Thursday, March 3, 2011

THE BIG CRASH - CHURCH & CULTURE!

This map shows the percentage of the U.S. adul...Image via Wikipedia
(CAUSE? – DOUBTING CHRIST, THE GOD/MAN!)
by

Bernie Lutchman

Events in this world are racing so fast out of control, and from one sequence to another, that sometimes it’s difficult to keep focused on what just happened 5 hours ago! A friend of mine once likened these shortened days of the End Times to the last few sheets in a roll of paper towels…. that is to say, the closer you get to the empty cardboard roll in the middle, the faster the sheets fall off!

So is it with these fleeting days! We look around and find ourselves living in what could be most generously termed – a parallel universe! On one side – the side with all the glitz, glamour and going bonkers – we have the Charlie Sheens, Lady Gaga and Lindsay Lohans of this world. At the side of this, we have “Father of the Year” Billy Ray Cyrus complaining about his daughter Miley’s slide into Sodom and Gomorrah in Hollywood – WHEN HE WAS THE ONE WHO LET HER GO THERE!!!

On the world stage, we have varied and assorted madmen from the anti-Semitic Iranian President to a man who ran his country for 41 years and a full army, yet remained a Colonel – Muammar el-Gaddhafi (or however they spell his name these days).

On the church level, more and more so-called Evangelical churches have leaders, who are not even saved, preaching the Gospel! Why do I say that? Because they said so, in a their own way! They not only believe more and more in Evolution, but we have proof!

GOOD NEWS IS “BAD NEWS!

The latest and largest Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey of 35,000 adults was conducted in 2008. It found that 57% of the people sitting next to you in Church believe that ALL RELIGIONS LEAD TO ETERNAL LIFE AND HEAVEN AND THERE ARE OTHER WAYS THAN JESUS!! Now this is the United States, but it’s even worse in Western Europe and Canada!

This is over half of American congregations…from evangelical churches! The word “evangelical” comes from the Greek word, which means “good news”! This is good news indeed …for the devil! He is winning the intellectual battle on earth. This also confirms what the Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 22:14 “many are called but FEW are chosen”!

There are all kinds of stunned and concerned Disciples of Christ who are looking not just for the reasons for all of this, but the solutions to save the NEXT generations before it is too late. But from what we’re hearing from further research by Dr. Ken Ham and Britt Beemer from Answers in Genesis, it may be already too late! They published a book in 2009 called ALREADY GONE which showed with facts and figures, how have already LOST the current and NEXT generation of kids, starting in 6th Grade!!

The culprit is not just weak church leadership not following the Bible, but the Curriculum and lack of proper Discipleship and Mentoring in most US churches! We have already lost most of the mainline, Orthodox and other traditional churches. In fact the same Pew Religion survey found over 25% of their congregation DOUBTED THE EXISTENCE OF GOD!! Yet they call themselves Christians!!

WHY?

How did all this bad news happen? Read the Bible Teachings on Scribd.com here by my brother in Christ, friend and even my mentor himself – Dr. Earl Powell. He just posted a major 14 page Document. This teaching by the Doc is full of the richness of the Bible, while direct you there for all the answers and will show not just how FAR we have fallen but how we can return to the fold of Christ followers!

TIP: search above for Earl Powell and then click on the photo, which says “Godmobile” on it. You will find that aforementioned bible study which should take you over two weeks to go through properly!

Just briefly, there are MANY, MANY reasons for our youth leaving the Faith – physically when they graduate from High School and mentally from 6th Grade on…and it not only has to do with the teaching of Evolution which church leaders are ill-equipped to combat. One major reason is – our youth and the adults in this Pew Survey (and similar ones by George Barna) – do NOT believe the Bible!

It has nothing to do with the hypocrisy of some of their parents living like the devil all week, minus one hour in church. Churches have turned into glorified pep rallies, with just enough Jesus to qualify for the race, have our kids for a couple hours each week, then turn them loose for the rest of the week – INTO THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND!!

Now thank God for Godly parents, homeschoolers, private schools, Bible studies in public high schools and more…. but they are still the minority. When several of our so-called conservative church leaders are doubting not just the young earth Theory (where God created the earth in 6 real days, less than 7000 years ago) but they doubt the Cross-, the Blood and the Deity of Christ, the God-Man – HOUSTON, we have a big problem!

Doubters, scoffers and intellectuals will dismiss the Bible as a book of tales and as the unsaved US President Thomas Jefferson once said about the book of Revelation “ it is a book written by the imaginations of a mad man”!! Those of us who have the Spirit of Christ – the Holy Spirit – living not just in us, but teaching us DAILY, know the Truth of the Bible – it is the LIVING, BREATHING WORD OF GOD!

JESUS THE GOD-MAN?

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for these doubters and scoffers makes the BIGGEST difference to what we’re talking about – the Deity of Jesus Christ! Other religions and cults call him a prophet or a good man. Modern secularists and humanists said he was some kind of a moral teacher. Mainline churches dispute not just the Crossing at the Red Sea by Moses, but the Virgin Birth of Jesus AND they doubt His Deity as well as the Resurrection! The fool has said in his heart and loud enough for us to hear that “Jesus never claimed to be God”!!

Oh yeah? Here is Jesus Himself in John 14:9-10 (AMP) “Jesus replied, Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say then, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the (His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power).

The Deity of Christ and His Incarnation as both Man and God has baffled not just pagans worldwide, but religious scholars and now so-called “Christians” of this Age! This is the Foundation of ALL I have previously mentioned in this essay! If the matter of just WHO Jesus really is, has NOT been settled in the mind of a person, there is not transaction to be made with God the Father, because this person has NO CLUE or relationship with God the Son!

Therefore, this person is headed for an eternity in Hell!

Jesus has many titles and offices, present tense. But He had ONE big one, which will only occur once in Human History, and it ended on a Cross at Calvary almost 2000 years ago.

Jesus was God Who came to Earth as a baby born in a manger, to fulfill prophecy, minister and then die as a real MAN. Yet He never lost His Attribute as God of Creation!

THE PROOF IS IN THE WORD!

Philippians 2:6-8 (AMP) says “Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God (possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God), did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, but stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!

Note several things in BOLD:

ONE WITH GOD – He was not just a form of GOD BUT EQUAL to God

POSSESSING THE FULLNESS OF THE ATTRIBUTES WHICH MAKE GOD– Self-explanatory because everything that made Father God, our Father Who art in heaven, made Jesus the same God!

STRIPPED HIMSELF – as the Amplified says, He gave up ALL His rights and privileges of being God and eternal King, to HUMBLE and POUR HIMSELF OUT as an offering for mankind! Think about this for a few minutes and how you or I could ever measure up to a sacrifice like this!!

ASSUME THE GUISE OF A SLAVE – the actual word is NOT servant but slave (doulos in the original Greek)! Jesus is the Ultimate Servant leader! He was born to serve to show US HOW TO SERVE each other…and we haven’t done a good job at this whatsoever!

HE BECAME LIKE MEN AND WAS BORN A HUMAN BEING – having poured Himself out of Heaven to suffer the Shame, suffering and Pain for our Gain, Jesus was born into this earth as a real human to a real human mother – Mary, period! There is no disputing this! His death and some of his life was recorded by the secular Jewish historian Josephus, who later became friends with the Lord’s half-brother James – the head of the Church in Jerusalem!

HE ABASED AND HUMBLED HIMSELF- do any of us know anyone who would go through, for another human being, what Jesus suffered? He was scorned by the religious leaders, scoffed and tortured by Pilate and then they killed Him on the Cross! This alone is the jaw-dropper of all recorded History!

CARRIED HIS OBEDIENCE TO THE EXTREME OF DEATH – Hebrews 5:8 (AMP) explains it best…since Scripture explains Scripture the best – “Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered and, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him”!

THE DEATH OF THE CROSS – You know, Jesus calls those who wish to follow Him, to take up their own Cross (as He did) and follow His Example. He is dead serious about this command. Through the ages, there has been a story about Peter trying to leave Rome before the Persecution began there, so he would not be killed and he saw Jesus dragging His Cross once again, walking towards Rome.

Peter was so torn up that he immediately turned around, turned himself in and only asked that he would be crucified upside down! The reason? He said he was not worthy to be crucified the same way as Jesus!

Are we ready for the same? The time of the Great Tribulation and Persecution is almost upon us and us in the Church. Many will go cold and not survive. The Remnant will make it, but with great pain and suffering and Cross-bearing.

Gird up your strength; walk in the Light; live the Great Spirit-filled life and surrender all to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Who for the Joy set before Him (a restored Remnant of mankind) was born the God/Man, to save you and I. In a world of toil, turmoil and terror, this is the Good News, which will never fade away!

(image courtesy Google images)


















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