They have turned their back to ME and not their face
Though I taught them, teaching again and again
They would not listen and receive instruction
Are you listening to HIS instruction, or are you dying spiritually? You cannot do both. You are either listening, obeying, and growing spiritually (Heb 5:11-14). Or you are dying spiritually, because you are not listening (Jer 32:33), nor progressing any further in your spiritual walk (2 Tim 3:4-9).
Our Beloved LORD GOD is merciful (Psa 103:8-10), and does not desire for anyone to perish (2 Pet 3:9). That is why daily, HE still rises early (Jer 7:13, Jer 7:25), sending all HIS servants (Jer 25:4), with warnings and messages for the well-being of HIS people. Every day HE calls to us:
MY son, keep MY Words, and treasure MY Commandments within you
Keep MY Commandments and live
And MY Teaching as the apple of your eye*
Bind them on your fingers
Write them on the tablet of your heart
What specific instruction have we been called to keep? Many are summed up in the following messages:
- Believe and Trust in GOD (Psa 37:3-5, Jhn 6:29, 1 Jhn 3:23, Jud 1:5)
If you do not accept as true, that GOD is (Heb 11:6), you will not be able to believe in HIM or trust in HIS salvation (Psa 78:22).
- Love GOD, with your entire being (Deu 6:5, Mrk 12:30).
The English word “love” in Deuteronomy 6:5, has been transliterated from the Hebrew words “ahab” or “aheb” (OT:157). When these two Hebrew words are broken down to a further Hebrew definition “in the Qal,” it describes the human love for GOD or toward GOD. This type of love has an affection for; a strong emotional attachment to; a desire to be in the presence of (Deu 15:16-17). And the English word “love” in Mark 12:30, is transliterated from the Greek word “agapaoo” (NT:25). This love which is a continual, willful, and deliberate choice; when given to a master, GOD or CHRIST, the word involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, or grateful recognition of benefits received.
- Do not have any other gods before HIM (Exd 20:3-5, 2 Kin 17:34-40)
The NLT version of 2 Kings 17:34-40, states clearly what our Beloved LORD GOD means by “not having any other gods before HIM.” We are not to love, worship, or serve, anyone or anything but HIM. How do you test yourself in this? Honestly examine yourself, to find out if there is anyone (including yourself) that means more to you than our GOD? Are you willing to disobey GOD to make that person happy? Is there anyone or anything you are spending more time with than our GOD?
- Seek GOD, through prayer, worship, and The BIBLE (Psa 9:10, Psa 32:6, Isa 55:6)
Our Beloved LORD GOD instructs us to seek HIM and HIS strength continually (Psa 105:4). This means to repeatedly seek HIS presence, by seeking HIS Face (Psa 27:8). Why this instruction? That we might not be shaken at any time, in any circumstance (Psa 16:8-9).
- Obey, GOD’s WORD (Jer 7:23, Jhn 3:36, Heb 3:18-19, Heb 12:4)
Don’t just hear GOD’s WORD, or read GOD’s WORD and then not follow the instructions. Each one of us who belong to HIM have been called to do what HE tells us (Luk 6:46). Our obedience to HIM is what identifies us as HIS (Exd 19:5, Jhn 10:3-5).
- Master Sin, do not let it reign in you (Rom 6:12-14)
Do not let sin have control over you. From the very beginning GOD spoke to Cain, as HE speaks to us today. Do not let sin take control. Sadly, Cain did not listen, and became the first human murderer (Gen 4:7); are you listening? Our Beloved LORD GOD has provided the way of escape from temptation (1 Cor 10:13), by instructing us to clothe ourselves from head to toe in JESUS CHRIST (Rom 13:14, Eph 6:10-18).
- Repent, turn from sinful ways (2 Kin 17:13, Act 3:19, Act 17:30, Rev 2:5)
When one is careless of conduct it leads to death (Pro 19:16). But our Beloved LORD GOD whose mercies are new every single morning (Lam 3:22-23), speaks first to us through our conscience (1 Sam 24:5), and then through HIS servants to turn us away from sin and back to HIM, for healing and life (2 Chr 7:14, Eze 18:30-32).
- Through Perseverance, endure to the end (Mat 24:13, Luk 21:19, Heb 12:1-2)
Our Precious LORD JESUS encourages us to persevere, by holding fast to The WORD of GOD, and keeping our faith in HIM (Luk 8:15, Rom 2:7, Rev 14:12). HE will provide the endurance we need (Jam 1:2-4), through our trusting in, and clinging to HIM (Deu 13:4).
Is it even possible to die spiritually, if you have been born again? Yes. If you are not growing, then you are dying. Let’s confirm this by HIS WORD:
To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
HE who has the seven Spirits of GOD
And the seven stars, says this:
I know your deeds
that you have a name that you are alive
but you are dead
Wake up and strengthen the things that remain
which were about to die
for I have not found your deeds
completed in the sight of MY GOD
So remember what you have received and heard
and keep it, and repent
Therefore if you do not wake up
I will come like a thief
And you will not know at what hour I will come to you
Please take note of Revelation 3:1, our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST identifies HIMSELF as The Head of HIS Church. HE is The ONE WHO has the seven Spirits of GOD (Isa 11:1-5, Rev 5:6), and holds the seven stars (angels or messengers) of HIS WORDS in HIS right hand (Rev 1:20). JESUS, The Head of the Church, is warning the church in Sardis of their spiritual death.
How do you know if you are dying spiritually? Consider the following nine symptoms:
- The suffering and sacrifice of JESUS, no longer moves you (Heb 10:29)
- You have left your first love (Rev 2:4)
- You are failing to do, what you know you should do (Jam 1:22)
- You fool yourself, about how you are living (Gal 6:7-8)
- Church services bore you (Heb 10:24-25)
- You are frequently late, or absent from worship services (Mal 3:13-15)
- You have no Interest in saving souls (1 Cor 9:16-17)
- You do not participate in the work of the Church (Luk 10:2)
- Your love for things of the world, is greater than your love for spiritual things (1 Jhn 2:15-17)
Can spiritual death be stopped? Yes, our Beloved LORD GOD will heal (Jer 17:14, Hos 14:1-4, ) and revive you (Psa 80:14-19, Psa 119:25, Isa 57:15), when you turn back to HIM, with all your heart (2 Chr 7:14).
Then The LORD came and stood and called as at other times
And Samuel said, “Speak, for YOUR servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:10
*to keep our Beloved GOD’s teaching as the “apple of our eye”, is to consider HIS teaching as precious as our eyesight.