I’m sorry I haven’t been able to blog this week. I have been pretty busy with ministry responsibilities and trying to balance that with caring for my wife who was ill. I am thankful that she is feeling much better, but she is still suffering the side effects of having had a fever and the medications she took for that fever. The doctor said that it was a reaction to the travel vaccinations we took two weeks ago. Even though I confirmed that possibility with a pharmacist and my own personal physician, I am still a little skeptical. Yes, I know. They are the doctors, but two weeks? And she had a productive cough and sore throat. And the doctor gave her an antibiotic and cough syrup. Okay, okay. I know. They are the doctors.
And then it hit me. I have a doctorate. Yes, it’s the kind that doesn’t make any money, but I have spent my life (yes, my life) studying the Bible and struggling to live out its principles. I have spent 30+ years preaching and teaching it to believers new and old. I have seen many people come to know Christ. I have seen many being discipled. And I am now seeing many who are saying, “Yes, I know what you are saying is biblical, but….” From homosexuality to church polity, they are agreeing that my teachings are biblical, but for some reason, they no longer apply. Their explanations range from the culture in which we live to the traditions to which we have become accustomed. The interesting thing is that those who push back about homosexuality probably agree with the teachings of church polity and vice-versa. It is as if we have taken the “have it your way” philosophy and brought it into the Bible. As if we have the right or the intellect to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are correct and still applicable to our lives. We don’t, and we aren’t! Folks, Christianity is an all or nothing lifestyle. Jesus made that perfectly clear. “If anyone wants to follow me, ” He said, “He must deny himself, take up his cross and come after me.” That doesn’t sound like a pick and choose kind of statement. It is all or nothing. That’s why He also said, “Many will say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but I will say to them, ‘Depart from me, for I never knew you.'” I fear that many professing Christians have been deceived or have deceived themselves because of the easy beliefism that has been taught in recent decades. We need to get back to the Bible and become New Testament Christians and churches again, and we need to do it right now.
As you read this, I hope you know that what I am saying is borne out of a heart filled with love and compassion and a spirit that has a sense of urgency that I have never known before. I believe with all of my heart that our time on earth is short. I believe that in the very near future that the church in America is going to face severe restrictions on what we say and do with potentially powerful consequences. I believe that we are losing the battle for the souls of men and women because we have become powerless in the battle. Why are we powerless? Because we have gotten away from the truth of the Word of God. We say we believe it, but we do not apply the Word in every aspect of our lives. We are not living holy lives so we are not serving as the salt and the light that has the power to transform the hearts and lives of men. People see no difference in us and feel no need to be converted. Converted. That means changed from what we are to what we need to be. Another good word is transformed. That biblical word comes from the word we translate as metamorphosis. Like caterpillars turning into butterflies, our lives as Christians should be drastically different from our lives as non-Christians. But the only way that will happen is if we get back to the Word of God. Would you be willing to join me in this quest? Would you be willing to fast (yes, fast) and pray fervently with me for God to transform our lives first and then work through us to transform the lives of others? If so, would you reply in the comments to this blog or comment on Facebook. If you agree with what I have said, would you share it, retweet it, and e-mail this to all of your friends? Over the next few days, I will share a little about how we fast and pray and how it can make a difference in our lives.
Father, bless this call to transformation. Use us for your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.