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The Last Days Of The World XXII

 In order to keep a fire burning bright, you must tend to it and feed it, and its continuity must be an ever-present priority in your mind. You can’t start a fire, walk away from it for a month, and then come back and expect to find it burning. By then, there won’t even be smoke or embers, just a dark patch where a fire once burned.

We have a firepit in the backyard, and during spring and fall, the girls love to sit by the fire and roast marshmallows. The one thing they like more than the gooey marshmallows is when I light the fire itself because I’m quite liberal with the lighter fluid, and whenever I throw a match, it makes a big whoosh. It’s entertaining, and there’s always a look of awe accompanied by clapping or excited fidgeting. If there isn’t enough kindling, the big whoosh is all they get, and the fire dies down just as fast as it started. By now, I am a master of the craft, so there hasn’t been an instance where the fire died down before they could enjoy it in some time.

The fires of first love must be fed constantly with the Word of God lest that which once burned bright flickers and dies out. When the last thing most churches today encourage their congregants to do is read the Word, consume it, and be fed by it, it’s no wonder that the love of many grows cold, and they are constantly looking for some new revelation to delve into, some hidden knowledge, some sign or other, that more closely resembles the ruminations of broken minds obsessed with extraterrestrial supernatural forces than the Bible.

Many have been led to believe that a flash in the pan will suffice when it comes to their spiritual longevity. Such individuals constantly relive the same moment when they felt the urging of the Holy Spirit or when they had an encounter with God, but because no one ever told them they must keep the flames alive and burning, that their hunger for Him must never wane, they’ve been dry and cold since that time forward. Some still go through the motions of sitting in a church pew and scrolling Facebook while the pastor is preaching; they’ll throw a few bucks in a plate once in a while, but as far as desiring more of God and His word, as far as having the hunger for the things of God, that waned long ago.

Christ alone does not satisfy, so they have to find that other thing to glob onto and make it the center of their universe, the thing that takes preeminence and becomes a replacement of sorts for Christ. Whatever that thing is, it becomes their passion and focus, not Jesus. When we couple that with an utter disinterest in teaching, preaching, pursuing, or insisting upon holiness unto the Lord, we see that once again, the words of Jesus were true, and they hit the bullseye, although spoken two thousand years ago.

Jesus isn’t a currency. He isn’t something we barter away for a bit of fame or fortune; He isn’t something we relinquish for the promise of an easier life. He is the Christ, the one who came and died for the sins of mankind and who promised to one day return to claim His bride and present her before the Father in heaven.

When we realize that the things Jesus said would be occurring could not have occurred without a lethargic, self-obsessed, earth-centered, and duplicitous populace convinced that all it took for them to spend eternity on a puffy cloud eating grapes from golden chalices was a thirty-second prayer or the wave of a hand, we begin to see the intricate details woven into this seemingly straightforward prophecy.

Many will be offended, many will be deceived, and many will betray their fellow man because they never went beyond the superficiality of raising a hand in a church service, then spending the next forty years doing as they will, the thought of Jesus and what He did crossing their minds once a year, an even then feeling as though they did Him a service by raising that hand that one time.

We’ve gone from being desperate for God to believing God is desperate for us to such an extent that He is willing to overlook any and all stains, wrinkles, or predilections. Jesus gave His all for your all. That’s the contract. Anything less than your all is unacceptable to Him. He’s not looking for roommates or someone to split the electric bill with. Either He is Lord of all of you, or He isn’t Lord at all.

Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”

Those were the words of a king. A man for whom nothing was out of reach, yet his singular desire was to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life. Juxtapose David’s words and the desire of his heart with Spencer, the grill mechanic, because we can’t call them burger flippers anymore, who comes along, and when he is presented with the gospel, he asks if you can sweeten the pot, maybe throw in a toaster oven, or a raffle for a sweet, sweet Kia. Men today demand concessions from God, where no concessions can be had, but there’s always someone who comes along insisting that they could.

Some churches use raffles and giveaways to grow their congregations and stir interest, as though Jesus weren’t enough. The only problem is that once the goodies stop being as inviting, those who were there for something other than fellowship and intimacy with Christ stop coming as well.

It’s a mindset culminating in situational commitment, situational faithfulness, and situational Christianity. By this, I mean that when someone is surrounded by other believers, they, too, dare to call themselves believers. When they’re out in the world, they try to blend in the best way they can so they don’t draw attention, stand out, or cause the godless to be suspicious of them. Far too many are Christians only when it suits them and not because they’ve been reborn, renewed, and wholly sold out to Jesus. Such people will be the first to fall, the many that will turn their backs on Christ and the cross because while your faith costs you nothing, it’s easy to claim to be a person of faith. When, however, your faith costs you everything, then you are confronted with the reality that the choice has always been binary, meaning that by embracing the one, you will be at enmity with the other.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 16 June 2024 | 10:46 am

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