Saturday, December 27, 2008

And be not conformed to this world

Romans 12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

How do we "prove" what the will of God is? Do we "go to church?" to prove the will of God? No Do we go find a "pastor" to tell us the will of God? No. Here's how we "prove" what the will of God is:

1. We DO NOT conform to this world, we remain outsiders to this world, aliens and strangers here

2. We RENEW OUR MINDS, we don't think or speak like the world does, those who speak from the viewpoint of this world are OF THIS WORLD.

1 John 4Little children, you belong to God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5These people belong to the world. That is why they speak from the world's perspective,[b] and the world listens to them. 6We belong to God. The person who knows God listens to us. Whoever does not belong to God does not listen to us. This is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.

As you might imagine, speaking as one who does not belong to this world, will make you deeply unpopular. People who came preaching the truth in the past were killed, that's how this world treats God's true children. I'm a nobody, but I do attempt to remain "in Christ." People like me are hated because we communicate a message that does not conform to this world, makes sense does'nt it? If only a few are going to be saved (Matt 7:14) should'nt you expect only a few to be speaking the truth in this world? Few people are on the narrow road that leads to life, many are on the road that leads to destruction. If you find yourself on a road populated by many people, perhaps you should stop in your tracks, don't take another step forward, and reconsider the road you are on. If you find yourself on a road that only has a few people on it, that's a good start. The road that leads to life goes through a narrow gate that only a few will find.

I write these things to you from a "fear of the Lord" perspective, not a "looking down on you" perspective. Many are they today who say "don't judge me" or "who are you to say these things to me." Servants of Jesus Christ are charged with the duty to snatch souls out of the fire when and where we can.

Jude 1:23 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Those who love you will warn you when they see destruction coming. Are men doing you a favor when they ignore coming disaster and blow sweet nothings in your ear, then one day you wake up with flames licking your pants? Who loves you more, the man you tells you what you need to hear, or the one who tells you what you want to hear?

The bible is a book of WARNINGS. Listening to todays preachers and teachers you'd never know it. One of the key areas of God's Word that remains in the forefront of my thinking is Rev 2-3, I believe that's where we are today. Jesus is speaking to the churches. What is he saying to the churches? 5 out of 7 churches are given stern WARNINGS. If the bible is full of warnings, if the Spirit is speaking warnings to 5 of the 7 churches in Rev 2-3, should'nt the servants of the true Son of God be doing likewise? The Spirit does'nt change, the message of Jesus is the same today as it always was, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. The message of the apostate church has'nt changed either, they belittle sin and repentance, and elevate man. The day that is coming (the day of the Lord) is a day where HE ALONE will be exalted, NOT MEN.

Isaiah 2:11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
13 And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,
14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,
15 And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,
16 And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.
17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.

That day is coming, and it won't be pretty. The time to humble ourselves is today, not tomorrow, not next week, today. You can do it willingly today, or you can be dragged down unwillingly tomorrow. The Lord alone will be exalted in that day. The so called pastors who have set themselves up as idols for the people by perpetrating the pastoral system, will be humbled. There is mediator between God and man except Jesus Christ now, anyone else who inserts themself in that position is an idolator. All the rich and powerful, all those who have set themselves up in positions of honor and wealth in this world have a day coming that they will really dislike. That day is coming soon. The world is falling apart, can you see it? Darkness falls around us, can you feel it? Yea, I know there are plenty of people saying the end is not nigh, and that in itself is a key indicator that the end IS NIGH, even at our door.

Our God is a shelter from the storm that is coming. There is an escape promised, and we are told to pray for it. Jesus is coming like a thief, many will be caught unprepared. Remember the lessons of the Matt 25 virgins, be ready. When Jesus shows up, it will be too late to "go buy some oil" because your lamps are going out. Your lamps need to be burning, with plenty of oil, in order to be ready when the bridegroom shows up. This means you need to be "in Christ" and Christ needs to be "in You." Christ in you, means the Holy Spirit in you, which means Oil in you, which means you are READY when Jesus shows up. Nobody else can make sure you are "in Christ" but you. You have a part to play. Many today will tell you that you have no part to play, that Jesus does everything and you do nothing. If that were true, then all the commands in the bible that Jesus commanded you were worthless words, spoken for the sake of speaking. Do you suppose that's how the Creator works? He tells you to be obedient just to hear himself speak? Does he tell you to "remain in me" just because he likes the sound of his own voice? Why did he tell you "if you love me, you will obey my commands?" Why did the Spirit bother to write John 15 about the vine and the branches if it will all just meaningless fluff? The bible is overflowing with commands that Jesus told YOU to do, like watch and pray. You play a part in things. If the only thing you accomplished in your time on earth was you prayed ALOT, would'nt that be a serious accomplishment? Prayer is hard work, that's a fact, and that's why many people don't do it, combined with the fact that many don't think prayer can accomplish more than their hands can.

I would match my prayers up against a mans hands any day of the week. Human activity has a place AFTER prayer, but prayer comes first. The hands of man can accomplish little, the hand of God can accomplish anything. I have seen the hand of God move in my life, and its more real than you or me. I have seen a modern day miracle, but its a miracle to me and my family, not to anyone else. Find Jesus today, get "in Him" and stay "in Him." A storm is coming, and the door to our modern day Noah's Ark will close soon.

grace and peace