Adullams Cave

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Love and Jesus

It is the fault of the Church that the world is still ignorant to the knowledge of God's saving grace in Christ and that Christianity has become repugnant to so many. How can that be so? It is easily answered. Jesus said "If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me." Was he lifted up? Yes, on his cross and thus, in keeping with his ubreakable word and promise, he has/is and will continue to draw all men to himself. Yet he draws men despite the church rather than because of it. The traditional and historical church has failed to a large degree to lift up Christ at all, but instead has lifted up the things that has divided itself. Baptism, communion, speaking in tongues, the holy spirit, the sabbath, various interpretations of the law and morality etc... These are just a tiny few of the doctrines and codes that various sects and denominations have held up to define themselves. All the while though these are the same things dividing the body and holding up to the world a FALSE GOSPEL. By putting up these walls made from of our pet doctrines and morality codes and hanging up these signs above the prison boxes which we call churches we have alienated ourselves from the rest of the body and the world! We fail the world whenever we get on some moral or doctrinal band wagon other than the simple LIFTING UP of the Cross of Christ.

Jesus didn't say "If you lift up Hetrosexuality, Anti-abortion, Full Water Immersion Baptism, Transsubstantiation, Christian-Judeo Ethical Conservatism, Post-Tribulation Pre-Millenial Pentecostalism, tongue speaking, finger wagging, down the nose looking, bible believing Christian Crazy Charismatics up the Wazooism, I will draw all men unto me."

He said simply "If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me."

What else did he say about tuning the rest of the world onto him:

Well He also said "If you guys love one another they will know you really are my disciples."
And later on he prayed this to the father, "Father make them one, so the WORLD will know that you have sent me."

So here is the THREE KEYS for World Wide Evangelism that Jesus said would actually work:

1) Lift up Jesus on the Cross
2) Love one another
3) Become One.

I am sorry, but employing any other 'evangelistic' and man made programs is just pissing in the wind. Crusades put a hell of a lot more people off Christ then they do on. I don't know how many times I have been sharing with someone about Jesus to have them say "Oh yeah mate...been there, done that blah blah blah, " then listened to how they went up the "altar" on some crusade only to realise soon after that what they got wasn't what they wanted. Most of them didn't encounter Christianity, what they really got was the spiritual equivalent to someone signing up with AMWAY - the next day they regretted it. A person does not truly meet with Jesus Christ and then feel remorseful about it later.

If the world really saw Christ lifted up and a church in love with him and eachother you would need a snow plough to clear the path of people rushing to our doors. True love is what everyone wants. Every song, every book, every frigging movie tells us of our own yearning for real, in your face, unconditional LOVE. If there was somewhere it was truly happening I would be there. Especially if there was no-one there telling me what I needed to believe and how I needed to behave. I'd be there in a New York minute, wouldn't you?

11 Comments:

At 5:58 AM, Blogger Christine said...

The problem begins because most people want to feel it, but don't want to give it.

Independence/pride doesn't like to hear, "take up your cross and follow me," they want to hear, "I love you and give you leave to do whatever you want."

We're a selfish lot.

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger BruceD said...

Christine, what does "picking up your cross" buy you? Is it really something we are charged to do? Or is it something that naturally happens as a result of believing that the gospel of Christ is all about God loving us so unconditionally, that we need not "do" anything else. We can no longer try to please Him, because He already finds us pleasing!

Simon, good thoughts. It's an interesting point that the original text of this passage does not contain the word "men", as in "all men will be drawn to me." It is something that was assumed by our King Jimmy writers because the original text didn't make sense to them.

So if you take out the word "men", you have to go back to the previous verse to see what it is that Jesus said would be drawn to Him.

... judgement!

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger SteveW said...

If we only pointed to Christ and the awesome victory of the cross and if we ceased from comparing ourselves with ourselves and just started loving each other as unconditionally as God does us, then I agree. It's that comparing ourselves with ourselves that really stinks and I'll bet it is nauseating to God.

You are right Simon, love is what they want. It's what everyone wants....to be loved, just as we are. And I think that even God wants that, to be loved just as He is, independant of what He can do for us. No one could do more than what He already accomplished.

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger Simon said...

Thanks for input guys and gals. Hey Bruce can you point me to the source for the King Jimmy thingo. Id like to look into it a bit more.
Thanks.

 
At 6:24 PM, Blogger BruceD said...

Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself. (from the Literal Translation of the Holy Bible)

http://www.sovgracepub.com/bibles/LiteralPages.htm

The nice thing about the King James bible is that they were nice enough to print the words they made (or assumed) in italics. Check it out.

Do you use the free eSword computer bible? You can get it at
http://www.e-sword.net/index.html

Then go to their download page, select "bibles" and download as many as you want. One of them is the Literal Translation.

Let me know if you need help.

 
At 4:08 AM, Blogger Geo said...

actually if you look that word "men" was not in there. so it then reads. "if i be lifted up i will draw all unto me". now the question becomes "all" what? to find that answer read the verses before in which jesus stated he would draw ALL JUDGMENT to himself! WOW! that means if he drew ALL JUDGMENT to himself then there is now NO FUTURE JUDGMENT to come. Then it says he said this to signify the type of death he was to die which tradition says he was talking of a death on the cross but once again reread it he was to die a death of JUDGMENT for ALL of mankind! What a glorious Day!

Peace
Grogee

 
At 5:03 AM, Blogger Kansas Bob said...

I thought that I'd remind us of what love looks like:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Cor 13:4-8)

Seems that these are things that people do and not institutions ... after all the church is us.

 
At 6:55 AM, Blogger Lori said...

Hey Simon

Great post.. that has been on my heart. If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me.

Everyday I pass by the building where I would gather with other saints. Left there about 4 years back and was a permanent fixture for 10 years. Anyway... the sign on the church reads:

Some run away.
Some hide away.
Some slip away.
Just come back.

So the words .. that keep coming to me if I be lifted up.

Thanks Simon

 
At 7:22 AM, Blogger Simon said...

Hey Geo, thanks for comments...Bruce gave me the low down on that too...(thanks Bruce...interesting)What a beautiful peaceful feeling it is to know he has taken away our judgement - and also our neighbour.. :)

Thanks for the Reminder Bob

Hey Lori...I am with ya girl!

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger Bar Bar A said...

your statement: "I am sorry, but employing any other 'evangelistic' and man made programs is just pissing in the wind. Crusades put a hell of a lot more people off Christ then they do on."

I live in an area where there is a huge crusade very year and I attended a few times. The last time I went I was embarrassed by the whole thing and wanted to stand up and yell "Jesus would not talk like that dude up there, I promise!"

Good to see a post from you.

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger SteveW said...

If I were to initiate a special meeting to offer the knowledge of redemption to unbelievers I doubt that I would want to call it a crusade. There is way to much It reeks of the attitude of us vs them and we must conquer them thru our gospel rather. I would rather present them the fact that this gospel is already theirs. I am just here to help them understand that and to bring peace not any type of confrontation designed to make others feel inferior or that they don't have what I have.

I'll bet if there is anything about modern day Christianity that turns off unbelievers the most it is the arrogance that it demonstrates that usually comes as threatening to them But what do I know. I'm just a common uneducated layman with no ordination and no authority.

 

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