10. How fast can one go from milk, pablum, to meat??
There are some in the faith still on milk, that should have matured as Paul indicated to meat. The Bible is plain on that. Still, there are some in the church world who have 'ears to hear' what the Spirit is saying? The book of Revelation chapters 2 and 3 tell us that. We need to decide if we want to mature from milk to meat, or want to remain a babe in Christ forever. I have met some who are satisfied with knowing how to be saved themselves, and they do not want to know more, do not want to find a place of ministry, do not want to joy in the revelations of the Word of God. They want to stay at the baby level forever. Milk is fine for them.
Some sermons preached show that crowd is out there. The sermons are on the level of ‘go into all the world and smile’, or ‘leave your cross and have a seat. Why have they not responded to the urging of the Holy Spirit Who wants to ‘teach’ us ‘all things’? How fast we want to mature is left much to us, and if the conviction of the Holy Spirit to grow is ignored long enough, He is grieved.
There are some who read these teachings and are convicted to get more into Bible study, to find an area of ministry, to grow in relationship with the Lord. Paul, Jesus, etc, spoke in the Bible, of some who are supposed to be matured to meat, but still do not want meat.
SUDDEN JUMPS FROM MILK TO MEAT...
THE THIEF ON THE CROSS WENT FROM MILK TO MEAT IN MOMENTS...
"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, If Thou be Christ, save Thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily, I say unto thee, Today, shalt thou be with Me in paradise."
Any person who objects to sudden conversions should give attention to how this man was converted. For if a person must live a consistently good, and errorless life to get to heaven, this thief on the cross did not have a chance. It was only the worst of the criminals who were condemned to the cross. This thief was not a insignificant and minor burglar guilty only of trivial crimes. Whatever his crimes, they were serious.
Still here, in a few moments on the cross, this thief went from horrible sinner, to saint on the way to paradise. The thief on the cross went from ‘milk’ to ‘meat’ in moments. He developed a reverence for God, he realized that he was receiving the just due for his sins, he saw hope in Jesus to get to a heaven, a kingdom where Jesus would rule, as "Lord". There are some in churches today, taught and preached to for years, who have not yet realized these things.
In the middle of his death time, he recognized Who Jesus was, rebuked the other thief of his sins, and confirmed that he had already come to the conclusion that Jesus was not going to perish here by this death, but would be reigning as king.
The disciples who were with Jesus for three years of ministry, had seen miracle after miracle, had not yet come to that realization. They were in despair, doubt, and confusion, with the possible exception of John.
This 'thief' had matured to meat, and Jesus promised to be with him in paradise that day, to likely give him far more revelation and teaching. Still, this thief one day, saint in paradise the next, eternal witness in the Bible of his miraculous conversion, went from milk to meat in a hurry.
The thief is called a "malefactor" in Luke. The word used, "kakougos", is one of two which could have been translated as such. Luke did not use "kakopoios" which was a milder word meaning "a bad doer". The word that Luke chose to describe this man was much, much stronger, and means "one who creates, and originates with energy, aggressive criminal acts."
Therefore, this man was very evil, diabolic, sinister, profane, and corrupt. What was it that converted this thief? He had reviled Christ shortly before salvation. What brought the change? Justice demanded death, but Christ was there to give eternal life. Christ did not offer judgment, but offered concern, and comfort. Some today are so very evil, immoral, and corrupt that Christ Jesus, and those who truly are in tune with His nature will have mercy.
Perhaps it was the prayer of Christ Jesus that changed the thief's heart. This thief had heard Jesus pray:
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!"
Stephen later prayed a similar prayer which likely was one of the main reasons that Paul became a Christian.
This thief had likely been beaten, scourged, and publicly condemned, but what all that could not do, a prayer from the lips of Jesus changed, converted, and transformed him from no spiritual diet, to milk, and to meat.
It is the "goodness of God that leadeth men to repentance." The goodness of Jesus, the forgiveness of an innocent man being unjustly punished, made a change come upon this thief. The fear of God came upon him, for he asked the unchanged thief:
'DOST THOU NOT FEAR GOD?"
Solomon had said: "THE FEAR OF GOD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM!"
And it was the fear and reverence for God, awakened and inspired by a dying Savior, that made this thief different from the other thief. It was a reverence for the Lord Jesus that allowed this 'thief' to go from milk to meat in moments.
The two thieves were alike when they were put upon the cross, but soon one was bound for paradise, and the other was bound for hell. Some today, hear the same message of love and forgiveness, but some will respond and accept God's offers, and others will callously reject. Why can some be cold-hearted to the loving Jesus? Why can some can be insensitive to offers of mercy?
Yet, why can some others, as the thief who accepted Jesus, change? Some go from milk to meat in a few moments, in a few days. Certainly, this thief was not thinking he had to wait decades to get on the spiritual meat. He arrived rejoicing and unashamed of his last moments.
1. HE BEGAN TO FEAR GOD (vs. 40)
2. HE JUSTIFIED CHRIST (vs. 41)
3. HE RECOGNIZED HIS OWN SINS, AND HIS GUILT (vs. 41)
4. HE HAD FAITH
5. HE ACCEPTED CHRIST JESUS AS MESSIAH AND KING OF KINGS (vs. 42)
6. HE GREW FROM MILK TO MEAT IN THOSE MOMENTS
What a shame that some come to Jesus and still debate many of these things that this thief did in a few moments. Some Christians are in the faith for decades and do not know some of those things well.
Christ Jesus, our Lord, rewards that kind of hurry for the meat. He told the thief that ‘today, you will be with Me in paradise’. The thief was soon, in hours, going to be sitting down with Jesus, in paradise, and be able to feed on the meat spoken to him there. Wow, what a meal of meat that must have been. When the Lord finds a heart of a person that wants to get off milk only, go though the pablum time quickly, and get to the meat of the meal as soon as possible, He is willing to make it a fast journey, and offer spiritual meat in a feast we have not yet dreamed of.
It amazes me that some go from milk to meat very quickly, and others can spend decades and never mature spiritual meat. The disciples spent three years with the best Teacher in the universe, and still were so milk demanding that they tuned out all the times Jesus said that He would die, be resurrected, be gone to paradise for three days. The meat message did not soak in... (yes, I will face these disciples in heaven, but am not afraid of them being mad at me for saying this, for they know, and are ashamed of their former milk level. I am likewise ashamed for mine when I was too milk oriented to get the meatier message I needed.)
The thief on the cross had a quick jump from milk to meat. Paul went away after his conversion for two years, to restudy the Scriptures in which he had been mis-taught, and got into the meat of the Word. I remember one who had been one of the leaders of the KKK, and after leading him to Jesus, and it was not a long time for him to get into the meat of the Word. Soon, his best friend was a black man in the neighborhood, he had learned some meaty lessons fast.
This is not for those just saved, just learning the basics of the faith, it is startling some that I am bluntly saying that if one is a 'saint' for twenty years, and still on milk, that is a shame.
Some may not like it, but I know that if there is a 'remedial Bible class' for some when they get to heaven, I am going to have to put a bag over my head if I have to attend, for I have been a Christian for a long time. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to be told that 'remedial Bible' is their first destination class in the school of heaven.
I have been honored to know some really fine Christians through the years, and even with them, they are not always on spiritual meat. In fact, in the natural, not many would want a total meat diet. If we ruled out ice cream, candy and cakes, for some of you we would hear an outcry. If we ruled out vegetables, some might applaud, but most of us would be starving for them if we did not have them.
Babies need, can't do without the milk and pablum, and would choke on meat.
I like a balanced diet, and too, like the rest of you, find the Holy Spirit trying to give milk into my daily diet, and I appreciate it. Yet, I do not want to be void of the meat, nor be unable to enjoy a good T bone steak with the Lord.
Somehow, we find, that some balk at meat, attack anyone who preaches or teaches a meat lesson, avoid even the preacher who preaches above the milk level. Some will attack, laugh, berate, threaten, and try to embarrass any who preach and teach a spiritual meat diet.
How can some hate meat that much? If meat teachings bother them that much, we do find there are 'meat free' churches. The diet in those gathering places never has any meat therein, and the milk flows, the pablum is even tempting some to leave to find another spiritual restaurant that avoids even the pablum.
Well, the Lord does allow a person to remain on milk, at least till heaven, but in the Bible, there are some rebukes for that kind of choice. Sharing those portions of Scriptures makes some mad, but in reading this lessons, they have had to read some 'non-milk, non pablum', and in so doing, it is not a refusal of meat any longer, it is a regurgitation of meat... a purposeful regurgitation...
A baby cannot eat meat when they have no teeth, too small a throat, digestive system not matured enough. An adult does not have those excuses, so a regurgitation of meat is a rejection of it.
We are in the last days. The Lord has tried and tried to get some to mature spiritually, be ready to be the 'without spot and without wrinkle saints' for whom He is coming.
The Lord’s tactics to get some to eat the spiritual meat in the Bible times was to send some who spoke sometimes some blunt messages, some like Ezekiel preached to mountains to get some to ask why, some like Jeremiah had to be thrown into the prison toilet and be waste deep in sewage, and there preach to a people who could not believe that he was still preaching from there. Sometimes today, in teaching truths that are meat, not just milk, I have to realize that it is better to be in that sewer preaching truth, than be the ones who threw him there.
How fast can one get from milk to meat? Well, the Lord is looking for a willing heart, and then He will shock those ones, with the speed of going from milk, to pablum, to meat. One poison idea that has been fed by the devil to Christians, is the idea we must be on milk for decades, and mature to meat very slowly. NO! We can mature to meat quickly, and then begin eating all the kinds of meat on the menu of the Lord. We can go from ‘steak’ to fish, from fish to fowl, from fowl to shrimp, etc. The variety of meats offered in the Lord’s menu will astound you, for His menu will take an eternity for us to enjoy all the meats that He has to offer.