Looking back over everything the Lord has led me to post this year thus far, I am struck by how many bedrock New Testament commandments and instructions are being blatantly trampled upon by the many leaders and people that profess to be Christians in the churches they make up. I wrote about how as “ambassadors” of the “one Lord” Jesus Christ we are all supposed to be saying the same thing (2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Ephesians 4:1-6, NKJV).1 Ambassadors represent a country or kingdom and speak and do among those in the nations they are assigned what their leader that appointed them has commanded. Not to do so is to invite certain consequences including dismissal!
The apostle Paul rhetorically asserts our Lord Jesus Christ is not divided (1 Corinthians 1:13), but we are and willfully so as each theologian, denominational leader, pastor, etc. teaches his following in accord with what is right in his own sight in spiritual lawlessness rather than what the Lord has purely declared in His Word; not “repeating God’s words after Him” as the religious educated elite are fond of saying (Judges 17:6; Proverbs 14:12). Paul also tells us why this is all so. In fulfillment of his prophecy each one teaches with a nuance that attracts followers to his wisdom and himself, not God and His wisdom in the Gospel resulting in followers for Christ (Acts 20:26-30; 1 Corinthians 1:17-25).
Because His program matters as I write in this edited 2012 Commentary, God’s judgment of the errant, disobedient and usurping ambassador/teachers is just (1 Corinthians 3-4:13; 2 Peter 2:4-11).
Originally Published March 2012
As I remind pastors in the closing chapter of my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics,2 Scripture plainly holds Jesus Christ up as Lord and Head of His Church (Ephesians 1:15-23). Christ presents His will (God's program) for those that belong to Him through new birth and supposedly make up the churches in the same Scripture He is proclaimed Lord! The local churches therefore, are not free to do as they please apart from the will of Christ. Yet, the evil spirits of disobedience, heretical corruption and apostasy that well began their work before the passing of the 1st century eyewitness apostles have brought their efforts in these latter days to a near frenetic intensity.
The aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ delight to honor Him as Lord. They honor Jesus as Lord in their personal lives, in the local churches and before a watching world. They willingly honor Jesus as Lord out of their embrace of that factual truth from Scripture, the reality of meeting and walking with Him in His Lordship (John 14:18-20) as well as the joy of Holy Ghost fired affirmation (1 Corinthians 12:1-3)! As a result, they are not rebellious against or selective in their obedience to the Lord as the normative experience of their lives. When they sin, they do not delay to confess and repent before the Lord in all sincerity (1 John 1:5-2:6).
In the churches aspiring strong men and great women of God eagerly seek to fulfill His program to preach the Gospel to and make disciples of the nations; baptizing and teaching them to obey all of His will expressed in commandments communicated by His eyewitness apostles (Matthew 28:19-20). They do their part in God's program according to the gifts, calling and ministries they receive from the Lord through the agency of the Holy Spirit. They fully understand the Church is the Body of Christ and He the eternal Head. They labor in love to faithfully serve the members therein; being careful to obey the Lord's order of His assembly presently on earth (1 Corinthians 12:4-14:40).
Too many times I have heard preachers, teachers and professed Christians dismiss obedience to God's Word as an unimportant side issue to relationship with God. They portray God the Father as some benign, doting grandfather, Jesus as a cool, anti-rule keeping hippie sage and the Holy Spirit as a feel good force that just want us to love the Lord. However, Christ died to reconcile us back to God who had breached the relationship beginning with the disobedience of our forefather, Adam (Romans 5:6-21). Willful disobedience is not to characterize the New Covenant relationship of the Christian with the Lord he loves (John 14:15, 21-24; Hebrews 10:15-22; 1 John 3:4-10, 5:3).
The apostle Paul upbraided the Jews of his day for their hypocritical conduct that caused the Gentiles to blaspheme the name of God. How much more would he upbraid Christians in likeness today (Romans 2:17-24)? Indeed, the name of our God and His Son are regularly blasphemed in the media and on the streets of our nation due to the hypocritical conduct of professed Christians and churches that have no shame. The Gospel is maligned because racial division and bitterness mark the churches more than love. God's Word in the Bible is maligned because proud church leaders and teachers in disobedience will not say the same thing doctrinally (1 Corinthians 1:10; 1 Peter 3:8).
If professed Christians and their churches will not honor Jesus as Lord and obey the divine will revealed in Scripture, then who else on the planet will? If professed white Christians and those of color refuse to love one another in disobedience to Christ, then how will the world know that we are truly His disciples (John 13:34-35)? If professed Christians regard the instruction of Scripture on God's family order, gender roles and responsibilities as dated, then how valid is Scripture as a continuing source of authority for other aspects of our faith and practice?3 Clearly, the foretold latter day apostasy and deception are upon us to the eternal detriment of the guilty (1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:3-4)!4
God's program matters because men are saved and built up when we who say we love Him remain true to it. Moreover, God's program matters because Christians as aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ are the living signs of His Kingdom coming to earth; lights shining in a dark world (Philippians 2:14-16). Finally, God's program matters because the Father, Son and Holy Spirit share a holy disposition and wrath toward unrepentant sinners including those that profess to be Christians (Psalm 2:7-12; Isaiah 63:7-10; Matthew 7:21-23; John 8:21-29; Acts 5:1-11; Hebrews 10:26-31; Revelation 19:11-16). Repent! The time is nearer than you think. The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 See the opening of the March 31, 2019 post, Technically Speaking…, under the category, The Cause.
2 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
3 As the Lord led, I wrote the following as an addendum to this Commentary in our March 2012 Strong Man Of God Newsletter: “The final source of Christian authority is
the unchanging Word of God contained in Bible translations that are true to the earliest preserved manuscripts (2 Timothy 3:14-17). It is not what fallen men say or
even say about the Word no matter how credentialed who easily read into the texts and twist the Word to say what they want bringing judgment on themselves (James
3:1; 2 Peter 3:14-16).”
4 In the same addendum I concluded: “Christians have been forewarned by the Lord Jesus and His apostles that false messiahs, prophets and teachers would rise up
to deceive (Matthew 24:4-5, 11; 2 Peter 2:1-3). It is so. They also warn about latter day apostasy (as the Commentary above references) that is very unambiguous in
its full blown form (Matthew 24:9-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). It has been unfolding in earnest for a generation complete with outrageously deceitful teachings and
growing hostility toward the faithful. If the Lord Jesus and His apostles warn that falsehood and apostasy are to typify the days leading to His return, then professing
Christians need to snap out of their worldly slumber, strengthen their resolve to stand firm on God’s Word alone and prepare for worse (2 Timothy 3:1-13).”
Joyful greetings to you on this Palm Sunday! Please receive this edited 2013 repost as a word of encouragement during this very special week for us as followers of Jesus Christ. Per usual, I will be taking Resurrection Sunday off in this current case to celebrate my 42nd spiritual birthday. The Lord saying the same, my next post will appear on Sunday, April 28th.
Originally Posted March 29, 2013
My short holiday blog for Resurrection Sunday appears today so that I may respectfully pause to honor the Lord’s triumphant work to save a wretch like me culminating in His powerful resurrection from the dead as I hope all of you will do as well.1 The Lord’s challenge to us who would be faithful in these days of open rebellion by the world against as well as spiritual confusion, adultery and apostasy among those professing to know Him, is to all the more take to heart the benedictory exhortation of the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 6:11-16; following Christ’s example to the death as we have been called (Philippians 1:27-30; 1 Peter 2:19-23, 3:13-17).
The foregoing is the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ! The times we have entered into have been foreordained and told by God through the prophets, the Lord Jesus and His apostles (Mark 13:9-23; Acts 8:1-4). There is nothing we can do to reverse this present course permanently for even when the Lord does send revival to His people in days ahead, it will not be to restore the so-called “good old days” as I write in my book, the Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.2 It will be the marking out and protection of elect Israel as well as renewing preparation for enduring “the great tribulation” by faithful saints leading up to Christ’s return (Revelation 7, NKJV).
Thus, the wicked wherever they are found fill up the cup of their sins that God in increasing severity judges until finally, He pours out on them the fullness of His wrath to crush them at Christ’s appearing (Revelation 16:17-21, 19:11-21). Meanwhile, the faithful “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12, NKJV); staying in it until death or the Lord’s appearing and receive as our good end, the promised resurrection to immortality in the likeness of His own we celebrate on Resurrection Sunday (Revelation 20:4-6). A glorious Resurrection Sunday to you, indeed!
1 Read the April 3, 2016 repost the Lord gave me richly exploring the resurrection, God Raises The Dead, under the category, The Faith!
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