The Kingdom of Heaven Suffereth Violence

Winter keeps on around these parts but I sure can’t complain about the weather these last few days. In the twenties in the afternoons and sunny with very little wind. Saturday night out here in the countryside and all is quiet except for the constant sound of snowmobiles in the distance. I just noticed this afternoon, or should I say thought about it, that on our township road, named Dairy Road, there’s not on snowmobile track. Not one all winter! Its one of those rare places around here that is totally peaceful and untouched in the ditches. Now that is really something rare around these parts! And I must say that I sure do love it!

These last three days there was not one evening when I was home. Always gone, mostly with church stuff. But that’s water under the bridge now and I’m looking forward to the coming week. Selling calves, butchering a few steers and then the winter hump is safely crossed after that. Chores will cut down somewhat after the main calf herd finds a new home, don’t have to worry about keeping them in tip top shape any more! Now tonight I just gotta put up a Bible verse that I always loved.

Matthew 11:12 (King James Version)

12And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

Yep, one of those power verses that was used quite often in days gone by. Now allot of folks can have different interpretations of this verse and that’s fine with me cause it is the Living Word and the Word can come alive in all sorts of ways.This verse has been special to me the last few years because of reading about it being used so often by circuit riders of days gone by as they went everywhere in the heartland of this nation spreading the Gospel to any and all who would listen. And now in the dead of winter it has my heart stirring again, those men that preached in houses, cabins, outside, anywhere really, spreading the Word of God!

Nowadays its not fashionable to just deliver the Gospel straight forward, might offend someone is the current attitude in this luke warm society. I’m talking Christians here as being luke warm. Scared that they might offend someone by declaring the Word of our Almighty God. Brainwashed into thinking that everyone is OK going their own way, seeking what ever way they think is right. Don’t want to offend, heavens no, what kind of Christian offends. Well, the truth is, if a Christian isn’t offending the world, they might be Christian in name only. Jesus offended, often. Later every one of the Apostles offended and also paid the price for it with their lives. If those circuit riders of yesteryear would see the current attitude of many Christians today they would come unglued! Those men that hardly ever reached middle age because of the cause of spreading the Gospel to every nook and cranny in this younger nation.

Now we have church with programs, with well laid out services that hardly ever get off track. Folks would never think of kneeling at a service, but back then they knelt during every prayer, every one! They had joy in the Lord but also knew who the Lord was! In fact I do believe they had allot more joy in the Lord than many today just because they knew who the Lord was, not how He’s made to be today. Back then He was the same God, but folks knew He was an almighty God. Now He’s been gradually reduced to a heavenly vending machine that we cry out to when we “want” something to make us keep up with society and make us look good. For many the only Bible verses they know are out of self help books on how to get your blessings.

But I know with all of my heart that there are a people today that really go after God, go after Him for all the right reasons. They’re in every church, in every denomination. They might be the quiet ones that never seem to make a splash, never make too many waves that would catch the notice of the status quo in their churches. But they are there, searching for God with all they got. I do believe this number is growing rapidly too. I really believe it! I believe just as in the days of old in this country there are folks that are violently seeking Him, not taking no for an answer!

Oh Lord, I do believe! I do believe that God wants folks to violently seek Him. To grab a hold of Him in prayer and not let go. To get into His Word with a hunger that would probably make the average church goer laugh and shake their head. To be labeled as a nut, a fanatic. But, and this is a big but, all the great people of faith were fanatics for the Lord, all of them without exception. To not care what folks think, either the world, or the church, to go after Him with every thing they got. To stand amongst people and not be ashamed to speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But you say, it might offend someone, they have their rights. No, no, no,….one thing has to be perfectly clear, and it will be at judgment, to not speak up, to supposedly not want to offend anyone……..the Bible is very clear about. Its nothing more than shame. Nothing more. Shame of our Savior, nothing less.

Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross so we could be free, a sacrifice for every man, women and child there ever will be on this earth. We must not be ashamed that He saved us, ever. That’s all it is, its not respecting someone’s beliefs, its our shame of our Savior. It unbelief. I don’t want to spend the little time I have on earth cowering in shame of the One who took my sin and washed it away with His Blood. Never! The Kingdom of Heaven wants folks that grab onto it with violence, who won’t let go for anything or anyone. To be total fools for Christ! Then, and only then will a person see the windows of heaven open wide, pouring out its blessings on those that won’t let go!

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey Tom and friends!!!
    I have been keeping up and have noticed a subtle shift in your postings…I am unable to place my finger on it so I cant describe what I am seeing…but I LIKE it!!! lol

    Very timely post as I read something today about the latest trend in ‘christianity’ to be only positive and encouraging. Here is a snippet:

    “I do not mean a wistful remembering of the cross that Jesus died on for our sins, as this is given a fair treatment. I refer to the following “positive and encouraging” words from Jesus that somehow get overlooked:

    “He that takes not his cross, and follows after Me, is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:38).

    “Jesus said to them all, ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

    “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:23).

    “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26,27).

    “Someone asked, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ Jesus answered, ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow gate, because I tell you this: many will try to enter but will not be able to’” (Luke 13:23,24).

    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the Will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

    “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

    Since taking up the cross is basic to discipleship, why do we not hear more about it? Because crucifixions are not “family friendly”! Those who understand the cross in a practical way – meaning, those who are actually following the Lord Jesus as a disciple – know that this denial of Self is hardly a positive, encouraging experience. Dying is not easy! Letting go of my will and embracing the will of Another is hard! Being crucified daily is not a positive, encouraging event.”

    I pray I did not hijack the intent of your posting…
    here is a link to the entire article:
    http://theschoolofchrist.org/articles/positive-and-encouraging.html

    Blessings to you all.
    Brian

  2. Thanks Brian!

    I checked the link and its a good’un! Talk about truth! This is a big problem in this day and age. Jesus is love AND truth. Its nice to stay on the love side all the time, makes a person feel like everything is OK, but is it? I guess a person just has to ask Jesus in His Word! And the above verses are quite the answer and allot of folks sure don’t want to hear them! I love the beginning verse:

    1 Kings 22:8 (King James Version)

    ” 8And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.”

    Reminds me of the Book of Jeremiah. There were prophets a dime a dozen talking good times, abundance, wealth. But ol’ Jeremiah preached the truth and it didn’t get him popular one bit.

    Truth and love, the perfect way. Get in the ditch with either one a person is stuck in the mud. Many timesI write about one or the other and that might make it look like I’m leaning a certain way, but in reality I’m not. There’s only so much a person can get into a post so one post will be really positive and another will seem down to some. But that’s balance, that’s staying in the middle of the road, not hitting the shoulders and thrown in the ditch legalism or la,la,la,la.

    Again, I thank you sir for the great input here. I remember reading the verse from Kings just a little while back and it really hit me. How we want all good spoken, but not the truth.

    God Bless You My Friend!


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