Good morning all.
Indeed God is good.
I have a question for you this morning, and it is what is the Christian message?
Is it to live a life that’s pleasing to the Lord?
Is it about salvation?
Is it about buying your way into the Kingdom through good works?
Is it about money?
Is it about striving to live a life in righteousness?
Or is it about popularity?
I’m asking this question because it seems we’ve misinterpreted what the Christian message is and what Christianity requires of us.
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
I Corinthians 2:1-5
Words preached by Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ. The commentary in my bible refers to Paul as ‘The Velvet-Covered Brick’, because of his tenacious, bold and passionate style of preaching.
Paul once called Saul, the persecutor of Christians, was called to preach to the Gentiles the undiluted message of Christianity.
He was the founder of the Corinthian church, and although he was not amongst the disciples when Jesus came from heaven to earth, to seek and save the lost, he is noted to have had the most influence in the Christian movement. He surrendered his life to Christ, during the time in which he had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Now please note, that before Paul surrendered his life to Christ, he served under the religious leaders. Serving is a very essential and important part of the Christian message. Jesus called us to serve, and He demonstrated what it means to serve.
Now although Paul was faithfully serving under the religious leaders, he was blinded by the truth. So many of us are serving with so much zeal, so much passion and dedication, but not actually serving Jesus Christ.
In Paul’s case, it was only until Jesus was revealed to Paul, that Paul began to minister the message of Christianity.
Brethren, if you are truly called, then you must truly serve.
You will know what true and sacrificial service is when Jesus Christ is revealed to you.
The religious leaders rejected Paul because Jesus became His message.
“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.””
I Corinthians 2:9
It’s not everyone that can handle the truth, it pierces and goes deeper than a two-edged sword. It’s not everyone that wants to change, some are happy and comfortable in sin.
Yet with faith and boldness, Paul refused to change the message.
No compromise to suit the Gentiles, no compromise to suit the religious leaders and
he suffered because of it.
Let’s not forget long-suffering is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said we would suffer for His sake, and we should count it as joy.
So can good deeds get you into heaven?
Many lukewarm Christians seem to believe that good works, is enough to get them into heaven, but that is far from the truth.
Sadly, many are deceived by this, because they have no clue of who Jesus Christ really is.
They have no encounter, no relationship with Jesus, but are just simply following their own ideologies, basically creating their own form of Christianity. A Christianity that best suits their lifestyle. Brethren, professing Christianity but living a life that does not resemble Christ’s in any shape or form, is not enough to get us into heaven. Dare I say it, but having a great influence on a huge following in this day and age, but not surrendering your own heart totally to Jesus Christ, is not enough to get you into heaven.
Brethren, the late Billy Graham stated that great men of God would come to see him be sure that they were living lives that were pleasing to the Lord. Now if great men of God want to be sure that their hearts are right with God, then how much more you and I?
We ought to reassess ourselves from time to time because we can be preaching the message of Christ, yet our own hearts may be far away from God? And when our hearts are far from God, then the message in which we preach can never be the message of Jesus Christ, rather a message that only seems right in our eyes, a message based on the justifications of the flesh.
Imagine the danger and deception in that.
It’s true that only God knows the heart of man, but God also gave His children hearts of discernment, and it is sad when discerning hearts have no clue of where loved ones will end up, let alone themselves.
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
I Corinthians 2:14
This life is not promised for both the unbeliever and the believer alike, so the time to get right with Christ is NOW.
Not when I’m old, but NOW.
Let’s remember the two thieves at both sides of Jesus on the cross, in Luke 23:39-43.
One of the thieves, most probably a believer in God but not in Jesus Christ, decides to blaspheme Jesus, not knowing that, that’s the Son of God.
(Because believe it or not brethren, we have strange messages floating around in Christianity that wants to know God but doesn’t want anything to do with Christ.)
The other thief, broken in spirit, discerning, must have had an encounter a revelation that truly Jesus is the Son of God, rebukes the unbelieving thief, repents and prays for mercy.
It’s that mercy, it’s that repentance, it’s that knowing of who Jesus Christ really is, that guarantees that sinner a seat in heaven.
It’s through repentance and knowing who Jesus Christ really is, that will convict us to live a life that’s pleasing to The Lord, by getting rid of everything and anything that is not of Him.
So that’s everything that it says in Galatians 5 19-26.
Now brethren if we have any one of those things and we do not repent, we cannot expect to dwell with Jesus Christ in eternity.
Brethren, the opposite of heaven is hell and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this life is very short. So quit playing life according to your rules and your standards.
Quit thinking that you are free to live life however you please, because the truth is you’re either living life for Christ, or you are living life for the devil.
What does it take to live a Christian life?
For one, not everyone is going to like you.
The religious leaders didn’t exactly welcome Jesus with open arms, yet He never changed His message, His message of love, His message of salvation.
Too many of us are changing and compromising the message, to suit a generation that is moving farther and farther away from the Truth. It doesn’t say anywhere in the bible that Jesus had to disguise himself to fit in with the crowd before He could minister to them.
So then, what really is the message that we Christians preach? Is it the message of constant motivation without conviction and constant compromise? Is it the message of ‘pay for your blessing’, ‘pay for your miracle’, ‘pay for your healing’, ‘pay for your prophecy’? Oh lord have mercy on the many that have been deceived, because of the many wolves in sheep’s clothing in these end times.
Brethren what is the Christian message?
Is it a message that’s only based on what you want?
Is it a message of disunity?
Brethren, what is the Christian message!
A lot of Christians have no clue, they have absolutely no idea.
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”
I Corinthians 3:1-3
We live in a microwave generation.
You need prayer, oh let me get it from social media. How about you go directly to the Lord in prayer? How about you study to know the lord for yourself in His actual Word?
We have become a bunch of lazy Christians.
You can’t have an encounter of who Jesus is by hopping from one conference to the other. Yes, conferences are good, but what happens after those conferences?
What happens to your bible?
Brethren it’s by spending time in the secret place and studying His Word, that you’ll have an encounter of who Jesus Christ really is.
It’s in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, that you will know who you are, and you will know the true message of Christianity.
Lest I forget, the message of Christianity must never omit nor forsake the church.
The late Pastor Billy Graham said
‘People are rejecting the church, even going as far to denounce Christianity altogether because they are looking for the perfect church.
There is no perfect church
The moment you step into it, it becomes imperfect!’
Jesus Himself said that He would build His church upon Peter.
The church was never disputed against by any apostle or disciple.
All followers of Jesus sought to build and uphold the church, the building as well as the body of Christ.
“And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them.”
“Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.”
Fellowship and church go hand and hand.
Prophesied from the old, with the seven lampstands in the book of Exodus, to the tent, temple and tabernacle in the Old Testament to the seven churches in revelation.
The church must not be abandoned and is the message of Christianity.
“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.”
I’ve been a Christian for years, I went to church every Sunday and I’ve always loved Jesus, but I didn’t know exactly who He was until I took my bible and I decided to really spend quality time with Him, through the Word I began learning and growing and understanding, and that continues it doesn’t stop.
Brethren, remember, one criminal on the cross blasphemes and the other rebukes.
Which one will you be?
Will you be the one that blasphemes Jesus Christ, or will you be the one that rebukes the blasphemer?
No one wants to be an offence to the Lord.
Even David a man after God’s own heart was open to the rebuke he received from Nathan. Even David repented after that open rebuke.
It shows that he had a broken and contrite heart. You see, the problem is there is just too much pride. Too much of self. Constantly showing self does not equate to constantly portraying Christ. Sometimes, sit down and keep quiet, sometimes sit down and question yourself. It’s not everything that you must say and show. Even as ministers it is essential that at times you withdraw to a place of solace.
Why? Because Jesus Himself did so, Jesus often retreated after ministering. You cannot continuously be making noise, there is a time to speak and a time to keep quiet, as it says in Ecclesiastes 3:7.
I myself am learning to keep quiet and speak when God permits because as Christians its not everything that we must reveal.
I used to constantly make noise out of zeal, but I’ve learnt and I’m still learning the importance of retreating. Brethren, ask yourself, is my life portraying the message of Christ? To say ‘I am a Christian’ is a bold statement, but it’s very easy to say, anyone can say it, but who is really willing to find out what it means?
During this Easter period, let’s really strive to seek after Jesus Christ.
It’s not about incentives, it’s not about what’s suitable for the flesh, but it’s about feeding the Spirit.
Let’s go into a time of prayer.
God, please have mercy on us, your children.
With so many different interpretations of Christianity, it’s so difficult to truly know who You are, without actually studying Your very Word for ourselves, and so Lord help us to go back to basics.
Lord helps us to start from the old right through to the new, let us encounter the fullness of YOU.
It’s not by our strength, nor by our power but by Your Spirit, and so Lord we ask that the Holy Spirit reveals who You are through Your very Word.
Lord, I pray that as many that are willing to receive You, that Your children will let go of pride and surrender totally to You.
Lord I also pray for unity, I pray for unity in the church, which is the body of Christ.
For in unity there is power, and there is love.
And so Lord I pray that in Jesus Name there is a change, that everything that is distorting the true message of Christianity will be plucked out and destroyed.
Lord we pray for Your mercy, for your grace and we ask for forgiveness for everything that we have thought said or done, that is not of You.
For Lord, we are all undeserving of Your love, but You love us anyway.
We say thank You, Father, thank You, Lord, thank You Holy Spirit.
For in Jesus mighty Name we pray.
Brethren, what is the Christian message?
The Christian message must never abandon the Cross.
The Christian message is LOVE, but it is also rebuke, judgement, peace, humility, service, church, repentance, restoration, holiness, brokenness, revelation, encounter, spiritual gifts, blessings, transformation, renewing, eternity, wisdom, deliverance, blessings and so much more!
Study to show yourself approved.
2 Timothy 2:15
Seek so that you may find.
There are things that others do that you cannot do.
1 Corinthians 6:12
Brethren be restored by the renewing of your mind.
God bless you