Are You Aware That Most Christians Have Never Been Born Of God?
I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
John 17:14 (NLT)
The period of time in which we now are living is one of shaking, of separation. The fires of persecution and tribulation are testing the genuineness of each individual who professes Christ.
It appears that the Divine shaking will produce two separate churches:
- The Church, the Body of Christ, formed from God’s elect, His remnant; and
- A much larger group of Christian “believers” who will appear in many ways to be members of the Christian faith. They will have the reputation of being “alive” but will be spiritually dead.
There is a willingness on the part of professing Christians to believe unscriptural concepts, such as:
- An emphasis on “grace” to the extent that behavior is not critically important;
- On the love of God to the exclusion of the fear of God;
- On the “rights” of people to the neglect of the adoration and service of God;
- On the ascension (rapture) of immature believers to the neglect of the spiritual life that is absolutely necessary if we are to participate in the first resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:11).
It is being taught and believed that Christians always must be comfortable and must not experience suffering or tribulation of any kind.
There are those who fear God who believe that this entire trend of preaching and teaching has no part in Christ even though its proponents are “fundamental” in doctrine, aggressive in evangelism, and, in some instances, speak in tongues, claiming to be filled with the Spirit of God.
It may be true that the Charismatic (Pentecostal) believers, of whom the writer is one, may be the most vulnerable to deception. We tend to look toward spiritual experiences rather than toward steadfast adherence to the Word of God.
Also, we are more than willing to believe in miracles and angelic visitations and often do not examine carefully their source. We do not “try the apostles,” especially if they use our familiar terms or act in accustomed patterns of behavior. We Charismatics often are as wise as doves and therefore are as harmless as serpents.
In addition, we have reacted against the formality of the “dead” churches to the extent we have become overfamiliar with the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes we speak as though Christ is our servant, believing He is willing to be used by us for our purposes. This is a deception, a lying spirit.
Overfamiliarity with the Glory of God can lead to death.
To Be Continued…