Contemplate this scenario: I hire the top interior designer in the country. The designer shows up at my home. (Let's pretend it's a lady designer) She starts pointing out how I could change the wall color in this room, put up new drapes, put a hardwood floor in the dinning room, buy an exotic area rug to place under my table, wainscoting here, chair rail there, and on and on and on....
But after hours of counsel, I opt to leave everything as it was when she arrived. A great price was paid for her expert opinion, but I didn't want to make any of the changes she suggested. I could have had the most impressive home in my neighborhood, maybe even in my whole town, but I chose to keep it the way I had it, because it was less trouble than the changes would have been. People would have noticed the change. I wasn't ready for people to notice a change in my place, that, would have made ME uncomfortable.
It's kind of like when we get saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God is the master Designer. He formed the entire universe, and when He comes to live on the inside of us, he starts making suggestions which would make us look like Jesus, and we like not looking like Jesus just fine, so we stay looking like all our friends because we don't want to be noticed; we'd just as soon not have a house that stood out from the houses in our community. We are okay with our house just storing our new-born, supernatural new creature, which possesses the same potential as Jesus the master-Himself.
Never-the-less, He is still inside of us and anytime we take the notion to allow the master-interior-designer to redesign us, He is ready-able-and-willing.
Glory to God!!! Glory to God!!! Glory to God!!!
Imagine, if you would:
You go to the hospital, have a baby, bring that baby home, feed it, nurture it, give it everything it needs. And you do this for thirty years and that baby never changes from an infant. Thirty years have passed and that thirty year old is still twenty two and a half inches long and weighs 7 pounds and 6 ounces.
Probably, way before the second year had passed, you would start to think that something wasn’t quite right, and you would be correct.
However, in the Kingdom of God, people come to the church, get saved, or are born again (what ever you may want to call it) and live the next thirty years without ever growing in faith, love, or any of the things which the bible teaches us are fruit (or visible manifestations) of spiritual maturity.
Many of the leaders of the universal churches have a great deal of knowledge of the Bible, but no outward evidence that God even exist. And the religious Christian world has come to except this as the norm.
The Apostle Paul reprimanded the Corinthians for being carnal and living as “mere men.” He seemed to be concerned that they were still babies, when by that time they should have been showing some signs of spiritual maturity.
Peter said, “…as new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby.” Evidently, the milk of the word will cause you to grow. But since most Christians don’t grow, wouldn’t that seem to imply that Christian aren’t even getting milk. Because, if they were, getting milk, they would grow.
A person, who has a great deal of scriptural knowledge, but shows no visible manifestation of spiritual power, or authority, is that person a spiritually mature person, as God sees it?
Jesus said, in Luke 6:40, “When the pupil is completely trained, he will be like his Master.” How many men have we seen who resemble Jesus, at least, to any great degree? Yes, maybe some have fit the image we have in our religious minds of what Jesus was/is like. However, Jesus was a lot more than just a very nice guy, wasn’t He?
As a group, as a church, as a single unit, how much do we show forth, exemplify, demonstrate, prove the power and presence of an Almighty God?
Certainly, there have been men and women, over the centuries, even in recent generations, who have reached great heights of faith and moved in the gifts of the Spirit, and God has used them and blessed them, and all who were touch by their ministries.
However, when these people have come onto the scene, it has always seemed, that church folk come out in droves to get healed and delivered. People seem to know that these servants of God have some thing they need and desire, and this is a good thing.
But isn’t this, in a sense, like running out to the ice cream truck and buying a fudge sickle when your daddy owns the whole ice cream factory? You could have all the ice cream you want for free, but you are not even aware of what is yours. It’s like going out to the corn field and picking one ear of corn off a stalk, and not being conscious of the fact that your father owns the field and everything in it.
We should be handing out fudge sickles and baskets of corn to others, but we’ve been content to just have our own single fudge sickle and roasting ear. I believe that it would be safe to say that this was not what Jesus was trying to teach us.
Some people say that Jesus was a good man, but that He was not the son of God.
Some have even said that Jesus was a prophet, but that He was not the Son of God.
Either Jesus was and is exactly who and what He said He was and is, or Jesus is a big fat liar.
Jesus said He was the Son of God.
If Jesus is not the Son of God, then, He is a big fat liar.
If He is a big fat liar, then is not and was not a good man. He would have been a liar. That is not a good man in any since of the word good.
If Jesus was a prophet and not the Son of God, then He would have had to have been a false prophet. Because if a prophet proclaimed things which were not true, then that prophet has to be a false prophet. A true prophet only prophesies true things or he is not a true prophet.
If Jesus was not who He said He was, then everything He said and taught was foolishness and carries no weight in our lives here and now.
If Jesus was not who and what He said He was, then all of Christianity is just some man-made-up religion which has no meaning and no consequence in today’s world and society.
Why do people fear death? If death is just… not being anymore?
If Jesus is not what He said He is, then there is probably no Heaven or Hell. These are just made up words used to scare people into joining man-made religion.
If Jesus is not what he said He is, then why are people offended by His words and His so-called religion?
If a man came into town teaching Greek Mythology as the true way to receive eternal life, no one would be offended. People would laugh at him. They would not take him seriously. Would they?
If Jesus is not who He said He is, then why would His religion be any different than any other crazy religion that has come into the world over the centuries? Why try to stop something which has no substance?
If a thing is just pure foolishness, then just laugh, shake your head, and walk off from it. That would make the most sense, wouldn’t it?
Is Jesus a big fat liar?
If He is, then the passage in the Bible where Jesus mentioned being cast into Hell where the worm dieth not and the fire is never quenched, that would be just plain silliness, not a thing in the world to worry over.
If Jesus is a big fat liar, then all the things He said about there being a day of Judgment and being cast into outer darkness and wailing and gnashing of teeth and great torment in the after life for those who have rejected Him, that would all be foolishness, and childishness, and really just plain stupidity, wouldn’t it?
But, What If?
But What if Jesus truly is all He claimed to be?
What if when we die we’re not just dead?
What if we will, for a fact, stand before an Almighty God?
And, What if we learn that God’s only requirement for us to have received eternal life was that we had believed on His only begotten Son, who shed His holy and precious blood and suffered and died for us?
If Jesus is a big fat liar, then, there would seem to be nothing to fear at life’s end, for those who have not believe on Him.
And, nothing to gain for those who did believe.
But if Jesus is real, then there is hope for all.
For Jesus said that everyone who calls on Him, He would in no wise cast out.
Call on Jesus, and He will save you and give you eternal live.
For Jesus said that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
When I was a denominational boy, experience taught me that if a person knew a lot of Bible verses, people considered them to be spiritually mature. Then I went over to the Charismatics, and in that group, if you had some spiritual gifts operating in your life, you were considered to be spiritually mature. Then I found myself hanging out with Word-of-Faith folks, and in that bunch, it was the general understanding that if you had revelation knowledge of the Word of God, you were a grown up kind of Christian. Then, finally, I found my way into the presence of The Lord, and there, I found out, you were considered Spiritually mature, when you did what God says to do in His Word.
So, the truth is, Bible knowledge, Gifts of the Spirit, and revelation knowledge, are only tool to assist us in growing up and becoming spiritually mature Believers, they in and of themselves are not necessarily, proofs our being grown up Christians.