Thursday, June 18, 2015

The State of the American Church 2015 - Part 1

English: The Granite Stake Tabernacle (also ca...
Most American Church-goers will refer to themselves as Christians, and profess faith in Jesus Christ, yet only two percent of them ever share their faith with anyone, and one in professing Christians murder their children by abortion. Yet I would bet that all of them believe they are going to Heaven because they believe in God and Jesus.

A large percentage of them are not truly born-again as they think they are, and the Church is to blame. Why? Because they have not truly repented, and departed from their sin. Most modern day Christian look, act, and talk just like the rest of the world, and there is no real difference between them except that they go to Church once or twice a week.

A person who has departed from their sin, or have separated from evil, should live as though they have separated from evil (wickedness).  The world should see a radical difference when they look at the Church, but what they see is a whole lot of hypocrisy coming from those who claim to know Christ. Therefore, the American Church has lost an incredible amount of credibility, and society views the Christianity as something bad that needs to be wiped out.

A section of the Church is trying to reclaim as much of the culture as they possibly can while the other parts of the Church ridicule, and demean them for trying. Another section is just lukewarm and spiritually dead, and I don't know if it's even possible to revive them or not. The Church in America is on life support, drawing its last breath. as its salt and light is pretty much done for.

The Church preached a false gospel message, a modernized gospel that has produced countless numbers of false converts, which in turn have filled the pews of many evangelical Churches. Preaching a message that Jesus Christ will bring joy and happiness into your life is a false message. Becoming a true follower of Jesus means trials and tribulations, persecution and the loss of people who once claimed to be your friend, now have become your adversaries.

Following Jesus in America has meant affluence, luxury, the pursuit of the American dream. All these things distracted Christians from doing the work God called them to do. Attending Church here is easy enough, and, for the most part, safe, while in other parts of the world they may be slaughtered at any moment for naming the name of Jesus Christ.

We've had it so nice and comfy but now things are starting to heat up, and we soon we will start seeing a separation occur between the false converts and the real ones. Persecution is the great divider as those who are false converts will become disillusioned, and embittered concerning Christianity, and walk away from the faith. This is because they were promised joy, peace, happiness, and fulfillment in Jesus Christ, and what they got was the opposite.

In other places around the globe accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is the same as signing your death warrant, and as we have all seen this past year, they go to their deaths like sheep to the slaughter.  All down through history those who named the name of Christ were paraded into Roman coliseums to be eaten alive by hungry lions. Impaled, crucified, burned to death at the stake, beheaded, etc. Their sacrifice, however, did not pave the way for us to become lukewarm, and spiritually dead, but to use every method we can get our hands on to spread the Gospel throughout the entire earth.

Exactly what terrible fate have we in North American suffered for the cause of Christ?

Truthfully, American Christians don't have a clue about what it truly means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Sure most go to Church religiously, pray regularly, and read their Bibles, but seem to lack true obedience the Word of God. The failure to evangelize the lost has now caught up with the Church and is about to backfire in its face. The younger generation is all but hostile to Church, Christianity, and the Gospel, and it's the Churches fault for failing to change its methodology to meet the culture, without compromising its message.

Jesus said that every follower of His must first deny himself, that means to die to self, pick up their cross, whatever God has given them to do in life, and follow him (Jesus Christ). I am afraid however that most professing Christian have not even scratched the surface of what it means to die to self and carry their cross. Without the first two points, it is impossible to truly follow Jesus Christ.

The modern Church whether traditional or contemporary are both in the same boat, however, there is a remnant of True Biblical Christianity that has managed to do the Word of the Lord, and not listen to it week to week. There are some great preachers out there that are not afraid to stomp of some toes, to say what needs to be said, and lead believers to obey God, and live our their faith.

David Platt, John Piper, Paul Washer, Ray Comfort, and my own Pastor Gary Petersen. All of these men preach with the Power of the Holy Spirit, and make me think about my walk with God, and cause me to search to be sure I am in the faith. They teach me, train me, and challenge me to do what the Word of God says to do and to live a Grace-filled life.

Preachers need to tell people the truth, that accepting Christ will make your life worse that it was before, in the sense that the Devil will now come against you with everything he has to mess you up, and you need to be well grounded in God's Word to stand against him. Following Jesus might even cost you your life on this earth, but He promises a greater life in the hereafter.

We have a duty to share the Gospel with the lost, and to do it often. We must engage this lost culture even if it means we incur injury or even death.  If the Church had not fallen into such apostasy and preached such a watered down Gospel, we would have abolished abortion long ago, and gay marriage would not be such an issue today.  Those within the Church would have truly departed from their iniquities, and the true Chruch would be much larger than it is today.

Matt 7:21-27 -   It is not everyone that says to me, 'My Lord, my Lord'', who enters the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever does the will of my Father who is in Heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, 'My Lord, my Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, and in your name have cast out demons, and have done many mighty works in your name?' 23And then I will confess to them, 'I have never known you, remove yourselves far from me, you workers of evil.'  24Everyone therefore who hears these my words, and does them, will be likened to the wise man who built his house on solid rock. 25And the rain descended and the floods came and the wind blew, and they rushed against the house and it did not fall, for its foundation was laid on solid rock. 26And everyone who hears these my words, but does not practice them, will be likened to the foolish man who built his house on sand. 27And the rain descended and the floods came, and the wind blew, and they rushed against that house, and it fell, and its fall was great."  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Being More Like Jesus - How The Church Must Change When Dealing With Homosexuality

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
I have been aware of the radical homosexual lobby for a long time, but it wasn't till this year that I now understand some things about them that I never knew before. Trolling through some of their facebook pages this morning, reading some of their comments, left me with such an empty feeling in my heart as the voice of God spoke to me very clearly saying, "see how sad, how hardened, and how deceived these people are".

As I pondered it over some more it became apparent to me that these people are under the control of the Demonic Realm, that Satan has blinded their eye's and their hearts so they cannot hear or understand the truth of the Gospel.  Their twisted view of Jesus, and what love is has been so often repeated that they have memorized the Devil's Mantra well.

How can the Church in America which has spent countless years shunning, and shaming them for their behavior now turn around and win them to Christ?  Their view of Christianity is not a positive one at all, in fact, there are many of them in the LGBT community that are all out bitter against anything to we with Jesus Christ, Church, or Christianity.

One of them told me online that their members are so sick of being shamed and made to feel like second-rate citizens by those who are supposed to be all about love, that there is a great distrust of people. They view the liberal religious people in the more orthodox Churches to be real Christians because these people accept them as they are and accept their homosexual behavior too.

Of course, we know that true followers of Jesus can never accept homosexual behavior as being normal, or good, but we must stand with the Word of God and call in what God calls it, sin.  They are right when they say that Jesus would not condemn them, and would show them love, but Jesus would also tell them to repent and come follow him.

We see two good examples to women in the Bible who were both adulteresses, and both has an encounter with Jesus. One was caught in the sexual act of adultery and dragged before Jesus by the Pharisees, the other ran into Jesus at the well as she was preparing to draw up water.  Jesus told the first woman that her sins were forgiven her, go and sin no more, and the other woman Jesus told her to drink the water he would give her (living water), and she would never thirst again.

Jesus in both cases forgave them their sins and they both went away astounded I am sure but grateful that Jesus has compassion on them, when he could have opened up the ground beneath them and swallowed them alive. Jesus showed sinners incredible mercy, and at the same time never excused their sin, but told them to stop sinning.  Jesus still shows the sinner mercy and invites them to stop sinning, and change their ways.

It's unfortunate that the modern day Church has not followed Jesus example but struck out in anger against those who cause them to feel threatened. Christian view the radical homosexuals as being predators, looking to destroy everything in their path, and while there is a some truth to that, the Christian Church in America has largely failed to reach this segment of the population. We have spent more time pushing them away when Jesus would enfold them with grace, and show them love while telling them they need to change.

The Church has also hemorrhaged a ton of young people over the years and failed to reach the younger generations for Christ, or to reclaim them for Christ. This is because the Christians in the Churches are stuck in their religious traditions and won't change to meet the needs to the younger generations. I remember my teen years in youth group with a youth pastor that hated the new Christian music we were all into. He called it questionable music and spent more time alienating us, than teaching us anything substantial.

My Pastor has stated that "the Churches need to change their methodology, but not the message".  When it comes to reaching the homosexuals with the Gospel, we really need to change our ways.  Are we just going to stand by and let countless thousands go into a Christless eternity?  Or are we going to do what is necessary to welcome the people into our Churches so they can hear the Gospel and change?  I never said compromises the message, or accept their behavior as normal, I said let them come into the Church so they can have a chance to change.

We must speak and warn sinners about impending judgment, but we must do it in a loving manner that does not chase them away. oftentimes using the Moral Law of God, the Ten Commandments works, because we have to get them lost before we can get them found. Sinners will respond to a gentle word spoken in a loving manner versus Hell Fire and Brimstone.

I also believe that Christians must fervently pray for the people in the gay community, that their spiritual eyes and ears might be opened by the Holy Spirit that they might understand the truth, and be saved.