Biblical Christian, Jesus must remain your First Love. Cultural Christians, repent and return to the Words of Jesus.
In God’s foreknowledge, He knew Christendom would not be the panacea for worldwide peace and harmony. Man’s unwillingness to forsake the pleasures and selfishness of his human heart’s desires, leads only to eternal death of his body, soul and spirit. God offers man a sanctified, spiritual heart that will conform him to the likeness of Jesus Christ. All man has to do is deny his self-will, believe the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ—born of a virgin, died willingly on a cross for man’s sins, and arose from death—and allow the Holy Spirit to live within his heart, and make Jesus his First Love—nothing comes before Jesus; not family, friends, materialistic pleasures, or self.
“But realize this, that in the last day’s difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these,” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
I see storms of darkness coming to the 21st Century American churches: both to Biblical Christians—those who accept Jesus Christ as their risen Savior and His Way as the only pathway to His Heaven and eternal life, and to Cultural Christians—those who profess but do not possess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is written, God will judge His Church and His people.
The atrocities that American’s see and read about daily that are happening at the hands of Islamic extremists, worldly governments and peoples of religious apostasies and thoughts throughout the world are coming to America. America’s own governmental leaders are in many cases promoting persecution of those who hold to the TRUTH of Jesus and His Word, the Holy Bible; they accept the “Peaceful” religion of Islam and of Cultural Christianity, but reject the Peaceful religion of Biblical Christianity. They accept Islam out of fear. Followers of True Islam will kill you while followers of Biblical Christianity (the Overcomers in Jesus) will pray for you.
My heart goes out to all who face daily perils and persecutions but especially to the little children being raped, abused and murdered because of their belief in Jesus Christ. America should stand in their defense, but America’s government is quickly becoming one with those who seek to punish citizens who believe in Jesus. Cultural Christians—those who know the name of Jesus but do not possess Him—deserve much of the blame as well as many Biblical Christians (those in need of repentance from their backslidden hearts) who have remained silent in their “cathedrals of safety” where they do not feel threatened to say the name of Jesus.
Both have stood by in their self-believed righteousness and by their inactions, fears, and in many cases their condoning world view, have allowed evil, masquerading as Political Correctness, to become so deeply ingrained that to change course and return to Godly morality will not be possible except through revolution or some major catastrophic world event that decimates a large percentage of the world population. The “Al Gore’s” of the world should not concern themselves with global warming. Biblical prophecy tells of total global burning when all things will perish as the earth is refined by fire like gold is refined by fire.
Many so called Cultural Christian Church bodies have excluded Jesus Christ from their sanctuaries. They deny God and God’s Commandments and have established man-made rules of “righteousness.” They have accepted the “LIE” of Satan, a created being, and have denied God, his (Satan’s) Creator. The Creator God was asked to leave America, and it is my belief that He has left. America will pay a penalty, a harsh penalty, at the hands of evil men God will use as agents of His wrath.
But, what about the churches? What is their role? In the Biblical Book of Revelation, Jesus—through an Angel and then through the Apostle John—gave Messages to the Seven Churches of Asia by name: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. These churches are said, by various commentators, to be representative of seven types of churches in the Apostle John’s time, churches during various time periods of church history and are also representative of the churches during the 21st Century.
The Church of Jesus Christ is not a physical building but a people group who claim Him as their Lord and Savior; they are referred to in the Bible as the “Bride of Christ.” The physical churches are meeting places for the Brides of Christs and also for those who claim Jesus but who do not possess Him (children of Satan). Jesus gave words to both groups in the Messages to the Seven Churches of Asia, see Revelation 2 and 3.
To the Brides of Christ, who may be found in all churches of Christendom, Jesus taught, “Hold to the Words of instruction and continue to worship Him as their First Love through both the good and bad times (persecutions and martyrdom).” First Love is to place Jesus Christ first in everything through prayer, Bible study and meditation, giving (the tithe), worship, service and reliance upon the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. To make Jesus your First Love and to place everything else second, is not to neglect all other aspects of your life—family, work, friends. There must always be balance and that balance is found in allowing God’s Holy Spirit to indwell you and to be your Spiritual Guide in all walks of life. True followers of Jesus Christ are overcomers of the materialism and worldliness of this world.
Examine your life and the life of the church you attend. Are you, or your church, dead, dying, lukewarm or on fire for Jesus? Is your First Love Jesus or your church building, preacher, choir director, choir, a teacher, deeds of work or those mission trips. Are you working for Jesus or for your own “feel good” pleasures and recognitions? What about those visitors you fail to greet with a smile and a welcome? Better still, are you willing to give up your “click” to welcome new members from the existing church body? Think about it.
In your daily Bible study time, read about the seven churches and ponder on their conditions as seen by Jesus and not by man. While you read think about the church at Smyrna and at Philadelphia. These two had no complaint, warning, or condemnation from Jesus. Consider Jesus’ words to:
- The Church at Smyrna, ¹a persecuted church: “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich). And the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer,” “Some of you are about to be tested, thrown into prison and martyred but overcome and be faithful until death and you will not be hurt by the second death, the Great White Throne Judgment,” Revelation 2:8 -11 paraphrased.
- The Church at Philadelphia, ¹a favored church: “I know your deeds…you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name…Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing (tribulation period), that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth…He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God…,” Revelation 3:7-13.
To those churches and people who had fallen, backslidden or just were not up to “His standards,” He did offer words of commendation, praise, and promise for “works” they had once performed when they began their relationship with Him, but He also gave warning, chastening, complaints, and counsel if they refused to repent (they had left their First Love) and return to Him; consider those words:
- “I stand at your door and knock,” (applies to all but spoken to the church at Laodicea). Open your door (your heart) and receive me and make me your First Love. In other words, Jesus must be first in your life. All who claim Christianity must be indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Without the indwelling, there is no salvation, no home in Jesus’ heaven and no eternal life.
- Reject the doctrine of Balaam (The Church at Pergamum [¹a licentious church]). “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam…So you also have some who in the same way hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent…to him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.,” Revelation 2: 12-17 paraphrased.
Balaam was a Midianite prophet who was sent by Balak, king of Moab, to curse Israel. Read the story in Numbers, chapters 22 through 25. God would not allow Balaam to curse Israel (God even had Balaam’s donkey speak to him) so he, Balaam, suggested to Balak to have a festival, a feast to worship Moab’s god, Baal-Peor, that included idol worship and acts of licentiousness (immorality). Men of Israel accepted the invitation of Balak; they attended the festival and participated in their pagan activities. God allowed thousands of Israelites who attended to be killed by a plague because of their participation.
“Balaamism” is thus wickedness, apostasy, idolatry, compromise and acts of sexual immorality that people of Christendom allow themselves to be willingly seduced by. “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness,” 2 Corinthians 6:14.
- Reject the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes (The Church at Ephesus [¹a backslidden church). “I know you deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your First Love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deed you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent…Yet you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life…,” Revelation 2: 1-7 paraphrased.
This was not a sect, as such, but was an effort by church leaders to establish a hierarchy of leadership (Clergy) over the common people (the Laity) of the Church. After all, why have Pastors when you can have Clergy—Bishops, Cardinals, Popes and etc. Biblical Christians have direct access to Jesus and do not need an intermediator (man) to speak for them to God. Not all members of the Church at Ephesus accepted this teaching. What about your church? Are there false prophets and teachers?
When ritualism resembling former pagan customs becomes more important than Jesus Christ’s Salvation by Grace, you have a Church in trouble. Why compromise on the truth Jesus taught?
- Reject Jezebelism (The Church at Thyatira [¹a lax church]). “I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols…To those of you who do not hold this teaching…hold fast until I come…and …overcome…,” Revelation 2:18-29.
Jezebel was a princess of idolatry devoted to Baal and Astarte, both pagan religions. Through her family and her husband, Ahab, they introduce idolatry to Israel and killed many prophets of the Lord. You can read about it in 1st Kings.
When the Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation, the Jezebel of the Old Testament times had been dead a long time. Her death was actually gruesome as she was thrown from a second story window, trampled by horses and eaten by dogs who licked her blood from the streets.
Jezebelism is the allowance of “objects of worship” to become part of the Order of Worship. When people bow down to objects or pray to objects and claim that these objects are godly religious acts (many are from former pagan cultures) of worship and more important than the Bible, the Living Word of God, you have Cultural Christendom and Church Apostasy.
Jezebelism is also a compromising church and people group; What’s so wrong with homosexuality? What is wrong with throwing a little salt on the fire and saying Caesar is god? It harms no one and is the “right” thing for a great society say the teachers of false doctrine and political correctness. America, your sins are great. REPENT.
- Flee from the Dead Church (The Church at Sardis [¹a dead church]). “I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God…there are a few that…are worthy…and I will not erase their name from the book of life,” Revelation 3:1-6 paraphrased.
The dead church is another type of church that is formal, ritualistic and holds to false teachings and ungodly claims of knowledge and compromise. It has a form of Godliness but because of unbelief it has no power. While there may not be idol worship as such, there is no Bible study or Bible reading. They are not a church that is watching and waiting for Jesus to return. They too are a compromising church.
- Come out of the Luke Warm Church (The Church at Laodicea [¹a lukewarm church]). “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot…because you are neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth…you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked…repent and overcome,” Revelation 3:14-22 paraphrased.
The Luke Warm Church is a church that maintains and performs a lot of activity, but there is no spiritual power. The church is also a compromising church with material wealth and large activity centers, but there is no Jesus and no power in the Holy Spirit. Reliance upon money and the things it can buy for the “Church Community” are more important than the Spiritual Power God can provide. In other words, trust in God’s provisions and not by man’s “wealth.” God said that He stands outside the doors of this particular type church and knocks, asking to be let in.
¹from The Book of Revelation, Clarence Larkin, REV. CLARENCE LARKIN ESTATE, Glenside, Pa. 19038, p. 20-28.
Look around at the world today. The world has always been plagued by evil men so today’s evil is nothing new. Men have evidence of past and present atrocities but yet they are blinded to the reality of God’s final solution for man and the evil powers that are to come. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places,” Ephesians 6:12.
Today, we are witnessing a decline in the number of True Churches of Jesus Christ in America. Many of today’s Churches are churches in name only. There is no power in their prayers and ministries. No healing and Christ like fellowship. Revival is needed, but there will be no revivals. Today’s men are much too sophisticated to walk the aisle of repentance, confessing their sins and turning from their wicked ways. They will be judged by Jesus at the Great White Throne Judgment. Please note, only
God knows the true believers in any church. There may be “the Elect” in all church denominations, but the elect are true followers of Jesus Christ and HIS teachings. The elect may be there to be “salt and light” to those who are to become followers of Jesus Christ. God’s wrath will be brought against all teachers of false doctrine and the apostasies committed by those who worship in temples of Satan.
Today a choice must be made. You must either accept the calling of God’s Spirit that is convicting you that you are a sinner—outside the will of God—and you must repent—change from your life of sin—and accept the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ and make Jesus your First Love. Or, you must refuse to accept the Creator God of Biblical Christianity—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and reject His Son, Jesus Christ, as the only true pathway to heaven. There are only two pathways. Will you take the narrow path that leads to eternal life or will you take the broad path that leads to eternal damnation? The choice is yours to make.
Are you willing to do it God’s way or man’s way? God says to come out of the world. If you choose not to accept God’s calling you will remain outside of God’s coming kingdom and the eternal life that He promised to those who love Him.
“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin,” James 4:17.
Those are my thoughts for today. What will be your decision?
If you would like more information on how to find God or to comment on this blog, please email your comments and questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit: www.twitter.com/closetchristian and www.theindwelling.com.
Copyright © 2008-2016 by: North Loop Cottage LLC / NorthLoopCottage.com / theIndwelling.org / the indwelling.com / spirit.theindwelling.org. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked KJV are taken from the King James Version of the Bible. (Public Domain);
NIV are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
“Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org.”