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Reimar A.C. Schultze

Past Issues of the Call To Obedience

"Is It Time To Sick?"

By Pastor Reimar Schultze

  "I charge ye, O daughters of Jerusalem , if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him I am sick of love.”—Song of Solomon 5:8

     I do not wish any sickness upon anyone except this: I wish you to be sick at heart whenever your relationship with Jesus is broken. You need to feel sick if the One Who shed His lifeblood for you is not #1 in all you think and do. If He is not your first love, God is grieving over you. What makes you sick, my Christian friend? Is it when you don’t get the house, the spouse, the vacation, or the job you want? Is it when you don’t get an expected raise? Are you sick if your new car is dented, your roof leaks or your football team loses? Oh, if only our sickness would be because our Lover is no longer in our embrace.   No, nothing will compensate the true believer for the loss of Christ’s comforting presence, and he will not rest till he has recovered it.  In the Song of Solomon, the Shulamite woman was sick because she did not know where her lover was, because she could not stand to be away from him! Because of this sickness she sought him until she found him. Do you have such a love for Jesus? If you do not, your soul is in grave danger.  No wonder the Song of Solomon was one of the most popular books for the first century preachers before they had the New Testament. It is this love relationship with Jesus that gave them the courage and the desire to become martyrs for His sake.

Beware of false prophets

     I pray sickness of soul upon the millions of born-again Christians, who have lost their first love, for heaven will be closed to them. They need salvation!  Indeed, slick scholars of the Word can twist Scripture to support their doctrine that a lukewarm soul can make heaven. They preach "Jesus paid it all," but neglect to preach, "All to Him I owe." There is a dangerous subtlety in this.  They preach Christ! What can be better than that? Isn’t this salvation as the Apostles preached it? I agree we need to preach Christ. However, preaching Christ without preaching what Christ preaches is as the sin of blasphemy. The devil is thrilled when we preach Christ without His demands on us. My friend, Christ preached repentance.  Christ preached the Kingdom of God .  Christ preached that we must love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Christ preached that we must forsake all to follow Him. Christ called us to the cross to be His disciples (Luke 9:23). Christ preached that the true test of our love to Him is obedience (John 14:15). Be highly alarmed when preachers preach Christ without preaching what Christ preached! And what about these crafty scholars, whose interests are they promoting? God’s or the devil’s? Which doctrine does the devil want you to believe: that the road to life is broad or narrow? Is your conversion experience all you need, or is it, "Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14)? Whose side are those preachers on who say, "All you have to do is …," who scoff at the high demands of Jesus and glorify the lowest standards? They say you can be saved even without a testimony, a prayer life, a soul burden; even though you spend more time with your television than the Word of God; even though you know more about football players than the great saints of God; though you dress like the world and enjoy its entertainments.

     Throughout my life I have become rather cautious of these teachers who often say, "All you need is…." these advisors will cause you to fall short in the end. Don't sell me cheese and crackers when I need the whole menu to be strong and healthy.  I want His all for me. I want my all for Him. Anything less is hypocrisy.  My heart grieves for people who think they are saved and ready for heaven without living the truth.  Jesus said that in the last days false prophets would abound and deceive many. And where, may I ask you, is the real loyalty of these who peddle a cheap gospel polluted with the filth of the world? It is solely in filling their sanctuaries and making a name for themselves in the religious world.  Oh, don’t be a fool, dear Christian friend! Would you rather board an airplane with a pilot who ignores the pre-flight check list, or with one who says, "We will not take off unless everything is exactly right”?  With whom would you rather ride?

Bridal love is the standard

        So, the issue is: do I or do I not need to go all out for Jesus in order to spend eternity with Him?   The Revelation of Jesus Christ says in His very first message to the church, "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou hast fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent" (Rev. 2:4,5). The bottom line is that there is no eternity in heaven without loving Jesus as a bride loves her husband.

     We need first love now to spend eternity with Jesus. This is reiterated in Jesus’ last message to the seven churches. "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:15, 16). In eternity there is no space in-between heaven and hell for the lukewarm. In fact, the lukewarm fare worse than those who have never been saved, for they have left their first love. It is the most dangerous sin a Christian can possibly commit:  to lose his first love, his bridal love.       Mary Magdalene was a good example of this bridal love.  Like the Shulamite woman, Mary could not live without her Lord. Her history is: she was with Him, she was with Him, and she was with Him in life and even in death. After she found the tomb was empty, she frantically ran all over the place saying, "They have taken away my Lord and I don’t know where they have laid Him" (John 20:13). When the disciples gave up on Jesus, this woman still hung on to Him. She still called Him her Lord. Oh, and what else? She begged the gardener to let her have the body. In essence she said: He belongs to me! JESUS BELONGS TO ME! He belongs to me forever. With such love, is it any wonder that the risen Christ first revealed Himself to her? Oh, what all will Jesus reveal to you when you are in such love with Him?

     Then Jesus said to her, "… go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20:17). Jesus did not just say to Mary, I ascend unto my Father and to my God. No, He said, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God. Jesus included her. Think of it!  All of a sudden, Jesus’ Father was her Father; Jesus’ God was her God. She found herself in His net of love and He was in hers. Here you see the spiritual embrace of a "first love" relationship. Was there any question about her going to heaven? I should say not!       Friend, here, in this deep love relationship, is your safety.  Anyone who tells you anything less is a false prophet. "Jesus paid it all" is only half of what needs to be preached. "All to Him I owe" is the other half. Shouldn’t this be preached from every pulpit and be part of every Bible study? Isn’t this why Jesus came: to find His bride among men? This will get us to the climax of all eternity: the wedding feast of the Lamb. I am sick [because] of love, said the Shulamite woman. Are you getting it?

A loving God is a jealous God

     God is a jealous God. We have done much to advertise the Ten Commandments, but we have fallen short in explaining the whole basis of the laws of God:  God is jealous and He does not want to share us with any thing or anyone! "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God" (Exodus 20:5). God gave these commandments because He cannot stand for us to love anything else above Him. Let us listen to what the prince of modern preachers, Charles Spurgeon, had to say:

"Your God is very jealous of your love.  O believer, did He choose you? He cannot bear that you should choose another. Did He buy you with His own blood? He cannot endure that you should think that you are your own, or that you belong to this world. He would sooner die than you should perish, and He cannot endure that anything should stand between your heart’s love and Himself.

He is very jealous of your trust.

He will not permit you to trust in an arm of flesh. He cannot bear that you should hew out broken cisterns, when the overflowing fountain is always free to you. When we lean upon Him, He is glad, but when we transfer our dependence to another, when we rely upon our own wisdom, or the wisdom of a friend – worst of all when we trust in any works of our own, He is displeased, and will chasten us that He may bring us to Himself.

He is also very jealous of our company.

There should be no one with whom we converse so much as Jesus. To abide in Him only, this is true love; but to commune with the world, to find sufficient solace in our carnal comforts, to prefer even the society of our fellow Christians to secret intercourse with Him, this is grievous to our jealous Lord. He would fain have us abide in Him, and enjoy constant fellowship with Himself; and many of the trials which He sends us are for the purpose of weaning our hearts from the creature, and fixing them more closely upon Himself. Let this jealousy which would keep us near to Christ be also a comfort to us, for if He loves us so much as to care thus about our love we may be sure that He will suffer nothing to harm us, and will protect us from all our enemies. Oh that we may have grace this day to keep our hearts in sacred chastity for our Beloved alone, with sacred jealousy shutting our eyes to all the fascinations of the world!" Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening reading for September 12.

     Oh my friend, let Jesus be the One whom your soul loves even as He loves you, and be sick when you fall short of it.