Press On Towards Christ!

I have a lot on my heart today. It is all very positive and happy. I feel the Lord’s sweet encouragement. It is exciting.

It is the encouragement to press on.

God is so gracious.

There are times in my life when I find out that the people I have been close to, who I have thought were so sweet, who I thought would be my true friend–have let me down. I have found out that they were really critical or judgmental. That they were performance oriented. And I didn’t measure up. They saw something in me that they didn’t care for, and consequently, they hurt me. It happens to all of us.

But the Lord, He is not like that. He sees our faults and our weaknesses and because He LOVES us with perfect LOVE, He commits Himself to work in our lives on our behalf to bring conviction and change. He doesn’t give up on His children.

I am so thankful for that kind of love, because I am a child in great need of a God who gives grace. I am a child who needs help. Encouragement keeps us going. Discouragement makes us give up. We all need encouragement. And God LOVES to give it.

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

It is time to press on.

We need to let go of the past–the failures, the rejection, the pain, the apathy, the SIN, and the fear. We need to stop living in the past–our achievements, our victories, our pride, our memories.

My yesterdays do not define my todays.

I need to keep going. Keep fighting, keep seeking, keep serving, keep loving, keep trying, keep praying, keep sharing the gospel, and not look to the past to define who I am today. Turn to Christ. Press on.

We are witnessing some insane world events right now. And we NEED to be close to God.

I just want to encourage you that if you are not taking your walk seriously right now, it is time to get serious. I know that when you have been walking with Christ for a long time, there are times when you are totally charging toward the Lord with all your heart, and there are times when you feel like you need to slow down to catch your breath. I have been there. But this isn’t a sprint, it is a long distance marathon. We need to be steady, consistent, and we need to train to endure.

You need to be in the Word. You need it. You need to not just read it passively, but you need to grab onto the word and dive into as if your life depended on it. You need to lay hold of Christ and seek Him diligently. Recently the Lord convicted me of being passive. I was still doing my reading, but I wasn’t waking up early to meet with Him expecting Him to speak to me in His word. I was just reading, and walking away from the word, my mind on a million other things.

But the Lord is coming back! I need to be watching. I need to be expecting. I need to be preparing. We don’t know when He will come, but we do see the signs of it getting clearer and clearer.

  • Our President has mandated that all schools open up their bathrooms and locker rooms to students of the opposite sex, if they are transgender. (NY Times)
  • Our President appointed a transgender female named Barbara Satin to the Advisory Faith Council. (article by Allen B. West)
  • Target (and other stores) have opened up the bathrooms and dressing rooms not to just trans-gendered individuals (who already had been using them) but to sex offenders and perverts. (LifeSite)
  • Buzzfeed just featured a video/article about a man getting a microchip in his hand so that he could buy things– It is called “Satan’s Credit Card–What The Mark of the Beast Taught Me About the Future of Money
  • The Pope met to unite in peace with the highest Sunni Cleric, in an effort to “apologize” for Pope Benedict’s comments that implied that Islam was a violent religion. (BBC News)
  • The (radical Sunni group) Islamic State is still massacring people in the Middle East and took credit for the recent plane that crashed on its way from France to Egypt.
  • Islamic State is encouraging attacks in Europe and the United States, by lone wolf sympathizers in the upcoming month of Ramadan. (Associated Press)
  • Senior Iranian Military Commander boasts that they could destroy Israel in less than 8 minutes. (The Times of Israel)
  • Chinese and Russian warplanes have been increasingly aggressive intercepting U.S. military aircraft and patrolling near America’s West Coast and California (USA Today)
  • China will have nuclear submarines terrorizing the sea, this year (The Daily Beast)

We live in scary times.

I don’t think we yet understand the extent of persecution that will come to Christians as the trans-gendered movement continues to alter our society. Our daughters will have male roommates in their college dorm. Our church youth groups will get sued if we don’t let the trans-gendered youth sleep in their preferred cabins. Persecution is coming. We will face legal consequences for our faith.

With all this, and Zika, and earthquakes, and extreme weather, and false teachers, and famines, and continued genocide–we are seeing so much of what the Bible says will happen before He comes to pour out His wrath on the world.

“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28

Let us be encouraged then, that we need to forget about our past–the good we did and the bad we did. And we need to press on towards Christ. We need to focus our eyes on Him and ask the Lord to help us to be obedient. We need to LOVE, and SERVE, and PREACH the GOSPEL, and be found FAITHFUL.

And boy do we need His help to do it!!!! Jesus says, “Without Me you can do nothing” John 15

Please don’t confuse these activities with “earning” your salvation–you can’t.

These are the activities that we should be doing THROUGH His strength and enabling, because we love Him.

This is our time.

We are all in a spiritual battle.

Do not fall asleep!

Let us wake each other up, and encourage each other to love and good works.

“So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:44

“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:14-16

“For you have spent enough time in the past carrying out the same desires as the pagans: living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and detestable idolatry.” 1 Peter 4:3

“As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience. among whom we all also once lived in the desires of our flesh, doing the things willed of the flesh and of its thoughts; and we were by nature children of wrath even as the rest. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even we being dead in trespasses–by grace you are saved–” Ephesians 2:1-5

Our Lord is coming, and the whole world will see Him. They do all these wicked and abominable things now, but one day they will see that they truly are accountable to the Lord. They will one day kneel trembling before Him as Judge. But today there is still time for anyone to meet Him as Father. This is such a solemn truth, that should shape the way we consider whether or no to risk “offending” a friend with the gospel today.

Messiah Jesus came the first time to die for our sins. He comes the second time to judge the world. We are standing on the edge of that coming.

His first coming brought the promise and hope of a second chance, this coming will not have that same promise.

The time for a second chance is now.

The Lord is longing for us. He loves us. He pursues us. He finds us just as we are and tenderly, like a Father, helps us with our weaknesses. He isn’t harsh and looking to scold us. He is kind and merciful. He created us just the way we are, and He delights in us.

Come to Christ today. With all your baggage and pain. With all your pride and self sufficiency. With all your fear and guilt. Let Him take your burdens, and replace it with a yoke that binds you to Him. His yoke is EASY. His burden is LIGHT. He can carry your load. And you can walk next to Him- TOGETHER. It is easy to do. Just sit down and cry out to Him in prayer, ask for mercy, ask for intimacy, then open the Bible, and He will meet you. He is waiting for you.

“Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” Isaiah 30:18

“Brethren, all of us who have come back to God by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ have found, as did the prodigal that the Father in heaven has not changed at all!”   A. W. Tozer

“The Return of the Prodigal Son”- Rembrant

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About The Last Hiker

Following Him Up the Mountain
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23 Responses to Press On Towards Christ!

  1. Marijo says:

    sad but very valid observations – make me shout MARANATHA – and in the meantime? Give us Your strength to stay true and share Your truth, Your Word in love…

  2. careall60 says:

    Excellent post. Thank you, Last Hiker. I will be sharing with friends and family. May the Lord continue to bless you in your endeavors to serve Him in word and deed.

  3. Yes, beautiful and timely! All should heed this advice.
    But let us remember that He did not promise to remove us from all persecution, suffering, and trials and tribulations. Instead, He sees us through them. I am not saying this to get into the timing of the rapture issue, to reply with that is to miss the point. Christians have suffered through such things as persecution all throughout church history, and now is no different. The peace was the exception. Christians suffer through unspeakable things for their faith all over the world, right now. We are no better than they so let us not think of ourselves as exempt from that calling to suffer for His namesake. We need to be ready for that because it IS coming, headed our way. We need to be ready to die for our faith or whatever else if need be. It is not okay to deny the Lord to get out of it. That is not how we escape such things. See Matthew 10; 32-33. The return of the Lord is something to look forward to for the sake of being WITH Him, not for the sake of being rescued from suffering by Him. Just a note about perspective here since every time there is the slightest whisper of Christian persecution, all the Maranatha comments come in like an avalanche, (all while Christians are being slaughtered all over the world), but when times are good no such comments arise by many. We should be praying for ourselves and other Christians to stand firm through times of persecution as it will only get worse.
    God bless!
    ( :

    • Amen!!!! The church for the most part doesn’t get ready for the hard times that are coming because they think they will be rescued before any hard times come. Corrie Ten Boom speaks to that folly. Christians suffer. We will always suffer. The rapture will not come to save us from suffering. I believe we will be saved from the judgments and the wrath, but that we will go through tribulation. I personally believe it is not an issue to divide on, but that Matthew 24 says we will suffer before he returns. Anyways, thank you for what you said. I agree. We must stand firm. God bless you!!!!

      • Hi again,

        Amen! Exactly. That is what I see too, we will be here. It comes just before the destruction judgement wrath outpouring on the whole earth. That is in 2 Thess. 2 and Matthew 24 and here and there. There is no verse to the contrary, any verse used to support the pre view can be interpreted differently and does not imply a pre removal. Every single one. And that’s good otherwise there would be contradiction. Like in Rev. 3; 10, escape can mean being in a remote place. With Noah, he was on the ark, etc. The righteous will suffer persecution, but will be preserved from the wrath of God, which comes upon the ungodly only. I don’t divide over this either, I just share, duck, and run!
        : D
        I see that all the time because Christians have been deceived into this mentality that they will never be asked to suffer or expected to endure hardship and trials when the Bible says we are. They think they can skate until the rapture without a scratch and that is their ‘entitled heritage’ while the rest of the church gets butchered for Christ all over the world. That is the main reason why so many hold that view.

        Some sites where I find recent updates and current events are:
        Now the end begins (nevermind the pre view posts…) ( ;
        Rather Expose Them (a biggie is there now about common core national standards for
        K-12 sex ed and the gay agenda) these things are escalating daily now
        If you are a Christian and teaching any grade level, be ready to stand firm and say no to this.
        I do look at Lighthouse Trails even though there are some issues there, but some updates and warnings as well.
        ( :
        God bless you too sister!!!
        Love and grace until we meet,
        FC

      • Marijo says:

        One well known Bible teacher where we live preaches that Christians do not suffer and if they do there is something wrong with their walk with the Lord. I often wonder what Bible he is taking that from – we do share in the sufferings of Christ – is the servant greater than the Master? I am chicken enough to hope for rapture but realistic enough to know God KEPT the people of Israel, in Egypt, right in the middle of those plagues – HE kept Noah in an ark but right in the middle of that flood… BE READY and pray ahead and pray much! HE is able!!!

    • get1nvolved says:

      Amen and Amen!!! I am very thankful for this blog and the posts. Everyday is a reminder that we are in the last days. I will keep pressing on…looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. Grace to us all…

  4. Keep pressing on and looking up. 👍

  5. Anonymous says:

    Amen and Amen!! Thank you for the words of encouragement. Yes we must press on and draw closer to the Lord all the time!! Blessings

  6. Barbara Elliott says:

    Very good article! Thank you for the wake up call and the beautiful words of encouragement!!!☺I’m claiming Psalm 91 to get us through the time of trouble ahead… Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus!!!☺

  7. Saved & Grateful says:

    Really, really good, truth-filled and well-written article. Thank you, Last Hiker, for your insights and urging to pursue Christ more than ever in these increasingly dark times. I think this would be a really good perspective to give to our unSaved friends or family…particularly those who believe that “being a good person” is enough. People need to wake up and read God’s Word — they need the Truth! And this article points them in the right direction.

  8. Liz Roe says:

    wow amazing Word and so on time 🙂 going to be sharing this word with my email address list and know that it will be just what someone needs today!!

    Blessings Liz

  9. John McGlone says:

    What do you mean by ‘preach’?

    This is what I understand. I’d like to hear your thoughts…thank you.

    http://www.jesuspreacher.com/the-foolishness-of-preaching-by-bruce-evan-murch/

    • Hi John, I skimmed through that, but I will go back later and read it in more detail. By preaching–I mean sharing the gospel with the lost in ALL the ways the Bible does. Not just, “do you think Jesus was a nice guy? Raise your hand.” But a message about SIN, THE CROSS, REPENTANCE, REGENERATIONS, and THE NEED for the HOLY SPIRIT’S enabling help.

      I have no problem with open air preaching, that is in the Bible. But, I have seen open air preachers harass, embarrass, and follow people accusing them of being prostitutes (when they are not). Some of them that I have seen on YouTube are actually mean. They enjoy being cruel, and they follow people who say they are Christian and tell them they aren’t (especially women), which is harassment. This can be scary for women especially, since many of these preachers videotape the encounters and then post them online to shame people.

      I think it is less about the preacher preaching a “God loves you” message (because God wants all men to get saved), but the attitude of the preacher must be love toward those they speak to. There must be a burden, a humility, as well as an authority from the Word. If there is not love, preachers are a clanging symbol.

      My favorite example is David Wilkerson, and how he LOVED those drug dealing pimps and gang members he preached to. He LOVED them and knew they were going to hell, so he put his life in danger to reach them with the true message of Scripture and the Lord opened their eyes to everything (their sin, their need for repentance, and God’s love).

      Anyways, I can finish reading the article later. Thank you for sharing it.

      • John McGlone says:

        Thank you for your thoughts,and I agree with most all of them. The open air ministry is sore with many temptations. I look forward to your opportunity to examine it carefully.

        May God bless you,
        John

  10. Mona says:

    Absolutely!!! Staying close to Christ, in the Word, praying constantly. I try to pray for people all around me as I drive, shop, wherever I go, for people’s salvation. I desire for the Lord’s grace to be poured out in my life and in the world, this crazy, dark world. “God’s grace is greater”. Jesus is coming and it might be today! Blessings to you.

  11. “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him…” Philippians 1; 29
    “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, which is the church”. Colossians 1; 24

    Hi again and blessings to all, it’s so uplifting to read encouraging comments and gratitude after a great post is shared! I gotta admit, in the blog arena that is rare. Either there is a good post and people attack, or a bla post and commentors attack one another… glad that’s not the case here!

    As for persecution, this has been completely ignored by the modern church. Many flesh crucifying doctrines have been ignored in lieu of those that appeal to the flesh. You have the false prosperity gospel, the harlot church that has become seeker sensitive (never mind the seeker’s spiritual needs such as salvation and discipleship, all that matters to them is “what’s in YOUR wallet?!”) and the emergent church with all the compromise with sin and the world and the list goes on.

    I did hear a really good analysis lately (rare as can be these days) about how what they are preaching is just like that scam in the pharmacy industry lately. One guy took the meds for cancer patients and watered them down so much and sold the larger amounts to more people. He made millions since there were more pills, and more people. Only most of them died. That is what is happening from 99% of pulpits today. The grain of truth that has been watered down so much is not enough to save you. More people are drawn and come. Thus more give. The executive of that church corporation makes millions from the pulpit. Only, most people die anyway because they never got the saving gospel.

    If you read the bible, and the new testament you can’t miss the fact that we will suffer for our faith for many, many reasons. That is just part of the deal. But most won’t read their bibles, they listen to a wolf instead who will tickle their ears. I made a list of verses about suffering for our faith and it is a long, long list, several pages of verses. Anyway, the two above say it all. It’s not that there is anything lacking for salvation. Christ’s work to save us is complete, it is finished. Suffering on our part won’t save us either. It’s just that when we get saved, we become part of His body. He was persecuted and we will be also. That’s why we are told to carry our cross daily and so on. We still live in a fallen world under the curse. Many are enemies of the cross. That’s why we have martyrs. Once it was stated that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. We are part of His body and we suffer as a result but people see that witness (martyr means ‘witness’) and get saved too. I highly encourage all the saints to read Foxe’s book of martyrs to see what happens to the body of Christ throughout church history up until today. But please, finish reading your bible from cover to cover before picking up anything else!

    God bless you and until the next post!
    ( :

  12. Mek says:

    Dear Last Hiker,

    I came across your blog for the first time today and have spent all morning reading through a sampling of your posts…mostly those relating to Korn and Head or whatever he’s called. Let me explain:

    I have been researching the NAR movement for the past five months after a relative excitedly spoke of a man named Jonathan Welton and how he could see people’s auras. They were in the process of watching some of his teachings on YouTube and encouraged me to do the same. We were sitting at my dining table when I said I would check him out (but was already skeptical by what they shared) then went on to express my concerns over people like Sid Roth who blasphemed the Holy Spirit by trying to teach his audience how to speak in tongues by just talking like a baby and a Bethel youth pastor telling about a dream he had where Jesus asked the pastor to for HIM! The response from them? “Well, you can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” It wasn’t until I began intense research that I discovered I may have really struck a chord with them (not in a good way) as they are big Todd Bentley, Bill Johnson, and other lesser named followers (Robbie Dawkins & Tony Kemp).

    It seems when I think I’ve learned all there is to learn about Bethel, Hillsong, and friends, something else is brought to my attention. I don’t really know who Korn is as neither my immediate or extended family is into that scene. But I found your post because I occasionally check Welton’s blog, as I want to keep up with what garbage is being fed to my relatives. It was on his blog a week ago that he stated he had read a blog from a CC attender about Head being invited to the church to speak…and it made him mad. (Not sure if your blog was the one he read but am guessing it was considering that Brian “what his name” responded in the comments section).

    Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say is when I think that the news of the amount of apostasy in the church can’t get any worse, I find something else. My mind is blown away and overwhelmed at the outright perversion of God’s Word and what the Christian church is accepting as okay. If it wasn’t for the grace of God and his mercy along with the gift of discernment and my little Bible truth teaching church of 50, I would be like my relatives. I causes me great sadness as I look around and see my friends quote false teachers’ words like their on par with holy Scripture. Truly, it grieves me deeply.

    Thank you for lovingly and boldly sharing the truth when you know you will face intense criticism.There are a few like-minded blogs that I check weekly; yours will now be added to my list.

    Thank you,
    Mek

    P.S. 15+ years ago, a woman in our previous church got into YoungLiving essential oils. Even invited me to a conference. I would have bought some but we were young money-strapped parents. I wasn’t aware of Young’s background. After I read your post, I was made aware (again) of the Lord’s protection over me and my family. She, on the other hand, had her oldest son go to jail on drug charges. I’ve been ridiculed for picking my child up early from school to avoid a yoga session his English teacher was doing with the class; then I read about Kundalini spirits a few years later. I will not participate in Bible drawing. And, yes, I will get ridiculed and called legalistic and a Pharisee. But I see it as not only as abstaining from pagan practices, but keeping myself as pure a bride as possible (note: I am not perfect and sinless, but praise God for his atoning sacrifice!).

    P.P.S. Welton (who claims to be friends with Head) recently posted (May 24) on his fb that he’s performed all kinds of healings except resurrection from the dead. In his words, he’s tried 4 times and hasn’t been successful and it “pisses” (his verbiage) him off. Now he’s calling for anyone in the Rochester, NY area who knows someone who dies to get a hold of him. Nice.

    • Wow!!!! Thank you so much for sharing all of this. What is happening inside the church is terrifying!!!! It makes me so upset, and yet I know that the Bible said that this was going to happen and He is in total control. And His Spirit guides His people into all truth!!!! I am so thankful!!!! Jonathan Welton is a scary guy, that comment of his that you share at the end of your comment sounds like he has a demon in him that wants to bring someone back to life. I will pray for your family to see the truth about this stuff. God bless you!!!!

  13. Rosekreed says:

    You are spot on, thank you for the watchman reports and updates on these end time deceptions and false teachings that the world lies in gross darkness blessings and peace to you.

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