Wednesday, September 30, 2015
These days most churches like to deliver feel-good messages. They feel, "the flock must be happy so they can shine the light of Jesus" . . . and so they will continue to give financially and continue to come regularly. But is that what churches are supposed to be about? Feel-goodism? I think not. Let's read a few lines of Romans 1 and see what the Apostle Paul has to say to the Christians in Rome.
After Paul greets the Christians in Rome he expresses his desire to visit Rome. But then . . . by the time verse 18 rolls around Paul's tone has changed - dramatically! Paul dishes it out pretty severely to a church that he greeted warmly just a few lines before. Try this on for warmth and fuzziness. It's not going to fit.
"18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth." - Romans 1:18
It gets worse. Finally in 28 Paul is REALLY rolling. And although Paul is writing to his brothers and sisters in Rome, he might as well be addressing the American people. These days we sound just like what Paul is describing.
"28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." - Romans 1:28-32
Quite the attack! But nearly 100% accurate if you ask me if you look at the world in which we live today. And as we'll find out later in Romans 6, "the wages of sin is death."
There are many who feel we are in the last days before the return of Jesus. I am one of them. The signs are everywhere! Christianity is fading in this country and it shows no signs of turning around. We need to repent and turn back to God or we will surely die as the Bible says.
Alright. Enough "reality." Time for some encouragement. If you would skip ahead a bit and land in the Book of 1st Corinthians you can read Paul's letter to a church who had already begun to go through the same disobedience to God as the Roman church was experiencing. Once again, Paul is reprimanding the Christian church, the sexually immoral, drunkards and idolaters this time, to name a few. But then he offers this reminder to the church in Corinth. Words we need to remember today, especially if we are Christians. And especially if we are in need of repentance. Verse 11.
"11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
When Jesus returns and raptures His church, soon after things are going to get ugly for those who have been left behind. "When the sh . . . when the "stuff" hits the fan (WTSHTF) you do NOT want to be anything other that a believer in Christ.
We have all been offered a priceless gift. A gift that will spare us from the coming wrath. Why aren't more people accepting it? In my opinion, it's because they are too busy enjoying themselves and the life they are living. There's no sign, at least in their minds, that things are going bad. Why should they change?
Reading The Bible is the single best thing you could do, short of placing your faith in Christ immediately. Read it. Investigate it. Ask questions of others knowledgeable in The Word. It stands as a testimony. Though many have tried to break it, it stands to this very day. I thank God for His words to us and His unfailing love and mercy. We ARE a generation, stiff-necked and forever wandering. It's time to go home. Where we belong. :)
"16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes" - Romans 1:16
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