1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-7
If we can accept the Lord's standards and abide in them ourselves, we find the Lord helping us with our own hypocrisy, and we so need that help! If we come to a place of maturity, a place where we don't exempt anyone from the bright light of critical examination, we can look upon our friends, family and professing ministers of the church with the Lord's own heart and mind to see what genuinely is of His love, and what is not. If, in this late hour, we find ourselves lacking such discernment - and the Lord has not swiftly dealt with the matter - it does not bode well for us.
Aaron and I are not here to tell you comforting words or to pretend that we ourselves are exempt from the Lord's present work of refining character. We don't want to be found engaging in any effort to sell you anything, neither merchandise nor versions of anything of our own proud invention. Persuasive writing is a tool that we as any writer must wield on occasion, but if it is for personal gain, we find ourselves unworthy of being accounted among the Lord's servants.
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. ~ 1 Timothy 4:16
Pray for us, as for yourselves. We perceive that some among us have already been disqualified from the Lord's Bride company, yet we press on with hope, greatly encouraged, because we ourselves are convinced more and more that the Lord will soon have a spotless Bride.
10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” 12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. ~ Revelation 22:10-12
8 As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?” 9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. 10 Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. ~ Daniel 12:8-10
Take heed unto yourselves. It is past due time to put contentions and strivings behind you, and the running fruitlessly to and fro.
In the following passages of scripture, don't be quick to read yourself into the favorable position. Mind the conditions and make no presumptions. If there is conviction, let the Lord minister to you until He is satisfied.
Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words, and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. ~ John 14:23-24 23
3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. ~ 1 John 2:3-6
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. ~ James 1:22-25
22b) Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23a) For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. ~ 1 Samuel 15:22b-23a
There's nothing wrong with sacrifice, which is sometimes required, but, in a comparison of the two, one is better.
46 Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great. ~ Luke 6:46-49
21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ ~ Matthew 7:21-23
How is lawlessness manifesting in this late hour? Consider the behavior and values of those who profess to have but truly have not love.
17 But Jesus looked at them and said, "What then is this that is written: 'THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone'? 18 "Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." ~ Luke 20:17-18
Make note: There is no stone-free option.