God's Faithful Church
versus today's "Cultural Christianity"
1. Missing it
"And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor
teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to
them, 'Whether it is right in
the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For
we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
"So when they had
further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of
punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God
for what had been done." Acts 4:18-21
"...much of what is called Christianity today is not the
Christianity of the New Testament; it is distinctly different.... Jesus
is not the fountainhead of modern Christianity. He is scarcely
thought about. Christian preachers, Sunday School teachers,
religious books, all without any apology patronize Jesus Christ and
put Him on one side.
have to learn that to stand true to Jesus Christ's point of view
means ostracism -- the ostracism that was brought on Him. Most
of us know nothing whatever about it.
modern view looks upon human nature as pathetic; men and women
are poor ignorant babes in the wood who have lost themselves.
Jesus Christ's view is totally different. He does not look on men
and women as babes in the wood, but as sinners who need saving, and
the modern mind detests His view.
Lord's teaching is based on something we violently hate, namely His
doctrine of sin; we do not believe it unless we have had a radical
dealing with God on the line of His teaching.
"Remember that a
disciple is committed to much more than belief in Jesus, he
is committed to His Lord's view of the world, of men, of
God and of sin."
Oswald Chambers Daily Devotional Bible, p. 586
2. The True Church
"Abide in Me, and I in you... for apart from Me you can do
nothing." John 15:3-4
"The Church is a separated band of
people who are united to
God by the regenerating power of the Spirit, and the bedrock of
membership in the [true] Church is that we know who Jesus is by a personal
revelation of Him.
The indwelling Spirit is the supreme Guide,
and He keeps us absorbed with our Lord. [In contrast] the emphasis
today is placed on the furtherance of an organization
[not on the will and purpose of our Lord.]
Oswald Chambers, The Best from all
His Books, p. 49
The Test of Faithfulness
"We know that all things
work together for good to those who love God." Romans
"It is only a
faithful person who truly believes that God sovereignly controls
his circumstances. We take our circumstances for
granted, saying God is in control, but not really believing
it. We act as if the things that happen were completely controlled
by people. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have
only one loyalty, or object of our faithó the Lord Jesus Christ.
God may cause our circumstances to suddenly fall apart, which may
bring the realization of our unfaithfulness to Him for not
recognizing that He had ordained the situation. We never saw what
He was trying to accomplish, and that exact event will never be
repeated in our life. This is where the test of our faithfulness
comes. If we will just learn to worship God even during the
difficult circumstances, He will change them for the better very
quickly if He so chooses.
"Being faithful to
Jesus Christ is the most difficult thing we try to do today. We
will be faithful to our work, to serving others, or to anything
else; just donít ask us to be faithful to Jesus Christ. Many
Christians become very impatient when we talk about faithfulness
to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more deliberately by Christian
workers than by the world. We treat God as if He were a machine
designed only to bless us, and we think of Jesus as just another
one of the workers.
"The goal of
faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will
be free to do His work through us. God calls us to His
service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects
no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part.
God wants to use us as He used His own Son."
My Utmost for His Highest, December 18
Finding What Is Important
and the other apostles answered and said: 'We ought to obey God
rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom
you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to
His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance
to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses
to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has
given to those who obey Him.Ē
"Is Jesus Christís mind infallible, or is the
modern Western mind infallible?
The tendency abroad today is to think ourselves infallible, and the
Bible a jumble up of the most extraordinary stuff, good stuff, but
we cannot be expected to accept all its views. That means, we
believe ourselves more likely to be infallible than Jesus Christ. We
would repudiate this statement if made badly, but we all act as if
it were true, we all take for granted that Jesus Christís teachings
are nonsense; we treat them with respect and reverence, but we do
not do anything else with them, we do not carry them out.
"Today we hold conferences and conventions and give
reports and make our programs. None of these things were in the life
of Jesus, and yet every minute of His life He realized that He was
fulfilling the purpose of His Father (see John 9:4).
"How did He do it? By maintaining the one relationship, and it is
that one relationship He insists on in His disciples, and it is the
one we have lost in the rubbish of modern civilization. If we try
and live the life Jesus Christ lived, modern civilization will fling
us out like waste material; we are no good, we do not add anything to
the hard cash of the times we live in, and the sooner we are flung
out the better."
--Oswald Chambers Daily Devotional Bible, p. 596