By Dr. Donald Whitchard
“Love not the world, neither the issues which are on the planet. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is just not in him. For all that’s on the planet, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the satisfaction of life, is just not of the Father, however of the world. And the world passes away, however he that does the need of God abides endlessly.” – 1 John 2:15-17
“You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever subsequently can be a pal of the world is the enemy of God.” – James 4:4”
“For what does it revenue a person if he positive factors the entire world, and loses his personal soul? Or what is going to a person give in trade for his soul?” – Matthew 16:26
The Scriptures are clear and don’t want another clarification to fulfill one’s emotions, ideas, or opinions so she or he can stay comfy of their sin. Prefer it or not, the LORD has made one factor completely clear. There may be proper and flawed, good and evil, black and white. Within the requirements of a holy God, there isn’t any place for any shade of gray or uncertainty. The Scriptures plainly level out that we’re hell-bound reprobates with out hope or any probability of redemption (Romans 3:10-18), save from the merciful act of a Sovereign King who didn’t have to supply it within the first place. We’re making a giant mistake if we predict that we’re above any must obtain the simply punishment for our insurrection towards what He calls for of us as His creation. The world and the current day church, of which a majority of its members are usually not saved and are underneath a false sense of safety, must stop believing that God sees us as “blessed and favored”, “champions”, “King’s Children”, or “free from poverty and illness”, “affluent”, “youngsters of God”, or regardless of the catch phrase is to fulfill our egos. The current day group referred to as the “Physique of Christ” is affected by a case of a need to be preferred by individuals who don’t care about us within the first place. We’re falling for the siren track of “tolerance” and reducing our defenses towards a deliberate try by Devil to destroy our effectiveness as witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ and to make what “salt and lightweight” we possess unusable and solely match for the dung pile.
If I have been to come back earlier than the common American church and declare these truths to a congregation that’s glad with their respective established order, I do consider I’d not be invited again there after the companies are over. The message I really feel referred to as to share and declare right here will in all probability get me uninvited to a whole lot of locations and I’d in all probability not be requested to ship the evangelistic message at youth retreats or different venues if I have been to current the reality of the gospel and never some hip, related, cool message about “tuning into Jesus”, or no matter catch phrase is used that undermines the seriousness of dedication and braveness. The onerous, chilly reality of a rising hostility in direction of any point out of Jesus that will get us out of the consolation zone and makes us understand that we’re in a conflict for the souls of males and that the thought of going AWOL is overseas to the reason for Christ and His expectations of us as His individuals.
Our downside is that we’ve got gotten too cozy with the angle and expectations of the world. Within the title of what’s generally known as “friendship evangelism” or another technique that we predict is likely to be efficient as a method of outreach, with all good intentions, implies that we don’t take note of the individual’s way of life as a lot as we try and win him over with kindness and invites to assorted kinds of fellowships to make the individual see that Christians can have enjoyable and might get together with all kinds of individuals, no matter background or conduct which may not slot in with the mission and scope of the church.
Quite a lot of church buildings prior to now few years, to stave off declining numbers and different components, purchased into the thought of “seeker companies”, designed to make a customer or somebody who needed to be affiliated with a religion group really feel extra comfortable slightly than be topic to what some church buildings see as “boundaries”, outlined as occasions and group which may simply exalt the glory of God and leading to alleged discomfort within the customer’s expectations. Church buildings began to market their applications and assorted ministries by asking individuals what they needed to see in church buildings slightly than the unique function of the church, which was to be a spot to expertise God’s holiness, sense of unrighteousness, and the necessity to get proper with Him by means of Jesus Christ. Within the title and need to be “with the occasions”, church buildings listened to what individuals on the planet needed and anticipated. Someplace alongside the way in which, they forgot to ask God what He anticipated of them and to not take heed to individuals who needed to be comfy of their sin and never be challenged or convicted.
Once I learn in regards to the beginning of the church in Acts 2, we see the commissioning of 120 individuals who have been awaiting directions from the Lord Jesus, who had left this world 10 days beforehand. The unmistakable, supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit enabled these plain, strange women and men, who had been unsure and uncertain of what Jesus anticipated of them, now have been emboldened, like Peter, to proclaim the message of repentance and salvation that resulted in 1000’s being saved and introduced into the fold. The preaching of the Phrase was above all different points, with the results of modified lives being in fellowship one with one other. After we learn sections of the ebook of Acts like we examine in Chapter 2, a whole lot of believers begin wishing that the church of at this time would have that very same zeal and love. What a whole lot of them don’t need is the persecution, hatred, rebuking, hiding, threats by authorities, and the potential of being imprisoned or executed for his or her religion. The issue with the attitudes of some church buildings is that they wish to expertise the great with out having to undergo occasions of issue and struggling like what’s introduced in Scripture. In our need to get together with these outdoors the church, we overlook that these people can be more than pleased to activate us and see us despatched off to jail or worse. Their curiosity within the church solely goes as far as to make use of it as a method of pretending to be non secular with out the expectations of change and obedience to Christ. Our bother is that we make sinners extra comfy than making them face the cruel reality that they’re heading to an everlasting hell with out Christ and having them depart when dealing with this reality.
The world now sees the church of Jesus Christ as a menace to their lifestyle than as an accepted a part of a civil society. The true colours of the unredeemed are starting to indicate and now are making calls for of the home of God that if enacted, will find yourself as simply one other a part of a historical past based upon mere opinion and relativism. In these closing days earlier than the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, we’ve got allowed the world and its wickedness to dictate the phrases of acceptance and to implement their godless methods upon congregations that may go forward and compromise the biblical requirements upon which they have been based and lose their prime mission for the sake of getting alongside. Fairly frankly, we’ve got taken our eyes off of Jesus and we’re reaping the putrid harvest. Since when did we predict that the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, born within the blood of Calvary and enacted by the actual fact of the Resurrection, proving that the mission of Christ had been accepted by the Father as a fee for the sins of the world, get the concept we needed to do because the world needs? The wretched, hell-bound sinner has received a whole lot of nerve telling the Creator what must be executed. We’re permitting godless reprobates inform us that the church of Jesus Christ has to function in a manner that doesn’t offend or convict and is “tolerant” of behaviors that they don’t have any need to alter or quit. If they will simply be allowed to sit down within the pews and never be bothered with passages of Scripture that confront them with the truth that sin results in demise (Romans 6:23), and the spineless pastor retains proclaiming that “God loves all”, with out emphasizing that love additionally calls for change, development, obedience, give up of self, maturity, and the actual fact that you’re not the middle of the universe, these sinners are comfy within the information that they’ll don’t have anything to fret about, and the mission of that church is now gone and can see a sluggish demise.
The problems which are vital to the world are nearly all the time in battle with the need of God. The world has no need to serve God or to bow to Him and can get pastors and church officers to take their eyes off of the work of the LORD and begin championing points like social justice, rights for sure teams, the demand for social change with out the necessity to change personally, calls for for repentance of acts of the previous which have already been dealt with by God in direction of the offender, instances of abuse, or different matters that look vital however take away the necessity to preach the Phrase, witness, defend the integrity of Scripture, the mission of Jesus, the pastoral workplace, the necessity to pray for these points, or different conditions. We’re permitting the causes of the flesh to override our prime function. That is precisely what the satan needs, and we’re too preoccupied with secondary conditions to note till it’s nearly too late. What trendy pastors and church officers who take up the world’s causes and issues fail to understand is that this world as we all know it won’t final in its current state and no matter international emergency grabs our consideration at this time can be forged facet for a brand new disaster afterward. What the world considers very important equivalent to international warming and homosexual rights will quickly be consigned to everlasting oblivion. Our life is a vapor, and so is the course of world historical past.
Pay attention up, church, and hear nicely. Our job is to rescue individuals from hell by proclaiming the everlasting gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ despite what’s going on round us.
The primary century church lived with homosexuality, corrupt authorities, slavery, abuse, cruelty, paganism, false lecturers, and the ever current chance that they is likely to be arrested and executed for the straightforward job of sharing their religion, proclaiming that there was King Jesus, the true ruler of all, and never the egomaniacal emperor of Rome who fancied himself divine and worthy of worship. Once I learn the New Testomony and the letters of the apostles, they condemned the sins of the world and those that compromised their religion to swimsuit it. They taught the fledgling church buildings assembly in secret in homes the doctrines of the religion, inspired younger pastors and elders to be agency within the religion, and to remind everybody that they have been going to a greater place and that they have been strangers and pilgrims on this world. They have been to reside in peace with these round them however to not interact in practices that have been clearly towards what Jesus and His apostles taught. These males, typically on the run, composed the letters and gospels which have withstood critics and criminals for over two thousand years. 300 years handed between the time of Christ and the Edict of Toleration by the emperor Constantine in 313 A.D. In between these years, the church endured intense persecution and threats. Issues of the world have been the least of their issues, and so they knew that the Roman world wouldn’t relaxation till it removed each vestige of the Christian religion. This angle of the world in direction of us has by no means gone away and we see it festering bigger with every passing 12 months.
Right here’s one thing value contemplating. Now we have, as a nation, loved the privilege of non secular freedom for over 2 hundred years. We don’t need to reside in worry, a minimum of not but, of being dragged off to jail or a camp and executed, or watching our household on the point of be executed until we deny Christ, or having our possessions seized, or the federal government burning down our church buildings and destroying our Bibles, or having to cover in assorted places and have a worship service away from the prying eyes of officers, or having individuals you trusted as agency believers betraying you and notifying authorities, or a bunch of different scenes. As a result of we’ve got been blessed with these freedoms, we’ve got additionally witnessed the rise and acceptance of so-called “pastors” and “lecturers” proclaiming a false gospel primarily based on materials possessions and plain attraction to greed, or denying the authority of Scripture, or substituting emotion and expertise for an actual stroll with the LORD, or anti-Christian cults and the rise and acceptance of outright demon worship by a lot of residents. Now we have suffered from sermons that exalt the dignity of man, the character of self, half-hearted devotion to God, or the false assurance that we’re saved by works or repeated prayers or church membership as an alternative of salvation by means of Jesus Christ and Him alone. We champion inter-faith prayers, dialogues, acceptance of different religions as equal to Christianity, and the decision to be tolerant of issues that have been as soon as condemned by the pulpit.
Now we have quite a few brothers and sisters in Christ world wide proper now who’re residing the times of the church within the ebook of Acts. They don’t know if this can be their final day of life for struggling for the reason for Christ. They don’t have jets, mansions, cash, or possessions. They’re lucky to have a small piece of the Scriptures at their disposal. They’re and not using a residence. Their households have both been butchered or have disappeared into the black market of slavery. No nationwide authorities will help them.
But, they’re content material in the truth that they belong to Jesus and can be devoted to Him it doesn’t matter what the associated fee, figuring out that this isn’t their residence and they aren’t comfy right here. If anybody is able to be caught as much as meet the LORD within the air, it’s these valuable saints who may have crowns that we may by no means hope to earn in our lifetime of ease. They by no means compromised their religion to fulfill the world’s expectations, nor did they need to take action. If that’s the case, then why are we so desperate to have the approval of a system that hates us and desires us useless? All through historical past, the remnant church has stood agency towards the siren track of consolation in trade for silence or rewards from kings and popes.
An actual follower of Jesus Christ may have troubles, particularly with those that declare to have religion, however are comfy with their stuff and reside just like the satan throughout the week. The genuine follower of Jesus Christ can be mocked, ridiculed, hated, slandered, probably fired from their job, informed to resign in the event that they’re a pastor who convicts as an alternative of soothes, and should even face the potential of severe or deadly hurt in the event that they don’t cease practising their religion. When actual persecution involves this nation (and it’ll), put together to see should you’re actually within the religion and to simply accept the implications. I can assure that these so-called “ministers” who measured their success by materials positive factors would be the first in line to take the Mark in an effort to maintain their possessions with none pity for the poor souls who they scammed and those that have been brave sufficient to face as much as their evil and condemn it in Jesus’ title. It’s my conviction that these hucksters have sinned away their day of grace, and so have all others who wore the title of “pastor”, “bishop”, or different workplace who bought out their so-called “religion” for acceptance from the world and its apparent evil and deceit.
These of us who’re devoted to the LORD and need His return won’t need to endure this world’s rubbish and dung for very for much longer. Even now I consider He’s on the point of step on the clouds and await the order from the Father to come back get us. Let the world have its riches of costume jewellery and pasteboard and dissipate within the course of. Keep true to Christ, endure the hardships like a very good soldier, and bear in mind what we undergo now will vanish into the mud bin of eternity, together with the empty guarantees of a sin-sick world. Let the title of the LORD be praised.
Don was born and raised within the true Cajun Nation of Louisiana. He holds a Bachelors Diploma in Historical past from Louisiana Faculty, a Masters Diploma in Christian Training from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Physician of Ministry diploma in Pastoral Theology from Andersonville Baptist Seminary in Georgia. Don has served as a pastor, interim pastor, highschool trainer, and hospital chaplain over the previous thirty years. He at the moment serves as a volunteer chaplain (2008-present) with St. Francis Hospital and likewise served because the pastor/trainer from 2013-2016 on the Gospel Rescue Mission, each of that are right here in Muskogee. He was referred to as to Meadowbrook in February 0f 2017 and commenced his ministry in March of that 12 months. He has additionally served as President of the Muskogee Baptist Affiliation’s Pastors Convention, which is a weekly assembly that presents audio system and ministry concepts and ideas to church leaders within the better Muskogee space.
Don’s high precedence is to see that the excellent news of Jesus Christ is shared with our misplaced and hurting world and that the individuals of God are taught sound doctrine and preparation for our Lord’s quickly return.
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