Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Blood Still Cries Out

Gen.4:8 - And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? 10And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

Cain thought he could hide his evil deed, but God knew and hears Abel’s blood cry out metaphorically from the ground. Cain stands indicted. There is a movement aflame throughout all of Christendom to silence the blood from another murder. Abel did not wish to die, but this Person came to die. The movement to suppress the voice of His blood takes on many forms, but it is a coordinated effort orchestrated by the one who motivated Cain. Let us be perfectly clear. Without this blood there is no faith, no power, and no redemption. The spiritual battlefield has always been played on and around the crimson flow that drenched Golgotha’s ground. Whether it be the diminishing of the One who shed this blood, or redefining the meaning of that blood, the evil one has always attacked that which defeats and destroys him. The conversation about the blood is now seen as unsophisticated and unpleasant and even ignorant in today’s spiritual marketplace. The blood has been given a back seat to string theories, esoteric theologies, and the earthly works of man.

It is assumed that the modern, intellectual man may be allowed to list the blood in his systematic theology, but to discuss it openly is probably unwise and unpalatable to the post modern audience. The blood of the Lamb is now so obscure that it must be assumed that the church does not attribute any real power to it. This is not just another sign of the great apostasy, but it is the cornerstone of the current apostasy. And it isn’t just men like Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, and the entire emergent movement who are the leading guides into spiritual darkness, but most of evangelicalism preaches a man centered gospel of self help and success.

Terms like success and prosperity and wholeness have been repackaged in order to be attractive to the flesh and even to be offered as the will of God. And where does the blood fit into all this? If mentioned at all, the blood is granted a cameo mention at the very end of a sermon, right before the masses are dismissed to commit gluttony. Do we think that God is impressed with a theological acknowledgment of His Son’s sacrifice? Are we so comfortable with our doctrine that we assume the blood does not deserve consistent preaching? As long as we have a written belief system we are satisfied.

But the blood of Jesus Christ is the only saving agent for all eternity. The further we distance our preaching and teaching from the blood the further we distance ourselves from God Himself. The Redeemer was not ashamed to shed His blood openly and in the midst of mocking sinners, so why are we so reticent to powerfully profess our faith in that blood? The voice of that divine blood cries out from the sacred ground of Calvary. The shame, the grief, the pain, the suffering, and the sacrificial death that are all woven inside that blood cry out to those who have been redeemed by its power. Where are the human voices that are lifted with worship as they exalt the Lamb and give praise to His scarlet glory?

Why isn’t the blood being voiced throughout the world by lips that know His cleansing power? Why are wicked men stripping the blood of its power while so called orthodox believers just shake their heads or defend their doctrines on sheets of paper and electronic screens? Millions of western believers have sold their birthright for a mess of national or moral pottage. Why does the world not accuse us of being archaic in our faith because we still adhere to the blood sacrifice? It’s because they hear us endorse candidates, and criticize homosexuals, or scream about economics, but they hear precious little about the blood of Jesus Christ when in fact that is what they need to hear.

The blood is still crying out to sinners. The church needs to have a revival of the blood which would not only reinvigorate our evangelism, it would draw us once again to holiness. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Do we believe that is an ancient practice observed and believed by uneducated and unenlightened men? Or do we actually believe that is a dynamic truth that is true for all eternity and transcends all times, all cultures, and all intellects?

The church has drifted. But instead of using the compass of God’s Word to get back on course, we have embraced our position and soothed our consciences by confronting those who have drifted further than have we. One day in eternity all of creation will be witness to the eternal glory of the bloody wounds of the Risen Christ. In that moment, it will no longer seem barbaric and unseemly, and we will feel a tangible sense of shame when we realize how sinful was our timidity about discussing, much less our preaching, the redeeming blood of God’s only Son. In fact, those who speak against the blood seem much more vocal and bold about diminishing its significance and even suggesting the entire gospel narrative has been misinterpreted. Some even go so far as to suggest that the blood itself is meaningless. The cross to them is an example to man as to what not to do to each other.

But go ahead all you false teachers and blind guides. Go ahead and create some form of human endeavor that needs not the Lamb’s shed blood. Go ahead and mock His eternal sacrifice and replace it with your own fleshly machinations. Go ahead and sell your books and hold your interviews and spew forth that which cannot save and is an abomination to the Lamb Himself. Go ahead and bask in the adulation of the spiritual Bourgeoisie and be exhilarated with the controversy that surrounds you. But do not be deceived, the controversy isn’t about your humble walk with Jesus. It is about your wicked boldness that appeals to the fallen nature of sinner and professing saint alike. You have even drawn the fascination of the wicked and fallen media.

But the blood of God still cries out, and to those who have ears to ear that cry is both a glory and a warning. God will not be mocked, and God sees and knows all. He will one day take up His own defense for the blood of Christ. And the blood of humans will be spilled by the millions, and that blood will be hollow and meaningless and without the slightest particle of redemption. And if you helped a billion old ladies across the street and fed three meals every day to every starving child on the planet it still would not find any favor with the Creator God.

Many have strayed so far that only a sovereign miracle could reclaim them. But let all of us allow, yea beg, the Spirit to revive us to His will and His ways so that our discipleship does not rest in identifying the apostasy in others. But let our discipleship be know for its love for the Lord Jesus and our unashamed boldness for the blood that gave voice to the everlasting gospel!

The blood still cries out; let us cry out with it!


Mike Ratliff said...

Amen Rick, On this we will always agree.

Rick Frueh said...

Thank you, brother.

hhbkim said...

"The church has drifted. But instead of using the compass of God’s Word to get back on course, we have embraced our position and soothed our consciences by confronting those who have drifted further than have we."

wow, that's quite the indictment...

Reine Gnade said...

Without the shedding of Jesus Christ's blood there could be no enduring divine forgiveness of sins.

Take heed, precious readers, for the further we distance our preaching and teaching from the shed blood of Jesus on the cross the further we will distance ourselves from God Himself.

Truly the Redeemer, Jesus of Nazareth, was not ashamed to shed His blood in the midst of mocking sinners, nor should we be reticent to powerfully profess our
faith in His precious, cleansing, atoning blood.

Lovers of God, let's lift up our voices together to exalt the Lamb of God and praise God for His glory-bringing, atoning sacrifice.

Let's praise God unceasingly, for no one can strip away the power from the blood, even though wicked men and women will endeavour to tell lies about its efficacy.

Let's always encourage our fellowman not to mock but to highly esteem Our precious Lamb's eternal, all-sufficient sacrifice!

What a loving, compassionate, merciful LORD we are honoured to serve!

Josef Sefton