Love Demonstrated – Culture Wars – Should Christians be louder or quieter?

The place of integrity and conviction in our culture today has been almost eradicated as self-seeking agendas have been lifted up and established as the new ideal. The trumpeting of an “anything goes” morality has become so prevalent that it has become a chorus of millions all declaring they have the right to prey upon others, directly or indirectly, to make their own personal world better.

They say: It’s our own decision what we do, what we allow and who we victimize, so if you stand for a higher standard of what is right or wrong- then you are definitely the enemy.

But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. James 3:14

This massive group of people, because it has become so large, believes that because they have finally become the majority that somehow that makes their self-worship agenda… right, good and noble. This sickness has infected our world in every possible way, including the family, education, entertainment and politics. They literally have changed what is good to be called evil and what is evil to be called good. If a person were to have noticed this shocking evolution in our culture, that person surely has seen the rapid descent of morality and integrity as it’s picked up considerable speed these last few years.

Where is the Church?

The Church has been bullied. Told to be silent and accepting, until eventually the self-seeking agenda had penetrated the Body. Because of the consent to obey and be quiet, the Body of Christ now has a cancer. It is weak. It is without the power of God. It is no threat to evil. The Church has become the proverbial frog in the pot of boiling water and has not taken proper heed to consistently affect the world for Jesus Christ. Quietly the Body has cow towed to the rantings and threats to hurt and destroy it. Consequently , most pews are either empty or filled with faithless self-seeking members. Behold: the Church has begun the Great Falling Away.

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. James 3:16

What can the Church do?

Essentially the Body of Christ has become like an ancient city in the Old Testament. It has been unfaithful to God. God warned and warned them. Now the Church’s enemies attack, ride in, kill them men, and take their women and daughters off to become slave wives. Wow. Harsh. Well it may be harsh but it can only be expected. If you don’t put a lock on your door and then lock it, you should not be surprised to find yourself robbed. The answer then? Lock the door? Well it’s not that easy. Locking the door now would just help you not to get robbed as easily again. The robbery has already taken place so a locked door will not bring back your stuff. This is a hard truth. Still you still need to stop the robberies.

Stop the invasions from happening.

Typically a person’s home, after being invaded by robbers, gets new better locks, maybe a security system and a form of self protection like mace. The person becomes vigilant, they do not leave their home door open and then go on vacation. Clearly the Church must do likewise and strengthen the House of God. Its people on alert and remaining vigilant. What does a fortified protected Church look like?

It’s about righteousness.

Righteousness in a culture comes from God. Righteousness sounds like a religious exercise in pretending to be holy or other dreadful thing- that is self-righteousness and that is not what we are talking about here. Righteous living is about dedication and true committed devotion to love God in every area of your life to the best of your ability with His help. In short, righteousness is Love. So, righteousness/love in a culture comes from the Lord’s direction and, as a result, the people who choose to live according to what has been declared by the Lord to be Good and not Evil. A people who choose God’s standard because they understand that He alone determines what is right and wrong. NOT US. Therefore, the integrity and conviction of the Lord that is evident in that body of people, begins to affect the world for Jesus Christ. How? Because it’s legit. It is true love.

How does the Church change the culture?

A silent weak Church allows the culture/world to change it. Self-seeking is a powerful force because it is “flesh” and man desires to indulge himself. To be vigilant against a powerful enemy, it stands to reason you must also become powerful. More powerful than your enemy. A strong Church walks righteous and teaches righteous living and declares the Truth of God… His love for all. The opposite of Love is selfishness. Not hate. Think about it for a moment. Self-seeking is the opposite of Love. So, as much as the current self-seeking (selfish) culture angrily shouts that the Church is hateful, the Church is actually represented by Love.  Jesus Christ is God’s love made manifest. The self-seeking culture is by definition- the opposite of Love.

What is Love then?

Love is more than a one word definition. The Lord describes it the best. Most notable in the statement that Love is “not self seeking” and “does not dishonor others” but the entire portion is often quoted, even to the point where we don’t hear it anymore. It is crucial that the Church stop what it is doing and re-examine each portion of the “love chapter” so each person understands their part in demonstrating and being Love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Cor 13:4-8

It comes down to each one of us. Each one of us must endeavor to live Love and demonstrate this love and then declare the Truth of God: He loves all. He loves completely. He wants each person to be with Him.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (Jesus). Whoever believes in him (Jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3

Stand up Church. Be alert. Be watchful. Be prayerful.

Walk in Love. Demonstrate what true Love is. Declare the Truth.

And again I say- Stand up Church!

 

The Coming Revival and The Church

The following is a word given through a vision I received.

~~ It was a beautiful sunny day outside and I was not at my own home but rather at the house of my family. They were preparing for a baby shower reception. They were very far behind in the preparations. I was the one expecting (pregnant), but there was no baby bump on my tummy. I expressed great concern to my family about how far behind the duties and prep was. In fact, they were so far behind that my helping my family get this thing ready was not making much of a dent. I then discovered that they were going to have this party in the living room. Not only was it extremely dark in there but it was too small for all the invited guests. When I suggested that this was not a good idea and explained why, they were doubtful, dismissed me and proceeded anyway. I went to the window and saw carloads of people arriving and getting out of the cars. The guests were dressed and ready. My family declared they themselves would not be ready for everyone for another 1 1/2 hours. At this point, I exclaimed that this event needed to be moved outdoors in the sunshine in the fields. Reluctantly, they decided to move it outside. When I went outside to where we were going to put the party, the weeds and grass were so tall, up to my hips. No one could really walk through this overgrown mess very easily. I told my family they needed to trim the weeds down, which they also reluctantly did. A time skip and panning back to see the scene- Now I could see the guests enjoying themselves seated at nice tables in the sunshine. ~~

This vision is about the Church not preparing quickly enough for the coming revival… a great move of the Lord. The baby being “expected” by the prophets is that revival. The revival brings in the harvest. The guests are the harvest that come because of the revival. The family represents the Church. Their lateness and slowness in getting ready for the harvest is self explanatory. The sunshine represents the Day of The Lord. The fields represent the harvest fields. The Church’s reluctance to make haste, think differently, think bigger and think better- even when chastened and prodded over and over- is a picture of the complacency, apathy and faithlessness of the Church. Even when the Church finally agrees to move the whole thing outside (out of the church walls) they still are like slow dull mules unable to be prodded to move quicker. Eventually the family, the Church, has completed the tasks needed for this revival and harvest- but it is well after the guests have shown up.

The message is clear: The time for making preparations for the harvest is NOW. The Church is not heeding the words of the Lord through His prophets. The Church is moving at an alarmingly slow rate to get ready for a massive influx of new believers. Great urgency is required. As soon as possible, these changes need to be made in the Church to make ready.

Lawlessness and The Church

Though there are plenty of important discussions debating the semantics of whether or not Christians are subject to the Law, as given by Moses, that is not my subject today.

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.

Proverbs 29:18

When you think of someone who does not keep the law, what do you see? Is it a stereotype you imagine, a rough looking individual? Does the phrase “cast off restraint” make you think of Mardi Gras in New Orleans? At its most basic definition, lawlessness means without law. That does not necessarily mean against the law. It is a very important distinction we must see.

The spirit of lawlessness has borders that might surprise the average believer and there are some very interesting ways this spirit affects people. In fact, it may shock you to hear that most people today have it. A spirit of lawlessness has paved the way in the hearts of men to think and do a myriad of appalling things.

The subject of lawlessness goes deep and has far reaching ramifications. The distance of which, we as the Church, underestimate.

To begin with, God makes the rules. He set the laws of nature, of what is love, what is holy and so on. He set them all, regardless if we accept them as true or not. We cannot rewrite the laws, the standard, that God set into motion. But that is exactly what we try to do. We are ridiculous and head strong.

Each of us has our own personal concepts and our personal defining of what is right and wrong, even in light of scripture we do this. We actually put our individual self on the scale of righteousness. Like a shade of gray on the spectrum from black to white. If Adam did that and shifted the awareness of his own sinfulness and need for the Lord and then next generation shifted that a notch down the ladder? Multiply that from generation to generation further on the scale away from holiness. Our “perceptions” are so far off the mark now that we are standing neck deep in sin and claim we are barely up to our ankles.

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

Matthew 24:12

This personal standard (pure invention) of right and wrong sets up an entire panorama of justification for sin and perception on who is in error. Yes, it means hating God’s law in many cases (some would argue “all cases”), but this lawless spirit goes farther. Some of it is along the lines of ‘what is right for you is not what is right for me’ but that is way over simplified. Really that is just the first layer. The foundation being- we as creatures are steeped in sin and we refuse to conform or obey ANY standard unless we ourselves judge it to be acceptable. By doing that- we are setting our own laws– not conforming, but instead copying portions of a premade set of standards. Creating our own new set, and because these new laws are our own, we can flex them and bend them to allow ourselves to still be “sinless” in our own eyes and therefore above judgment. What a set up! We are fooling ourselves. It is exactly as if we are plugging our ears and singing “Free To Be You And Me” as loudly as we can, all the while believing that butterflies and sunshine await us when we die. Denying truth and embracing the lie.

Jesus said, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

Matthew 7:23

“Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 13:40-42

We cannot reject God’s law without consequence. We are not above judgment. We are not sinless. We do not set the standard. So then, what can we do? Can we correct this gross distortion our society (and the Church) is entrenched with? Perhaps. I believe we need to start within each of ourselves and teach our children as well. We must pull in the reigns on our ideologies. Correct our vision. We must get on our faces before the Most Holy and pray for revelation:

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.

Proverbs 29:18

When we receive revelation FROM GOD, we see clearly. The false perceptions we have fall off like scales from our eyes. Restraint becomes very important suddenly… Righteous living, or rather living within the standard that God has set, has enormous significance as a result. Therefore, our personal relationship with the Lord will intensify and deepen. One by one, we raise the societal standard of righteousness and holy living… OR one by one we each lower that standard.

Today, the Church has a choice.

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Peace, Safety and Destruction

“I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” [Psalm 4:8]

While we anxiously wait for the Lion of the Tribe of Judah to return, we have found a nice soft place to sit, put our feet up and watch the clouds drift by. Life rolls along while we take our kids to soccer and mow our lawns. We can easily see events that are signs of the times, even if we try to hide our head in the sand or plug our ears and sing. There are critical things going on all around us that, as much as we may try, still cannot be brushed away. [Read more...]