Sunday, July 15, 2007

Defending the Faith

GRACEFUL SPEECH

"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Colossians 4:6

If someone were to ask you about your relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. What would you say? How would you answer? Confidently, or shyly? Knowingly, or unknowingly?

What if you were asked about sin and hell? What if you were asked about the book of Revelations and it's surrounding issues? How would you fare?


THE LATEST TREND

I am witnessing a disturbing trend with Christianity and it's church today. Either they don't know the Bible very well, or they read the Word in part (reading passages, by itself, instead of in context of the message). And sometimes, a mixture of both. The other scenario that is prevalent; a mixture of biblical Scripture and man made theologies, in other words, "new and strange doctrines" as defined in Hebrews 13:9; Ephesians 4:14.



I've had many a dialogue with Christians from a variety of denominations, regarding scripture. Many of them were not able to converse knowledgeably in regards to the Word. Many of them, referred to their pastor's teaching, or a Christian author. Many of them, in attempts to "prove" their point, would give me literature to read or encourage me to attend their church, not able to articulate by scripture why they believe what they believe.



Here is food for thought: Why is it that I, an unchurched believer (unchurched by definition of lack of a physical membership, as opposed to the spiritual body of Christ, which I am a member) am able to express, and share scripture more fluently, than those who attend church services faithfully?



THE TREND OF *UNACCOUNTABILITY



There is a powerful trend taking the world by a storm. The trend of unaccountability. We see it in our courtrooms, the American justice system. We see it in various cultures and homes across the world. We see it in relationships and in the raising of our children. Unfortunately, we see it in churches as well.


When we receive, by faith, the Grace of Salvation brought forth by Christ's sacrifice, we also receive reconciliation with the Father. If we are reconciled, we have intimacy with the Father. Through that intimacy (the Holy Spirit) we evolve as babes to adults over time. IF we accept this process of salvation, we must understand that we are bound unto accountability to obey His commands. This is why Christ tells us to "count the cost and take up our cross".


"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" Romans 14:12


"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Matthew 12:36-37


The problem herein lies, so many Christians live vicariously through their pastors or other "authoritative" types, for their understanding of Scripture and growth in their relationship with the Lord. In doing so, they have remain stagnant in their growth with Him.


"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." Hebrews 5:12


At some point in our "evolution" in Him, we all should become teachers of the Word in some way or fashion. This point is imperative, for we ARE accountable to bring the gospel to those who do not believe...


"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" 1 Peter 4:17-18


Read with care, and prayer, these of passages. Do you see the order of accountability? Do you see the logic? If we confess Christ as our Lord, then we must carry out His decree and manifest His desire to share the good news with them,whom he died for. The logic in Romans 10:14-16 can not be any clearer...


"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! "



THE RESULTS OF UNACCOUNTABILITY


When we do not take full accountability upon ourselves to have a active relationship with God(one-on-one with God, verse-by-verse bible study), the results are and can be devastating.

A HOPEFUL SOLUTION
In spite of the condition which shrouds Christianity, I believe that the Body (Spiritual) is active and continuing to do the work in which we are held accountable to do. I believe that there are believers who actively worship the Father in spirit and in truth in various denominations across the world.
I believe there can be a renewing of the Spirit in churches today.
"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:" Acts 2:16-18
This post may be offensive to those who define their Christianity by church attendance and traditions. I would apologize for offending such sensibilities, if I didn't have a clear understanding of my responsibility to speak the truth in order to edify others who have confessed and believe Christ to be their Savior. Like everyone else, I too, will stand before the Lord to give an account.
The morning alarm is sounding and it's time to get up! Take up your sword and defend the Word of the living God! Ephesians 6
"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." Romans 13:11

Lord I thank you, and offer you praises this day. May you be glorified! May your name be uplifted and held sacred by those who love your Son. May you embolden the Body established, by the Holy Spirit, on that day of Pentecost so long ago. Your will surpasses all other wills and your truth endures until the end of time. Heaven and earth will pass away, but your Word endures forever. May those who worship you in spirit and in truth become not weary of the harvest that stands before them. Bless them them with all they need to stand. In the righteous name of your Son, Yeshua....Amen

Author's note: Do you have questions? Do you need prayer or support? I would love to share with you. My intention is always to share the Word of God for the purposes of edification, that requires being truthful. The truth may be uncomfortable to some, but Christ says that the truth shall set you free. Please leave a comment or contact me. My contact information can be found under the "Statement of Faith" link.


Update: Please go to the contact me page for questions and private comments. Thanks

9 comments:

  1. Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the Valley of Decision; for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

    I love this site. Its nice to see another true believer not seeking man to teach you but rather seeking the Lord who is perfectly capable to teach His word. (I John 2:27)

    These are the days Paul spoke of in II Tim 4:3-4. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables."

    James 1:27 "Pure relegion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

    I love all those in those buildings and have no need for judgements because those are shoes to big for me but there is wickedness in high places. Eph 6:12
    "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wichedness in high places."
    God bless you, Sherrell

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  2. I agree with both of you. I am so blessed to belong not just to a church (a building that holds people for the purpose of worshipping Him) that instructs us to be ministers of the Word, as well as to a Church (a body of like minded believers) that I can fellowship with here in this virtual world. Your post gave me chills, Hannah. I was so moved. Well done faithful servant. May the Lord echo my sentiments. Your PPF

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  3. Thank you both! It is so encouraging to be in fellowship with believers who love the complete, infallible, Word of God.

    Sherrell, 1 John 2:27 is one of my favorite passages! I believe this is the first time that anyone has ever quoted that passage to me! God bless you!

    "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him"

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  4. It's the first verse that was given to me in my search for being found by the Lord. Thanks and pardon the typos lol

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  5. Now, in true ironic form, I really must quote my pastor -
    Going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than going to McDonald's makes you a Big Mac. See, sometimes it's okay to listen to the pastor. :) I believe we should be listening to men God has called to instruct us, but not as an alternative to the Word but rather as a supplement.

    A friendly reminder, however, that in Jesus' time the Word was passed down from teacher to teacher as the Word as we know it today did not exist. Just something to keep in mind. :)

    As for church membership, too many people confuse organized religion with the Church. You've found your place in One (pun intended), don't worry about the other. :)

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  6. Vixious, Thank you for your comment and sentiments. I appreciate your insight.

    I wanted to point out, while the Word was passed down from teacher to teacher back then, today we have the Word of God in print. How much more accountable are we to learn by the holy spirit?

    Secondly, We are surrounded by a bevy of splinter churches and denominations. All profess Christianity. All have pastors and teachers. All are in some way, shape, or form un-unified in their beliefs. There is something very wrong with this scenario, wouldn't you agree?

    How do we determine the genuinity (sp?) of the pastor's spirit, if we do not look to the Holy Spirit and the Word as the primary teacher and hold him/her accountable for what they preach?

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  7. I agree, Hannah. :) If we don't know what the Word of God says, how can we validate what our pastor or preacher tells us. As a matter of fact, how can we verify that he's been called by God to be a teacher unless we first know what he should be teaching. As I said, preachers should be, in my opinion anyway, a supplement to the Word, not confused with the Word. Man is imperfect; God is perfect. Who should we listen to first? Pretty obvious to me. :)
    However, there are a lot of people in the world today who remain not only illiterate to the Word, but illiterate period. But that's really just another argument for knowing the Word - because you never know when you might be called on to relay the Word to someone who's never seen it. It's not really something we should have to guess at.
    I, myself, do not quote scripture often. I'm not going to start tomorrow. I believe God uses me in other ways. I am always in awe at how well you use the Word within your blog and I appreciate your ability to do so. So, there was absolutely no criticism implied, you know I love you, I was simply being led to make that comment earlier for whatever purpose He has. :)

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  8. Bev, you're such a sweetheart! How can I take anything you say as criticsim?

    As the Body of Christ, we all have different parts that we do well (gifts). I admire your poetic posts and innovatative insight! I have most definitely taken something away from each and every post!

    Because of my church experience(s) I am led to edify, and uplift the Body of Christ, by the Word. If you read my earlier posts. It may give you a bit of understanding of where I'm coming from and what my hopes are for this blog.

    In any event, you and I are in complete agreement with each other, and I am so blessed by our fellowship! BTW I love you too!

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