Luke chapter 14 - The Bible or the church?
Saved people love their church traditions too much, and will miss the rapture. God has to find ruffians who will obey Him.
Jesus asked some Pharisees if it was lawful to heal a sick man on the sabbath day.
LUKE 14:5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
:6 And they could not answer him again to these things.
If an animal was in distress on the sabbath day, the Jews would help it out of its predicament. So what was wrong with healing a human on the sabbath?
Then followed His criticism of the religious leaders' love of showing off their importance.
LUKE 14:7 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
The Pharisees, being the rulers of the synagogues, always chose the most important seats.
Jesus advised them: sit not down in the highest room;...go and sit down in the lowest room.
LUKE 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
God does the opposite to what we do.
The Pope always has the most prominent seat at gatherings. Religious leaders, Catholic and Protestant, love their self-importance at public meetings.
Jesus said we must not make a feast and invite our friends, nor our brethren, neither our kinsmen, nor our rich neighbours; for they will invite you back and then you've had your reward.
LUKE 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
They cannot repay you, so God will reward you.
Luke records a parable of a man who made a supper which is a symbol of the wedding meal at the Second Coming of Jesus.
(Matthew writes of Jesus as the King. He describes the same parable but says it was a king who prepared a wedding dinner for his son).
The lesson here is that everything will be the exact opposite of what we expect.
LUKE 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
:17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
:18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
:19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
:20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
:22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
:24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
Those who are first called to the great feast at the end of the last church age are the saved Christians. But none of them were interested. They were too involved with spending their wealth and enjoying life. A woman, or wife, symbolizes a church. Christians are too preoccupied with their church and its beliefs and activities. Thus they have neither the time nor the interest to go back to the New Testament beliefs of the apostles.
Oxen are significant. There are four beasts around God's throne: a lion, an ox or calf, a man, an eagle. The lion represents the first two church ages where the truth was preached as Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The ox thus represents the Dark Ages where the truth was lost as church traditions moved away from the written Bible. Proving his oxen is symbolic of a Christian trying to prove that believing something that is not written in the Word is correct. So today Christians are very skilled in the defense of error. Justifying what is not in Scripture.
So the saved Christians who have the first option and are the favourites to be ready for the Second Coming will not make it. In 2016 Hillary Clinton was a warning to us all. As a woman, she symbolizes the church. She was the favourite to be chosen as president of America but did not make it. God is giving us a sign of the times. Those who have the first claim will lose out. Clinton was more popular than Trump as she got more votes. But the less popular Trump won the presidency. Being more popular is not the way to win.
Then the "rejects" that the denominational churches dismiss as no-hopers will get called up, because they will be ready to believe the Bible and follow the New Testament doctrines. Not belonging to a denomination makes it easy for them to believe the Bible just the way it is written. It is easier to believe the truth if you have not first been taught error by a denomination.
Donald Trump was written off by all the experts and was thus a no-hoper. But he made it.
Expect the unexpected. If you feel you are certain to be ready for the Lord's Coming, think again. Hillary was also certain that she would succeed. As a woman, she is a symbol of our modern Christian church. She did not make it.
The great mystery of our last church age is how church trickery with its slick and polished doctrinal error has separated the saved Christians from what is written in the Bible.
Large crowds followed Jesus but then He laid down very tough conditions for us humans. Jesus is not impressed with big crowds because He knows there will be few in the end who really follow Him.
Luke often quotes statements that start with a man. This emphasizes the individual responsibility that we have if we claim that we are following Jesus.
LUKE 14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
We cannot put family demands before God. Husbands allow their wives to dominate them in the hopes of getting peace. Married Christians who have left home still allow their parents to control them. Parents move away from Bible standards in an attempt to appease their wayward children. We cannot put our own lives before God. If following Christ causes the rest of the family to reject me, then that is the price that I have to pay. The cross means suffering. Jesus said we must first count the cost before we decide to follow Him. It is a high price that a true Christian has to pay. If we are not careful, we will fall by the wayside.
LUKE 14:30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
It is easy to get saved and start as a Christian. But it is incredibly difficult to finish as we have to find the Bible truth in this last deceptive church age of endless denominational opinions, traditions, and brilliant emotion-driven defense of error.
These conditions are very tough. But superior people are attracted only by a challenge. By setting low standards and making life soft, God will only attract mediocre converts.
The Dark Ages were dark because the Bible was banned and there was virtually no light for the people to believe.
Our modern age blinds us because there are so many dazzlingly clever presentations of error that flicker across the stage that we are dazed and confused and bewildered. Christians today know shockingly little about the written Bible.
The truth will be believed by so few people that those few will end up estranged from almost everyone.
LUKE 18:8 ... Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
The obvious answer to this question is "No" or "Not really".
The churches claim that there are countless millions of saved Christians today. That may be true. What then is missing? Why did the Lord say there would be little in the way of Bible faith? Christians at the end would not have the interest to read what is written nor the ability to believe what is written in the Bible.
Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. So not many people will believe all that the Bible says, even if they are saved.
A Christian is involved in spiritual warfare and the Devil is a tough opponent, so do not expect life to be easy unless you are prepared to compromise with the Devil. The more you condone error, the better the chance that the Devil will go easy on you.
LUKE 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
We have to be prepared to oppose our friends, our families and our church group and church leaders. We have to be prepared to forget the unscriptural doctrines that our churches taught us and unlearn them so that we can re-learn what is written in the Bible.
LUKE 14:34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
If we claim we are Christians but we do not stay with the Bible, then we are worthless to God.
LUKE 14:35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out.
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear". This statement is repeated to every church age. It is a warning that we must remain Scriptural. The whole of today's world is a testing ground to see if we will find some excuse to forsake Scripture or think that we have found a mistake in the Bible.
As soon as we disagree with or contradict anything in the Bible, we become useless to God's end-time plans.