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 | , , , , ,

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