The Church - Becoming The Devil's Playground.
A Personal Rant!
I personally dislike Christian license plate brackets and bumper stickers; not because they state anything unwholesome, but because all too often the person(s) on the inside of said vehicle act and drive so very un-Christ-like! When this occurs, it becomes one more reason for the lost to hate our Lord because of OUR actions. Granted, you may come up with some real instances of your traveling billboard being a door opener to someone who questions your belief, as I did myself years ago; BUT I began to ask myself; how many have I turned off to the Gospel due to those moments when I was driving according to the flesh? I got rid of my billboards and concentrated on living out my Christianity while at work, at play and when commuting to work.
Case in point:
I am a consultant and my current client is in the Seattle area, about 100 miles from my home. I spend a great deal of time in my car and I am very observant of other's driving habits. Last week, in the early morning rainy commute as I neared Seattle, traffic was moving or should I say oozing forward. An articulated-bus (very long) signaled to move out of the HOV lane and when it began to change lanes, the car besides me decided to race forward in an attempt to cut off the bus and not allow it to enter their lane ahead of them. It was then I saw the word "PRAYER" as the license plate "number" and the bracket said "God Loves You". I wonder how many people they have tried to impress with their personal righteousness and yet have brought distain upon God's people and His Word? If you have these traveling billboards upon your car or truck but have a problem driving Christ-like, I would suggest you remove them and work on other areas of your life.
Oh, So True!
All Have Gone Astray - Being Deceived!
What an amazingly accurate quote: the world is eager to accept that which is not true (i.e.- evolution) and desperately wants the Truth to stay out of their lives. The world is perishing and yet they choose to remain upon the sinking ship though the lifeboats are standing by for their rescue. Why?
- They ignore their need of a Savior though creation's testimony along with their own consciences tell them there is a day of reckoning coming.
- They ignore the wooing of the Gospel, for to them it means having to give up life's greatest pleasures or so they think.
- Their father, the Devil, puts no restrictions on their behavior and tells night-time fairy tales (lies) so they can actually get some sleep knowing that all will be well.
- They love their personal sins and what would life be without them.
- A man's flesh is bad enough even without Satan's interference.
Sadly, there is a day coming and may already have begun, when a massive deception shall come upon all who have no love of the Truth so they may be damned. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Our Local Whitewashed Sepulchers!
Deception - The Real Tragedy!
The tragedy is the deception that is within the four walls of our local "churches" and within believer's lives. It raises it's ugly head in so many forms that it is difficult for any one believer to be fully aware of every deception and to be pure from all.
1 John 3:7 "...let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous."
The Word teaches us that FEW are saved and that not all who call Him Lord are saved. Yet we are eager to receive one into our fold by their word alone without first observing their walk. A true believer is a NEW creation, sin has become a hated enemy and you find yourself at war with your own flesh. A righteous act does not make one righteous but a lifestyle that pursues righteousness along with the personal failures that will accompany this pursuit testifies to ones standing in Christ. If anyone professes perfection this side of heaven, BEWARE, they are at best deceived but more likely a deceiving liar. As Hebrews 12 states, one who is never felt the rod of God's correction may very well be considered illegitimate.
1 Corinthians 15:33 "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."
As the NASB puts it - "...bad company corrupts good morals." Notice it does not say good habits outweigh bad company's influences. I have yet to see one wearing clean clothes walk through a mud puddle and the puddle become cleaner. We are called to be different and to be about practicing pure religion (James 1:27). I can say it no better than 1 Corinthians 3:18 - "Let no man deceive HIMSELF. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise." We live in a world of family, neighbors and co-workers who know not our Lord but let us be wise as to show ourselves as wayfarers seeking a new home and looking to point the Way to others.
James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
Do not be deceived, God has called you to serve; not to be served. Per Ephesians 2:10 we have been ordained to good works and we find so many that only give lip service. Too many try to glory in what they have done for Christ but so little in what He has done for them. We live within an economical "church" - we shy away if the cost is too high; whether it is our precious time, our goods or our presence they must be weighed against our personal priorities.
Galatians 6:7 " Do not be deceived: God is NOT mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
If the Word is not the center of your life, you already deceived - but not beyond remedy. We will give an answer for every act, thought, word and act of cowardice before the enemy. Many of us are feeling the heavy hand of our Lord upon our lives this very hour, but be of good cheer - our God, being the perfect Father will bring us through this trial for our eternal good and His eternal glory.
The Deceiver Loves a Good Laugh
Do YOU Hear the Devil Laughing Now?
For Believers Only:
- We blatantly invite unbelievers into our private worship assemblies thinking that the pastor will get them saved, when all along it was your call to present them with the Gospel, not to pollute our fellowships. The messages of our churches turns towards the lost and forsake the feeding and strengthening of the sheep of God's pasture.
- We live a completely opposite lifestyle at home in front of lost family members and neighbors. Your co-workers have no clue that you are a Christian and your driving manners are abominable.
- A local assembly discards the senior citizenry of their fellowship and all emphasis turns to the "education" of the youth. A perfect lie that is a major reason for the decline of the evangelistic community of churches. In fact, wisdom has been discarded and replaced with pragmatism. What is funny even to me is that pragmatism is based upon - "if it works, it must be right" and the evidence displays quite the opposite, it is NOT working at all.
I have a litany of deceptions I could continue to expound upon but my guess is that you could come up with enough of your own. It can be very discouraging except for one thing: God is in control and a shaking of His CHURCH has already begun here in America and elsewhere. Be of good cheer, we will be presented without spot or wrinkle before the Father with great joy.
Seek to give the Devil fewer opportunities for a laugh at our expense.