Letter One: This will be the first in a series of letters written to a church in exile. As the great apostle John was exiled to the island of Patmos in the first centuries of Christianity it’s my belief that the true church of God has also been exiled. Not simply to an island but exiled from significantly influencing the modern world. Evil is marching triumphantly across the world stage making its disciples and forcing the Church into submission or unfettered silence. Yet in the midst of this … encroaching evil and the demise of classic Christianity one still hears the relentless cry of Holy Scripture that says its gospel will spread throughout the entire world then the end will come. Therein is the problem, if silenced by the captivity of worldliness and secularism then how can the gospel continue to spread where no one can say, “opportunity of life was not given them.” There are two major points of view where one says that there will be a great revival at the end of the age and another opposing view that says it will only get worse where true Christians are decimated by the coming beast and horrified by the worldwide judgments of God that reign down on fallen humanity. Of course in America there is a popular third option that says Christians living at the end will neither concern themselves with world evangelization nor suffer the fate of end time saints. On the other hand, these letters will explore the biblical mandate of surviving the end and spreading the true gospel to the ends of the earth.
Of course to answer this question on how to survive and spreading the true gospel we need to have the mind of Christ. That is, we must see the world and the Church the way He sees it. We can no longer look through dark colored glasses darkened by the world around us believing that we are seeing clearly. It’s essential that we withdraw to a quiet place far removed from the drumbeat of the world so that we can hear His still small voice. We must slow down so that we can walk with God in the moment of time. I know that this will be difficult in the beginning but necessary if we want to see the world and His Church in the same way as our Heavenly Father. Having the mind of Christ will allow us to see the spiritual forces of evil arrayed against God’s holy people. It will allow us to see the millions held in captivity believing that they have been set free by a worldly gospel that’s filled with lies, distortions, and half truths. To have the mind of Christ we can no longer be a friend to the world. The Apostle wrote not only to the people of his time but also to us, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Exposing this worldly gospel is only the first step in understanding the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Once fully understood only then will it have the power to transform lives as it marches victoriously to the ends of the world. Praise the Name of Jesus!
The great Apostle said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). And then he says again, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (I Corinthians 1:18). We as the Church of God need to fully understand God’s power demonstrated so magnificently by His Son Jesus Christ. With the power of God completely at His disposal He stilled the storm on the Lake of Galilee; cast out the evil spirits; healed the sick; restored eyesight to the blind; caused the cripple to walk again; and, raised the dead. This is the same power used to create the heavens and the earth and eventually raise Jesus Christ from the dead and sit Him at the right hand of power. The power was also bestowed upon the Apostles to such a degree that even the shadow of Peter healed the sick. (See Acts 5:15) In time all the Apostles understood that it was this power from God that would transform new believers in Christ apart from the law. Apart from the law? That was a fundamental departure from accepted religious traditions that caused a great persecution to arise against the new Christian faith. Yet the Apostles were convinced that this power from God could really transform lives through faith apart from the law. They had already seen the tremendous results from their gospel preaching. In the cesspool of great evil the gospel changed whole nations of people. Friends, they had a clear understanding of the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
However, two thousand years later the Church is in exile unable to influence the world with its gospel. This must change even if the church once again is persecuted for its faith. We must return to the true gospel of Jesus Christ believing that through faith that it has the power to transform lives apart from any system designed to make us righteous or solve our problems. This was a hard peel for the self-righteous Pharisee to swallow and an even harder peel for the modern Church. We too are simply unwilling to give up man’s law to overcome our difficulties and make us into happy productive people. For most, faith in God alone seems like heresy and an anathema of traditional Christianity. Do you really want to access the power of God to transform your life and make you into a new creation where old things pass away, then we must believe in the Name of Jesus. We must return to classic Christianity believing that He can transform our life without the help of man! We simply cannot make ourselves righteous by either the Old Testament Law or the law of modern man. If we want to flee our self-imposed exile and once again influence the world for Christ then we must turn from the professionals of this world who spout their psycho-babble and those who sell their psychiatric drugs. For most, this will be the most difficult thing you will do, but the rewards are phenomenal. Yet it will be no more difficult than the ancients who turned from their idols to a living God. Friends, I am not ashamed of the gospel that has power through faith to transform lives. I am not ashamed of a gospel that’s forward looking refusing to dwell on the past. I am not ashamed of a gospel that by His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. (See II Peter 1:3) Surely persecutions will come and we may witness the divine plagues that reign down on fallen humanity, but we will stand firm in our witness of the true gospel of Jesus Christ and see lives changed one soul at a time.
Copyright © 2014 Rev. Daniel W. Blair – Under the copyright law these articles may be used for nonprofit educational purposes. Please do so to strengthen your fellow believer to remain faithful to Jesus and obedient to His commandments.