Tozer Devotional Fri, August 03, 2018
Knowing Christ and Making Him Known
It would appear logical that a subnormal, powerless church would not engage in missionary activity, but again the facts contradict the theory. Christian groups that have long ago lost every trace of moral fire nevertheless continue to grow at home and reproduce themselves in other lands. Indeed there is scarcely a fringe sect or heretical cult these days but is enjoying amazing success among the backward peoples of the world.
The evangelical wing of the church has in recent years become world-regarding to a remarkable degree. Within the last 20 years evangelical missionary activity on foreign fields has been stepped up tremendously. But there is in the whole thing one dangerous weakness. That weakness is the naive assumption that we have only to reach the last tribe with our brand of Christianity and the world has been evangelized. This is an assumption that we dare not make.
Evangelical Christianity, at least in the United States, is now tragically below the New Testament standard. Worldliness is an accepted part of our way of life. Our religious mood is social instead of spiritual. We have lost the art of worship. We are not producing saints. Our models are successful businessmen, celebrated athletes and theatrical personalities. We carry on our religious activities after the methods of the modern advertiser. Our homes have been turned into theaters. Our literature is shallow and our hymnody borders on sacrilege. And scarcely anyone appears to care.
We must have a better kind of Christian soon or within another half century we may have no true Christianity at all. Increased numbers of demi-Christians is not enough. We must have a reformation.
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3
In world missions today there is the growing tendency to major in social "holism," reducing Good News proclamation to a secondary place. Concern for the social and physical condition of people must not be ignored but it is encounter with Christ that brings spiritual transformation and eternal life. Is our own experience with God sufficiently vital so as to influence our message?
O Lord, help me to keep focused on knowing You, personally and in reaching out to people.
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven, only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?'
"Then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!'"
Proverbs 16:2 & 25 "All a person's ways seem right in his own opinion, but the LORD evaluates the motives."
"There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way that leads to death."
Proverbs 30:12 "There is a generation who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not washed from their filthiness."
"...put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls."
"....live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves."
"...he will be blessed in what he does."
"...If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile."
"....Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
Matthew 23:15 "...You cross land and sea to make one convert, and when you get one, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves!"
"But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these. "
Jesus Christ did not come to cover-up what we really are. The Father did not, nor does not, want to look at us through His Son! He wants His Son IN us, with only pure and holy fruit being produced by His Spirit living with-in!
The Father wants to see us transformed into the image of His Son! Born of the Spirit and living in total surrender and obedience to His Holy Spirit, which is really living and in total control, with-in us!!
He does not want a bad tree producing man-made artificial fruit. The Father wants branches grafted into His Son, intimately one with Him in every way, naturally, without human effort, producing good fruit. He wants to see the naturally produce fruit of holiness, which is a result of Jesus' presence, being lived out of the lives of all of His pure children.
The three predominant evils (idols, or false gods, if you can accept it) that appear to have replaced the mind of Christ and the heart of God, within the churches of the United States, are Humanism, Psychology and Feminism. All three appear to be the foundation of the Western culture. All three are anti-God, anti-Christ and in opposition to the Spirit of the Word of God, in its original languages, as seen from my side of the fence!
Please, this post is intended strictly as a warning to the C&MA organization and anyone that are drawn to its beliefs and ideals. The C&MA was the church association that I grew up in and appreciated.
I continue to appreciate and read the thoughts of A.B. Simpson and A.W. Tozer, wishing that more could see and understand what they believed and say in light of the Spirit that dwelt with-in them!
My plea is on the individual level! We all will answer, according to the Bible, for the decisions that we make and the ideals that we teach by word and deed.
The C&MA, as an organization, surrendered to these three evils when they surrendered to the world's college accreditation system and its seemingly harmless requirements, rather than staying with the approval of God's Holy Spirit and His evidence of supernatural power; His anointing; the transformation of lives. The organization will only be changed, if possible, by God and individuals that walk in humble and fearless obedience to His will.
Reprinted from Tozer on Christian Leadership by A.W. Tozer
The Church: Different From the World
Therefore "Come out from among them and be separate," says the Lord. "Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:17
The church's mightiest influence is felt when she is different from the world in which she lives. Her power lies in her being different, rises with the degree in which she differs and sinks as the difference diminishes.
This is so fully and clearly taught in the Scriptures and so well illustrated in Church history that it is hard to see how we can miss it. But miss it we do, for we hear constantly that the Church must try to be as much like the world as possible, excepting, of course, where the world is too, too sinful....
Let us plant ourselves on the hill of Zion and invite the world to come over to us, but never under any circumstances will we go over to them. The cross is the symbol of Christianity, and the cross speaks of death and separation, never of compromise. No one ever compromised with a cross. The cross separated between the dead and the living. The timid and the fearful will cry "Extreme!" and they will be right. The cross is the essence of all that is extreme and final. The message of Christ is a call across a gulf from death to life, from sin to righteousness and from Satan to God. The Set of the Sail, 35,36.
"Lord, help me to be willing to be different. Forgive me for the sin of blending in. I pray that our neighbors would see something different in our church and our people and be drawn to the Savior. Amen."
Reprinted from Tozer on Christian Leadership by A.W. Tozer, copyright ~ 2001 by Zur Ltd. Used by permission of WingSpread Publishers, a division of Zur Ltd.