You know, I wonder if Christians really understand the word “holy.” Do we really know what it means? And if we do, then why do we choose to live like the world?
The word “holy” means, “specified or set apart.” What does set apart mean? It means, God set us apart from this world and it’s ways, so we might be different. How different? Well, Jesus was so different they crucified Him.
When I read the book, “Returning to Holiness,” by Dr. Greg Frizzel, I began to see how much of this world had crept into my faith. I could not believe how worldly I had become. This book caused me to spend hours in tears, crying out to God. Some days I would read a page. The next day maybe a paragraph, before I would break down and weep before the Lord. Every page, every paragraph pierced my soul. It was as if I had taken my heart and exposed it to the light. And after exposing it, I realized how unholy I really was.
You see, we’ve lost holiness. We call ourselves Christians. We talk about this personal relationship we have. We look good on Sundays. And we say all the right words, but our hearts are not near to Him. We look like the world, we act like the world and we walk like the world. Our thoughts are worldly.
Christians view pornography, commit adultery, and see nothing wrong with “R” rated movies that uses our Lord’s name in vain.
There are Christian singles that act just like those who are not Christian. They see nothing wrong with living together. They see nothing wrong with having sex outside the marriage bed.
You say, “You are judging, you have no right to judge Lynn.” I’m not judging. The Lord judges, not me. I am not judging, I’m just explaining that when we look and act like the world, we’re not walking in holiness. And we’re not serving the Lord, we’re serving Satan. The Word says we cannot serve two masters. We will love one and hate the other.
We cannot remain slaves to sin and ask God to fill us with His power and give us favor. How could He grant those to us, if we’re not walking in holiness? If we’re not seeking His face and fleeing from the things of this world, so we might light up the darkness with His light shining through us then what is our faith about? Is it about carefree sin, because we have grace? Is it about saying the right things, without a commitment to Christ in the way we live? Peter reminds us that if we continuously sin and it does not bother us, we do not have a security problem or an assurance problem. We have a salvation problem.
I just finished a fourteen week course, where I taught teenagers about what it means to be in Christ, called “Crucified with Him.” One piece of advice I gave them was this, “If you are going to walk in open sin and do the things of this world that you know are against God’s best for you, then please, do not say you are a Christian. Please don’t tell anyone. You do harm to His name and our faith, when you act like the world and participate in their sinfulness, while proclaiming to be a Christ follower.”
Seem harsh. It’s not. Here’s what David said about his actions before the Lord,” May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the LORD Almighty;
may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel” (Psalm 69:6).
David knew what it meant to sin and affect others around him. He knew what it meant to bring disgrace to the Lord’s people. Yet, we have ministers who continue to fall to sin and do the cause of Christ great harm.
I watch Christians on television tell people, if they give enough money God will pay off their debts. If they send money to this ministry or that ministry, God will take away their curses. Believers, these are indulgences. This is one of the practices that began the Reformation. It’s paying churches or church leaders to receive something from God. This is wrong, but it continues to this day.
Recently, I walked into a youth building at a local church. When I walked in, what were the first things I saw. I saw something that looked like a bar you would see in any restaurant or tavern in town. Then, I saw game machines. Game machines! I walked away from the building grieving before God.
You see, we’re bringing the world into the church. We believe this is the way to attract people. Jesus never talked about using the world to attract believers. He talked about using the Cross. Lift up the Cross and He will draw people to us.
Some churches employ meditation, allow yoga within their churches’ four walls or have labyrinths on their church grounds to create a spiritual journey. Saints, these are not God’s prescriptions for peace and joy. These are the world’s prescriptions.
Listen, I am as much a sinner as you. It took me fourteen months to repent before the Lord and to get my heart right. So, I am not coming to you as this perfect believer. I am not. However, when we sin and we do not worry about the affect we have on other believers or our faith, we have lost sight of who we are in Christ. Thus, much of the criticism the world gives us is self-inflicted. We’re to suffer for holiness, not for our unholy acts.
Most, who commit sin, never consider the consequences. Tiger Woods said he never considered the consequences. Most of us don’t. We do not stop and ask ourselves, will my actions cause me to bring shame to the Lord’s cause or His name? Do my foul words lift up the Lord or tear down His name? Does living with another believer out of wedlock, bring shame to the Lord’s name?
Oh, you may say we have the right to do these? I would answer you gave up your rights, when you became slaves to Christ. A slave has no right, except what the Master gives to the slave. If you don’t believe this, the Word reminds us that we are no longer our own. God purchased us with a price.
Paul reminds us that we have the liberty to do anything we want, but not everything is good for us. And those things that are not good for us will bring shame to the Lord’s cause. They will bring shame to us. And they will bring God’s discipline into our lives.
Consider these words from Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
Ponder these words from Paul. In light of these, where are your rights? We are to fully sell out to the Lord. Be ready Saints, it’s no longer business as usual. He is coming soon!
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