Finding Encouragement From That Which Discourages

If you aren’t existing in a vacuum or residing under a rock, then you are aware of the state of our world.  With 24-hour news and the advent of the internet, we are constantly assaulted with the evil events of a fallen world: terrorism, race-wars, mass shootings, child abuse, drug abuse, sex-trafficking, refugees, lawlessness, political nonsense, and the list goes on.  It is sad, but for the Christian it should be unsurprising.  Jesus said that it would be this way until His return “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.” (Matthew 24:6)

Seeing, hearing and reading of all of the evil and problems in our world gets exhausting and tiresome, but sinners are going to do what sinners are going to do.  What troubles me more is what I see going on from those who profess to be Christians.  I have observed first hand those who profess His name, and yet actively work at rebelling against His unequivocal truth.  They want to keep the title of Christian, but redefine what it means.  These individuals demand that they can be believers and yet hold to the belief that homosexuality is compatible with Christianity, for example.  They want to be accepted by the unregenerate world, but have deceived themselves that they are born-again as they shake their proverbial fists in unapologetic defiance to the sovereign rule of the One they claim to believe in.

Then there is nonsense like this (screenshot from Twitter):

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What does that even mean?  ‘Custom Oil’ just sounds unhygienic, not holy.  There is an entire movement masquerading within wider Evangelicalism dubbed ‘signs-and-wonders’ that is hyper-charismatic.  These people are chasing after experiences and miraculous signs, basing their beliefs on what they feel and think, rather than on the perfect and unchanging Word.  They are those who Paul warned Timothy about “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)  Notice that the people go after this false teaching; they want it.  The text says that they accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.  These people are self-deceived, believing that they are seeking after God, but what they are seeking after is mystical experience.  

Not only are these who seek to have their ears tickled a grief to those of us who love the Lord and His truth, but so also are those believers who read these verses, agree with them, and yet somehow think that it doesn’t apply to anything they know of or anyone they care about.  It is a sad thing to try to warn a true brother or sister about a false teacher who is widely popular, and have them grow angry and refuse to listen to the truth.

It is all of this false teaching, and rebellion within the professing church that makes me weary.  And yet, I am not shocked or surprised because the Bible is clear that even this is to be expected.  What is my point in recounting this sad state of reality?  It has an eternal purpose for the believer.  There are two things I can think of, straight away, that are positive about perceiving all of the above, for the believer:  it confirms the truth of scripture, and it loosens our grip on this world and makes us long for eternity with Christ.

The Lord has blessed me abundantly.  I could write posts ad infinitum recounting all of the wonderful things in this life that are blessings from the Lord: my salvation, my family, the beauty of His creation, friends.  But none of that makes me want to stay here more than to go to be with the Lord.  I have many conversations everyday, relaying to the Lord that I would be pleased as punch if He decided to return today, or to call me home.  Before you get excited: No, I am not devaluing my life, nor do I have a death wish.  I just have a intense desire to be with the Lord.  His allowance of, and enabling me to discern all of the evil in the world, and within the professing church has done its job quite well.  I know that it will help me to enjoy His presence in eternity even more.  Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Soli Deo Gloria!

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