Friday, January 2, 2015

Christianity is Revolutionary

"One of the greatest injustices we do to our young people is to ask them to be conservative.  Christianity is not conservative but revolutionary."  Francis Schaeffer

"Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things become new."  II Corinthians 5:17

As I finish the thought that I began yesterday, most of us are so used to applying labels to identify people according to what they believe whether it be liberal, conservative, libertarian, etc.  In the evangelical world, those who claim to be a Christian and believe in the cardinal doctrines of the Bible such as creation, the fall of man, the virgin birth, the vicarious death of Christ on the cross, his resurrection and his imminent return and known as conservative Christians or the religious right to many in the media.  However, Christianity isn't conservative.  Christianity isn't about the status quo or upholding what we see even in fundamentalist churches.  Fundamentalist churches today are far from practicing what the Bible says when it comes to Christian living.  If you are a saved person and are "conservative", you're probably far from what true Christianity is.  Christianity is far more than just a head knowledge of the things of God.  A person that is saved has the Holy Spirit abiding in their heart.  And it's the Holy Spirit leads and guides that Christian into the path God desires for them to travel.  A true Christian is what he/she is because of the work of the Holy Spirit in their life.  When God saves a person, he makes a great change in their heart and plants within them a desire to serve God.  The things of God become paramount in their life.  That desire that's planted within them doesn't come from man.  It's a work the Holy Spirit does in their life.  God has done great things with those he's saved over the years.  When you read the book of Acts and the epistles of Paul, one thing is evident and that is God has changed the Apostle.  Paul used to be a Pharisee and schooled in Jewish theology.  He was a blasphemer and persecuted the church.  One day as he was walking on the road to Damascus the Lord spoke to his heart and blinded him.  It was during that experience that God gloriously saved him.  The Lord used him to do great things for Him.  He preached the gospel everywhere he went and on the different journeys he took.  He was tried by the Roman court, he was persecuted, and he was thrown in jail.  He was beaten many times for the gospel's sake.  When he and Silas were in jail, they sang a hymn and appreciated the opportunity for the privilege to be counted worthy to live for God.  That's something only the Lord can do.  Man can't plant joy in his own heart.  Salvation is a work of grace.  It's the grace of God that helps a Christian during time of tribulation.

When you read about those Christians who were martyrs for their faith and those who stood the test of time, they were able to do so because of Christ living in them.  When you read about Christians that we place in the Hall of Faith as an example to believers such as Paul, Peter, many of those were martyrs for the cause of Christ, and contemporary Christians such as Corrie Ten Boom, William Carey, to name a few.  These great Christians did marvelous works not of their own flesh but because of the Spirit of God that dwelled within them.  I'm going to ask this question: What is revolutionary Christianity?  In a nutshell it's Christianity where people have been saved and God has made a dramatic change in their life.  Which is something religion can't do.  Who can explain a drunkard becoming sober in just a moment of time?  Who can explain a harlot being delivered instantaneously and no longer living that lifestyle?  Who can explain a blasphemer now using his lips to praise God?  That goes far beyond what man can fathom.  When God makes a change in a person's life, He works from the inside out.  And the change is dramatic.  God has used the church to do great things in the history of the world.  You don't have to look no further than in the Book of Acts.  Start with Acts chapter 2 and read the rest of the book.  In Acts 2 the disciples were in the upper room and the Holy Spirit came down and filled them with his Spirit.  They were given the power of God and they went out and prophesied and preached the gospel.  3000 were instantly saved in that day.  That was a work of the Holy Ghost.  That was revolutionary.  That was a work of God.  Those apostles went out into Jerusalem and turned the place upside down.  That's revolutionary.  A revolution is about change and God changed those people and did works in Jerusalem and later into the uttermost parts of the world. 

To give you some contemporary examples of revolutionary Christianity you can read about the two Great Awakenings that took place in the eighteenth century.  God would move upon sinners during the revival and they would become gloriously saved by the grace of God.  He used such great preachers as Jonathon Edwards and George Whitefield to preach the gospel to sinners.  Some of them were hardened sinners.  Some were drunkards, whoremongers, rough people, etc.  God changed them and revolutionized their lives.  God gave them a purpose for living.  That's what revolutionary Christianity does.  Take a look at John Newton, who penned the famous hymn we sing in our churches today, Amazing Grace.  Before God saved him on the ship he was traveling, he was a slave trader and had a filthy mouth.  But God saved him and he changed his mind on slave trading and slavery in general in eighteenth century England.  He became a preacher and wrote some great hymns, one I just mentioned.  He became a great Christian because of the work God did in his heart.  I could use other examples but I hope I made my point. 

Both of these posts the last two days aren't very good on my part.  I know I didn't do much of job in articulating what I was trying to point out when it came to revolutionary Christianity.  Some people think of Christianity as going to church each Sunday and Wednesday and sitting in service listening to preaching and placing your tithes in the offering plate.  I'm not trying to belittle those things but in and of itself it's not revolutionary.  Religious people do those things.  Revolutionary Christianity goes beyond attending church faithfully or even involving yourself in the activities of the church.  It goes much farther.  For a saved person, Christ is everything.  Salvation will affect the way you walk, talk, and live your life.  Christianity is a lifestyle.  Everything you do is Christ-centered.  Pleasing God and fulfilling his will  in your life is what Christianity is all about.  God desires to use Christians that are yielded to him to shake this world for Christ.  That's what revolutionary Christianity is all about. 

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