The Advent Part 20
Acts 1:14, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
Given all the talk in certain circles of Christ’s fabulous wealth while He was on earth, the foolhardy and fallacious assumptions that He wore designer clothes, had bodyguards, and even hired His own private treasurer because of all the money rolling in, one would think that after His ascension His disciples would have gotten busy divvying up ‘the ministry’ each claiming a certain city, or a certain following, each laying claim to ‘the mantle’ of their Rabbi, but instead all of them gathered together, with one accord in prayer and supplication, and continued in these things.
To preach a homeless, shunned, and rejected Jesus to a generation overtaken by greed, avarice and selfishness is not popular. It is likewise as unpopular to speak of His disciples not as men who built kingdoms for themselves and attained fabulous wealth, but rather men who gave up everything in order to follow Him, men who walked away from businesses and families, and comfort only to suffer gruesome deaths at the hands of Christ’s enemies. As attractive as it might seem for some however, we cannot rewrite history just because it is unpleasant or unpopular.
We live in a time and amidst a generation wherein men who claim to serve Jesus, wholly disregard His words. It is Jesus who said that in the world we would have tribulation, it is likewise Jesus who said that if the world hated Him it would surely hate us, but somehow we’ve managed to expunge these words that Jesus spoke, and replace them with our own more palatable versions of the truth.
Why would men knowingly distort the words of Jesus? Why would men knowingly disregard the words of Christ?
Because only by distorting and disregarding His words could they justify their lifestyle, their greed, and their excesses. It is sad, tragic, and lamentable, but it is also true, that much of what we call the church today has become a gigantic and well-orchestrated pyramid scheme wherein the few at the top live lives heretofore unimagined by the lowly masses they claim to serve. The only way these few who have laid claim to the thrones of spiritual authority can continue to exert control is to convince the multitudes who are financing their excesses that one day they too could reach the top, one day they too could be rich and have everything they ever wanted.
It is cruel and inhumane to beat a dead horse, but at the risk of seeming so I will do just that if only metaphorically. The entirety of the Christian experience, from start to finish, without equivocation, is about the Son of God coming to earth, living as a flesh and blood man, preaching the Word of God, performing miracles, being put to death, rising the third day, and ascending back to the Father all so that you and I could be redeemed by His blood, that we could be reconciled unto God, and be with Him in the home He is preparing. Jesus never focused on this life, Jesus never focused on the here and now, and every time His disciples attempted to shift the focus from the heavenly things to the earthly things He rebuked them.
It is the enemy’s good pleasure when we shift our focus from the future Kingdom, to this present kingdom. It is the enemy’s good pleasure when we seek first the things of this world, the pleasures of this world, the material excesses of this world, and no longer having time to seek the Kingdom of God omit doing so altogether.
Although the once popular book ‘how to win friends and influence people’ might frown upon what I am about to say, I believe wholeheartedly that one of the most detrimental things to happen to Christianity in the last hundred years is the ‘prosperity movement’ and all its various sired offspring.
We have managed to do in thirty years what the enemy could not do in two thousand, convince the children of God to stop fervently seeking the kingdom of God, the gifts of God, the power of God, and focus all their efforts on the here and now.
It’s not the enemy that’s decimating the church, it’s not the enemy that is so effectively transforming the church into a hollow shell of what it ought to be, we are doing it all on our own, because we have allowed deception to creep in unchecked, we have chosen to receive the soothing messages, the pleasing messages, the unchallenging messages, the ear tickling message and despise anyone who would dare preach the truth, who would dare challenge us, who would dare attempt to wake us from our comatose state. As long as our bellies our full, and our bills are paid, and we can have movie night once a week, who needs the power of God? As long as we can get the new car, and go on our dream vacation, who needs prayer and supplication?
We have become ineffective in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God, precisely because we chase after the things of this world with as much abandon as those of the world do.
Are there still those, who do as the disciples once did, and prayerfully seek the face of God? Are there still those whose one desire is to know the fullness of the power of God, and see His works manifest through them? Praise God, yes!
Yes, there are still those who hunger for righteousness, there are still those who hunger for truth, there are still those who will not compromise, who will not yield, who will not bend, who will not go along to get along, and it is through those individuals that God will begin to manifest in greater measure in these last days.
Whether we choose to seek God and the things of God with humility, purpose and sincerity of heart, or seek the things of the world, is a choice we make as individuals, and as Newton’s law of motion would dictate, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The more we chase after the things of the world, the further we get from God, but the more we chase after God and the things of God the closer we get to Him.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.