Saturday, February 12, 2011
A Blessing And A Curse
Day 225 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Just noticing and thinking about how blessed we are here in this country. So blessed, in fact, that we seem to take it for granted. It may even actually be a curse to be so blessed.
This stack of bibles just shows how blessed our home is. Actually I would say that most Christian homes in America have at least one bible per person and probably more like 3+ per person. I know that I personally have about 5 different ones and my wife probably as many. This is not counting the big family bible and the bibles I have from when I was a kid. I also have several books that explain certain aspects of scripture and a few biographies about the lives of those who faithfully follow/ followed God through their lives. I say this all because a lot of countries the citizens are not allowed to own a bible. In fact, Christianity is illegal and in some countries punishable by death.
While the penalty for being a Christian in this country has not escalated to the sentence of death, it is becoming increasingly hostile towards Christians. I am not referring to the squishy social gospel folks or the ones that are universalists in nature, but the true Church of God, the body of Christ. It is actually sad to have to make that distinction that a lot of churches/ professing Christians aren't churches or Christians. This is shown by these professors of Christ that say we have to tolerate everything under the sun except for being discerning Christians within our own house. We are being pushed to allow a mosque at Ground Zero, but at the same time people are being arrested for preaching in their neighborhoods and in their cities. We are told that we are radicals and they put us on par with the terrorists that kill to intimidate their agenda.
As for me, I will not intimidate anyone. I will, however, tell them the truth of the gospel without mincing words. I am not mean about it, but speak the truth in love that they may see their sinful state and repent and place their faith in the atoning work of Jesus on Calvary. That is language that is not spoken in many churches in the U.S. for fear of losing some in their congregation. I recently have heard of a brother and sister that have a Sunday School class at my former "church" that have been having their eyes opened to a lot of things. God is dealing with this couple on some issues and they have ceased support of some "ministries" that only pander to the felt needs of those they reach out to. They have also been convicted to share the Word in more detail in their class and in doing so have lost some of their class. This is more than likely separating the goats from the sheep. Those that are the Shepherd's will hear His voice and know it, but it is an offense to those that do not.
The "church" I am speaking of really needs some prayers. There are some truly converted people there that are trying to do God's will, but they are coming into situations that will probably force them out sooner or later. We need to pray for these folks and the countless others like them that are embedded in the Modern Gospel/ Easy Believism churches. Pray that they will remain true and will keep preaching the Word of God and not fall to the pressures and if not that they will leave and find a church home that is a church. That they find a fellowship of believers that will be mutually edified and will glorify God together, as a church is intended. Something is seriously wrong when the Word is preached and professing Christians are offended instead of excited.
As far as our curse in this country. We are so dependent on what we have, what we earn and what we have within our reach that we depend on "stuff" more than we depend on God. See, those in real persecution in other countries must depend on God, because God is all they have. We, spoiled Americans, keep wanting more and more, simply because we can get more and more. A new study bible comes out - we get it without thinking twice about it. Not knocking study bibles, but how many bibles does one need before they start living he way they already know they should per the bible of their choosing? Does understanding of the Bible make you a Christian or bring you closer to God or does a relationship with Him do those things? Many people know many things of the bible I will never know, but they do not know the Author like I do. I do not say this to boast, but as a wake-up call to examine yourself that you are actually His Child. Do not be one of the ones that says "Lord, Lord did I not...." and have Him reject you with "Depart from me, I never knew you". What a sad day it will be when millions will profess to know Christ but will be cast into the pits of hell because they only knew the god they had created in their own mind and believed a gospel that was another gospel.
This is why we must depend on God for everything. We need to follow Christ and follow His Word. WE must make disciples and not just a few, but everyone that professes Christ is to make disciples. We must tell of His goodness and of His sacrifice for us. We must remain true to Him and hold Him as our treasure instead of the lusts of this world. Now Go! Make disciples (Matthew 28:19).