WE CAN’T GO ON LIKE THIS! Part 2
A warning sign that America cannot ignore is the potential for Christian persecution in our own country. Whenever a controversial law is discussed or enacted anger fueled debate is broadcast both from Christians and non-believers. It is not wrong to discuss an opposing view but what happens is misinformation and hate is used to ‘prove’ who is right. As a nation we no longer turn to the bible for guidance nor do we pray to God for direction. When was the last time you voted prayerfully instead of party vote? It is clear that few who would claim to be Christian pray for municipal or spiritual leaders. Even our church leaders are often placed by popularity rather than seeking God’s desire. The result is an ever-widening chasm between true Christian view and cultural beliefs. Currently self-serving ideology is accepted as fact and the bible as fiction by much of the American public. True followers of Christ are becoming second class citizens in the eyes of the majority. History testifies that whenever a people group has been marginalized long enough that persecution is inevitable.
Out of curiosity I looked up the definition of Christian. The first definition was adjective: Christian 1. of, relating to, or professing Christianity or its teachings. One could also say “a follower of Jesus Christ”. The word ‘Christian’ was originally a slang word meaning “little Christ”. In America today there are many cultural definitions for the term Christian, however, many of them have little to do with a biblical view of being a follower of Christ. How many times have you heard or said “a Christian should not act in that way”? It would appear that there are more social rules governing what a Christian should or should not do than all of the Old Testament laws combined.
The term ‘Christian’ should be synonymous with ‘follower of Christ’. When a person has made the decision to accept the free gift offered by Jesus they become a Christian. This does not indicate perfection just forgiven of sin. To be a follower of Christ indicates a relationship with Jesus that allows him to guide the person. God’s word then becomes a moral compass to direct the thoughts and actions of the individual. Think about a compass for a moment. A compass always points to true north and therefore indicates travel direction unless you placed a magnet near it. Think about the magnet as the pull of worldly desire and enticing thought process. If a moral compass is influenced more by a world view than a biblical view it is impossible to keep from getting lost from truth.
Two passages that can be a guide to help stay focused on truth are;
Colossians 2:6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In other words receive Christ Jesus fully as your Lord and savior. Allow him to rule over your thoughts and actions.
1 John 2:1-6 (NIV) My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. The desire as a Christian is to no longer sin. Fortunately if a person does sin Jesus will be an advocate to God if they truly seek forgiveness. This passage can be summed up with the phrase “if you’re going to talk the talk you have to walk the walk.”
To be a Christian is much more than a verbal declaration. It is a life changing, thought altering relationship with Jesus Christ. It is deceitful to believe you can experience the living God and not be transformed. No person will be perfect in this life even as a Christian. If the church of America will truly turn to God we will see His continued favor on us.
Rev. Burt Schwab