In this first part and next week’s conclusion of a blog repost from 2013, the Lord leads me to expose and cry out against just a very few of the many ways--including the celebration of Christmas--professing Christians have allowed their ties to worldly culture to corrupt their practice of biblical Christianity. This was important then and is so now because God loves and warns us in enough time to repent if we will before it is too late!
This is just as He did with Israel through her prophets and Christ which in the aftermath of and seeing in advance God’s calamitous judgment, Jeremiah and the Lord Jesus lamented respectively (Lamentations 1:1-2:22, 4:1-20; Luke 19:41-44). The exiles that returned from captivity in the time Jeremiah foretold, acknowledged their judgment was just; at His appearing the remnant of Israel in bitter weeping will acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah whom their forefathers in rejection sent to the cross (Nehemiah 9:1-37; Zechariah 12:10-14).
The tide may ebb and flow for Western Christians, but what is foretold for these latter days will come to pass as it is written! As an example, in last year’s blog I opened it talking about the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin decision that found the clergy housing allowance was unconstitutional. Now, a year later back on November 13th the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a decision that reverses the lower court and allows the clergy allowance to stand. Obviously this is good news for Christian clergy to be allowed to continue receiving a tax benefit from the nation that recognizes their God ordained service to the people.
However, demonic and human forces of evil that continue to persecute the followers of the Christ of Christmas will not give up; they will press their Heaven permitted cause to destroy every manifestation of Him through His people from the earth. Sadly, culturally conditioned professing Christians whatever all of their motives and in spite of their compromises do not see that they are still in the line of fire from secular culture’s rejection of things biblically Christian. They also clearly do not see that the manmade form of Christianity they love is to be destroyed forever by God who will use His enemies in part to carry out His foretold judgment. Unlike Israel, there will be no future recovery for this harlot to the great delight of Heaven and faithful saints (Revelation 16:17-19, 18:1-8, 19:1-4)!
Originally Posted December 8, 2013
Watching the systematic spiritual deconstruction of Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as growing open hostility to Christianity in our nation, I was not surprised at all to learn of the recent US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin tax ruling that declared the long standing clergy housing exclusion for those that own their homes unconstitutional. Does the Lord have your attention yet professing Christians and leaders? The secular culture of America and Western Civilization has called for and is taking purposeful steps to accomplish its divorce from manmade Christianity the religion as its spiritual, moral and ethical wife. Clearly, there is to be no possibility for reconciliation since Western culture and the world in rebellion against God will not rest until the divorce is final and its former adulterous lover is obliterated from the earth (Psalm 2:1-3; Revelation 17:15-18).
God sent forth the Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ first to the sons of Jacob beginning at Jerusalem, then reaching to Judea, Samaria and the farthest reaches of the earth where by grace, He has also welcomed Gentiles that believe (Isaiah 49:1-6; Luke 24:44-47; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:6-18, 11:11-22). As the Lord leads me to plainly infer in Chapter Sixteen of my book, The Strong Man Of God, “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” was to penetrate and transform the cultures of men, but never be co-opted or taken captive by those cultures (Jude 3, NKJV). However, because of the lack of appropriately maintaining this understanding through mistaken notions of evangelism, willful compromise and sin especially as displayed by those engaged in practicing manmade Christianity the religion, the biblical faith purely presented by Christ and His apostles has been culturally captured and conditioned among many peoples.
This captivity and conditioning of the biblical faith has enabled much corruption from the toleration of idolatry and sexual immorality to great doctrinal heresies and bloody wars. As it concerns doctrine for example, I have pointed out in other blogs how Americans living in willful sin (many of whom that have made no public claim of being Christ followers) are still put on a straight angelic flight to Heaven at death. Also, even otherwise solid Bible teachers allow themselves to imagine they will relate to departed loved ones in Heaven and the bodily resurrection to immortality as they did in this present age on earth.
In both cases, Bible instruction is clear: neither faithless unsaved sinners or willfully sinning unrepentant professing Christians--no matter how nice or worthy in our eyes--go to Heaven since God is the final Judge, not us. The shed blood of Jesus may be the grounds for salvation, but persevering faith (demonstrated by faithful obedience to the end) in Him and His sacrifice are the only grounds for obtaining it (Luke 13:22-30, 14:25-35; Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 3:14, 12:1-2; James 2:14-26; Revelation 20:11-15).
Marriage created by God in this present age for procreation as His priority is completely dissolved at death and there will be no such thing in Heaven or the resurrection to immortality (Genesis 1:27-28; Luke 20:27-40; Romans 7:1-3). So, for professing Christians to imagine or speculate that marital ties remain after death in any measure is not drawn from Scripture, but inspired by personal desire along with the romantic ideas and conditioning of culture in this present age.
Indeed, it is cultural conditioning that causes professing Christians to stumble over the reality of a complete bodily transformation for an entirely new eternal order at the resurrection God has revealed in His Word that will end femininity (tied to marriage and procreation that is eliminated) as we have known it in this present age (1 Corinthians 15:35-38). They imagine God will just take these old bodies and make them indestructible. But even among earth’s creatures God has revealed the transformational magnitude of His intentions for us in the incredible reality of the caterpillar that dies and becomes a butterfly (1 Corinthians 15:50-52; 2 Corinthians 5:16-17; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2)!
Of course, it is now the Christmas season when this business of culturally conditioning the faith leaps vividly into view. Purposely declining to discuss when and how professing Western European Christians morphed the St. Nick legend into Christmas, I am concerned with the fact we are watching the secular culture rapidly remove its Christian aspect. Its media arm is leading the charge on this front cranking out many sappy and sentimental holiday yarns that rip off biblical themes, words, mores and values then secularizes them.
The angel’s glad announcement of Christ’s birth from Luke 2:10 and 14 for example, has particularly become source material for holiday words such as “joy,” “peace” and “goodwill.” But they have cast aside “Immanuel” (Matthew 1:23, NKJV) whose birth summons those words into reality and carry on as if in their sinful flesh; in the willful decadence and lawlessness of the times, they can and will yet bring those words to actuality on earth--I don’t think so!
The peaceful, law abiding and authentic cry for justice and righteous conduct by our law enforcement officers on the streets of our nation at this hour is good (Matthew 5:6)--if long overdue and finally, in the end, futile where this world is concerned. The effort in the end is futile from a biblical worldview for two important reasons. First, this world is governed by one who cares nothing about justice (Matthew 6:13; Ephesians 6:12; 1 John 5:19) and second, apart from the renewing work of God through the Gospel, the human heart is thoroughly wicked (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23); incapable of producing lasting justice as only the living God can and will through His Anointed (Psalm 89:11-18; Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-10)! He has come and is coming again; we who have looked to Him, wait for Him to bring in our everlasting triumph over evil (Luke 2:1-14, 24:44-51; Acts 1:10-11; Revelation 1:4-8) as I celebrate in the following 2012 blog re-post!
Originally Posted December 9, 2012
Faithful Christians are sheep for the slaughter because we live in a world that is under the rule of Satan who has never ceased to hate and oppose God who loves us (John 14:30, 15:18-25). As a result, just as the Jews throughout history, so, Christians have been the target of this world’s oppressing, harassing and murderous persecuting activity. In fact, today is Hanukkah, the Jewish Feast of Dedication.
It commemorates the end of a foretold three year time of intense persecution in 165 BC by Antiochus Epiphanes, the ruler of the Syrian division of the former Hellenistic Empire of Alexander the Great (Daniel 11:21-35). Many were slaughtered during this period. Finally, a group of Jewish guerrilla fighters called the Maccabees prevailed and came to Jerusalem where they began purifying the Temple. Tradition has it that a small jar of oil miraculously was enough to keep the golden lamp stand in the Temple burning for eight days.
God’s historical permission allowing the Jews to take up arms against their worldly persecutors was temporarily withdrawn after Jesus of Nazareth their Messiah came on the scene and purposely took on the demeanor of a defenseless Lamb. Though as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” He had Heaven’s might at His disposal and authority to bring it if He chose (Matthew 26:51-54), He declined to do so that He might allow the Father to pour out the fullness of His wrath against human sin upon Himself.
This He did on a Roman cross to save Jew and Gentile that believes in Him and receives God’s forgiveness and reconciliation obtained through His substitionary atonement (Romans 5:6-11). Those who believe He invites to walk by faith in the example and power of His own world overcoming victory to include loving our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 23:32-34; John 16:33; 1 John 5:4-5). This means no Christian at any time has God’s blessing to take up weapons and war against the world in His cause or self-defense (Matthew 26:52; Romans 8:33-36; Revelation 13:10).
And so, many born again followers of Jesus Christ have died since the first century, do and will die at the murderous hands of sinful, satanically controlled men following His example of non-violent submission to and love for evil enemies as sheep for the slaughter until the Lord returns. Those who have suffered and been martyred in living out biblical Christianity include the strong men and great women of God among my slave and free forefathers.
Professing black American Christians do not talk enough about them because of satanically inspired deception and shame that these saints were somehow weak and cowardly sell outs. Many professing white American Christians out of shame, others out of continuing unrepentant haughtiness refuse to talk about them or acknowledge the historic black experience at their hands under the guise of Christianity as ranking among the world’s greatest historic evils. Yet, my Christian forefathers then and we who love the Lord now forgive our white brothers in the instruction and example of Christ (Luke 17:3-4, 23:34).
Faithful saints have endured suffering and death at the hands of this evil world system understanding as I have already written in this blog and write in my book, The Strong Man Of God, that it is first and foremost, the way of Christ we have been called to follow (Matthew 16:24-25; Philippians 1:29). Second, they have understood God has ordained that all the tribulation His children endure is part of His faith and character building program leading to the salvation we have hoped for (Romans 5:1-5, James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:3-9).
Finally, faithful saints understand in all of their trials they are “more than conquerors” through Christ who loves us (Romans 8:37-39). A conqueror conquers the thing he pursued and after enjoys it for only a short time before someone stronger takes it or he dies. But we in Christ are more than conquerors because of the overwhelming greatness of our conquest over evil in that not only do we rise again from the dead after being killed (or dying) once, but we live thereafter in immortal glory and the eternal riches of God’s love and grace (Romans 8:31-32; Ephesians 2:1-7)!
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