Friday, December 9, 2022

There is No Fear of the LORD in the Church Today

The Church Doesn't Fear God Today

People worshipping God
Recently A friend brought to my attention that there is no fear of the Lord in the church. We have a generation of Christians who have become comfortable and complacent. There is no longer any fear of the Lord in the church today. A general lack of fear is a bad thing. It’s not good to be complacent and comfortable. But I think there is something much more specific that we have lost in the church today: The fear of the Lord is no longer a reality for us. 

Hirelings build their congregations by tickling ears and intentionally avoiding the difficult passages in scripture. This is why it is imperative that we read the bible for ourselves. If we don't do this, we are going to be vulnerable to the hireling's message. Scripture is filled with warnings about false teachers, false prophets and wolves in sheep s clothing. A careful examination of scripture shows that the church is not immune from false teaching. 

 If you don't already know by now, I will NOT knowingly tickle your ears. My desire is to lovingly speak the truth in love and be faithful to the Word of God. 

The Popular doctrine of a Bed of Roses

Currently, the popular doctrine of Christianity is it's all a bed of roses and we're dancing in tulips. But this is not scriptural. All the apostles were martyred except for John. The early disciples were fed to lions, tortured, and crucified. They weren't living their ‘best life now’ but were intimate with Jesus which came at a price. History says that some disciples actually ran towards the Lions hoping that they might obtain a better Resurrection (Hebrews 11:35). 

So? Is Christianity a bed of roses, marshmallows, and tulips? Should we not fear God at all? 

New Testament Examples of why we should Fear God!

Here's a few things we need to consider in the New Testament post cross passages that might cause us to hold the Lord in more reverence than we do currently. 

Paul and Elymas

God allowed Paul to curse Elymas with blindness Acts 13:11

At the heart of the Christian faith is the fear and reverence of God. In Acts 13:11, we see a powerful example of what happens when someone chooses to ignore God's power and authority. The Apostle Paul cursed Elymas with blindness after he attempted to prevent a Roman official from coming to faith in Jesus Christ. This shows how seriously God takes when people disregard His will, even if they are in a place that should be devoted to Him - like the church today. 

I believe  Paul did not take it upon himself to mete out justice; instead, I believe he quietly asked God directly for help in this situation. He was willing to ask for divine intervention as an act of obedience because he understood that God alone has the right to judge us all. 

Ananias and Sapphira

God killed Ananias and Sapphira for lying Acts 5 

Ananias and Sapphira's story in the book of Acts is a powerful reminder of how God deals with those who are unfaithful to Him. In Acts 5, we see that God is not only capable of killing someone for their sins but He will also do it if necessary. Ananias and Sapphira were members of the early Christian church and had agreed to give all the proceeds from selling a piece of property to the Lord. But they lied about their offering - instead, they kept part for themselves - so God killed them both. 

This story should be a reminder for us today that we must serve God faithfully. The church today needs to take this warning seriously; if we don't fear God or take His commands seriously then it will lead to consequences like those faced by Ananias and Sapphira. 

Herod did not give God Glory

Herod was eaten with worms for not giving God glory Acts 12:21-23 

Herod was a ruler who did not give God the glory that He deserved. In Acts 12:21-23, Herod is struck down for his sin and eaten with worms for not giving God the glory. This story serves as an example of what happens when people do not show proper respect to God and His ways of doing things. This can be especially relevant today in how we view the church and its members. 

Many of us have become complacent in our faith and have stopped showing proper reverence to God through our actions. We may be more focused on our own goals rather than honoring Him, but if we fail to fear God then we are no better than Herod was. We must remember that ultimately He is still in control and will judge us accordingly if we fail to recognize this fact by giving Him His due glory. 

Drinking the cup of Christ unworthily

People died because they did not drink the cup of Christ worthily 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 

The church today is in an alarming state of spiritual apathy. This lack of fear of the Lord has led to a broken relationship with God and is exemplified by people's attitudes and behavior. Most tragically, people have died because they did not drink the cup of Christ worthily as stated in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30. 

This means that those who partake of communion without due reverence and respect for the holiness it represents are more likely to succumb to physical afflictions such as sickness or even death. To demonstrate their faith, reverence and obedience to God’s commands must go hand in hand with partaking of communion; rather than just going through the motions, we should be reminded of our unworthiness before a holy God and approach Him with humility. 

A stern rebuke to Thyatira 

Jesus says he will kill children Rev 2:23 

No fear of the Lord in the church today seems to be true when one examines Jesus's Words in Rev 2:23. In this passage, Jesus says he will kill children.  I am still pondering whether He is talking about spiritual or physical children.  The context of this passage talks about the children of Jezebel in the church in Thyatira. Jesus was rebuking them for committing fornication with her. This shocking statement paints a darker picture of God that many Christians are not prepared for or willing to accept. It forces believers to confront the reality that God is capable and willing to punish those who do not heed his commands. Many churches today shy away from teaching these types of passages, preferring instead to focus on joyous stories and themes of love and acceptance without addressing hard truths like this one.

Fear is only the Beginning

The fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom….. Proverbs 9:10 

Many people today claim to be wise, yet they lack the foundation of true wisdom-- the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 9:10 states that "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." However, in many churches today it seems as if this foundational principle has been lost and forgotten. Instead of being a church that seeks to honor God through reverential fear, many have chosen to ignore this important aspect of faith. This absence has caused a disconnect between believers and their understanding of what it means to live in healthy faith and spiritual maturity. 

When we fail to remember why we should fear God and instead focus solely on His love, grace and mercy, we miss out on an integral part of our relationship with Him. 

Reverence with Grace and Mercy

In conclusion, it is clear that we should strive to have a healthy fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord brings about humility, reverence and leads us to rely on Him for all things in life. We can trust in His grace and mercy, knowing that when we come to Him He will not turn away. God's grace and mercy are available to everyone who seeks after Him; let us be thankful for this incredible gift of mercy and grace and honor the fear of the Lord at the same time. 

You may also like :  Fearing God is the Beginning of our Journey

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

God Said "Read the Instructions" - Prioritizing the Word

Conrad sitting in a chair

I got off Track

When I encountered God in 1995, He said: "Read the instructions". I immediately started reading the Bible voraciously. I devoured it by reading and listening to the audio bible.

But then I started thinking, why not read from the top theologians and get on the fast track? So I started reading books from PHD.s and top theologians about the Bible rather than the bible directly. I thought I was making some headway. I was reading apologetics books and fell into the eschatology rabbit hole for a while. I read thousands of pages from various authors on eschatology (end times prophecy).

The whole time the spirit of God was highlighting to me obvious errors. My theology felt like a house of cards on sand rather than a solid house upon The Rock! I plowed ahead anyway thinking "They are the experts, what do I know? " I was ignoring the Spirit of Truth for the traditions of men.

As I continued reading the Bible and books about the Bible, I started seeing that people were trying to make scripture fit their theology rather than simply seeking the Truth and being guided by the Spirit of Truth. Eventually, I started to see that God wants me to read the bible more than books about the bible. Anything other than the bible is leaven. Even commentaries can seem like gravel in my mouth at times.

When we read theology books, we start putting on blinders that hinder or even block what the Spirit of Truth is saying. Consider how Jesus was constantly confounding the top theologians on their interpretation of Scripture and their model of what they were expecting the Messiah to be like. They were totally ignoring passages like Isaiah 53 and Daniel 9 saying the Messiah would suffer and be cut off.

We Learn from Great Men of Faith! 

Smith Wigglesworth

Great men of faith prioritize seeking God's spirit and reading the bible first and foremost. Smith Wigglesworth was known for ONLY reading the bible. He wouldn't even let a newspaper come across the threshold of his front door. He said newspapers were all lies. Now, look at the mighty works Wigglesworth did! He even raised the dead!

George Müller

George Müller started out a terrible sinner. Toward the end of his life, it is said he read the bible over 200 times, and for every page he read that was not the Bible, he made sure to read 10 pages of the bible He ran orphanages by faith and had all of his needs met by petitioning in his prayer closet.

Seek God and His Word First

If you are excited about reading or listening to sermons or books about the Bible, I would encourage you to prayerfully read the bible and let the Spirit of Truth guide you. Be sure to chew it over with your Inner Circle Godly mentors.

When the spirit of truth illuminates a passage for you, it is an exciting thing. The Spirit quickens the Word and you know in your spirit that you are being taught by God!

There is a point in the little John's that he tells some of his disciples that they no longer need a teacher because they have the unction of the Spirit that guides them into truth (1 John 2:27). He is teaching them that they no longer need a teacher. John was mentored by Jesus directly. Then he mentored his disciples up to the point that they could hear from the Spirit of Truth directly.

I believe our main source of media intake should be the bible while listening for God to guide us. I am not anywhere near perfection on this, but I can see the Way that has been cleared about before us.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Is it REALLY Possible to Love God this much?

Exploring loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

The Bible establishes the precept that we should have a better relationship with our heavenly Father than we do with our families.

Here are a few radical "Be The Few" type passages to ponder:

Luke 14:26–27 If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Matthew 10:37–38 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

I wrestle with these passages. Do you?

I examine myself often to see if I’m in the faith or where I am in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). I try to use tangible comparisons so I can get some type of a foothold on the spiritual precepts I discover in the bible. If I have a hard time with a concept, I try to distill it down to something small that I can manage. In this case, I was thinking about my relationship with the Lord and comparing that with the relationship with my family.

I know that there are many people today that have lousy relationships with their families. I am grateful to have had a family that was very close. It is rare these days, I know.

Think about when Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22). Abraham knew that if he loved God more than Isaac, then both he and Isaac would fare better in the long run. I grapple with the fact that God wanted to prove Abraham in that fashion.  Abraham was definitely being salted with fire.

Abraham’s test of love and faith shows us that our love for our family is to take a back seat to our love for God. This is not easy. Abraham set a model for us of radical obedience.

Jacob, another man of God, grieved so much over Joseph that he was going to go down to the grave heartbroken. He did this in spite of the promises that God gave him. Jacob’s love for his family appeared to be more than his love for God. God turned that around when He reunited Jacob with Joseph and saved his entire family alive. See Genesis 37 through 50 for the story.

Thinking about my dad here…

My dad and I were very close. He would do anything for me. He was a great dad!

It is hard for me to fathom having a better relationship with my heavenly Father than I did with my earthly father. Yet, the bible says this should be the case. I would assume a lot of people struggle with this precept.

Dad has been gone since 1999. Looking back, I can see how much Dad sowed into my life. He spent a lot of time with me. We would watch BlockBuster movies, play tennis, chess, and do the alphabet game for unending hours on our many road trips. Heck, it was fun even to clean the house when Dad was around! That’s nuts, right?

I fell short in my part of our relationship because I was selfish. As Dad got older, he would ask me to play tennis. I started telling him ‘no’. I was exerting my independence, but right now I wish I said ‘yes’ every time he asked me to play tennis. I was sowing selfishness and now I am reaping regret. This weighs heavy on my heart often.

Do I feel this type of regret when I let God down?

With my heavenly Father, I haven’t been able to reach out and hug Him with my physical arms. I haven’t been able to actually see the price that Jesus paid for me on the cross with my physical eyes. The love the bible talks about is something I have to find through spiritual searching.

Sure there are movies and there are the accounts in the Bible that depict what Jesus did for us. But I haven’t been able to hug God like I’ve been able to hug my dad with my physical arms. I can’t really play tennis with Jesus, or chess, although I could probably make a case for watching a movie with Him! LOL! There are points in the Passion of the Christ or some other movies I feel like God was giving me a ‘spiritual’ hug. Or in ‘God’s not Dead’ I feel like giving Jesus a High Five at times!

To put things in perspective. God has come through for me over and over again. Time and time again the Lord has met my needs according to His riches in glory. I’ve encountered God more than once and He has radically changed my life. He has done so many amazing things that I know that He loves me. All of this, however, is a component of faith.

Faith is substance, but it is an unseen substance (Heb 11:1). A substance of hope. Which is intangible.

There is the crux.

Faith makes us look mentally deranged to unbelievers. Let’s just come right out and say it. Having faith in an invisible God looks imbecilic to those that don’t know Him. The more faith we have and exert, the nuttier we look to the world!

With Dad, I didn’t need faith. I could just pick up the phone and call him. With Dad, I could reach out and hug him with my physical body. Dad was tangible. Real like banging on the keys of this computer as I type.

With the Lord, I have to approach my relationship with him spiritually by faith. And somehow that faith is to lead me to where I love an invisible God more than a visible parent. This love means that God is to be at the reins of my heart and not my family.

Revelation 2:23 …. all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: ….
There’s that part of the Bible where it says that the fathers will turn in the children and families will be divided over Jesus so much so that they betray each other even to death! (Matthew 10:20,21). It floors me every time I read those passages. It is hard for me to fathom family members betraying one another over Jesus. But it happens.

Jesus also says that our love for Him has to make our love for our fathers and mothers seem like hate (Luke 14:26 see above) in comparison. This is a hard passage to swallow in light of honoring our parents is part of the ten commandments (Exodus 20:12). But that is how I am dealing with that scripture for now.

In exploring this dilemma, I know that my desire for God has to be stronger than my desire to see my family again. A lot of people say they will be excited to see their family when they get to heaven. I will be too. However, our affections should be set upon God more than our families.

Here is a doozy #BeTheFew type passage for this discourse:

Matthew 8:21–22 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Think about that! Jesus wants us to follow Him so much that even burying our parents has to take a back seat to following Jesus.

I guess it boils down to this.  If I had to choose between Jesus or my dad, I would choose Jesus. And you know what? Dad would want me to. Because he knows Jesus is Lord. No matter what. Dad knows that it is best if we ALL put God first!

This may be why we don’t read of Isaac struggling or complaining when Abraham was going to sacrifice him (Gen 22). They both knew to put God first. God was first in Abraham’s family. The FATHER of faith. He is our example.

Where are you in your love for God? Do you struggle with this?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

John 3:16 The Rest of the Story

We all know John 3:16, but did you know this backstory?

John 3:14-15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 

Jesus compares himself to the serpent from the book of Numbers 21:4-9.  If the children of Israel sinned, they would get bitten by serpents and have to look upon the serpent to get healed.

Numbers 21:4-9  And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.  5  And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.  6  And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.  7  Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.  8  And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.  9  And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Later, the children of Israel began to burn incense to the serpent. King Hezekiah destroyed the serpent because it had become idolatry.

2 Kings 18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

Looking through this lens of the fiery serpent in the wilderness We next need to examine the word 'so' that we find in John 3:16.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

When we think of the word 'so' in John 316 we may be tempted to think  'in vast quantity' or 'in large amounts'. But the actual underlying Greek word for 'so' means something completely different. 

G3779 οὕτω houtō hoo'-to
Or, before a vowel, οὕτως houtōs hoo'-toce.
From G3778; in this way (referring to what precedes or follows): - after that, after (in) this manner, as, even (so), for all that, like (-wise), no more, on this fashion (-wise), so (in like manner), thus, what.

When we say 'God so loved the world'  the bible means 'in like manner'. When the world is experiencing tribulation because of their sin, they need to look unto Jesus and rely upon Him for salvation. 

Now you know, the rest of the story. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Is #Jesus welcome?

Is #Jesus welcome at the dinner table?

Is Jesus welcome in my living room?

Is my conversation with friends Holy Spirit Inspired?

Do the TV programs I watch offend God?

What are we feeding our children (in terms of leisure, pleasure and comfort)?

Are we teaching our children that JESUS is Lord by our actions?

Does the music I listen to glorify Jesus?

Are the websites I visit building me up in Christ?

Do the books I read draw me CLOSER to Jesus? .. or drive me away from Him?

John 15:4-5 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Let's be honest.  How many hours of our day are consumed communing with and having conversation about Jesus?   How is Jesus Lord and Master of our lives if He isn't even part of our routine?

Colossians 2:6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him
Colossians 3:1-3 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Thanks be to GOD that it isn't about what WE do .. it's ONLY about what HE IS!  Jesus is MORE than enough for us!  Love on Jesus today!  Share HIS love today with those you meet.  Spend some time communing with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is a friend that "sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24).

Ephesians 3:17-19 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Be Blessed...



Friday, July 24, 2015

Are you willing to be forsaken?

Has it happened to you yet?
  • That look
  • That whisper
  • That turning away
  • Peculiar silence and avoidance
If you truly love ‪#‎Jesus‬ ... it will happen. It must happen.

Here is the hard truth, we are called to stick out, not to fit in. We go against the grain of our culture, because we are not OF this world .. this is not our home.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light

If you are sold out to Jesus .. your life is OFFENSIVE to the enemy. Your smile, your laughter, your humility, your joy ALL will elicit very ugly responses in those who are resisting the work of God in their lives. These people may not even seem 'sinful' on the surface, but this reaction is unmistakable... they resist because evil in their hearts is provoked by the light.

Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

Are we willing to be forsaken for the Gospel?

That is the question of the day.

What are you willing to endure for the Gospel of Jesus? It's easy to say we're sold out .. it is easy to say we'll do ANYTHING to stand up for Jesus ... but when the day comes that we have to choose between our LIFE and our LORD, what will we choose? If they come for our kids, our pets, our homes, our jobs, our money ... are we still going to STAND UP for Jesus?

Matthew 19:27-30 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Be Blessed...