Summary: Ride the pine or sit on the pew?
What our world needs more than anything in these days is to wake up. We need to wake up people. We need to stop being born out of the understanding of tradition, but be renewed through the understanding of the Son of God who died for us on the Cross. What we need in a sense is a revolution of sorts in terms of our biblical outlook on how we approach the world. Some have said do not touch or taste, how can we not taste? If taste is in everything, if thought isn’t in everything, if breathing isn’t an activity that we participate on every level at all times? What we need to do is wake up, because the moral integrity of our society is in question, mainly the belief in Messiah.
This should not surprise us though, because the majority of people in the House of God do not understand that in order to really walk with Jesus it means counting a price that they are not willing to pay. They are not wiling to face their fellow man or woman because they have not come to peace or grips with the fact that they are sinners. Each one has sinned and gone His own way, but Jesus Christ in His infinite wisdom, bridged the gap to give us eternal life so that we could in fact, be His children, not children of Satan. Persecution is the acid test whether what a believer really is, is what they are. If we believe in Messiah then more than ever, what we need to do is stand upon our knees, and let the Holy Spirit through the Word of God minister the deep things of God unto God’s people.
Yet this is the primary problem, because if we wish to declare the goodness of God, we must also declare His judgment, but with judgment comes the times of His refreshing. If we miss the fact that Messiah wishes to lead us not astray, but towards the truth. Its time that we took our blinders off, and opened our eyes more. The voices are speaking forth and proclaiming forth the Word of God not man’s word, of god, but God’s Word! Many Pastors just want to keep their job so they stifle the truth in suppression so as to make a living. Listen, the Pastorate was never meant to be professional occupation in the first place. If the pastorate were a professional obligation then why did the Apostle Paul not stay in one place during his ministry? Or the other Apostles? Or any of the leaders under Paul’s spiritual authority? Why? These leaders were leaders who knew the truth that preaching the Truth will mean that you will confront the standards of the Word, but must declare forth the Message of the Good News of Messiah.
Persecution only serves to strengthen us, because it is persecution that helps us to appreciate or remember the reason for our faith. When we think of laying our lives down at the foot of the Cross, many of us just flat out don’t get it. Jesus didn’t say go and lay your life down, and then go pick it up, NO, he rebuked the one who kept going back as if that mattered? Surely when one has experienced of the mercy and grace of Messiah, they would in turn desire to experience more of the same pleasures that come from knowing Messiah, inwardly, not outwardly in religious expressions. If words were meant to be the reason for our faith then Jesus Christ wouldn’t have died for our sins.
This may shock some people that words are not the reason for our faith. Throughout the ministry of Messiah, Jesus condemned the kind of religion that puffed itself up against the knowledge of Messiah. It was this kind of religion which we embark on into the forthcoming message on Sunday on Acts 5:12-41. It is the message that no matter what believers in the face of persecution we are to rejoice in the revelation of His love. It is the message that we hold fast too, because it is the message that has changed our lives, and given us a reason for having life, and living it abundantly. Some are not really worshipping the same Jesus at all, for the Jesus in the Bible called one to live from the heart, and sacrifice their life so as to find the life of God presently within them as a reality.
An idol is anything that takes the place of Messiah. Christians believe in the Gospel message, for they believe that it is the power of God to change lives, and to bring them into the scope of salvation history. Some have wished to maintain the position of boasting in arrogance and ignorance. The responses to my last sermon were not shocking to me. People love things rather than the Lord, even Christians. Christians are more interested in what is “hip”, or “in”, in terms of building the best, fastest growing church taken from the latest secular government sponsored studies. Yet, if we are to obey God over men how does that fit into the equation?