Heaven to Men! Heaven to Men! Heaven to men
The most endangered species in our country today is not the kangaroo rat, but the on-fire, passionately alive for Christ, Holy Spirit empowered Christian male. There have been some reported sightings of groups of some such men in various places (usually not in churches), but they are rare. The female of the species is much easier to find. The future of our country and churches is dependent on recovery of this endangered species of Christian man.
The typical man today is clueless about Christ. If he goes to church at all, it’s usually under pressure from some female, like a wife or girlfriend. His "religion" is sports, not Jesus. His dislike for church is understandable to some degree, because many churches have been feminized and are teaching "another gospel." No Jesus as Lord, no healings, miracles, devil, sin, demons, judgment, heaven, hell, no battle, struggle or mission = No Gospel of Jesus Christ! All that amounts to is a group therapy session which men hate.
If men are to come alive in Christ Jesus, they have to be introduced to the real Christ, the biblical Christ! Men must be confronted with the fact that Jesus suffered and died not just for our sins but so that we men could participate in Jesus’ very life and mission on earth, right now. That mission includes death like Jesus, so that others can live!
Men need to be hit with a 2x4 right between the eyes and told that masculinity means to be willing to die for others. If a man is not ready to lay down his life literally and in service for others, HE IS NOT MASCULINE! He may be a male, but he is not masculine. They are not synonymous! We are born male but we need to develop and deepen a masculine character. The first step in that direction is dying to myself and inviting Jesus to take over every aspect of my life, every day. In others words, I die and Jesus takes over and recreates me in His life and mission; and what a wonderful life it is!
The bible tells us in Isaiah 53:10, that God the Father was pleased to crush Jesus for us. Think about it - Pleased! We all have probably seen Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ by now. Think about it men, if God the Father was pleased to allow Jesus to undergo that brutal passion and death for us, what was His purpose? Was His purpose just to make us nicer men, to bring us to church on Sunday, to give us a moral code? NO! If all I got going for me is church on Sunday and a moral code on Monday, I’ve been seduced and trapped in a web. I’m bankrupt!
The one sole purpose of God our Father being pleased to crush Jesus for our sins, was not to give us a moral code and make us nicer guys. The purpose was to plunge us into that raging, personal, passionate love of Jesus, so that we would be seared by God’s love and turned into completely new creations. To be as Brennan Manning says "incandescent human torches" ignited and purified by the power of Jesus’ love, recreated into prophets and lovers and healers, full of peace, love and holy boldness, witnessing to the extravagant love of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Not some generic, universal, one size fits all love, but a furious, personal love so deep for us that Jesus would rather die, than be without us.
There is a major delusion in some Christian circles. The delusion being, that I have to be good so God can love me, that if I just try a little harder and cleanup my act more, God will love me. The truth is without God’s love, I can’t be good. Christianity is not what I can do for God so He can love me; Christianity is all about what God can do for me, so I can love Him!
That God loves us unconditionally is not some nice Christian slogan. God loves us just as we are, before we change! We don’t have to be born again, change, repent, converted, holy, etc, for God to love us. He loves us just as we are, not as we should be. He loves us as much now as a sinner as He will when we become a saint. He loves us way beyond our sinfulness, infidelity and unworthiness. He loves us recklessly, scandalously without boundaries, qualifiers, requirements, no small print, no time limits. He can’t stop loving us. He loves us with a raging, unreasonable, unconditional love just as we are. He comes to us in love so we can change! That’s the good news of Jesus Christ.