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Time for God

I received this chain letter from an acquaintance who has been receiving our spiritual correspondence emails. I am thankful that he sent it to me, and that he and others are interested in bearing witness of the Lord Jesus Christ before men. Much of what is said in the letter is true, and it would be a wonderful thing if everybody was prepared to stand up and publicly confess and praise, from the heart, the Lord, Who, as this letter states, has done so much for us and Who means so much to us, whether we know it or not.

I would like to commend the things that I find true in this letter. I would also like to address those things that either are not true, or which ought to provoke some thought which might cause one to reconsider some of the false doctrines being taught in nominal Christendom, as Biblical truth. I do these things because I do indeed desire to “have time for God,” to do His will, and to reach out to others to do the same. After all is said and done, the world will be gone, we will be gone, but God, Whom everything is all about, will remain.

Why would we invest in the Titanic instead of in the Ark, if we knew the purpose and fate of each one? My desire is to let people know their purpose and fate, and to encourage everyone to worship God, to put their trust completely in Him. Thus, I do forward this letter to everyone I can, in hopes that I may instill faith by the Word of God, that they too will find not just time for God, but God Himself.

Victor Hafichuk

The chain letter’s contents proceed as follows:

Read only if you have time for God.

Let me tell you, make sure you read all the way to the bottom. I almost deleted this email but I was blessed when I got to the end.

God, when I received this e-mail, I thought… I don’t have time for this… And, this is really inappropriate during work.

Victor:

Perhaps it is time to examine our priorities and to determine what is appropriate to God rather than to man?

The letter continues:

Then, I realized that this kind of thinking is… Exactly, what has caused lot of the problems in our world today.

Victor:

The world seems to be getting busier and busier for all. Why is that? This I know, that in this “busy-ness,” we need God as much as ever. This also have I learned, that when we submit our time to God, He multiplies it. That goes for everything, whether in quantity or quality. He honors those who honor Him.

Continuing:

We try to keep God in church on Sunday morning…
Maybe, Sunday night…
And, the unlikely event of a midweek service.
We do like to have Him around during sickness…
And, of course, at funerals.
However, we don’t have time, or room, for Him during work or play…
Because… That’s the part of our lives we think… We can, and should, handle on our own.

Victor:

Jesus never came to give us religion, formality, ritual, ceremony, or “churchianity.” He came to give us reality, life, “and that more abundantly.”

The letter continues:

May God forgive me for ever thinking…
That… there is a time or place where…
HE is not to be FIRST in my life.
We should always have time to remember all HE has done for us.

Victor:

Right thinking comes by a new nature.

Continuing:

If, You aren’t ashamed to do this…
Please follow the directions.
Jesus said, “If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father.”
Not ashamed?
Pass this on ONLY IF YOU MEAN IT!!
Yes, I do Love God.
HE is my source of existence and Savior.

He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I will be nothing. Without Him, I am nothing. But, with Christ, HE strengthens me. (Phil 4:13) This is the simplest test.

If you love God… And, are not ashamed of all the marvelous things HE has done for you…

Victor:

If you love God, you will not be ashamed. But what if you are ashamed? Will you still pass it on? Will you do it because it is the right thing, or the religious thing, to do? There is a difference. Will you pass it on in spite of yourself? Will you do it because He lives in you or because you want to be righteous in the sight of men? Many are the religious works of men, and the professions of faith that are empty. Did not Jesus say, “In vain to they worship Me with their lips”? As it is written:

“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8-9).

Did He not say He would refuse entry into the Kingdom of God to many who preached, did miracles, cast out devils, doing many things in His Name? As it is written:

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23).

The letter continues:

Send this to ten people and the person who sent it to you!

I don’t think I know 10 people who would admit they love Jesus. Do YOU love Him?

Victor:

What is this about “admit”? How can one, who truly loves the Lord Jesus, see naming His Name as an “admission,” as though it was a crime or a sin? Churches are filled with people who do not love the Lord Jesus Christ. If they loved Him, would they not confess, yea, proclaim, never mind “admit,” that they love Him? Would you admit to loving your child, your parent, or your spouse? While they are real to you, you say you love them. If you do not say that you love the Lord, is He real to you? Why not? What stands between you and the Lord? Pride? Sin? Formality? Religion? Form? False doctrines? Flesh?

However, we cannot boast of loving Him. Truly, it is more about His love for us than of ours for Him. As it is written:

“We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

The letter goes on:

THE POEM

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do. I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done

Victor:

Yes, we must have a heart change to where we pass from law to grace, where “it is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Does not an adult child do things for the parent because he cares and wants to, rather than because he has to?

The letter continues:

My soul could rest at ease.
All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They’d laugh at me I’d fear.

Victor:

Who are these who profess to love Christ, yet have friends who would laugh at them at the mention of His Name? Are you His or are you not? Are you His for real or are you just a church member, professing and taking His Name in vain? As it is written:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

Are not the Scriptures clear on these matters? Yes, is it not the fear of man rather than the fear of God that rules in the hearts of most who profess faith in Christ? And the fear of man, the Bible says, brings a snare.

The letter continues:

No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.
I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.
God looked into his book and said
“Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down…
But never found the time.”

Victor:

While this is poetic, I think we need to be more respectful or reverent of the Lord, of what He says, and how He conducts Himself. After all, He did more than find the time. He laid down His life…successfully, I might add.

The letter continues:

Now do you have the time to pass it on?
Make sure that you scroll through to the end.

Easy vs. Hard

Why is it so hard to tell the truth but yet so easy to tell a lie?

Victor:

If we are carnal Christians, or Christians in name only, then we are not in the Spirit. If we are not in the Spirit, we are in the flesh. If we are in the flesh, we do the works of the flesh, lying being one of them. If we do not have the Spirit of Christ, we do not have His righteousness. It is only by His Spirit, by His righteousness, that we can do good. It is not in man, in and of himself, to do good. “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,” prophesied Isaiah.

The letter continues:

Why are we so sleepy in church but right when the sermon is over we suddenly wake up?

Victor:

That is either because we are carnal, having no use for the things of God, or, we are spiritual, and the preacher and the church have no use for God! If one is hungering after God, he will not sleep but seek. If that one is seeking, he or she cannot rest in a pew, but will have to flee to where they can receive true spiritual food, and not just religious talk and ceremony.

The letter continues:

Why is it so hard to talk about God but yet so easy to talk about nasty stuff?
Why is it so boring to look at a Christian magazine, but yet so easy to look at a nasty one?
Why is it so easy to delete a Godly e-mail, but yet we forward all of the nasty ones?

Victor:

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from Me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten Me, and trusted in falsehood” (Jeremiah 13:23-25).

The letter continues:

Why are the churches getting smaller but yet the bars and dance clubs are getting larger?
Do you give up? Think about it. Are you going to forward this, or delete it?
Just remember-God is watching you. Prayer Wheel-Let’s see the devil stop this one!
Here’s what the wheel is all about. When you receive this, say a prayer for the person that sent it to you….
That’s all you have to do….
There is nothing attached….
This is so powerful….
Do not stop the wheel, please….
Of all the free gifts we may receive, Prayer is the very best one….
There are no costs, but wonderful rewards… GOD BLESS!

Victor:

Prayer is good, yes, but not in and of itself. Do not many religions pray? Do all love the Lord Jesus Christ? Some have never heard of Him. Do not the heathen pray too, as the Lord said? As it is written:

“For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:46)

“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7).

If any are ashamed of the Lord, they must first pray for repentance, and to be changed, or corrected, before their prayer can ever be heard on behalf of another or even for themselves. We all like to appear righteous to others, and to say nice, “uplifting” and “edifying” things, but let’s be sure to get real. Let’s talk about sin, our sin. Let’s talk about repentance. When the prophets came to the people, did they talk about prayer, and professing God? No, they spoke of confessing before professing, of sin, and of repentance from sin. When that happens, prayer is automatic; prayer for others is automatic, because it is the Life and Spirit of Christ praying with or through an open channel.

Do you know that you should be participating in this “prayer wheel”? Is this a work of the flesh (as good as it may seem), or is it the leading of the Spirit of God? I must tell you directly: this is a work of man, and not of God. If of man, then God wil not honor it. Furthermore, we influence others falsely because we teach ways that are not of God, though we suggest or claim that they are. We do not know how to pray, or for what or for whom. Why then place the cart before the horse? As it is written:

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).

The letter continues:

May God keep you and bless you. If this (the following story), doesn’t give you chills nothing will…this message is very true. Hope you are all as blessed as I was from this story. I wonder how many people will delete this without reading it because of the title on it?

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak…

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked, “What you got there, son?”

“Just some old birds,” came the reply.

“What are you gonna do with them?” I asked.

“Take ’em home and have fun with ’em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ’em and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do?”

“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ’em to them.”

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

“Huh?? !!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?” the pastor asked again.

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone.

The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.

Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story: One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

“And what will you do when you get done with them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, I’ll kill ’em,” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!!”

“How much?” He asked again.

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”

Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage, opened the door and he walked from the pulpit.

Victor:

I would like all to hear the really Good News. Did Christ indeed die for all? Yes, He did. The Scriptures are clear on that point. As it is written:

“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

In other words, just as this pastor redeemed every bird, so did Christ redeem every man. Now, not every bird left the cage at the same moment, but they all left the cage. So will it be with mankind. As it is written:

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1 Corinthians 15:21-23).

Did some birds decide to remain caged? I don’t think so. Were they “good” because they came out? Not at all. Nor will any man “come out of his cage” because of some kind of righteousness on his part, such as that he or she accepted the atonement, or repented, or believed on Christ, while others did not. As it is written:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

And:

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).

Do I negate repentance from sin? No, not at all. Christ will redeem all through repentance and faith. He will leave the 99 and seek out that last lost one if He has to do so, all in due time.

The letter continues:

Notes:

Isn’t it funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.
Isn’t it funny how someone can say “I believe in God” but still follow Satan (who, by the way, also “believes” in God).
Isn’t it funny how you can send a thousand jokes through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing?
Isn’t it funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them.
Isn’t it funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me.
I pray, for everyone who sends this to their entire address book, they will be blessed by God in a way special for them.
And send it back to the person who sent it, to let them know that indeed it was sent out to many more.

Bruce

Victor:

Bruce, there will indeed be many more to read this letter, and may the good seed of God prevail, and bear fruit. Blessing will not come by the act of duplicating this letter to show our love for God, nor by prayer from the flesh, but by faith, and for obedience to Him in all things He requires, and deems useful. It is His work, and not ours that bears fruit. I am glad that it is not up to me.

The truly Good News is that everyone of you will be saved one day, and we will all be praising the Lord together, in spirit and in truth, doing right not because we should, or have to, but because we want to. No longer will we be living in sin, but we will be cleansed of all sin and fault. Praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ! That is indeed Good News.

I would like to hear from you.

Victor Hafichuk

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