Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
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The scriptures above make it clear that Christians are to live in a way that is diametrically opposed to this world system and culture. This Christian posturing and evangelical cloak people wear allows them a sense of belonging into a sort of Christianese social club. You might be the recipient of accolades and positions within your church or fellowship because some folks thrive on this evangelical club mentality. That is religion, not biblical Christianity.
We are supposed to keep our conduct honorable in the world. We are to let our light shine before others all of the time………not just between and on Sunday mornings.
Peter refers to us as obedient children and exhorts us to run from former passions being holy in all of our conduct because God our Father is holy. We were rescued from the futility of our former ways by the blood of Jesus. This is how we are to live at all times and most certainly before the world because they are watching. We should despise legalism and hyper grace teaching because both are equally manmade and worthless.
Both extremes do nothing to build up Christians and mature faith. Far from being legalistic……. This is the kind of living the world does take notice of. The lost sinner in the world may be the guy you work with or your neighbor. It may be the church member sitting on the same pew or it might be a family member.
I can assure you….. True Christians must continue to walk the narrow way and live holy. Why should the world listen to pseudo-Christians? Instead they are busy watching the Real Housewives of……….. That is two examples of filth masquerading as entertainment.
They will move heaven and earth for a sporting event or concert, but neglect fellowship with true Christians. These are just a small example of the filth that is being consumed by many who name the name of Christ. This is a call to holy living instead of being indistinguishable from this world. As a whole, how did the evangelical church go from reading the Bible and books by Tozer, Spurgeon, and others to consuming the same amounts of garbage and filth the world does in just forty short years?
God is watching and the world is watching. There has always been some in the church who are unmistakably not true Christians. The pseudo-Christians want to have………….. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
He told us He was coming soon. Knowing this….. We must live according to the will of God…. There really is no middle ground here, live a life on fire for Jesus…….. Those of you who are following hard after the Lord, please be encouraged to finish well.
God is a jealous God and He wants nothing less than all of you…. If you are comfortable in this world and feel at home here, you need to evaluate your affections in light of what the Bible says about the follower of Jesus. Even still, while Paul faced tremendous opposition, Jesus was with him and delivered him from the Jews and the Gentiles as promised. Personally, I can relate to the opposition Paul faced as a witness for Jesus Christ.
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The longer I have been in the ministry with a call to shine the light of truth on deception, the greater the opposition I have witnessed and experienced. Taking the Gospel to Dark Places. A number of years ago when I started to warn about the deception taking place in the name of Christ, I was confronted by numerous critics, especially from the Calvary Chapel movement who I was very involved with at the time. In fact, many pastors were furious with me over this issue.
Yet, I could not keep silent. Several pastors contacted me and told me to take their names off the Understand The Times mailing list.
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They all said that the film had been endorsed by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, and therefore I should do the same. The Passion of the Christ , they said , will be the greatest evangelistic tool to ever come out of Hollywood. Countless numbers will be saved , they said. And yet it was Mel Gibson himself who later admitted that the film was meant to lead people to the Catholic Eucharistic Christ and to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a co-redemptor and co-mediator.
Emmerich was a Catholic mystic who claimed she had a front seat to the crucifixion by way of a vision. Though many insisted that I stop with my warnings, I could not; rather I wrote the book Another Jesus? The Eucharistic Christ and the New Evangelization to warn those who would listen. Few did. While in the past, church-growth methods had always been frowned upon, now many pastors started to look for ways to embrace church-growth methods.
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Maybe the Bible is insufficient to reach the postmodern generation, some considered. Maybe the time has come to add or take away from the inspired word according to the teachings of Peter Drucker , it was once stated from the pulpit of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. Whereas Rick Warren had once been frowned upon, many pastors began to look his way for answers. While some attempts were made to put the brakes on the seeker-friendly, purpose-driven, emergent church, market-oriented brand of Christianity that many Calvary Chapel pastors were embracing, it seemed fewer and fewer were listening.
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A power play was in the process of happening to reshape Calvary Chapel into a re-invented form of Christianity for the twenty-first century. What Satan meant for Evil. There comes a time when those who are called to warn should walk away when their message is rejected. While it may seem to some that I am a slow learner because of my long-time persistence in trying to help Calvary Chapel, I did finally realize the time had come for me to step out of the way, move on, and allow God to expose the deception unfolding in Calvary Chapel.
During this process, my health deteriorated from all the pressure I was under. In my testimony book Let There Be Light that has been just published by Lighthouse Trails, I share the details of what happened to me and how I was only a breath away from death. God got my attention. For those who followed Understand The Times during that time, you will know that the ministry was under incredible attack.
Our web master, Ron Pierotti, also suffered greatly with a brain tumor and the surgery that kept him alive. For a while, it looked like Understand The Times was over. For eight months, I was confined to bed for most of each day and was isolated to my home.
I would often dream that I was back in ministry speaking from a pulpit only to wake up and realize I had been dreaming. My heart was wrenched in two.
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However, over the past two years God has miraculously brought me back to life. He has healed me. He has given me a whole new vision to take the gospel to those who are poor and want to hear, especially in third-world countries. What Satan meant for harm, God used for His glory. Now I can thank God for those who attacked and slandered me as God has used this to redirect my life.
New Vision. We who live in North America have no idea what it is like to be a Christian in a third-world country. Satan has blinded many proclaiming Christians in the Western world that everything is OK as long as we go to church, listen to Christian radio, and attend the odd Bible Study. Maybe it is time for a reality check.