Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 16, 2019

“But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 5:12-16.

“At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people;  and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico.  But none of the rest dared to associate with them;  however, the people held them in high esteem.  And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them.  Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.”  Acts 5:12-16.

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Today’s Scripture details a very different time than today.  Many signs and wonders were taking place.  Believers were all with one accord.  The people held the apostles in high esteem.  At least proportionately, many more believers were constantly added.  All were being healed.

But, we should not be discouraged nor dismayed;  God is still in control and will accomplish all of His purpose.  The following Scriptures give us the following instructions and encouragement.  (Before each Scripture, I will summarize each Scripture.)

First, Scripture confirms “in the last days difficult times will come.”  Evil people “will proceed from bad to worse”.  But, we should not conform, but rather, we should continue in the Scriptures “which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,  unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;  Avoid such men as these.  …

But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”  2 Timothy 3:1-5 and 13-15.

Second, we should continue to “preach the word;  be ready in season and out of season;  reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”  “But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:  preach the word;  be ready in season and out of season;  reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;  but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.  But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:1-4.

Third, we should give thanks that God has chosen us for salvation, and that God will save all of His elect.  “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught”.

“But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.  It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.”  2 Thessalonians 2:13-15.

Fourth, we should emulate Noah.  We may not fully understand why or when these things will come to the world nor be able to save the world, but “being warned by God about things not yet seen”, we should at least prepare for the salvation of our household and live by faith.   

“By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”  Hebrews 11:7.


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