Perhaps to know the purpose of any one thing is key to understanding it. If we are absent or unknowing of the purpose we might also be absent of the meaning. In light of this premise, it is easy to see how Jesus has been misunderstood and misused over the years. I wonder how many think of Jesus as the “fixer” of their problems instead of the Savior of their souls? How many consider Him as the One who solves their current issues, but fail to see Him as their Redemption and Hope?
The purpose of Jesus was never more in question than it was in Matthew 9.
A sick man is lying on a bed. His illness has obviously crippled his movement. As soon as Jesus saw him, He said unto him, Matthew 9:2 “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” It is quite apparent that the Lord would have moved on had it not been for certain of the scribes who murmured at His statement. They said, “this man blasphemes.” Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to them, “what is easier, saying ‘thy sins are forgiven; or ‘arise and walk?”
Now comes the grand finale. Jesus said, “I’m going to heal this man just so all of you will know that I have the power to forgive sins.” In a swift motion, the Lord established His earthly purpose. He came to redeem mankind from the bonds of sin. He came to pay the price that sin demanded. His purpose was the Cross and Golgotha’s Hill. Healing was a byproduct of His goodness and compassion, but redemption was His purpose.
I want there to be healings and miracles among the people of God. I believe that He can remove every sickness and disease from our physical bodies. However, the healing of the soul is far greater than the mending of the body. We will all die. It is an appointment that everyone will keep. The soul will live forever and that part needs to hear the words of the Savior, “Thy sins are forgiven.”
While I am grateful for a healing in my physical body, it means nothing if I am still lost and blind. If every disease is removed and every ailment mended, I am still undone unless my sins are washed away. His purpose was to “Seek and to Save that which was lost.” He came to be The Sacrificial Lamb, the atonement for our sin. He came to pay the price and offer Himself a ransom for the world.
I want to be healed, but I must be saved.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
In consideration of a tribute to my own father, I am reminded of David’s direction to his son Solomon concerning a permanent house for the Lord. Though there were many accomplishments in David’s life, his great desire was to build a temple for God. The enemies of Israel were defeated; giants fell; the nation’s economy was secured; the kingdom was subdued. David set up a government of peace where even the prophets and priests were welcomed. The scripture details David’s great passion for singing and dancing. Worship in all forms set the precedent in the most beautiful way.
Yet the Temple was his main focus though David would not live to see it come to pass. That task was given to his son Solomon, who built a glorious temple. However, I submit that one would not have occurred without the other: Solomon built what David saw. Solomon completed the vision of his father. They worked in tandem to offer God something of enduring value.
The attributes and actions of David are that of my own father. Dad was and is a worshiper. He danced on regular occasions. He sang and led songs continually while we were growing up. In fact, his singing always made it’s way into our church services. My father’s great desire was always centered around building a church for the sake of the Lord. In those early years of his ministry, dad promoted a revival church where miracles, signs, and wonders occurred. The outpouring of the Holy Ghost and baptisms in Jesus’ name were the high priority. And finally, Worship and the Word became the blueprints of everything we did.
Dad fought many battles and when he retired, he left me and my siblings something greater than gold. He left us a vision of the House of God. This house, New Life Fellowship, is based upon that vision filled with singing, dancing, worship, and giving. This house hosts baptisms in Jesus’ name and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost; miracles of healings of all sorts; healthy families and lives and so much more. We are a generational church positioned for revival.
This is the heritage of my father, or as the scripture said, 1 Kings 7:51 So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
It is said that Jeremiah prayed so much his knees were like camel’s knees. He was known as the weeping prophet, always interceding on behalf of the people of Israel. For 40 years, he served though few listened to him. In the natural world, Jeremiah was a failure. He was poor; thrown into prison; rejected by his friends and family; and stood alone declaring God’s message. There were no accolades given to him. However, in God’s eyes, he was one of the most successful men in human history.
The difference in a macro sense was Jeremiah’s world view. He did not see life in a temporal way. Jeremiah was more concerned with pleasing God than having friends. His strength was spent on an eternal mission irrespective of the cost to his person. He was a true prophet who stood for a holy God.
World views have shifted over the last few years. Our governmental leaders and business organizations have a view that demotes anything holy or godly. People are concerned about being accepted by the world and our secular culture. There is an all-out assault on godliness and moral absolutes.
Unfortunately, there are a significant amount of Christians who have chosen to blend in with the world rather than take a stand for the scripture. Even prayers are now offered with the intention of leaving out the name of Jesus at the end. This way there is no push back or criticism for being an exclusivist. Praise and worship is being redefined so that no one is offended or made to feel left out. Songs are being written that talk more about us than about Him. Worship is being promoted as a way to heal yourself; talk about yourself; and get connected with the inner you. I tell you that this modern religious world view is unsettling and far from God.
I ask you, where are the Jeremiahs? Where are the people who would rather please God and speak truth than to be welcomed by people with vain philosophies? David once said, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” He said that he would rather serve in an isolated place, with little recognition in God’s house than to be given high honor in a worldly environment.
I write because God is coming for a “Called-Out” bride. He’s coming back for a church that is unspotted by the world and its carnal agenda. He’s looking for a people who live their entire lives wrapped around His purpose and His mission. And I say to all who can hear it, the Bible is the only truth in this world and His name is the only name that can save.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
In context, the word contend means “to struggle or fight.” It is both a defensive and offensive position. Contend means to grapple, or to argue on behalf of something. Jude is using all of the above when he commands us to “contend for the faith.” Nevertheless, Jude’s command is not merely subjective. We are to contend for the faith “which was once delivered to the saints,” implying to fight for the already established Word.
To keep the faith often requires a struggle. Standing up for the Bible’s commands necessitates action: some defensive, some offensive. The name of Jesus itself will make a demand on us as Jesus said we would be hated of all nations for His name’s sake. The Bible might in fact cost you friendships. It might alienate you from others in ways you cannot imagine. Standing for what is right, whether it be His name, the Gospel, or any other part of the Bible, will come at a cost! Defending what is wholesome will not garnish a reception from those who oppose it.
I wonder how many have walked away from a conversation they knew was wrong? How many have stood up and said “No” to accusations against the brethren; wrong conduct; or carnality even at the risk of losing a relationship? How many have refused to watch something because it was sinful?
My concern is that contenders are few and compromisers are many. Compromising is simply diluting truth for the sake of acceptance. Compromisers will not speak up or stand up because they don’t want to stir up the ire of the backbiter or the falsehood. Some will not defend holiness because they don’t want to be shunned or shut out. Others even invite poisonous concepts into their thinking rather than making a wave and losing a friend.
However, I submit that we must become Contenders: aggressive, bold, and courageous. We must stand up for each other and for the doctrine of Jesus Christ. We must defend and promote the church and the tenets of our faith. It is time for us to use our voice and to pronounce ourselves. Standing for truth today is not complicated; it’s just rare. Standing for what is right has never been popular, but it is the only thing that matters. The Scripture is the basis of our faith, because it comes from the Author and Finisher of our Faith. And to that end I ask you; Are you contending?
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole