JESUS IS COMING!
Of that we can be sure, yet the urgency of this truth is virtually absent in the church today. Why?
“We have become far too familiar with a God we barely know.”
Familiarity breeds unbelief. We see that example in the life of Jesus. Even He could do no mighty works in His hometown because of their familiarity with Him. They could not believe that this Jesus, whom they saw grow up as a carpenter’s son could be the Christ, or even a prophet. Their familiarity with His life and history hindered their faith.
Mark 6:4-6 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.
We see very few mighty works in the church nowadays. The fear of God is no longer on His people. We no longer tremble at His word. We treat what is holy as common. We seek for blessings, benefits, and prosperity far more than we seek Him. We have reduced the gospel of Christ to a self-serving message with a free ticket to heaven. We run the church house like a business and measure its success by prosperity and headcount. We emphasize wrong doctrines about tithing and giving, compelling people to give so the “gospel ship” can stay afloat. We are lukewarm and loving it.
The Lord has much to say about being lukewarm.
Revelation 3:15-19 I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.
The Lords counsels us to buy from Him “Gold tried in the fire.” So, what exactly does that mean? What is the gold tried in fire? It is our faith…and it is expensive! It will require suffering. Its going to cost us everything! We “buy” this precious faith by following the Lord at all costs, by laying down every aspect of our lives and submitting our free will to the will of the King.
Every great man and woman of faith in the Bible went through tremendous trials and persecution. Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, King David, Joseph, Daniel, Paul, John, Peter, and the list goes on. Yet we pray against the trial. We rebuke the fire. We resist persecution, let alone count it as joy. We get surprised and even upset, questioning God about why this is happening instead of straightening our shoulders, lifting our chins, and shining through the difficulty as a witness to who we are.
1 Peter 4:12-19 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
Make no mistake about it. “IT IS GODS WILL FOR CHRISTIANS TO SUFFER!” We don’t want to hear that though. We like to hear about the blessing, the healing, the prosperity.
We need to quit being spiritual wimps and READ OUR BIBLES so we know what God expects from us. He who has ears to hear let him hear.
“It is time for Judgment to begin at the house of the Lord.”