Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Going To The Romans As The World . . .

 "But in the prophets of Yerushalayim I have seen a horrible thing — they commit adultery, live in lies, so encouraging evildoers that none returns from his sin. For me they have all become like S’dom, its inhabitants like ‘Amora.” (Jeremiah 23:14, CJB)
 Adonai-Tzva’ot says: “Don’t listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are making you act foolishly, telling you visions from their own minds and not from the mouth of Adonai. They keep reassuring those who despise me, ‘Adonai says you will be safe and secure,’ and saying to all living by their own stubborn hearts, ‘Nothing bad will happen to you.’" (vs. 16-17)
 Adonai’s anger will not abate till he fully accomplishes the purpose in his heart. In the acharit-hayamim (latter days), you will understand everything. (vs. 20)
 When [someone from] this people, a prophet or a cohen (priest) asks you, ‘What is the burden of Adonai?’ you are to answer them, ‘What burden? I am throwing you off,’ says Adonai. (vs. 33)
 I will lift you up, burden that you are, and throw you off, away from my presence — you and the city I gave you and your ancestors. (vs. 39)
 There's more, but i encourage each person that reads this to read the chapter (or, better yet, the book) for themselves.

 There are many modern ways of evangelizing. And, lately, many have become caught up in "going to the Romans as a Roman." They mistake this for "going to the sinners as a sinner" or replace the word "sinner" with "world." This may be of the best intentions, but it is no less dangerous than a false doctrine.
 At the church i visited this past weekend, it was said that, "salvation is not by our works, so there are no works we can do to lose it." Another interesting quote was, "It's impossible to disappoint God. He knows your past, He knows your future, and so you can't surprise Him. If you can't surprise Him, you can't disappoint Him."

 Even with this kind of warning as given through Jeremiah, we still have so many social clubs operating as churches. People, preachers, saying, "God told me..." and following it up with some sort of infectious doctrine that would not encourage God's people to become too unlike the world for sake of looking "too holy," or "holier-than-thou," (and we dare not consider it a race, or should we refresh ourselves on 1 Corinthians 9:23-25?) and by doing so dissuading others from Christianity. But i tell you in the words of my Savior, "If you belonged to the world, the world would have loved its own. But because you do not belong to the world — on the contrary, I have picked you out of the world — therefore the world hates you."
 If the world loves you, there may be a problem. If the worldly look at you and aren't confused, perplexed, hateful, or angry, it wouldn't be a gamble to say that Christ hasn't picked you out of it just yet.

 Anyone who says you can be in Christ and not only live with your sin but be comfortable with it (even worse, that any facsimile or measure of worldliness as a good thing . . .); they're nullifying the sacrifice of the Messiah, the God-sent Holy Man, Immanuel Himself, Jesus the Christ, beaten and tortured and killed. If what they say was true, why did Jesus even hang, naked and bloody, on the cross? The answer is simply void. By His wounds, yes, by His stripes, by His resurrection we can be called children of God. If there was no way by our works to fall from salvation, how, then, did David cry out, "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation" after he had committed murder for the sake of having adultery? David felt God's salvation abandon him, and with it God's peace, joy, and Holy Spirit.

 A friend of mine shared this on Facebook. It's a snippet from Eric and Leslie Ludy;
 As Christ-followers, why should we think that friendship with the world is something to be proud of? When Hollywood and the secular music industry feels comfortable with us (and we feel comfortable with them), it means that something is wrong with our Christianity. Many of us have come to believe that we must participate in the things of the world in order to reach it for Christ, and that the more attractive we are to the culture, the better witnesses we will be.
 But Jesus said something quite different. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-29). And, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). Let us remember that true Christianity will influence the world - but it will never be applauded by the world.

 And this is true.
 Some may say, "But we have to attract the world!"
 To them, i say, "You go. Attract the world. Be loved by them."
 "The Lost" is something wholly different from "the World." The Lost are those who would seek to be found. The World is that which believes it already is found.
 Many preachers would do well to consider, when trying so desperately to fill pews, that Jesus offered bread, and all ate till they were filled. John 6 tells us that the crowds followed Him, and Jesus would give them no more physical bread, but rather Himself, the Bread of Life, and they became angry and bitter. It says that many turned away and no longer followed Him. And Jesus' response was rather unexpected; He let them go and kept to His twelve. The reason He lets them go is because, as He says in the very same chapter, "Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will certainly not turn away."
 All who see and trust in Him will not be turned away; those who make the decision that they will starve the flesh to feed the Spirit; those who take up their cross daily and follow Him; those who trust upon His name; these are the ones He will raise up on the Last Day. The Father's will is that none should perish; we are to turn to Christ and repent of our sins or else we will perish not by His will but by our own.
 This choice is given each of us. And we would do well to share it.

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