Friday, October 24, 2008

Re-Focusing

I believe that right now is a time of reckoning for the church. I believe that we have been letting in too much of religion and not keeping our focus on our first love, Jesus Christ. There is only one thing that we should be focusing on, “How can I best follow Christ?” Is that by trying to obtain things? Is that by trying to become powerful? Is that by tearing down others?

Think about how many of the disciples were focusing on those 3 things. Judas Iscariot? In the first few centuries of Christianity when the Roman Empire was so large, think about the Christians that you know of that were focused on getting bigger and better things. I can only think about the martyrs. During the Middle Ages, think about those Christians that were focusing on getting more stuff. Wasn’t that the corrupt Catholic/Anglican system that levied taxes upon people and killed people for owning a Bible? Think about the Renaissance, name those great Christians that focused on expanding their kingdom. I know that Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and Walter Milne did not. Think about America’s historical past and think about the Christians that have sought to become rich and powerful. Those circuit riders were not living it up.

Now think about today, think about the Christians that are focusing on getting more power and more respect. Think about the Christians that are tearing each other down, saying “You are wrong because you are not at my church or in my denomination.” Or “Evil will happen to you because you have left the covering of this pastor.” Think about all of the prosperity preachers.

Does this sound like the Christianity that has flourished through the ages? I would say no. On the contrary, I would say that I see a lot more of the Pharisees and the Sadducees in these things than I see Christ. We are fortunate to not live in a country that imprisons Christians for proclaiming Jesus. But that does not mean that we can forget the blood that was shed. There is no higher revelation than the revelation of yours and my salvation by faith alone in Christ. Now that we have that revelation we should be resolute in seeing that others are offered that revelation. If you have been attending any kind of prosperity church for any amount of time, then I recommend that you go back and look at the martyrs through the ages and get your feet back on earth. Do not keep your head in the clouds; there is not enough oxygen up there to sustain human life.

There was a time in my own life when I thought how misguided all the martyrs though history were, because God wanted them to be “over comers”. They could have had their best life then. It is through the difficult parts of life that we can prove we are a true follower of Jesus Christ. It was through the difficult times that Job proved he would follow God no matter what. Does God want you blessed? Yes, but not for you. Look at your neighbor that has been facing the hard reality of life in a fallen world. If we want to truly follow Christ, then we should give what God has blessed us with to those that really NEED it.

People of this world are hurting and dying without Christ. God doesn’t want you to kick back on easy street with your church friends, never venturing out to meet the people that God wants you to impact. Your church should not be an internal place. Jesus gave of his time, his knowledge, and his life to those who needed help. Jesus went to those that the Pharisees felt too important to go to, the hurting and the needy.

4 comments:

Kirk said...

Very well said! I think all churches, even ones with most of their priorities in the right place, should re-evaluate themselves periodically and make sure their focus is on reaching the world and not themselves.

Tam said...

I am SO glad you and I see eye to eye on this. I have always had trouble with "Have your best life now" because the Bible says in Luke 6:24-26
"Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep and woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets."
We should desire to give away our best to others (hard for me to grasp myself) and then we will have our best in heaven. I don't want my best now when it is the world's best. It doesn't compare to God's best. His is in heaven.I a so glad you are not at YFC. That whole movement only works in America. It doesn't span the ages of time as you pointed out and it doesn't work in third world countries right now. Love you!

Kirk said...

tam, I don't think he ever said he went to YFC...pretty sure its MFC...YFC has a whole different set of problems we don't have time to get into here.


:)

Tammy said...

HA! I thought it would seem weird if I put MFC since it was never mine. How about RFC?