SOON 3 only
The second letter in ‘SOON’ is an O, and stands in this acrostic for ONLY.
All who call upon Jesus to be their salvation from their sins, are saved, but ONLY some do that. In the physical salvations that follow in our lives, only some avail themselves of those.
We will, in 2016, need divine help for many situations. The Lord promises us salvation in those trials and circumstances, but ONLY some will avail of those.
It is like the story of Gideon, where he was really tested. For the 32.000 soldiers that he had did not all avail themselves of the glorious victory to be had. The 32,000 were to be cut down to only 300. God was asking him to war against an army of 135,000 Midianites, and that was a tough task, to put it mildly.
We are often asked to do what seems nigh to impossible. In this coming year, some tasks will be very difficult. We will be tempted to question: did we really hear God say to do this? When we are tempted to doubt, we are also tempted to miss being the few who have the great victories. ONLY some, as the 300 of the 32,000, will see great victories.
So, first, we must get direction, search the Word, be ready and anxious, as were the only 300 in Gideon’s time.
The Lord wants us to search the Bible, pray for His voice to speak, and be patient and watch God work. Only some will do this, and only some will personally experience the marvelous salvations from the trials of the age.
The old fashioned way of searching the Word, following every precept given, and then seeking God’s face for further direction, and learning to listen to hear His voice, may seem hard, but we are to seek God, and trust Him for the deliverance.
Since God leaves the choice to we who are saved, as to whether we will experience great victories in times of trial or not, we must exercise our wills to choose to be some of the ONLY that experience great blessings.
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that thou and thy seed shall live."
"Choose you this day, whom ye shall serve."
"And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely."
We are told we have a will to exercise, we are told to make a choice. We are told that there are blessings after salvation, that only some receive. We are warned that if our choice errant, we miss great blessings.
Only three of the disciples were on the Mt of Transfiguration. Only several chose to be at the foot of the cross. Only 120 chose to be in the upper room for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Only Simeon and Anna chose to remain at the temple site till they saw the baby Jesus. Only Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on water. Only Matthew, of all the publicans, chose to leave his tax collecting business and become a disciple. Only the ones who chose to receive the victories were granted those victories.
Yet, later, Judas chose to betray Jesus, and died a sinner. So God does choose to save us, but does not overrule our choice, if we choose not to be saved. Mankind is absolutely a free moral agent, and serves either the devil or the Lord, as mankind exercises that choice. We accept the grace of God offered at our spiritual salvation, and only those who accept His grace are saved. In the physical salvations since then, when God intervenes to save us from the attacks of the devil, or the trials of a cursed world, we are also available for those by choice. Only some will make those choices.
The second O in SOON stands in this acrostic for OTHERS. This year of 2016, with the Lord promising physical salvations from crisis for only those who avail themselves of His promises, it is vital that we be concerned for OTHERS.
There are multitudes in sin, many condoning sins thinking that is love. These OTHERS are in great peril and need to get themselves right before the end of this age comes. There are others who will understand the plight we face in this world of terrors, perils, and tragedies. There are others yet who do not understand this ‘perilous time that has come’.
2 Timothy 3:1-9 (KJV)
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
This adequately described centuries ago, via the revelation of the Lord, the times we now live in.
2 Timothy 3:12-16 (KJV)
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Yes, we live in these ‘perilous times’ and we need to be concerned about OTHERS. Self preservation is a good concern, but prophets hiding in caves is not the command for this age. The concern for others is vital, necessary, and unchallengeable when we stand at the judgment seat of Jesus.
That means that in this year of 2016, we must all who remain here, have a ‘shepherd’ nature. Of course, none of us will ever be the 'Good Shepherd', i.e. Jesus Christ. Yet, we are commanded, as was Peter, to 'feed His sheep'. The ‘others’ about which we are to be concerned, are the ‘sheep’ of today, in the midst of the perilous times, that need fed.
Imagine a shepherd who leads to green pastures, makes still water for the sheep to drink, protects, and anoints their wounds. That is all beautiful.
Yet, imagine that same shepherd having a nature that allows other sheep to wander near the cliff of destruction unhindered. Imagine a shepherd who would make himself feel less convicted by those other sheep who fall over that precipice, by saying 'there is no precipice'. Denying the danger that is there, does not alleviate the guilt of the false shepherd who simply denies the danger they allow the other sheep to fall into.
The shepherd nature??? Do we have it? Do we want to 'make the other sheep to lie down in green pastures?' or Do we allow the other sheep to wander, unhindered by the precipice of danger?
Beautiful are the feet of the many saints who not only promise heaven to acceptors of Jesus Christ, but who also warn others of hell fire's judgment and eternal nature.
In this year of 2016, we need be recognized by others by our warning of the ‘perilous times’, and that ‘love’ is not the condoning of sin. We must have the nature to make others, who are the ‘sheep of the Lord,’ to feel the peace and harmony of the Good Shepherd they serve.
Shepherding others is not a pastime, it is a serious calling. Our work is not just a sermon, it is the feeding and sustaining of the flock. We are not charged with forcing the sheep to obey the message, not even Jesus would do that. We are charged with obedience to God in being concerned enough about OTHERS, that we deliver the message from God
The failure to not be concerned about others, of not having the shepherd nature, of not giving others the love for the we must give in preaching the Word of God the way it is written, is a failure we must not allow to happen in these ‘perilous times.’
Jesus confronted Peter with some teaching about being a ‘shepherd’ to others of the Lord’s flock.
John 21:15-19 (KJV)
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me? And he said unto him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed My sheep.
18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
19 This spake He, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He saith unto him, Follow Me.
In order do our job in 2016, we need to have a "perfect love". Preachers speak God’s message to Gods sheep, and are to be an under-shepherd for the Good Shepherd. Jesus wants to embolden us, and to empower us to do the works of the Good Shepherd in these last days without fear.
What is this "perfect love"? We need to recognize that the Lord wants a special kind of love from us, to feed His OTHER sheep. That kind of love is a perfect love.
Jesus tells Peter, that this relationship, that He is letting us know is a perfect love, will be evidenced by one fact, that we will "feed His sheep and lambs," and care for His other sheep.
"Sheep" are referred to 500 times in the Bible in referring to believers. There are many similarities between sheep and believers. Both often go astray. When astray by themselves, they are helpless. The shepherd can lead sheep, and they do not need to be "driven" as cattle. Sheep know the voice of their shepherd, and will not follow another shepherd.
"And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers."
Remember, that the Lord wants to be in us, and we in Him, and then His "word" is to fill us, and we are to be speaking it, and the true sheep of the Lord will recognize His word, as it comes from our mouths. When we preach, if we are speaking words of the One with Whom we have a close, loving, relationship, the words will be recognized as being the Words of God.
"If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself."
Therefore, our ministry in 2016, is to speak forth the rhema word of the Lord to His other sheep. We need to warn, exhort, comfort, teach, encourage, and uplift His other sheep. This is a feeding ministry for the last days of perilous times.
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another (i.e. OTHERS); and so much the more as ye see the day approaching."
"By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if ye have love one for another."