Pretty Little Gentlemen and Angry Women Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

So now what? We have a world full of glamorous milk-toast men and bull-headed angry women. And it’s not getting better, I can assure you.

A time will come, with a few more generations under our belts, where the masculine man will be the oddity and the “gay” looking man will be the norm. People will point and snicker at the likes of men like me. My “type” will be looked at as someone to feel sorry for. The men of the world who stand for truth and Christ will be forced underground or treated for a mental condition. The delicate effeminate man will be the norm who will look at us with disdain and disgust.

I look at my children and feel sorry for them somewhat. They are growing up in a world where the walls of discretion have fallen. Society, at one point, had rules, written and unwritten to live by. Men were men, and women were women. Children were children. Families were families. Divorce was a blemish. Homosexuality was something no one talked about. It was practiced behind closed doors and was never celebrated. But unfortunately, it is a symptom of failing parents. We as parents have been blessed and entrusted with the greatest of treasures. Our children are worth immeasurable value. They are our future. Period. But if we are teaching them to be something they are not, then how does this affect society?

The church of Jesus Christ has a mandate. That mandate is to proclaim the Gospel to the world. The church also has rules it must abide by. We see it throughout the New Testament. We have standards we must govern our lives and families by. These standards have been put in place for our good and for the good of society. Take away these standards and something will take their place. Hence the mess we find our world in today. Ruled by the worship of self and relativism.

At one point if you went to church it was because you were either saved or desired to be so. Now the church is a place where no matter who you are, are welcomed with open arms. Regardless of your faith or belief system, as long as you can get along and bring your tithes, you are welcomed.

cruise-ship-far-away-meme-doneLeonard Ravenhill said it well:

 

“The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising.”

Well said. We allow the congregation to live the lifestyle they want. Men and women can live together and not be judged. Muslims and Catholics can call a so-called Christian church home. The LGBTQ+ group can and usually feel quite safe and comfortable in most churches today. Why? Because the Gospel has been replaced by a message that has had its corners rounded over and its edges covered by the protective foam of non-judgmentalism. Repentance and revival are things that most churches know nothing about. Many modern churches today don’t even know who Jesus is. Oh, they have heard about Him here and there, but they don’t KNOW Him.

Between the family and the church, no wonder the world is in the mess its in. No one wants to discipline and correct anymore. No one wants to touch the hot potatoes anymore because they know that the consequences of standing for the truth are dire. So the men who once stood strong and kept the sin and compromise out of the church have been shut down and shut up by the feminists who have been trained by their aggressive and non-submissive mothers to take charge and not let any man stand in their way. Over the course of a few generations of men being pushed around and degraded, we now have “men” who naturally won’t confront and stand against evil. It doesn’t even occur to them to do so. It’s become natural for men to be non-confrontational and non-judgmental. It has also become natural for women to be the ones who crack the whip and make decisions. The whole dynamic has been flipped. Men are seeking out relationships and women are leading.

Where does this leave the children? God help them.

How can the church spread the Gospel and do the Lord’s bidding if they are so messed up? They can’t.

What’s the answer to all this? The Bible gives us a clear warning to those who refuse to stand for the truth and do the right thing.

Revelation 21:8

“But as for cowards and the unfaithful, and the polluted, and murderers, fornicators, and those who practise magic or worship idols, and all liars–the portion allotted to them shall be in the Lake which burns with fire and sulphur. This is the Second Death.”

This is the point. If we are Christians then we MUST follow the Bible and conform ourselves to what it teaches. This is vital if we want to change the world. Unless we follow the commandments of God, then we will fall into sin and deception and won’t be worth our salt (Matt. 5).

 

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

 

If the Bible says homosexuality is wrong then don’t practice it. Don’t allow it into your church. Don’t allow it into your home. Don’t embrace it for anything. Look upon it as God does. An abomination (Romans 1, Lev. 18). 29872624_1746130625408314_2458210620326685598_o

The Bible commands us to run from fornication and all that that definition implies. It also commands us to separate ourselves from the unclean thing.

J.C. Ryle says: “The standard of the world, and the standard of the Lord Jesus–are indeed widely different. They are more than different–they are flatly contradictory one to the other. Never be satisfied with the world’s standard of Christianity!

A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!”

These are simple commands yet the church has allowed the world to dictate what she should believe and that’s the reason why the church is weak and powerless.

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.” 1 John 5:4

The family needs to get back to its roots. There needs to be a mom and a dad. Not two moms or two dads or three of this and five of that. Your children need a real old-fashioned mom and a real old-fashioned dad. Not only is this important but our children need parents who think of them more than they do of their jobs and careers. How many hours do you spend with your children a week? Actual quality time. One on one time. “Oh I can’t do that, I’m working too much”.

Do your children accept that? Do you think your children want the money or you? My wife and I have made adjustments to our lifestyle in order to be there for our children. Yes, it means trimming the fat and tightening the belts, but they know that we are always there for them, spending quality time with each every day.

If you walked through my home on a daily basis, you would see me playing Nerf wars or doing something in the workshop with my boys. Or you would see me sitting with my daughter listening to her endless adventures about her rabbits. You would see me conducting Bible studies and training my children in the right way to deal with people and problems in a humble and God-fearing manner.

You will see my wife spending her days homeschooling, teaching piano and taking care of the house as a wife should. You would see her nurturing and loving and teaching and guiding in the ways of God.

Yes, I work but I made sure I had a job that gave me the freedom to either include my children in my job and/or make sure I was home to help train and guide them.

If my work gets in the way of training my children then something’s got to change. If I’m not there to lead my family, then someone else will. Many women have been pushed into living both roles and most fail miserably because they are not made to be both parents. My wife has been sick from time to time, and when the whole burden of the household fell on me, I was beside myself with the tasks. I realized that my amazing wife did more than I thought. She kept the house running, kept the meals on schedule and kept things moving at an even keel.

When I’m on the shelf with an injury or sickness, my wife realizes how hard my job is and appreciates all I do. You see, it’s a balance. A dance, if you will. A choreographed ballet of talents and skills and I couldn’t do it without her.

This is how you train good, healthy children who will one day contribute to society and make it better.

Otherwise, we have children who have no identity, no worth, falling into gangs and lifestyles that only damage and destroy.

Parents, your first mission field is your family. Get your family in order and then you can go out into the world and clean it up.

In this society where all hell is breaking loose, we, as Christians must stand up and place that candle in our windows, showing the world that there is hope. A warm, inviting light in the darkness will inevitably draw the lost, as a candle draws the moth. God will draw them to you, but how can He if there is no difference between you and the world? Why should the world change if they look at the church and see carbon copies? Divorce rates are the same, so-called Christian men view pornography just as much as the world, there are even Christian atheists taking up pew space. And we expect the world to come to Jesus when we are His ambassadors?!

In closing, I think a Grace Gem by Horatius Bonar is quite fitting.

 

There is much worldliness among the saints! There is worldliness in their motives and actions; worldliness in their domestic life and in their interaction with society; there is worldliness in the arrangements of their households and in the education of their families; there is worldliness in their expenditure, so much being laid out for self, so little for God; there is worldliness in their religious schemes, and movements, and societies; there is worldliness in their reading, and in their conversation. There is, in short, too much of the spirit of fervent worldliness about their whole deportment, and little of calm, happy superiority to the things of earth.

They are fretted, disturbed, bustled just like the world. They grudge labor, or fatigue, or expense, or annoyance in the cause of Christ, or in serving their fellow men. They have much of earth, little of Heaven about them.

They are not large-hearted or openhanded; not willing to spend and be spent, unmoved and unruffled, as those whose eye is ever set on the incorruptible inheritance on which they so soon shall enter. They are low and unaspiring in the things of God.

Perhaps there are few things against which we require to be more warned than against this spirit of worldliness. The Church is very prone to forget her pilgrim character in this present evil world and to live as a citizen of earth. Her dignity as the eternally chosen of the Father is lost sight of; her hope as the inheritor of the glory and the kingdom of the Son is obscured.

God’s cure for worldliness is the bringing before us of another, eternal world, more glorious than that which He calls on us to forsake. There is no thorough cure for worldliness but this. It is lack of faith in eternal realities, that makes us worldlings! When the believing eye gets fixed on the world to come, then we learn to set our affections on things above.

So long, however, as all here in our present sphere of existence is bright, we are content with this world. We allow ourselves to sink down and settle quietly among the things of earth. Why should we whose home and treasure are above, ever again seek our home or our treasure here on this poor earth?

Why should we stoop from our heavenly elevation to mingle again with the company which we have forsaken? Are we ashamed of our pilgrim staff and our pilgrim road? Surely not. To be a pilgrim on earth is to be divided from sin and sinful appetites, from the seducing vanities and worthless mockeries of the world, from the fascinating beauty and perilous splendor of this decaying scene. To be a pilgrim on earth is to be a friend of God, a member of the heavenly household, an expectant of the kingdom, an heir of the crown of glory.

The opposite of worldliness is heavenly mindedness or spiritual mindedness. This, the new relish which the Holy Spirit imparts at conversion, in some measure produces. But it is feeble. It easily gives way. It is not strong enough to withstand much temptation. God’s wish is to impart a keener relish for eternal things, and to destroy the relish for the things of time.

This He effects by blighting all objects in which there was earthly sweetness, so that by being deprived of objects to “mind” on earth, it may of necessity be led to “mind” the things above. He dries up all the “nether springs” of earthly joy, that we may betake ourselves to the “upper springs” which can never fail.

When God unroofs our dwelling, or tears up its foundation by an earthquake, then we are forced to look upward and seek a better and more enduring portion! Many such shocks, however, are often needed before our souls are broken off from their cleaving to the dust.

What are this world’s allurements to us? What to us are the sights and sounds of earth, who “shall see the king in his beauty,” and hear His voice, into whose lips grace is poured? What to us is the green fertility of earth, who shall enter into the possession of the new earth? What to us is the gay glory of a city’s wealth and pomp, who shall be made citizens of the New Jerusalem, where dwells the glory of God and of the Lamb, whose foundations are of precious stones, whose walls are of jasper, whose gates are of pearl, whose streets and pavements are of transparent gold?

Be zealous and repent and do your first works. Come out, be separate, touch not the unclean thing! Put off the works of darkness! Put on the armor of light. Be done with wavering, indecision, and compromise.

Church of the living God! Be warned. Live for Jesus, not for yourself, for Him, not for the world. Walk worthy of your name and calling, worthy of Him who bought you as His bride, worthy of your everlasting inheritance. Consider the LAMB and walk in His steps!

Men? Be men. Be courageous, strong and stand for what is right. You will have a battle on your hands and you will come up against the feminist juggernaut in your struggles. But stand anyway. You owe it to your family, the church and to the world.

Women? Don’t allow the lure of power to turn your head for it is a deceptive enemy. Embrace the calling of being a wife and mother. This is your greatest and most rewarding job. You also will be met with all sorts of trouble and resistance from an enemy who wants nothing more than to destroy you and your beloved family.

Parents, stand firm as a team. Two awesome people linked arm in arm, hand in hand, heart in heart, mind in mind against a common foe. Stand against the flow of society and perhaps a few generations of children who have been trained, disciplined and loved properly can right this ship before it sinks beneath the waves of compromise and modernism.

 

Pretty Little Gentlemen and Angry Women Part 1

“If you will describe yourself as a pretty gentleman, I shall find nothing in the Bible wherewith to comfort you; but as long as you have black words and condemning words wherewith to daub yourself, I feel that you are Christ’s man…”

 

An excerpt from The Complete Works of C. H. Spurgeon, Volume 36: Sermons 2121-2181.

 

download (7)How many pretty gentlemen do we have in the church today? Never mind the world, as they are supposed to be messed up, deceived and running around blinded and dead in their sins. But we are being inundated by pretty, effeminate men climbing into the pews and seats of authority all over Christianity. These men are delicate, soft, glamorous. They speak nothing of the men of yesteryear who were strong, bold, courageous.

You may shy away from this sort of criticism because it seems normal for you to see such men dolled up and looking beautiful, but if you are middle age and older you remember a time where this wasn’t so.

If you walk through the grooming section of your local drug store, you will undoubtedly see the usual shaving creams, safety razors, deodorant and the like. However, along with the usual old-fashioned toiletries, you will now see a large selection of face putties, under-eye creams, wrinkle erasers and worse.

Society is training its boys to be pretty and delicate, and this horrid philosophy has crept into the church and made the so-called men snowflakes.

I have seen this in sports as well. I catch baseball and hockey highlights from time to time, and when someone gets hurt or hurts someone else, these men tend to fall apart. I watch in shock as the athlete wanders around, head in hands, getting hugs from his teammates, crying and shaking from the horror of it all. I see soccer (football in Europe) players drop like someone shot them when they get pushed or knocked over.

This is a disturbing trend I have found permeating the world. Men are quickly becoming cry-babies!

 Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary on the Definition of the word Effeminate.

 

1. (a.) Having some characteristic of a woman, as delicacy, luxuriousness, etc.; soft or delicate to an unmanly degree; womanish; weak.

2. (a.) Womanlike; womanly; tender; — in a good sense.

3. (v. t.) To make womanish; to make soft and delicate; to weaken.

4. (v. i.) To grow womanish or weak.

What does the Bible have to say about this sort of man?

1 Corinthians 6:9
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (homosexuals)…

No longer do we see the loggers, sailors, and miners of yesteryear who were tougher than nails, working, struggling against all odds, standing up against the evil powers of the world. Now we see men talking about relationships, emotions, and male bonding.

I look to the Bible for most of my examples and this is one occasion where the Bible can be used for evidence. Look back into the Old Testament and you see Abraham and Moses. Tough, leading armies against the enemies of God. You see David, a slayer of thousands. You go to the New Testament and see John the Baptist. Nothing pretty or delicate here. Then you see the Champion of our Faith, Jesus of Nazareth. Glamorous and polished? Not a chance. Paul the Apostle? Nope. Peter? Are you kidding?!

The Bible is full of men who were strong and rugged. Courageous and bold. Standing up for truth, defending what was right no matter the consequences.

Remember Peter and John in Acts 4? They stood courageously against the religious leaders and refused to be quiet. They were going to preach the Gospel come hell or high water and it didn’t matter one iota what the consequences were.

How about Stephen? He was stoned to death preaching the Gospel.

The Apostle Paul?

2 Corinthians 11: 23. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews, five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Did Paul cower and lay in the corner in a fetal position hoping Oprah had the answer? No. He kept going. He poured himself out for the Gospel and when he was finally killed, he left this earth with nothing more to give.

What happened?! Where are these men? Where are the leaders and warriors of the faith? 

I read of men and hear it throughout my day where men have arguments or go through trials and they break down and run to their drugs, games or some sort of fantasy to help them cope. No longer do men stand strong in faith and the assurance that God is sovereign and is leading them through the valley of their lives. No longer do men humble themselves before God and pray. They run to Google for their answers. They allow the world or their aggressive, feminist wives to dictate what they should do. This is a modern-day atrocity that can only spell ruin for future generations.

What is happening in the church today is symptomatic of what I am seeing. The feminist movement has marched in and taken over. We see it all the time in the church and because women are being trained to take charge and “be the man“, the men have backed down and kept quiet.

Why? Because parents have dropped the ball. Because parents in my age group are a product of the no-discipline philosophy. They were raised with no correction in their homes and now they have passed it on to their children.

I see it with my wife and her piano students. Children today cannot take criticism. They don’t even know what “NO” means! If my wife tries to correct something in regards to their piano playing they whine and cry and pound the piano in frustration and anger.

If these children are being raised to run the home and get away with whatever they want, what will happen when they are grown up? If children today do not have godly, old-fashioned role models to copy, they’ll copy media, video games, music stars and the like.

I see families where the mom is trying to fill both roles. What happens? Their children, many times decide to embrace a homosexual lifestyle. The same goes with dad trying to be mom. The family has been attacked on all sides and the children are the victims.

I see parents teaching boys to dress up like glamour girls and girls to be men. I see boys feathering their hair and wearing skinny jeans with their delicate ankles showing and girls driving dump trucks.  The whole core of the family has been twisted around and perverted.

Abhishek-Bachchan-in-Bol-Bachchan-380This reverberates straight through into the church, where the pastor dares not mention sacrifice, sin, and hell. Instead, he tells a story full of emotion and emphasizes relationships and staying relevant to the world. All the while the enemy stalks through the sheep-fold unmolested.

The church is supposed to reflect Christ and His teachings. Islam understands this. Buddhism understands this. Talk to any religion out there and they all get this. Their religion reflects its founder.

Why doesn’t Christianity? 

The Absent Family in Prayer

Here was our conclusion from “Shaken in Prayer.”

Romans 8:28 is not a standalone verse. It comes AFTER we begin to pray with the mind of the Spirit that we can then claim verse 28. Why? Because those who love God will have all things work together for good. Why? Because we are called according to His purpose. It is His way and His will that matters. Prayer is NOT about us and our wants and even our needs. It is about learning to pray in a way that matches the will of God on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

Sadly, too many who claim the name of Christ prefer to pray like this: “God, please do and accommodate my will in heaven as I want it to be done on earth.”

We go to church and say that we want the power of God to fall in our midst. Yet, we could not stand if it actually did. And the reason it does not fall as the Holy Spirit fills us to overflowing is that we have asked amiss. We ask the wrong questions, pray for the wrong things, and then stop praying and consider it a waste of time because we don’t get the answers we want from God.

Now, we raise our children to ignore prayer because they see no fervency in our times of prayer. Let me expand on this a few minutes.

For years our family have gone to prayer meetings in various churches that I pastored or where we were members. Apart from our children, I can count on both hands the number of children I have seen through the years in attendance. Our family believes firmly that if church is important enough to attend, then our children (even when they were little) should be sitting with us and learning why we pray.

As with many church services, the number of people in attendance drops drastically from a Sunday morning to a Sunday evening. Even more dramatic is the drop-in attendance from a Sunday to a mid-week prayer meeting.

When I pastored in England, we had some dear brothers and sisters who would come to mid-week prayer meeting. With not one week’s exception during our years there, the request would always come in to pray for wayward children to come back to God.

As disheartening as this will sound, I am convinced that one main reason that children flee from church and have no interest in the things of God is because that is the way they were raised.

English churches are no different than the ones here in America. Excuses were always given that it was too late because of school or whatever to attend anything other than a Sunday morning. Yet, having visited many homes I knew that many of those children that were supposedly getting ready for bed and then school were actually playing video games or watching television with the parent who chose to stay home.

What are they actually teaching their children? Let’s make this more personal. What are WE teaching our children? At no point have they engaged in prayer apart from the perfunctory blessing over the meal. At no point have they realized the wonder of God and the truth that He delights to bless His children AND He delights to hear the prayer of those who walk in righteousness before Him.

When your children are absent from times of collective prayer, you are teaching them that prayer is not important. You also teach them that you believe life is possible without having to resort to that old-fashioned notion of humility before the throne of God.

So, here is the order of events.

1) Send our children to junior or children’s church so they never learn to sit through worship and give attention to the Word of God being faithfully proclaimed.

2) Keep our children at home for any other scheduled events. Don’t get me wrong here. I know there are reasons why littles might be kept home if services are late. However, as they get older, they should be learning the true meaning of worship.

3) Refuse to keep them in during times of communion (like they do in England). Instead of being able to observe the testimony of believers one to another in the solemn rejoicing over the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the children have no idea why this little addendum to a service once a month is vital to our remembrance of the Savior.

4) During times of prayer, allow them to run around or play instead of paying attention to the prayers of the saints. This allows them to grow up without knowing the blessing of seeing prayers being answered.

5) As they grow older, let them “make their own decisions” as to whether they want to go to church or not.

6) Come to church prayer meeting as an older adult and mourn. Complain loudly that you don’t understand why they don’t know God. Cry for them to return to the fold.

Oh, my dear, dear readers. The reality is that they were NEVER in the fold. We taught them everything they know and don’t know about church because gathering collectively was not important to us.

Worshiping God and praying humbly before Him was not a priority.

Many times, I have visited churches and heard them invoke the reply of God to King Solomon about the children of Israel in 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 and claim it for themselves or the church at large. While the principles of this verse can be found throughout the Scriptures, what we fail to comprehend is the requirement for God to hear us is that WE MUST PRAY!

14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.

Prayer meetings are not usually humbling because we have grown accustomed to lives of ease. We trot our little wish lists, make a show of coming before the Almighty God of all creation, and then quickly leave so we can go about our lives.

It is as though we come to the foot of the cross just briefly, stand back up and with a backward glance, we call out, “Thanks God for listening. I’ll just pick up my burdens and take it from here again!”

Why, oh why is prayer so hard?

We will look at these in-depth in another post, but here are four reasons.

First, prayer is hard because it requires true humility that can only come from God.

Second, prayer is hard because it requires true confession of sin before God and before those whom we have offended.

Third, prayer is hard because it requires true dying to self daily.

Fourth, prayer is hard because it requires true faith that God does answer prayer. He does and will not always answer the way we want or like because His goal is not our happiness and our satisfaction. God answers in the manner and timing of His choosing so that He may be glorified in Himself.

Let’s close with these words from James 4:6-10 and a brief word of exhortation.

6 But he gives more grace. Therefore, it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Parents, you are to be an example of Christ to your children. We are to be a witness to our own households. We must be taking time to pray or learning to pray if we have done little before. When you go to church and if there is a prayer time, INCLUDE your children. They have plenty of time to play and do games, but there will never be enough time in prayer.

If prayer is not important or you have no desire to humbly approach the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, then you may need to do a heart checkup and see whether or not you are one of His children.

In the meantime, I encourage you to watch this video and maybe for the first time in a long time – Behold Your God!

—- To be continued —-

Facing a Task Unfinished

Is there any wonder as to why we STILL face an unfinished task?

There was a time when prayer accompanied the cry and call to missions throughout the evangelical church of Jesus Christ. Sadly, those days are rare any more for there is little prayer and no longer any calls to serve and deliver the gospel message.

“Facing a task unfinished
That drives us to our knees
A need that, undiminished
Rebukes our slothful ease
We, who rejoice to know Thee
Renew before Thy throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee
To go and make Thee known

The Original Revival Hymn

I found this video on a Christian brother’s website. Paul, thank you for posting this to your site. It is truly convicting and right in line with what I have been sharing on my posts about “Spiritual Vertigo.”

For Goats or Sheep?

In a previous post entitled, “Spiritual Vertigo”, I addressed three reasons why true believers, particularly in western evangelicalism, have entered a state where they have become disorientated. They struggle from week to week and from one Sunday morning worship to the next. The church has lost its balance and people are sick.

But, why or how does this happen?

Here are the reasons that I gave.

First, we fail to keep sight of the holiness, majesty, and glory of the almighty God. (Part 1 – Found here.)

Second, our vision of eternity is dulled because we become too focused on the world and what it has to offer. (Part 2 – Found here.)

Third, we become disorientated when we work harder to make the church appealing to unbelievers than we do in making the church a place for the sheep to come and find quiet waters and pastures where they can feed without the fear of wolves.

********

Let’s get right to a summary of this blogpost.

1. Heaven is NOT for unredeemed sinners.

2. The Bride of Christ is the manifest evidence to a dead world that Jesus Christ is alive and is coming back for that which He redeemed with His precious blood.

3. Church is NOT for the pleasure of the world.

4. Church is a gathering together of believers who meet together for teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread (communion or the Lord’s Table), and prayer.

********

Now we will break some of this down.

We live in a day and age of snowflakes. An overwhelming majority of people want to be offended, and there is no lack of intolerance. The worldling wears proverbial chips on the shoulder and just dares anybody, somebody, everybody to breathe in their direction so it will fall off and plummet to the ground.

Wikipedia defines the word “snowflake” as “a 2010s derogatory slang term for a person, implying that they have an inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, or are overly-emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions.”

Many pastors and teachers of the Scriptures today feel they are in a quandary. On one hand, they know that true believers are to obey God rather than man. On the other hand, many have not considered the price of standing for truth whether it causes offense or not. In other words, many are afraid of the faces of the people for a myriad of reasons, some of which may include their paychecks each month.

When being politically correct is more important than preaching truth, the minister who caves into the world is no longer a shepherd. They have become nothing more than a hireling.

For example, the rise of “issues” such as the LGBTQ+ movement is not a reflection of the direction the world is moving. The gross immorality of this movement has been in place for millennium. It will continue to grow more and more depraved, but we MUST expect that for the world runs headlong after all that opposes God and the truth of holiness.

The real issue is that the church bears the necessity of condemnation for its failing to adhere to Sola Scripture (Scripture alone) in all that it believes and practices. Little by little, the world kept pushing the boundaries. Pastors and church leaders kept quiet or used the phrase – “Well, whatever is done in the privacy of their own homes is ok as long as it is not done in the open.”

That was never going to be good enough, so the world continues to push. The church caved even more and now it is hard to find churches that have not openly accepted those who stand in open rebellion against God. Those who practice lawlessness moved their wickedness out of their own homes into the light of day and now have charged militantly into the church.

The militancy of this particular tiny but excessively and aggressively vocal subset of the community continues to try to infiltrate every single aspect of all that is good. What God created to be holy, they have made into degradation including marriage and the family.

Why is this important? Because the downward slide into oblivion will continue. The world will continue to make the church and God seem irrelevant. This means that true believers have just one of two choices on the shelf —

PLEASING GOD or PLEASING SELF!

What makes the situation in church even worse is that the world laughs at the church. They laugh, mock, and belittle true believers. Further, they think they are mocking God and thumbing their noses at Him. Listen to the words of King David from Psalm 2:1-4.

Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.

Truly, there is a dizzying difference between the churches of centuries past and the modern, so-called evangelical churches of today.

The early churches KNEW what it meant to take a stand and to be separate from the world. The world knew they were different. In fact, Acts 5:13 notes of the world, “None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.” The world did NOT consider it a light matter to join themselves to the small bands of Christian believers. They were afraid of the judgment that came from God against those who lied and grieved the Holy Spirit of God.

Today, many churches have little to no requirements for those who want to “join.” The worn-out motto has become “Come as you are, leave as you came!”

Is it any wonder that the church has no power?

Should we, who are bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, reduce our inheritance to nothing for the sake that we may be liked by the world? Have we truly forgotten the words of the Lord Jesus Christ that the world will HATE you because it hated me FIRST?

Brothers and sisters, the local body of believers is to be a haven of rest. It is a place where we may go to worship the God of all creation as a collective group. Will unbelievers come in to visit? Yes! Should they be welcomed? Yes!

Should we give the impression that God loves them just as they are and that our lives should be lived in a way that reflects the holiness of God? No, no, a thousand times NO!

Church is for true believers to be edified and built up in their faith. We are then to go OUT into the world to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ. As new believers are brought to the Savior, then they should be taught and discipled to become more and more like Jesus Christ.

Dear readers, you and I WILL NEVER change the church to look more like the world and find that we have attracted anything other than goats.

The joy of salvation is that the Bible makes a clear distinction between those who are lost (goats) and those who are true believers (sheep). However, the apostle John made it clear that whosoever is thirsty, may come and drink of the water of life. The gospel call goes out to the world to come and dine at the feet of Jesus Christ. Finally, the apostle Paul said that whosoever will may come and be saved.

For the church, judgment must begin with at home. We must stop trying to pacify the world and get back to reflecting the truth that we are the Bride of Christ. The Bride of Christ who is making herself ready for the return of the King.

As I concluded in the previous post, if the wonder of eternity remains dulled to us because we prefer to believe that the world holds more allure to us, then we will become a miserable failure because of a dimmed vision.

May our hearts be encouraged with a fresh look at the Savior today. May we be blessed with the recollection of all the heavenly benefits that belong to us.

Spiritual Vertigo

Vertigo is defined as “a sensation of whirling and loss of balance, associated particularly with looking down from a great height, or caused by disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve; giddiness. It can cause loss of balance, ringing in the ears, nausea, and disorientation.”

Two weeks ago, I woke up and began what seemed like a normal day. Less than an hour later, something went pear-shaped in my head. Extreme dizziness and violent retching overtook my body. By the fifth day, I paid a visit to a local Urgent Care.

After a preliminary check by a nurse, then another staff member, a doctor entered the room. They ran some additional tests for various flus and viruses. All came back negative, and the result was that I had vertigo.

There is a first time for everything. Despite having had malaria and typhoid twice while we served in Liberia, this was completely different. Every day that I wake up, my world whirls and spins as I try to recalibrate. I can now sit in my chair, but again each move has to be calculated or my stomach starts to churn and the world constantly spins.

I am disorientated. To use the medical definition for disorientation, I have a condition that causes me to feel as though I have lost my sense of direction.

As I have been pondering this new condition, it has made me think more about spiritual matters. Sometimes, the only thing I can do is close my eyes and pray for others while waiting for the world to stop spinning.

This diagnosis makes me realize that there is a spiritual connection, in that, there are some within the church who have spiritual vertigo.

They have lost their balance, or something is making them sick, or it may be that they have become disorientated. Some within evangelical churches have lost their sense of direction.

But, why or how does this happen?

First, we fail to keep sight of the holiness, majesty, and glory of the almighty God.

Listen to the words of those whose sight was not dimmed when they wrote the following thoughts.

C.S. LewisA man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.

John PiperIf you don’t see the greatness of God then all the things that money can buy become very exciting. If you can’t see the sun you will be impressed with a street light. If you’ve never felt thunder and lightning you’ll be impressed with fireworks. And if you turn your back on the greatness and majesty of God you’ll fall in love with a world of shadows and short-lived pleasures.

A.W. PinkHappy the soul that has been awed by a view of God’s majesty.

King DavidPsalm 93:1, “The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

Jude – half-brother of Jesus Christ in his little book – Jude 25, To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Second, our vision of eternity is dulled because we become too focused on the world and what it has to offer.

My dear readers, there is absolutely NOTHING the world offers that will compare with the riches that await us in Christ and in heaven. It is easy for those who are seated with Christ in the heavenlies to become dizzy and disorientated when they gaze longingly down to the mud and muck offered by the world.

Missionary and martyr Jim Elliott wrote in his diary, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

Third, we become disorientated when we work harder to make the church appealing to unbelievers than we do in making the church a place for the sheep to come and find quiet waters and pastures where they can feed without the fear of wolves.

This third point is a sad fact in far too many churches that claim the name of Christ today. Instead of being focused on preaching, teaching, and prayer, we have become centers for socialization or programs.

Pastors and teachers, if our time dissolves each week because of all the things we think we have to do instead of what God requires, then we cannot be surprised when our churches begin to look more like a worldly business.

True believers need to come together for worship remembering that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. Every aspect is to be about Him. Church is not meant to be a well-oiled piece of machinery at the expense of seeing Him who is above all.

Every Sunday, across our land, true believers gather. They need encouragement, exhortation, and edification. They come hurting physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Like soldiers on the battlefield, they are bruised and broken from fighting the evil one and his minions. There should be one inviolable focus and goal for every person who preaches or teaches.

“The goal for every true believer is to be more like Jesus Christ today than we were yesterday, and more like Him tomorrow than we are today.”

Anything more or less than this is a disservice to the hearts and minds of true believers. When we ponder the state of the persecuted church, it becomes easier to see how far we have slipped. People in our western bastions of evangelicalism are not ready for persecution. We refuse to see it coming because the world has disorientated us to the point where we think they walk the road of life with us hand-in-hand.

May we be encouraged to stand fast and once again follow the command of the apostle Paul to the church in Colosse.

“Set your affections on things above, and not things of the earth.”