Emmanuel Grace

Built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself being the Cornerstone

A Church that Stands

It seems that we in the Church are at a fork in the road, a point where each individual member of the Body has a choice to make. The choice is this: Will we choose the Word or the world? How vast the difference a little letter makes in the meaning of two words. We could easily miss this signpost if we are not awake; if we are drowsy, dull and distracted instead of sober and ready for action, if we aren’t watching and praying. One road leads to life, the other death. Which will we choose? Which culture will we align ourselves with? Jeremiah 10:2 says “Do not learn the ways of the nations...the practices of the peoples are worthless.”
The Bible is plain; we are meant to be a separate people.
This doesn’t mean we head for the hills but rather our beliefs and practices will not be like those who are still in the world’s culture, like those who have not yet submitted to Jesus as King.
And we will be hated for it.
It is promised, guaranteed even, that ‘everyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted, while evildoers and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.’ (2 Tim 3.12,13) We will be accused of doing wrong by unbelievers(1 Peter 2.12) and alternately Jesus says, ‘Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for so their father’s did to the false prophets’.We will be persecuted by the world and even those who are not aligned with God’s word in the Church, because God’s truth is not the world’s truth. We will be looked at unfavourably because we will be willing to please God before we please people.(Gal 1:10)
Is the world applauding our opinions and choices? We perhaps need to ask ourselves and take an honest look at if our behaviours, beliefs and opinions(all of which make a culture) are not too much an echo of the world’s.
This is to the church, a plea really, to anyone who believes in Jesus as their Saviour and King, yes even to us in Niagara:
Wake up and know your God.
Many of us have become complacent and sluggish, we have no idea what God’s word actually says, we’ve been lulled to sleep by the charming but deceitful, self-preserving, swan song of a world and culture that is on it’s way to destruction. We are either humming this very same tune to comfort those who are being misled or elsewise too involved in our own worldly interests and pursuits to care much either way!
But God has something better for any and ALL who are willing to come to Him through Jesus and this is where we must take our stand and not be deceived. Can you not see that those in the world are desperately trying to save themselves? Can you not see that many don’t think they even need saved? They’re trying to piece back to perfection a corrupt world that simply cannot be put back together because of sin. They’re trying to reverse a curse they have no power to reverse and many of us Christians are trying to solve it in the very same way. But we have a better hope and future to offer those who are hurting and lost, a much better one than walking beside them towards a cliff’s edge with false and flattering consolations- we have the whole truth of Jesus!
As we are seeing in the case of abortion, we may be accused of being cruel and uncaring and many will not listen to us, but remember who we serve and let us boldly ‘set forth the truth plainly’ in love. If we are persuaded of Jesus, if we believe, then let us speak(2Cor 4.1-13)! Let’s not be silent for fear of what our friends or even what internet strangers will say or think. I am all too guilty of this.
I am seeing that the Bible is full of exhortations to speak about what God has done throughout history, including his mighty work in our own lives. Let’s share Him just as much as( or more than) we share about our kids or what trendy place we are eating supper at. Why aren’t we? Let’s share about today, how because of Jesus, we have everything we need. We have peace and joy and security even when circumstances are painful and difficult and unstable. Share about what’s to come; how there won’t be any more curse and everyone whose name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, those who have submitted, repented and believed in Jesus, will live in union with God forever. A new world is coming and all who accept Jesus as King and Saviour will inhabit it. No more tears, sin, death, no more evil. How will they know this though if we stay silent? How will they know Life if we stand with the world for a way that leads to death? How will they know there is one true, single way to peace and security, to equality, justice , freedom and all the other things the world cries out for if we ourselves are living by those same futile attempts at peace and security? How will they know there is one true, single way to life if our proposal of God’s way looks no different than the world’s?
I really believe God is calling His church to wake up. Stand. Speak. Get serious and don’t take so lightly the things He has said. Prepare for what’s to come. Read your bibles. ‘Come out from them and be separate’. I can’t help but wonder if God will not send something to wake us up if we don’t shake ourselves. It is time to look more to our Hope that is coming soon and less at the worthless things of this temporary world. Which culture do we reflect? What and who are we worshiping? There will only ever be two options. The day is coming when we will not be able to have a foot in each camp and if we truly believe that Jesus is Lord, we shouldn’t want to. It is time to ‘go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for that city that is to come.’
‘If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’ Isaiah 7.9
“If the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.’” John 15:18-20

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