Friday, July 10, 2020

Don’t Be Blind To The Spiritual Reality – Be The Light

“Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, ‘We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’  Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’ Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” – Acts 19:13-16

There is a spiritual reality that the world does not know. That reality is based upon the Creator God. As born again Believers, we are part of a spiritual kingdom. In the case of the men described in Acts 19, they were religious but were not part of that kingdom.  The evil spirit acknowledged Jesus and Paul – but did not recognize those men. They were not spiritual men and therefore had no authority over the evil spirit. And they soon found that out.  Recall the story of Jesus casting out “Legion” (4000 to 6000), and these men were dealing with one spirit. So why share that story with you? Certainly not so you will cast out demons.

I was taking to a pastor friend in Haiti the other day about legislation that the president of Haiti signed into law. I won’t go into detail as they are not clear – but suffice it to say it is not good – but I will share what the Pastor told me the Church in Haiti was doing in response – “Yesterday about 200 pastors work (protest) in the streets of Jacmel against these laws, and we sent an open letters for the president to tell him we do not need these laws in our society.  If he does not repent,  in a couple of weeks all protestant churches in the whole country decide to invest (protest in) the street to say no.”

There is something spiritual going on. That is to say , something spiritually significant going on – because there is always something spiritual going on.  This is not the time for the Church to be silent.  Can you imagine the Pastors from the Church in the United States taking to the streets? Instead there is silence. Oh there are meetings, to be sure. Meetings to talk about understanding the problem – analyzing it.  It has never been more obvious than today that Christians are a minority in the natural – but are the majority in the spiritual.  What I mean is, that to say “thus saith the Lord” means nothing to the culture we live in if it goes against a common belief.  The measure of rightness is man not God. We accommodate sin because we don’t want to condemn the one who is sinning. In face of the Word of God, we embrace what God condemns so we can embrace the sinner.

 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” – Romans 1:24-32

Be careful. It is difficult when you know someone who is involved in some way of living that is contrary to the Word that you don’t minimize the reality that it is sin so you don’t have to acknowledge that sin in the person’s life.  You don’t want to make them feel bad. If the excuse is that they were born that way, I would say that is true.  We were all born that way – in Sin as sinners.  That is why we need Jesus.  I hesitate to say that people who continue in sin cannot be saved, I would say that God knows the heart and that we all struggle with sin in our lives – but we are not to continue in sin. The moment I was born again did not result in a complete transformed natural life, but it did result in a changed heart and a spiritual birth. And yet we do continue to sin, don’t we. To say that God is big enough or strong enough to help any of us with our sin is, well, nonsense and reveals our lack of spiritual understanding.

God loved us while we were yet sinners – Christ died for us – including the ones that crucified Him – but not all will be saved.  The Apostles spent their lives encouraging Christians to reject the old nature and embrace the new.  That is what the New Testament letters focus on.  How to live the new life we have been given. We must not be silent when we encounter wrong. But we must be compassionate toward those who are doing the wrong.  We must stand for right – as defined by God in the Bible – be a light and a voice in the midst of the chaos raging around us.

We should not make excuses for sin in our lives or in the lives of others. We should understand the impossibility of people who are not born again to overcome sin.  Understand, that until they yield to the Spirit by faith in Jesus, that they will not even be willing to acknowledge many sins as sin.  And even after they have spiritual understanding they, like all Christians, will continue to struggle with not embracing the natural in favor of the spiritual.  The world sees us a hypocritical because we are not perfect.  The world looks at the frailty of man and not the steadfastness, grace and mercy of God.  They expect us to be perfect, but we are not. But be careful that you don’t use that imperfection in the natural as an excuse to continue in sin. 

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?  Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” – Romans 6:1-2

Be the light! 

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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