Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Obvious Lies Part 4

The fourth obvious lie believers tell themselves, even with all the evidence to the contrary, is that they can twist God’s arm into doing, accepting, or condoning something which is not in His nature to do, accept, or condone.

God will not be pressured, threatened, browbeaten, or extorted into doing something He would not otherwise do, even if it means disappointing some self-important cleric or clergyman. God does not change for the whims of men, nor does He change with the changing world of men.

To insinuate that if we hold our breaths and puff our cheeks long enough God will not call sin something He currently does, is juvenile, childish, and foolhardy.

Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”

Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

Because some men put in so much effort into trying to change the mind of God on certain things, eventually they talk themselves into believing that God has in fact changed, when in reality it is their own mind trying to salvage some remnant of self-importance.

If God has said a thing, and I come along and say something opposite of what God has said passing it off as the will of God, then not only am I a liar and a fool, I am at enmity with God Himself.

Shocking as it might seem to some, there are pastors a plenty today, at enmity with God. There is no other way of interpreting it or otherwise framing it to make it seem less heinous and tragic than what it is. Spiritual leaders today, by the boatload, are at enmity with God, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the selfsame ones who lie about what God has said, condoned, or accepted that seem to be the most popular in our day and age.

The devil has no problems promoting those of like mind with him. The enemy has no problems promoting the lukewarm, duplicitous, and heretical because he knows the more people listen to them and follow after their teaching the easier it will be to shake the faith of the selfsame people to the point of nonexistence.

At the risk of repeating myself, the devil has always been a big picture sort of guy, while the self-centeredness being preached from the pulpits is making the church a smaller and smaller picture sort of entity.

We’ve gone from ‘go into all the world, preach the gospel to all men’ to ‘if we can get the loan, we’ll just build a bigger building’.

Hedonism has made even something as all-encompassing as the need for salvation and for God through Christ Jesus, a selfish, self-absorbed thing, wherein if we’re doing fine, if we’re paying the bills, if our church gets full on Sundays, we don’t care about anything or anyone else.

Our selfishness has caused us to compromise our principles, our compromised principles have caused us to compromise the truth, and the compromised truth has caused us to teach a lie, because we know that if we can forcibly widen the path, more people will join our little clique, and we’ll be able to keep our doors open longer than the guys preaching the truth. It’s all interconnected, and it all leads to the same desperate state wherein men become nothing more than clanging cymbals, making lots of noise, but really not much else.

We reject the notion of obedience toward God outright nowadays because it implies we will have to submit ourselves to His authority, and that is something we are simply unwilling to do.

We want to believe it when we are told we are little gods and therefore can establish our own level of morality, level of faithfulness, and level of worshipfulness, because it would mean we are in control, and that is what men today can’t live without. Even if it’s just an illusion, a figment of their imagination, they are content to continue believing they have control over their lives, and as such need not submit to a higher power or authority.

God demands to be worshipped on His terms, and any man who takes one of His commandments for a suggestion will reap the whirlwind in the end.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Obvious Lies Part 3

The third obvious lie we tell ourselves – and this is particularly true of the Western world – is that we are somehow more special than any other believers who came before us, more special than any other believers on any other continent presently living, and as such, due to our specialness we will neither have to endure, persevere, or overcome any sort of trials, tribulations or persecutions.

Such lies become all the more difficult to stomach when almost every week in recent memory there have been reports of heinous attacks against Christians in other nations, including mass murder bordering on genocide. All the while, we’re still insisting on the notion that we will never have to stand for the faith once entrusted to the saints, or suffer hardship as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

The godless are becoming more animated in their godlessness, and the fury of their empty souls spills over into outright violence with increasing frequency.

Such outbursts will only grow in scope and magnitude, because godlessness does not have a base level, it is never content with what it has already done, but always strives to lead the soul to darker and darker pursuits.

I’ve met more than my fair share of believers who insist upon being too special to endure hardship, and it is these selfsame believers who have a very difficult time with the messages I preach, because I insist upon spiritual preparedness for the eventuality of persecution.

If they can bite their lip and squirm in the chair long enough for me to finish speaking, then I am sure to get an earful from the individuals in attendance who contrary to Biblical truth and present reality, continue to assert that this present generation of half-hearted, lukewarm, duplicitous, self-obsessed believers will be spared trials and tribulations altogether.

Being the kind soul I am, I listen to their reasoning as to why they do not believe we will see, and in fact endure persecution, then when they finally take a second to catch their breath I ask one question: what makes you more special than any other believer who suffered and died for the cause of Christ, either in the distant past or in the recent past?

For me to insist that I will be spared persecution while other believers are being martyred for the faith is to insinuate that I am more special than they are, or that God sees me differently than He does them. For me to insist that I will not have to persevere or overcome is to insinuate that God loves those who are presently suffering less than He loves me, and therefore He will spare me what He chooses not to spare others from.

Romans 2:11, “For there is no partiality with God.”

Well, that sort of puts a crimp in the specialness theory doesn’t it? Are we than saying that there is no partiality with God except in this one solitary case? Are we than saying that God meant what He said except in the case of the present generation of believers living in America?

I know I’m going to make some of you angry with this post, but there is no way around it.

We’ve been told we’re special since early childhood, we’ve been told we are exceptional in fact, but no one saw the need to mention that in the sight of God we are all His creation, equal in every way, whether American, Afghani, Kenyan, Romanian, Russian, or Chinese.

The only reason God favored America as a nation above others, was because America was a nation of covenant just as Israel was, but we have broken covenant with God, and as such we cannot expect either blessing nor favor to flow from the throne room any longer.

We can either continue to tell ourselves that we will never have to suffer for the cause of Christ until the moment we are called upon to suffer, whereupon we will turn our backs on Him and justify our betrayal somehow, or prepare in our hearts for the eventuality of persecution, standing on God’s Word and being found worthy of the sufferings of Christ.

I don’t want to suffer. I don’t think anyone does, but if God chooses to glorify Himself through my suffering, then I know He will give me the strength to endure the suffering He allows upon me for His glory.

Some things are a given for every believer, and persecution is one of those things. I know it’s not something we like to dwell on or think about, but it is nevertheless in the Word, and something we ought to remind ourselves even in times of peace and relative freedom.

Sooner or later persecution will come, as the Word says it must, so that the gold might be purified, the garment cleansed, and the power made manifest.

2 Timothy 3:12, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

1 Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange things happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

1 Peter 4:19, “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Obvious Lies Part 2

The second oft repeated and obvious lie, one which is gaining steam among the young due to its implications, is that the Word of God is subjective and given to interpretation. For many, the Word of God is nothing more than a produce stand where we pick and choose the things we like, the things we’re hungry for, or the things that look good to us as individuals.

The notion that the Bible contains general guidelines for every Child of God is anathema to many, because that would mean they would be required to have the same commitment and unwavering faith in God as those currently being tortured, beheaded, burned alive, and killed for the sake of Christ.

If the Word of God were not subjective in nature, then the righteousness to which God calls those who don’t have access to the internet or round the clock movies, or all sorts of distractions, is the same righteousness He calls us to.

When God calls us to righteousness, obedience, holiness, humility and faithfulness there are no qualifiers. He doesn’t say if you have the time, if you are so inclined, or if it fits into your five year plan.

1 Peter 1:13-16, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who has called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’”

If in our hearts we accept the notion that the Word of God is subjective, then we can readily ignore this passage, along with many others which instruct us to be holy in all our conduct, to abstain from conforming ourselves to the former lusts, and to be obedient children of God.

The ‘I think I’m a good person and I feel that’s enough’ excuse is the offspring Scriptural subjectivism and spiritual relativism. I can make the Word say whatever I want because absolute truth lies not in how it is written, but in how I perceive it.

An individual in the grips of Scriptural subjectivism and spiritual relativism can justify any sin in their life, no matter how unscriptural, off-putting, or destructive. In case you don’t see this for the problem it is, just look around and see what is happening in certain mainline denominations.

Today we have devils wearing clerical collars, and agents of Satan feigning servant hood toward God, all so they can twist the hearts and minds of people into calling good evil, and evil good. All so they can inject this notion of subjectivism and relativism into the hearts and minds of the sheep, and lead them astray before they even set foot on the path.

It is a phenomenon that is growing, and the church is doing absolutely nothing about it. All we are is silent. You can hear the crickets as pastors, or at least men who claim the title of pastor, are insisting that homosexuality of all things is not a sin. If that’s not a sin, then nothing is a sin, and that is the endgame here.

I realize the following will irk some of you, but it is nevertheless truth. The battle is not about a particular sin, but the idea that nothing, no matter how depraved, is sin any longer.

For Satan, it’s always about the bigger picture. It’s not about homosexuality itself; it’s about doing away with the entire notion of anything being sinful or anathema for Christians.

If that isn’t a sin, then nothing’s a sin, and if nothing’s a sin, we can throw the notions of righteousness and holiness right out the window now can’t we?

The only thing the devil cares about is perverting God’s creation, and convincing people God didn’t mean what He said. It is one of the ways in which He is most successful at deceiving the gullible and easily swayed, and especially those whose hearts are not wholly surrendered to God.

When we are wholly surrendered, there isn’t much the devil can do by way of causing us to stray from truth. When we look for ways to make our walk easier, to widen our path, to do what the flesh wants and still have communion with God, that’s when the enemy gets a foothold, that’s when he brings his minions in our path to whisper in our ear, and make us feel at ease about our rebellion and disobedience.

We are living in the land of the absurd and nobody seems to be noticing. We have men who are the spiritual leaders of hundreds of millions of people telling everyone they don’t even have to believe in God to go to heaven, and we’re taking it all in stride as though this is not shocking, and absurd on its face.

What we must realize, is that we have been forewarned in scripture of the times we are currently witnessing. God spoke of these days when deceitful men would bring in destructive heresies, when men’s one desire within the church would be to have their ears tickled, and when those who would continue to preach the unadulterated, unabashed truth of God’s holy Word would be mocked, ridiculed, marginalized, and ultimately persecuted to the point of being put to death.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-6, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Obvious Lies Part 1

I can try telling myself I’m thin, with both conviction and assurance, up until the instant I pass by a mirror. Then the lies I tell myself become painfully obvious. Men love to lie to themselves. Not only do men love to lie to themselves, they go out of their way to avoid looking in the mirror, to avoid seeing the truth, because the truth will always shatter the illusion we fashion for ourselves with brutal efficiency.

Whatever lie we tell ourselves, nothing will ruin our day faster than having the truth annihilate it completely and mercilessly. Truth is heavy footed. Truth is not politically correct, tender, or concerned with sparing feelings, but like the old bull in a china shop line, the truth will make a mess of the table of deceit we’ve set for ourselves.

Some of the lies we tell ourselves are intricate, well structured, and hard to identify. Other lies are obvious, and it’s the obvious lies we have the most difficult time letting go of. The obvious lies are the bread and butter of the duplicitous soul, and though everyone else around us is seeing them for what they are and attempting to warn us as to their falsehood, we still cling to them with the death grip of the desperate.

Although I could readily point out the obvious lies we tell ourselves as a nation, I wanted to bring it in and focus on the individual lies we tell ourselves, lies that keep us from pursuing Christ with abandon, or growing in Him as we ought.

The first and most destructive lie we tell ourselves as individuals is that God will have to make due with us just as we are. We kept hearing ‘come as you are’ for so long, that we’ve sort of tuned out the part about not leaving as we came because what Jesus does in the heart and mind of an individual is utterly transform it and renew it.

God doesn’t settle. He never has, and He never will, and any man who claims that God will settle for anything less than sanctification and total denial of the flesh is lying to you. Granted, the lie feels good. It give the flesh a little wiggle room, it allows us to pursue the selfsame things the world pursues, but though men continue to spout the foolishness of acceptable double mindedness, God is very clear on the matter, and has been since the days of old.

James 4:7-10, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

It is because we teach a fraudulent, counterfeit gospel that so many are shackled and imprisoned by sin, and the devil does with them as he wishes. It is because we do not teach submission to God that we cannot resist the devil in any capacity, and we keep stumbling over and over again.

When we submit to God, He gives us the strength to resist the devil, and in resisting the devil, he will flee from us.

One of the ways in which the word ‘submit’ can be defined, is to subject, yield, or surrender oneself to a condition or a process. I don’t get to do what I want to do once I submit to God; I must do what He commands me to do upon the moment I’ve submitted to Him.

Psalm 25:4-5, “Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all day.”

When we submit to God, we become dependent upon Him, we wait upon Him, we obey Him, and we follow Him. I cannot blaze my own trail, find my own path, or do what I believe to be right in my own eyes. My entire life becomes about obedience and surrender.

Everything I do and everything I say must be gauged by whether or not it brings glory to God, and if it doesn’t, then I ought not to be doing it. When we view our life through this prism, when our single minded pursuit is to bring glory to God, then we will have the strength to resist the devil, the energy to draw near to God, the honesty to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts, and the humility to weep and lament.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Forgotten Truths

2 Chronicles 15:1-2, “Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: ‘Hear me Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.”

Some things men forget with time. Other things men choose to forget, while others still, men want to forget. Among the things men want and choose to forget, it seems uncomfortable truths found within the pages of Scripture are high on the list, and some today are going out of their way to discredit or otherwise give themselves license to ignore the Word of God because it does not sit well with their doctrine or preconceived notions about the God of the Bible.

Because we have successfully redefined God in our day and age, and stripped Him of His sovereignty, glory, omnipotence, righteousness, and justice, we can make God into whatever we want Him to be, and most often we want Him to be a quiet, obedient, and malleable soul sitting in the corner just grateful for the company, appreciatively accepting a morsel of food or a glass of water whenever we remember to feed Him.

We have come to think so highly of ourselves, to esteem ourselves to such an extent that we view spending any sort of time with God as a favor we bestow upon Him, as some great grace with which we present Him, and one He ought to be eternally grateful for. Because we esteem ourselves so highly we think it only fair, and in fact feel entitled to, having every prayer answered, even though most often our prayers have to do with the material rather than the spiritual.

When man brings the God of the universe down to his level the requisite reverence creation must have toward Creator disappears, as does the overarching need to obey Him. Why obey a God with which we are on equal footing? Why submit to the authority of a God we can make do as we desire, and make say what we want Him to say? Why seek Him and hunger after Him and desire Him if we’ve been talked into believing that no matter what we do there will be no consequence, and though we forsake Him, He will cling to us like a motherless puppy refusing to let go of our leg?

Nowadays the Lord is no longer with us as long as we are with Him. Instead, though we’ve rejected Him, and forsaken Him, and abused Him,  and mocked Him, and demonized Him, and thrown Him out as though He were some beggar, He is required to continue to bless us and protect us and keep us. Why? Because we say so!

If God Himself said He changes not, then would it not be a logical and reasonable thing to conclude that due to our having forsaken Him God has also forsaken us? Would it not be a reasonable and logical thing to conclude that because we’ve stopped seeking Him, we have not found Him and because we have not found Him we comfort ourselves and each other with empty words and silly mantras meant to seduce the gullible into a deeper slumber?

Up until this point we have fled from reality because we could. We’ve been able to talk ourselves into believing things about the God of the Bible which are not true, because we were never so close to the flame as to feel the heat, never so close to the precipice so as to realize we could easily lose our footing and plunge to the depths below with one misstep.

Even with the house of cards we’ve built beginning to crumble under its own weight, some still look for salvation and a remedy to their circumstances somewhere other than God. We are as Israel of old, refusing to look upon the One who can save us, heal us, and restore us, even in our death throws.  

Although men by and large have chosen to forget that when a nation forsakes God, God forsakes the nation, God hasn’t forgotten. And though we scream at the top of our lungs, and until we’re red in the face that God is on our side and will forever be, the God of the Bible today reminds us that He is with us only while we are with Him.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Watching and Praying

Matthew 26:40-41, “Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, ‘What, could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’”

Some have said knowledge is the burden of the soul. They stipulate, and passionately so, that knowledge is a curse, therefore no knowledge of what the future holds for us as God’s creation was given because God’s love for mankind would not allow Him to encumber us so.

The more prophetic pieces fall into place and the more the end times puzzle takes shape, the more vociferous those who revel in their ignorance become as to how it is unthinkable and in their minds impossible for us to know what the future holds.

Not only are such individuals ignorant, they glory in their ignorance because they believe their ignorance will exempt them from the responsibilities which come with the aforementioned knowledge.

Men have always gone to great lengths to skirt accountability, and to this day they continue to do so, even going so far as denying what they see with their own eyes.

It’s not as though the disciples didn’t know the struggle Christ was facing at the time. It’s not as though He did not tell them that His soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death, or ask them explicitly to watch with Him.

Christ had done this. He had explained the circumstances to His disciples, had asked them to watch with Him, and yet, when He returned he found them asleep.

We have also been told by Christ, and explicitly so, what to expect during these last days, and what the landscape will look like. When He returns will He likewise find us asleep?

The struggle, the burden, the hardship isn’t the knowing, it is not knowledge itself, but battling against the weakness of the flesh and remaining in a state of watchfulness and prayerfulness until the Christ returns.

We know it won’t be long. We know His return is closer today than it was yesterday, and it will be closer tomorrow than it was today. When He returns He expects to find us awake, watchful, and prayerful, because it is what He asked of us, and it is in obedience that we receive our reward.

Watching and praying are not optional. We cannot choose, based on how busy we are, or how hectic our schedule, whether we will be watchful and prayerful on a given day, or during a given time period.

As children of God, as those redeemed, saved, and sanctified, we must understand the importance of being watchful and prayerful, and understand that slumber and the weakness of the flesh are not the only enemies we must contend with, but so are distractions and misplaced loyalties.

If the enemy can’t cause us to slumber, if the flesh cannot cause us to enter into temptation, the devil will settle for keeping us distracted, and keeping us from praying and being watchful for those things we ought to be watchful for.

Another tool the enemy has in his arsenal is to make us passionate and loyal toward something other than Christ Jesus our Lord and King. It matters not what that thing is, whether a state, a nation, a denomination or an individual, if our loyalties can be shifted from Jesus toward something else, the enemy has won the battle, and if the situation is not remedied and we do not shift our loyalty back to Christ, he will eventually win the war.

This is one of the reasons the enemy has had such an easy time running roughshod over the household of faith. Our loyalties were misplaced, and rather than stand for the truth of Christ, we chose to defend our political party, our interests, or other things not pertaining to Jesus.

It matters not what it is you are doing. If you are not watching and praying, then you are not doing what you ought to be doing, and when the Christ returns, He will rebuke you just as He rebuked Peter and the rest of the disciples.

We can justify our absence of prayerfulness and watchfulness to ourselves, we can tell ourselves what we are doing is more important, more necessary, more impacting on the surrounding community, or even the nation, but if our own house isn’t in order, if our own armor isn’t on, if our own foundation isn’t stable, do we really have any business trying to tidy up our neighbor’s home?

A wise man knows to put first things first and watching and praying must be at the top of the list of what each of us ought to be doing today.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Faux War

Although I am as yet still in Romania I’ve been keeping a close eye on what is happening with regards to the Syria issue. One thing is certain: the powers that be want a war, and they are pushing the issue with all the ferocity of a rabid pit-bull.

It’s an easy thing to beat the war drum when you’re not the one ducking bullets and shrapnel, and I fear there is a great disconnect between our leaders, and the men and women who will have to carry out the orders they are given once the dust settles and war is agreed upon.

Anyone who understands the true ugliness of war is reticent to encourage it, support it, or be flippant about advancing it.

What troubles me even more is that by all accounts – at least accounts of independent news agencies that are not subservient to a certain political clique – this is a war of pretense, a faux war which has very little purpose other than to further the agenda of powerful individuals.

I realize we think it our mission and calling in life to force our brand of democracy down the throats of every man woman and child in the world, but some people still have a gag reflex, and enough intuition to naturally perceive that true democracy is more than having access to fried chicken, and hamburgers with at least 25% real beef in every patty.

I went to bed last night thinking on this impending war, and I fear whether by hook or by crook the powers that be will have the war they’re clamoring for. As I slept, I dreamt of a beautiful meadow surrounded by trees and flowers and tall grass, and in the middle of the meadow a beautiful pond rife with water lilies, cattail, fairy moss, and duckweed. It was picturesque, a snapshot worthy of any artist’s rendering. As I stood and watched the pond and the flowers, a bloated body floated to the surface with the loud belch of releasing gasses, bobbing in the water, and spoiling the entire landscape and waking me up in the process.

The one thing I understood from this short dream is that things are not as they seem, and I know the dream and the unshakeable knowledge of what it means has to do with this impending showdown. Something will ruin the narrative which has so painstakingly been constructed, and it will be as obvious as a bloated body in a picturesque pond.

Those who know me know I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories. If we go down the rabbit trail of conspiracy theories we start seeing a conspiracy under ever rock, and pretty soon the guy selling us our morning coffee is a secret agent of some shadowy three lettered organization keeping tabs on us.

Some things, however, only make sense if you are open to the possibility of a larger plan, a hidden agenda, and powerful interests lurking in the shadows and moving their pieces about the chess board as they will.

I fear this push for war is just such a situation, wherein forces wielding great power want this conflict to happen at any cost. Let’s face it; our track record hasn’t been so golden in the past few years when it comes to bringing democracy to Middle Eastern nations. By all accounts Egypt is in chaos, Libya is likewise in chaos, and pretty much every nation we’ve stuck our noses in is worse off shape than before, now led by men intent on doing us harm, when before they were merely well compensated allies of convenience.

From a purely diplomatic, logical, and reasonable point of view, I would much rather deal with a greedy man than with a religious zealot, because the weakness of the greedy man is already pre-established. His greed is his weakness, and as long as that’s taken care of the greedy man is malleable, and readily controlled.

It’s a whole different ballgame when it comes to religious zealotry, especially the kind festering in the Middle East.

When you can’t definitively say whether or not you are fighting on the side of good, or whether those you’ve aligned yourself with are just and noble, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and reassess the situation altogether.

In the great scheme we are small and insignificant but our Father isn’t. As such, I would ask you to pray, and fervently so, that God would intervene and spare the lives of those who will surely lose them if we go to war.  Since the beginning of time brave men and women have vicariously satiated the bloodlust of cowards, and I fear this time will prove to be no different.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Growing in Christ Part 22

Although in the physical shortsightedness or blindness are not communicable, in the spiritual they are. One who is spiritually blind can be so persuasive that they can pass on their blindness to others whom heretofore had been able to see, and had been following the way of truth.

No, we do not like to think about it, but the Bible tells us of those who fall away from truth, who give in to deception, and who become blind due to their wandering from the light.

It is far easier for us as individuals to believe that God can force holiness upon us, or that once we come to know Him He locks us in and throws away the key, but the harsh reality is that we are accountable as individuals for the choices we make whether that choice is holiness unto God, or rebellion.

At the root of every spiritual deception is the notion that God has changed. If men can convince you that the God who says He changes not somehow went back on His word and decided to change after all, then they can convince you that what you read in your Bible isn’t really the Word of God, the will of God, or the mind of God.

With all the foolishness being taught from pulpits nowadays I get e-mails from people pretty much on a weekly basis asking how it is these men can teach such lies while holding a Bible in their hand and presupposing that they’ve read it more than the average individual.

The answer is as obvious as it is tragic: they do not believe the God of the Bible when He says He will punish those who deceive the sheep and lead them astray. They do not believe in the reality of hell, nor do they believe in the reality of eternal judgment, because if they would, they would not dare teach the things that they are teaching.

Hence the reason the Bible calls them wolves. Such individuals are not interested in the welfare of the sheep or the spiritual wellbeing of the sheep. Their only concern is the self, and they are willing to betray one and all, including God, for self.

 Of all the apostles, Paul dealt with the wolves that come to destroy and tear asunder more than any other. We see on repeated occasions throughout the Word how after leaving a certain place the wolves would come in attempting to bring in destructive teachings, or aberrant doctrines.

To a greater or lesser degree, it worked. The wolves got ahold of the hearts and minds of some if not all of the people, and convinced them that their path was unnecessarily difficult, unnecessarily limited as far as what enjoyments one could wring from this life, and given enough time the people abandoned the truth.

Paul himself lamented the fact that so many had strayed from the grace and love of Christ, having returned to that which they had rightly abandoned and been shackled anew by the sins they had been cleansed of.

This journey of ours is constant. We are constantly at war, constantly doing battle, constantly resisting temptation, constantly journeying toward the finish line, and there is not a minute’s worth of respite, because the moment we let our guard down, the moment we get distracted, the moment we open our hearts to something other than absolute Biblical truth we put ourselves in danger.

It frustrates and amazes me how men today think that by acting as though they were some rebellious teenagers who consider themselves too cool for school they will somehow endear themselves to God, and compel Him to change His ways. Although we might like to think it – if only to ourselves – we are not a special generation, or a special nation, or a special denomination. The very fact that the God of the Bible judges without partiality, dispels the notion that anyone is more special than anyone else.

If you happen to believe repentance is outdated, holiness unattainable, righteousness unnecessary and a humble walk carrying your cross optional, then I am sorry to break the news you are in fact shortsighted even unto blindness. No, it is not because I say you are shortsighted even unto blindness, it is because the Bible says you are that you ought to search your heart and look in the mirror of God’s Word to see the truth of it all.

The gospel according to Joel Osteen might be well and good for now, but the days of revelry and self-adulation are winding down, and the shortsightedness of preaching a foundationless gospel will soon be evident to one and all.

If there is no foundation, if the teaching you are hearing only serves to make you feel good about yourself and your sin but is not tethered in Christ and rooted in truth, you would make better use of your time turning off the television and just reading the Bible for yourself and praying for understanding.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.