The Jitterbug Jesus Crowd

Thursday, November 10, 2011

“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:7,8 KJV).

You need not visit local nightclubs for free dance lessons. Simply attend a church whose “worship” service embraces contemporary “Christian” music. There, you witness churchgoers boogieing to the rhythms of the flesh. One Christian brother aptly termed them the “jitterbug Jesus” crowd. In religious ecstasy, they raise their hands, convulse, jump pews, laugh uncontrollably, and utter gibberish (modern-day “tongues”). Behold the charismatic movement.

Twenty years ago, a Christian friend of mine left his local church for doctrinal reasons (my parents also left that church around that time). Recently, he informed me that he revisited it some weeks ago. The brother was amazed at how the church had changed… for the worse!

To his horror, unlike his previous visits, drum beating was commonplace during “worship.” Rather than traditional hymns, the churchgoers sang unfamiliar, modern songs that made their bodies really move. Furthermore, they had abandoned the King James Bible for an overhead display of the depraved NIV! In disgust, he left that church for the second time, perhaps to never return (fortunately).

Apostasy and heresy have infiltrated many so-called “Bible-believing, fundamental, evangelical” churches. The very churches that were once the best of the worst have now spiritually declined to fulfill ranks just above the cults. Frightening indeed!

Who goes to church for Bible study? Precious few! Most just go for entertainment. After one hour of jumping and shouting, the preacher tells many jokes, quotes a verse or two, and everyone hurries home. Beloved, today’s Scripture declares, “bodily [fleshly] exercise profiteth little!” Spiritual highs are temporary. Contrariwise, “godliness,” or sound Bible teaching (1 Timothy 4:6; 1 Timothy 6:3-6), is extremely profitable, both in this life and that which is to come.

Few churches teach and preach the King James Bible rightly divided, whose men and women unashamedly oppose the charismatic movement. We stand with them and thank God they stand with us!

No Feel-Good Message

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:66 KJV).

Our Lord Jesus Christ was loving and kindhearted, the meekest man who ever lived. However, He boldly spoke God’s truth, even if it meant offending most of His audience. If you defend the rightly divided King James Bible, expect some of your audience to be irritated and offended. Do not compromise, for God’s preferences are always unpopular with mankind.

Unfortunately, modern-day Christendom disagrees with the Lord Jesus’ approach. Visit today’s “inspirational” bookshelves. Notice visages and names of “Christian” celebrities, authors of heretical books that teach health and wealth (the multi-volume “Spiritual Larceny Series”).

Today, most people seek a “loving Jesus,” a non-offensive “Sunday school teacher” who offers brief counsel sessions, instant healing and deliverance, and great material riches. They deliberately overlook the true Jesus, the righteous Judge who will not overlook man’s sin. Listen to the garbage on “Christian” television networks, radio stations, and websites. Even those with the most perverted theological persuasions see and hear something they like! This is reminiscent of what the Jews told God’s prophets (Isaiah 30:10): “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth [“feel-good”] things, prophesy deceits [lies!]:”

Man in his natural state hates God; he is God’s enemy. “The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7a). Our Lord Jesus Christ never spoke to entertain His audience. He taught them doctrine that would save their soul! Before it is saved, a soul will become uncomfortable. It realizes that it is headed for hell, in desperate need of salvation—salvation that it cannot provide itself.

Offended individuals in today’s Scripture permanently left Jesus Christ. His righteous statements insulted them. They saw their need for Him, the Bread of Life, and their wicked hearts despised Him.

The Gospel of Grace—Christ dying for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)—is no feel-good message. Christ’s finished work on Calvary is always offensive to religious people (Galatians 5:11): it testifies to their inability to save themselves. We politely, relentlessly, and unapologetically preach this “offensive” message.

The Saints in Silence

Thursday, October 27, 2011

“And I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow-labourers, whose names are written in the book of life” (Philippians 4:3 KJV).

During the early days of the Church the Body of Christ, there were many unnamed Christians who labored with the Apostle Paul in spreading the Gospel of Grace. Today’s Scripture references them.

Notice “thee” is the “true yoke-fellow,” an unidentified Christian whom Paul urged to “help those women who laboured with [Paul] in the gospel.” These female Christians are also unnamed. While other “fellow-labourers” are mentioned, they too are not named. Still, their names were written down somewhere else…. Romans chapter 16 lists over two-dozen names of Christians living in Rome. Some are unlisted, but their names are recorded elsewhere else….

We all have different roles within the local church (the church size is irrelevant, for a church can consist of two Christian friends or just one family). Some members are more noticeable than others, but they are all needed. Your role may seem “unimportant,” but it is significant. “Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary, and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [unattractive] parts have more abundant comeliness [beauty] (1 Corinthians 12:22,23).

Also, your work may go unrecognized, but God notices it, and that is all that matters. The world will recognize us as Christians only to intimidate us, but we will never receive their praise for being Christians. Our names are ignored, and will never appear on secular, religious lists like “Most Generous Church Supporters” or “True People of God,” but we need not fret.

We are the (unnamed, unrecognized) saints in silence, doing the work of the ministry without fanfare from the world. Let us remember that we may be nobodies in this life, but, brethren, as members of the Body of Christ, we are listed in God’s Book—the Book of Life, the only list that counts for all eternity.

Educated Minds That Know Nothing

Sunday, October 23, 2011

“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” (1 Timothy 6:3-5 KJV).

Today’s Scripture uses some interesting phraseology:

  • “proud”
  • “knowing nothing”
  • “doting about questions and strifes of words”
  • “envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds”
  • “destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness”

These words perfectly describe most church leaders today! How did the Body of Christ ever reach such a sad, spiritually impotent state? For the past 20 centuries, much of its leadership has been teaching contrary to “the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ” (see today’s Scripture). “The words of our Lord Jesus Christ” does not refer to the “red print” (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:37: “…the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord(cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:1,2,15; 1 Thessalonians 5:27.

While many church leaders today boast of their seminary degrees, let us remember that “distinguished” Hebrew, Greek, and Latin scholars, are not equivalent to Bible scholars. After all, even Satan knows Hebrew, Greek, and Latin and he even knows the Bible better than Christians! Satan quoted Scripture (Matthew 4:6; Luke 4:10-11); he just quoted Scripture incorrectly, like most “Christian” leaders today. While they all quote the Bible, how many know what the Bible actually says? How many believe what the Bible says? FEW!

In today’s Scripture, God’s Word says that if any religious leader (pastor, priest, pope, theologian, et cetera) does not instruct you according to the Apostle Paul’s epistles (the “rightly divided” Word of God), you are to flee from that person. Regardless of how many degrees those men have, the Bible says that “they are proud, knowing nothing.” So much for education!

The Faithful Stewards of God’s Mysteries

Thursday, October 6, 2011

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1,2 KJV).

As Christians we have a ministry to the world. We share the ministry that was also committed to Paul, Sosthenes, Titus, Timothy, Apollos, Barnabas, Silas, and others. These were “faithful” men (“faithful” meaning trustworthy and dependable, not sinless or perfect).

Some believers in Ephesus and Colosse were called “faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:2).

In Ephesians 6:21,22 Paul mentions Tychicus, “a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord.” Tychicus was reliable and trustworthy: Paul depended on him to relay messages to the Ephesian believers and comfort them. Paul also mentions “faithful” Tychicus in Colossians 4:7-9, along with “faithful and beloved” Onesimus (Philemon’s slave).

Epaphras was a “faithful minister of Christ” (Colossians 1:7). Timothy too was called “faithful in the Lord” because he would teach the Corinthians about Paul’s ministry and activities (1 Corinthians 4:17). The Holy Spirit refers to the Apostle Paul as “faithful” in 1 Corinthians 7:25 and 1 Timothy 1:12.

A bishop (overseer of the local church) should be faithful, “holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught” (Titus 1:7-9). Deacons should also be “faithful in all things” (1 Timothy 3:10,11).

The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

The “stewards” of today’s Scripture are “managers or servants of the mysteries of God.” God wants honest saints, men (and women) who will ensure His Word is properly taught and preached. He wants people who stand firm in sound doctrine, not vacillating wimps.

Are you a “faithful steward of the mysteries of God?” Will you share the truths of God’s rightly divided Word with others? If you are a member of the Body of Christ, this is what God ordained you to do in Christ!

Pray for the Grace Saints

Saturday, October 1, 2011

“Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12 KJV).

For what should we pray? Notice in today’s Scripture that Epaphras prayed that his Christian brethren would “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” Epaphras wanted the saints to understand what God’s will was, and then he wanted them to allow God to accomplish His will by transforming their lives for His glory. That is our prayer for you, beloved!

Epaphras is not noted as a pastor or teacher (someone in the “spotlight”), yet he still had a vital role within the local church. He “laboured fervently… in prayers.” A praying saint is just as important to the Body of Christ as a church elder. Whether it is a saint silently praying for God’s Word to prosper and accomplish His will, or a saint audibly teaching God’s Word, every Christian is useful in the ministry.

Pray daily for the grace brethren to “stand perfect and complete in all God’s will.” They, like you, grow weary under the continual bombardments of this present evil world. They too need encouragement and strength, for they are also hated by the lost world and are belittled by the denominationalists and religionists. All over the world, there are clusters of grace saints, your brethren! You should be praying for them, and they should be praying for you.

In Ephesians 1:16, Paul writes: “[I] cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;….” From verses 17 through 23, Paul explains what he prayed for believers (basically, that God would open their understanding, allowing them to comprehend the awesome work He was accomplishing by forming the Church the Body of Christ). Pray continually for the saints with that in mind.

The Apostle Paul, in one of the closing verses of his first epistle to the Thessalonians, simply wrote: “Brethren, pray for us” (1 Thessalonians 5:25). So, “brethren, pray for us”for we are praying for you!

Gather With the Saints

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 KJV).

“The house of God” of today’s Scripture does not refer to a church building, but the group of saints that meets in that building. “Church” in the Bible always refers to a group of God’s people, never to a stone or wooden structure. God designed the local church so we could have an assembly to fellowship with like-minded believers in Christ. Today’s Scripture encourages Timothy (and us) to gather with the saints.

While in Troas (northwestern Turkey), the Apostle Paul fellowshipped with the saints, “Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus” (Acts 20:4). Verse 7 says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

Notice that first-century saints fellowshipped by eating a meal together and listening to Bible preaching. Interestingly, Paul’s preaching “until midnight” caused Eutychus to literally fall asleep, falling from the third loft to his death (Paul raised this “church sleeper” in verses 10-12)!

Since we are under grace and not law (Romans 6:14,15), we are not obligated to go to church (going to church is not Sabbath day keeping). We go to church willingly. Why? God designed the local church to “perfect” (mature) the saints and “edify” (build up) the Body of Christ with sound Bible teaching so they can then share what they learned with the lost (Ephesians 4:12).

If you get an opportunity to meet with the grace brethren, make every attempt to attend. You will be greatly edified and encouraged by hearing some sound preaching from the rightly divided Word and seeing God’s grace and Word working in the lives of others!