It seems to be a foregone conclusion today that Globe Inform Christ came into this world over 2000 years ago to establish his glorious earthly kingdom in Israel. And since he failed to do that at that time, he must return soon to set it up! This establishment of an earthly kingdom in Israel was the same thing that was on the minds of many apostate Jews of that day also, and so we see the impetus of their thought processes when they sought to take Jesus by force and make him their king over Israel, but he would have none of it (Jo. 6:15). We still see thinking like this today, so not much has changed, even though we have the inspired Word that should set us straight on such things.
Had the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day been more intent on actually listening to what Christ really had to say on the matter, instead of persistently following all of their own thoughts, they would have likely been led to seriously question their own ideas as to Christ’s real purpose in coming here. But we see the very same problem manifested today, even among those who profess Christ. The Jews clearly had no interest in bothering themselves and their time with the truth. Is this what we are going to continue to see today among this other modern group as well? Perhaps so! From all that I have seen and experienced they seem very determined to cling to something outside of the real Scripture testimony.
And just what is the real Scripture testimony? Well, we see many things in many different places in Scripture that lead any rational person to an entirely different conclusion. Let’s take a good look in one specific area.
Christ made it very clear what his real purpose was for coming into the world. We read at Matthew 20:28: “For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” (See also Ma. 10:45.)
We read at Luke 19:10: “And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those …who are lost.”
We read at Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
We read at Jo. 12:27: “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from what lies ahead’? But that is the very reason why I came!”
Christ precisely confirms the words of the Old Testament prophets that spoke of his coming to bear our load of sin. You can read these prophecies that refer to what he was about to do at places like Isaiah 53:10-12 and 61:1-2. The Jews of Jesus’ day failed to see the truth in these Scriptures, just as the modern professing Christians and apostates of today also do.
Again, he told us that “My kingdom is not of this world” (Jo. 18:36). He further states that he was born as a King, but not in the earthly sense that they thought. He tells them that he came “to bring truth to the world. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true” (Jo. 18:37. See also I Jo. 4:4-6). Indeed, instead of an earthly kingdom he told those in Capernaum that the Kingdom of Heaven was near (Mt. 4:17). Other Scriptures such as Phil. 3:14, Col. 1:5 and 3:2-3, and Heb. 3:1 and 6:19 tell us that our calling is heavenward! This was clearly his Kingdom! No earthly kingdom is ever mentioned by our Lord at all, nor by the apostles! So who do we believe, if not our Lord himself? Do we just keep on believing the made up stories of men?
By the modern church’s believing in the words of men, much damage has been done everywhere. Our President, Barack Obama, is on a mission this week, hopefully, to repair some of the breach and damage that a false theology and a misleading message has created in the Moslem world. It is a pretty tall order indeed! You see, they call us “the great Satan”. When the church turns its back on the truth and makes up something else instead in its place, it is no longer serving the King of glory. It has sold itself out to the service of another power instead!
The Scriptures warn us of the lies of the “official interpreters” of the Scriptures. You can find such warnings as these and warnings against following other lies of men at numerous Scriptures like Mat. 16:11, 23:1-39, Ma. 8:15, I Cor. 5:3-8, Gal. 5:6-9, Col. 2:8-10, II Pet. 2:1-3, Ps. 36:1-4, 119:59-61, Prov. 4:18-19, 26-27, Isa. 58:2, 59:1-4, 66:2-4, and many other places. But “The honest will be rescued from harm, but those who are crooked will be destroyed” (Prov.28:18).
Is the church in America really being honest today? Will the church come to its right senses and recognize its own grievous mistake before it is forever too late? It really needs to turn over a new leaf and get right with God and his program to spread the Good News of salvation in Christ in all of its purity to all the waiting world. Only in this true Gospel of Christ can real healing ever come to a needy and hurting world. It alone has the powerful potential of God to stop terrorism dead in its tracks and to set the captives free.
Modern Christians desperately need to ponder the direction of their lives and hurry to correct their misguided thoughts and ways (Ps. 119:59-61. See also Prov. 4:26-27, Heb. 3:7-19, and 4:8-11-all of the chapter, really). Then they need to follow God’s ways (Prov.8:32-33, 14:12, 16:25).
I think that maybe President Obama is doing what he can to usher in a better day of peace this week. Whatever “tough love” he gives to Israel, it is badly needed. Whatever expressions of apology and reaching out to Muslims , these are badly needed. For we have been so very wrong for such a long time, and the price has been enormous, both to the precious Gospel of love and grace to all peoples and nations, which is now slandered and ridiculed, and to our own nation. Our combat veterans are in trouble, our economy is buckling under the heavy weight of wars and other demoralized behaviors in our midst, and true godliness does not really exist in America’s churches. The topsy-turvy mindset of the apostate American Christians has brought us to a most serious impasse, and very close to falling over the precipice into the violent vortex of anarchy and chaos. Truly, the country is ripe for God’s judgment, and too blind to know it or to care.
But if Christians will indeed humble themselves, and repent of their being so sold out to lies before God, then will God hear from above, and heal our nation (II Chr. 7:14). May it now be so, for the President cannot do everything all alone for you! Christians, you really do need to start getting down to your real business with God today!
And that business is not at all grievous. It is the sweetest business that you will ever know on earth, and not at all the most dreaded or difficult. For God went far out of his way to send Jesus here to us. He didn’t have to but he loved the world that he had created so much that he sent his beloved only Son to us to be our ransom lamb without spot or blemish to suffer and die for our sins, so that we could be reunited with him. Christ bridged the gap between God the Father and us. And it is as we come to his real truths and cherish them above all else that he reveals himself in all of his glory, majesty and grace to us. This I discovered throughout and especially at the end of all of my personal longings and searchings. Ideas of an earthly kingdom do nothing to accomplish what we really do want to accomplish by our coming to God in the first place. We stagnate, and cannot move forward into his secret, larger place where he patiently waits for us to come further on with him, and then abide most happily with him for whatever remains of time and for all of eternity. This victory he provides, not of our own grueling efforts at all, but of something, or Someone else, and his amazing power.
As I personally progressed further on in my own searching for real Scripture truths, I sought after the facts. I figured there just had to be more to Christianity than what I had experienced at that point. I knew nothing else, but just to uncover the facts. And I did not see the facts for which I was searching in the church. So it came as quite a wonderful surprise to me that many spiritual blessings accompanied my finding and love of the truth. It seems to me that, unbeknownst to me, God had long ago built into these wonderful facts a spiritual life force that had hitherto been escaping me almost completely. Nothing ever completely prepared me for that. It was a really nice surprise. It was the dear Holy Spirit’s confirmation of the Gospel truth, and it was and still is my treasure far beyond anything earthly. And so it remains for me to this very day, and I think it always will. It is the way that God enlightens us and reveals himself to us, and nothing is ever quite the same after that. But these wonderful facts that God had built in, and the dear Holy Spirit’s power that accompanied my glad acceptance of them, I did not find there in the church. And to this very day, the church still shuns them! I have wondered for some time what was going on. Now I believe I know.
This is why it is so important to listen to Jesus and his own words very closely. We ought to listen anyways and always, but we must first want to listen. I always wanted to find God, and to listen to him, but was confused with just how. Now I know how, and I strive to show you the way, because I know first hand how strong the lies can be, and just how confused we can become as we explore the possibilities. We get drawn in and can utterly lose our way in that blinding maze of ideas. And only Christ can rescue us all over again! We first come to him to own him as our Savior who died in our place to save us from our own sinful fallen condition. But then we discover that we need to come back to him to help show us the way back when we have lost our way and strayed far away from his dear side once pierced for us on Calvary’s cross. We didn’t realize the ramifications of it all until we are rescued and jerked back to where we belong.
Perhaps it is by the bended wooden crook in the great Shepherd’s hard rod as it snags us by the neck and none too gently pulls us back to the safety of the sheepfold, but one thing we do learn from it. We humans are a lot like sheep who wander away from the Shepherd to get eaten by the wolves. On one occasion we might be dexterously scooped up and tenderly sheltered in the warm arms of the Shepherd. At another moment we may find ourselves more vehemently jerked around by the Shepherd’s crook and returned to safety.
This article may seem a bit severe to some, like that hard crook in the Shepherd’s rod, and we grimace at it, but it is intended to get serious attention, not chuckles and laughter. Serious attention to our serious situation is very badly needed. Even in these bad economic times, many still seek to be entertained at movie theaters across the nation. Other diverse distractions are the ways that people find to cope. But the most beneficial and wondrous gift of all is little thought of, even today, when times are so bad. Many are fed up with what churches have to offer, as they all seem to be waiting for something better from on high to come along soon. Well, Something better has already come along, and the church needs to busy itself proclaiming just how really good it is! But the church is out-of-touch with it itself! Because it is really, really good, and mere words alone can never completely give adequate expression to it! Today is the day that the church needs to rise to the occasion and grasp these truths itself so that it really can throw out the lifeline to other poor sinking souls in this day that is so desperate for many who need the true light to lift their troubled spirits now. It is no good to say that next year, or in three or four, things may get better. In God’s bigger view of things, today is the day for the church to be salt and light. The watering down of the blessed truths that are there to lift us up into the heavenly realm of love, joy, and glorious light is the modern church’s bane. And, as we see in the opening chapters of Revelation, and in the notes of some renowned Bible commentators of the last century, it is not pleasing to God. For the church is called upon to be God’s messenger of blessed truth in a dark and needy world. And an awful lot goes wrong when it has taken unto itself a completely different direction and cannot be bothered to right itself with God’s real command nor desire.
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