Secure in the Faithful and True

“Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him.” (Mark 4:36)

We find this verse in the Gospel of Mark following the Parable of the Mustard Seed. After this discourse Jesus and His disciples got into a boat to sail across the Sea of Galilee. What is interesting in this verse is that Mark found it important to mention that other boats followed Jesus and the disciples out into the sea.

Before we explore that let us look at the Parable of the Mustard seed for a brief moment. (Mark 4:26-34) There are four elements in the Parable. The sower, the seed, the tree that grew from the seed, and the birds of the air.

The sower in the Parable is Jesus Christ the Son of God who came from His throne in heaven to work the will of His Father. He came to seek that which was lost and restore their relationship to His Father God Almighty. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Man is in an unpayable debt through disobedience to the Word of God for which the wage of is death. (Romans 6:23) A purpose of Jesus was to redeem them for the Father through the gospel message that they may once again enter into a right fellowship with their Creator. “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18)

The seed is that gospel message that Jesus came to share with mankind. He not only delivered that message Himself but spent three years in intense training of His disciples so that message would spread through the ages to the very homes of mankind today. If the seed falls upon good humble ground that knows and recognizes its need of a Savior, then it will grow and flourish producing more fruit for the Kingdom of God. “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” (Matthew 13:23)

The tree is the Church of Jesus Christ which was founded by the twelve Apostles and has grown to every part of the world. “But now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith.” (Romans 16:26) The Church of Jesus Christ is the largest institution in the world today and though many ignore and persecute the Church all are blessed by it. “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:18)

The birds of the air are those who take shelter in the Church of Jesus Christ but do not necessarily believe in faith and follow Jesus Christ. They use the Church for their own gain, it is of status to attend the right Church, the Church is a form of entertainment for their pleasure, and it is a refuge in times of need. But they do not serve the Lord or follow Him, they are parasites. They remain amongst the Children of God for their own benefit. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

This is not the purpose of God. God is Love and His mercy towards man endures forever. “O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (1 Chronicles 16:34) God has made tremendous sacrifice to redeem man that He my dwell in the House of the Lord forever. Man in his self-pride rejects the truth of God’s love for him and desires to go his own way in his futile love affair with the world. Rather than believe the Creator he places his faith in the temptations of the god of this world, Satan. God, our loving Father is longsuffering and His desire is that none of His creation should perish. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

God is All-knowing, Ever-present, and All-powerful and we are but just men, creatures of His creation who have through the centuries rejected the law of God. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5) Man has failed to love our neighbor whom Christ died for to redeem for His Father. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31) In man’s denial of the truth of God we are as in the days of Noah and God is His love will judge the unrighteous. “Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever” (Genesis 6:3)

Those other boats the followed Jesus’ across the Sea of Galilee encountered a storm as He and His disciples did. The disciples called upon their Lord and He claimed the storm and returned the peace. The disciples of Christ were saved from the horrors of shipwreck as well as those who have sailed with them in the other boats. So it is today that the righteous and the unrighteous benefit from the love of God and the work of His Church. The Devil has tried since the days of Cain and Able to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ and has failed. The Church of Jesus Christ has been a benefit to man sense it’s founding on the Day of Pentecost. Through their communion with the Lord, their faithful service unto the Lord and fellowmen, their prayers for the lost who have not accepted the saving grace of the Lord Jesus, and their prayers to gain spiritual victory over the evil spiritual forces in the heavenly places that effect all that happens here on earth, all of mankind has lived in that blessing. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

In this day, as in all days past, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to restrain the works of the evil one, the god of this world, Satan himself. He is not able to do that which he would, as the Spirit of God restrains him just as He did in the day of Job. “Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.” (Job 1:12)

All prophecy in the Scriptures has proven true and all prophecy will be fulfilled. The day of Judgement is fast approaching but first the restraint of Satan must be removed. “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7) The Christian is the holy temple of God, (1 Corinthians 6:19) we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit and it is the Church of Jesus Christ that restrains Satan from fulfilling his evil plans on earth. The Church is not destined for the wrath of God’s judgment to come and therefore shall be called out. “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9) The Church, the bride of Christ, is longing for the day that the Groom, Jesus, shall come and take them home to be with Him. “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” (Revelation 4:1) Where then shall man find his salvation?

What then of those who ride along with the boat of Jesus across the open sea secured by the blessing of Christ. When the Church is taken away, the Holy Spirit no longer restrains the one who has come to steel, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) Who will calm the raging storm and where will they find salvation from the wrath to come? Then it will be too late, then it will be impossible to survive, and then they will know the truth of Jesus and long for His return. Why wait I ponder when He can be found now. “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)

Lean not unto your own understanding and place your faith not in a world that will pass away. Trust in the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever. The world is and always will be a deceitful place but the Lord Jesus Christ is faithful and true. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.” (Revelation 19:11) Now is the hour of your salvation. “For He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, And on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, September 20, 2015

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