Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

The Church In America

Over the years, the Gallup polling organization has polled a broad swath of Americans on a variety of issues.  Among those issues, they have polled Americans on divorce rates, the rate at which Americans have affairs or have abortions, how much we give to charities, and many more.  And of course, when they do these polls they also ask if the respondent considers themselves to be a Christian or not.

As of 2013, 41% of Americans consider themselves to be Born Again.  And yet, Christians are just about as likely as non-Christians to be involved in an affair, to get a divorce, or to have an abortion, and no more likely than non-Christians to give money to a charitable organizations, even to their own Church  for those who attend services.

Many, many so-called Christians have heard the Gospel presented, either by an Evangelist or Pastor, or by a lay person sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with them individually, and have responded by saying that simple prayer we have all been told we should get a potential convert to recite, and then we convince them and ourselves that if they repeated the prayer that they are now a Christian and that their eternal destiny is secure.  But is it?  What does the Bible say?

1 John 2:15-17 says:

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

We can see from these verses that there are two types of people, those who do the will of the Father and abide forever, and those who love the world and its lusts.  We can see that he who does the will of the Father abides forever, that is, has eternal life, but those who love the world do not abide forever, that is, they do not have eternal life.

And this same thought is stated by Jesus when He said:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”  —  Matthew 7:21

In the following passage, which is right before Matthew 7:21 actually, Jesus compares good fruit and bad fruit:

You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?   Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.   A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.   Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.   Therefore by their fruits you will know them.  —  Matthew 7:16-20

So, a tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.  In human terms, the lack of good fruit would be lack of obedience to God, and the fire would be judgment.

So, if we look at a person’s life and find it filled with immorality, adultery, lying, cheating, et al, in other words, if they are behaving as the world behaves, if we are to believe Jesus, the reasons is, they are not of the Father, but of the world.  (Look back at 1 John 2:15-17 again)

Of course, no one is perfect.  Even the holiest of men still commit sin.  So how does that fit in?

It is all a matter of attitude.  If a person sins and is convicted by God for his sin, if he feels a sense of guilt and remorse for having disappointed the Lord, that person is likely a child of the Father.  If, on the other hand, a person commits sin continually and repeatedly with no sense of guilt or remorse, that person is likely still in the world, and of the world.

So, when I see statistics that show that Christians and non-Christians commit adultery or get divorced sat about the same rate, I believe that the Bible gives ample support to the conclusion that many of those people who profess Christ do not also possess Christ.

We have a tendency to think that these thing don’t apply to us, or you may be thinking that I am being legalistic and expecting Christians to perform in a certain way to show themselves approved before God.  But that is backwards thinking.  We do not behave in a certain way to obtain or maintain our salvation.  Rather, we behave in a certain way because we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and if we do not, it may be evidence that we are none of His.

And, I think very soberly upon the words of our Lord:

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.   Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  —  Matthew 7:13-14

So, what ought we to do?  I think Paul has the right advice.  This is not something that the Christian should take lightly, considering the eternal nature of the consequences.  Paul exhorts the Corinthian Christians:

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.  2 Corinthians 13:5

I look at the state of our nation, and I lay responsibility for its state directly at the feet of the Church in America.  The Lord said that we are salt and light.  Perhaps, but if we were behaving as salt and light behave, we would not be where we are today.

Let us pray together that we as a Church begin again to follow our Lord as the top priority in our lives.  And let the first person to make the decision to walk as close to Jesus as we can get be us!  

God bless us all.

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April 2, 2014 Posted by | America In Crisis, Discipleship, Sanctification | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Cup Of Water For A Little One

Jesus speaking, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”  Matthew 10:42

Water.  In our culture we take it completely for granted.  If we want a drink we just turn the faucet and there is water in abundance.  Clean, fresh, water!WaterForChildrenn

But for many people around the world, clean, fresh water is something people have never heard of.  For many, especially during the summer when rivers have all run dry, a pond that is shared with animals serves all of the water needs for those who live nearby.   Some people drink from ponds that are shared by animals, like the one pictured here.

Would you even consider drinking water from the pond in the picture?  Would you give this water to your children to drink?  Unfortunately, millions of people have no choice.  It is either drink and risk water-borne disease, or don’t drink and die of thirst.

About 3.5 million deaths are caused yearly by water-borne disease.  Among children under 5 years of age, one in five deaths are caused by diarrhea, that is about 1.5 million deaths every year.

If you are like me, you will find these facts disturbing.  You will experience revulsion at the idea of drinking such water yourself, and equally at the idea that millions of people are drinking such water every day of their lives.  

But, there is something that we can do.  Gospel For Asia is helping to spread the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to thirsty areas throughout Asia, in part by building Jesus Wells.  A Jesus Well is a well built by Asian nationals but funded by Gospel For Asia.  And we can all be part of the effort to build these well.

A Jesus Well can be built for $1000.  Imagine, if you decided to take the money you would spend on a meal out and send it to Gospel For Asia instead, and 30 or 40 others did the same, a new Jesus Well could be built, and a whole village of people who are drinking water that pigs swim in could have the same fresh, clean water that you and I take so much for granted.

April 2, 2014 Posted by | 1040 Window, Evangelism, Gospel For Asia | , , , , , | 2 Comments