Listening to one preacher this morning in the car radio I was struck by what he was saying.
This was a preacher I liked listening to because although we differ in the doctrine of salvation, he has always been a strong practical preacher.
He was talking about how Christians have so compromised their standards and their world views for so long that such compromises gave rise to evil men, then, and now, and he cited the case of Christian Protestant Germany and the rise of Adolf Hitler, and he went on and on and on, and, yeah, if the listening church goer who thinks being a Christian is to be able to influence a corrupt world and have it “turn to Christ” for salvation, well, this is one heckuva guilt party right here.
Because what struck me was not the truth of what he was saying, but the falsities in his statement, and, to his credit, with apologies to whatever titles were before or after his name, he had no idea that what he was saying were false from the standpoint of what Scripture really says to whom.
You see, this world is fallen, inhabited by fallen men and women, dominated by the personality the Bible calls the prince of the power of the air, and the most righteously living, gentle, God-submitted, faithful Christ follower cannot change it, at all.
It is anti-God in its philosophies and outlooks, it is anti-God in its purposes, and will remain that way.
Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, came, lived righteously, committed no sin against God or anybody, and what did the world do ?
It crucified Him, both Jew and Gentile.
That is why it took the Son of God Himself,, on the cross, in time, to make sure that those who are God’s people, His elect from the foundation of the world, are safe and secure, atoned for and redeemed.
Because the wrath of God rests on this world already.
There is nothing in Scriptures that instructs the New Testament church to “influence the world” and have this world “turn to Christ for salvation”. These are man-made, seminary-taught, concepts built on doctrinal conclusions that God is a wanting, imploring, hoping God dependent on an organism called a church, composed of men and women called out from a fallen, rotten, decaying, self-willed, sin-shot world, to convert and influence such a world and hopefully turn it away from the wrath of an offended God.
Doctrinal conclusions that were arrived at through the misuse, misapplication, and misinterpretation of many Scriptures, quoted out of context, and interpreted from multi-faceted views of God as a God of chances, a merciful, pleading God, a loving God, an angry but patient God, a God whose sovereignty is as supreme only in as far as his fallen, sinful, creation called mankind’s will is concerned, defining that pseudo- sovereignty as grace extended and offered to a creation by an indiscriminately loving and self-assured God secure in His Sovereignty enough to allow weak-willed beings the exercise of their own free will.
These observations will meet resistance from many well-intentioned people who think of themselves as Christians, and, yes, the big majority of them are, if one considers that being a Christian is defined from the points of view of ownership and identity and not church membership and conduct towards self and others.
These points of view cannot but lead one a doctrinal conclusion (unacceptable to many well founded Christians) that one may be an atheist and yet a Christian and have no idea that he is a Christian, bought, atoned for, redeemed, andowned by the One who knew him from the foundation of the world, knew all about him and his hatred for Christ and anything that has to do with anyone that is worshipped, and yet loved him when what he deserved was wrath.
Or that one may be a Muslim, or a 7th day Adventist, or a devout Catholic, or an agnostic, or a “free thinker” (if ever such a one exists), and still be a Christian, not by virtue of his creed, or church affiliation, or tags, or confession of faith, or doctrine, but because in eternity past the Creator God foreknew him, wrote his name in His mind, the book of Life, knew of his coming bondage to sin and his being hocked to Satan, and set His face on earth to go to Jerusalem at the cross to shed, here in time, the blood He shed in eternity past as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world in order to atone for and redeem the elect sinner caught in the divisions of a fallen world.
Or, one may be unregenerate, but a Christian, since the Savior did not wait for the Spirit to regenerate all His people before He went up that cross to atone for and redeem His elect. Let me qualify these statements at this point: all of God’s people for whom Christ died at Calvary have been redeemed, even those still unborn as of today in time, but because they also are of Adam’s seed, dead in trespasses and sin and at enmity with God in their natural state, are to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit, in His own time, apart from any means.
The death of Christ here in time, atoned for the sins of His people, and satisfied the wrath of an offended Creator.
The blood of Christ, shed at Calvary, here in time, redeemed His people from their bondage to the wages of sin and from Satan. That blood broke Satan’s ownership. The ransom has been paid, the property redeemed.
The resurrection of Christ, guaranteed to the owned, that he is a citizen of heaven, has always been a citizen of heaven, never abandoned by his God.
The word of God, the Bible, the Scriptures, the Old and New Testament, were written for the saints of God, His elect, everywhere, anywhere, and not for mankind.
The Bible is the instruction manual, not for the world, in general, but for His people, in particular (Romans 15:4; 1 Cor 10:11).
The words and instructions in that manual tell the addressee how he is to conduct himself among “the Gentiles” (the unelect, the ungodly) in order for them to know that there is a God in Israel.
There is nothing in the Bible where God mandates his people to influence rulers, or nations.
Any reprimanding, any correction, any disciplining is directed towards God’s people.
John the Baptist did not go to the Gentiles to reprimand them of their ungodly lifestyles.
He reprimanded Herod, a Jew, an Israelite.
God did not tell Moses in the Old Testament to make sure the heathen around him knows and hears of Jehovah God and His ten commandments.
God gave Moses the law which was for all HIS PEOPLE, Israel.
Neither did Joshua receive instructions from Jehovah to subjugate the heathen around and MAKE THEM BOW to Jehovah.
Calls for repentance were not made to those outside of God’s people.
If God sent Jonah to Nineveh to call these people unto repentance, it was because He had ALREADY softened the hearts of the Ninevites, not because they were especially drawn to God.
The Bible is chockful of instructions to God’s people to live peaceably among others, yes, but God never blamed the spread of evil, or of evildoers, on His people.
Preaching is for the edification, instruction, correction, and discipline of God’s people IN THE CHURCH.
In other words, let God’s people MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS.
Disciplining, cutting off, judging, of those without the church is God’s problem, and He has already done so at the cross.
Judgment is over, finished, done.
What is coming for those who are not among God’s people is eternal damnation, hell, lake of fire, separation from God eternally.
The cross sealed it for them.
The blood sealed them out of glory already.
The preacher’s business is not to make God’s people in his flock go on a guilt trip because somebody like Hitler, or bin Laden, or because a creed like Islam, or a corrupt “Christian” government, came about.
Or because the society they exist in is hellish, hell-bound, or hell-influenced.
The truth is, nothing short of God’s own power will change any society.
The preacher’s business is to correct and edify, and to have Christians in his flock go on a guilt trip when THEY begin to act, walk, talk, and quack, like the heathen.