The calling, from the gospel of Mark,
- “And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to them, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me’ ” (Mark 8:34 – NASB)
This, brethren, is the what Jesus said to the “multitude” and to His “disciples,” and to us. It is the call to salvation!
The other day, through WorldView Weekend’s weekly on-line newsletter, I watched a short video of Victoria Osteen speaking. As she spoke I couldn’t help but be unsettled by this woman’s perversion of the truth. She said,
- “I just want to encourage everyone of us to realize, when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God, I mean that’s one way to look at it, we’re doing it for ourselves because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy . . . so, I want you to know . . . just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really, you’re doing it for yourself. Because that’s what makes God happy, amen?”
The gospel of the Osteens! The false message that pours out from them to the largest so-called Christian congregation in the U.S. The hedonistic message that ministers to self, that elevates self above God.
No! I will not say “amen” to this heretical teaching!
If for a moment we think that self is to have first place, first consideration, in our service of worship to God, we are deluded!
Jesus came to deliver us from self! Lest we forget, we, in and of ourselves, are a sinful people. We are a people, that if left to self, will suffer the wrath of God (Ephesians 2:1-3), will pay the penalty due our sinful self. He came to call us to Himself, to “deny” ourselves, to “take up (our) cross” and “follow” Him. To “follow” Him as an example of denial of self (Philippians 2:3-8; John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:42, 50). To “take up” one’s “cross” means to die to self! Self is destructive! If catered to it will eventually destroy a person. He came to call us to denial of our sinful self, death to our sinful self, and obedience to God!
This calling is no suggestion. It is a divine command! “Follow Me” is a command from the Creator, the God-Man, to each and every soul. In this age of grace God commands, “follow” My Son, denying self, dying to self, for this is the only way you will escape the coming judgment.
As I’ve have noted on several occasions, their are siren voices coming at us from every angle, purporting to speak for God. In this day in which you and I live we must equip ourselves to be able to discern the false vs. the true. We must be studying the Word of God, testing everything by it (I Thessalonians 5:21) . . .
- “. . . let as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, you minds should be led astray . . .” (II Corinthians 11:3 – NASB)
Don’t buy into what Victoria Osteen or her husband say, for their message is not a true one. Instead be set apart by the truth, the Word of God (John 17:17), attempting to learn and do what is pleasing to God (Ephesians 5:10, 17) not to self.
Have a good day . . . and as you walk do so as one who follows Christ, denying self, dying to self daily. (read Romans 6)
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