We don’t always recognize Christ in our circumstances, but if Christ lives in us, He is definitely with us in every case—in our sorrow, pain, unrest, and turmoil.
No, He isn’t the source, and He hasn’t caused that circumstance, but He did promised to be with us in all cases. Our faith challenge is to find Him in the midst of the fiery furnace. So, wave away the smoke (I call that worship), until you’re eye to eye with your Savior. Keep your focus on Him.
Friends, if Jesus lives in our heart, we are not alone. If we will keep our eyes on Him and follow Him (I call that walking in repentance), He will not only keep us, but lead us out to safety, wholeness, peace, and rest.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
The Lord is faithful. He will keep you in the midst of the fires of suffering.
I started selling Avon when I was a teenager, and I’ve sold it off-and-on over the years. I really do like their products, and really don’t like buying make-up in a drug store or department store. I just am not real keen on selling anything. Until I run out of something and need to replace it, I forget I even have a website.
None the less, I do have an Avon website. If you like Avon and don’t already have an Avon lady, check it out. The catalog is available online, and there are lots of sales and promotions. If you have questions about something, let me know.
PREFACE: I wasn’t expecting to find wolves in sheep’s clothing in the political realm. I didn’t expect political people (whether candidates, operatives, pundits, or media voices) to be espousing a false gospel. I thought they would all be members of the clergy.
I read something from a medical doctor I respect very much—as a medical doctor. However, he wasn’t writing about medicine. He was writing about spiritual things. In fact, he entitled his post, “A SPIRITUAL CALL TO ACTION.”
Now, I can get behind a spiritual call to action, but I’m not looking to a medical doctor—no matter how much I may respect him as such—to lead me spiritually. Yes, a Pastor might be bi-vocational, or retire from medicine and later answer a call to pastor—as a matter of fact, I know a man just like that. Well, this is not what I am talking about here. The doctor I am talking about isn’t even a Christian, but you might not be able to tell that from reading his call to action. It all sounds pretty good.
This is why I am concerned. I believe many Christians are being led astray by this man, and others like him who are rising up inconspicuously and in unexpected places, shouting to the people that they have the answer to the troubles in the world today. That message right there is an evidence of the Antichrist spirit. And, I see it everywhere.
The answer is stronger men! The answer is healthier women! The answer is more children! The answer is resistance! The answer is protest! The answer is voting red! The answer is unity! The answer is division! The answer is emotional healing! The answer is to question everything! The answer is financial independence! The answer is in my book!
Let me be clear: it is not that I do not believe God could raise up anyone He pleases to lead His people. The Bible is full of such examples. Our pastorates are full of people like this Brother I referenced above, first a physician, then called to pastor. What I am saying is that there is a step too many Christians are missing as they launch out to follow these men who arise with a convincing testimony and compelling message.
That step is found in 1 John 4:1-3
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
God has given us a simple test to apply. What do they say about Jesus? Do they confess Christ is God? Born of the flesh? Consequently, are they saying the answer is repentance and surrender to Christ, a life of obedience to God’s Word? Or, is the answer found in a policy or leader? If the hope they are extolling comes from this world, than it is certainly of this world and no hope at all.
Oh, he’s not of the Anitchirst. He’s a good man! This is God’s test for your sake, so that you will not be led astray. You see, these false teachers and false prophets are very convincing. They will even say some things that are true! Look, read it for yourself. Here is a bit of what he had to say. His words in quotation marks are exactly what he wrote.
“To merit divine help, humanity must observe God’s laws.”
“Accept the one true God.”
“Reject false gods.”
Accept the Ten Commandments.
“This is a war against demonic forces…false gods, murder of the unborn, desecration of marriage and gender, codifying immorality into law, theft, baseless hatred of fellow man.”
“Let’s start a world wide movement of reconciliation with God and our fellow man.”
That’s a pretty good message, right? Maybe, some disagree with a point here or there, but I think most Christians would say, “This is awesome! This is what we need. Count me in, too!”
Well, it is the last sentence in his call to action that brought me to my computer this morning. The good doctor ends with this final statement:
“The world WILL be redeemed through simple acts of goodness and kindness.”
Folks, those are the kinds of words that should send us all running and screaming at the top of our lungs. Anyone who suggests that the world can be redeemed by any means other than the blood of Jesus is not of God, and therefore has an Antichrist spirit. These individuals are to be exposed.***
This is a very dangerous and growing trend in America. Many are rising up in the name of Jesus, calling you to “action.” They preach a false gospel of good works and justice and restoring our nation. They look like righteous men and women, but they are speaking lies. Oh, they are very good at what they do! I have entertained a few of them myself for too long, trying to make myself ignore the things that just didn’t feel right. So, I know. I understand.We are always hoping for someone who will validate us, or at least someone who won’t mock us. A Styrofoam cup of weak “church coffee” with a friend is better than a mug from a world class barista that we have to share with an enemy.A I get it. It’s just not safe or good. It is in fact very, very dangerous.
Honestly, I didn’t expect the wolves to come out of the political, public policy, and media world. Yet, I could name a dozen people right now who are not only speaking in the name of God, but being invited into churches to “preach.” These are not men B called and anointed of God to preach His Word, and they are not preaching a message of salvation, consecration, or sanctification. They are preaching a political message infused with misinterpreted and misapplied Scriptures. They are all preaching their own call to action based on their own set of values and worldview.
The politicization of faith in our country right now is deeply troubling, and I pray anyone who reads this will stop and ask the Holy Spirit to search their hearts. As Christians, it starts out feeling good, because we really want to be in the company of like believers—that’s human nature. So, when a person with a public platform mentions God or Jesus or church, we feel good. More importantly, we trust them more. We ignore everything about their life that does not bring honor to God and focus on the good, because we can’t really judge their fruit—we don’t know them! We have no relationship with them. We know only what their public relations firm and social media manager wants us to know.
However, we can judge the message. And, we must. If we find them pointing to anything or anyone other than the Word of God or Christ, we need to remove them from our lives. We really do. It doesn’t matter how much you admire them or trust them. This is an Antichrist spirit. We must have no fellowship with darkness.C Does that we mean vacate the political realm? No. It only means we stop looking to political solutions to the spiritual problems of the world. Look, you can remove all the sexually vile books from your school or public libraries, you can stop the wicked sex ed classes in your schools. This is not a secular problem, though. This is a sin problem. As parents, you are meant to be a guard at the gates of your home and your heart. If you are still watching movies with sex scenes or story lines with characters who are committing sexual sin, your kids don’t stand a chance.
I’m four hours into this, so it’s time to get ready for church. And, that leads me the most important thing I have to say: When there is a lack of leadership, it is natural for us to look for someone to follow. So, who do you follow? Who is your shepherd? There is the Good Shepherd, our Lord and Savior, but He gave us men and women to lead us on earth. These shepherds are the godly men and women who have dared to answer the call to pastor. They have dared to carry the burden of your spiritual growth. One day, they will stand before God and give account for the sheep in their care.D
Are you under the care of a shepherd, called of God to lead you in the truth of His Word? I look at churches today and I see too many empty seats. Even in very large churches, I see empty pews.
I talk to Christians and hear one excuse after another. If you aren’t in fellowship with other sheep, following a shepherd called of God, good luck. Might as well just send your children into the woods right now to be devoured by the wolves before they reach the age of accountability. I’m serious. That’s harsh, but there are Christians reading this from home this morning. Oh, sure, they turned on the TV. They’re listening to a good sermon. Bully for you. That is not what God’s Word says.F
Sure, some pastors are unworthyE , and all are imperfect, but God called them to protect us from the wolves. If we were hippos the wolves wouldn’t stand a chance, but Jesus didn’t call us hippopotamuses. He called us sheep. We were created to be pastored—in relationship with a shepherd and the sheep. It’s a simple. It’s where spiritual safety is, too. If you are of sound body, you need to be with the flock.
OK. I gotta go. I love you and pray for you!
A Proverbs 15:17 says, “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.” B So far, yeah, they are all men. C “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11 D Hebrews 13:17: “Obey your leaders and submit to them—for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account—so that they may do this with joy, not groaning; for this would be unhelpful for you.” E Don’t stop going to church, because you had a bad pastor. Find a new one! F Hebrews 10:25: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”