Monday, April 27, 2020

The Dangers of Today...

“Blessed is he who watches.” Revelation 16:15 NKJV “I die daily,” said the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:31 NKJV). 

This was the life of the early Christians—they went everywhere with their lives in their hands. Today, we are not generally called to pass through the same fearsome persecution. If we were, the Lord would give us grace to handle the test. But the tests of the Christian life these days, though not as terrible as in Paul’s time, may be more likely to overcome us. We have to bear the scorn of the world, but that is a small thing. Its allurements, its soft words, its insincere speeches, its flattery, and its hypocrisy are far worse. Our danger is that we will grow rich and become proud, give ourselves up to the trends of this evil world, and lose our faith. Or if wealth isn’t our particular trial, worldly cares can be just as harmful. If we won’t be torn to pieces by a roaring lion, we might be hugged to death by a bear. The devil doesn’t care which, as long as he destroys our love for Christ and our confidence in Him. I fear that the Christian church is far more likely to lose her integrity in these soft, silken days than in the rougher times like when Paul lived. We must be awake now, for we travel Bunyan’s “enchanted ground”—we are likely to fall asleep to our own ruin unless our faith in Jesus is real and our love for Him a vigorous flame. Many in these days of an easy profession are likely to prove weeds, not wheat (Matthew 13:24–30); hypocrites wearing pretty masks, but not the true-born children of the living God. Christian, don’t think these are times when you can disregard watchfulness or holy zeal; you need these things more than ever. May God the eternal Spirit display His great power in you, so that you can say, in softer things as well as the rougher, “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37 ESV). - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Was reading this last night and it's truth stuck with me til this morning.  Surely it must be a Godincidence.  For there are no coincidences with God. The thoughts that come to mind relate to several sermons heard yesterday on contentment and God.

Be anxious for nothing is the verse of the hour these days.  What's worse is people denying they are.  I am one of those, for whatever reason, that does this.  On the surface I am not stressed.  Yet getting to sleep at night my mind tends to not want to shut down. 

The peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.   This is what just about everyone today is looking for, if they were honest.  Believers and unbelievers alike are seeking peace and confessing it or not they know it is found in Christ. 

Spurgeon reveals something in this particular devotional.  A fearful fact of the Church today.  It was written some time ago but sure is relevant to the hour in which we live. 

The great danger of our world isn't the coronavirus or the flu in its various forms. It's our culture and political landscape. It's our level of prosperity and moral decline. 

How much more evident than when God takes away the bulk of the idols of the land?

Have you ever watched a video or Television show where people make an adventure out of exploring an area after they drained the water on purpose or a drought removed the water from what once was a town or city? 

People start guessing at whay kinds of people lived there, what it must have been like.  

We do indeed live in a time of idolatry.  Did the world really think that God would allow it to go on unchecked?  Idolatry was rampant in various cities where Paul visited.  He would preach, likely be attacked in some form, but the Word of God would still be planted.  He would then be moved on.  In our world it's so saturated in it if preached against you will be hunted down regardless of your rights under Freedom of Speech.  There's no place to go and not be harassed. Until God provided a way to show the world its idolatry.  

Reality is what Spurgeon said.  We live in an insanely prosperous time.  In knowledge, in materials and frivolous things.  In his day, the people of the world planned out days if not weeks or more in advance of visiting family members or friends.  We just look at our watch, make a call, and go. No thought beyond that.  

We, and I include myself, have such prosperity at our fingertips that a want is fulfilled in a click or tap on a device.  

In Paul's day a prostitute had to be sought out.  Today they are practically a business.

Idle minds are the devil's playground.  

Contentment is lost when impatience rules.  We as I was reading in Blackaby's devotional, almost never take Christ along in our decision making.  That was a blow to the stomach.  

Oh my dear reader of this I am just as guilty as the world.  Having a walk with Jesus yet not taking the time to rely upon Him.  The dangers that Spurgeon speaks of are what we are drowning in. 

We have a governmental system that is ever trying for more creative ways to be our god.  It's not just the United States but much larger, the United Nations.  They do not want individuals deciding on how they should live their lives.  Surely if you look at their decisions since they were founded you would see it.

Why would they do this? My friend it's all been written. Even the times in which we live.  Written.  Scripture cannot be broken, it must be fulfilled. 

If the first 2/3rd's of the prophetical statue in Daniel were 100% accurate, what makes you think that the last 1/3rd won't be?

Iron mixed with clay is the beginning description.  A very odd but real combination.  The strength of forced rule mixed with the softness of clay...the will of people. 

We live in a world where the so-called will of the world is being forced upon everyone.  Including those in the Church. 

Go back a few American Presidents and you find a speech about a New World Order and a confident statement that they WILL be successful at creating it.

Reality is Scripture said they would be because of that statue in Daniel. 

The Church also had the problem of prosperity in that many segments wasted billions of dollars on buildings and lavish accoutrements that really didn't bring God glory at all.  They assumed they had money so they needed to look good to maybe attract a dying world.  No thought, no real thoughts, on how to further the Kingdom of God.  If those billions that have come into Churches were spent on what Jesus said, there would be no poverty in this world.  No homeless in this world.  Widows and orphans would be fully cared for.  Debt wouldn't be where it is. 

Spurgeon was right about the dangers in which the modern Church lives. 

It's funny but not funny how the more you let go the more clearly you see things.  The kid that thrashes about because of not getting what they wanted cannot hear the parents.  A quiet child can hear instruction.  When God has to take the steps to remove idolatry and to be clear it's idolatry because it's affecting the Church then maybe the Church really is in danger.  

Relationships are rarely cultivated.  Yet Jesus was all about building them.  We indeed are in a time of 6 feet of separation yet the craving is growing for personal contact again.  

God is in this storm yet He is showing the world what has to be. What has to come. 

Letting go of the idols in your life isn't easy or God wouldn't be taking the steps He is. 

Yet it will eventually be that the world will unite behind a world Leader who claims great things to fix all they have been told is wrong.  His success will cause them to worship him.  Global idolatry will shift from the many to the one.  It's shifting right now. 

The Church indeed is under attack as Spurgeon writes and it doesn't even realize it.  If they were alive today Paul or even a Billy Graham in his prime would be in danger of prison time to shut them up.

Look at your heart today.  Look at your relationship with Jesus today.  Is any of it not where it should be? Fix it while you have the time.

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