No Longer Live

Sunday, November 03, 2013, 9:02 p.m. – I didn’t really have alone time with the Lord Jesus this morning because I spent that time with my husband. We were talking together about lots of different things. I spent most of the day doing things with him, in fact. One of the things we did was to listen to a book on audio, which was written by a Christian author on the subject of discovering God’s will for our lives. We also went out to breakfast.

The Breakdown

After we ordered our food at the restaurant, I sat at a table and just looked around at the other people in the restaurant while my husband was waiting to collect up our food. I saw a man alone at one table with his laptop plugged into the wall. He was busy looking at something on there. At the table next to him was a boy of maybe 10 years old. He was playing with a Smart Phone. He was alone until his parents got the food and they sat down to eat with him. At another table sat a teenage girl and a young boy who was, perhaps, her little brother. They were both plugged in to electronic devices. They both appeared to have Smart Phones and they were listening to something. At another table were two men sitting across the table from each other. I think they were both busy with electronic tablets (like IPads) and/or with Smart Phones. As well, there was a TV playing in the room.

My first thought was about how the popularity of these electronic devices, including TV and home computers, has contributed to the breakdown of communication between or among people. Many families in America have the TV on during all waking hours or at least during primetime evening hours. Many eat their meals together around the TV set and so they don’t talk to each other. Then, with the introduction of the home computer, there was yet another electronic device to steal time away from marriages and families and that also introduced the potential for pornography addiction to be taken to another level, as the internet is now available in most American homes 24/7. And, then with the tablets and the Smart Phones, now private internet access is available at our fingertips, and is even handed to young children at alarming rates. Maybe some parents are able to monitor what their children do on these Smart Phones and tablets, but private access to children 24/7 who know much more about computers than we do is just plain stupid, and dangerous for young minds. So, I began talking with the Lord about all of this while I waited for my food.

Like the World

Then, I thought about why it is bad to invite the world into the church. I am not speaking of it being bad to invite people to faith in Jesus Christ, which then ushers them into the body of Christ, but why it is bad for believers in Christ to invite the people of the world (the unsaved) into fellowship with the body of believers while they are still in their unregenerate state. We are taught in scripture to come out from the world and to be separate. We are still to live in the world, and we are to be lights to the world for the gospel of Jesus Christ, but we are not to have intimate relationships and close fellowship with the people of the world because there is no fellowship between light and darkness. So, when we invite the people of the world into our times of worship and fellowship, we are inviting those worldly influences into the church, as well. All throughout Biblical history God warned his children not to intermingle with the people of the world lest they begin to adopt their customs. And, now the church in America has become so much like the world that it is barely distinguishable between the church and the world anymore, and thus the church is on a moral and spiritual decline, not unlike some of the churches mentioned in Rev. 2-3.

If the church is so much like the world, and they are involved in so many of the same things as the world, including sinful practices of all kinds, and they are just as distracted with all these electronic devices as the people of the world, then who is out there reaching people for Jesus Christ with the gospel of salvation? And, then why are we surprised when we see our nation and our government going down the toilet? The answer is not in getting a better person in public office, either. The answer for what ails this nation of ours and for what ails the church in this nation is the Lord Jesus Christ and us fully surrendered to him, being who he has called us to be and doing what he has called us to do. I believe America is on a path to destruction because the church in America is falling down on the job. This is not a call for civic action or for political participation, though, because human beings in public office are not our hope. This is a call for revival in the church and for the church to rise up and to remember what our salvation is all about and who and what God has called us to be.

Become Mature

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. ~ Ephesians 4:11-24 (NIV)
We need spiritual leaders in our churches who will truly disciple the body of Christ, and who will spiritually equip them to do the will of God and the works of service to which God has called them to do. We are not on this earth to please ourselves, to be entertained 24/7, and to be self-absorbed and self-consumed with little time left over for God and for his work. We need to be fully surrendered to our Lord Jesus Christ, ready, available, willing and spiritually equipped to do his work and will within the body of Christ in ministering his grace to each other in its various forms, and also in going out into the world to make disciples of Christ of people of all nations. We need to encourage one another and help strengthen one another in the faith so that we will go out and share Christ with the people of the world, and so we will live godly and holy lives in the power of the Spirit working within us. Then we can help one another to mature in Christ and to no longer behave like spiritual infants being tossed back and forth by so many distractions and by the call of sin, and to no longer be drawn to follow after various popular winds of teaching that look good, sound good, but are not good.

There are so many lies, manipulations and deceitful practices being disguised as truth within the church today, and so many people are being led astray by these feel-good approaches to Christianity. There are so many church leaders today who are saying what people’s itching ears want to hear, and people are buying it by the masses because it feels good. Yet, we need to speak the truth, even if it is not as fine-sounding, smooth and comfortable as the lies, and even if it gets us hated and rejected in return. We have to love people enough to tell them the truth in love so that they are not led astray by those who would lie to them and deceive them. There are not many ways to heaven. Jesus is the only way. Not everyone has God inside them, only those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. We are not supposed to be tolerant of what the Bible defines as sin, but we are to no longer live the way we did before we accepted Christ as Savior. Not every good person is going to heaven, only those who have been crucified with Christ to their old lives of living for sin and self, who have been made new in the attitude of their minds and who have put on their new lives in Christ created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness - by submitting to the Spirit of God and his work of regeneration in our lives.

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer / Thomas O. Chisholm / W. J. Kirkpatrick

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! Lord, I am coming
Now to receive anointing divine;
All that I am and have I am bringing,
Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.