Wednesday, August 25, 2010

If This Gospel is True...2

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I’m told that video games are very addictive. I won’t allow myself to get into them because I know I’ll be in trouble if I do, and this is the case with many people. They play virtual games for hours on end waging battles, building gardens, and even having virtual relationships via an avatar. It’s as if we’re living in an artificial matrix. I use this as an example, but it’s true on so many levels these days.

The thing is, we’ve lost touch with and become sedated from the battle that’s going on around us and in some cases, within us. It’s blinded us to reality.

There are almost 7 billion (6.7) people on this speck we call Earth. Out of those almost 7 billion, 1/3 claim to be Christians. Some of these make this claim because it’s socially or politically acceptable or beneficial. Which means then that this 1/3, may unfortunately be even less. In any case, that still leaves over 4 billion people that are spiritually lost to Christ.

Did you hear what I said?

Have you grasped the reality of their eternity?

I was reading Matthew 9:36 today. Honestly, Jesus amazes me.  It says there that when he saw the crowds, he was moved with compassion (the yearning of the inmost soul for the objects of sympathy).  These crowds were spiritually fainting, starving, broken and cast down individuals who were not comforted by the legalistic, loveless, controlling religion around them. They were sheep without a shepherd, and Jesus was moved with deep pity and sympathy at their plight.

Why?

Because He knew the eternal reality they would face if they stayed in this condition. He realized the unending starkness and suffering of their eternal separation.

He knew.

The cost.

He felt their suffering and described them as harassed, helpless, downcast, and destitute.
What did Jesus do with these people? He touched them. He touched without hesitation, even those who were diseased and unsanitary. He demonstrated His love.

Love involves touching.

We can only have this kind of compassion if Christ is in us. If, when we see sin, instead of disgust, compassion rises within us, and we reach out in love...and we tell them the truth.

We cannot ignore the crowds.  There are supernatural battles at work all around us, and the workers are few. What does Jesus recommend we do? Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers that will fight the very real battle--that rages on even as you are reading this post. 

This is just a little more of what I've been pondering this last while. I'm sure there'll be more coming.
Thanks for visiting! I do appreciate your time and your comments!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If This Gospel is True...

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I’m not going to lie...I’ve had some struggles lately. I’ve asked a lot of questions and spent a lot of time wondering. Is this unusual for someone who has been a Christian since 1978? It seemed so simple back then, but I can’t help but wonder now.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not questioning my faith. I am questioning what I believe—or perhaps, how much of the Bible I believe. Because, you see...if I don’t believe all of it, I really can’t believe any of it.

There are many ‘difficult’ passages in the Bible. These are things that I, and perhaps you, ‘gloss over’ to deal with another time.  I’d rather read all the nice things about how much Jesus loves me; about how He’s there for me; about how He’ll never leave or forsake me. Those are the kind of things that we all love to read and meditate on.

But there’s more.

I’ve been truly challenged lately. Here’s a big one I’ve been dealing with:
If we all become like Jesus, the Bible says that the world will hate us!  This tells me that the danger of our lives increase in proportion to the depth of our relationship with Christ. The more we become like Him, the more people will treat us like they treated Him. I believe that amounts to rejection, scourging, hatred, even death.

Here in the west, we practise a comfortable Christianity. It is a philosophy of church based on how we can best mimic the world in order to appeal to it. Does anyone else see anything wrong with that?

What does the Bible actually teach?

What do you think it means to be a Christian?