Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Eternal Things ... Real Things

When I was in grad school, I learned about a thing called cognitive disconnect. It means that I have knowledge but for some reason I would fail to apply that knowledge to my life. We say we believe certain things ... things like Jesus is God, that there is a heaven and a hell. But we go through life absorbed with our own small Christian lives.

In this, our critics have a valid criticism of us when they accuse us of playing Christianity for a hobby. We get up, get dressed, and take our fat old Bibles to church. We sing, we pray, we listen to the sermon, then we go grab a bite to eat. When it is all over, we put it all away until next Sunday. But rarely is our decision making or our behavior influenced very much but our Christian religion. When our critics say that about us, they are often right.

But I want my readers to challenge themselves and ask "Do I really believe?" The reason I bring this up is that we are dealing with real things.

When we debate doctrine, it isn't an academic exercise. There is a Baptist saying "Right belief leads to right living." Doctrine matters. They way we believe affects the way we live. We live for the glory of God. Wrong belief leads to sin and robs God of His glory. If there is a real God (and there is ... ) then this is true.

If we get the gospel wrong, then people go to hell. The worse thing we can do to people is to tell people they are saved when they aren't. When a person who is deceived in this way, and then hears the real gospel, they are harder of heart to it. That is why Paul is so adamant about the Galatian Christians holding fast to the truth.

We do all this stuff like it is a game. My mind is swirling around so many ideas dealing with this... when we are in our Sunday worship ... it is not just singing ... it is singing to the Lord our God. Prayers are not just words spoken out loud that we have to do to get through the moment. They are petitions to the Lord our God. We bring the lost the gospel so that the Holy Spirit might call His elect to faith in Christ the Lord. We live as Christians to bring glory to the Lord our God and to give a witness to the truth of the things we say we believe.

But too many times, we don't live like that. Songs and hymns are just songs and hymns. Prayers are just words. The Christian life is no different than any other life. We do what we have to in order to get by. The gospel is an embarrassment that we tell to folks when we are cornered into doing it.

But it ought not to be that way. There is a real heaven. People go there. There is a real hell. And people go there. There is a real God and we live for Him.

Friends, we call on our best and smartest to give their lives in the service of God. Some of them we become pastors. And that is hard. Some of them will become missionaries. Some of those will go to harsh places in the world. Some of them will give their lives as martyrs for the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We Christians deal with eternal things .. and they are real things. These are things that are about life and death. They aren't a hobby. They aren't empty traditions. Beloved readers, isn't it time we acted like the things we believe are true?

Almost every day we read about how this teacher or that church has fallen into sin and compromise. No one wants to offend anybody so we don't tell people hard things anymore. One TV preacher once said his personal philosophy was to tell people things that made them feel good and always to send them home with a smile on their faces. But the Bible has some hard things as well as the good and glorious things. A preacher is unfaithful to Jesus to not tell people both.

Mankind, for all the problems of this world, has one over-arching problem. It is called "sin." God has one remedy for sin, it is called forgiveness and reconciliation through faith alone in the God-man Jesus Christ, our savior. One problem - one solution. But in an effort to be nicer than nice, we don't tell people about the problem and so they never find out they need the solution. Why? Maybe we forget that the things we say we believe are real things. Things that are true. Things that affect people's lives. If we ignore that, or pretend that we don't know it, we are living a lie. Now tell me, what's Christian about that?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOT TO TELL THE TRUTH IS SIN. IT HEAPS SIN UPON SIN.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Pastor Jeff said...

I still have to make sure my mother isn't sneaking episodes of J. Meyer or J. Olsteen.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Grammy Blick said...

"If we get the gospel wrong, then people go to hell."

I was reading 1 Kings 13 and found this sentence applied there. The unnamed old prophet deliberatly gave the wrong message. The man of God's response to that message cost him his life.

That brings home the awesome responsibility of remaining in prayerful contact with God, hearing His Word.

4:37 AM  

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