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The Persecuted Church


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The War on Christ by the secular and religious

A recent poll states 40% of America is very religious, 70% are moderately religious, most are considered Christian in America. Then why do we have such an intrusion of secular humanism, and postmodern thinking persuading the masses? The veneer is God but the paper we use says in God we trust, which apparently has become more important than our own relationship to God (not meaning the general spirituality of our day)

You know its Christmas time by the advertisements and sales. We also know it's Christmas time by the atheists who are outspoken on the manger scenes and the legalists, like the JW's, that hate the idea of acknowledging or celebrating that Christ the savior was born.

They express a real fear of ones personal Christian beliefs that are seen once a year but they have nothing to say about Mosques being built or bathrooms built in airports for the religion of Islam that will be there permanently, not just a few weeks.

Jesus is called the light of the world, a claim to deity as one born in the world of darkness (void of truth). The bread of life (sustainer), that was born in the place called the house of bread. It is because they do not know who He is, or why He came that they end up fighting against Him, the very one who cares for them more than any person in the world can. So they resort to anti religious banter acting on their own hubris they spew noxious words to agitate the freedom of expression we are allowed.

Consider Agurs meditation in Prov 30:1-6: “The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance. This man declared to Ithiel-- to Ithiel and Ucal: Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom nor have knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, if you know? Every word of God is pure; he is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”

They didn’t know the Son’s name then but after the angel visited Mary, the incarnation occurs. He who was known in heaven was now on earth and all would know who he is.

Jesus answered Agurs question by explaining himself John 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”

Jesus began his mission, his emptying was by being incarnated, as he was willing to give up his position and become a man, showing love and selflessness or He would have stayed in heaven; instead he gave it all up for us

Eph. 4:8-10 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men."(Now this, "He ascended"-- what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) The Holy Spirit gave life to Mary’s womb for the Son to be sent from heaven to inhabit it.   He grew up to save us from our sins, through the body that Mary allowed to develop in her. at the time of Passover He would give himself to be crucified, to pass over peoples sins.

A war on Christmas is a war on Christ- on God himself. Whether one acknowledges the secular date the world recognizes or some other, the point is that God came from heaven to earth and became a man and lived among his people he had shepherded since Abraham.

1 Tim.3:16: tells us “God was manifested in the flesh” (appeared in). The 7Q4 fragment of I Tim 3.16 “God appeared in a body.” 1 John 4:2; 2 Jn 7 are all communicating the same meaning, He “came in the flesh.” Without this understanding of whom became flesh we cannot have the genuine savior.

This is what is called the emptying of Christ in Greek eke-nosen (empty or vacate) kenou to empty Himself (some kind of emptying took place). In becoming a man, something changed, since He was not in a servant role to the Father before He became man. This was a change of position, not a change in nature. He put them aside his eternal attributes as He entered time and space when He became a man and lived in submission.

There was a voluntary emptying to give up His independent use of His divine attributes while living on earth in a subordinate role to the Father. This did not change His nature as being the Son of God. That Christ gave up the “Independent exercise of the divine attributes” (Strongs Systematic Theology p.382). When the Scripture says “the Son can do nothing of Himself” (John 5:19), this was not an emptying of His deity, as a substance change of nature, but a putting aside of his position. It means while possessing all the nature and attributes of deity He did not use them for his own personal use but for His Fathers will and pleasure. He did not do anything without being told by the Father, perfect submission. As John 6:38: Jesus states, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of HIM WHO SENT ME” (same as Heb.10:5). As the Son, He came from heaven existing as the second person in the Godhead, the Son,

Philli. 2:5 “Who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.’ v.7: “But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Notice that the one he is describing first existed in the nature of God and then discarded His reputation taking on the form (nature) of another, the form of a servant, being made a man. The same one who was in the form of God, invisible, willingly made himself visible and have no reputation. .

Positionally, He became servant until after the resurrection where He is given back His former position (Mt. 28:18-19). The Bible makes it clear that Jesus was sent from heaven to be a servant. He came “to serve, not to be served” (Mt.20:28). He was the perfect man as God the Son lived his life through him. He did not come as a King but as one with no reputation, a humble man. It was only when he rode into Jerusalem on a creature of service that he fulfilled the recognition of being a King. Zech.9:9: “Behold, your King is coming to you; he is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Even His fulfilling prophecy as a King was done in humility exemplifying His position as a servant. He did not assert His power or position that was rightfully His; he laid it aside to show us the nature of God in man; as the only one who could God becoming man.

The Church is also called “the Church of God” (1 Cor.1:2, 10:32; 1 Tim. 3:5), in Romans 16:16 the Church’s are called the “Church’s of Christ.” The Church is Christ’s universal body, He is the owner of us, and we were bought by his blood. Paul states, “I persecuted the church of God.”(Gal 1:13; 1 Cor.15:9). When he was going toward his next elimination Paul was confronted with the Lord of glory and was told that to persecute the church is to persecute Jesus Himself. Jesus owns the Church (2 Thess.2:7). “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Cor. 12:27). The Church is named “the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). The church’s mission is to proclaim the gospel to the lost and to equip the saints to grow to do works in Christ Jesus. But the world hates the truth, hates the gospel and therefore hates the one the gospel is about.

John 1:10-14 “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

He was refused by the very people he brought up and trained in the way of God; they had the word but not the knowledge to understand its meaning. Yet He continues to be received by the few throughout the centuries, those who understand the word (Mt.13) and became their personal shepherd in life.

Here is the point — that even those who claim the religion of Christ (called Christianity and by other names) do not want to acknowledge who He is, why He came to earth. The Son became the lamb that was promised. He became the burnt offering as God put all his wrath of sin upon Him so that we would not have to be punished for our sins. He was then separated, suffering the wrath of God for us. As he cried out to the FatherMy God, My God why have you forsaken me?” his eternal fellowship was broken, He was being punished for OUR sin. He who had no sin now understood its affect on the human condition, on body and soul.

Today the holiday Christmas is Christ’s birth without the real meaning because no one wants to be called a sinner in need of the savior, acknowledging who He is, why He came. To them it may not be a necessity because they do not see the effect of sin on themselves or this world. But it is becoming apparent as we watch the diminishing morals in our society that directly affects the family, the culture and the Church.

So as you celebrate the date, consider the meaning of God’s present that was sent all the way from heaven to earth, and that it is more valuable than all the money in the world.

How much are you willing to sell a finger to me for? How about eye? How about your soul which is your most important possession? Matthew 16:26 "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

There is nothing you can give for your soul because there is nothing in this world that can pay for it. You can gain everything and in the end still have nothing; all you have is your soul, why give it away for nothing.

As God’s word says it is better to give than receive – God gave it all to us who are undeserving of such love and though we may not comprehend it all now, one day we will. In the meantime we must endure the reproach of men who do not understand, and strive with them by the power and patience of God so they can.

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