Posted by: pastortomvabeach | October 22, 2012

Thought for the Week October 28, 2012

In the past couple of weeks I have passed on articles I’ve seen from various sources. I’ve done this because the articles I’m reading are saying all of the things that I believe the Lord is saying to me and usually saying it so much better than I can that I feel like you will benefit from seeing what others are hearing. I planned on writing something myself this week, then I received the monthly update from our former pastor, Steve Dyer.

In his update, he reminds readers that he has committed to pray for revival and renewal in the U.S., encouraging them to do the same, then he wrote an article that, I think, says a lot to the church in America and why we are where we are today. Again, he says things I’ve been hearing and thinking, so I want to pass it on to you. He entitled his thoughts: RELUCTANT WARRIORS

“As I address the issues America faces, I am more convinced than ever before that America needs The Church. America doesn’t need more meetings, it needs the True Body of Christ to clearly represent the message of God’s Word. As the church becomes increasingly secular, we become equally impotent and irrelevant. Part of the problem is that we have lost some of our foundation.

“Seven Words We Don’t Use Anymore – The problem in America today is not the economy, the president, or the government. The true issue we face is whether Christ’s body, the church, will once again be the church. To begin that return to efficacy, we must first return to a more Biblical standard of faith and practice. The fact that we do not use these words anymore simply illustrates that we are not who we must be.

“Sin – The word appears 400 times in the Bible. Sin is any act or intention that violates God’s nature. In the modern American church we hear about personal issues, abuse, self esteem, and host of other concepts that are all man centered. Sin defines our failing to live up to God’s standard.

“Orthodoxy – It’s a word that means ‘correct belief.’ The church has always taught that only orthodox (correct) doctrine will lead a person to salvation. During the height of Nazi rule in Germany, theologian Deitrich Bonhoeffer correctly analyzed the nation’s true problem. He saw that Hitler would have never been able to control Germany if the church had not become so lukewarm that its doctrine and practice could no longer transform people or society.

“Blasphemy – Any word or idea that insults God or speaks anything about Him that is untrue is blasphemy. We hear blasphemy everyday on television and in our everyday lives but we don’t call it what it is.

“Holiness – The word holy means ‘set apart.’ God’s people are redeemed from the world and ‘set apart’ to accomplish the tasks of the Kingdom of God. Holiness is simply a lifestyle that seeks to imitate Christ.

“Heresy – Any doctrine, belief, or statement that is incorrect is heresy. The most common heresy in America today is universalism; the belief that Christ is only one of many ways to salvation. There are many other lesser heresies and all are destructive. A person who believes and speaks heresy is a heretic.

“Perversion – God defines the boundaries of sexuality in Leviticus chapter 18. Adultery, fornication, incest, bestiality, and homosexuality are all forbidden for God’s people. We use many words to describe those acts today such as affair, liaison, and alternative lifestyle but they are still perversion.

“Judgment – God’s judgment has never been a popular topic. In the Old Testament, when God finally judged Israel for its idolatry, most people did not acknowledge that what was happening was the result of divine retribution. They either saw it as just bad luck or worse, they attributed it to pagan gods and claimed Israel was not giving proper homage to Baal and the Queen of Heaven. The names of the idols have changed but unregenerate attitudes have not.

“ONE GOOD SIGN – As Halloween approaches next week, it is one good sign of The Church doing its work in the earth. How so? Because a couple of decades ago we realized that we needed to provide a better way for children to celebrate a fun night instead of just complaining about it as ‘the devil’s holiday.’ Churches all around America began hosting parties that were safer and more fun than the traditional Trick or Treating. Now, the church leads the way in helping kids have fun on All Hallow’s Eve. It’s a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.”

I believe this article underscores and reminds us why we need to pray for our beloved nation. Once those words Pastor Steve mentioned were spoken so powerfully from our pulpits that real changes occurred in people’s lives which affected the make-up and direction of the country. Of course, not everyone heeded the preaching of the truth, but there was enough Christian influence in the U.S. to hold back the onslaught of evil we see today. We need to return to the values that make Christianity “salt and light”. When we live apart from sin, pursuing holiness, trusting solid biblical truth, and serving those around us with Christ’s live we have great influence. That’s what will happen in revival. I’m praying for that to happen in me. What about you?

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