience will profit us nothing. Repentance is incomplete unless it leads to confession and restitution in cases of injury; unless it causes us to forsake not merely outward sins, which others notice, but those which lie concealed in the heart; unless it makes us choose the service of God and live not for ourselves but for Him. Do you have a hold on the sin in your life or does it have a hold of you?

In Christ,

Pastor Mark