Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages). Do not be carried about by different and varied and alien teachings;
As I have ventured into deeper discussions of the Bible and what it has to tell us in these times, I have been amazed at the extremes of belief systems of those who choose to comment on the posts. These belief systems have ranged from fundamental traditional religion, in which some of my thoughts have been labeled heretical; to those who have developed a radical theology derived from other sources and men, and who see my opinions as misguided, misinformed, and naive.
But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. That has been the history of the Church since nearly the beginning, and the Bible gives us multiple warnings to guard the Faith. 1 Timothy 4:1 says, "But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach,".
The Bible also tells us that the time will come when men will not endure the sound teaching of God's Word, and will fall prey to false ideas and theories, developed to please their own ideas of truth. Paul talks, in 2 Corinthians, of "super apostles", so to speak, who will infiltrate the church and disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But he warns that they are really disciples of Satan, who himself, can appear as an angel of light. We see that today, in those Churches who espouse Replacement Theology and other anti-Semitic doctrines.
The prophet Isaiah warns of those who will call good "evil" and evil "good". Who, more than Church Leaders and devout Christians, should heed that warning? What is your, or your Church's, position on homosexuality, abortion, Israel?
The Bible teaches us that in the End Times there will be a One World Religious system fostered by the Anti-Christ and his False Prophet. This Prophet will be empowered by Satan, and will offer a religion that will seek to pervert and transform Christianity; deceiving many Believers. Revelation 13:11-12 tells us that this Beast has "two horns like a lamb and speaks like a dragon." He will emerge like "a lamb", with seemingly faultless Christian qualities; but what he tells the Church will be controlled and directed by Satan. His message will be tempting to those who do not truly know and understand the Word of God. And how many Christians does that describe in today's world?
Finally, while Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever ... so is His message, the Word. What he told the 7 churches in the Book of Revelations applies to us today, and makes two things perfectly clear: He is PRESENT and He is acutely AWARE of how the Church (both Leaders and practicing Christians) are performing their mission. He accuses them of losing their love for Him, each other, and lost sinners; He accuses them of Idolatry and Immorality; He accuses them of having a "good reputation" of abiding in Him, while there is no evidence; and lastly, He accuses them of being sick and lost, and not even knowing it.
How could this happen? How could the Church (both Early and Modern) stray so far from the path He marked for us? It is one thing for earnest Believers to disagree, in love and respect, on the finer points of a scriptural passage; or even to thoughtfully discuss the historical ramifications and language differences that can lead to different understandings --- as long as the Holy Spirit is central to your discernment. It is when we wander into man-made philosophies and views, and don't ask for wisdom and knowledge from God, that we are "carried about by different and varied and alien teachings". Then our beliefs can become distorted, and influenced, and false. Let us be careful to heed all these warnings, remain true to the Word, and treat each other with love and respect.
In the spirit of remaining true to the Word, I personally worship God on the Sabbath (from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) and keep it Holy as He instructed, giving thanks for my Salvation and His promises of Eternal Life. However, I also respect my faithful Christian brothers and sisters throughout the world who still worship Him on Sunday. I choose to post a Scripture reading on this day to reach the most people, and I do it in the spirit of harmony. Any day that I choose to Honor, Exalt, and Glorify Jehovah is a good day!
And He knows our name and every hair on our heads!! He knows when we rise up and when we sit down. He knows His plan for our lives. He sees the bigger picture.ReplyDelete
What a majestic and glorious Heavenly Father we have and His Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth - His truth - when we strive and diligently seek Him. He opens His word to us in all it's majesty and beauty.
When I left "organized religion" and the "traditions of men", and studied His word every chance I could, for hours at a time, His word was like nothing I have ever heard in "church" before. Why didn't I ever hear this from the pastors? Bible Study teachers?
At first it was a feeling of betrayal. But then He showed me that I have a responsibility to know Him. One cannot fully know God and His Son listening to a preacher for 45 minutes once a week and become knowledgable in His word. These are only tidbits. Tiny morsels. We need the whole meal to devour continuously and consistently.
Perhaps it was because my eyes did not see and my ears did not hear what the Holy Spirit was telling me until I sought Him and strived to know Him. There are thousands of denominations all teaching their own doctrines. The only doctrine is the Holy Scriptures. When God's elect opens His book to learn and know, what wondrous things we learn; we cannot get enough. We see Him with new eyes. We hear Him with new ears.
He wants us to know Him. He wants us to love Him, He wants us to worship Him and He tells us how to do it all in His word, if we diligently and sincerely seek Him, led by the Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 1:7 - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
I could have written these very words. Your comment perfectly mirrors the experience of myself and my husband, and I'm sure of lots of Christians who are coming out of the "Church" to know Him in ways they could never imagine. Thank you for expressing your thoughts so eloquently!Delete