One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Don’t be afraid. Continue speaking. Don’t be silent. I’m with you and no one who attacks you will harm you, for I have many people in this city.” So he stayed there for eighteen months, teaching God’s word among them.Acts of the Apostles 18:9-11 CEB
I’ve long said that we need to re-evangelize the Western church. Cultural Christianity, the product marketed by commercial Christianity business owners, reminds me of the old Temple system of worship without as much feigned devotion. Now before you get offended, I’m only pointing this out to offer a remedy from Scripture.
Think about it. The rulers of the synagogues were religious men who knew the Law but did not practice it from the heart. Jesus called them hypocrites. Now, Jesus and His followers would teach at the Temple and in synagogues all the time, attempting to convert people to the faith. This means a bunch of religious people needed saving.
Jesus picked common, unlearned men to be His disciples who would turn the world upside down. The educated rulers of the synagogues couldn’t recognize the Messiah that their Scriptures teach about. Why not? Because their hearts were wicked. They didn’t want a Savior to appear because they loved power and the praises of men rather than God.
By and large, the system is no different today. I’m not blaming people for being deceived, they’re just doing what they were taught. They don’t know any better. That’s why we must constantly be preaching the true Gospel and teaching people to obey everything that Christ commands us.
What does He command us to do? To love God more than anything. To love others as much as we love ourselves. That means loving people and looking after their needs and not just our own. Quit being selfish. That’s what God wants us to do.
I know I’m not alone. There are many brothers who are much more educated than I, with decades more experience in serving the Lord than I, who also believe the same way. We can’t be silent. We must speak the truth in love. If we don’t, we’re part and parcel of the enemy’s plan to keep believers in hibernation, passive consumers of religious teachings, who do nothing to further the advancement of the Gospel.
Joyful obedience is the lifestyle of the true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Is Jesus Lord of your local church expression? Do you seek His face daily for His direction? Or do you live in the futility of your own minds like the Gentiles do?
The Church in America needs a come to Jesus meeting. Everyday of the week. Not just on Sundays. Somebody needs to preach the Gospel. Somebody needs to teach people to obey. Somebody needs to make disciples not customers. Who will it be? Who will He send? Who will not love their own lives unto death?
It’s time to rise to the occasion. God’s done the heavy lifting. We just need to walk in obedience. True obedience to our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus of Nazareth.
Lord God in Heaven, lead us to repentance where we have gone astray. We know You are rich in mercy and desire that none should perish. Forgive us for leading selfish lives of worldliness and self-interest instead of godliness and loving service to God and others. Give us a fresh fire and renewed desire to serve the True and Living God with all of our lives, with all of our time, talent and treasure. Give us wisdom for the days ahead and protect us from the precepts of man and the doctrine of demons. You are the True and Living Word. Inhabit our hearts and transform us from the inside out. To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
You know I held back nothing that would be helpful so that I could proclaim to you and teach you both publicly and privately in your homes. You know I have testified to both Jews and Greeks that they must change their hearts and lives as they turn to God and have faith in our Lord Jesus.Acts of the Apostles 20:20-21 CEB