That Last One Percent

So many professing Christians today are Disconnected! About thirty percent of Americans say they are Christians because they don't consider themselves to be heathen or pagan. About ten percent of Americans say they know Jesus Christ personally.

But hypocrisy is everywhere and fake Christians abound.

"For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect." (Mark 13:22)

In countries such as India, the 5% who say they are Christians really are because they know they must walk with Jesus or perish.

In other countries where persecution abounds, naming the name of Jesus is a death sentence.

"We are far too easily pleased: If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea." (CS Lewis)

Now great multitudes went with Jesus. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— “lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, “saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ “Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? “Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? “It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 14:25-35)


One Percent Matters!

Jesus Christ is running the universe whether we like it or not! He helped create it all in the first place. We are only house guests here -- with temporary use permits. Those who ignore Him long-term will eventually be evicted, with no safe place to go.

God is Love and He has gone to great extremes to save us from ourselves.

Namely, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses against them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beg you by us: we pray you in Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:19-21)

Galatians 2:20 is a paradox, but a paradox that works. Try it and see. But the last one percent of your surrender makes an enormous difference. God is the "Great I AM and you and I are but tiny "i ams" in comparison. There are a thousand and one excuses why we hold back, but King Ego must abdicate the throne and became a servant in the King's House -- "I" must step down from the throne of my life. The Ego Papers.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it/ “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.“ (Matthew 16:24-27)

 

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)


Ray and Elaine Stedman

"We do not live our own lives. We live the life of another--or, more accurately, another lives His life through us. Until we grasp that as the key to the mystery of Christian living, we have not graduated from the kindergarten level of the Christian life."

Homework

Christ in You
Ray Stedman and Gordon Franz on John Mark
The Exchanged Life
The Key to Everything
Disconnected? 

The Ego Papers
The Flesh, the World and the Devil

The Unfruitful Tree
Your God is Way Too Small
How Saved Are You?
The Fruitful Life
The Normal Christian Life



A.J. Gossip  1873-1954 
       
 Arthur John Gossip was Professor of Christian Ethics and Practical Theology at the University of Glasgow from 1939 until 1945. Born in Glasgow, Gossip graduated MA from the University of Edinburgh and was licensed as a Free Church of Scotland minister in 1898.

He was minister of a number of churches before coming to St Matthew's United Free Church in Glasgow in 1910; he served as a chaplain in Belgium and France during the First World War, and he returned to Scotland as minister of Beechgrove Church in Aberdeen. In 1928, Gossip was appointed Professor of Christian Ethics and Practical Training in the United Free Church's Divinity school in Glasgow (known as Trinity College after the reunion of the United Free and Church of Scotland in 1929, and the amalgamation of the Divinity schools at the College and the University). The University's Chair of Ethics and Practical Theology was suppressed after Gossip's retirement in 1945. 


We have all been inoculated with Christianity, and are never likely to take it seriously now!  You put some of the virus of some dreadful illness into a man's arm, and there is a little itchiness, some scratchiness, a slight discomfort -- disagreeable, no doubt, but not the fever of the real disease, the turning and the tossing, and the ebbing strength.  And we have all been inoculated with Christianity, more or less.  We are on Christ's side, we wish him well, we hope that He will win, and we are even prepared to do something for Him, provided, of course, that He is reasonable, and does not make too much of an upset among our cozy comforts and our customary ways.  But there is not the passion of zeal, and the burning enthusiasm, and the eagerness of self-sacrifice, of the real faith that changes character and wins the world." --A. J. Gossip, From the Edge of the Crowd [1924]

 

February 6, 2021
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