The Truth Shall Set You Free

 Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." Does this quote sound familiar to you? Through out my life--especially in church I've heard this quoted, more times than I can count. Since the institutional church is suppose to be real big on the truth--I wonder why there are far more churches turning their backs on the truth then those teaching it. We've been inundated with a false Gospel for so long half of the church folk wouldn't know the truth if the truth smacked "em up side the head--Maybe if the pastor said "Now turn to your neighbor and slap 'em upside the head and say the truth is here--are you listening." Sorry, couldn't resist that one. If most of these seeker driver churches were actually teaching the Biblical truth we certainly wouldn't see the spreading of humanism growing in the church at such a rapid pace that those who are leaving these churches do so for their spiritual health. The truth: most folks can't handle the truth--that's why they entertain _______ (fill in the blank).

Question: If it's for freedom that Christ has set us free--why are so many self-proclaiming Christians still in bondage? Some don't even know it-but they are-- nonetheless.

John 8:31 "Then Jesus said to those Jews, who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They answered Him, " We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, "You will be made free?" Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Several things struck me as I read Jesus' words and the replies from the Pharisees. In order to know the truth you must abide in Him and His word. Not the words of the pastor, or Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church, what the deacon/first lady says. How are you going to be truly set free if you don't know the truth? Yet, so many faithfully take everyone else's words as the pure unadulterated Gospel, never searching the scriptures and testing the spirits they encounter, always hearing the truth but never coming into full knowledge and freedom.

The reply of the Pharisees resound like many church folk today. The Pharisees objection--denial about their true condition is startling, considering that in the past the Israelites had been in bondage to the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonia's. And at this particular time, Israel was under the power of Rome. In their arrogance, and ignorance they believed that religion could save them, especially when they themselves could not keep the law. They had no idea that Jesus was referring to spiritual slavery, which no man/woman has the power to break away from--He must have someone else set him free (Romans 8:3-4). They may have been physical heirs of Abraham, but they were not his spiritual descendants unless they had faith. In the futility of their minds, they could never grasp that--they heard the word but did not believe it, therefore they could not experience or know the truth--which is true freedom.

Please hear me--the truth is not based on our opinions, our views, and our feelings! This is one of the biggest problems within the body of Christ. The word of God is the only truth. I can't tell you how many times I see Christians give their opinions about sin by their own feelings and views--never taking it to Biblical authority, the same authority they claim to live their lives by. When I, you, or anyone else sees fit to dismiss this--we've become little more than Pharisees ourselves purposing and injecting our views all while placing Jesus at the bottom and ourselves at the top--which is a dangerous place to be. The man/woman of God who abides in the Word of God knows the truth and its there that freedom from the bondage of sin is. There is no other place for which true freedom exists!

Jesus said in Luke 4:18-19

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at

liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”


Living In A Babylonian Culture

 Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It is my firm belief that many institutional churches are not preparing and have not prepared the younger generation how to live in this Babylonian culture that we are living in. I'd go so far as to say they haven't prepared anyone. Now more than ever, we see a watered down gospel that caters to our wants rather than our needs, it's all about the numbers--the numbers draw the money. Living in the society that we live in, where the days are growing more wicked, people are growing more cold, and the world is loving less, too many pastors are obsessed with looking good and making you feel good. I'm telling you God is not pleased with those who call themselves the bride of Christ. Out of all the "Christian" television networks on today, I've not seen one that has any substance. Last night I caught TD Jakes preaching his watered down version of the gospel. He stated and I quote "The word of God is His sperm". Really! And all these folks could do was hoop, holler, jump up in down in agreement. Can't say that I was surprised though. Disgusted, I flipped the channel. Where are the Daniels, Hananiah's, Mishael's, & Azariah's of this age. (And they are out there) I'll tell you where they're not---on any so called christian programming show. I've been studying the book of Daniel--the Lord impressed it upon me to study and really look at these men of God. Here are a few points that I walked away with:

  • Daniel and company were brought from their land into captivity to Babylon. They were good looking, smart, able to learn, and chosen for those reasons to serve under the king. (Chapter 1)
  • The four men were stripped of their names and given names that the King chose, taught them their language and their culture in an attempt to make them take on the identity of Babylon.
  • Though these men were brought into the land of Babylon by captivity, they resolved to not defile themselves by partaking in any of the indulges' that the King offered--in food or wine.
  • They Loved God above all else and served Him only, fully trusting and believing Him.
  • They submitted to the King--but when it required going against God, they refused--holding fast to their identity in God. They knew who their provider was and was faithful--even in the face of death.

This for me paints the picture of what the Narrow Way is. It's not conforming, or compromising. The Narrow way demands our complete obedience to God, Christ, and the Word. If we are not grounded we will certainly walk or be lead into a ditch. It's not about fuzzy feelings, following after the next big move of God or the next big so called Prophet that prophesies lies. There is no doubt about it, you will face the furnace......the question is will you be willing to trust in Christ and take a stand. Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego lived in a Babylonian culture just as we do now, the difference between these men & the majority of so called Christ follower's...they knew the difference between the wide gate and the narrow one.


What's High On Your List

 Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm standing in the front of the classroom on this one, raising my hand high, my top ten list use to have Jesus at the bottom. Of course, I didn't realize that--because in my own mind I felt like I had Him at the top of the list. One of my complaints was--I never really have enough of time to incorporate any Bible Study in my time through out the week, or prayer time for that matter. I'd say "Lord, if only I had enough hours in the day to do all the things that I needed to do." Folks can I be honest here. Truth: We all have enough time in the day to devout ourselves to stopping and putting God first in every aspect of our lives. We have enough hours in a day, we have enough time even in our most hectic and chaotic days--it's all a matter of making choices, and wisely doing so. Simply giving God Sunday, and Wednesday Bible Study is not having a relationship with Him at all. Can you truly learn and have a relationship with anyone while devoting 1-2 days a week (if that) to building that relationship? The problem that many followers of Christ have is truly assessing our priorities and being honest with ourselves. Putting God at the bottom of the list puts everything else ahead of Him and that leaves us vulnerable. Then that's when we wonder "God where are you?" Hear me when I say this people--THERE IS A STORM COMING AND ONLY THOSE WHO ARE PREPARED WILL ENDURE IT! The only way to prepare is to study and immerse ourselves in His word and Prayer. Have you checked your list lately?