It does not matter what religion you were born into. It does not even matter if you were born into a Christian family, you must choose this day for yourself, as everyone is answerable to God. Jesus said to Peter, Matthew 16:15 “But what about you? Who do you say I am? 16 Simon Peter answered, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” This must not be lip service but from the heart. It does not matter where you were born or who you were born to, everyone is accountable and must give glory to God. Romans 14: “As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God. 12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”  This decision has eternal consequences and we are without excuse. Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” The same goes if you were born into a Christian family. You still must decide for yourself. But think about it for a moment, you already have a head start, so what a great responsibility goes to those who know the truth. Luke 12:48 “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Now this is where being born in a family that is not following is at a disadvantage but when these who do believe come out from another religion to follow Jesus, they put to shame most Christians in North America. You many have been brought up in a Christian family and you may think that this is all there is, you are still without excuse if you do not seek Him. You have to make a choice to heat up the water if luke-warm is all you know. As I said before this can cause issues because those who do not follow wholeheartedly will consider anyone who follows relentlessly after Jesus a Jesus freak. So if you go to a luke-warm church, be warned. Another example would be if you were born into a family that believes in cessationism or any variation of it. Cessationism is the belief that God no longer does most of what is in the bible or believes God’s power is only available for the beginning of the church, you are without excuse if you continue in that way. If you continue in apathy towards God’s ways you are without excuse.
                This list could go on and on but most likely the Holy Spirit has already told you or is in the process of telling you that these teachings and excuses are wrong, but did you listen or will you listen. Most will continue on in the error of their ways and spread the teaching to the next generation and the next thinking they are preserving truth. Even if you were born muslin you are without excuse. Even if you have never heard the gospel preached, you are without excuse. The handiwork of the creator is on display. You either worship the creator or the creation. Romans 1:25 “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” Many religions worship created things. Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.” This is also the reason for homosexuality both in men and in women.  Romans 1:26 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” The depraved mind in this case explains this sinful behaviour but the depraved mind also covers this. 2 Timothy 3:1 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”
                If we refuse to live for him, remembering we are without excuse we see what happens in Romans 1:5  “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.”
                Moses makes it very clear that we have the offer of life or death and that we must choose. Deuteronomy 11:30 “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. 15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
                This gospel of Jesus Christ is what we must pass on from one generation to the next. We need to be Berean (Acts 17:11 “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”) and make sure what we have been raised with is the whole gospel not just parts of it. We need to also make sure that we have not been deceived by following man made doctrines and principles disguised as the gospel but in the end have no power as we are seeing now.  Men as spiritual leaders in the home we must make sure we are passing down the true gospel of Jesus Christ, not an empty way of life. Let me also remind you that the Jezebel spirit is strong and prevalent in our midst. Deuteronomy 31:11 “when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” Psalm 71:18 “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” Proverbs 22:6 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Deuteronomy 11:8 “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.” Psalm 128:1 “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. 2 You will eat the fruit of your labour; blessings and prosperity will be yours. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord. 5 May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. 6 May you live to see your children’s children—peace be on Israel.”
                Too many Christians have become very comfortable in the tepid waters flowing in the church and in the home today. It should be like this. John 7:37 “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” It should also be like Acts 1:8 “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” But it is not so we repent we don’t write new doctrines to white-wash our sin of disobedience.
                On the last of few days of our journey thorough lent (days that should continue I might add) we must understand that the promises given to Abraham apply to us also because of Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:7 “Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Now we follow the guidelines  2 Chronicles 7:14 has given us and heed Jesus call to repent and we will see the kingdom of God once again. Genesis 22:15 “The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” If we want to continue in this promise and take possession of our cities we must obey just like Abraham did. If we want that same promise, receiving means we turn from our wicked ways not brand (branding is popular in the church today) new ones.
                If we want to be part of this promise we need to make sure of our decision to follow Jesus Christ. Are we following empty ways or are we following truth. To be honest with you I think in our day most don’t want to know because it means repentance and change. In their stubbornness they will risk hell to be able to continue in their ways on this earth. We are given the choice to choose. What will you choose and remember there are no excuses. The answer is to choose life and live and then we must pass this from one generation to the next. We will know if what we have passed on lines up with scripture if it looks like the gospels and Acts. Luke 24:45 “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 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.” Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” If we will wait for it, we will then the mission in Mark 16:9 in action. “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 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.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 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.”
                For some reason people do not understand that Matthew 28 and Mark 16 are one in the same as seen in Luke 10. I am amazed at how one little line has caused so much unbelief in the church today. Even though this passage in Mark is in everyone’s bible they chose to ignore the passage and a large portion of scripture because of it because someone put this line in the bible. [The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.] I advise you to scratch that out as soon as you get a chance. Jesus said to the blind man he had healed, John 9 “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.” Mark 9:22 “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”  The unbelief towards the word of God in the church today is astonishing. The church is so comfortable in their delusions they have written off miracles and made analogies about them. By miracles I refer to the two examples above. Lord help our unbelief so that we may pass on the truth of your word to the next generation.
                Genesis 18:18 “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” God will also fulfil the promise to David. Jeremiah 33:7 For this is what the Lord says: ‘David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, 18 nor will the Levitical priests ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.’” Jesus fulfilled this promise but he also chose, appointed and anointed disciples in the power of the Holy Spirit to carry this on from generation to generation. He will continue to do this.