Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “Great God”…JESUS
As a child of God, I realize what a privilege it is too render attentive service to the Lord! Over the years I have come to realize we have to make it count, hence it takes a inward evaluation at all times to make sure we are striving to make the mark in Christ Jesus! It is so easy just to go through the motions, and our service to Christ be not approved, meaning it may not affect our salvation, but it most definitely will affect our rewards when we appear before the judgment sit of Christ, when we are Raptured to His throne in heaven. The Apostle Paul was very cognizant in keeping surveillance on how he served Christ as it pertained to his motives, representation, and the impact he had on the Kingdom of God. Hence for this Golden Nugget I would like to provoke the thought “Lord I Don’t Want to Be a Castaway” My premise scriptures to provoke further gospel provocation are as follows:
1 Co. 9:19-27 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
In my walk in Christ over 39 years I’ve notice that this passage has perplexed and troubled many who have an earnest heart toward Christ. Many have for discussion purposes pondered the content of “castaway” within the context of Paul’s dialogue. The basic inquisitive statement has been, “If Paul was uncertain as to the direction of his course, who then can be sure?”… But was Paul uncertain as to the issue? My answer to this is NO! The preceding verses immediately teaches us the very opposite, note: “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air.” Paul knew quite well how the whole matter was to end, so far as he was concerned. Notice what he says in 2 Tim. 2:12 “I know whom (not merely what) I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day” and also in Rom. 8:38-39 “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
These scriptures are amply sufficient to prove that Paul did not have a shadow of a doubt as to his eternal security in Jesus Christ. “I know,” “I am persuaded.” There is no doubt or uncertainty in the fervency of these words. Paul knew better. His foundation was as stable as the throne of God. Whatever certainty Christ could give, Paul possessed it. I am fully convinced that, so far as Paul was concerned, from the moment the scales dropped from his eyes in the city of Damascus until he was offered up to be beheaded in the city of Rome, his heart never once harbored a single doubt, a single fear, a single misgiving; how do I know? Because he made it very clear in 2 Cor. 4:17 “He was troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” Yes, in the midst of all his conflict and trouble, he could say, “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”
Paul had no doubts or fears as to the final issue. Neither should anyone who has truly come to Christ, inasmuch as He has said in John 6:37 “Him that comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out.” No one who is really cast upon Christ, will ever be cast away from Him. This is a divine axiom, a fundamental truth, an eternal reality. Christ is responsible for every lamb in the flock. The counsels of God have made Him so; the love of His own heart has made Him so; the Holy Scriptures declare Him to be so. Not one of Christ’s blood-bought lambs can ever be lost, not one can ever be cast away. They are all as safe as He can make them, as safe as Himself.
So my brothers and sisters let’s get to what does Paul really mean when he says, “Lest I myself should be a castaway?” If he does not mean to convey the idea of uncertainty as to his personal security in Christ, what then does he mean? I pastor Faulk believe the expression applies not to his future, but his present service, not to his heavenly home, but his earthly path, not to his eternal privileges, but his present responsibilities. Paul was a servant as well as a son, so he exercised himself and kept his body in subjection, “lest that by any means he might be disapproved of,” which I believe is a better translation of castaway.
My brothers and sisters our body is a good servant, but a bad master! If we do not keep this body down, it will altogether disqualify us as servants of Christ concerning the high charge and responsibilities he has given us!. That’s right Saints, a person may be a child of God and yet be “disapproved” as a servant of Christ. To be an efficient servant of Christ involves self-denial, self-judgment, self-emptiness, self control. If we lack these we will never be a successful servant of Christ. GOLDEN NUGGET!
A dead man cannot run a race, but a living man can, but he must run “lawfully,” else he cannot be crowned. This is also in regards to the servants of Christ. We must deny ourselves; we must keep our nature down; we must keep our body in subjection, lest we be disapproved of and set aside as a servant unfit for the Master’s work, a vessel not “meet for the Master’s use.”
Wow, many Saints go to church, profess Jesus Christ, but their flesh causes them to stumble often. Please understand my brothers and sisters, a perpetual tripping Saints, is a Saint that eventually warrants no respect from the church or the world! Why? because that persons report is hard to receive! So many of us misconstrue “GRACE” as an open license to walk and accommodate our flesh to sin, but I refer you to read the epistle of Romans chapter 6 for a better comprehension of why not to use that weak excuse! These individuals are eventually labeled as “CASTAWAYS” A real Saint of God can never lose their relationship to Christ or the eternal dignities and privileges that are associated with it, but they can lose their present fitness for service. Why? Because our erroneous actions can disapprove us as a workman. Please note my brothers and sisters that when God created ADAM in his original condition it was of Uprightness, hence he had the positive qualities to possess a positive intellectual and moral resolve prior to his sinful fall. Therefore ADAM had the knowledge of God concerning what was required of him in service! Which meant, he had understanding, affection, and will when he was created as an adult male prior to his erroneous action. GOLDEN NUGGET!
My brothers and sisters let’s evaluate a couple of situations using John Mark as an example, in conjunction with my premise and the principle I am trying to convey in reference to 1 Corinthians 9:27. We read in Acts 13:5 that John Mark was counted worthy to be associated with Paul in the ministry, but in Acts 15:38 John Mark was disapproved, but we see that in 2 Timothy 4:11 that Paul acknowledged that John Mark’s commitment and maturity made him a profitable servant for ministry! Please note that John Mark was truly a child of God, a saved person, and a believer in Christ when Paul rejected him as a co-worker, as when he at first acknowledged him and finally restored him to assist in ministry! In no case was the question raised concerning John Mark’s personal salvation. It was altogether a matter of fitness for service. It is evident that the influence of natural affection had been allowed to act on Mark’s heart to unfit him in Paul’s judgment for that great work which he, as the steward of Christ, was carrying on. Wow! How often do we see so many elevated through the eyes of men, and political deal making in various church’s and organizations due to nepotism, money, and internal clicks, and yet those individuals elevated are Not FIT FOR SERVICE! GOLDEN NUGGET!
Let’s go to the bible and turn to Judges chapter 7, here we will find another example concerning my premise. What was the great question concerning who would be in Gideon’s company? Was it whether or not a man was an Israelite, a son of Abraham, a circumcised member of the congregation? NO! It was simply whether a man was a fit vessel for the service at hand. And what were the prerequisites to prove if that man was fit for such service? Confidence in God and self-denial! Please read verses 3 and 6. Those who were fearful were rejected (v. 3). And those who sought their own convenience were rejected (v. 7). Now, of the 31,700 who were rejected, were truly Israelite’s as the 300 who were approved, but the former were not fit for service; the latter were. GOLDEN NUGGET!
I perpetually pray that our Lord Jesus Christ by his grace will increase the discernment in us, that will enabled us to distinguish those things that differ; so that our hearts can internalize the sweet and tranquilizing power of the Lords precious words, “Him that comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out.” May we forever remember that as children of God who remain in Him, we are eternally safe; yet as servants of Christ we may be disapproved and set aside, only to be put on a shelf due to non effectiveness!
My brothers and sisters please notice how Paul articulates his point in 1 Co. 3:8-17 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
I don’t want to be a CASTAWAY, nor do I want my works burned up. When I appear before the Judgment Seat of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ upon being Raptured, I am looking for some rewards to be rendered to me for my work in His kingdom! There are five crowns to be awarded, let take a brief look at them. (1) The Crown of “LIFE” This crown is for those who were Martyr’s and is mentioned twice in the word of God James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation (testing) for when he is tried (at the Judgment Seat of Christ), he shall receive the “Crown of Life” which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him. Also in Rev.2:10 “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer; behold, the Devil shall cast come of you into prison, that ye may be tried and ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful ‘unto death,’ and I give thee a “Crown of Life“ (2) The Crown of “GLORY” 1 Pet. 5:2-4 This crown will be for the Elders or Pastors, given to us by our Chief Shepherd when He shall appear. But you better believe it will not be for all those pastors who serve for “filthy lucre” or all those who lord over God’s heritage. (3) The Crown of “REJOICING” 1 Thess. 2:19,20. Phil. 4:1 This is the crown for “Soul Winners” That’s right, all of those brought to Jesus by us will be our “crown of rejoicing” at His eminent Return! (4) The Crown of “RIGHTEOUSNESS” 2 Tim. 4:8 This crown is for all those who “love His appearing” and will be given in “that day”…the Day of the Lord’s Appearing. (5) The Crown “INCORRUPTIBLE” 1 Cor. 9:25-27, Thank you Jesus! This is the “Victor’s” crown, and is for all those who “kept under their body.” Those who did not yield to their lust of the flesh. Those who did not permit themselves to be diverted from the Master’s work by worldly amusements and extreme pleasures, nor saturated their body with drugs and other things that defile the tabernacle. For in 1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. So let us see to it that we keep our body “under” so that we will secure a crown. GOLDEN NUGGET!
Saints I pray every day that the Lord will continue to allow us to walk in temperance as expounded upon in 2 Peter 1:6. This means a great deal more than what is usually understood by this term. It is customary to apply the word “temperance” to a habit of moderation in reference to eating and drinking. No doubt, it does involve this, but it involves much more. Indeed, the Greek word used by the inspired apostle basically means “self-control.” It gives the idea of one who has self habitually well reined in. This entails perpetual focus and discipline as we strive to please Jesus Christ!
I know the going gets tough sometimes, but our rewards far exceed what we are going through now or in the future. Be assured that everything we do for Christ has to be tried based on the various seasons we experience in this life. In order to remain Fit for Service, and not a CASTAWAY, we must condition how and what we think. The Apostle Paul sets a great pattern that helps us prove our own experience in Phil. 4:8-9 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things which ye have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you” So remember as you and I serve Jesus Christ, always evaluate your fitness for service, because “Lord I Don’t Want to Be a Castaway” Have a “JESUS DAY”