The ROCK
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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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  • Aug28Sun

    Sermon: "No Regrets"

    August 28, 2022

        To regret “is to have a feeling of sadness or disappointment, which is caused by something that has happened or something that you have done or not done.” You may have said something you regretted, or you bought a car that you regretted, and that list could go on and on. I have purchased a few vehicles I definitely regretted but also those I did not regret one bit. Many people have made decisions and some of those decisions are life changing that they regret and decisions they have not regretted. Last week I talked about being frustrated enough to make the necessary changes, which is to repent from our wicked ways and return to God’s word. Repentance is not submitting to a church’s doctrines or theology but turning from our own ways to the only way, truth and life. As Paul said Acts 24:14 “I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” I want to look at living a life with no regrets. No, I am not talking about purchasing cars but making the decision to follow God’s word wholeheartedly with no regrets. Making the decision to live wholeheartedly before God is most important decision of your life but there is a cost. Luke 14:25 “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.” Even though there is a cost, God will bless you for making that decision to carry your cross. Mark 10:29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” If the church would actually turn back to God’s word, you would have no regrets.

        When I turned back to God’s word, I had no idea what that would involve, nor did I know the journey I would take, nor did I know the perseverance it would take to continue following God’s word faithfully and growing, but that tells you I did not know the bible very well before the start of that journey. What I did know is that something changed within me. Yes, I was raised in the church, but I firmly believe I would not have received the gift of eternal life if I had stayed on that path. Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” Most Christians do not have a clear understanding of what it means to be a Christian. When a trial comes their way, they don’t know how to handle it and some will turn away. Luke 8:13 “Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.” Hebrews 3:7 “So, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” Hebrews 12:5 “And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” The feel-good religion being taught does not make room for the Lord’s discipline nor does it count the cost. Like Job’s experience with His friends and family, they thought he was sinning because of the trouble that came to him. They would later learn that Job was a faithful servant of God. Job 42:11 “All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.”

        The bible is clear that there will be discipline, trials and testing and perseverance will be required for those who have decided to follow wholeheartedly. Most Christians do not want to go through this testing. This is why most have bought into cheap grace and enjoy the non-repentant life. We are told James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 1 Peter 1:6 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith.” Paul said 1 Corinthians 4:1 “This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” If God is going to use you, He will test you. Genesis 22:1 “Some time later God tested Abraham.” Luke 4:1 “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.” We even see that there will be persecution. 1 Thessalonians 3:2 “We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. 4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.” Luke 6:26 “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.” 2 Thessalonians 1:4 “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” John 15:20 “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” God will bless your perseverance. James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” Luke 6:22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. 23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.” Hebrews 10:35 “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” We saw God’s blessing with Job. James 5:11 “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

        The problem is the Christianity I grew up with was void of the Spirit, powerless and empty and was more about going to church and trying to be a good person. I saw the pendulum swing from legalism to almost anything goes. I think if most people were honest with themselves, they would admit they struggle with Christianity and for good reason because what you read in the Gospels and Acts is basically non-existent in the church. They try hard but fail or they deceive themselves by keeping busy so that it looks like they are actually doing something but meanwhile the church gets further and further from the truth. What you don’t see is God moving in power and confirming His words by the signs that accompany them. Mark 16:16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” We have all grown up in the made-made church and have followed other gospels which are void of the power of the Holy Spirit. The church is still deserting God’s word as Paul described in Galatians. Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” Because the church has rebelled, this means God has turned His face from us. Daniel 8:12 “Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.” Satan has been allowed to destroy the church. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” The only way for God to turn His face back, is for the church to return to His word, although most Christians don’t think they ever left. Yes, you may have been told when you were baptized you were filled with the Holy Spirit and secure for all eternity and because you have gone to church your whole life. You may have prayed a prayer and thought you were sealed with the Spirit, but you also probably failed to ask where is the power of the bible? Luke 13:24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” Matthew 7:14 “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” The deception is that many who think they are Christians are not. Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” 

        Yes, you were also probably told that God doesn’t do miracles, signs or wonders anymore or Jesus was God which is why all those signs, wonders and miracles happened and we cannot expect that same power in our day. Don’t be deceived by the charismatic version of signs, wonders and miracles. Or you may have been told that signs and wonders, miracles are from the devil. Most have not tested the spirits, nor have they searched for truth. 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” They just accepted the fact that this pathetic, powerless and empty version of Christianity is all there is, and how the church is supposed to be. They accepted that because they accepted the teaching of the Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Reformed etc., and believed they would be okay eternally, thus the deception. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” Again, there is no such thing as a denominational Christian. The same goes for independents who say they are non-denominational but upon further inspection you will see the same doctrines and theology with some minor changes. Those changes are often just branding and signage and fancy websites. For example, they are still Calvinism, Arminianism, Dispensationalism (to name a few. There are too many “isms” to list) at the core, they just appear to be different.

        To live a life with no regrets, all you must do is return to the word of God. Before I go further, I fully understand that there are many who believe they have no regrets nor are they frustrated with what they see in church. They are ready to die and meet their Lord based on what they have been taught and believed even though it looks nothing like scripture. The problem is they have adapted to the dimly lit room, where there is no power and have become quite comfortable living in captivity. That is their Christianity. I was raised a Methodist and accepted that teaching as the way but there was no power from on High. God’s word was not confirmed by power. It was supposed to be a holiness movement but there was nothing holy about it. Early on I saw the inner workings of the church and as a pastor I saw ugliness of what goes on behind the scenes that most people don’t know about. No wonder people don’t what any part of the church. I got to that point also. Later in my journey I saw the lies of the charismatic movement. Yes, there was power, but it was not from on High but satan masquerading as an angel of light. Millions have been deceived by that masquerade. To pick of one group, there will be millions of hardcore Dispensationalists who think they are eternally secure, all the while waiting for the rapture to save them from the tribulation meanwhile, they are already going through tribulation and have been defeated and will not see eternal life. They will not be with those Revelation 7:14 “who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” I have heard many say they are waiting for glory, Beulah land, heaven but they won’t see it because they have followed other gospels even though they on their death bed will say they have no regrets. That is not the no regret I am talking about. 

        The only way you can have no regret is to follow God’s word wholeheartedly. Most of those people above are not following God’s word but a distorted version of it. Jeremiah said Jeremiah Jeremiah 23:36 “But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God.” Paul warned us when he said, Acts 20:29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” Peter describes them when he said  2 Peter 3:16 “He (Paul) writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” Yes, on their death bed they will think they are eternally secure but will hear Matthew 25:41 “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” The thought of that should cause fear and trembling and a strong desire to work out your salvation. Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” We need to respond as Habakkuk did. Habakkuk 3:16 “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

        Fear and trembling before God is where we start. Psalm 33:8 “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him.” Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” If you do not fear God, you will not understand your journey and will be easily deceived. Always be aware that satan is constantly trying to get you to turn from God. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” That means we need wisdom, so we need to seek God. Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” Isaiah 11:2 “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— 3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 8:13 “The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.” Psalm 25:14 “The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.”

        We then need to understand the covenant God has made with us. Jeremiah 31:31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.” 1 Corinthians 11:25 “In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 2 Corinthians 3:6 “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” Hebrews 9:15 “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” Make sure you are following truth. Hebrews 8:13 “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.” Now this is where we need to be careful. Those who call themselves dispensationalists tend to believe the Old Testament doesn’t apply to the church. Many don’t even read the Old Testament, but Jesus said Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Paul said 2 Corinthians 3:12 “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” If you do not believe or obey Jesus, you will not be able to see or hear. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

        My life completely changed when I started reading God’s word as my only source of truth. I went to seminary, but I like what Paul said. Philippians 3:4 “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage / dung, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” I credit my knowledge with simply reading and believing what God has said but it was not based on my Methodist upbringing. I had to change what I thought I knew and adapt to what I read in scripture or I should say I was changed by what I read. Most people don’t change to be like scripture, they change scripture to be like them. I also had to believe what I have not seen, even though most would tell me I won’t see it. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” The problem with that is I have to believe the words of Jesus over the words of man. That really is not a problem as I have no regrets for believing Jesus over men but many don’t seem to be too pleased with it. Jesus said John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” The problem for most is they believe men and woman who say this verse doesn’t mean what it says. I believe what it says because this is about power and is what scripture tells us. Jesus said Mark 16:16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” These gifts did not cease but are still available if the church would return to God’s word. Jesus said we would do as He did, but He also said wait to be empowered. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” His disciples did as Jesus did. This is what Jesus did. 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.” This is what the disciples did. Mark 6:12 “They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” The church was supposed to go and do the same. It started off in power. Acts 8:4 “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 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.” but man turned to their own power instead. Do you really believe the powerless church is really the church Jesus is the head of? In reality, the church you see today is a desolate and in captivity due to its rebellion. 

        So, you read and believe, not what man says about God’s word but what God actually states. I have always said show me something better or bring God’s word and show me that Jesus does not talk about the power the church was supposed to have. Nowhere does the bible say the power was to stop. What it does say is Galatians 3:3 “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Foolishness is believing that there is no power available to the church that turns from their wicked ways but that actually takes faith. Jesus said Mark 11:23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” That doesn’t mean symbolically. It means do you believe what Jesus just said that God could actually take a mountain and throw it into the sea. He created them with a word so yes, He could do that. Most people don’t believe it as they barely believe the Genesis account! The verse goes on to say 24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” God’s word is powerful and there is nothing more powerful than God’s word. Jesus said Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 6:63 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” You will either believe God’s word or you will be condemned by it. John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”

        Last week I talked about being frustrated with the lack of power in the church, but are you frustrated enough to repent and turn from your wicked ways. 2 Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” To have no regret, you must repent for following other gospels. Yes, the denomination you attend has fallen prey to satan’s deceptions. There are not many ways but one only way. You must turn from the doctrines of demons and man-made teaching you have accepted as truth. Jesus said Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” The kingdom of God is about power. The time is now, not later. You do not want to find out you have been led astray after you die. The only regret you should have is that you were deceived by satan but that can be fixed if you come to your senses like the lost son. Luke 15:17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.” If you do this, you will have no regrets. If you have sinned, you can be forgiven. David said Psalm 51:7 “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Matthew 26:28 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Romans 5:9 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”

        You have a choice when it comes to regret. There are two ways that you can stand before Jesus with no regret. You either stick to the denominational doctrines and theology you have been taught with no regret and hear Matthew 25:41 “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Or you can stand before Jesus with no regrets because you believe him at His word, have turned from your wicked ways and follow His word wholeheartedly. John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” We see an example of this belief in God’s word. John 4:46 “And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. 48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” 49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” 53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.” Notice the man took Jesus at His word. We also saw that with the centurion. Matthew 8:5 “When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” 7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.”

        If you believe Jesus at His word, you will have no regret. My own personal journey has been long with many trials along the way and yes, my sanity has been questioned. The timeline for this journey has been much longer than I had imagined. Even though I have been mocked and many don’t listen, I have been faithful to God’s word and yes there was a cost. God gave me a promise a long time ago and I believe God at His word. Right from the beginning God showed me there would be opposition to this journey I would take but as Job said Job 27:5 “I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. 6 I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.” There has been a barrage of attacks by satan, where at times I thought I might break but God’s word sustained me. Psalm 54:4 “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” I believe God will do as He said He would do. Against all hope Abraham believed. Romans 4:20 “He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” This is why the Old Testament is so important to understand. Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Even though this journey has proven itself very costly, God will keep His promise to me. Jeremiah 29:10 “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

        To have no regrets, you cannot be concerned with what others think. Having said that you do have to make sure you are following the true gospel, and everything must line up with scripture. If you are seeking man, you don’t have your eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:1 “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” You also have to be careful when it comes to reading the bible because you can still miss the truth. If you do not depend on the Holy Spirit to guide you, you can miss the truth. John 5:36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” Most people spend more time reading books about the bible than they do the bible itself. Even study bibles (the part at the bottom) can lead you astray, so be careful. Also, there are too many that are worried about what people think about them. Paul said Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” To have no regrets, you can only be interested in the truth even if those around you are not. Mark 12:13 “Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.” Don’t worry about the status of people, be concerned with your commitment to God.

             Even though persevering in a life with trials can be hard, God will give you the strength and He will keep His promise, but you must believe and do not give up. In the end God blessed Job after persevering. God said that Job spoke truth but Job when standing before God bowed in fear and trembling said Job 42:5 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” 10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” God wants to bless you not only with eternal life but with an abundant life while you live. That is what the kingdom of God is. Jesus said Luke 11:20 “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” All that we read in the Gospels and Acts is available to all who believe. Paul said Ephesians 1:7 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” Until God turns His face back to the church, wait, trust, believe and have faith because Deuteronomy 28:9 “The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him.” Isaiah 54:6 “The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. 7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

        Following God wholeheartedly is the only way to stand before Him with no regrets. Though it cost you everything, stand firm on God’s word. Mark 13:13 “Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” 1 Corinthians 15:58Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” I leave you with this warning. 1 Corinthians 10:1 “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”  8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”