SCRIPTURE – Heb 6:1-2 JULY, 2013
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection[maturity]; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
SUBJECT – BEYOND THE DOOR!!!!!
This month's message, takes a look at a very serious problem that we have in the Church, the body of Christ, today.
It revolves around the idea that a majority of Christians have, that essentially places them in the position of being totally misled, and rendered handicapped, and almost useless, in the mission of the Church, that Christ commissioned us to do. That mission is to go in to all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature [mankind] Mark 16:15.
Now, if this was all He wanted us to do, then, there wouldn't be that big of a problem. Because, if you think about it, all that requires is for you to tell someone about what Christ accomplished in His birth, life, death, burial and resurrection. And just about anyone, saved, or not, could do that. Even an atheist, could memorize the basics of the gospel, and become a 'good preacher, or witness.'
However, if we look at the totality of just what the gospel [the Good News] as described by Christ is, we will see that it also includes more than just talking.
If we will look at verses 17-18, Jesus tells His followers what else they will be able to do, to show that the Gospel, is more than just talk, IT IS ACTION!!!
And herein is the problem.
Without action, to back up what you are telling a person about the 'Good News', you have nothing concrete to convince them that Christ is the answer. This then leads to the possibility that someone can come along with a better sounding message, and the person will choose to follow that person's direction. It would be fine, if that other person was a Christian, as well, but a disaster, if they were of some other religious persuasion, including an atheist.
Look at what Jesus told His followers, before He departed from them to ascend back in to Heaven. He told them to, wait, until they received Power, after the Holy Ghost had come on them, then they could go forth and preach[Acts 1:8].
So, in other words, in order for you to be a witness for Christ, you should be able to back up the message of the Gospel, with some sort of supernatural action. Action that shows, just whose side, God is on.
However, in order to get to that position, a person has to become Spiritually Mature. And, this can only come about, when the person is willing to commit their whole spirit, soul and body, to Christ, to be used by Him.
Most Christians today, get saved, get baptized, join a church, and that's it. They may go every Sunday, attend bible study, and all of the regular functions of the church, and think that is all there is to it. During the rest of the time, their minds are on dealing with their problems, and trying to survive the tests and trials the world, or should I say the ungodly present.
What they fail to understand, is that they have all the Power they need, to overcome these problems, within themselves, in the form of the Holy Ghost. It is He, that can enable them to overcome any thing the world, or the Devil, can throw at them. That is the Power of the Gospel[Good News].
All they need to do, is 'tap in' to it.
However, they have to be in the position to do that, and it doesn't come by remaining a 'Spiritual Baby'.
A Spiritual Baby, is a person that has accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, and is perfectly satisfied being Saved, knowing that when they die, Heaven will be their home. As long as they know that, nothing else matters.
The subject scriptures tell us something that I know a lot of Christians don't know, or don't understand, and that is, getting Saved, is only the beginning of your Christian walk, or witness. Christ has a lot more things He wants you to do. However, it takes diligence on your part. You can't be half stepping, or standing still.
Think about this. If you have ever been in the military, police, or some other government, or private agency, where you, as part of your job, put you in touch with of all types of weapons, up to and including nuclear, they didn't allow you to come in contact with, or use them until you were first trained. There was no way you would get your hands on them the first day you got hired, or enlisted. Would you, in your private life, give a child, a 357 magnum to play with?? Of course not.
Well, a person with the Holy Ghost [the Power of God] dwelling on the inside, has the potential to use God's Power in any situation facing them. However, that power is only available, when they prove themselves to God, that they are worthy of His permission to use it. Just as you wouldn't let a child use a gun, neither will God allow His power to be used by someone who, if He did allow them to use it, would not only destroy themselves, but worse yet, others.
As I mentioned earlier, the vast majority of Christians, don't have a clue about this, due in large part to their choices concerning what churches they attend.
Your membership in church is important. That is where, after you get saved, you need to be, to start growing as a Christian. You need to learn all about Christ, and His death on the cross, and what it represents. That is the first step.
It is just like going in to someone's house. They open the door to let you in. However, once you are inside, you don't just stand at the door. When they invite you in, they may ask you to sit down at a table, or on the couch, or something else. Especially if they have invited you over for dinner. You don't just stand at the door.
Well, if we look at the subject scriptures, the apostle Paul is saying something to the same effect as what I just described to you. Let me explain.
The bible tells us, that, among other examples, Jesus, says He is the Door[gate], to the things of God [St. John 10:7,9]. A door serves the purpose of separating someone, or thing, from someone, or thing, but yet, allows contact with them, IF, the one controlling it, wants to allow that contact by opening it.
Consequently, once the door is opened to someone, they are given access to whatever is behind that door.
Since Jesus has opened the way for you to have access to the Father, then, you, in reality can move beyond the Door to those things the Father has for you. However, in order to move beyond Christ [the Door], you have to grow Spiritually. Are you understanding me??
When I talk about moving beyond Christ, I'm not talking about forgetting about Him. I am talking about, since Jesus let you in the house, you now have access to the Father and His Power. Remember Jesus said, John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. In order to get to the Father, you have to come through the Door[Christ].
Growing Spiritually means you begin to transition from acting and thinking carnally[worldly minded], to acting and thinking like Christ. And, the more you make that transition, the more God will impart His Knowledge and Power to you.
The problem with a lot of churches, is that they tend to focus on getting people saved, and living a righteous life. Their message is Holiness, Sanctification, and all of the other basics of living like a 'good Christian' should.
What is missing, is that you are not to just live a 'good Christian' life, you are to prepare for war against the Devil, and the enemies of Christ!! And that requires, Power. Rest assured, once you get saved, the Devil will be coming after you, because he sees you as a traitor. You were his, at one time now you have turned against him.
Well, when he comes against you, what are you going to do?? If you are a 'Spiritual Baby', you will either be calling for someone to pray for you, or you will get frustrated, and take matters in to your own hands, or return to your old life, or way of thinking. If you are 'Spiritually Mature', you will confront him or it, with authority, and command him to leave in Jesus' name.
All of this comes about, as you begin to move in to the realm of Faith. Faith plays a key role in the lives of 'Mature Christians', because they are doing exactly what the Father wants them to do. Heb 11:6 But, without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Notice, faith is the key to pleasing God. And, in order to do that, you have to work at it. Most Christians don't want to do that, because they feel it would make them look like a bunch of fools. 'It doesn't take all that,' they say. And then, when the devil attacks them, they don't know what to do.
Now, here they are, supposedly being witnesses for Christ, preaching the gospel, and are just as lost, as the lost, when it comes to how to solve the problem. They run to doctors, psychiatrists, sociologists, psychologists, government, psychics, and Oprah, trying to get help. This is why it is so hard to get people to come to Christ, after seeing these Christians, who always say, 'Jesus is the answer!!!' They see no reason to come to Him.
And that's the key!! The world, and those of other religions, need to see something, to be convinced to come to Christ. And the only thing that can provide that is a Mature Christian, demonstrating the Power of God, that is operating through him/her.
The apostle Paul stated, 1Cor 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
In a story that brings out this point dramatically, [1Kings 18:21-40], the prophet Elijah had to demonstrate God's power, to the people of Israel, after they got away from God, because of false preachers filling their heads with nonsense. Elijah, challenged them to a demonstration of just whose God, was God.
That is what we need today. However, we have to move beyond being comfortable just getting in the Door. We have to go in to the presence of God, if you will, to obtain what we require.
As much as I like the idea of people going to church, and sitting under an anointed man of God, at some point, you may have to leave that church and find another that can take you in to a more deeper relationship with God, because that pastor, may not be as mature as they could be.
Just because a person is anointed to be a pastor, does not necessarily mean, they are 'Spiritually Mature.' If they spend the majority of their time, talking about the Blood of Jesus, the Cross, the need to be Baptized, Holiness, Sanctification, and the like, all of which are necessary, yet, they do not show any evidence of God's Power being manifest in their ministry, above speaking in tongues, then, like it or not, you are being short changed, in your walk with Christ, and you need to find a Church where God's Power is being demonstrated.
It is just like going to school. You start out in kindergarten, and work your way up to graduation from high school. It is a learning and growing process. From there you can go on to higher education, if you choose. I hear some Christians talking about wanting to go in to 'higher heights, and deeper depths', in the Lord. Well in order to do that, you have to move beyond the Door, or as one scripture says, launch out in to the deep......[Lk. 5:4], for it is there that you will find your greatest strength, and not by standing on the safety of the shore.
The choice of how you want to live your 'Christian' life, is totally up to you. You can remain a baby, depending on others for your deliverance and victories over the devil, or, you can become the mature man, or woman Christ wants you to be, that will go forth, and demonstrate the full meaning of the Gospel, with the power of God backing you up. In order to do that though, you have to move beyond the Door.