Seemingly, everything in the world today is responding and gravitating towards the GOD OF SELF.
Unfortunately, unscrupulous men at the helm of affairs in the church are also dragging the church down this ignoble path – the path that loves SELF and promotes SELF.
The contrast between ‘what the church ought to be’ and ‘what she is becoming’ is truly alarming. And it is hinged on a simple spiritual truth – the Gospel of Christ is UNRELENTING AND UNYIELDING in its opposition to SELF, and to everything that SELF represents. For at the centre of the Gospel of Christ is the CROSS OF CHRIST. And the function of the cross is to CROSS OUT SELF.
Jesus Himself put the CROSS at the centre, making it an ABSOLUTE CONDITION FOR FOLLOWING HIM. “And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himSELF, AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23). On another occasion, He reiterated the same point in this stark manner, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE” (Luke 14:23). It is as critical as that.
Therefore, every man MUST choose to either follow the Gospel of Christ, or follow SELF – there is no middle course. This reality faces all men in the world, just as it faces all men in the church. And in making this choice, there is no doubt about where mankind prefers to pitch its tent. This should not come as a surprise to us, because the Bible has already prophesied that in the Last Days men will be LOVERS OF SELF (2 Timothy 3:1-2).
This is why the church system of today is becoming more and more focussed on satisfying and gratifying the SELF of her members. You hear words like:
“God will make YOU happy!”
“God will make YOU rich!”
“God will put YOU ahead of everybody else!”
“God will kill all the enemies that stand in the way of YOUR breakthrough!”
“Don’t worry, God has forgiven all YOUR sins – even before you commit them!” etc.
Thus, church has become all about YOU!!!!
In this era, barely would you see churches that constantly affirm THE REALITY OF THE CROSS - as almost every single book of the New Testament does. That is, the suffering that the cross imposes on a believer. The pain of the cross. The shame of the cross. The separation of the cross. The loss that the cross precipitates and so on. All these crucial, integral elements of the Christian faith have been largely slaughtered on the altar of SELF – and, in exchange, we now have a ‘do-as-YOU-like’ Gospel of convenience. A ‘talk-as-YOU-like’ Gospel. A ‘dress-as-YOU-like’ Gospel.
In these days, believers no longer want to die in order to live as Jesus Christ prescribes in John12:24-25, Matthew 10:39, and similar passages. Today, believers want to live so that they will not have to die. That’s the irony of the Christian faith in the days we live in.
In the midst of all this unfolding spiritual disaster, anyman that genuinely wants to follow Jesus Christ would really need to RADICALLY turn his back on the church system of today, for it is designed to make believers lukewarm. Such a man must desire an earnest return to Jesus Christ Himself. A return to the cross. A return to the lonely, narrow path that Jesus told us would eventually lead us to life (Matthew 7:14).
In its raw form, this message will NOT resonate in the church today. For the Bible tells us that in the Last Days, many will NOT want to endure sound doctrines. Rather, 2 Timothy 3:3-4 helps us to understand that ‘AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS’ they’ll look for preachers that will tell them what THEY want to hear. SELF, SELF, SELF again. This strange spirit of SELF is dulling the ears of believers, preventing them from hearing the last warning before the curtain falls – the gentle knock of Jesus on the door of the hearts of all that still have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches (Revelation 3:20).
Friends, please DON’T BLEND IN! Stand out! Stand with Christ. For the time is getting shorter daily. And His heart of love awaits every pilgrim that TRULY wants to get back Home safely.
Thanks for reading. God bless you.