The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
Irreversible Conditions are Coming!
By Al Stoner
" . . . between us and you there is a great gulf fixed" (Lk. 16:26).

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Rev. 22:11). These are mind-arresting declarations, found near the close of the Revelation. These solemn affirmations are in perfect accord with what has been asserted by all the holy Prophets since the world began, and reaffirmed by the Lord and His Apostles in these last days. 
 “The accepted [acceptable (RSV)] time”, “the day of salvation” (II Cor. 6:2), “the set time, the time to favor” (Ps. 102:13), the allotted time of preparation to meet the Bridegroom, as taught by the Lord Jesus in several of His parables, are all instructive words that point to a time of irreversibility when men’s standing before God shall be forever fixed, for weal or for woe.  “It is high time to awake out of sleep,”  Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” 
 The “day” and the “hour” (Mt. 24:36) are coming when moral statuses and conditions, as they pertain to relations between God and men, shall be irreversibly fixed. Those who are unjustified by Christ because of their unbelief and rejection of Him, and consequently, unjust in thought and deed, filthy in heart, mind, and speech, shall be forever sealed in their current state of alienation from the living God. For the unbelieving, all hope of recovery, restoration, salvation shall have forever perished.  For men to suppose that they can delay, or ignore the matter of which we speak with impunity is a delusion of unspeakable magnitude. 
Likewise, those who are “justified by faith,” “made righteous” (Rom. 5:19) and sanctified by Christ, and who, from this wellspring, are righteous in their deeds, and of holy character; these shall also be sealed into the very Presence of God and of the Lamb. They shall go no more out, and the warfare of faith shall finally be over.  In the present time constant effort and labor must be put forth to fight the good fight of faith, to abide in the Son, to walk in the Spirit, to mortify the deeds of the body, to abstain from all appearance of evil, and to continue reckoning that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  But when Christ shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation, His very appearance shall effect an end of all trial and testing.  The time of probation, which is integral to living by faith, shall be terminated.
Presently men which would pass from the domain of darkness into the realms of light, and from the power of Satan unto God, can presently do so by obedience to the gospel, if they so desire; but we must also add that “those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come” can also “fall away” through persistent unbelief and hardness of heart (cf. Heb. 6:4-6). The passageway to and from both domains yet remains open, but the time is coming when it shall be forever shut. 
 And we would be remiss, if we did not add that right now in the present time, the separation of the sheep from the goats has already begun.  Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (Jn. 10:27).  We can only conclude, therefore, that if men are not earnestly hearing Christ's voice, if they are spurning, despising, or rejecting it, they are giving evidence that they are goats. and not sheep.  To Nicodemus the Lord Jesus Christ expressed the moral variance that exists among men with these words: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (Jn. 3:19-21).  The light spoken of here is Christ Himself, it is the light of the glorious gospel of Christ.  It is a light that illumines man’s most fundamental dilemma before the Most High, and that is sin.  The light is not only shining upon what men have done, but even more than this it is shining upon what Christ has done through His sufferings and death and resurrection to remedy this matter.  But for men to avail themselves of this blessed remedy it will cost them everything they are and have.  “And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk. 9:23).
Paul depicts the same solemnly grave situation in this way: “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?” (II Cor. 2:15-16).  Those who are joined to the glorified Christ through faith in the gospel, will soon discover that some men love them, and others hate them, simply because of their identification with Jesus.  —Editor

"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).