Mountaineering needs more than the ordinary. Spiritual mountaineering needs a lot of spiritual resolve, a propelling force to keep you going and a stamina that keeps you pushing: And that is the Holy Spirit and the grace that come from Him, and total and complete trust in Him and that grace. Our foes are many! “Christian, Walk Carefully”, a hymn by an unknown author but with music by George C. Stebbins (1846-1945) admonished on the Christian walk till we make to eternal glory this way:
Christian, walk carefully, danger is near;
On in thy journey with trembling and fear.
Snares from without and temptations within,
Seek to entice thee once more to sin.
Christian, walk carefully,
Christian, walk carefully,
Christian, walk carefully, danger is near.
Christian, walk cheerfully thro’ the fierce storm,
Dark tho’ the sky with its threat of alarm.
Soon will the clouds and the tempest be o’er,
Then with thy Saviour thou’lt rest evermore.
Christian, walk cheerfully,
Christian, walk cheerfully,
Christian, walk cheerfully, thro’ the fierce storm.
Christian, walk pray’rfully oft wilt thou fall
If thou forget on thy Saviour to call;
Safe thou shalt walk thro’ each trial and care,
If thou art clad in the almor of pray’r.
Christian, walk pray’rfully,
Christian, walk pray’rfully ,
Christian, walk pray’rfully, fear lest thou fall.
Christian, walk hopefully, sorrow and pain
Cease when the haven of rest thou shalt gain:
Then from the lips of the Judge, thy reward –
“Enter into the joy of thy Lord.”
Christian, walk hopefully,
Christian, walk hopefully,
Christian, walk hopefully, rest thou shalt gain.
Many have descended down from their spiritual mountain walk. They have turned their backs to that Mountain Sublime, the blessed hope of all redeemed. Many who have trod the path that lead to eternal life have made shipwreck of their most precious faith. They came down because they refused to let go their loads. They came down because they thought it is a difficult journey. They came down because they tried to continue with the arm of the flesh. They came down, and some even crash-landed because they got the whole concept of Christianity wrong in the first place.
And there are even others who have not even climbed at all but talking and preaching ‘Christianity’ at the base of the mountain which is nothing different from the world; and so they actually preach worldliness, their flesh excusing them and not even allowing them to lay it to heart that Paul and Barnabas and others hazarded their lives for the gospel; and Peter and John and others forsook all for the gospel; and Stephen and others died for the gospel! Yes, we may not all become martyrs but we are all supposed to be violent, holy violence: in getting off sin, worldliness, lust of the flesh, pride of life, appearance of evil, filthy lucre. We are supposed to be violent, holy violence: in resisting Satan and surrendering all to Jesus and presenting our bodies a living sacrifice acceptable by Him and consequently becoming choice vessels in His Hands for His work: Lost in Jesus! That is violence, holy violence. This is the generation that seeks the Lord. It is only the violent, those taking it by force that shall be manifested on that day as sons of God. These are the ones ‘the earnest expectation of the creature’ points: Those sons of God, eternal sons of God, to be manifested.
Since the days of John the Baptist there is a mammoth holy struggle, a surge to get into the Kingdom of God. True: Many are called and so there is a spiritual traffic. And also true: Few shall be chosen. It is a race with terms that qualifies or disqualifies. This is where ‘many are called and few are chosen’ comes in, for, indeed, as the Scriptures put it, many shall seek to enter in but cannot. But may we be among the few that shall be revealed or manifested when He that loves us indescribably dearly comes to take home His jewels.
Christian mountaineering is the walk in holiness that creates those jewels of Christ. The more upward you are the more you see to let go. So, everything comes to matter for the mountain walker if he must be light and free enough in the inside to hear the sound of the Archangel, and if he must be light and free enough on the outside to catch that glorious flight that ushers into eternal felicity with the Triune-God.
True Christianity/ Holy Living and Rapture
The entire creation of God is earnestly expecting the manifestation of the sons of God: Those that shall be like Him when He shall appear; those that shall see Him as He is! All men in all ages that had this hope purified their lives. Our age cannot be different. No message can make it secondary or be promoted above it. WITHOUT IT (purity of life or holiness) NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD– Hebrews 12: 14.
There must always necessarily be a letting go, a purging and an emptying of ourselves; a refining, molding and humbling of us after the Image of God’s dear Son. Those that do are empowered as choice vessels to run with the will of God and finish the race set before us.
John 3:21 says that: “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” A Christian does truth, that is, he says godly things and does godly works and that from a godly or divinely approved heart and not in hypocrisy and not driven by any other consideration other than the will of God, or what Finis Jennings Dake explains as one who actively produces gospel fruit by being a doer of the Word (James 1:22-27; James 2:14-26; Matthew 5:16; Matthew 7:15-20); this man comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God.
The real Christian, as a song writer would say, doesn’t feel at home in this world anymore. Like Paul the apostle by the Spirit would say in Philippians 1:21-24: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”
The true Christian is glued to Heaven, leaving here as if the trumpet would sound now. He tarries for the coming of the Lord to rapture His own. Why tarrying he has the command to occupy till He comes. And just as you cannot separate holy living from tarrying, you cannot also separate occupation, holy occupation from tarrying. Indeed holy living and holy ‘occupying’ are the two prongs of this tarrying. To tarry is to live holy till He comes to take us home. And to tarry is to occupy approvingly till He comes to take us home to apportion us our rewards. Salvation is the passport and holy living is the visa that takes us to be with God. Holy works (not just works, no matter how seemingly fruitful in the eyes of men) determine who we become when we get there.
Then what? Holy living, more of holy
living, and yet more and more until we see our Savior and know Him as we are known. What does it entail? We here convey a most serious matter with sundry allusion to or paraphrases of Scriptures: It means keeping our garments spotless, our bodies without wrinkles; striving to entire in at the strait gate; walking on the narrow path; earnestly contending for the faith; and fighting the good fight of faith. It means seeking first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness; awaking to righteousness and sinning not; seeking the City that has foundation; laying our treasures in Heaven; and taking hold of eternal life. It means condescending to men of low estate; making our moderation known to all men; and fleeing youthful lust and every appearance of evil. It entails being steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord and pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. It has to do with thinking, speaking and doing all things with eternity in view. It asks for tongue taming, for in the mouth are issues of life and death; it requires letting all speech be unto edification and our words being seasoned with salt. It demands living and walking in the Spirit; walking after the Spirit; walking in the Light; walking as children of light; walking in love; and walking worthy of God. It is being the salt of the earth; the light of the world; an example of the believers. Sum: IMAGE OF CHRIST!
It commands avoiding them who preach the gospel for their belly sake and for filthy lucre sake; who make merchandise of men; who with good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple; who suppose that gain is godliness; and who have run greedily after Balaam’s error for reward. Fleeing all appearance of evil; and traditions of men within and without the church so-called (and their many damning wine of fornications) is part of it!
This most serious and earnest pleading which came to us by the mercies of God must always be ours to hearken to: “I beseech therefore, brethren, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable will of God” – Romans 12: 1-2. This is the generation that seeks the Lord! These are the candidates for the rapture.
We shall take the classic hymn of Jane Catharine Bonar (1821-1884) “Jesus is Mine!”
1. Fade, fade, each earthly joy, Jesus is mine!
Break every tender tie, Jesus is mine!
Dark is the wilderness, Earth has no resting place,
Jesus alone can bless, Jesus is mine!
2. Tempt not my soul away, Jesus is mine!
Here would I ever stay, Jesus is mine!
Perishing things of clay, born but for one brief day,
Pass from my heart away, Jesus is mine!
3. Farewell, ye dreams of night, Jesus is mine!
Lost in this dawning bright, Jesus is mine!
All that my soul has tried left but a dismal void;
Jesus has satisfied, Jesus is mine!
4. Farewell, mortality, Jesus is mine!
Welcome, eternity, Jesus is mine!
Welcome, oh, loved and blest, welcome sweet scenes of rest,
Welcome, my Savior’s breast, Jesus is mine!
This is the generation that seeks the Lord here revealed in few lines. Living our lives to glorify God is the key to everything! Only those living for Heaven or living with eternity in view really knows that hymn. All that shall be manifested as sons of God are actually those who are living with eternity in view or living as heavenly citizens here on earth!
Christian mountain walk (walking closer and closer upward unto God) or Holy living (becoming more and more like Jesus) or the life that catches up with the Lord in the sky in a twinkle has success-secret in the fear of God. The fear of God! And to that all important subject matter we must now turn, and so important two series handles it.