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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  • Mar4Fri

    Lent 2022 - Day 3: "Prepared"

    March 4, 2022

       John the Baptist came calling for repentance in the wilderness, preparing the way for the Lord, and making straight paths for Jesus. John’s father Zechariah was told Luke 1:16 “He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Jesus said Matthew 11:10 “This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.” Not only are we supposed to be prepared for the Lord’s return to take us to eternity, but we are also called to live holy lives until that time comes. 2 Peter 3:11 “You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” Along with John, the church was also supposed to prepare the way. Paul said Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” The church was to continue in this calling but sadly many are still infants sucking on the bottle and are being tossed back and forth because of deceitful scheming. Hebrews 5:12 “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.”  

          The church was supposed to look just as Jesus showed us in the gospels. John needed to know for sure that Jesus was the Messiah, so from prison John sent his disciples to Jesus Matthew 11:3 “to ask him, Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Jesus basically said of course I am the Messiah; look and see. John had to decide to believe and even Mary the mother of Jesus had to come to terms with who Jesus was and she waited as directed. Acts 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” The answer Jesus gave to John should send us to our knees because the church looks nothing like the answer Jesus gave; even though it should. The church should be repenting but due to deception, delusion, stubbornness, and a lack of knowledge, most will not repent and will perish.

        When John was preaching, he said to those listening. Matthew 3:10 “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.” The baptism of the Spirit was where the power would come from. People were being baptized by John for the forgiveness of sins but there was more. Later we saw Paul tell some disciples Acts 19:2 “and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.” 

        Most people in the church are content with John’s baptism and a lack of power. They think they have all they need, yet there is no power, so they are missing the power of the Holy Spirit coming on them, even though they say they have the Spirit. The lack of power says otherwise. Because of a lack of true repentance, power is missing from the church. People are not repenting because they think they have all they need, but that is the deception. The axe is still at the root of the tree. Many people think they have remained, but they have not as they have followed other gospels. Jesus said John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Jesus also said  when Matthew 13:36 “His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

        If the church had remained, the church would be as Jesus showed it could be when clothed with power from on High. The church would look like this. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” And would look like this! Acts 8:5 “Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” The church does not look like this, so the church must repent and turn from its wicked, empty and powerless ways. Amos 5:4 “Seek me and live. 6 Seek the Lord and live, or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire; it will devour them, and Bethel will have no one to quench it. 14 Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. 15 Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.” 

        The church has given itself a false sense of security. People have given their lives to their doctrines and theology they have created to make themselves feel secure, but the problem is Proverbs 9:18 “little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.” As Amos said most in the church say the Lord Almighty is with them but when you follow other gospels, that can’t be. The only option is to turn back to God’s word and live. The church was to continue in John’s crying out as we were supposed to make ready a people for the Lord. We were supposed to continue as Paul said, Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” This can only happen if we follow God’s word wholeheartedly. Isaiah 30:15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” How will you respond? Now it is the church who must cry out for mercy. You can choose this day to repent and see the kingdom come near just as Jesus said it would or you can continue in arrogance like the enemy and be cut down and thrown into the fire. Isaiah 10:33 “See, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will lop off the boughs with great power. The lofty trees will be felled, the tall ones will be brought low. 34 He will cut down the forest thickets with an ax; Lebanon will fall before the Mighty One.” Ezekiel 17:24 “All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.” Ezekiel 31:3 “Consider Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest; it towered on high, its top above the thick foliage. 10 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height, 11 I gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside, 12 and the most ruthless of foreign nations cut it down and left it.” Isaiah 2:17 “The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” Are you prepared to meet Jesus face to face? Don’t wait till it is too late.