Posted by: pastortomvabeach | May 26, 2009

Thought for the Week May 31, 2009

Friends, we have been sharing on Sundays that we are living in unprecedented times as far as the condition of the world and the nearness of Jesus’ return. We have described in detail the extraordinarily deceptive wiles with which Satan seeks to destroy people, especially Christians, God’s own people.

This past Sunday, I mentioned what I believe is the greatest danger and strongest stumbling block that affects Christians today. This is so precisely because it is not inherently evil nor does it appear frightening. This danger does not have worrisome consequences attached directly to it as we know are attached to obvious sins like adultery and lying. The reason this is so perilous is that we don’t see it as evil or sin and we are slowly willingly deceived into turning over our lives to this threat. What is it?

Remember Jesus’ words regarding His coming, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage . . . Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built…” (Luke 17:26-28) Why didn’t Jesus mention all of the horrible sins that saturated the hearts and lives of the people in Noah’s day and in Sodom and Gomorrah? Why didn’t He say, “Just before I come back, the world will be full of sin like in Noah’s and Lot’s day.”? It’s because the greater danger was in the issues that dominated their attention and stole their affection away from their relationship with God.

Jesus is giving us a glimpse into the past to show us how and why the world of antiquity could slide into such dreadful sin and also to warn us against such powerful deception in our day. The over-commitment and excessive attention to the affairs of daily life kept Noah’s and Lot’s contemporaries from noticing the tsunami of evil engulfing their culture and drowned out the warnings God was sending of impending judgment.

Jesus said, “The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word,” and we become unfruitful (Matthew 13:22) He said those in Noah’s day were so caught up in the affairs of life that they “did not know until the flood came and took them all away.” (Matthew 24:39) These ideas should be ample warning that too much attention to the stuff of living here on earth can destroy the influence of God’s truth in our lives and give us a false sense of security which is centered in our comfortable condition no matter how much it takes us to be comfortable. Paul told Timothy that paying too much attention to the things of this life can lead us away from our relationship with the Lord. In II Timothy 4:10 he said, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica.”

Is it any wonder that Jesus said over and over that in order to follow Him we must be willing to deny ourselves, carry the cross, and lose our lives (Matthew 16:24-26)? He spoke often about the comparative value of seeking first the kingdom of God rather than what we need to eat or drink, etc. In no way do I believe He meant we should not work and earn our necessities, but when the necessities become comforts and the comforts become luxuries and maintaining those luxuries begins to demand all of our attention and energy, we may find ourselves drifting away from the real treasure – a growing friendship and love for Jesus Christ.

Given the inherent nature of Satan, I can’t think of a better way to rock Christians to sleep than by slowly but surely turning their interest to “needs” of life. We are surrounded by more and more stuff that the world tells us we “need”, in order to live. The more we get, the more we seem to “need” and little by little we stop praying, we don’t have time to read God’s Word, we “must” work on Sunday or are so consumed with what has to be done that we rarely give God all of our attention even when we are in church.

Beloved, I am alarmed! Alarmed at how much this very thing holds my life and alarmed at the number of Christians who are just “fat, dumb, and happy,” living here and paying the bills so they can eat, drink, and be entertained when they are not working. All the while we are oblivious to the degradation of society all around us. Oh, we complain about crime, delinquency, marriages breaking up, corruption in government, etc., but how many of us are truly serious about giving up some of our worldly comforts and rearranging our priorities so we can really pray or really influence the world around us for good? Why? We’re too busy! And while we are too busy, our country is going to hell in a hand-basket along with our own children, our own churches, and even many of us! What is it going to take to wake us up?

Jesus gave this very plain warning, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage . . . Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built…” Folks, those days are here! Our only hope is a sovereign, powerful, Holy Spirit directed, five alarm revival. We must not let the everyday affairs of life become our dictator. We can join with Christians around the world and, “humble ourselves and pray, and seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways…” In doing that we position ourselves so God can send revival. We can be His agents if bringing a real national awakening! What are you doing to bring this about? Or are you too busy? Just a thought.

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