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Calvary-The Lost Message

Posted by appolus on October 5, 2008

Modern day Christianity has lost its way, has lost its focus. The central truths upon which we have stood for two thousand years has been lost in a fog of noise and distraction and in the rise of humanism and the flesh. Never before, in the history of the Western world have we seen such an indulgent , entitlement-minded people. And since a great majority of the Church is just like the world, then we see a indulgent, entitlement-minded Church.

CALVARY-THE LOST MESSAGE

 

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, and I live; yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me. And that life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith toward the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself on my behalf.

 

 

Modern day Christianity has lost its way, has lost its focus. The central truths upon which we have stood for two thousand years has been lost in a fog of noise and distraction and in the rise of humanism and the flesh. Never before, in the history of the Western world have we seen such an indulgent , entitlement-minded people. And since a great majority of the Church is just like the world, then we see a indulgent, entitlement-minded Church.

These people have produced preachers and teachers that will tell them what they want to hear. It is often hard to tell the difference between a motivational speaker and a preacher. Instead of teaching and preaching based upon the central truths of Christianity, which we will discuss later, there is preaching and teaching on how to get the most out of life. They teach that God would never call you to something that you do not like. Can you imagine your kids telling you that they are not going to do their chores that you have set for them because it does not bring them pleasure? They do not get any joy from them and they were not called to them. Would you indulge your kids in this behavior? Would you take the time to explain to them about building character, about sacrifice and about servant hood? Are these three elements some of the things that are missing from the church? Its strange that the Church would condemn the “If it feels good, do it,” generation yet at the same time teach this from their own pulpits.

This is the message from the cross less preachers. This is really the only message they can preach to the many who are living for the flesh, for the moment , for themselves. This message answers the cry of the flesh which is always seeking its own and yet never produces satisfaction. And the more the Christians pander to their own flesh and desires the more worldly they become. The irony is that the few who find the narrow path which is death to self, picking up one’s cross, denying the flesh, these few become more Christ like and know what it is to be content in every situation. True preachers of the Word will show you how to die to this world and live for the next. The hirelings will show you , by example, how to live for this world and not for the next. They will show you by their $2000 suits and their $700 shoes. They will boast of these things from the pulpit. They will proudly tell you that they drive a BMW and so should you. They say that this is God’s will for you, that you should live your best life now. Apparently living your best life now includes looking worldly and indulging and fulfilling that which brings you pleasure and living out what you believe you are entitled to.

This is not the message of the Cross and the Gospel. This crass message will only continue to alienate the Church from reaching out to the unchurched. As the Western world slips into a recession and perhaps a depression, there is a great opportunity to reach out to the world with a message of hope in Christ. Will your message be , “Hey, come to Christ and you can regain the mansion that you just had foreclosed?” Or, as God deals with an indulgent and entitlement generation , will your message be the message of the Cross and how the Lord suffered and died and rose again so that they could find life, despite their circumstances?

So what should our focus be as Christians? What is the central truth upon which we stand? The three pillars of foundational truth are 1. He came. 2. He died. 3. He rose again. We celebrate these truths as Christians. We know that He is no longer a baby in a manger and we also know that He is no longer hanging upon the Cross. He is sitting at the right hand of the Father. He dwells within us. That is the Kingdom of God, it dwells within us. These are the central truths of Christianity. If Jesus is no longer on the cross, if He is resurrected in power and by His life gives life, then why should our focus be on a cross that Jesus no longer hangs from?
Why should the cross be lifted up? If the resurrection is our present reality and the power of our lives, what does it empower us to do? The living Jesus empowers us to die. The cross is the symbol of sacrifice and death. To lIve for Him is to die to ourselves and the world. In the Spiritual we came, we died and we rose again as a new creature in Christ. As we move towards and become like Jesus, we die to ourselves.

The proof of our new life , our resurrection from the dead, our authentic faith is not a large house or a $2000 suit or a prosperous life in this world, these prove nothing in the Spiritual. The proof of our faith is how we react to carrying our cross. In the midst of death to ourselves does the love of Jesus pour forth? Do we minister to others when we ourselves are in the midst of trial and testing’s? Have we found the secret of being content in every situation? The cross does not lie. There is no hypocrisy on the cross. Ravenhill said that you knew one thing about a man carrying a cross, he was not coming back. The cross signifies death to self and death to the world. Its only by taking up our cross that we can crucify the flesh. The flesh wars against the Spirit. The flesh must die, it dies only upon the cross, it thrives on indulgence.

The walk of the cross is a lonely walk. Yet in every generation, across denominational lines, brothers and sisters will be called out. They will know each other when they meet. They will be people who have rejected the “norm.” They will be a people who are seeking a deeper walk with Jesus. While the crowd run after the latest craze and those that tickle their ears, these people will find themselves on an ancient narrow path. This path begins at Calvary and ends at the throne. It is a very difficult and lonely path but all the saints who have come before you have walked this very path. Listen to one such saint, speaking form a dungeon, an imprisonment that will lead, after years, to being burned at the stake………….

I will tell to the world an incredible thing, namely, that I have found infinite sweetness in the bowels of the lion. And who will in any wise believe what I am going to relate here? Who can believe it?In a dark hole I have found pleasure; in a place of bitterness and death, rest and hope of salvation; in the abyss or depths of hell, joy; where others weep, I have laughed; where others fear, I have found strength; who will believe this? In a state of misery I have had very great delight; in a lonely corner I have had most glorious company, and in the severest bond, great rest. All these things, my fellow brethren in Jesus Christ, the gracious hand of God has given me. Behold, He that at first was far from me, is now with me, and Him whom I knew but a little, I now see clearly; to whom I once looked from afar, Him I now behold as present; He for whom I longed, now offers me His hand; He comforts me; He fills me with joy; He drives from me bitterness, and renews within me strength and sweetness; He makes me well; He sustains me; He helps me up; He strengthens me. Oh, how good is the Lord, who does not suffer His servants to be tempted above that they are able I Oh, how easy, pleasant and sweet is His yoke I Is there any like God the Most High, who sustains and refreshes those that are tempted? He heals them that are bruised and wounded, and restores them altogether. Isa. 41; 43:20. None is like Him. Learn, most beloved brethren, how sweet the Lord is, how faithful and merciful; who visits His servants in trial (Isa. 43:2); who humbles Himself and condescends to be with us in our huts and humble abodes. He gives us a cheerful mind and peaceful heart. 

 

God bless brother Algerius, one day, those who follow the narrow path will meet him and all the other saints.
Here are some of the signs that will mark the saints that are on the narrow path. They will have an acute awareness of the presence of God. They will have awe filled worship. Separation from the world and peace and contentment in the midst of trial. They will find pleasure only in the things of God. They will never deviate from His Word. Are you on the path? Is the cross the central focus of your life? Seek Him now brothers and sisters while He can yet be found because the day is far gone and the night approaches, perhaps it is even at the door.

6 Responses to “Calvary-The Lost Message”

  1. timbob said

    Wow! I think the term “entitlement-minded church” sums up the pervailing mentality these days. A never-ending seeking of stuff, seeking promotion in this life and failing to prepare for the eternal. Never has Revelation 3:17 been more profound than today. Folks thinking that they have “arrived” when they are, in fact, naked and poor.

    This post should cause every saint to examine themselves; asking the Lord to reveal any hidden weights or contrary attitudes. The final paragraph is very telling in that it outlines the attributes of those who love Jesus and are walking in the Spirit. Thanks for posting and staying in contact.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.

    timbob

  2. no wonder the Prophet prophesied that Isa Bin Maryam (Jesus,Son of Mary) would return to correct the church of all it’s heresies, and save the muslims from the Anti-Christ. Indeed if we did not lose our way, would there have been an opportunity for him,500 years after Christ? where do we go from here? I suggest back to the beginning, and let’s get back to listening to Jesus first, and Jesus last, under the supervision of the Holy Spirit..back to the testimony, and repent, and finish our part of the Great commission so that Jesus can return.Dr.ed, a footstool of Jesus.

  3. appolus said

    Hi brother Timbob…alaway good to hear from you. We should indeed examine oursleves and beware when we stand lest we fall……..brother Frank

  4. appolus said

    HI Edmond……Jesus is not only coming back at the end of time, He has never left us as He dwells in the hearts of all those who have been born-again adn He sits at the right hand of the Father. He was born of the flesh, died on the cross, and rose again to triumhp over death , hell and the grave. All who know Him are already delivered and the anti-christ will have no power over them. He may kill them, but since death has been conquered, they shall live forever in eternity. There is salvation for all Muslims right now, by the power of the risen Son of God who came to make a way when there was no way. Praise His Holy name. His love for Muslims is beyond doubt and His hand is extended to all peoples even now. Shall the people’s of the world reach out and take His hand? I pray that they do…………may the Lord Jesus bless you Edmond………….Frank

  5. Dan said

    Thank you for this incredible post. I know I come up short when it comes to carrying the cross, and like most Americans I know I have become spoiled and used to a very easy life. Of course with the coming depression that will change. Another thing that gets in the way for me is my own depression. It is something I have been fighting for many years. Without God I probably wouldn’t be functional in any useful way. Like you I grew up in an alcoholic home with its share of violence and chaos. I also was an alcoholic but always knew it didn’t have to be that way and that Jesus offers a better way. I got sober and became a pastor. But a low grade melancholy has been a frequent companion throughout. But I also know that Martin Luther and Spurgeon had the same problem. And it has, in a strange way, helped people connect their own problems with the Scriptures and Christ through this ministry. This is not my work but Christ’s. By myself Ican do nothing. Keep up the good work, your posts are authentic and powerful.
    In Christ, Dan

  6. appolus said

    Dear brother Dan

    As I read your comment, this Scripture came to my mind, for it describe both you and I..

    1Co 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness.
    1Co 1:24 But to them, the called-out ones, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
    1Co 1:25 Because the foolish thing of God is wiser than men, and the weak thing of God is stronger than men.
    1Co 1:26 For you see your calling, brothers, that not many wise men according to the flesh are called, not many mighty, not many noble.
    1Co 1:27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
    1Co 1:28 and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are;
    1Co 1:29 so that no flesh should glory in His presence.
    1Co 1:30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption;
    1Co 1:31 so that, according as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

    Many , many times I think about how I began and the road that I was walking and should have walked but for Jesus. Dont you love that little phrase “but for Jesus.” The only reason I even have sanity today? “But for Jesus.” You and I were not wise, nor mighty nor noble, yet the Lord has used the foolish things of this world, you and I, to confound the enemy of souls. I just want to add about your depression, I too have battled that, and continue to have my moments. Yet for me, the greater the depths that I have plunged , the more glorious the light of the Lord revealed. How is it that the simlest of foods can be greately sought after by the hungry man? The appreciation of the food is in direct correlation to the depth of the hunger. The exact same is true of the Lord. We may go days or weeks or months without “feeling,” Him. Yet we have lived in the true darkness of the world and know that in that darkness lies only destruction and death. Oh yes, many times we walk through the valleys of life, some deeper than others, but we keep on walking by faith, we keep on trusting because we know the power that deliverd us from the miry clay. God bless you brother, I love you and I ask that you pray for me, and as you do, know that I am praying for you…….your brother in Christ and fellow fool for Jesus………….Frank

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