Archive for the ‘Worldiness and Righteousness’ Category

I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord, until you restore me?” (Psalm 6:3)

“The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.” (Isaiah 57:15)

Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had!” (Lamentations 5:21)

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

“The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24)

“‘My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.  For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.’  As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children  Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?  If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.  Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how.  But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.  No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening–it’s painful!  But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.  So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.  Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”  (Hebrews 12:5b-13)

The Lord restores.  The Lord can, does, and will restore anything He wants to, for the whole world and everything in it belongs to Him.

We experience loss in our lives from many different sources; things we cherish become casualties of living in a fallen world and we watch as things and people we love die, relationships end, reputations flounder, possessions disappear.  Many of our sacrifices add up to so little in return or to nothing at all; dreams and ambitions get thwarted or we outright fail in so many ways.  Sometimes we lose precious, irreplaceable things through no fault of our own.  Sometimes we are directly responsible for painful losses we experience; our own sin, our own horrible judgment decisions rob us and destroy us.

This is a personal post, one in which I am compelled to document on a personal level that the Lord restores.  What can easily be called “The Lost Years” of my life were caused by my rebellion.

For me, there was a 4 year window of time in my young adult life where I was given the opportunity to take the next step in my educational path and attend a wonderful college to pursue my undergraduate degree.  The sky was the limit.  This was an opportunity in discovery that could go either way, to my benefit or to my destruction.

I was afforded the life that many do not get to live.  The campus was a paradise.  The classrooms, library and fitness facilities were state of the art.  The best.  Even the dining hall food was excellent.  I could have seized the moment in every way to feed my mind with every marvel in education I was curious about. I could have sculpted my body into physically the strongest and fittest version of myself possible.  I could have spent my time in social settings, doing fun, healthy things with others, forging and fostering lifelong friendships and relationships.  I could have networked and belonged to strong communities that would aid me throughout my life as I needed them.  I could have grown strong in my faith and spent my time renewing my mind and life in the beauty and guidance of God’s Eternal Word.  I could have given to others in so many ways and been a light in their lives.  I could have…I should have…

But instead of achieving these virtuous things, I was attracted to trouble makers who had no focus, no ambition, no goals of any worth.  I was attracted to carefree, lazy, godless people who only cared about having a good time and so I became just like them.  I managed to graduate from school after 4 years there, but aside from my paper, I have nothing to show for my time there other than heartache and regret at all the opportunities that I foolishly threw away.

These thoughts and many more have been a heavy burden on my heart for a long time. The sobering reality that I cannot ever go back and do it over has haunted me.  If only I could go back, I would do it right.

This may seem petty in the grand scheme of the world and world events.  It may seem petty in comparison to what most people consider true loss, myself included. I am not naive to tragedy and real loss, but loss happens on many levels and it impacts us in many different ways.  For me, this was a loss that landed squarely on my shoulders.  I was completely to blame for the collective loss of 4 years of my life that I have dubbed “The Lost Years”.   My sin; my own rebellion did this to me.

But the Lord restores.

After 15 years, the Lord has given me a new opportunity and I have the chance again to seize every good thing from this new window of time.  It’s like a smaller-lesser version of the Parable of the Lost Son has happened to me: I had it made, went away, squandered everything, was a loser, returned to the Lord, committed my life to Him again, and after several years of wondering what could have been ‘if only’, I am being restored in a very tangible and pleasantly emotional way.  Of course, the Parable of the Lost Son concerns the eternal implications of being lost and found, but it speaks to my heart greatly when I consider it as also applying to my earthly life and what I have lost due to my rebellion.  I praise God that He has saved me from eternal destruction.  I also praise Him that He is able to restore me in my life on earth as well.

The heartache of loss and regret I’ve carried for 15 years is the fuel that keeps hot the fire that is refining me.  I am grateful for this new door that has opened to me. To walk through it means that I must leave the room of emptiness I have been trapped in for so long.  I get to finally leave that room and shut the door behind me. I get to walk through the door of opportunity once again and make the most of what awaits me on the other side of it.  Just the knowledge alone that there is a new, fresh chapter opening up to me has restored my hope, my outlook on my life, my outlook on myself, my perception of my own worthiness, all of which had been what seemed irreversibly damaged because of my own sin.

The Lord restores.

As the children of God, we have the promise from our Lord that He makes things new again.  The Lord restores.  “Behold, I am doing a new thing!” Though Job did nothing to deserve the horrible things that happened to him, Scriptures say that, when Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored all of his fortunes and blessed him even more (Job 42:10-17).  Likewise, Joseph and many other people in Scripture suffered loss through no fault of their own.  But they were restored.

King David, who was directly responsible for heart-wrenching losses because of his sins (the child he created with Bathsheba died and he watched of 70,000 die by plague because he took a census of his warrior count instead of trusting the power of his Lord, to name a couple) also experienced the restoration of the Lord.

Does restoration mean that we get back exactly what we lost? No, it does not.  But the effects of loss take a toll on our spirit, our minds and our bodies.  As the saying goes, perception is reality.  Through the renewing of our minds in our communion with the Lord, He restores us.  This restoration may sometimes manifest itself in our physical world and belongings as well, but He restores US.

Praise the Lord for second chances.  Praise the Lord that He chastens, disciplines and then gently helps us to stand.  Praise the Lord for the wilderness, for when we have wandered through it on our own accord only to be left parched and barely hanging on, He offers the oasis to quench our thirst and give us life again. Praise the Lord for the experience of The Lost Years in whatever form they come, for without the acute and sharp knowledge that we have lost something precious, we take for granted what we have, particularly time.  Praise the Lord for new beginnings, the reminder of which we have every single day with every rising sun.  Praise the Lord that the earth and everything in it belongs to Him, for everything is at His disposal and perfect judgment.  Praise the Lord for His unfailing Love, for without it all is lost and can never be found.

I write this entry from the perspective of one who has experienced the rush of being set free from a spiritual and emotional bondage; the heavy shackles of regret and longing.

However, just last week, I wore those shackles.  Yet, I knew I am loved by Christ Jesus.  I knew I would be restored, whether in this life or in the eternal life He has given me.  Christ’s love is sufficient for everything and I have lived my life for several years now trusting in His love every single day.  I did not know that it was His desire to help ease my mind over my version of The Lost Years, but now I know.

If you are experiencing “The Lost Years” now or if you are lamenting your past, I am writing this for you.  The Lord restores.  The Lord can restore you if something precious has been taken from you. His love is sufficient.  The Lord can restore you if you are suffering by your own hand, your own sin.  His love is sufficient.  The Lord can restore refreshing waters into the desert wilderness you live in.  Whatever our circumstance, however seemingly hopeless, the Lord is infinitely bigger.  He can handle our mess and restore us.  Have hope.  Pray.  Answer your conscience.  Sin no more.  Whether in this life or in life eternal or both, the Lord is Mighty and He restores and makes new again. What an amazing thing it is to be the recipient of a gift so wonderful.  Praise the Lord.

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“The end of the world is coming soon.  Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.  Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.  Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”  (1 Peter 4:7-9)

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.  Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.  So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.  All power to him forever! Amen.” (1 Peter 5:7-11)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.  All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!” (Psalm 111:10)

“Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27)

“Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.” (Proverbs 19:23)

Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.  Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25)

Alex Jones is the head of an independent news and media outlet in America called Info Wars” at http://www.infowars.com.  He is committed to reporting stories that the mainstream media does not report on and, as such, he has uncovered the truth about many events over the years.  His focus is largely on the shadow agenda of the one-world government elitists and because of this he often gets mocked.  Even the American President has taken his mocking stabs at Alex Jones, attempting to attack his credibility.

In the video, Alex Jones shares with his viewers that he senses that something horrible is happening or has already happened and it’s just a matter of short time before the world is impacted.  He senses ominous tension in the air and has asked many if they feel or sense something similar.  They all have.  No one can quite identify what is wrong, but it is enough to cause them anxiety and worry about the unknown that they are not usually susceptible to.  Understanding that we are spirits living in physical bodies, of course we would discern that something is amiss, especially if we are Christians and in constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit Who know all.  However, the Holy Spirit does not give us a spirit of fear, anxiety or worry, as these are not godly attributes.  But if we are spiritually alert and watchful, we all sense that the end is near and the world is speeding towards it.

Scriptures tell us that a world government will happen and that events in the last days will usher it in.  There are so many events happening at this time that we do not really know which events are occurring naturally and which ones are orchestrated to push the world along, but the details do not matter.  Everything is leading us to the return of Christ Jesus and Christians should be alert, watching the times, staying faithful in everything we do and praying at all times about everything.

Instead of worrying and living in fear, like the rest of the world is doing, we should be quietly making sure our lamps are full of oil; we should be prudent in every way, confidently taking care of our business and trusting that the Lord God Almighty is with us.  We should be ever conscientious of how fragile we are, how temporary life is, how temporary our belongings are, how limited our time is and how naked we truly are.  Having our minds right about our place in life puts everything that is happening on Earth into the proper perspective.  It helps us not to cherish the things and our lives in this world.  Jesus told us not to love our lives here; to not try to hang on to our lives, but rather to hate our lives in this world.   He did not use the word “hate” in the sense that we usually understand it; he was not taking the view of those who are depressed, hopeless or hateful.  He was highlighting that anything done apart from him is futile and will not withstand the refining fires of God’s judgment anyway.  We are to live in Him.  We are to bear fruit in Him.  We are to follow Him.  Our lives revolve around Him.  And if we are focused on Him as we should be, our attitude towards the things of this world is that none of it matters much.  We are pilgrims passing through, stewards of the Kingdom of God, voices in the wilderness. We have been given one job: to love others and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ with whatever time we are given on Earth.

Let the foolish try to harness control and power.  Let them waste their lives on Earth trying to enslave, manipulate and maneuver for domination.  Let them build monuments to themselves and steal from those who are weaker than they are.  Let them hoard all the riches they can.  They are wicked.  Their story has been told thousands of times through history.  An eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth awaits them.  Their lives will come to nothing.  They will be forgotten and no one will think of them anymore.  All their scheming and effort and sleepless nights will amount to nothing but eternal misery.  Pray for them, that they are able to escape their own wickedness by turning to God and repenting before they are out of time.  

Indeed, we know that evil is real on Earth.  The devil is just like the foolish people of Earth and we already know how his story ends. As we watch, we watch with the understanding that we live in the last days.  Be surprised at nothing. Let no evil overwhelm you. Hearts will wax cold and that coldness will even turn children against their parents, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, and this will be world-wide.  But, let no evil event send you into hiding.  Christians are called to light our lamps and place them where they can be seen at all times, by everyone.  We are to be the ones that love when no one else will love.  Yes, something wicked this way comes.  But we are not to fear it.  We fear only The Lord God Almighty who has already conquered death through His Son Jesus Christ.

“In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

“Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the Lords Temple!‘ Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it.  Shaphan went to the king and reported, ‘Your officials have turned over the money collected at the Temple of the Lord to the workers and supervisors at the Temple.’  Shaphan also told the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.’  So Shaphan read it to the king. When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.  Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: ‘Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah.  Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found.  For the Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll.  We have not been doing everything it says we must do.’  So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the New Quarter of Jerusalem to consult with the prophet Huldah.  She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, the keeper of the Temple wardrobe.  She sad to them, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken!  Go back and tell the man who sent you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people.  All the words written in the scroll that the king of Judah has read will come true.  For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done.  My anger will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched.  But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people–that this land would be cursed and become desolate.  You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord.  So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace.  You will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city.'” So they took her message to back to the king.” (2 Kings 22:8-20)

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money.  They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful.  They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control.  They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.  They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.  Stay away from people like that!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

“I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God.  Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not.  Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.  For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching.  They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them what their itching ears want to hear.  They will reject the truth and chase after myths.  But you should keep a clear mind in every situation.  Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord.  Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.”  (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

The “day” has officially come when, world-wide, good is called evil and evil is called good, dark is called light and light is called dark, bitter is called sweet and sweet is called bitter (Isaiah 5:20).  These days are the days when the Holy ways of God are turned upside down and those who faithfully follow His ways are mocked, punished and persecuted.

If any of us is lucky enough to own a Bible, but we neglect the truth and power contained within its pages; if our Bible is ornamental or a space holder on a bookshelf, collecting dust, sitting silent, then we are like the people of ancient times who, having no king and no one to share the Book of the Law with them, did what seemed right in their own eyes. We have no supreme guidance or direction and no foundation of truth from which to address any moral question.  The ancients did what seemed best to them, but when they found the Book of the Law of God and learned what was truly right, they panicked and tore their clothes in despair for how wrong they really were.

The Holy Scriptures of God renew our mind with truth every time we read or hear them.  The Word is life-giving.  It guides us. It directs us.  It gives us wisdom and discernment.  It shows us right from wrong and even shares examples from people’s lives as they did right/wrong and the blessings/consequences that resulted from their decisions.  It protects us and shows us the best way for our life.  Knowing the Word of God and obeying it brings peace and prosperity to the land, our communities, our families.  Where God is honored, we find His presence.  Where He is dishonored, we find His judgment, for the world and everything in it belongs to Him.

But we live in the days when the Word of God is intentionally stifled and contradicted world-wide.  The creation mocks and defies the Creator.  Those who believe the Bible are mocked as being naive and child-like. Our values, likewise, are openly scorned by the world.  In many parts of the world, we are targets of hatred and violence.  In the West, the freedom to believe and worship the Lord is fast disappearing, as our very existence offends the emerging groups of people who love to celebrate their own ways in contradiction to the Holy ways of God.

The ways of the world are aggressively promoted in every avenue of communication available.  If we do not know the Word of God, we can easily be deceived and confused into accepting evil as good and in danger ourselves of calling good ‘evil’.  

God stays His hand of judgment on the repentant, but how can we repent when we do not know the truth?  In a world where seemingly everything is becoming permissible, where evil is called good and is celebrated and encouraged, who is repenting of sin and desiring righteous living? How do we know what living a righteous life even looks like?

Attending church is not enough, for how do we know if our trusted church leaders are teaching us the truth unless we are spending time alone with God by reading His Holy Word?  He warns us many times throughout Scripture that false teachers are everywhere and that we must stay alert so as not to be deceived.

As servants of the Most High God, we have been called to stand on the Truth at all times and in every situation in Christ Jesus.  In order to do this, we must first know the Truth.  And to know the truth, we must dust off our Bible and spend time renewing our minds and our souls with the precious truth contained within its pages.  This is the only way to fight against the wiles of our enemy, who works day and night to separate us from our Lord and the truth.

Let us cling to the Word of God as we would cling to our most precious possession.  Let us cling to it as the world tries to wrestle it from us; as the world makes us suffer for it. These are the last days; the days of the Great Falling Away where popular opinion persuades the masses to abandon their values in favor of the latest societal trends.

When our Lord returns, how many faithful will He find?  Very few.

“Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom.  If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders.  But my Kingdom is not of this world.”  (John 18:36)

“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.  These are not from the Father, but are from this world.  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave.  But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

“We know that we belong to God even though the whole world is under the rule of the evil one.”  (1 John 5:19)

What is “The World”?

According to Scripture, The World (Greek “kosmos”) is 3 parts:  1) it is the actual material earth/universe (Acts 17:24), (Matthew 13:35), 2) it is the people on the earth (John 1:10), (John 3:16), (John 15:18), and 3) it is the tangible and intangible things (science, education, philosophy, technology, medicine, politics, music, art, law, and commerce) OF the earth (1 John 3:17), (1 Corinthians  3:19), (1 Corinthians 7:31).

If all 3 parts of This World are under the rule of Satan and subjugated to his world system, what is a Christian to do?

First, we must understand our reality as Christians.

We are in the world, but are no longer OF the world because we are now in Christ Jesus.  We belong to Christ.  “If the world hates you, just remember that it has hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, then the world would love you as its own.  But I chose you FROM this world, and you do not belong to it; that is why the world hates you.”  (John 15:18-19)

We are in the world, and are called to be lights in the darkness.  “You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.  Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”  (Matthew 5:14-16)  Jesus was the Light of the world while he walked the earth, and He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside of each of us.  We are commanded to be lights seen in the darkness.  Without us, there is no spiritual light in this world.

Second, we are to utilize the world system according to God’s will.  We should not avoid food, drink, entertainment, professional occupation, hobbies, interactions in this world.  But we are called to submit all of these to God’s will in our lives and obey His Word.  The Holy Spirit, Who lives inside of us, convicts each of us according to God’s purpose.  Hiding away in an effort to keep ourselves “clean” renders us ineffective in expanding God’s Kingdom.  In reality, we could live on a deserted island and still sin against God, if even only in our thoughts.  But we have been called to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” (Mark 16:15)

We are in the world, and are supposed to be here, representing God’s Eternal Kingdom.  When Jesus prayed to the Father concerning his followers, he specifically said “I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but I do ask you to keep them safe from the evil one.”  (John 17:15)

Third, we are to remember that we are not welcome here in this world.  We are aliens in a hostile land, hated because we belong to Christ Jesus.  We simply don’t belong here.  This is not our home, and the things we see and interact with are not ours.  They belong to the world and to the ruler of this world, Satan.  They were here in this world before we were born and they will remain here when we die.

Fourth, time belongs to this world.  Our lives are short, like a puff of air, and completely meaningless outside of God’s purpose.  King Solomon, who had everything this world could give anyone, both lamented and exclaimed that everything in this world is meaningless folly.  Countless people living and dying with only a “chasing of the wind” to show for their existence.  Christians are expected to know better; to keep ourselves detached from this world even as we interact with it and live in it.

The world we look forward to, our world, our true home, is as of yet unseen, but Scripture assures us that nothing compares. We are to use the time we have in this world to glorify God’s great name, our very lives an obedient witness to His glory until he calls us home.

NOTE: this post is based on portions of Watchman Nee’s “Love Not The World (A Prophetic Call To Holy Living)”.

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’  Where is the wise man?  Where is the scholar?  Where is the philosopher of this age?  God has made the wisdom of the world foolish.  In the wisdom of God the world did not know God through its own wisdom.  So God chose to use the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe.  The Jews ask for miracles, and the Greeks want wisdom.  But we preach a crucified Christ.  This causes the Jews to stumble and is foolishness to non-Jews.  But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people God has called–Jews and Greeks.  Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”  (1 Corinthians 1:17-25)

“Brothers and sisters, look at what you were when God called you.  Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom.  Not many of you had great influence.  Not many of you came from important families.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose what the world thinks is unimportant and what the world looks down on and thinks is nothing in order to destroy what the world thinks is important.  God did this so that no one can brag in his presence.” (1 Corinthians 1: 26-29)

“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom to those who are mature.  But this wisdom is not from this world or from the rulers of this world, who are losing their power.  We speak of God’s secret wisdom, which he has kept hidden.  Before the world began, God planned this wisdom for our glory.  None of the rulers of this world understood it.  If they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  But as it is written in the Scriptures: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.’  But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit.  For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.  No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.  And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.  When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom.  Instead we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.  But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit.  It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.  Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.  For, ‘Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?  Who knows enough to teach him?’  But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2: 6-16)

Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy.  Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!  They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” (Matthew 7:6)

As Christ was mocked, so Christians are mocked.  The world calls us naïve, unintelligent, blind believers of fairy tales.  The world demands that Christians engage in worldly debates where scientific arguments are the “end all” measure for our faith and belief in Christ and His story.

Science, which is a tool for measuring and evaluating the physical realm, is the tool that the world demands us to use to defend our belief in the Spirit of God and the spiritual realm.  Faith is the proper tool for measuring and evaluating the Spiritual Realm, not science, and yet, we allow ourselves to be cornered in an impossible argument.  We mean well and have the best intentions, but God’s wisdom is foolishness to the world.  And the world’s wisdom is foolishness to God.

Jesus warned us about this and told us not to fall into the trap.

God, in His perfect wisdom, has hidden Himself from the world.  There is no worldly-wise argument we can put forth that will open the world’s eyes to God.  We are foolish to the world and that is exactly how God wants it. He has provided a way for people to know Him and gain true wisdom.  That way is Jesus Christ.  Period.  If Christians are called foolish and are mocked because we believe this, then what an honor it is to be counted worthy to suffer for Christ.

“Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.”  (Matthew 24:25)

“I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God.  Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not.  Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.  For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching.  They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.  They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

“…God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.  They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.  For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky.  Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature.  So they have no excuse for not knowing God.  Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks.  And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like.  As a result their minds became dark and confused.  Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.  And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.  So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired.”  (Romans 1: 18-23)

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.  What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.”  (Isaiah 5:20-21)

“You have wearied the Lord with your words.  ‘How have we wearied him?’ you ask.  You have wearied him by saying that all who do evil are good in the Lord’s sight, and he is pleased with them.” (Malachi 2:17a)

“Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.  These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead. (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money.  They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful.  They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control.  They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.  They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.  Stay away from people like that! (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

The very first thing the Holy Scriptures teach us about our enemy Satan is that he is the most subtle and clever of all of God’s creatures of the field.  (Genesis 3)  He used subtle and crafty persuasions of falsehood on Eve and she acted upon them, introducing sin and death into God’s good world.  And we can see that Satan’s subtle lies have been his weapon of choice against God’s Kingdom and people throughout the whole story of humanity.  Satan’s sole objective is to destroy the works of God and he will stop at nothing to pervert and defile everything God has called ‘good’.   What better way to do this than to convince the whole world that what is good is ‘evil’ and what is evil is ‘good’?

The world’s society calls evil ‘good’ and good ‘evil’ on many different levels and is moving quickly towards tolerance of everything except Christianity.  It may soon seem preferable to be known as anything but a Christian.

Indeed, in this world the ways of the Eternal Most High God are called ‘outdated’ and ‘intolerant’.  Those who belong to this world scoff at God’s ways and see themselves as evolving to some higher state of existence as a society by means of ‘tolerance’ and ‘political correctness’. But the truth is their minds are dark and confused. They want the desires of their hearts, no matter how wicked, and they will call anyone evil who would dare contradict them.  They think they are wise, but God says they are fools.

Scripture tells us we live in the last days.  We belong to God, but we physically live in a world that is under the power of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)  We are not to be dismayed at what we see and hear going on in the world, but are called to set ourselves apart from it and to watch and pray.

And we are called to know the truth so we can discern the lies of Satan in the world and fight against his lies in our own lives.  We must always remember that his favorite style of warfare is subtle false persuasion.  He shoots his fiery darts at us from the safety of the shadows because if he stepped into the light, he’d be seen for the liar that he is.  Praise God, one day Satan WILL be seen by all and his whole legacy will be the epitome of ‘outdated’.