by Paul Benson
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. -John an Apostle of Jesus Christ
Those who know me personally, or are familiar with my writings, have come to understand I am a bit of a ‘Jesus freak’. As a self-destructive, alcoholic, drug-addicted street hoodlum living on the edge of destruction, who got saved and set free in 1980, it was not religion that brought life to me. It was a person. It was Jesus!
Zooming through life in a haze of booze, dope, criminal activity, and short-lived relationships, the revelation of God’s love for me expressed through the sacrifice of his Son was an unexpected fork in the road. A divine insight that not only changed the course of a life that was rapidly approaching a tragic conclusion, but forever changed who I was as an individual. And, although over the years my Christian walk has been fraught with many pitfalls and personal failings, it has always been Jesus who lifted me up and restored me. The author of my faith will truly be the finisher of my faith as well!
When I look at the state of Western Christianity it grieves me severely. So much of it is in direct contradiction to the teachings of Christ and his Apostles! If I had but one last opportunity to express only one last bit of advice to the Body of Christ of this generation it would be this: We, as the Church of the living God, need desperately to put the focus back upon the Lord Jesus Christ!
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:5
I have mentioned many times the shameful tendency modern Christianity has of preaching that caters to the desires of the flesh instead of the will of the Father. And just as shamefully the spotlight is so often placed upon man’s glory versus the glory of the Lord. How can we stake claim to being Spirit-filled when we put so much effort into glorifying men and making them a great name, instead of glorifying only Christ? The Holy Spirit is a Christ exalting Spirit, NOT man exalting!
What would you categorize as the main focus of the ministry you partake of? Organization building? Fund raising? People pleasing? Religious duty? The promotion of signs and wonders? Or perhaps the promotion and adoration of the preaching of the resident ‘Pastor’? Are we truly about the Father’s business, or merely tending to our own religious affairs?
It’s high time we realize just why it has gotten so hard to find a fellowship that is head over heels in love with Jesus and is fanatical about presenting the true message of his Gospel. This is not just a happen-chance. It is in a very real sense a spiritual sickness brought on by a satanic infection. And there is a word for this malady. That word is delusion! Speaking of the conditions which would set the stage for the appearance of Antichrist Paul wrote:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2Thessalonians 2:9-12
There is a prophesied end-time delusion that has gripped the modern Church causing those affected to lose their grip on the truth and be turned instead to false paths which lead to destruction. We need to understand this and safeguard ourselves from this deluded influence (and the damnation it will bring upon the deceived masses)!
What is the cure? Quite simply the cure is Jesus! This may sound a bit trite, but I assure you it is not. A living vital relationship with him; and a steadfast commitment to follow his true teachings (not to be confused with man’s wayward notions) is surely the path to eternal life. Only HE is the Way!
But sadly many cannot discern between religious activity (church membership, church attendance, church position, works of duty etc.) and a true relationship with Christ. Quite often these things are what people do INSTEAD of cultivating a communion with Christ himself. But when religion takes the place of relationship the result will always be religious delusion, and such delusion (if left unchecked) could eventually result in the lose of one’s soul!
(I had more thoughts I wanted to add to this post but an eye procedure has blurred my vision quite seriously. So that’s it for now.) But I hope we would all spend a few minutes pondering the question: Where is MY focus?
Have I got the spotlight on Jesus, or is it shining elsewhere?
Am I really communing with Jesus in prayer, and the fellowship of his Spirit of Grace? Or am I substituting efforts at religiosity for the earnest effort to draw close to him?
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8
In the midst of so much apostasy, falsehood, and religious distraction I think it would do us all a great benefit to seek a renewed focus upon our Lord and Savior. Let’s get it right!
Blessings to all you ‘Jesus freaks’ out there!
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