fall path with light

Following the World?

God is good and all the time God is good. As a child raised in an Assembly of God Church, I recall the pastor always starting off service saying this. So many other pastors and fellow believers always say this frequently. But why do we say this? Do we as believers truly know why God is good, aside from it saying so in the Bible? Christmas is always a joyful season for many, but then after Christmas, many people lose their joy. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NKJV) says, “Rejoice always”.
I see many people saying they cannot wait for 2020 to be over. While I agree 2020 has been a crazy year with everything going on in our world, we Christians need to realize we are not to make this our focus. Philippians 3:20 (NKJV) says, “For our citizenship is in heaven…”. Romans 12:2 (NKJV) tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”. Yet sadly today we see many Christians conforming to the fear being spread by the media. While I agree common sense has its place, fear has no place in the believer’s life. If we close our churches and forsake the assembling together for months, we have conformed to the world. Many believers have been waking up to what is going on, it is time we truly seek God in all aspects of life. Therefore, it is critical for us believers to frequently be in the secret place daily because if we are not then we will stumble when trials come. I would encourage you to look at how Kenneth Hagin responded to the Asian Flu Epidemic 1957 (links at end of the post for further study), this is how we as believers should be responding to COVID-19.
I personally am thankful for the year 2020 because it has revealed to me the fine line between casual and progressive Christianity vs. true, Biblical and, historic Christianity. Today as we celebrate Christmas, I pray you reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Many Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled by the finished work of Jesus Christ, and many more to be fulfilled when He returns! Micah 7:18-19 (NKJV), “Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”. Micah wrote of the very work the Messiah would do because he had personally experienced in Micah 7:8-9.
When the first man Adam committed high treason, sin had entered the world. Without blood sacrifices to pay the penalty for sin, our destiny would be eternal death. When Adam committed high treason, God was not taken by surprise. 1 Peter 1:20 (AMP) tells us, “For He was foreordained (foreknown) before the foundation of the world but has appeared [publicly] in these last times for your sake”.
But why do we need a Savior? When you ask many Christians why they celebrate Christmas they say it is to honor the birth of Jesus Christ. But when you look at the activity of most people you see it focused more on pagan traditions, than truly centered on the Savior. Yes, it is great to give gifts and spend time with family. But let me challenge you to this question, how sure are you that every single person at your dinner table is truly born again? We all have unsaved love ones in our families and even in our circle of friends and co-workers. When was the last time you grieved over someone you love because you know they are on the highway to hell? When was the last time you cried out to God to give you the words to witness to someone? I am not trying to put people down with this, I have a lot of work to do. But really if we as Christians have the Light of the World in us why do we spend more time finding earthly gifts for people rather than spending time evangelizing to the lost?
Again, I am not saying it is wrong to have family dinners on Christmas and exchange gifts, I am saying it has become too common for Christians to lose their focus. What honors the birth of Jesus Christ more, the casual Christian way of being a pew warmer and? Or is it to walk this walk as we are called to do? Jesus was clear when He gave the Great Commission in Mark 16:15-18 (NKJV), “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.””.
This walk on the narrow way is more than just warming a pew once or twice a week and following traditions. It is about a lifestyle of truly seeking God. It is about a lifestyle of always being prepared to give an account of why you believe in Jesus Christ. It is a lifestyle of praying for people in need. You can have a lifestyle founded upon the traditions of men or you can have a lifestyle founded upon what the Word of God says.
I pray that churches are awakened. For far too long most churches in America have preached a lukewarm watered-down powerless Gospel. It is time for ministers to either start preaching the Full Gospel or to leave the pulpit for someone who will. I am talking about the Gospel that preaches we are all born dead in sin and preaches Christ crucified and risen. The Gospel that not only gets people to repent and believe but also for people to be truly filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. I am talking about churches that operate in the true Gifts of the Holy Spirit, seeing people truly delivered and healed, not people manipulated for money.
It’s time we get real with our Christianity and sadly from most of what I see in American Christianity most people are on the broad way rather than the narrow way. I am tired of preaching that gives a feel-good feeling for its Christmas season sermons, what is feel good about God’s only Son going to the Cross to be put under the Father’s wrath to pay the price for our sin? Shouldn’t it make us tremble that it took the death of God’s only begotten Son to rescue us from our broken state? We need to take this walk seriously rather than being some sort of add-on or hobby to our life that we do on Sunday morning!
I know what I need to do, I am nowhere near perfect. I encourage you to spend some serious time with the Lord and examine yourself. Do not just make New Year’s resolutions to go to the gym more, learn how to paint, or play an instrument, make a New Years’ resolution to get to truly know God! We let ourselves get so distracted with things that really do not matter and yet lose focus on what really does matter. We need to become more Kingdom-minded than worldly-minded.
A truly joyful Christian is one who is established intimately with the Lord in the prayer closet. One who is frequent in the prayer closet. I pray that people wake up to the true Gospel of Christ. The time is drawing near for the return of Jesus Christ, and He is returning for a pure bride. Now is not the time to be playing games.