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SCRIPTURE - REV. 7:13-14 JULY, 2000
13 And one of the elders, answered, saying unto me, 'What are these which are arrayed in white
14 And I said unto him, sir thou knowest. And he said unto me, these are they that came out of
great tribulation. and have made them white, in the blood of the Lamb
SUBJECT - DO YOUR OWN LAUNDRY
In this passage of scripture, are a couple of things that I want to address.
The first is, John is looking at a number of people, that can't be numbered, standing around the throne of God (v.9).
It is my belief, that the number, here, is not so great a number that no one could number them, for surely, God could. But, that the number is an unknown number, in that God does not have a set number of people, to enter in to Heaven. For Him to have a set number, would mean that some are predestined to go to Heaven, while others would be lost, sort of like a quota system, and I know that God, isn't like that.
Any way, they are of all different races and nationalities. This scripture puts an end to the notion that only 144,000 will be there, and that they will all be of one race.
For too long, it has been believed that only certain people would be in Heaven, but this scripture plainly shows that this belief is not biblical. The bible says that 'God so loved the world....' (St. John 3:16), that includes every one, and He has made provision for everyone to gain access to His grace and mercy, through His Son, Jesus Christ. The homosexual, lesbian, murderer, rapist, whoremonger, idolater, child molester, atheist, drunkard, and you name it, they all have the door opened to them, to enter in.
Now, my second point, is the gist of this message, and that is the part where the angel tells John 'these are they that have made their robes white, in the blood of the Lamb.' This statement is important, yet overlooked by many, for it lets us know that everyone of these people had to do something, in order to make their robes white. It was not an automatic thing. It was not Jesus that came to them and took their robes and washed them, but rather it was them, that took their robes and washed them, in the blood of the Lamb.
Some would ask, 'are you saying that Jesus doesn't cleanse us, and make us righteous???'
My answer to that would be, it is not Jesus that cleanses us from sin, but His Blood, that is the cleansing agent. The bible says that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin [HEB. 9:22], and the Blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin [1 John 1:7].
Let me explain in terms that you can identify with. Say for instance, you have some dirty clothes. And, let's say, you have a washing machine, and some soap. Now, just because you have the washing machine, and soap, the clothes are not going to get clean, unless you put them in the machine, and then add some soap.
Now, if you put the clothes in the machine, but don't put any soap in, then the clothes are not going to get clean, are they??? In certain instances, you have to put in a more powerful cleaning agent, depending on the amount of dirt, you need to remove. You ladies know what I mean. You might even use bleach. Now, when you get through washing the clothes, you say, 'I washed them,' even though all you did was put them in the machine, and added the soap.
Well, we all have, or have had, our spiritual clothes dirty. We were born with them that way, and will die with them that way, unless we do something to get them clean. And friend, 'Tide' won't do it. 'All', won't do it. 'Clorox' bleach won't do it. And, no, Jesus won't do it. What a dilemma. People going around thinking that Jesus, is going to come down here, and take their dirty laundry, and clean it all up.
So many times, I hear people praying, or saying, something to the effect of, 'Jesus, if I have any sin in my life, or any thing that is not pleasing to you, I want you to remove it.' Notice, they don't want to get rid of it, they want Jesus to take it.
Some, think that Jesus is some type of flunky or something. I like to use the analogy, about how they think He is one of those men you see in parades where animals like horses and elephants are participating. You know them. They walk around pushing this big can, with a broom and shovel. And over time one of these animals, relieves themselves, they (the men) run over to the pile, and pick it up. The animals don't ask for it to be picked up, but the men are paid to do it. And this is the picture many have, of Jesus. we make a mess, and Jesus runs to clean it up.
No!!! Jesus isn't going to clean anything up. The blood will do it. But, before that can happen, you have to put that mess of yours, in, or under, it. And the only way to do that, is through repentance.
The Church world today, is full of people with unrepentant sins. We do things, and I include myself (that's right, I'm not perfect, but striving to be), that we know are wrong, but rather than asking for forgiveness, and putting them under the blood, we walk around and think, 'God knows that I am sorry, and will forgive me. I don't have to repent for every little thing.' If you want to be forgiven, you will.
We have Christians, shacking up, committing fornication and adultery. They gamble. They steal. They lie. They covet what others have. They are idolaters, gamblers, and gossips. There may even
be some murderers out there. Anyway, if confronted with the fact that they are doing something wrong, they will say,' Well, I am just
waiting for God to straighten me out, or take this urge from me.' You will be waiting a long time.
God wants you to acknowledge your sins, repent, and put them, under the blood. Once they are under It, God will not remember them anymore. But, it has to be of your own free will, not God's. God, has already provided the machine, and the soap, the least you can do, is put your dirty laundry in, yourself.
If God, were to take your sins away, on His own, like many of you ask, then you would be complaining, with your lips all poked out, that God, doesn't want you to have any fun.
We just want Him to do everything, while we sit around, doing absolutely nothing, but messing up.
Let me remind you what the bible says, 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness'[1 Jo 1:9].
It is the confession of our sins, that, in effect, puts them under the blood. But, confessing them, means admitting that we aren't as Holy, and perfect as we think we are, and a lot of Christians, try to avoid that. Let me remind you of this, the only way you are saved, is by confession of your sin, and asking for forgiveness, and asking Jesus to be Lord of your life. If, as many believe you don't need to confess your sins, then everyone, is already going to be saved.
Remember the PHARISEE, and the PUBLICAN, that stood at the alter, and the PHARISEE began to tell God about how he is glad he is not like the other man, and how he has done all the things the law required??? And then the other man with his head hung down, asked God to 'have mercy on me, a sinner.'[Lk. 18:10-14] Guess which one had a clean robe, when they left???
In one aspect, you can see what God thinks about those that boast on their good works, and putting down others that may have stumbled and fallen. As being our brother's keeper, we should want to help them up, and not try to bury them. Doing otherwise, just soils our robes, a little more.
We go around, slippin' and slidin', and doing our own thing, and think, 'Hey, Jesus, I know you know my heart.' What you don't realize, is, yes, He knows your heart, all too well, but you don't. The bible says the heart of a man, is deceitfully wicked, who can know it?[scripture]. When it is put like this, it means that man's heart, will deceive, even him, in to thinking he is something, that he is not.
Now, what are the consequences of having on a dirty robe??? Well, if we look at the things on this earth, that we are involved in, and with, we will see, that we could lose out on many things that otherwise, would be ours.
Having a dirty robe, could cut you off from blessings that God has promised to His saints. Health, is one.
The bible says that no sickness or disease will come nigh our habitation. That means walking in what many people don't believe is possible, divine health.
Having a dirty robe, might mean that you will not be successful in life, even though the bible says we will be above, and not beneath, we shall lend and not borrow, we shall be the head, and not the tail.
Having a dirty robe, could mean, that others in your family will suffer.
Remember, we are talking about unrepentant sin in your life.
In some instances, your healing, or deliverance, will not be manifested, because of it.
There are many other things that I could mention, but, you get the point.
I hear many saints talking about how they can't wait for Jesus to return. Problem is, it is a good thing that He hasn't, because He is coming for a Church, without spot wrinkle or blemish[scripture]. His bride, is not ready. Many of these people, would be left here, if He were to come today.
Can you imagine that??? Thousands, even millions, that were anxiously waiting for Him to come, to take them out of this crazy world, suddenly, find themselves, left behind, to go through, what has been described as a literal hell on earth. Talk about weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, there will be a lot of so-called saints, doing just that.
The bible tells us, that it is still possible, for those, that are left behind, to still get in to Heaven, but they will have to do it, without the aid of the Holy Spirit, and friend, that won't be easy. Our subject scripture, lends credence to this, because it says that they came out of 'great tribulation.' I doubt very seriously that any of us, has been through anything, that classifies as 'great tribulation.'
As for myself, I'd rather be safe than sorry. How about you???
What condition is your spiritual robe in??? Is it white and spotless, without wrinkle or blemish??? Or is it soiled, stained, and worn, with those unconfessed sins, that we have all, at one time or another, overlooked, or put off until later, and forgotten about???
Right now!!! God is saying, 'IN THE DAY YOU HEAR MY VOICE, HARDEN NOT YOUR HEART!!! TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION [DELIVERANCE, THROUGH REPENTANCE] NOW, IS THE ACCEPTED TIME!!!]
As I was writing this message, you better believe, that I am coming under conviction as well, and I am washing my robe right now. That's one thing I always try to do, even though I may be getting convicted by what God is telling me, I am still going to preach it. I'm putting everything, under the blood. How about you??? Are you going to take heed to the voice of God, or are you going to put it off, until later??? Why not do it right now?? You may not have the opportunity again!!
Remember, judgment, begins at the House of God (the Church). By the time He gets through with His own kids, then the world will surely know that He is righteous and just.
NEXT MONTH'S MESSAGE - JESUS IS GOING TO MESS YOU
UP, BIG TIME!!!