Esther

As an intercessor for nations, I like to pray from biblical events. Have you considered the Book of Esther? Putting this historical event into today’s culture, Esther and Mordecai would represent Christians (real ones!). Haman would represent the dedicated enemies of Christians, i.e. satanists, globalists, etc.

When Haman could no longer bear passing by Mordecai when he entered the king’s palace, he devised a plot to have Mordecai dishonored and put to death. Mordecai discovered the plot and appealed to Esther to come before the king in behalf of him and all Jews/Christians in the kingdom.

Esther and her maidens fasted three days before taking the risk of appearing before the king in behalf of the Jews/Christians. When she explained Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews/Christians, the king was outraged and allowed Esther and Mordecai to plan a response to the decree of the king to allow Jews/Christians to be killed. The king’s decrees could not be withdrawn, so there had to be a decree to allow the Jews/Christians to defend themselves. The hand of God visibly interposed to provide the Jews’/Christians’ deliverance.

The effect of the two antagonistic decrees was to raise a bloody war between the Jews/Christians and their enemies throughout the kingdom. The provincial governors were afraid of Mordecai and Esther and showed them favor. In today’s language we would say the fear of God fell on the people of the nation. The foundation of prayer and fasting enabled the Jews/Christians to have courage to resist evil and stand in defense of their faith in God. If they had been passive as most of today’s Christians are, they would have been destroyed! The fear of God is necessary if we are to honor God as our Lord.

Haman was hung on his own gallows and his sons, who had taken part in avenging their father’s fall, were killed during the Jews’/Christians’ defense. To expose the secret evil of Haman and his sons, the Jews/Christians hung their  dead bodies on gallows made for them, too. Plans made in secret will be shouted from the housetops (Luke 12:3). Thus Haman and his sons were exposed to public infamy. Future aggression was negated by this fear of God and His judgment for the persecution of His people.

Eventually Mordecai was exalted to the king’s next in line of authority. That is, the Jews/Christians took their rightful place as a major influence in the kingdom. Again, they were far from passive in their participation in their nation.

I see a couple of critical issues in this story. First of all, the Jews were not passive in their presence to honor and glorify their God and to respect the king. Secondly, they resisted evil; they did not submit to threats and real danger.

Judgment will begin at the House of the Lord (Ezekiel chapter 9). That is as true now as it was back then. We as professing Christians have been satisfied to hide and be free of responsibility, and today’s chaos is the result. We are to blame for America’s troubles. The antidote is the fear of God which must start with Christians before the unbelieving world will take note of our startling turn-around.

The world and the religious establishment hate Christians as much now as they did in Jesus’ day. They killed Jesus and they are attempting to wipe out Christianity today. Many Christians will deny their Lord and slip into hell, but there will always be a witness for Jesus because He is infinite. There is no wall high enough to shut Him out and there will be faith on the earth until He comes back to stop the clock. Why? Because He is able to keep that which true believers commit to Him. There is nothing too hard for Him. He is the infinite Creator God. Why should the Creator be afraid of what He has created? Satan wants to be lord, but he is only a created being. He will NEVER be lord. In fact, there is a Lake of Fire prepared for him and his minions. His apparent success is a mirage. Believe it!

One more comment: Jesus died for our enemies just as He died for those of us  who believe in Him. He has no desire to send anyone to hell. That’s why He created us with free will – so that we can choose Him freely. He willingly took the thief on the cross beside Him to Paradise when that thief asked to be remembered. So it is today – Jesus willingly forgives and rescues evil men and women who confess their sins and perversions and turn to a committed life with Him. Choose Jesus!

Sin Is A Shame to Any Nation

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

This verse is familiar to church-going religious people. I don’t use the word “Christian” because the description given in this verse is not of Christians but of professing Christians.

Notice that these individuals are called by God’s name, but they are not humble. They are prayerless. They do not seek God’s face because their ways are wicked. These are individuals who lie and cheat. They approve of sexual perversion and even have laws protecting those who are sexually impure.

Romans 1:28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile

 to retain the knowledge of God,

so God gave them over to a depraved mind,

 so that they do what ought not to be done.

29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness,

 evil, greed and depravity.

They are full of envy, murder (abortion is murder),

strife, deceit and malice.

They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil;

they disobey their parents;

31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

32. Although they know God’s righteous decree

that those who do such things deserve death,

they not only continue to do these very things

but also approve of those who practice them.

These professing Christians who want to condemn our political establishment (who rape little children and then kill them) while ignoring their own unrighteousness are hypocrites! That’s what Jesus called them. They existed in Jesus’ day, and they were the ones who saw to Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus interfered with their power structure and sense of holiness. It was easy enough to remove Him as their Source of irritation. Just so has today’s religious establishment removed Jesus from their worship, and dishonor Him.

Ezekiel 22:30 I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for [the sake of] the land, that I would not destroy it, but I found no one [not even one].

God has no desire to destroy our land, our nation; but if He can’t find intercessors to stand before Him to defend the nation from His wrath, how can He not destroy it in His anger?! This call is not to those especially gifted. This call is for every born-again believer who loves this land enough to pray with fasting and tears for it’s defense by Almighty God the Creator of all things.

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.

Let’s be about the Master’s business – His business is also our business. It’s up to us whether or not America is dragged out of the quagmire of filthiness and set on the Rock Christ Jesus. NOTHING is too hard for Him.

Imposters in Your Inner Circle

lori suiter

We are living in a time where many things aren’t necessarily what they seem to be. There is much illusion going on that brings deception. We must look deeper than the surface of situations and people. We must inquire of the Lord as to what is truly going on behind the scenes.

The Lord is accomplishing much through this season of political unrest. He is dealing with idols in our lives even if one of those idols is our President. No man is going to save us except for Jesus. Take your eyes off man and put them on Jesus! Trust in Him! He is the miracle maker, not man.

He cares about what and who is near and dear to us. He cares about who we “run with.” He is revealing and refining our inner circle for the days ahead.

I realized that those who were in DC today…

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Praying for America

When praying for this nation, I like to look for precedents in the Scripture. Here is a good example of various situations in biblical cross-references: (https://biblehub.com/2_kings/19-35.htm)

There is nothing to prevent a nation from invading another nation in today’s world. The fear of retaliation with stronger weapons of destruction or simply a greater population of available soldiers has previously been a deterrent to open conflict. But the untamed God is a God of power and indignation at aggression with violence and bloodshed, and He is vitally interested in the affairs of men.

Think about the situation when the Assyrian army had surrounded Jerusalem and the Jews were starving within the walls of their city. The Angel of the Lord came and slew the enemy army. The next morning the Jews were thrilled to plunder the enemy army for food and other necessities (II Kings 19:35; Isaiah 37:36). Think about God’s intervention for Israel in the Six Day War in 1967. God still works in behalf of His praying people, so let’s be motivated to pray earnestly for the survival of our own nation against our enemies. God is certainly able if we are willing to inconvenience ourselves in fasting and intercession. That will involve repentance and confession of our own sins first.

II Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Let us not deceive ourselves: we certainly have need to repent of our own wickedness before we ask God to defend us against our enemies!! For example, yesterday in the grocery store, the clerk that waited on me boldly  wore a rainbow mask. Sexual perversion. Do we not need to repent of our sins before asking almighty God to defend us from aggressors?

Exodus 14:13
But Moses told the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the Lord’s salvation, which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again.

2 Chronicles 15:2
So he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.

2 Chronicles 20:6-17 
…16Tomorrow you are to march down against them. You will see them coming up the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley facing the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17You need not fight this battle. Take up your positions, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out and face them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you.’ ”18Then Jehoshaphat bowed face down, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down before the LORD to worship Him.…

2 Chronicles 32:8
With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” So the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

The Old Testament Scriptures tell the stories of various battles in which God delivered the Israelites in different ways that only He was capable of. The nation of Israel was allowed to stand and see the battles won by their Lord, and not by the hand of man. Having God to fight for them was amazing. And while the whole nation was not pure, enough were faithful to their Creator-God that He jealously set the heavenly armies against Israel’s earthly foes.

So it is today. If we, the Lord’s, will turn from our wicked ways, honor and obey Him, we will see His miraculous deliverance from our many enemies. A superficial turning, superficial repentance, superficial obedience will not impress the all-knowing God. But a wholehearted, deep commitment will move Him in our behalf.

Hard Prayers

I’ve thought a lot about my friend’s apparent horror at the way I pray for professing Christians and their leaders as contrasted with those who do not know God. I mentioned to her Ezekiel 9 where God’s judgment began at the front of the temple where the old men sat. The old men represent the great wisdom of the religious system. But the Man with the ink horn also marked the children and the women. Did you know that even a child is known by his ways?

Proverbs 20:11 “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.”

God hears the prayers that echo His own heart  that show oneness with Him. That’s why I pray according to Scripture. Here is a passage that concerns me for my own intercession or lack of it.

Ezekiel 22:30-31 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God.

An intercessor stands between God and the lost or compromised. That’s what Moses did. No wonder God loved Moses dearly! Just one person can make a difference in the life of a nation. That could be you or me! I take that seriously.

Psalm 82:5 [The magistrates and judges] know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in the darkness [of complacent satisfaction]; all the foundations of the earth [the fundamental principles upon which rests the administration of justice] are shaking.

Notice in this passage that the officials chose to not understand! They are satisfied with their darkness, so the support of the law is lacking and society has no solid foundation. This is scary because the lack of discipline or enforcement of law extends from the training of little children all the way to people of authority and responsibility.

Isaiah 26:9-11 My soul yearns for You [O Lord] in the night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You earnestly; for [only] when Your judgments are in the earth will the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God).

10 Though favor is shown to the wicked, yet they do not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness they deal perversely and refuse to see the majesty of the Lord.

11 Though Your hand is lifted high to strike, Lord, they do not see it. Let them see Your zeal for Your people and be ashamed; yes, let the fire reserved for Your enemies consume them.

This last Scripture is graphic. It is plain. Is it not better to experience hardship that brings one to his knees than to enjoy pleasures during life only to be tormented in the lake of fire for eternity????

Matthew 18:8-9 And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off and throw it away from you; it is better (more profitable and wholesome) for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into everlasting fire.

And if your eye causes you to stumble and sin, pluck it out and throw it away from you; it is better (more profitable and wholesome) for you to enter life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the hell (Gehenna) of fire.

This is Jesus’ teaching! He is trying to get His listeners to understand that eternal life is the most important thing in earthly life. Nothing else compares with living this life preparing for the next life, which is eternal! Do people listen? Only when life gets too hard and they need help.

Human mercy does not work God’s ways. Human mercy lacks God’s righteousness – His desire for holiness and purity. And His desire never changes. But He is passionate for those who desire Him with all of their hearts.

Revelation 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!

That word “spew” is actually “vomit” in the original – a very strong word. This is God talking and we had better be afraid of Him and His words. But, as already said, mankind will only listen when he is in a hard place.

I have asked the Holy Spirit if my prayers are too hard and I believe I’ve heard Him assure me that these Scriptures reflect His heart. Jesus loved the world so much He came as a Man to die to pay for mankind’s sin, individual by individual. He will not violate man’s will, but He will try to persuade stony hearts to repent and forsake their iniquities and perversions and turn to Him in a sacred, intimate relationship.

Isolation

Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

“. . . breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.–The life came not as the result of man’s bodily organization, nor as derived by evolution from any other animal, but as a gift direct from God. And whatever superiority over other animals may be possessed by man comes from the manner in which this living breath was bestowed upon him, and not from his being “a living soul;” for that is common to all alike.”

According to Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

The part in each human that sets him apart from all other biological creatures is his spirit or pneuma. Psychology would call this the psyche. The psyche or spirit of man has a mind, will and emotions that can also connect with God.  

The spirit is capable of possessing knowledge. David declared: “I will give thanks unto you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are your works; and that my soul knows right well” (Psa. 139:14).

The spirit can experience emotion. In one of his discourses Job declared that “[his] soul grieved for the needy” (Job 30:25)

Daniel cried that: “My spirit was grieved in the midst of my body” (Daniel 7:15).

Jesus said: “Now is my soul troubled” (John. 12:27) as He neared the time of His crucifixion.  “After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”(John 13:21).

It is an obvious fact that human beings are influenced by their surroundings. Social communication is extremely important for human mental, emotional and physical health. It is an extreme form of cruelty to put criminals in total isolation. In Charles Dickens’ book A Tale of Two Cities, Dr. Manette suffered tragically from the years of isolation he was forced to endure as a political prisoner during the French revolution.

I am providing a Christian perspective of the isolation strategy to shut down the spread of Covid-19 around the world. Far more harm is being done to humanity through isolation than is being done by contagion. Chronic isolation increases stress, and inflammation from chronic stress is increasing health issues such as heart, kidney, liver failures. In addition, springing directly from the enforced isolation of individuals in every society is the enforced closing of places of worship. Politically acceptable social activities are not regarded with such rule of might.

One may observe unquestionably that “psychological” theory is unable to benefit man that fails to consider man’s spirit. In modern humanistic “psychology,” none of these matters are considered, and thus the system is unable to help people who need emotional stability. Humanism sees the universe as consisting solely of matter. As far as they are concerned the soul and spirit of man do not exist because they cannot be measured as matter is.   

Compromise

I’ve been spending time praying for the professing church and its leaders. The Holy Spirit has given me the word compromise as their failure to be an influence in their many communities.

As true believers in Christ, we must accept God’s Word as absolute, inerrant truth. I remember being in a church service where the pastor was required periodically to preach on a particular doctrine that wasn’t popular. He preached a fairly inoffensive message, invited seekers forward, and then sat down, refusing to minister further. Can you imagine my disappointment in this man who was once a fire brand for the Lord?! He was a compromiser. His church is a successful one, build primarily on his personality. How the Lord must weep.

To avoid the shame of compromise we must hold God’s Word as His sacred  Word.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

If we say we are Christians then we must be Christ-followers and committed to obedience. Obedience will at times require risking relationships. There are no wishy-washy Christ-followers. Remember Peter in his struggles to follow Jesus?  Peter was a sincere follower and Jesus knew that, so He reached out to Peter a number of times in compassion and gentleness. Sometimes I feel like Peter, but the Holy Spirit is longsuffering and faithful to those who truly hunger and thirst after Jesus.

John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.  

2 John 1:6a And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments;

God’s Word is not to be compromised for any reason or for anyone. Jesus says one of the reasons man compromises God’s word is, he is ashamed of it. 

In Mark 8:38 Jesus said, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” 

In Roget’s Thesaurus, to compromise is to tempt Providence. In the online free dictionary.com to compromise is the weakening or reduction of one’s principles. It may be a compromise of morality that reduces the quality or value or degree of something such as one’s ideals.

Placing one’s desires and those of others ahead of the Word of God is compromise and an offense to God.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths”  

1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

We are commanded not only to remain faithful to the Word but to defend it and correct those who are in opposition to it. It may feel like you are talking to a stone, but the Holy Spirit can bring your words to that unbeliever’s memory  later, just when he needs them.

2 Timothy 2:24-25 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents  with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,

Have you noticed that individuals with integrity are highly respected. I once went to buy a mattress but didn’t get paid for several days. The owner of the shop brought me the mattress the next day, not waiting for my payday to come. Why? Because he knew he would get his money.

Another time I filed for financial help but eventually I canceled. My apartment administrator asked why I canceled and I explained that I couldn’t lie about the little bits of money that came to me. It made more paper work for the government office that oversaw my finances and they complained, so I canceled the extra income. The apartment administrator was surprised and commented that he didn’t know anyone that careful about telling a lie. Being a Christian brings responsibility and accountability. My administrator doesn’t care for Christians but he does respect me. Being a Christian costs; sometimes it costs a lot. But knowing peace and shelter in Jesus is worth the cost.

Ezekiel’s Vision

Chapter 9 of Ezekiel has been a part of my Bible knowledge from my teen years as a young intercessor. I’d like to share some of what caught my attention even in my early teens.

First of all, notice that the person who marked the foreheads of those who sighed and cried for the sins of God’s people was dressed in linen. Generally, linen represented holiness, so this person must have been Jesus. Jesus has knowledge of everything we think and do.

Secondly, notice where God told the man clothed in linen to begin. At the sanctuary. God even told him to defile the court of the temple. The old men, the elders, who sat there were the first to be marked. Young and old, men and women; even children (Prov. 20:11) were to be judged by their response to the wickedness of the culture and of the temple.

God said the land was full of bloodshed and perversity. Perversity is the quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice. Their filthiness was sickening to God the Creator. Those who shed innocent blood and committed perversity told each other, “God doesn’t see what we are doing, and He doesn’t care.” But God does see and He does care, so He declared that He would return their filthiness on their own heads.

Ezekiel was distressed that his people were being judged and he pleaded with God for mercy, but God had seen enough and refused to allow the perversity to continue.

I believe we are at this place in our own society and we are in danger of God’s righteous judgement. But His judgement will begin with the elders of today’s church. With Ezekiel, my heart weeps for my people.

Ezekiel 9. 1. Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.” 2 And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; 4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

5 To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple. 7 Then He said to them, “Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!” And they went out and killed in the city.

8 So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, “Ah, Lord God! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?”

9 Then He said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!’ 10 And as for Me also, My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head.

11 Just then, the man clothed with linen, who had the inkhorn at his side, reported back and said, “I have done as You commanded me.”

My Thanksgiving

Few people know this story. I had a call to China from the age of 7. I followed the XX Church protocol for two years of experience as a high school teacher in science, math and English, and applied as a missionary at XX. When it came time for interviews I was not interviewed, no reason given. A well-known lady lived on my floor in the girls’ dorm. After her interview she met me in the hall and said she heard that I had been refused an interview. She didn’t know why but she said the most important thing was God and NOT the XX Church. She said her call was to Haiti and she had done her two years of experience there as a registered nurse (BSRN). The XX missions board said nurses were not needed in Haiti so they assigned her to Africa. She was indignant and refused their assignment and went back to Haiti with another organization. She admonished me to NEVER compromise God’s call. That advice has followed me all these years. Being the brave men that they were, the missions board wrote me a letter saying that I could apply again in seven years, but I would never be able to learn another language after that age (35, I think).

I knew I had been requested by both a well-known, seasoned missionary in Africa and an experienced missionary in India who had been my missions professor at XX while he was on furlough. Both of them knew my character and my commitment. O well. God’s way was far more fruitful for my life and the opportunities that He opened up for me in China were rich and unusual. 

I waited for China to open up to foreigners and, highly educated in the sciences, when I applied as a teacher of English I was readily accepted. I learned Mandarin on the streets to the intermediate level which is almost unheard of – for a westerner to master a tonal language! (I was 46 when I went to China) After the interview debacle I never again cared for the XX Church because they put money and psychology above the Lord’s business. My priority has always been Jesus. That has cost me in many ways, but never has it dulled my hunger and thirst to please Him. He is worth it!

I do not have a poverty spirit now, in my retirement years, for I know God’s richest blessings far above any expectation. I thought when I came home I would be a homeless bag lady because I went as an independent with no backing. But I actually have no physical or mental needs. I am blessed materially and cared for beyond my imagination. And still growing and maturing in a beautiful intimate relationship.

This is my Thanksgiving to Jesus.

Joyce

A Sacred Relationship

Have you ever heard anyone say, “No one can snatch me out of Jesus’ hand”? If you try to explain that that statement by itself is not true, they are horrified and attempt to defend their misunderstanding. But this passage taken within its context reveals the whole truth.  

John 10:27-29
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” 

The promise is made to those of verse 27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 

To be a follower of Jesus and to be included in the promise of verse 28 we have to hear His voice, to be known by Him, and to follow Him. Does being a follower of Jesus mean to make a confession of faith and from there on we are included forever with those who follow Him? Is somebody who, though he believed that Jesus is the Son of God, who then turned back to the world living after the flesh, covered by the promise of John 10:27-29?

John does not say that because we once believed we walk in the light and follow Jesus forever and ever. Following Jesus is a relationship that we build on day by day, just as in a marriage.

People who, for example, hate their brothers are walking in the darkness. They are not followers of Jesus, regardless of their profession.

I John 2:11 nkjv But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Since they are not followers of Jesus they are not His sheep, for His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. Can we then say that the promise of John 10:28 applies to those who walk in darkness? This promise is to those who actively follow Him.

I would like to call to your attention another passage that is chilling to those who are casual in their relationship with the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Hebrews 10:26-29ampc For if we go on deliberately and willingly sinning after once acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice left to atone for [our] sins [no further offering to which to look forward].

27 [There is nothing left for us then] but a kind of awful and fearful prospect and expectation of divine judgment and the fury of burning wrath and indignation which will consume those who put themselves in opposition [to God].

28 Any person who has violated and [thus] rejected and set at naught the Law of Moses is put to death without pity or mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

29 How much worse (sterner and heavier) punishment do you suppose he will be judged to deserve who has spurned and [thus] trampled underfoot the Son of God, and who has considered the covenant blood by which he was consecrated common and unhallowed, thus profaning it and insulting and outraging the [Holy] Spirit [Who imparts] grace (the unmerited favor and blessing of God)?

A relationship with the only begotten Son of God is not a superficial side effect of  casual repentance to assure eternal life. There will be no unclean thing in Heaven. It concerns me that there will be many professing Christians in Hell because of a misunderstanding of Who God is and what He said to us about Himself and our relationship with Him.

The rich grace that many casual Christians love to promote is reserved for those who follow Jesus in a committed relationship. Commitment does not eliminate slips and even failures, but God knows each of us intimately, and knows our motives. He knows our desires to please Him and if we listen carefully, the Holy Spirit is faithful to guide and encourage us in our sincere, if less than perfect, efforts to please Him.

The passage of Ephesians 3:12-21 is one of my favorites because it describes the incredible beauty of knowing Jesus, the King of kings, yet the innocent Lamb slain for our sins. We ourselves had no way of paying our own debt, and He gladly gave everything He had to rescue us from sin and Satan’s bondage. He did that for each of us individually as well as collectively as families and tribes and nations. He wants us to know Him. He desires our companionship enough to pay a terrible price for it. But He wants our total commitment to the relationship, as well. That’s fair, is it not?

This verse suggests that reading The Book is good but there is something even better  – that is a personal experience of Knowing the infinite Jesus intimately!

Ephesians 3:19 ampc [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!