The Refiner's Fire
It saddens me to even write another of these messages but after the news coming out of the Presbytery of Twin Cities it seems more important than ever. On Tuesday the Presbyterian Church (USA) decided to vote in favor of amendment 10-a. Many of us outside the PCUSA may not be familiar with 10-a. However, it represents a thirty year disagreement within the church or, at least that’s how the PCUSA would like to frame it.
In truth, the disagreement is between those who seek the approval of God and those who seek the approval of men. You see, this 10-a allows openly practicing homosexuals to be deacons, elders and pastors in the Presbyterian Church. In effect, this makes the PCUSA not a church at all. Like so many of the so called “mainline denominations” it has become nothing more than a liberal social club.
Truthfully, this should be of little surprise to us. The Apostle Paul warned us of this in his second letter to Timothy:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
That time has come and it is now. So many denominations and so-called Christians no longer have any interest in sound biblical doctrine. They would rather leave the church feeling good about themselves than to know the truth of God’s word. They have replaced biblical teachers with those who will tell them what they want to hear. “God loves you just as you are.” “We accept you just as you are.” Problems is, the way they are is condemned.
Yes, God does love you … even in all your mess. However, is that going to make you feel any better when you lift your eyes in hell? What is more important? Making people feel all warm and fuzzy inside or seeing souls saved? I, for one prefer to see people saved; to see lives changed. If you want a place where all your sins are accepted, try a bar; not the House of God.
Now some of you may find my message to be a little harsh. However let's look again to second Timothy. Immediately before the quote I provided earlier, we read:
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
The Gospel can and will offend those who have no desire to change. After all, being told that you are a sinner is an offensive statement. It is also a truthful statement. The Apostles taught in a time when the Gospel message was very much so out of season. They shared in the sufferings of Christ. They were ridiculed, lied about, despised and even murdered. Yet they persevered in the faith. The persecution they faced served only to bolster their faith in the Savior who died for them.
For many generations of our nation the Gospel was in season. It was accepted and encouraged. However, we are now moving into a time when it is, once again out of season. Thankfully we don’t face persecution to the level of the early Apostles but we are facing ridicule. It’s no longer popular to speak the truth of God’s word. When Peter faced the rulers of his day, who had commanded that they not preach in Jesus name, he responded “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
It is now time for the remnant to arise once again and say, “Ridicule us! Call us fundamentalist! Marginalize us! But we will continue to stand on God’s Word! We will continue to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ, for there is no other name given under heaven by which men must be saved!” As the old song says, like a tree planted by the waters, I shall not be moved!
I don’t want this message to end negatively. It is true that many churches have fallen prey to the cancer of political correctness but, thank Jesus, I know the cure.
This nation … this world is not without hope. As believer’s we must yell from the rooftops:
There is hope of sexual perversion!
There is hope for marriages!
There is hope for depression and anxiety!
There is hope for drug and alcohol addiction!
There is hope for our children!
As long as life exists, as long as you have breath within you, there is hope for you and I! That hope is Jesus; the Lord of lords and King of kings!
You got a problem? He has the cure! Felling abandoned and alone? He never left your side. He says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Today, if you are bound by sin and despair, Jesus is speaking to you. He is saying, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
He took me from a life of searching. I looked everywhere to find God, all the while He was waiting on me to simply turn around. I tried the occult. It didn’t satisfy. I tried the liturgical services of the Catholic Church but I couldn’t find His spirit. I even went through the conversion process to Judaism and yet, something was missing. Religion couldn’t help. Alcohol couldn’t help. Relationships couldn’t help but Jesus helped.
I didn’t have one of those formal “go up to the alter” moments. It was just me, Jesus and my broken down car. There was nothing eloquent about my prayer. I simply said, “Jesus I can’t do this any longer. I know You’re just who you said You are but I can’t change myself. I give it to You. You can change me.” Guess what? He showed up and did just what I asked. He can do it for you as well. Don’t wait until you “fix” all your problems. I would still be waiting had I done that. He wants to help you fix it.
This is what you need to know:
Though everything around you may be falling apart, Jesus is the master of that storm. He suffered and died on the cross in excruciating agony so that you could be saved. What does He ask of you? Just take that step forward. Salvation is yours. You just have to ask for it. You don’t have to be worthy enough; none of us are. I beg you to make that decision today.
Ending this message, let me say: The Church is going through the refiners fire. I firmly believe that God is allowing things such as what has happened in the Presbyterian Church and many others to occur so that His true children will shine through. This is a trial but we can’t loose. We have the best attorney; Jesus. He is our advocate and no matter what Satan throws at us, the Church will arise victorious. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me (Jesus).” Go forth and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ! Jesus saves!
Some have said that I have no understanding of Amendment 10-A or what it means for the church. The following is taken directly from the PCUSA website. You decide.
This can be found at http://www.pcusa.org/resource/frequently-asked-questions-amendment-10-and-ordina/