Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I Was Just Thinking About - - - 

In recent weeks and months in this nation, there have been several occasions where a form of vengeance or retaliation surfaced and riots ensued. The basic idea of vengeance is “The act of or desire for taking revenge and/or the execution of retributive punishment.” An unarmed young man who posed a threat to a police officer is shot and killed. Without seeking to understand the facts of the case, organizers decide they should stir up riots in the streets. As and when this occurs, some of the rioters use it as an opportunity to burglarize stores and steal from merchants in the immediate area. Why? It is alleged that the public is expressing its frustrations and the many injustices it feels it has had to endure. This similar type of behavior also occurs in many places in the world.

A greater concern is when similar behavior occurs within the visible Church. People become frustrated about some issue and a spirit of vengeance or retaliation becomes evident. It usually results in people being (a) expelled from the church membership, or (b) a local Church entity experiencing division and a split. Without consideration of the implications of such actions, the attitude unfolds with an expectation that other Church entities or people will choose sides and identify with one group of people or the other. Facts usually have very little to do with the action that has transpired. It generally has to do with internal power and who has it, as well as who is in control of the Church entity. Sadly, there is not even an afterthought of the visible Church and its duty to be a credible reflection of the Invisible Church, the Bride of Jesus Christ. The idea of the visible Church being "holy and blameless before Him" (Ephesians 1:4) is not even considered as the controllers and power people exert their will to achieve their goals. The Church becomes divided and a small group establishes a Church entity so that they can control and exert their will. 

Lost in all of this is a desire for oneness within the visible Church. A principle of governance that has never been known, or is either forgotten and ignored is the prayer of Jesus Christ for the visible Church. In John 17:20-21, Jesus is praying to the Heavenly Father and says: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” The world today is losing interest in the message and manner of the visible Church because they fail to see the reality that Jesus Christ was desiring! In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ gives a guideline on how the visible Church should learn to pray. The words that immediately follow His prayer guideline are universally ignored. Matthew 6:14-15 indicates the attitude and behavior that a follower of Jesus Christ must exhibit, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Why should these words of Jesus be implemented and adhered to today? It is because fractured application of God’s Word has repercussion and consequence. One consideration is given in Ephesians 4:27, “…do not give the devil a foothold.” Another primary area is stated in Ephesians 4:30-32, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” While individuals may claim this is the practice and reality in their Church now, they are living in a realm of deception because they fail to “forgive, just as God in Christ forgave you.” When you find a Church that is living according to God’s Word in these basic practical areas, you will find a Church that people will want to attend. What most people find obnoxious to them in local Churches is the degree of facade and hypocrisy that is packaged as the life and message of Jesus Christ. The Church is long overdue to amend its ways (Jeremiah 7:5, 26:13).The Church needs to live by the Standards of God and not the whims or devices of man. Consider these things with me. 

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