Friday, April 27, 2012

To Know Him

To Know Him

The greatest spiritual danger for a nation like America is not the continuing slide toward immorality, greed, and self righteousness. Those things do not make a sinner more lost. The greatest danger is if the culture becomes more religious and makes moral changes due to legislation and the power of the flesh. That is when sinners do not see a need to be born again.

But the church continues to champion moral issues and legislative processes. That always indicates a shallow gospel commitment. It is the easy way out that avoids repentance and a sacrificial return to a life of prayer and self denial. It suggests that moral adjustments made in the flesh are somehow part of advancing the kingdom of God. It also reveals that some sinners irritate believers, and rather than fasting, prayer, and a gospel witness, we loudly require them to stop certain sins in order to make our societal experience less stressful.

That is humanism regardless of how you dress it up as Christianity. Please retire the worn out and inaccurate phrases such as conservative or Judeo-Christian ethic. This is about eternity, and any moral battle diverts the attention from the work of Christ and places it squarely upon the democratic process and the organized leverage of certain groups. It openly invites all sorts of unholy alliances and even joins hands with unbelievers. The gospel is good news for the lost sinner, and that includes the most demonstrative sinners among us.

We cannot carry two banners and we cannot have two messages. We only have one banner and that is Jesus, and one message and that is His gospel. When we blend in other issues that are coincidentally embraced by lost sinners who happen to stumble upon certain moral issues taught in Scripture, we dilute the gospel and inadvertently give false hope to lost sinners who happen to embrace those moral issues. The issue has always been about eternal redemption.

For what does it profit a man if he is conservative and helps stem the outward moral decline but loses his own soul?

But imagine living in a fairy tale. Think about flying dogs and talking cats. Imagine walking in a fog so dense you cannot see or hear anything. Imagine ghosts and witches and gnomes. Imagine living in such a fantasy land. But the truth is we are living in a fantasy land right now. This land tells us lies about success and self esteem and climbing some earthly ladder. It speaks of the importance of temporal things. It convinces us that about 70 or 80 years on earth is worth all of eternity. Yes, this life is a fairy tale.

But the reality is the life that cannot be seen with earthly eyes. It is the life in the Spirit and it is more real than anything here on earth. The life lived in the kingdom of God is infinitely deeper and more real than this passing, temporal life. But since the temporal life screams at us and demands our attention we pay it close attention.

II Cor.4:16-18 - For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

These words are our blueprint for life. It is the eternal kingdom that should fill our hearts and minds, but yet we seem to concentrate upon the temporal. The words of politicians, the events of the world, the ups and downs of the economy, gas prices, and so many other things dominate our thoughts and our mouths. Prayer with the Father is a farce and yet we are not embarrassed. We rub shoulders with hell bound sinners without a thought.

It is time every one of us takes a spiritual inventory of our lives and compares it with the life of Christ. What a novel idea. Do we even desire to please the Lord Jesus anymore? Do we thirst to know Him more fully? Do we long to make Him known to others? Are we hungry for His Word? Is prayer our life force? Do we worship in secret or do we need Sunday morning peer pressure?

If the things of this world have not as yet grown strangely dim, then by all means give them your attention. But if you have met the Lord Jesus and have tasted of His eternal glory, then return to that glory. Let your life be in this world but not of it.

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Oh to know Him. To close my eyes and see His sufferings and to be bathed in His redemptive love. To understand just a pinpoint of His glory and to be empowered to search the unfathomable riches of His grace. To breathe in His eternal salvation and to have that salvation permeate every inch of my being. To see the cross. Oh, to see that cross. Away with all this temporal dross. Get behind me all that seeks to dominate my soul. Away with everything that is just waiting to vanish away.

Oh let me know Him again and again and again. Forever.

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