Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sin, the world, blessing, provision, reward and the end times.

As a believer who struggles mightily with sin and repentance and is thankful for God's patience I find myself on the verge of a major breakthrough at age 31. Christians that stumble upon this website will likely think "duh" so I guess the audience I am shooting for is the lukewarm crowd.

Something that has recently hit me is the association of sin with selfishness. All forms of sin are a manifestation of selfishness and being self-serving. This idea fits nicely together with the idea of sin that I have known for a long time as separation from God. Examining the life of Jesus Christ we see that everything he did was focused on OTHERS, serving others helping others healing others. Jesus told his disciples to love one another, care for each other, sacrifice for each other.

One of the many lies that the enemy tries to instill in us is the idea that "if you don't look out for yourself no one will" and this one is very hard not to buy into particularly today where selfishness is running rampantly out of control and is one of the reasons I believe we simply have to be in the end times. We have to take a leap of faith and Trust that God will PROVIDE FOR OUR NEEDS when we are focused on helping and serving others. I don't like Church teaching that emphasizes "blessing." I think people wrongly get the impression that if they make a donation to a Church then God is going to miraculously cause some supernatural check for a million dollars to be sent to their mailbox. I believe God promises PROVISION, but not a life of riches and bliss and comfort. As I heard one pastor once say "Christianity is not a bed of roses." To me its clear the reward is Heaven and eternal life, and its this HUGE UNIMAGINABLE REWARD that should keep us motivated. I believe it is faulty teaching to lead people to believe they are going to get earthly material reward. Provision yes. Riches no.

I have a major problems with reports I read of ministries paying themselves hundred thousand dollar and even million dollar salaries, driving around in expensive cars and even private jets. It makes me physically ill. Its the ugly manifestation of the pre-occupation with "blessing" and material reward that I hear from too many ministries today.

The enemy has enormous power on the earth, particularly with regard to money and financial compensation. By controlling the money and thus the earthly reward the enemy will eventaully for a short time control the entire world. We know this from the Bible that the plan of the enemy is to completley control all buying and selling and all financial transactions. Even in the time of Jesus the enemy had the power to offer Jesus Christ all the kingdoms of the world if he would bow down and worship him. People looking for earthly material reward today can easily sell their souls to the actively recruiting enemy who will eagerly feed their earthly desires and give them anything and everything they want. The rewards of Christianity however are higher and greater and are eternal, and those are the people that GOD is recruiting for his kingdom.

Living a life centered around Jesus Christ means living a life focused on helping others and serving others. This way of life runs counter to much of the messages and ideas we get from the world today. The world sells us on the idea of indulgence, and an attitude of "whats in this for me." People's behavior and decision making once theses ideas take root in them are centered around wealth accumulation, material accumulation, pleasure and comfort seeking, status in the eyes of the world, all of which are an absolute abomination before God.

**The world in 2008 where I believe the enemy has as strong a foothold as he has ever had actively recruits and promotes and FAVORS, (yes satanic favor), those with the most selfish and self-first mindset, and gives them power and authority. This is abundantly clear to me. It puts the world in an increasingly dangerous and untenable situation. I believe that the enemy today has so much power that sacrificing and serving others will get us little to no worldly reward, but rather just enough to get by. I disagree with Church teaching that promises "blessings" for those that send money to a ministry. The reward will be treasure stored up in heaven. I believe we are living in a time where the enemy has the power and authority to control all financial and material and status reward in the world. The hard working and honest Christians need to be patient and endure and focus on the things above and trust that God is a just God who will wipe away all their tears and eventually reward them abundantly.**

As the Israelites made there way to the promised land God did not send them riches. He provided them with bread to eat and water to drink. Provision. The enemy is the one that offers riches and works briberies at the cost of the soul. Gaining the entire world profits a man nothing, and woe unto those that go along with it and accept the bribes. Repent!

MATTHEW 16:24-28

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."