Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Be Aware, Be Alert, And Take Action

There certainly are plenty of things that disciples of Jesus must be aware of and alert to. One of the things we must be aware of is that the world is not getting any better. In fact, the mask is starting to come off and we are beginning to see clearer the depravities that exist in the "every man's" heart. If you want to see it for yourself, take the time to warn someone of the consequences of death without Jesus, then you will see the ugliness revealed. But this is normal for the world and we really should not be surprised by it. However, what we need to be alert to is much more disturbing, and that is the distorted and twisted teaching that is being put out there by those who carry the title of Christian.

As disciples we know that sin is sin. If we fall into it we do it by choice. That is very clear. However, this second danger is much more insidious and affects those who have an average or little understanding of the Word. We might think that such false teaching is easy to spot but when it comes wrapped up in the guise of God's love many believers fall for it. This teaching robs Jesus' sacrifice of its power. It tries to sweep under the bed the truth of the coming judgment. It attempts to mask the fact of absolute truth. It does away with holiness in action and abuses God's grace. It is subtle and it preys on the weak of understanding.

The prevailing thought is that disciples of Jesus have it wrong about the judgment. They paint us as being proponents of condemnation, of hatred, of discord simply because we cannot accept sin as not being sin. We get labeled with lots of names so that when we try to explain about sin and our separateness from God we are told that we are spreading hate. They fail to hear that we are saying that we understand them because we have been there in that place of depravity, where sin had us completely under control. They refuse to hear us say that it is because we were there that we now know the truth of the matter because Jesus set us free from it. Yet, I can accept this from the world; in fact I expect it from the world; it's natural from the world. However, I am shocked when I am told this from Christians. Where are these people getting their teaching; from; one of those "ministers" who picked up their ordination papers for $50 off the internet?

This really concerns me because they are picking and choosing what to hear from Jesus. We need to hear, understand and live everything that Jesus taught, not just the stuff the suits us. Jesus taught that there will be a judgment. a time when the good and bad are separated. We are currently reading through Matthew 13 and in this one chapter alone we have two examples of Jesus warning about the separation that will take place at the Judgment. We read a few days ago about the field that was sowed with good seed but the enemy came in a added bad seed. In this Jesus warned that at the harvest the wheat would be separated from the weeds and the weeds would be burned up. Today we read about fish:

Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:47-50)

Jesus could not be any more clear on this fact. The world won't recognize it because the world refuses to acknowledge the authority of the Scriptures but surely believers should recognize this. Sadly there are believers who no longer consider Jesus the only way, even though he said:

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6) 

However, those of us who have this saving knowledge of Jesus should not be content in the knowing. What a selfish people we are if we are content with our own salvation. No, we have the responsibility to be involved in the rescue of as many people as we can. It should be our greatest thought every day as we walk this earth, looking for the opportunity to grab another victim of sin and haul them up onto the Rock of salvation. Not everyone is ready and there is no good end to arguing with anyone about Jesus. However, there are millions of people who have been prepared by the Spirit and who are just waiting to hear about Jesus from someone, anyone. 

Just because the world is an unfriendly place for us does not mean we have permission to stay home and do nothing. Jesus said to go and make disciples. There are those who are under threat because of the confusion in teaching. There are those who are perishing under sin because they are not even aware of their condition. The day when the angels come to separate us is approaching. Every day that passes is one less day we have to rescue people. The disciples of Jesus should be feeling the urgency of the matter and we should be examining our days to see if we are missing opportunities. I am happy I am well saved but I cannot rejoice in my selfishness; I must be busy with the Father's plan to rescue as many as who are willing to be rescued.

So be aware of what is going on in the world; be alert to the false teaching that is growing among the believers and be determined to remain as a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Yet, go beyond that. Recognize the purpose we have and get to work. Get involved in the world around you and in the lives of people who need Jesus. Don't waste the talents and gifts you have been given. The separation is approaching. 

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