“In the first century in Palestine, Christianity was a community of believers. Then Christianity moved to Greece and it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome and became an institution. Then on to Europe, and became a culture. And then it moved to America and became a business.” — Priscilla Shirer
I wrote in last week’s column concerning the promises of God in restoring America to our Godly heritage. However, I do not want us to feel there is no moral obligation or responsibility on our part.
We each have an individual responsibility to make sure the Cross of Christ is faithfully proclaimed with all its unparalleled beauties. We each have an individual obligation to surrender our lives to its wonder working power. Shirer, in the above quote, rightly said, “When Christianity moved to America it became a business.”
I have heard sermons in my day when the name of Jesus is not once mentioned. Sometimes, not even a scripture reference is given. I have heard the hyper faith group twist the Word of the Lord until Jesus is no more than a slave to our wants and desires. If we would just formulate the right sequence of words, we can hogtie Jesus into giving us a new car or a new home, perhaps even a new Harley Davidson. Entire messages are delivered from pulpits that are taken out of context.
Consider this example from 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” This is a very sacred passage of Scripture, one that should almost hold us in silence and awe as we read it. In it is revealed the whole plan of redemption. Christ left the beauty of Heaven for 33 and one-half years. He clothed himself in humanity and took upon Himself the nature of man.
He, who was rich, became poor, that we, who are spiritually poor, might become spiritually rich, by inheriting His divine nature through regeneration. (This verse has nothing to do with money)! For our sakes, He did this. The hyper faith teachers would have you believe the entirety of this text is centered on finances. This is as near to blasphemy as one can walk without falling off the edge. Our responsibility is to teach and preach the Scriptures in their proper context.
A text taken out of context is no more than a pretext. We must push aside the hyper faith Gnosticism of this present age and once again embrace the Bible in context as our ultimate guiding authority. This is the key that will release the promises of God to our nation. The return to basic Bible Christianity will bring the blessing of Heaven upon us. It will bring Revival! It is the preaching of the Cross that results in the saving of the soul.
Some say, “You can not preach the cross every time you enter the pulpit.” To those, I would say, “Has it lost its wondrous attraction to you?” Personally, “I love to tell the story, twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.” You will not need a Mercedes in Heaven, but you will need the precious blood of Christ to enter the gates of that eternal city.
The Gospel, the Bible is a Christ-centered book. In it is revealed the mind of God and the purpose and hope of man. Away then with humanism in our pulpits! “The motto of all true servants of God must be, ‘We preach Christ; and Him crucified.’
“No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)