The Ballestero Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Separation from the world

Goodbye John!

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Goodbye John!

 

Just the title seems inappropriate this close to Valentine’s Day.

Most of us are familiar with the term “Dear John letter,” by the time we have reached the season of courtship in our lives. For the recipient, it may mean devastation. For the sender it may feel like liberation.

Saying goodbye is easier for some than others. More often than not, I have seen tears in the eyes of family and dear friends even when we just said a temporary ‘goodbye.’

Imagine then what a permanent goodbye is like! Imagine what it would be like to put someone’s memory out of your mind while they yet live!

 

Behold the Lamb of God - William HatherellIt Happened In The Gospel Of John.

John 1:35    Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;

John 1:36    And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

John 1:37    And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

 

Every devout Jew knew the meaning of offering a yearly sacrifice for the atoning of his or her sins. It was a major relief for them to feel the guilt and condemnation removed. Yet, they knew they would have to do it all over again next year.

 

These tender-hearted men stood on a river bank that day and listened to a rugged looking and unorthodox preacher. He never played favorites or minced words. His preaching didn’t beat around the bush nor was it sugar-coated. Yet, multitudes came to hear him.

 

Today, in the middle of his sermon, John the Baptist saw his cousin Jesus passing by the crowd. John stopped preaching and pointed at Jesus. The crowd turned and looked. Every ounce of John’s voice reverberated with Divine revelation and authority.

 

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” he said.

Immediately, Two Of John’s Disciples Turned And Followed Jesus.

  • They never came up to John and explained why they were leaving.
  • They never waved goodbye to John.
  • They didn’t, ask for John’s email address.
  • They didn’t ask for his business card.
  • They didn’t ask for his cell phone number in case things didn’t work out between them and Jesus.
  • They didn’t try to ‘Friend’ John the Baptist on Facebook to stay in touch.
  • They didn’t follow him on Twitter.
  • They didn’t tell him they would test him later.
  • They simply turned, without a word or a regret, and followed Jesus.
  • This is a beautiful type of how we should  follow Jesus.

 

Of men born of women there was none greater than John the Baptist. No one in his or her right mind would trash the ministry of John. After all, he was the one that brought them all to a place where he could introduce Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah.

I don’t feel the need to trash whatever denomination or experience has brought you to this point in your life either.

When You Are Introduced To Him Through The…

  • Cleansing of his blood in baptism in Jesus name,
  • And the in filling of His Spirit… evidenced by speaking in tongues…

 

Then Saying ‘Goodbye John’ Should Seem So Easy!

It Should Seem Easy To Say Goodbye To Your Past:

  • When you meet the one who transforms your life,
  • Delivers you from addiction,
  • Forgives your past,
  • Washes you clean in the Pentecostal experience of Acts 2:38, and
  • Gives you the hope of heaven…
  • Why would you want to go back to John?

 

I am always amazed how some wannabe ‘Disciples’ keep trying hanging on to their old life. For your eternity’s sake, let it go. Say goodbye to everything that’s not of Jesus.

Thank God for whatever brought you to this point in your life. But, John MUST decrease so that HE can increase in your life.

Your walk with Jesus will never be what it is meant to be if you keep running back and forth between the two crowds.

 

I’m Asking You With All Sincerity.

 

Have you said, “Goodbye John,” yet or are you still in love with the old life you had before you met Jesus?

I Will Never Regret The Day I Said My Goodbyes, And Neither Will You!

 

handwave

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 11, 2013 at 1:17 am

Are We Mistaken About The ‘Separation From The World’ Concept?

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Are We Mistaken About The ‘Separation From The World’ Concept?

That’s a strange sounding question from a holiness minded preacher! Hear me out.

The intriguing story of Abraham’s journey with God begins with his being called out and away from his homeland. His walk of faith is carefully chronicled for our spiritual guidance and strength. He staggered not at the promises of God and we honor him as the father of the faithful, and rightly so.

Today, it seems we wish to identify with Abraham only up to a certain point. The present day generation does not wish to leave the world behind to follow Jesus. We desire to live the same as always, and yet claim to be different.

The idea of coming out of the world and away from the old life of sin is found throughout the Word of God. It’s nothing new.

  • Israel came out of Egypt.
  • Elisha left father and mother to follow Elijah.
  • Ruth left her people and her gods to follow Naomi.
  • New Testament disciples heard Jesus speak the words Follow Me and they did just that.

These and other stories serve as types and illustrations for Holy Ghost believers. These examples aid us in our desire to leave the world behind and follow Jesus.

The saints of old sang choruses like, “I’m Leaving All To Follow Jesus.” Sadly, today many do not wish to give up much to follow Jesus. They sang:

I’m leaving all to follow Jesus,

I am turning from this world away.

Oh, I still rely upon His promise,

And all I have is His today.

Some of the old saints had to walk away from their families. Some had to leave their jobs. Jesus said unless you love me on this level, you are not worthy to be my disciple.

The word church in the Bible means, called out.  That’s what we are supposed to be, called out! We are called out of the world. All that are a part of God’s church are called out.

Most of my generation grew up hearing preachers and old saints quote scriptures like:

2Cor. 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you

Rev. 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Why is it we don’t hear verses like these quoted anymore? Evidently it’s just not comfortable to the ears of those who feel they are living in an age of spiritual enlightenment.

There is a lesson to be learned here from Israel. When they wandered in the wilderness, they never seemed to stop complaining.

  • They complained about the leadership.
  • (They still do that today.)
  • They complained about the food.
  • (That’s common today too.)
  • They complained so much that God sent fiery serpents among them.

Yet I fail to find where they ever complained about what God gave them as dress codes or dietary restrictions. Actually, they seemed to revel in their lifestyle. They never complained about their ‘holiness’ standards. They lived a much more conservative lifestyle than the world around them.

Today, holiness is the first thing worldly-minded saints complain about. It makes one wonder if we even know God as well as Israel did in the wilderness? Why are so many turned off by the word holiness? Whatever happened to “be ye holy even as I am holy”? We sing popular choruses about God’s holiness and often our life and dress don’t match the words we sing.

We tell our selves that we are separated from the world. We pride ourselves in not doing things the world does. Yet while we brag about our separation, we seem to be getting more and more distant from Him in the process.

How is this happening? What’s going on here? Why is it that Pentecostals who have been baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost, do not wish to live holy? They want the Holy Spirit, but don’t want the holy living.

There was a day when modesty was accepted and expected in the church as well as the world. We call it holiness today; our grandmothers called it common decency back then. That’s how far we’ve gone down hill.

God is constant. He never changes. The world, on the other hand, is on a fast slippery slope going away from God.

For as long as I can remember, we have used the world to gauge our holiness lifestyle and standards. Therein, I’m afraid, may be part of the problem. We judge our spiritual condition by looking at the world, and then looking at our distance from the world. We think that by not doing what the world is presently doing we are justified.

It is very unsettling to see church folk doing today with good conscience what sinners looked down upon years ago. What has happened is that while we’ve attempted to keep the world at arms length, we’ve gotten our eyes off of Jesus and have unwittingly distanced ourselves from Him. The world is sliding down a slippery slope. I pray we don’t follow.

The World drifting away from God

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The Church drifting away from God but separated from the World

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The Church separated unto God

What would happen to us as the body of Christ if we like Paul separated ourselves unto Him rather than separate ourselves from the world? What if we turned our eyes upon Jesus and only looked at Him. What if we determined within ourselves to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified?

Are we hung up on the concept of separation from the world only? If we are, I am afraid we will continue to drift farther and farther away from Him. Let us all stand with the Apostle Paul and choose to be separated unto God regardless of what the world does!

God is going to have a church that loves holiness. I plan to be part of it. Will you join me?

Rom. 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 14, 2011 at 12:01 am