| We Want the Benefits, but not the Demands|
I think a lot of revival in America and possibly China is zeal. It is zeal without knowledge. I might add without knowledge of the cross.
I was thinking on this this morning that we in America want the "benefits" of the cross. That is salvation, sanctification, his blood cleansing us from sin, being delivered from demonic forces. etc.
But we do not want the "demands" of the cross. His demands that require us to crucify our fleshly selves so that he will live in us. His demands that require us to crucify our love for the world. Our love for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. His demands that require us to bear his disgrace. And to enter into his sufferings. His demands that require us stand with his suffering church. His demands that require us to not only believe in him but to suffer for his sake.
A "few" will hear his voice and enter through his narrow way which is the way of the cross. But "many", even professing American evangelicals, will reject the notion of his cross and proceed down the broad road of destruction.
Let us be one of the few.
| 2018/5/26 9:04|
| Re: We Want the Benefits, but not the Demands|
Amen brother Bear...
But how do we crucify our flesh?
The scriptures tell us how...
Galatians 5:24 (KJV) And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Romans 6:6 (KJV)
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Galatians 2:20 (KJV) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
The scriptures tell us that those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh.
We are to know that when Christ was crucified that we were crucified with Him.
We can’t crucify our flesh, it is Christ Jesus who crucified our flesh by including us in Him when He was crucified. It is being in Christ by the new birth of the Holy Spirit that we have crucified our flesh through the Spirit of Christ. It is being in union with Christ, in his death and resurrection power.
Romans 6:7-11 (KJV) 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Blessings to all...rbanks
| 2018/5/26 15:04||Profile|
| Re: We Want the Benefits, but not the Demands (edited)|
Aren't you basically saying (again) bear that have a major axe to grind against the American church because it is not under persecution and doesn't carry the exact burden that you do?
Do you embrace the cross at every turn and crucify your flesh as you say others do not? First of all, we need to see to it that we are doing this in the way we say others are not if we are going to criticize others.
What broad road of destruction? Are souls going to perish because they are not exactly where you think they should be in regards to the persecuted brethren?
All of us appreciate your burden. I suspect most believers care a lot more about their persecuted brethren that you may think. Godly encouragement and the sharing of one's own legitimate burdens is a lot different than trying to force everyone into your mold. Folks likely desire as break in this regards.
| 2018/5/26 15:27||Profile|
| Re: We Want the Benefits, but not the Demands|
The message the Spirit has been giving me these last years is identical to what you are saying, brother. The question that needs to be asked is: did you sign up to be a Christian by adding God to your program or to make Jesus Lord of your life. Yes, "My sheep hear my voice and they follow Me" all the way home... even if martyrdom is included in the calling. And the "joy is unspeakable and full of glory".
What about holiness? "...get rid of everything that hinders and the sin that so easily besets..." I, personally, cannot have a TV. 9 times out of 10 I am victorious while watching TV, but not the 10th time. It's because of the 10th times that I cannot have such a thing in my life. And I don't miss it a bit.
Yes, I use the Internet, but I have vowed to confess to my wife if I go anywhere on the Internet that I shouldn't. About 8 years ago was the last time I've had to confess anything to her. She cried when I confessed to her--I will never wound her again like that, so help me God!
Transformation...I'm a new person with the power of Jesus within me now--unless it didn't happen. It definitely involves death. Yes, crucifying self daily--like Paul did. And being consistent about it.
Walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Dan-former Bible translator in Brazil
| 2018/5/26 22:20||Profile|
| Re: |
Brother Dan your testimony so encouraged my heart. Thank you brother and may God continue to bless you and your wife in a lovely Chriat-centeted relationship.
Reading your post wants to make me more like Jesus. Thank you for sharing brother.
| 2018/5/26 22:37|
| Re: |
Brothers and Sisters
I suggest the church in America is in far greater danger than the persecuted church. While the persecuted church is facing its own severe test of faith, needing spiritual strength helped by our prayer, the wealthy and covetous church is in extreme danger of going down its own path of destruction because of its covetousness. It lacks sacrificial love and its love of the world, a far more sinister love of this life. threatens the faith and souls of professing believers.
Some apparently view concern for the American church as self righteousness. I think the church, as a whole in America is in serious trouble, not so much because of its lack of suffering or concern for persecuted brothers, but rather because of spiritual blindness to their lawless sacrificial love for those in urgent spiritual and physical need. This lack of love indeed results in lack of concern for the sufferings of the brethern in the world, but it is a deep sinful selfish root that infecting every need that Christ would meet through us.
Covetousness is the great idolatry that has spread so insidiously in the people of the West. I say that with tears and concern and not with moral superiority.
| 2018/5/28 7:18||Profile|
| Re: |
Please define "sacrificial love" from a practical standpoint.
| 2018/5/28 7:48||Profile|
| Re: |
1. If you have two coats and your brother has none, you give him one.
2. If your brother is in jail for his faith, you go visit him and joyfully accept the plundering of your property if required
3. You give to those with urgent need by selling possessions even if you are left with none trusting in God to provide.
4. If your brother is hungry and you have material goods, you give.
5. If your brothers feet are dirty, you wash them.
6. If you are in extreme poverty and your brother is in a famine, you give generously and joyfully out of your poverty to meet their need for food.
7. Each of us as the need arises sells our possessions and lays the proceeds at the church to meet needs of fellow believers.
8. If a stranger is robbed and beaten, we take a detour in our plans and go into the ditch and clean them up, take them to a hospital and cove their cost of care.
9. We leave our jobs and homes as Jesus calls to serve the kingdom.
10. We proclaim the gospel even when it threatens our life, our jobs, our family security.
11. We do not store up treasure on earth but are rich towards God and richly generous to those with urgent needs.
Full Disclosure....not my original practical ideas.
| 2018/5/28 8:10||Profile|
| Re: |
Thank you brothers for sharing the truths of discipleship as taught in the Sermon on the Mount.
You are exactly right that to a large extent most of the churches in America are teaching on the blessings of God without saying much about the costs of being a disciple of Jesus. This is particularly true in the seeker sensitive churches which include most of the mega churches that are teaching a man centered gospel, which is no gospel at all because the demands of Jesus to forsake all are neglected.
The call to follow Christ is a call to impossible living, because it is only possible if we have died to self, and are now allowing Christ to live His life in us and through us.
| 2018/5/28 9:10||Profile|
| Re: |
Agreed Brother Mike. The Sermon on the Mount and the parable of the soils are the key foundational teachings of Jesus for the church functioning in the world. Almost all other teachings from Jesus and the apostles and prophets in the NT are expositions and applications of these two teachings.
| 2018/5/28 9:34||Profile|