Believe and you shall receive
We are living in troubled times, in a world where physical death is certain. However, for those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will receive the gift of eternal life. This is a free gift from God, and Jesus told us about this gift in (John 3:16 NKJV) when he spoke these words. Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The Apostle Paul further confirms this in (Romans 10:9-13 ESV) when he says this, “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!”
God never makes a promise that He will not fulfill. “GOD REWARDS THOSE WHO BELIEVE!”
Our lesson today finds Apostle Paul locked away in prison for the crime of preaching the gospel. When he is brought before the judge to face trial for his actions, he soon discovers how much alone he stood. No one at all came to speak in Paul’s defense or to stand by in his support; everyone had abandoned him. Although sorely disappointed, Paul seemed to understand; for he hoped that this would not be counted against them that he had clearly stood with and preached the gospel too that they might be saved by the word of God.
Now listen to how Paul describes the situation, Paul said, “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. (2 Timothy 4:16-18 ESV)!”
Have you ever been in this situation where you were condemned for speaking the truth and at the time, it seemed that the entire world was against you?
Although no human being had come to support Paul at his hearing, the Lord had stood with him, where Jesus promised help to those arrested for preaching the gospel. Paul had sensed both the presence and the power of Christ giving him strength. Christ had helped Paul not just for Paul’s benefit alone. He had supplied Paul with spiritual power, wisdom, and preaching skills in order to preach the Good News in all its fullness for all the Gentiles to hear. Even at the trial before the Roman authorities who were ready to execute this Christian leader, Paul had proclaimed the gospel! That Paul was saved from certain death most likely described his deliverance from extreme danger. Paul knew he wouldn’t get out of prison alive, though he was experiencing a temporary reprieve due to a delay in the Roman judicial system.
We as Christians are persecuted daily for our beliefs in Jesus Christ, and like Paul we will feel at times that everyone has abandoned us, we can find strength and comfort in Jesus words when he tells us that he will never leave us are forsake us. “GOD REWARDS THOSE WHO BELIEVE!”