I once read an 'inspirational' post on Instagram about God's love that made me want to throw up! Seriously. But this post had so many likes and 'amen's signed on it. I wish I had upgraded my app then, because I would have saved it, as I now realise I can.
You might wonder why a post about God's love would make anyone, particularly a Christian, want to throw up. Well, it is a perverted gospel that says that YOU are the reason God does what He does, and without YOU, God would be miserable. Yeah, that was the summation or the spirit of the message. It was a real eye-opener into how corrupt the Christian message has become.
We have turned the tables around, so that the Creator exists to PLEASE and BLESS His creatures! It's not all about Him anymore... It has become all about us. In seeking to get people to accept the true message of God's love for the world, the Church has finally resulted in personalising this message so that each individual person has become the centre of the message rather than Jesus.
The Christian message has become a 'philosophy' for better living, and sermons have turned into motivational speeches about how you can succeed in life, business, marriage etc. The Cross is no longer the focus. In fact, few show any understanding for the message of the Cross. Many actually come to Christ after hearing a message of how much He is going to do for them, rather than how much they should be ready to GIVE to Him because of all He has ALREADY done!
Did Christ not preach "if any man wishes to follow Me, let them deny himself, take up his cross and follow me..." (Luke 9:23)? Did Christ not preach "unless you forsake all that you have, you cannot be My disciple..." (Luke 14:33)? Did Christ not preach "the servant is not greater than the master. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you too..." (John 15:20)?
The true teachings of Christianity is now lost to inspirational messages about how God will bless you. How He will prosper you. How "you will be the head and not the tail". How God will shame your enemies. How God will bring you into your promised land... With the belief that the promised land is here on Earth. The promise land is one 'destiny' or purpose that you are supposed to fulfill, because God wants to bless you on Earth.
Does God want to bless us? Of course. He has ALREADY blessed us! We are indeed blessed and highly favoured, even when we are persecuted for righteousness sake (Matt 5:11-12). We are always in the presence of God, because He said He will never leave nor forsake us (Matt 28:20). It takes faith to believe so, even when it doesn't look like it.
But the realisation that we are already blessed doesn't move people who are focused on the physical! They want promises of greater blessing that they can see and touch. An abundant life that doesn't look ANYTHING like the lives lived by Jesus nor His disciples, but actually competes with the world's definition of prosperity and wealth. They do not worship Jehovah for WHO He is, but actually worship MAMMON for what it offers...
It is a sneaky change, because it is not easy to spot this heresy. It is built of a foundation of truth! God does love us. Ridiculously! Amazingly! He does promise us good things, even here on Earth (Luke 18:29-30). But with a Gospel message that is focused on this, without acknowledging that one needs to first and DAILY surrender all to God, then we have created a god that serves us, who we do not truly serve. However, all God's blessings and promises are to HIS CHILDREN, HIS SERVANTS, not to people who neither love Him like children nor obey like servants (John 14:23)!
For many people, their 'Christian' message is missing a very essential dimension. It is missing the cornerstone, the Cross! We have ONE commandment, which we cannot fulfill without appreciation of this essential truth. The Commandment we have from Him is that we love one another AS HE LOVED US (John 13:34). That is sacrificial. That is selfless. That is denial of one-self.
But when we have made ourselves the reason for God's existence, we have become our own idols, whom we serve and worship, and God has become a means to an end. This is modern day idolatry. It has gone beyond the worship of objects or created things in nature. It has gone beyond money and mammon. It has gone beyond personalities and status. SELF, the one we were asked to crucify, is the one we seek to glorify!
Jesus saw that all the other idols men sought after were really just means to an end for the worship of self, which was why He asked that we deny self...kill self. But self is what gets fed every Sunday, when the Pastor preaches about the breakthroughs you're going to have in business, marriage, life etc. The truth is that you can never truly know nor appreciate how great a blessing God has bestowed you with, and yet has in store, while you are still preserving self!
Christians...I use that term liberally for all who identify themselves as such...it's time to die to self!
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me..." (Gal 2:20).
"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?" (Matt 21:42).
"Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed" (1 Pet 2:6-8).
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