LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Become a Deader You

…depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
(1 Timothy 6:5 – ESV)

The problem with feel good theology or the prosperity gospel or the temporal blessing agenda or the be obedient and you won’t suffer crowd is that within those systems peace, joy and fulfillment are thought to be found in the same places the culture is looking for it, money, success, position, possessions, etc. Oh they may not seem to say it, or they sprinkle a little self righteous holiness on top, or they deny it when confronted, but think about it, isn’t going after those things exactly what is going on?

The false gospels promote God and godliness as the means to happiness, and happiness is defined the same way the world defines it, as having all you want, and perhaps enough to give out some to others, so we don’t seem so self centered, as if this excuses the heart behind it all. If we are promoting this sort of false gospel, we are in effect saying that we have nothing different to offer than the world, than other systems of thought and other religions; we just have a better way to get it, or we believe that it is sanctified if we do. We are the head and not the tail after all, aren’t we? Yeah, that’s just what Jesus would want us saying isn’t it? Ridiculous.

Christianity isn’t some way to become a better you or to live your best life now. Christianity is Christ, and to live for Him now, and to trust in Him to justify and sanctify you, not in your own best efforts. It is to be conformed to His image, to glorify Him not because we are at the top of the class, but because we have Him at the top of our list no matter what class we find ourselves in. To the Christian the way of suffering is the way of true victory, as we embrace our call to become like our Master.

Yes we can desire healthy bodies, happy homes, successful careers, solid relationships, and many manifold blessings here on earth. It is not wrong to want to be successful in what you are called to do. But our call is first and foremost to Christ. The problem is when these other things become our primary motivation, for we can strive for these things without striving to be godly, it’s exactly what the world is doing, striving for those same things, only we add God to the mix. Then we gain things and think this means we are gaining godliness, supposing that gain is godliness (1 Timothy 6:5 – KJV), when nothing could be further from the truth.

Friend don’t put God on your agenda, get on God’s agenda, and let me tell you something, His agenda may not be for you to have a good life according to the word’s standards, or even your own supposedly godly standard. Are you prepared to follow Christ no matter the cost? It is wrong to think that being godly is a means to getting what we want, unless what we want is to be more like Jesus. To use God as a means to an end, and make no mistake, that is what is going on with the false gospel, to do that is putting things out of order. It is selfish, me centered thinking, and Christians aren’t me or man centered, they are God focused. Now they aren’t perfectly God focused, but their desire is to be more so. It isn’t about more stuff, but more God in their lives. Are you a Christian, or have you believed a false gospel?

What profit it a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul (Matthew 16:26)? Of course they would answer that they have already given their soul to Jesus but they are deceived. They gave Him their soul in name only, their heart still cries for the treasures of this world, not for the One who created it.

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17 Comments:

Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Well said JD,
'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me'" (Luke 9:23).

We are to follow His example,Jesus went willing to the cross to do the will of God so we should be willing to follow Jesus to the cross each day by walking a holy walk.
Are we not Disciples of Christ, so then should we should not show discipline?

Cristina

October 16, 2007 6:57 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Convicting! True! Biblical!

October 16, 2007 7:15 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

"Heb 5:8 Although he [Jesus] was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered."
- Hebrews 5:8

"For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"

"The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."

- Romans 8:13-17

October 16, 2007 8:48 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

"The false gospels promote God and godliness as the means to happiness, and happiness is defined the same way the world defines it..."

J.D. this is EXACTLY it. Well said.

I watched Mr. Osteen on 60 Minutes this past Sunday. The whole ordeal literally made my stomach turn. He, and others just like him, are leading people straight to hell, and it's frightening. The sheer number of followers he has is staggering.

Here's an interesting read on the same subject, from Michael Horton (White Horse Inn).

October 16, 2007 9:29 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Tim Challies also posted a good review on Osteen's book, here.

October 16, 2007 9:33 AM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

Everything else aside - JD, that was a very clever title. I will use that, often.

October 16, 2007 9:54 AM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

Go right ahead Daniel, I'll still be ahead of you in that department...

October 16, 2007 9:57 AM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

Not clever titles, mind you, but using each others' stuff...

:-)

October 16, 2007 9:58 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

J.D.
Thanks. IMO, It is important to identify the false prophets of our day. Unfortunately, they are everywhere and are wrapping their canine bodies in shiny sheeps clothing. Since they are more conformed to the world, the world accepts them.

This of course leads to the impugning of Bible believing Christians by the world. We are the mean old intolerant, fundamentalist, radicals in the eyes of the secular culture. Persecution is just around the corner and we had better buckle-up in armor, if we are going to remain true to the Word.

October 16, 2007 10:09 AM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

Hey team: everybody go to my site and see the new sidebar item I just created for us...

It is a "BlueCollar" logo button, followed by the site addresses of all our members, the links popping up in a new window...

This way we can make sure to have linked all our team members' individual sites, and it does so in a nice, neat, and hopefully attractive way...

...email me and I will send you the stuff for you to paste in your template, where you put links...

...nice and easy...I hope you guys like it...

October 16, 2007 11:19 AM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

Obviously Mark already has them all listed, but at the BlueCollar site we can use the button under "contributers", or instead, or well, gotta go now...

October 16, 2007 11:22 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Gayla,

Those were good links.

I thought Challies summed it up best when he wrote:

"Life, he [Osteen] teaches, is not a meant to bring glory to God, but is meant to bring blessing and ease to the individual."

October 16, 2007 11:26 AM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

JD - nice logo!

October 16, 2007 2:12 PM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

Thanks...BTW, I am not mad at Joel Osteen, we need to pray that he tells his listeners that they need the whole message…

My concern is about discernment...that so many are so blind they cannot see that this man is only preaching half a gospel at best, perhaps not at all, and that the things he leaves out are inexcusable...

He says those things are not what he is called to do, thereby admitting that these other things, like preaching repentance, and about sin, and man’s depraved nature, and on and on, etc., these things need to get done, and that he is leaving things out...

His own testimony to this notwithstanding, people just don’t seem to care, they only want the good stuff, or what they like, etc., and what about those whose call it is to do the other, hard stuff, shouldn't Osteen, by his own admission, admonish his listeners that they need the full message...

No he doesn't do that, and he just leaves it up to them to find the full message, but of course, no one wants to hear the bad stuff, and so everyone jumps on his bandwagon and leaves the bad news behind, but without the full message there is no (you decide, but it is severe, I am sure of that)...

It is like he wants or gets to be the candy man all the time and although he says when questioned he knows others can and will do that other job of preaching the hard stuff better, and that implies that we all need the broccoli and spinach and beets, etc., still he leaves that to other folk…

Well no wonder he is popular, and his method leaves the good veggies wilting in the dust…because no little child wants veggies when they can have cookies at every meal…shame, indeed…

All men must preach all the gospel, all facets, the whole counsel of God, and by saying we need it but it isn’t my call, he is shirking his responsibility…he is right, he isn’t called to preach repentance, sin, the holiness of God, etc., because he isn’t called to preach at all…pray for him and those who want burritos, chocolate, etc. all day, every day….

October 16, 2007 2:42 PM

 
Blogger Craver Vii said...

The Bluecollar logo in the sidebar was very nice, but I nearly fell off my chair when I saw Joel Osteen's eyes blink at JD's blog!

October 16, 2007 4:12 PM

 
Blogger donsands said...

"He says those things are not what he is called to do,"

Crazy ain't it.

How can he not talk about the Christ? How can he not proclaim the One who saved his soul from hell?

Is he ashamed? Is he playing games for the money?
Is he sincere, and believes Christ doesn't want him to declare the name above all names?

I'm guilty of timidity at times, but if someone asks me what is my faith and religion all about, my heart starts pumping. I can't keep quite, that's absurd.

Jesus is the First and the Last! He's the King of glory, and the Lamb of God, who is coming back as a Lion, to rule this earth, and to pour out His wrath.

What a shame that this man is on 60 minutes, and he says nothing about Christ, the Holy Lord of the universe.

October 16, 2007 4:15 PM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

You nailed it, Don...

October 16, 2007 4:44 PM

 

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