Thursday, October 16, 2014

Give 'em Heaven

1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

Here is another Thursday message from Michael that we can all learn something from: Discipling is helping people to grow into Christ from infants into mature men of God...  to be able to live as wheat for God's harvest among the weeds of this world and to shine as lights in a world of darkness. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. This passage was originally written to persecuted Christians.  They had scattered not to avoid persecution, but because of God's design to move the Truth of the Word of God throughout the Roman Empire. There is always God's reason for persecution.  There is always good news and bad news.  What the enemy meant for bad, God meant for good.  All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose.

We have received mercy, having been redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through our redemption God has delivered us from the clutches of the enemy by his grace, even though we were undeserving of his mercy.  Now that we have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and delivered into the kingdom of his dear son, we are nomads... We are strangers, foreigners, aliens, and sojourners journeying upon this pilgrimage in a strange land to which God has called us as his emissaries.  As representatives of his heavenly kingdom he has called us as his worthy ambassadors subject to a higher calling...  not to give in to the lusts and affairs of this world.  “Lust” is the Greek word "epithumia" meaning "over desire."  Lust is any desire that takes precedence over our desire to follow the assignment to which God has called us.  Our first assignment is to love Him above all and to walk with Him according to the path that He has foreordained. We're aliens in this god-rejecting world of Vanity Fair type and its lawless world system because our citizenship is in heaven.  In the Old Testament, Daniel purposed in his heart at an early age that he would not forsake his identity to which God had called him as a man of God.  Though he lived in an alien society of Babylon, Daniel never lost sight of his heavenly calling.

Ephesians says that “the Adversary” wages war against our souls.  But our exhortation is "be strong in The Lord and the power of his might, putting on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of darkness, against spiritual wickedness from on high" – vs. 12.  Our battle is not against the world and people of the world, rather it's a spiritual battle against the powers of spiritual darkness for the souls of men and women. Our culture has been blinded against the Adversary's wiles and his ways. Because he is invisible, he hides in the darkness and deceives and ensnares from behind the scenes.  He attacks God's people at their weakest points by dishonest methods to achieve his malicious ends.  He shows the bait but hides the hook. He knows our habits and our weaknesses.  The adversary delights in tripping up men of God. Our strength is only in the armor of God and in the power of His might. Our intellectual resources cannot fight against the powers of the evil darkness of the adversary.  Evil connotes moral absolutes.  However our politically correct culture of "relativism" does not believe in absolute truth. They prefer to believe the devil's lie that good is evil and that evil is good.

The Adversary hides in the darkness disguised as "moral relativism" and "tolerance."  The adversary wears a veil to hide his true identity and disguises himself as "an angel of light."  In a world of relativism, there is no truth.  In a world of tolerance, there is no evil. Dr. Edwin Lutzer says that Hitler knew that the masses would follow him if he could tell big enough lies. Only a  person that could connect with his audience could move the masses to his own aims and his own mission.  Propaganda is the tool to move the masses...  to permeate the masses with the power of false doctrine...  The revolution will succeed when the masses have been converted first by propaganda and then by force driven by hatred.  Hitler had to change the language in order to get the people's approval.  Hitler defended his actions as a means to the end. The end was his definition of "the good of the German people."  So-called Christianity was tolerated as long as the church acquiesced to his definition of "the good of the German people."  In our culture, we give "the right to choose” to live as we see “right”. The power of propaganda and mass euphoria sways the masses to believe the lie and to call evil “good”.  In the world of relativism, there is no truth.

Truth is only in Jesus Christ.  He is the way the truth and the life.  We must know the Jesus Christ, the standard of the truth, in order to discern the false doctrines of moral relativism.  Therefore, the word of God says...  casting down imaginations and every high thing that exaulteth itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ – 2 Corinthians 10:5. To stand against the powers of darkness is to wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of Truth – Eph. 6:17. Go ye therefore and teach all nations.  And in so doing ... Give 'em Heaven!!

Your brother in Christ, Michael 

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