My Concern For All The Churches

Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 5:28 a.m. – When I awoke this morning, the Lord Jesus put the song “Return to Me” in my mind. When I sat down to type up my quiet time with the Lord from today, he put this song in mind, which fits so well with today’s passage:

My Heart’s Desire / An Original Work / June 29, 2013

Based off Rm. 10; Lu. 9:23-26; Ep. 4:20-24

Loved Ones, Oh, my heart’s desire
Is that you might come to Jesus.
Many appear zealous for God,
But they do not trust in Him.
They have not submitted to the One
Who saved them from their sins;
Not forsaken their sins,
Nor have they obeyed their King.

The word of the Lord is near you:
The word of faith we’re proclaiming:
That you must confess your faith
In Jesus as your Lord and King:
Believe in Him as your Lord,
And follow Him where’er He leads.
Share the gospel; be a witness,
And meet others’ needs.

Beautiful are the feet of those
Who bring the good news of Jesus:
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself today;
Die to sin and self, and
Let the Spirit transform you in heart;
Put on your new self in Jesus,
Yielding to the cross.

Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 2 Corinthians 11 (NIV).

A Godly Jealousy

I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. ~ 2 Co. 11:1-2

Paul said he was jealous for the church with a godly jealousy. I think sometimes we naturally assume that all jealousy is wrong or evil, but it is not. In Exodus 20:5 we read that we should not worship idols of our own making because our God is a jealous God. So, what does that mean? Well, it means that he created us for his glory, to be in fellowship with him, to love him, to worship him and to be faithful to him only as our only God.

When we accept Jesus Christ into our lives to be Lord and Savior of our lives, he becomes our husband, so in essence we enter into a marriage covenant relationship with him in which, by our faith, we promise fidelity, faithfulness and exclusive devotion to him as our only God. The Bible often compares our relationship with Jesus Christ to that of a wife to her husband, because that is the type of relationship God intended us to have with Jesus Christ. And, we should enter into our relationship with him, by faith, with that belief in mind. In other words, we should be loyal, faithful and committed to Jesus Christ as our only Lord.

Paul said that he, as the church’s spiritual father, much like the father of a bride giving the bride away, promised the church to one husband, to Christ, so he might present the church as a pure virgin to him at his coming. In other words, his desire for the church was that they would be in singleness of mind and heart in relation to Jesus Christ, unadulterated in their devotion to Christ, and fully committed to him as their only Lord and husband. This would be evident in their worship, faith, devotion, conversations, attitudes and actions that Jesus Christ was their only husband and Lord, and that they had undivided hearts.

Paul took God’s calling upon his life seriously, he truly loved the church with a God-like love, and he wanted nothing more than for them to remain faithful to their Lord until his coming. Oh, that we would all love the church to this extent to where we would all have a godly jealousy for the church over the idolatry and spiritual adultery that goes on within the church these days, enough to where we would appeal to the church in like manner as Paul.

Preaching Another Jesus

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. ~ 2 Co. 11:3-4

Wow! Even though Paul gave them the correct teaching and foundation for their faith, i.e. he taught them the true gospel of salvation, there were many other voices speaking to them, too, and some of those sounded very convincing. The “other Jesus” he spoke of was most likely of the Judaizers, but it could just as well have been of the Libertines. The Judaizers added to God’s grace the works of the flesh, adherence to man-made rules, and some carry-overs from the Old Covenant that no longer applied to those in Christ Jesus by faith. And, the Libertines were those who were morally unrestrained, i.e. they did not teach death to our old lives of sin, but rather that the grace of God in forgiving our sins meant we had the freedom to continue in certain sins, in particular sexual sins of many kinds.

I see “another Jesus” being taught in much of today’s modern church movement that has me greatly concerned and burdened for the church, and it tends to fall more in the line of the Libertines theology than it does the Judaizers. I see the modern church of today as very flesh-driven. They focus much of their money, resources, time and affections on the outward show, entertainment, fun, appealing to the likes, wants and desires of humans; focused on marketing schemes, humanistic philosophies, man-made religion, and the teachings of humankind. They often follow man-made business models for how to grow Christ’s church, and thus they market the church just like a business, which naturally tries to please the customer so the customer will keep coming back. Thus, the gospel is reduced to gospel-lite so as not to offend anyone, and to make people more comfortable and relaxed, thus promoting the idea that church should be fun and a place to have a good time.

In this setting (above), the true gospel has no place. It does not fit! - Because the true gospel of salvation teaches death to our old lives of sin, a transformation of heart and mind away from sin and toward God, and that by God’s grace, through faith, we are given completely new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like Christ in true righteousness and holiness (See Eph. 4:17-24; Rom. 6; Gal. 2:20; Lu. 9:23-25; 1 John; James, et al.).

Yet, many professing Christians in today’s modern church movement easily put up with the false Jesus and the false gospel, which does not teach death to sin and a life committed to Christ Jesus as our only Lord and husband. Thus, they are in grave danger of being deceived by these false teachers of this “other Jesus” and this “different gospel” into believing that faith in Jesus Christ requires nothing of them, demands no faithfulness, does not call for sincere and pure devotion to Christ, and that they can still have their ticket into heaven no matter what. James said that even the demons believe, and they shudder.

Cut the Ground from Under

And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. 2 Co. 11:12-15

The Lord Jesus reminded me here of what I read in 2 Co. 10 yesterday. Paul said: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (v. 5). To demolish means to destroy completely. Arguments and pretensions which set themselves up against the knowledge of God and his gospel of salvation can be found in many forms, such as in intellectual debates, deception, manipulation of truth, tricks, cons, schemes and fantasy. We need to study the scriptures so we know what the Word of God teaches regarding our salvation, so that we can refute these false teachings, and so we are not led astray from our pure devotion to Jesus Christ by fine-sounding arguments. Instead, we should take every human device, intellectual thought, idea or notion, which comes against the true gospel of salvation, and we should make it obedient to Christ and his true gospel by exposing the truth and the lies, so that the lies should not take hold of our lives, but so we should obey the truth.

I Inwardly Burn

Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? ~ 2 Co. 11:28-29

Paul was so concerned for the relationship of the church to her Lord and husband that, not only was he jealous for her with a godly-jealousy, but it pained him greatly to see her corporately or individually led into sin by these false apostles who were teaching another Jesus. James (4:7-10) said: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” So, don’t be led astray by a false gospel absent of true repentance and the kind of faith which enters into relationship with Jesus Christ as a bride enters into marriage with her husband, with the full intention of being faithful and to forsaking all others.

Return to Me / An Original Work / September 5, 2013

Based off Jeremiah 31; Cf. Rev. 2-3

I have loved you with an eternal love,
Which I give to you, in my faithfulness.

Keep your voice from weeping,
And your eyes from tearing.
You will be rewarded
With much fruitfulness.

There is hope for you that My family
Will return to Me; live in victory!

Though I discipline in My love for you,
My heart longs for you that you walk in truth.

Turn your thoughts to your Lord.
Choose to walk in His ways.
Turn from your sins daily.
Follow Jesus Christ.

Oh, how long will you wander in your sin?
Give your hearts to Me; be restored within.

I will satisfy ev’ry weary soul
Who repents of sin; is renewed within.

Behold, days are coming;
It will surely happen;
Though I discipline them,
They will thrive again.

I will be their One and their Only God.
They shall walk in white; be in Me, made right.