You know I spoke last about "Do I Really Believe". When God or Jesus said something in the Bible, do I really believe it, or do I simply think it was just words? This question is something that I believe the Church (body of believers) really need to consider in America today. Somehow we have embraced a "feelings" based Christianity and have departed from the Words of Life and Truth. Somewhere along the way we have fallen prey, even in the most conservative circles of Christianity, to lies the Devil has whispered in our ears. The greatest of these lies is found as the source of our sin and his ultimate weapon he used in the Garden of Eden which is this, "God (Jesus) did not really mean that!"
This weapon works in two different manners in our lives. One, to rob of us truth of who Jesus really was/is and how he truly bore our full burdens and sorrows so he can help us when we are tested (Hebrews 2:17-18). It robs us of the joy that yes, God does truly love me just as I am and considers me worthy of the price that was paid (John 3:16). It removes the skin from Jesus and makes him only the Son of God and tells me that he does not understand my life as a man. Therefore, if Jesus did not truly bear all my sorrows (Isaiah 53:4) then I am hopeless to fight the battles I currently face because I do not have a Savior who understands my pain. If Jesus is ONLY the price for my sin and not my fellow man, then I may have hope of eternal life, but I am powerless to live in the joy he says he offers.
However, If I believe Jesus when he said, "I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am Life" and we turn from how we feel and live in His truth, then we have power over this lie Satan has spawned. If we believe that Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father (John 14:6) and that his ULTIMATE purpose was to point me to my Abba Daddy who loves me as His own, then I can rest in Jesus knowing He meant every word he said and that he truly did carry my every burden and sorrow, not just my sin. Satan's desire in telling us this first "God did not mean it" lie is to keep the sons and daughters of God living in a powerless state. If I cannot fully embrace the truth of God's Amazing love for me, I am bound to embrace a cruel picture of a father who condemns me in my pitiful attempts to please him as I fail daily. If I do not BELIEVE He loves me with ALL His being just as He loved His Son Jesus, then I am bound to live in misery and constantly feeling worthless and useless. If I do not BELIEVE the Word of God became flesh (and in EVERY RESPECT was tempted and tried as I am Hebrews 2) then I am of all men most miserable. However, If I do BELIEVE God and Jesus when they said (enter entire Holy Scripture Here) and take Him at his WORD (and God CANNOT lie, via His Word), then I am FREE to live in the power of TRUTH that I am an OVERCOMER in this world because JESUS overcame this world. I am infused with HIS power over the enemy and shall do GREATER things than he did (John 14:12-14)! The question again is Do I Believe this is Truth?
But Satan's lie has a second edge to his planned destruction. It is the lie that "God did not really mean it when he said, You must Obey my commandments." John 14:15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments (aka, obey me)." And oh how this lie has overtaken His Body! It is like a raging virus that has rooted itself so deeply in the body that we are closing in on death without even realizing it. The effects of believing the lie over God's Word is having a duel effect. It has created a false gospel and a false god for American Christians to follow while also completely turning off those who are looking for something REAL.
Jesus offered us REAL life (John 10:10), but that life in this world will have a cost! (Luke 9:23-26, Matthew 16:21-28, John 15:18-27). Picking up a cross, denying self, dying daily, suffering as he suffered, persecuted as he was, hated as he was, that sounds like a cost. But that is the reason Jesus warned his followers to "Count the Cost!"
Luke 14:25-33 "25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple."
Jesus offers a FREE gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:1-10) however the price to follow him is HIGH! Just look at Luke 14:33, "So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions." That is a VERY high price to pay. Unfortunately, what we, the body of Christ in America, have decided is that we want the prize or gift of eternal life, but we prefer to ignore the rest of the truth regarding the price to follow Jesus. I recently read an article and it said something to the following effect, "If the world looks at you does not deem you radically different, then Jesus probably has not truly become your Lord, only your Savior. However He will not agree to just be your Savior, he requires being Lord as well!" We have listened to Satan's lie and have now created a gospel where sin is no longer sin, it is just a trial or sickness or personal preference. We proclaim that all may enter in to his gift of salvation, but we dare not explain that he demands that we be "holy as He is Holy!" or that we are to cast off the weights of sin, repent and turn from our wicked ways, and follow Jesus in the path of righteous living. No we prefer simply to boost our numbers by telling people that God loves them no matter what and that we cannot truly live in the power of Christ over sin and yes, turn even from the most tempting sins. We spread the blood of Jesus thin to cover as many as possible, and in doing so fear offending any because w