Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Secret A____ (Shhhh!)

The Secret A----

Shhh! Big Secret! Don’t tell anyone that you heard it from me. There would be …‘Consequences’ if anyone found out. Shhh!

Okay (whisper) here it is: You’re not in heaven yet. Shhh!
Maybe bit of explanation would be good. Do you remember that Great Commission?
Jesus said: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Here’s the deal. We Christians, who have all been called by God to participate in this Great Commission, have had varying results through the centuries-some good, some not so good. But did you notice the last part of that verse?
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” This is very important. This promise from Jesus has been the Hope of those who have lost all other hope. Jesus is with, has been with every single child of God throughout the ages. Not one of us has ever faced this sinful, corrupted world without His being with us every step from birth to death and then life. Not only is He always with us, but no matter how we may fail, it’s not about us, but about Him. We live for Him, and often we fail miserably. But not only does He continue to lead us, draw us closer to Himself, but
“22It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:22-26
His compassions never fail. While we may frustrate man and mess up so that man will have nothing to do with us, God is greater than man, and is capable of Mercy which we cannot even begin to understand.
God has never been frustrated in any single moment of His Creation. He is fully in charge of every millisecond of our existence. As it says further along in Lamentations chapter 3:
“37Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? 38Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?”
God is in charge. We have been commissioned to go out into the world, make disciples of all nations, teaching them to “observe all that I commanded you”.
Now comes the Shhh! part. We are called out of the world, and then sent back into the world. Let me state that again. We are no longer a part of the world, have been separated from it, and now belong to God and His Kingdom, which the world does not recognize as even existing. While it would have been wonderful to have been physically transformed and transferred to the Kingdom at the moment of our being born again (and dead to sin)
instead we are sent back into the world, to proclaim the Gospel and carry out the Great Commission.
While it is not my place to judge the works of my brothers and sisters (Hi Rand!) I see some who have used the Grace of God in their lives to insulate themselves from the world.
Meaning that a person can be ‘all churched up’, spend every morning in prayer and bible study, have only church friends (and most of those in their own congregation), listen only to Christian radio, watch only the Christian television networks…and be an utter failure for the Kingdom.
Such Christians are the secret Amish, keeping themselves and their families as far away as possible from this sinful world. That’s not called a ‘fruitless’ desire for nothing. To be untouched by the world means that you are invisible to those who need to hear the Gospel.
I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to get personal for a bit. I live and work and sometimes play with unbelievers. I listen to music, watch television, see movies, and can converse adequately on most secular world issues. I am in the world, but not of it. I no more have a part in this world than a devil would have a part in Heaven. But God has put me where I am for His purposes, just the same as every other Christian. God leads, and we follow, however, wherever He deigns to lead us. I’m trying to Glorify God in my life among unbelievers, and yes, I sometimes fail. Just like every other Christian in the world. But if you look through the pages of the Bible, over and over again you will see examples of how we are to lift up, edify, encourage, and strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ. No man is an island, and no Christian or group of Christians is supposed to go it alone; Christ is with us always, but we are supposed to be there for each other, also. We all remember
1 Cor 1:21-23
“21And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.”
Consider me an uncomely part, a less honourable member, but don’t pretend that I am not your brother in Christ. If you think I’m weak, strengthen me. It will only benefit you to do so. We cannot be Secret Amish, insulated from the world, because that is not what God has called us to do. Light and Salt.
Oh, and the ‘consequences’ mentioned at the beginning? If you live like you aren’t in Heaven yet, you might just break out of that stained glass salt shaker and make acquaintances, friends, with people you don’t see in church. Shhh!

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