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Quote

"If God called us to a task, He will then qualify us for the job" - Jack Hyles

Scripture

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" - Galatians 2:20

Colossians 3:1-2 “Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. (AMP)

Have we ever put this verse into our thoughts as we approached Easter seasons every year? Or to put in another way, have we ever thought of what Christ might feel these days looking at us (His followers and His Church)? This is one of the reasons why Paul wrote those verses for us, Christians, so we know exactly what to focus on while we live on earth.

Have we ever devoted our time to deeply sense and understand the reason Christ went through all the sufferings? Let us think for a moment about His journey on the ‘Via-de-lo-rosa’ before He was nailed on the cross dying for our sins, defeating all the enemies and making way for us to approach the Father and call Him “Abba, Father”, and thus He gave birth to His Church as His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all (Ephesians 1:22-23 NKJV). Jesus did all that for us because of His unconditional love to us and yet Christians today take it for granted and do not take His ‘discipleship’ mandate seriously and make it our lifestyle as the expression of our love for Him.

Just imagine for a moment, we are in the position of Jesus who had to go through sufferings on the cross and declared victory through His resurrection. He is now sitting at the right hand of the Father praying and longing day and night for His Church (the body of Christ) to become the Christ witnessing community so that every part of His body is fully engaged in ‘His Kingdom business’. However, the real condition of the ‘Church’ which these days is drifting away by being swallowed up by the streams of this world is quite a concern.

How sad Jesus will be seeing churches today not doing what He told us to do, that is, to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in His Name, and teach them to obey everything He has commanded? (Matthew 28:19-20). Yet, today we can barely see Church leaders having enough faith and perseverance to be His ambassadors. They lack by the “Great commission” lifestyle.

The Mega Corporations which originated in the USA and characterised by their ‘instant culture’ is now spreading like a virus across the world influencing modern society as well as the Church. Now church leaders across the world are adopting the concept, moving away from their focus on things above that are eternal to things on earth that are temporal. Churches are full of programs and strategies modeling big corporations or institutions, building their brand image to attract people and building their own empires (kingdoms). As these church leaders are becoming more self-oriented, churches are losing power to transform the world. Instead of becoming the light and the salt of the world they are now becoming a stumbling block to the witnessing/discipling mandate of Jesus.

Jesus mentioned in Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].” (AMPC)

Many of us assume these verses are not for Christians. The influence of false teaching has influenced us too much to ignore the serious consequences of disregarding God’s commands. Christians are assuming when they are going to church regularly, serving in church and ministering as described in those verses, they are safe. However, according to those verses, ignoring to do God’s will has eternal consequences. The Great Commission cannot be overlooked. It is mandatory! Yet church leaders and Christians, in general, are so proud of what we do and justify ourselves before God that makes us no different from the pharisees and the scribes, not realizing that they are off course from the Father’s will. The effect of ‘instant culture’ followed by the lack of appropriate teaching and discipleship in churches has made Christians almost Biblically illiterate enough to detect false or ‘copy-paste preaching’ of the Word that is entirely out of the context, not to mention lies from the pulpit.

Today we can barely see Christians who are hungry and thirsty enough for the Word so that they devote themselves to pray and study the Bible every day. How many of them would check and study for themselves the verses that being preached in Sunday service to find out for themselves whether they are being preached according to context and how to apply it into their daily lives? Sadly, the percentage of those are diminishing from generation to generation.

Paul has written in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 about what will happen in the last days and it is actually happening today inside the Church. “But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, 3 [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.” (AMP)

Further, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4: 1-4 “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching. 3 For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold, 4 and will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable].” (AMP)

The Bible has already warned us about these things and now it is really happening today in the Church. Being  so ignorant about these things and putting away ‘discipleship’ makes it even worse. It is like the cancer cells that spread all over the body. Today, how many Pastors are actually bold enough to preach correctly, warn, exhort, and encourage faithful and true teaching? The time has now come that people are seeking false teachers to have their ears tickled, satisfy their own desires and justify their sins, shifting away from truth to man made stories that are acceptable and sounds logical to them. Pastors are softening their tone to people shoulders so they are happy to stay rather than preaching the truth openly which tend to drive people away. If we look at the early Church of how strong they were committed to the Apostles teachings and fellowship that people loved them resulting in addition in numbers daily and compare that to the Church today which is so weak and unable to withstand the storms and floods that come in difficult times like today.

Unless churches go back to Christ’s commission to make disciples, focusing on building the body of Christ the way He intended it to be – a community where people can practice the ‘one-another’ lifestyle, bound together by love – there would not be any revival or movement that can bring impact or influence to the world. Instead, we will see problematic moral and ethical conflicts in the Church, split after split and lack of unity within the body of Christ.

During this Easter let us all take the time to reflect on ourselves, how our journey of Christianity has been by mirroring ourselves to these verses quoted above, and to ask, “are we on track or off track?” “Are we focusing on things above that are eternal or things on earth that are temporal?” It is not too late to repent and come back on track while there is still an opportunity to do so or else it will be too late. The time will come when we all have to come before His throne to give account on what we have done while we were on earth. It is better to be like the wise virgins who took flasks of oil along with their lamps and waited for the bridegroom rather than the foolish ones who were totally unprepared (Matthew 25:1-13).

Have a blessed Easter!

Theo Sim

References:

  1. The Maxwell Leadership Bible, Second Edition, copyright ©2002,2007 by Maxwell Motivation, Inc.
  2. The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016).    Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
  3. Amplified Bible Classic Edition, copyright ©1965 by The Lockman Foundation.
  4. Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words, James Strong, LL.D., S.T.D, Copyright ©2001 by Thomas Nelson Publishers.
  5. The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.

_____________________

Theo is pursuing the Graduate Diploma of Christian Ministry and Theology at BCWA. He also serves as the Dean of Students. Passionate about the church not reflecting it’s true mandate from Christ, Theo pursues the revival of Discipleship.

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