Friday, April 30, 2010

Of Meat and Maturity in Christ

Heb. 5:11-14    (NLT)
11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen.  12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.  13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.  14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.
We are skimming through the book of Hebrews together. After leading into a discussion of Jesus' role as High Priest and clarifying what it means, the Writer to the Hebrews launches into a challenge to these Hebraic Christ-followers. Most would agree that he might as well be writing to the North American evangelical Christian church (as well as the world-wide apostate Christian church) of today. We must agree, we 'have been believers for so long. . .' Many church members of today who call themselves "Christian" have been formal members of local congregations for 20, 40, and 60 years. And how many of them have demonstrated lives that are clearly 'sold-out to God,' Christians who are committed to doing whatever it takes to go "to all the world and make disciples," as the Lord commanded?

Can we see the possibility of this letter coming to members of your church from the Lord, sent via the post office (because he can't get their attention any other way)? We have been believers long enough that we 'ought to be teaching others.' But we hang out in the primary class of believers, listening to the same basic salvation messages we first heard. We hear but do not perceive the intent when our pastors preach more 'solid food' to us--concepts like: holiness, surrender, submission, full commitment, aggressive faith etc. We may well still be Christian infants, having lived our first year of Christian live repeatedly over again fifty times. What has prevented us from going deeper with the Lord and in our Faith commitment? Christians in other nations are persecuted for their belief and the church is growing so fast it cannot be counted. What is blocking our maturation? Is it the lack of persecution.

Well, hold on to something, the ride is about to get violent, for the persecution may begin soon. Are you ready North American Christ-follower? The US district court has decided recently that the US can no longer have a 'national day of prayer.' ( see Jim Daly's Column in the April 21st Washington Post ) It can no longer abide a consensus that there is any supreme being at all and that the government itself is the only supreme authority. Not only did they stop and block prayer in schools, and in public events, now there cannot be prayer at all according to the district Court! We cannot teach in a public place in Christ's name without risking arrest and prosecution (read that PERsecution). Things are happening fast but the lethargic 'Christian church' just yawns and dozes off again. What will you do today? Will you pray?

Your Servant in Christ's Love
cell 818.321.5014

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