The Carnal Christians
The Rebellious Ones
The Church Papers
On Knowing Jesus
In many parts of the world followers of Jesus Christ dare not be open about what they believe. The may be able to meet in a small group or an underground church. But if caught they often face death or imprisonment. Persecution of Christians is so common in the world that Americans are the exception to the rule. That freedom may be soon gone leaving the believing remnant going underground. The true church Jesus has been quietly building is mostly ordinary folks from every nation. The poor and downtrodden are favored because the rich and famous usually place their hopes and dreams in other gods.
Many many people will tell you they have reached out to God at some time in their lives. They may even be clinging to the lifeboat but still not in the boat with other followers of Jesus. They may even be feeling safe on the Titanic ignoring all the evidence that their ship is sinking. Most Americans today are Biblically illiterate, no better off than far away natives in a remote village.
Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Extol Him who rides on the clouds,
By His name YAH,
And rejoice before Him.
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
God sets the solitary in families;
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;
But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
May we suggest that many today unknown, marginalized and forgotten men, women, boys and girls actually are in the family of God now because they have discovered that Jesus loves them and they have opened their hearts to Him. They are what are called "bairn ones" in the letters of the Apostle John.
Many hear about God and Jesus Christ Christ from a friend, from reading or tract or listening to a Bible teacher. A second group experiences direct, unconditional love from a friend, a parent, a grandparent, or directly after crying out to God for mercy.
In either case a choice of the will is required on our part. The world we live in is full of lies, disinformation and deception. Likewise there is much that masquerades as love which ain't love but diabolic deception. Jesus alone has perfect integrity in offering us both forms of information and experience.
One clear example of a person who knows Jesus personally (but dare not tell anyone quite yet) may be because they are in a hostile environment where misspeaking could be fatal. A second example would be dying friend or relative who opens his or her heart to Jesus and then leaves through the door of death into heaven. Their earthly deeds were not about Jesus, but our Lord forgave them when at last they will willing to allow Him in. Many followers of Jesus lived compromised lives until the end. Others were offended by the hypocrisy of their church or driven into the closet by poor role models.
Of course no one is without sin! It ain't easy for God to save any of us!"
...if the righteous man is scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (2 Peter 4:18)
Yes, we ought to move on from being mere newborns in God's family. We ought to move into adult "sonship" and the state of being the Apostle John calls "fathers." This does not always happen. They may not have ever opened a Bible. Perhaps they have zero Christian friends. More often, Jesus has been misrepresented to them by friends, bad parents, or a fake church? How about what happens to you sincere young Christians when you hit the spiritually bankrupt school system?
Followers of Jesus do poorly when they live Lone Ranger lives or retreat inwardly in pity parties, escaping perhaps into Sex, Drugs, Rock n' Roll. We need each other because God has joined us to the Body of Christ.
But God is a loving Father who watches over His own.
"Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.“ (2 Peter 1:10–11)In John 17 we are assured that all who are chosen by God will find Him.
"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:1-6)Many many people will tell you they have reached out to God at some time in their lives. They may even be clinging to the lifeboat but still are not in the boat with other followers of Jesus. They could be clinging to a bit of flotsam. On the horizon is the great ship sinking slowly in the West with many passengers in full denial going down with the ship. Most Americans today are Biblically illiterate, no better off than far away natives in a remote village. Push comes to shove, all of us are without excuse.
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ (Revelation 3:1-6)
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.“ (2 Peter 1:10–11)In John 17 we are assured that all who are chosen by God will find Him.
Paul writing to Timothy assures us that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all...” (1 Timothy 2:1-6)
But no one comes to know Jesus apart from Jesus! We do not deserve His love, we can not earn his favor nor con our way into heaven.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Periodically down through history God has sent revival to His people. Everyone wins if the revival is genuine.
Today in America it is surely time ripe for a grass roots awakening! Body Life restored. No top down management. Tents and homes. No fancy expensive cathedrals.
May I suggest you might like a few favorite hymn-singing presentations?
Revive Us Again
Gerald Wolfe Gospel Sing Album 1
Gospel Sing Album 2
Complete Hymns of Faith
My Music Selections