(The Information & Edification Series – Batch 4)
Are you on fire for Christ or are you just going through the motions and comfortable with routine?
Is the gospel, salvation and the vocation that God has called you to, precious to you or do you just regard them collectively as your ticket to living a good life while here on earth and then being ushered into heaven?
I guess what I’m asking is are you sold out for Christ and committed to his call? Do you consider his cause to be the most important cause there is, that ever will be and the reason why you live or just one of many other ‘noble’ causes?
Tell me, is Christianity just a drudgery for you or are you truly excited and passionate about what God is doing in your life, where he is taking you and what he may have in store?
I have always said it and it is true, that the God we serve is not a boring God. He is a God of excitement, excellence, adventure and passion. He wants his children to be all charged up and on fire for Him and his work and to never lose this momentum.
As Vance Havner once stated, “Nothing under the sun can be as dry and flat and tedious and exhausting as religious work without the wonder.”
In Revelation 3:14-19, Jesus sent a message to the Laodicean Church, which on the surface, seemed to be serving Him but due to a life of comfort (without any affliction or them having to suffer for their affiliation with Christ), they had lost their fire, their passion and their zeal for the Lord.
The Word of God states:
- “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth…
- Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
- As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be ZEALOUS therefore, and repent.”
Today, like the Laodicean Church, many people who have professed to know Christ, have fallen into a lull where they are lukewarm and therefore lack passion for the gospel, lost souls, the things that pertain to godliness, righteousness and the Kingdom of God.
This is something that is increasingly bothering to me. In fact, earlier on this month (11th January to be exact), I wrote:
Today, as people who name the name of Christ and have professed to know him as Lord and as Saviour, everyone of us has to make a choice. We must decide whether we will be lukewarm Christians or whether we will be on fire for the Lord. We must decide whether we will embrace the ‘anything goes’ mentality that is so popular today, where it no longer really matters (in the minds of the masses), what you believe, what is good doctrine, what is bad, who is real and who is fake, so long as you claim to identify with Christ. So long as you claim to identify with Christ, it no longer seems to matter (in the minds of people), whether or not you are a stickler for the fundamentals.
What about you? If you claim to be a genuine Christian, my question to you is this: Will you swim with the tide of compromise or will you be prepared to challenge the passive culture of the day, standing firmly against all that God hates and submitting yourself to what he loves, no matter what and no matter how unpopular this makes you in the minds of other ‘Christian’ people?
In these times that we live in, you must make the choice: Will you believe, accept and embrace the fundamentals of the faith or will you shirk them, skirt around them and instead, take the view that these things are much ados about nothing? Do you take the view as many do today, that doctrine is not as important as we make it, no longer as relevant, that all who identify with Christ are one big family and that there is no need to make too much fuss about anything?
Will you swim with the tide of these times, where lukewarm Christianity, which is one that does not like to create a fuss but just to get along with everyone and to embrace everyone under the banner of ‘love’ is the prevalent theme?
Is Christianity the very core of your being and the very essence of your theme or just a little something that you do alongside your life? Will we be satisfied (as many are today) with just being lukewarm or will we defy the culture of this age and like those we read about in New Testament times, be a radical Christian?
To be a radical Christian comes with a price. Are we prepared to pay it? It may involve losing popularity, friends, family, job, money and even our own lives. Are we prepared to stand with Christ and to uphold the things he upheld, no matter the cost to ourselves?
Lukewarm Christianity puts self first, business first, friends first, family first, distractions first and Jesus after but radical Christianity is different. Those that are radical are on fire for Christ. They have a passion within that burns. For, God is not a boring God. Christianity is the most exciting thing ever! Salvation is the best gift ever!
The gospel is the most blessed news ever and the Christian walk is meant to be exciting, captivating and beautiful. Why then do lukewarm professers regard it to be a chore, a bore, a drudgery, something that must be tolerated or endured and not enjoyed?
Radical Christians are on fire for God. They are passionate about his cause and the things that pertain to his Kingdom. They are excited about their Christian journey and passivity is not part of their vocabulary. They are sticklers for the fundamentals and they will not recant. Even if it means death, they will not recant. For, they have a treasure in their Lord and they don’t ever intend to let it go for anyone or anything, not for man, woman, family, friend, job, riches, church folk, nothing.
In a nutshell:
1. Radical Christians HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS.
They don’t regard the issues that pertain to godliness with nonchalance or have an ‘anything goes’ mentality. No. They are passionate about doing right, living right, serving God right. Matthew 5:6 states “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
2. Radical Christians are PREPARED TO MAKE WHATEVER SACRIFICE may be required, for Christ.
Even if it costs them their family, their business, their income, their career, friendships and even their very lives, they are prepared to give it up for the sake of Christ their Lord.
In Matthew 4:21-22, when Jesus called James the son of Zebedee and his brother, they immediately left their business and family (father) behind and followed him. The call was more important than these things. Jesus himself said in Matthew 10:37, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
In Matthew 13:44-46, he also stated, “…the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”
3. Radical Christians SEPARATE.
God calls Christians to separate from that which is not of him and to walk circumspectly and not as fools. He requires Christians to let go of the affiliations that displease him and to walk in sanctification and holiness. In 2 Corinthians 6:17, the Word of God states “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
4. Radical Christians SELFLESSLY GIVE of their self, service and substance, to the Lord.
Radical Christians do not selfishly cling to what they have and think it hard to give to the Lord and to others but even if they don’t have much, like the widow with the two mites, they find ways to use what the Lord has given, to give back to him, his work, his people and to bless people in general. They don’t do it for earthly reward, for accolades, attention or to be esteemed in the minds of others. Of a truth, although they generously and sacrificially give of their time and resources, they aim to do this privately where possible. They don’t do it for man’s eyes but for the Lord’s. In short, they operate and live for an audience of one.
Having identified four (4) hallmarks of a radical Christian, the question to you is: Are you a radical Christian or a lukewarm one?
Radical Christianity is what Jesus expects of every believer. Having sacrificed his life for us and experienced intense pain and suffering in the process, he is certainly worthy of such radicalism. Placidity and passivity are unacceptable and downright disrespectful. Our Lord is worth much more than that! Hence the reason he told the Church in Laodicea that because they were neither hot nor cold, he would spue them out of his mouth.
In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were commanded, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
This did not speak of passivity but of wholehearted, one hundred percent, unapologetic and unashamed commitment, love, devotion, loyalty and focus for God, to the exclusion, if need be, of everything and every one else, including their own self and the desires of the flesh. God wanted the fire of their passion to burn brightest for him, to the point where they would be willing to give up anything and anyone for his sake, even if this meant losing their own lives (like Stephen and John the Baptist did) and for them to do everything in life out of a motivation of their intense love and complete allegiance to him.
This has not changed today. God expects the Church to be the same, hence the reason that Jesus conveyed to the Laodicean church that he was not pleased with their lukewarmness and to the Church at Ephesus, that, despite all that they were doing under the banner of ‘Christianity’ and purportedly for the Lord, they had left their first love (Revelation 2:1-5;3:14-19).
In Mark 12:30, in answering a question posed by a scribe as to which of the commands given in the Old Testament was number one, Jesus responded, “…The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
In response, the scribe in agreement, stated:
- “…Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.“
(Written on 30th January, 2022, added to thereafter)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 156 – ‘Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea – My Humble View Of The Letters Of The Glorified Jesus To The Seven Churches (Part 3)’
- Note 170 – ‘We Are Soldiers’
- Note 175 – ‘Christianity Is Not About Dead Routine – Take Up Your Cross And Follow Him!’
- Note 177 – ‘What A Love!’
- Note 180 – ‘To Comfort Self Or To Pursue The Will Of God?’
- Note 190 – ‘Offering Strange Fire Unto The Lord’
- Note 192 – ‘Attitudes And Approaches To The Word Of God’
- Note 196 – ‘God Is Jealous For His Glory’
- Note 200 – ‘No Turning Back, No Turning Back’
- Note 201 – ‘Holding Fast To Your Beliefs, Standards And Boundaries’
- Note 212 – ‘What Are You Most Passionate About?’
Additionally, under the ‘SINGLE Daughters of God’ Page:
- Note 281 – ‘The Sufferings Of Christ – He Did It For You!’