Saturday, April 05, 2014

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.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

A man's continuing slide toward immorality, greed, and self righteousness does make his predicament more precarious.
These things do not make a sinner more lost but they do make it harder for him to desire to study the Bible.

God can save sinners no matter what sort of legislation a country has. The most significant factor isn't legislation but the condition of someone's heart.

This can be very clearly seen in the case of the Ninevites.

Irrespective of the prevailing legislation in Nineveh they heeded the words of the LORD and turned from their evil ways.
For someone to see that he or she has a need to be born again is something God alone can reveal to a sinner.

God bless you!

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

All so true and makes for a season of constant weeping. As challenging and dangerous as the first church believers' lives were, believers in today's church have real spiritual challenges; that may not hurt the body, but that can ravage the soul.

We have the 'church' rising against us. It's not unbelievers that are a threat to a spiritual revival. It's those who profess Jesus Christ and who are bound to their politics, god-men, idealogies, that are the actual enemy of true believers.

When missionaries and christian bloggers have to outreach to other christians, then we know we have a problem. The enemy of our souls isn't attempting to fool unbelievers (as they don't know Him yet); his mission is to penetrate the already born-again believers' minds into thinking they are entitled, should be proud, raise their banners, are vindicated and have the right to publicly condemn and exclude and shame, hurt, accuse. The church in the US today (those with podiums and the loudest voices), mock the poor, the mentally ill, needy, pre-existing sick and injured, blaming them and sinners for natural disasters. They blog and write about how everyone should be armed with weapons, encourage the church to have a persecution complex, victim complex. They reward the rich, rub elbows with the rich, demand allegiance, boast of their ancestry, boast of the works of men, follow the idealogies of dead men, claim they are born-again while demanding secular justice, demand for war, disparage those who don't want war, demand a King, demand attention, respect, demand bearing arms, entering in the Lord's sanctuary with life-destroying weapons in one hand, and a bible in the other.

The church in the west has lost it's perspective, it has traded the Lord Jesus for a rebellious kingdom of men on earth.

We are slowly sinking and the temptation of riches keeps God's prophets from speaking out, lest they offend their congregants and lose their tithes. Lord Jesus, can you forgive us? We have gone astray.

J.

brcorcoran said...

Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Not at all wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Your post Pastor Rick speaks truth, especially concerning the state of relgion. Here, the phrase "state of religion" must be considered literally as it has actually merged with the government into a "god police force" sanctioned through fleshly means. The end result will be killing and death through "the laws."

J. made a correct observation when stating "We have the church rising against us." What a profoundly gut twisting statement quoted in this day and age as if the dark ages are reviving. The dominionist/god man philosophy propogated by the false teachers/preachers/apostles/and prophets has impacted most of the north american continent with the transformation of militant religion.

We, by and large, condemn mormonism with its cultlike "god man" belief system blasheming our LORD Jesus Christ. But in the back seat, we may need to sit back, and truly dissect what has been laid on the table in the institutional church systems....the god men false theology has been well implanted in the minds and hearts of the average pew sitter.

We have not seen anything yet, more laws and restrictions are coming down the pike, and one day we may be like the Apostle Paul, worshipping God in spirit and truth, behind the corroded prison bars of religious hatred disguised as love for God, our Father.

Maybe by then, we will understand what true freedom and liberty in our LORD Jesus Christ actually means.