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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– Let us hold fast the profession of our hope without wavering; for He is faithful as promised. – Hebrews 10:23

– That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.  By the trickery of man, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. – Ephesians 4:14

The phrase “hold fast” means to remain tightly and firmly secured to something or someone.  With God, it means the ability to stay steadfast and stable in spirit throughout every day, regardless of the situation or circumstance.  It means not letting go of heavenly instructions, for they are our life (Proverbs 4:13).

If you are a true Christian, then you have been born again of the Spirit (John 3:5).  When this happened, you were returned to the Shepherd of your soul (1 Peter 2:25).  An anchor of hope was placed in you with Christ (Hebrews 6:19).  Tightly securing you to Jesus, so you don’t keep wavering in faith and belief.

When physical ships encounter stormy seas, anything not securely fastened to the deck gets tossed around. Essential items to the voyage get badly damaged or destroyed.  Some of these vessels can veer off course in wild weather without seasoned captains and crews, proper ballast, and functional navigational systems.

The same goes for spiritual ships (e.g. discipleship, fellowship, worship, etc.).  However, our spirits are irreplaceable.  If they are not securely tied to Christ inside us at all times, they get tossed around in the storms life can often bring without warning.  Satan is always waiting with open arms during such occasions.

This is why we must keep in memory everything we hear from God.  So we don’t get deceived by the devil or mortal men (Revelation 12:9, Mark 13:5) and led away in err (2 Peter 3:17, James 1:16).  If they steer us to unsalvageable faith shipwrecks, our belief ends up in vain (1 Timothy 1:191 Corinthians 15:2).

Any time we let go of Jesus, we start to list in spirit and begin tilting in belief.  If this continues, we can swerve away from truth (1 Timothy 1:6).  If we look away from Christ for a second, we can start getting frightened by all that is happening in life, and begin sinking in our littleness of faith (Matthew 14:28-31).

Wavering walks with God aren’t the way to steadfastly travel down heaven’s narrow path few will find.  To enter in at the straight gate, and be made partakers of Christ at the end (Matthew 7:14, Hebrews 3:14). This, after enduring everything God commands us to along the way (Hebrews 12:20, Matthew 24:13).

Christians with any selfish and/or worldly focuses to their walk, generally find a solid faith and balanced belief only when self is being served (Matthew 16:24), or lusts are regularly being satisfied (Proverbs 27:20). Otherwise, spiritual wavering enters.  Then, drifting between world and Word starts (1 Corinthians 10:21).

Salvation is a hope and promise no man has seen.  If Christians think they have been saved already (as so many seem to believe), why would they still have to hope for it (Romans 8:24-25)?  Salvation is the end result of our faith – not the beginning of it, or at any other point somewhere along the path (1 Peter 1:9).

Faith is something we contend for, just like the kind delivered to the saints of yore (Jude 1:3).  If we claim hope in Jesus, we hold fast to this profession without wavering (lead verse).  Girding up our loins, being sober, and hoping to the end for God’s saving grace to be brought at Christ’s revelation (1 Peter 1:13).

Faith is a race and a fight that not everybody wins (1 Corinthians 9:24, 1 Timothy 6:12).  Only Christ waits at the finish line and we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus at all times to win our crown of glory there (1 Corinthians 9:25).  Growing up in grace and running patiently all the way (2 Peter 3:18, Hebrews 12:1-2).

Holding fast to Christ inside us prevents a falling away from repentance, from which it is impossible for God to renew us to (Hebrews 6:4-6).  It makes us able to retain the faithful Word we have been taught.  In turn, it helps us present sound doctrine to exhort and convince the gainsayers (2 Timothy 1:13, Titus 1:9).

This is so we can prove all things and hold fast to all that’s good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).  It is so we don’t backslide by holding firm to the deceit of our heart (Jeremiah 8:5).  One cannot expect victory running every way but straight in any race   Moving steadily ahead in one direction wins, but fast and foolish loses.

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– Here is the patience of the saints: Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. – Revelation 14:12

– Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6

Impatience in life is marked by ungodly attributes such as anxiety or complaining.  Impatience with God is marked by the same things.  It’s a feeling one gets when something is just not happening as quickly as expected.  It’s a restless wanting or ache to do or get something – and something/someone is preventing it.

Impatient people have trouble waiting for anything, and pride is a common cause.  Often wanting others to serve them in a timely fashion, in accordance with anticipations based on their inordinate opinion of themselves, even if only in their mind.  Otherwise, contentions are bound to begin (Proverbs 13:10).

Long check-out lines at the store, or short traffic light times annoy them.  Almost everything in their life takes on an air of urgency or emergency, even if just imagined in their head – as is usually the case.  They easily get aggravated when delays and interruptions, whatever the cause, interrupt their schedule.

An impatient Christian sins because it’s a lack of faith (Hebrews 11:1).  It shows reluctance to wait on His promises not yet seen to come true.  They don’t like waiting too long for worldly things, much less those of the Word.  Hold-ups irritate, creating impatient traits such as cursing or murmuring (Philippians 2:14).

Impatient people also have a tendency to exaggerate the importance of their daily activities.  Whatever they’re involved with matters much more than what anyone else is – even among family, friends, or co-workers.  If anything or anyone interferes with their efforts to have a productive day, they get annoyed.

However, the words important and productive do not appear in Scripture.  As Solomon wisely pointed out many times, our life is vanity and vexation of spirit (Ecclesiastes 1:14, 2:11,17,26, 4:4,16, 6:9) without salvation.  Vanity means useless, a waste of time – not producing end results one desired at the outset.

We all arrived upon earth as creatures subject to vanity (Romans 8:20).  When we die, all claims of belief in God will have been in vain, if we did not endure all He commanded (Matthew 24:13, Hebrews 12:20).  We failed to hold fast in patient faith; and forgot what was preached to us (1 Corinthians 15:2).

Salvation is our expected end in this life (Jeremiah 29:11).  It is a hope we are to wait with patience for – for any hope seen is no longer hope (Romans 8:24-25).  This patience is one of the many spiritual fruits God commands us to produce continually until our death (Galatians 5:22-23, Acts 17:30, John 15:16)

Fruits to be brought forth meet with our repentance to salvation (Matthew 3:8) – to keep us climbing up heaven’s staircase the correct way (2 Peter 1:5-8). Impatient rushing in this world can cause us to skip or forget steps, and make us slip a little or take a tumble (Hebrews 2:1).  Spiritual impatience can do the same.

It’s why we must be diligent and make our calling and election by God sure.  If we do, then He promises us we will never fall.  We will take each step with Him in steadfast patience (2 Peter 1:10) – so an entrance will be administered abundantly unto us at the end into heaven’s everlasting kingdom (2 Peter 1:11).

Otherwise, Jesus will call us a robber and thief for climbing up the wrong way (John 10:1).  Spiritual stealing works the same way as the physical kind. People who don’t want to wait and do things legally to acquire an item desired, will rob.  Physical theft leads to prison; spiritual theft to death without deliverance.

Why is having patience so crucial prior to and for salvation?  One reason is because our Father is a God of patience and consolation.  Without patience we can’t learn to be like-minded, one toward another in Jesus – nor receive each other with any forbearance and tolerance; as God is to us (Romans 15:5-7).

Another reason is patience purifies our hearts by faith (Acts 15:9).  If we’re impatient in the world one day, and patient the next, we are still wavering in our walk with God (Ephesians 4:14).  This is having a double mind (James 1:6-8).  It is trying to eat and drink at two tables simultaneously (1 Corinthians 10:21).

In the same vein, patience purifies our motives.  It shows God if our prayers are amiss, asking for things just to consume on our lusts (James 4:3).  Or, do we trust Him to know our needs before we do (Matthew 6:8)?  We are to be content with what we already have – and not want (Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 23:1).

If we ever want anything from God, then we have impatience within us to deal with and correct.  Why? Because our Father is going to try our faith to work patience in us, and we are to let this patience have her perfect work.  So we may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing from God ever again (James 1:3-4).

A third reason is we’re all running a spiritual race of faith.  If we were running something like a marathon, we wouldn’t sprint out of the starting gate and run as hard and fast as we could right off the bat, or we’d be exhausted in the first few miles.  Instead, we would set a steady, straightforward pace from start to finish.

Even then, we might not win.  There could be other contestants better conditioned, and who trained with much more discipline and commitment than we did. Spiritual training is very similar.  If we are doing it in accordance with the Word, we are to lay aside the weight of all sin that so easily besets us in the world.

This is so we can run with patience the race of faith set before us.  Even though we have a heavenly cloud of witnesses along the route rooting us on, we are to be looking ahead at all times towards the finish line. Only Christ is waiting there to hand us our eternal crown of victory if we endure (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Patience commands moderation and self-restraint.  It means we learn temperance.  This is another fruit to be produced (Galatians 5:23), and another step on heaven’s staircase (2 Peter 1:6).  Spiritual growth should show more abstinence from worldly things and ways each year, and more abidance to the Word.

It all plays an integral part in patiently running our spiritual race as the apostle Paul wrote about as follows:  “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.

Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we for an incorruptible one.  I therefore so run – not with uncertainty.  So I fight – not as one who beats the air (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).”  Running around to and fro aimlessly without a steady direction, purpose, or focus (Colossians 3:2) – is vainly beating the air.   

Sadly, it seems we are living in a world teaching less patience each year.  We have so many on-demand devices and programs available, we can get used to having things now – not later.  This is coupled with an incentive-laced system of earning gifts or monetary rewards for many purchases we make (Isaiah 1:23).

However, impatience is never a new thing to God (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10).  We see examples throughout Scripture, starting off with Abraham and Sarah not wanting at first to wait for Isaac to be born in God’s timing.  Instead, they rushed the matter with Hagar, who birthed the wild child Ishmael (Genesis 16:1-15).

Also in the Old Testament, Esau’s impatience cost him his birthright (Genesis 25:24-34).  We see impatience in the New Testament with the Prodigal Son, who did not want to wait until later to receive his inheritance. So he got it, wasted it, and began to be in want as the swine dined better than he was (Luke 15:11-16).

Impatient behavior leads to hasty words – towards each other or heaven.  It is hard to let words be few, when stewing about in impatience (Ecclesiastes 5:2). Hearts can only hold so much before something spills out of a mouth (Luke 6:45).  Blessing and cursing from the same ought not to be so (James 3:9-10).

We must never be ignorant about any of this, as impatience is a powerful tool the devil uses to pull us away from the truth.  To keep us bustling about in bursts and flurries of impatient activity in the world he’s the prince of (John 14:30).  Reaping nothing more than the whirlwind being sown (Hosea 8:7).

The devil roars around like a starving lion.  Trying to devour us in impatience – to gain advantage with deceptive devices we can’t be unaware of (1 Peter 5:7-8, 2 Corinthians 2:11).  We should not marvel. Satan and his angels are transformed into ministers of light and righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Deceiving the whole world is the only job God gave Satan upon casting him out from heaven (Revelation 12:9, Luke 10:18).  We are warned by our Father to let no man or the devil ever deceive us (Mark 13:5). Heavenly wrath comes down upon His children who succumb to such disobedience (Ephesians 5:6).

Deception thrives on impatient people.  It is often those who are greedy for gain (Proverbs 15:27) or fame.  They want such with no desire to count the cost beforehand (Luke 14:28) and put the time in. Instead, they dream of instant riches or success; and think becoming a Christian meant instant salvation.

Scam artists and con men use deception to prey upon such desires.  They dupe people into believing there’s great gain down the road, by getting them to buy into likeable lies along the way – until it is too late to do much about it.  It is how Bernie Madoff “made off” with so much.  It is how Satan makes off with souls.

Jesus said “By your patience possess your souls (Luke 21:19).”  If we have no rule over our spirit, we’re like a city of old broken down by invading forces – and no longer with walls (Proverbs 25:28).  Uninvited and ungodly guests like impatience walk in unhindered and take up residence in our hearts and minds.

Their landlord is Satan, who is always ready to lead us away in err to faith shipwrecks.  If so, it’s because we failed to grow in patient grace (2 Peter 3:17-18, 1 Timothy 1:19).  We had no time to hear people out in any matter, or give them benefit of the doubt.  We were too busy rushing about in unsaintly impatience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. – 2 Timothy 3:1

– The first steps to apostasy are forgetting the true and adoring the false. – from Charles Spurgeon

Apostasy is the willful abandonment or renunciation of a belief.  It comes from the Greek “apostasia.”  It means a defection, departure, revolt, or rebellion.  A person cannot become an apostate without holding some sort of belief to begin with.  God warns about the approaching Christian apostasy of man’s last days in many New Testament verses.  Believers will depart from their faith and rebel once again.

No Christian is ever immune from apostasy; and becoming an apostate does not require any open declaration.  The first step on abandonment’s avenue starts in a heart no longer abiding side-by-side with Him (John 15:1-6).  Despite feigned belief within, apostasy can be masked with public proclamations of love and praise for Him – often to gain or maintain worldly admiration or advantage (Jude 1:16)

Internal apostasy in one Christian may not be noticed by others for years.  The believer may be maintaining such a convincing show of external Christianity – it is never suspected.  Although they might be abounding in several open works, the real work of believing God left their heart long ago (John 6:28-29, Romans 4:5). Such a departure can fool the masses for a long time; but never Him (Hebrews 4:12-13).

A warning signal of apostasy approaching or being present is when ears are dull of hearing about God and His Word (Hebrews 5:11).  A hardened heart is not far behind.  Or, one has already been formed – maybe by God (Exodus 7:13).  In such a state, it’s hard to prick them again with talk about truth (Acts 2:37).  Passive belief permeates the being.  Apathy is soon to follow – with apostasy hot on its heels.

Apostasy has many causes – but the results are always the same.  Evil hearts of unbelief are born. Unbelief is no longer drawing back from one’s faith (Hebrews 10:38), but a departure from the living God (Hebrews 3:12-19).  It might begin by getting too complacent and comfortable with one’s Christianity.   A convenient faith is formed – one fitting in nicely with worldly plans, pursuits, and activities.

Going to church on Sunday and/or attending a weekly Bible study; but following and loving the world for the remainder of the week (1 John 2:15) – is having a convenient faith.  It isn’t consistent with steadfast belief.  Apostasy could be knocking on the door if one approaches belief in God like this.  If the extent of one’s life with Him remains restricted to weekly sermons and Bible studies, it may have been let in.

God does not recommend our committed love of Him. It is commanded before loving anything or anyone else (Matthew 22:36-38).  We can’t sit down to drink and dine with God and Satan at the same time (1 Corinthians 10:21).  This makes us all about the Word one second – all about the world the next.  When the world gets favored, the Word has been temporarily abandoned.  If so, guess what seeds are taking root?

Even if we are completely devoted to God with our heart, mind, and soul – much of what goes on in the world today can make us question many things about God and His heavenly court system.  Apostasy can begin brewing if we don’t know where to find answers in His Word.  We may stew over why evil seems to be on the increase, and why God doesn’t appear to be doing much about it (Exodus 34:7, Nahum 1:3).

With spoiling and rioting abounding all around the globe now – it’s easy for some to see God’s laws as being slack, and wrong judgements proceeding from heaven (Habakkuk 1:3-4).  It is an understandable mindset when the righteous and merciful are taken too soon, while evil ones seem to keep getting away with too much wickedness (Isaiah 57:1, Ecclesiastes 8:11-13, Ezra 9:13, Hebrews 2:2-3).

This can lead even the most devout Christians to doubt the eventual return of Jesus.  Causing some to ask, “Where is this promise of Christ coming back (2 Peter 3:3-4)?  Such uncertainty is the mark of an evil and apostate heart – one saying “My Lord delays His coming (Matthew 24:48).”  Implying God’s prophecies are lies or far off – it permits one to easily justify continuance of sinful living (Ezekiel 12:22-28).

Although inner apostasy is hard to detect by humans – outward apostasy is not.  It is apparent in the lives of Christians just by observing their actions, and listening to their words.  Apostasy appears to be speaking louder and clearer across a wide swath of the Christian landscape lately.  It doesn’t take inner spiritual discernment to decide it is happening, or external guessing or supposing.  It’s plainly exposed.

It comes across in Sunday sermons when preachers strut all over a stage puffed up in pride (1 Corinthians 4:6,19).  It comes across when TV pastors spend portions of a broadcast pitching their latest book and trying to get viewers to buy it (2 Peter 2:3).  It comes across when believers publicly boast about all their amazing works for God (Galatians 6:4) … or call constant attention to their faith (Romans 14:22).

Mostly through Timothy, Jude, and the book of Hebrews, God gives us a preview of all the signs pointing to apostasy’s existence – and proof its roots are being produced.  One of them is pride.  Pride will likely keep anyone lifted up in it – in a destructive state of denial about apostasy.  They will keep falling for Satan’s lies and into his condemnation – and resisted by God (1 Timothy 3:6, James 4:6).

Along with arrogant pride (1 Samuel 2:3), here are some other signs:  Men will be lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, and blasphemers.  They’ll be disobedient to parents, unholy, and unthankful (2 Timothy 3:2).  They will be truce-breakers and false accusers without natural affection.  Incontinent (lacking restraint and self-control), fierce and despisers of those who are good (2 Timothy 3:3).

They will be traitors.  They will be heady and high-minded – loving pleasure more than God (2 Timothy 3:4, 2 Corinthians 10:5, 1 Timothy 5:6, James 5:5). Having a form of godliness – but denying the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5).  Ever learning, and never able to come unto the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).  Still minding earthly things with their belly as god (Philippians 3:19, Colossians 3:2).

Others will no longer contend for the faith, but will turn God’s grace into a license for lasciviousness (offensively and overt sexual desire) – and denying Him by doing so (Jude 1:3-4).  There will be those despising dominion or speaking evil of dignities (Jude 1:8).  God will be mocked as people walk after their own ungodly lusts (Jude 1:18).  Sensual – having separated from the Spirit in doing so (Jude 1:19).

At a time older and mature Christians should be teachers and speakers of sound doctrine – they will have need of being taught the principles of God’s oracles once again.  Unskilled with Scripture – and still requiring spiritual milk they should have been weaned from long ago (Titus 2:1, Hebrews 5:12-13, 1 Peter 2:2).  Never having their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:14).

All in all, apostasy will cause countless Christians to depart from their inner faith in Jesus – despite any external claims to the contrary.  Giving heed to the doctrine of devils and to seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1).  It’s all part of the falling away to occur on earth prior to the revelation of perdition’s son.  The one who will show he is God to all who did not receive the love of truth (2 Thessalonians 2:2-3,10).

Once faith and belief in life are established in another person – then lost – it is impossible to regain such in any unwavering fashion again.  There’ll always be a level of doubt or distrust.  The same goes with God. We can only fall away so far from our belief in Him before apostasy sets in.  If it does, all that is left to believe in, and be in bondage once again to – is the world (Hebrews 6:4-6, 2 Peter 2:20-22, 1 John 2:15).

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh” – for she was afraid.  And He said, “No, but you did laugh.” – Genesis 18:15

– For I know the things that come into your mind … every one of them. – Ezekiel 11:5

Have you ever chuckled quietly to yourself over the remembrance of a funny memory from days past? Perhaps it was a private laugh lifting your spirit for a little while – or an amusing moment which made you smile inside.  Or, it might have been a little more like a silent snicker in your soul.  Maybe one directed at God – one of growing disbelief or doubt about any good thing ever happening to you.

One saying to Him something like, “Yeah, right – like any of Your promises are going to come true for me.” A laugh tinged with, “I am growing tired of waiting, time is passing, and I am not getting any younger.” Sarah did such a thing – and God heard her; even though it was within herself (Genesis 18:12, lead verse).  Even her husband Abraham had pretty much done the same thing previously (Genesis 17:17).

God had already promised Abraham an heir – but He did not say when (Genesis 15:1-4).  So, they soon tried to rush God by having Hagar conceive a child with Abraham.  After all, he was already 86 – and Sarah was barren (Genesis 16:1-16).  How much longer did they have to live?  How much longer would it take for the Lord to follow through on His promise? Would we wait another 14 years like they did?

The second time God spoke to Abraham about this matter, he was 99 (Genesis 17:1), and Sarah was 90 (Genesis 17:17).  This time, the Lord told him exactly when his heir would be born – and the child would be named Isaac (Genesis 17:19-21).  Sarah still had to laugh, saying, “Shall I of a surety bear a child when I am old?”  But, God replied,  “Is there any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:13-14).

All creatures are continually manifest before God – open and naked unto Him (Hebrews 4:13).  Our Father cannot miss things as if He was asleep, busy talking with others, or off on a trip (1 Kings 18:27). Heavenly mistakes cannot be made (Deuteronomy 32:4).  Muted laughs on our lips, silent thoughts in our heads, or quiet questions in our hearts, are all heard by Him above – loud and clear each time.

We have to be very mindful and aware at all times, about things we may think nobody else knows or hears – if we should believe they are tucked away for safe-keeping deep inside our souls (1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Chronicles 28:9, Hebrews 4:12).  We cannot get anything past God.  We cannot hide in a secret place where we may like to get away alone  – where He can’t see or hear us (Jeremiah 23:24).

God makes many promises for us throughout His Word.  We can speak persuasive and motivating words about them to others – but mock Him silently inside ourselves if we have not seen any of them personally come true yet.  Mocking mean teasing or laughing at someone in a contemptuous manner. Even if we are keeping such derision inside, He will know.  God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7).

Abraham and Sarah came close to doing so.  Still, the Lord delivered on His promise – and Isaac was born at the precise time He said it would (Genesis 17:21, Genesis 21:1-3).  However, it was all done exactly in accordance with His eternal purposes – not Abraham and Sarah’s earthly ones.  If we get impatient waiting for any of His promises to come true like they did – we can rush right into trials or trouble.

Despite having doubts, Abraham stayed with God throughout – and did not stagger in unbelief.  Even though the couple tried to rush the process through Hagar – they turned back to God when things did not turn out as expected (Genesis 16:1-16).  The two learned to wait by faith on God.  Against all hope of having a child at their ages, they believed He would perform as promised (Romans 4:18-21).

According to His plan from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  It is why we wait upon God.  To prove and purify our motives and desires for doing anything in His name.  To show God if we are truly minding Him and His will, regardless of what might be happening (Jeremiah 42:6).  Or, if we’re just doing things of our own will and minds – like some thought Moses had done (Numbers 16:28, Jeremiah 14:14).

When Abraham and Sarah realized God is not rushed – a right thing happened.  When they finally waited for events to unfold according to His eternal plan; nothing went wrong.  The same goes for us.  If we don’t like waiting on God – including for the return of Christ – we might begin to silently laugh or scoff at Him; turning again to our lusts in unbelief (Hebrews 3:12, 2 Peter 3:3-4).  And, He will know when.

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