We talked last week about many of the prophecies concerning Jesus' First Appearance on earth, and as numerous and awesome as they were shown to be, and as perfectly as they were fulfilled—do you realize there are many more prophecies concerning His Second Coming than the First? Today we are not going into these prophecies, but are instead, looking at something much more pressing for you and I, because we need to be less worried about how close we are to the End Days, and much more focused on how living in these Last Days has affected us as Christians.
We have seen unprecedented changes, not just in the world—but even within the Church, that have been rapid and devastating to everything Christ has ever taught. These shifting beliefs have changed the way most of society views real love and real sin. Stop and consider how the world around us, right here, stands completely opposed to all that God's Word teaches. Open and uninhibited sex is the literal norm of our day—to wait for marriage before sex is unheard of, and even a bit weird (some even consider arrogant). Living together is not only accepted, but common. Pornography is a massive part of daily life for many (even Christians). Homosexuality is not just considered an alternate lifestyle, but is grounds for condemnation if you don't share in like beliefs. Teaching a child anything about the joy and responsibilities of growing up in their gender of birth is literally offensive to society as a whole. Social media, entertainment and the educational system push and normalize casual sex with no responsibilities, affections or consequences attached. All are completely devaluing and destroying everything God created this awesome gift to ever be in our lives. Independence is taught to be the symbol of success—especially if you are a female—and reliance or accountability to another is no longer seen as a virtue. Disciplining your children with any attempt to raise them in respect and morality has become an offense, and an abuse that stifles their independence and creativity (yet killing them for convenience is totally acceptable—see abortion sermon). Not to agree with these notions of society, is not viewed as a different belief, but as a heart of hatred, judgment, and lack of care for others. To believe that there is a Creator and an actual purpose for our existence is viewed as ignorant and uneducated, and should be outlawed. Following God today, often means following a god that is completely about blessing, healing, and spoiling us to the max—because we are worth it and because it makes Him happy, to see us happy, no matter the cost. Rather than learning to love Him and others in a real way, at a cost to ourselves, putting others before self in that love—which is the only real love verses self-love. Following God today rarely means ever having to change anything about our lifestyle or attitude because a real loving god would just accept us as we are—and we should never have to change to be holy (ex. gay lifestyle, multiple marriages, hateful attitudes). And it is rarely about how we should love or serve Him—but how He had better love and serve us as we want or He's not worthy. He does love us just as we are—that’s why He died to save us—we just don’t love Him as He is. We could go on, but you see what’s unfolding around you.
There could be no more perfect picture of how God proclaimed the Last Days would look for the church. Please listen to how Scriptures described this moment in time. Those in churches that have, "Progressed" beyond Scriptures, and those considering their teachings, need to pay close attention: Timothy 3:1-5; Isaiah 5:20-21; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Proverbs 30:5-6; Deuteronomy 12:32. What is even countless times worse than all of this—many in the real church today become so worried about appearing offensive in our beliefs, we have lost all conviction, all confidence, and all joy in our own walk with Christ. Some even living in guilt and fear; sometimes even questioning yourself in the onslaught of deceptive lies being taught. And honestly, what often appears in the church to be incredible, Jesus-Freak-Level of living in righteousness, is just the simple "norm" for God’s Word—His level of expectation for all of us. But we are so far from loving and trusting as God has taught, that we see it as strange. Even though we should passionately love the lost, sinful and broken around us—if we are not believing and living in such a way that we are offensive and disliked by some in this world in which we exist now—we are not living for and loving God.
When we are not truly learning, living, and protecting His Word in our own hearts, as His people, our self-identity, gender identity, purpose and our direction in life, become lost in the shifting, miserable, meaningless, politically correct opinion of a few bitter and misguided halfwits who have no clue or connection to what this life is all about. And our self-focus replaces God as the Center of our lives, causing us to become unsatisfied, radical and self-destructive in our search for meaning and happiness. Our Real love of self-sacrifice and humility is replaced by the fake love of the world (which is really self-love)—that love ceases when it begins to cost us anything at all, making us shallow, bitter and untrustworthy. We completely miss His perspective of the worth of other people, the awesomeness of this world around us, and the wonderful gift of life given to us. We become empty, callous and unsatisfied. Worldly Christians eventually become poor little victims in their own eyes because He doesn't give them what they want. Just like those shallow followers who turned on Him after Palm Sunday—just like the world around us today. This kind of thinking will eventually make worldly Christians resent and hate the true God in His love, and eventually turn completely against Him also. Or, as much of the Church is doing today—create a god that fits their needs—and that is not God at all, but Satan. This is how many professing Christians today have turned away from everything that God truly teaches and represents. This is how Satan drags some professing Christians to the other side of the most overwhelming, unstoppable Judgment that all of creation will ever know. Because God knows those "Christians" will have become part of the destructive enemy that will say, do and hurt to get what they want. God loves you so much, and He knows so much is at stake, that He will discipline His own to turn them from a path of destruction. Not all difficult times are from God as judgment, but you are crazy, and unscriptural to assume that God does not sometimes bring hard times as a form of punishment or deterrent in our lives when we go astray. When you are faced with difficult times, first ask God is it because of anything He is trying to show you in your life, and fix it.
1 Corinthians 3:16: we are where the Spirit of God dwells and works on this earth, right? John 14:15-17: and according to this verse, He will never leave a Christian that is living for Christ, right? 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8: and according to this verse, the Anti-Christ of Satan Himself, cannot have full reign until that Spirit is taken out of the way—which can only happen, if we are all taken Home by Jesus. Which means that you and I living in the power of the Holy Spirit by the principles of God's Word his law of love are the only line drawn in the sand against Satan's deceptions. Jesus said we are the only salt and light of the earth. We are the only salt that preserves and heals corruption. We are the only light that shows the True Way of God's Love. If that Light is dimmed; if that Salt loses its savor; if that Word is watered down and changed—there is no other hope; there is no other plan—we are that line. We can’t let God's Church become corrupted by the world. And if we are the Church, what does that mean? We have to do whatever it takes to keep ourselves from the influences of the world. We can’t buy into the ways of the world, or the false gods of the New Progressive Church. The very term, "Progressive" or "changing church” goes against everything we know about our God. He is unchanging!
(He got it right from the beginning. He does not have to change His Words to suit men.) Our real focus needs to be on the real Church in this dark, influential world. If we are going to follow Christ in these Last Days—these Dark Days—these trying, tempting, accusing, hard days to be a Christian—then we have to stop playing games as Worldly, Progressive Christians. I'm not asking you to just resist sin in these hard days. I'm asking you to replace that love of sin with righteousness and passion for Him. I'm asking you to make your heart and soul, which are supposed to be His House, into a Home that He is welcomed and joyful to inhabit. Your righteous actions will not get you into Heaven—only His Blood will do that—but if you've truly chosen Him, your thirst for righteousness will show your heart to Him and to a world that needs a line drawn fresh in the sand. A line drawn at any cost to self. A line drawn no matter what the world says or does. A line drawn in total trust and obedience to the God we claim is real. A line drawn to protect the integrity of the Word we so vehemently claim is True. A line drawn to show the world the only true path to real love! If not us, there is no one else left in this entire world.
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