October, 2001 - God's Last Call
By Billie Marie Zal
We live in a time in history where life is as uncertain as the thunder storm that comes in a split second on a calm, rainy day. We must not be surprised at such a time as this. Those of us who love God's Word and treasure it as our most valuable possession know instinctively that we are possibly entering that phase of history where the end of our world as we know it is in sight.
The tragedies that occur only prove to us that God will keep His word. And we cannot disbelieve that which is so obvious.
Jesus describes in detail what will happen in the "end time." (If you want to know, study Matthew 24: 4-31). It is there, and God's Holy Spirit confirms it within your heart, if you belong to Christ.
We wonder, then, how did all of this come to pass? Why did God create the world and mankind, only to judge it in the end?
The answer is found again in God's Word, when He declares, "Thou art the covering cherub . . . Thy wisdom and beauty were created in thee in the day thou wast created."
I have been reading a book of compiled messages by A.W. Tozer, who was truly a prophet sent to us in the l950's. He was Pastor of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church on the South side of Chicago, and I would drive all the way across that great metropolis in my broken down car just to sit and hear him speak. I knew he was sent of God.
He never got into trying to become "big." But he was a faithful pastor and taught that small Body of believers what God expected of them. He once said that when they sent their boys to World War II, they had prayer meetings before the boys left and claimed their lives for Christ. And not one of them was killed in the War, although they saw intense action. He said, "Some came back broken and hurt, but they lived." Such was the power of this man of prayer!
In one of his messages he says, "Consider the fact that there was a day when God loved the devil as He now loves the angels and archangels--because at that time He saw in the devil traces and proofs of His own wisdom. I believe that God loved that Being because it was, not an image of Himself, as man is, but a reflection of what God could do and an evidence of His artistry--His moral artistry, and His omniscience, too.
"But the devil sinned . . . in a way not quite like man's sin. He sinned in some way that erased forever everything of which God could be proud and in which God could rest, so that God no longer loved the devil. He sent no Redeemer for him. There isn't anything in Satan that could remind God of Himself." (from THE TOZER PULPIT, Vol. I, Copyright l994).
I had never even conceived that God could stop loving someone. We are taught by preachers in today's society that God is a "good ole Boy" who cleans us up and pats us on the back without so much as a rebuke.
But God is not that kind of God. I realize now that yes, there can come a day when if an individual sells out to sin and to the power of evil which makes him a devil and not a man, then he is definitely beyond the love of God. This is what Dr. Tozer has taught me and this is what I believe.
Perhaps I never wanted to think that anyone could live his life in such a way that the grief of God over his soul finally sees that this person has nothing within himself to remind God, as Dr. Tozer, explains, of His own life within that person. And so He no longer grieves over what has gone. A severe warning to those of us who would live our own lives the way we want, do what we please, and forget that we are created in the very image of God, and we owe Him our lives, forever, to do His will whether we like it or not.
There is a terror much worse than the terrorists can put upon us by bombing our buildings and infiltrating our lives with poison. This terror is the devil's power over us. He has control from the moment we draw our first breath, and He is careful to keep us within that frame work of His dealings until we have gone so far as never to want to submit ourselves to the total dominion of God's Holy Spirit over us.
Either way, we are under someone's control: Either God's or the Devil's. Why else would we have this tendency to do evil instead of good? It is because we are not yet redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.
God in His Eternity planned for our escape from such bondage even "before the worlds were formed." That's what He says. He tells us in His Word that He knew us, "before we were formed in our Mother's wombs." You can either believe or disbelieve this fact; but disbelief does not alter the Truth. God says so, and so it must be true.
This is what God did: He "elected" certain individuals throughout the ages to become His own, by faith in His Son Jesus Christ. How He did this, I don't know. But He did. Why did He elect only certain people to be saved? Because God is "forever," the Bible tells us that He is "yesterday, today, and forever."
So nothing is hidden from Him. His majesty and glory and honor and wisdom are within Himself and He knows those who will--if given the chance--receive with great joy the salvation from the penalty, guilt, and bondage of sin through the blood of His everlasting covenant--the Blood of the Lamb of God, His Son.
Once a man said to me while I was at the Mall, "I see you have a cross in your lapel. Are you one of those people who try to get people saved?"
I smiled at him. Then I said, "I couldn't get you saved if I wanted to. It all depends upon whether or not you are one of God's elect."
Astonished, he asked, "What do you mean, 'one of God's elect'?
Then I told him what I hope turned him toward seeking God.
"God in His foreknowledge, knows who will receive the salvation He offers to all of us. If you aren't interested, then you are not one of His elect, and you won't ever be saved. If you are interested, then begin today, seeking Him and you will find Him."
The man was definitely scared. His arrogance disappeared like the fog when the sun's bright rays shine through, and as I walked away, I knew that God had given this man--a stranger--a Truth that might eventually lead him to Himself.
In our pride we often present God as Someone who must answer to us for His actions. We all hear the question, "How could a Holy God who is supposed to be all Love permit such a thing to happen?"
God does what He does because He is God and beside Him, there is no other. He has infinite Love which belongs to Himself and He bestows it as He wills, without hesitation or reason. He is the "High and Holy One who inhabits eternity." He is the One who "created the heavens and the earth, and all there is therein."
He is the Eternal One who occupies the Throne set in heaven, who--according to the Revelation of St. John, "like a jasper and a sardius stone; and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like an emerald....
"And round about the throne were four and twenty thrones . . .and upon them were four and twenty elders in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold....
"And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderclaps, and voices; and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God" (Rev.4:l-5)
Now those of you who ask, "How could a holy God permit such a thing?" think about this description of who He is. Then dare to question anything He does, if you will.
I always say, "Don't mess with God." Even if you are born again, and belong to Jesus Christ, if you sin there is a consequence. God has a right to do what He pleases. He is a God who created us for His own pleasure, no other reason. If there is a break in your fellowship with God, you know it. No excuses. You have joined league with the devil and agreed to His insidious
But the joy of being a child of God is this: you don't have to continue in sin. Grace (God's unmerited favor) will definitely abound if you confess your sin. Only then is He able to forgive you your sin, and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. This is in the Book, and God cannot lie.
Another wonderful thing is this, according to Dr. Tozer, who was God's prophet for God's time. He says this: God loves all lost men now--in prisons, in asylums, in saloons, in houses of ill-fame. He loves them now because the last trace has not been erased, and He still remembers that His Son on the tree had a body like theirs. . .
"The day will come when he that is filthy will be getting filthier still--and therefore, the day will come when lost man will no longer be loved by God Almighty" (from THE TOZER PULPIT, vol. One).
I found myself weeping as I typed those words. God help people to see that this world is not all there is. There is a heaven and there is a hell, and where we go when we die depends upon our relationship with the Creator of all the world and everything that is in it.
Once a young man in jail was saved when I said, "Everyone lives forever--either in heaven or in hell." He had never thought of that--people who defy God want to believe that once death comes, the mind and soul are annihilated and there is a "nothingness" which prevents remorse and sorrow.
But look at the rich man in the Bible who died and went to Sheol, the place of the wicked dead. He'd had it all and had never considered God's claims upon his life. And according to Jesus' own story which goes like this: "There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day,
"And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who was lain at his gate, full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table, moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores.
"And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom; the rich man also died, and was buried;
"And in hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
"But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you, there is a great gulf fixed, so that they who would pass from here to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come over here."
This makes it very clear that there is a hell. And people who refuse to receive God's deliverance through the blood of His Son, go there. It's a fact. There is one difference today, in our time. Because Jesus Christ shed His blood and went down to Hades, He "led captivity captive," and left only the wicked dead to await out the centuries until the great White Throne Judgment which comes at the very end of the ages. We cannot "mess with God." We will end up in Hades if we do, and the rich man pretty much told us what it is like.
I hear a lot of ridicule in today's society about those who believe in "fire and brimstone." Laugh as they may, they will one day discover that all of it is true. They might as well enjoy life now because there is no enjoyment for anyone apart from Christ after they die. Only torment.
And it's not God's fault. He has done everything He is ever going to do, to save us from ourselves. He will do nothing more than warn and rebuke and chasten, and give "that blessed Hope" to those of us who "love His appearing."
I hope that I have frightened each of you sufficiently by this message to cause you to stop, take note of who you are, what you are doing, and where you are going.
And I pray that the day will never come when God no longer
grieves over your lost soul.
A LOVING thank you for all the lovely birthday cards and letters you guys sent to me, remembering me on my special day. I have always said, a birthday is so important to me because God actually allowed me to be born and most wonderful of all, to be born again. I can't imagine anything so horrible as never being born, and therefore never know my Father, God. I actually thank Him every day that He "let me be born," so that I might know Him forever. I even ask Him not to let me have a stroke and "lose it" because then I couldn't talk to Him, and I can't imagine life without that "knowing" He is with me, and I can tell Him anything and He will still love me.
PRAYER REQUESTS: A very special prayer request to all of you for "Musky," Margaret's black Labrador. He has been having terrible seizures and we are asking our Father in heaven to heal him. We know your prayers count.
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