Following The Footsteps Of Christ (Part Four)
This is the fourth and final part of the series, Following the footsteps of Christ.
You can recap from Part Three.
John the Baptiste prepared the way for the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth (Mark 1). Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ has prepared the way for us to live more victoriously on the earth.
While we are alive on this earth we should be preparing for His return. We do not know the hour of His return, but it is evident that we are living in the final days.
In this final part of this four-part series, we will be looking at how Jesus dealt with hypocrisy in the Church, the signs of the time and how we can be prepared for the return of the Lord, and much more.
Dealing with religious discrimination
The earth is overcrowded with various types of religions and each religion has several different denominations attached to it. Each religious group believes that they have the truth.
Jesus stated that He is the way, truth, and life. The Christian faith rests on this foundation.
However, within the Christian community, each denomination believes that they teach the true Word of God and sometimes strife can result among the groups.
The disciples of Jesus encountered a similar issue. They saw a man who was not a part of their group casting out demons in Jesus’ name.
The disciples tried to stop his ministry but did not succeed so they asked the Lord how they should deal with the matter (Mark 9:38-41).
But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. (Mark 9:39-40)
Evidently, this is the example that we should follow.
Children are blessed by Jesus
No child should be turned away from receiving the blessing of salvation (Mark 10:13-16).
But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:14)
Woe to the hypocrites
Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites (Matthew 23:1-36; Mark 7:1-23; 8:11-21; Mark 12:38-39).
A hypocrite is a person who pretends to believe in God. He has a form of Godliness but does not know the Lord.
According to the actions of the Scribes and Pharisees, the hypocrites do not practice what they preached. They are men-pleasers and love to exalt themselves in the church.
The hypocrites do not teach the truth of God’s Word and they like to pray long winding prayers to make an impression.
They place a heavy burden on their converts and like to keep them in bondage.
The hypocrites are like whitewashed tombs that appear clean on the outside but inside are filled with dead men bones and all forms of uncleanness.
They are serpents and brood of vipers who will not escape the condemnation of hell.
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13)
Woe to those who killed the prophets and stoned the messengers of God (Matthew 23:37-39)
God will not judge the land unless He first sends His prophets to warn of impending judgment to encourage repentance.
However, sometimes these prophets are scorned and persecuted. But, God will revenge His servants and the guilty faced desolation (Matthew 23:37-39).
Signs of the time
Jesus gave us precise information on what to expect near the end of times (Matthew 24; Mark 13; ). I have summarised this information and you can read it here.
Preparing for the coming of the Lord
1) Be like the wise virgins and keep your lamps trim (Matthew 25:1-13).
2) Prepare by becoming the oil and wine.
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:13)
3) Be profitable to God and use the gifts wisely that He has given to you (Matthew 25:14-30).
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him, that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:29-30)
Giving to God
The most important gift that you can give to God is not money. It is feeding the poor and clothing the naked (Matthew 25:31-46).
It does not matter the amount of money that you give to the church as long as you give it from your heart (Mark 12:41-44).
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (Matthew 25:34-36)
Overcoming the plots of the enemies
As Christians, the adversaries will always be devising plots to kill you. They did it to Jesus and they will do the same to you.
The plot to kill Jesus was the greatest conspiracy of all times (Matthew 26:1-5, 14-25; Mark 14:1-2, 10-11).
After Jesus was resurrected they even conspired to tell lies that His body was stolen (Matthew 28:11-15).
Jesus clearly stated that anyone who desires to follow Him must be willing to deny themselves and take up the cross and follow Him (Mark 8:34-38).
This emphasized the fact that there will be difficulties on this journey, but the benefits far outweigh those problems.
Striking the shepherd first will cause the sheep to scatter. But, the Lord is always ready to restore.
Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. (Matthew 26:31-32)
You will be betrayed by those who are close to you. You may be falsely accused and tried in the courtroom of men (Matthew 26:46-68; 27:1-2, 11-14; Mark 14:43-65; Mark 15:1-5).
You will be mocked and scorned at times (Matthew 27:27-44; Mark 15:16-32).
You might fall, but do not stay down. Allow the Lord to pick you up and restore you again (Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:27-31, 66-72).
Your enemies will fall by their own hands (Matthew 27:3-10).
Moments of Gethsemane
You will have moments of Gethsemane (oil press) where you will be pressed and tried by the enemy (Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 14:32-42).
The pressure is to purify you into refined oil and wine. You can receive strength during these times by prayer and fasting.
How much does Christ worth to you?
The woman who was delivered from a multitude of demons had much to praise the Lord and she showed her gratitude to Jesus by anointing Him with a very expensive perfume (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9).
The resurrected Lord and Saviour
Jesus died and was resurrected on the third day (Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-13).
What does this significant event mean to you?
First and foremost, You can spread the good news of salvation (Mark 16:14-20).
You have received resurrection power in your life and Jesus will always be with you (Matthew 28:16-20).
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and on the earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Commemorating the Lord’s supper
Honoring the Lord’s supper is the only celebration that Jesus recommended to us, not His birthday.
This celebration should be done as often as possible because we are remembering the great work that He did at Calvary for the redemption of our sins (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:12-26).
Jesus triumphant entry into your life
A relationship with Christ means that you are already victorious in everything that you set your hands to do.
The same manner in which Jesus made a triumphant entry into Jerusalem, He will also make a triumphant entry into your life (Matthew 21: 1-11; Mark 11:1-11).
Consequently, Satan will constantly attack you to let you believe otherwise, but keep your eyes on Jesus and follow His footsteps.
The wages of sin is death, but a sinless man died instead of the sinners to set the sinners free (Matthew 27:15-26, 45-66; Mark 15:6-15; 33-47).
Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. (Matthew 21:5)
If you have not done so as yet, receive the triumphant entry of Christ into your life today!