Sunday, July 4, 2010

Genuine Born Again (Part 2)


A genuine born again church always points people to Jesus. You want to grow strong in your spiritual life? Be deep in Jesus and His Word—be God’s flesh on earth. Church activities and programs are zero, pffft! Any achievements you have with your church programs or denomination is garbage. It’s always the Word, Word, Word! The Holy Spirit does not show up without the Word, particularly the rhema Word. 

Church (especially going to a church building on Sundays) as it is done today, is never a LIFE source. Again, it is nothing but trash. You cannot say church fellowship, as done today, will make you stronger and better Christians. More entertained perhaps. Or more showbiz-like. What they say about not attending church regularly makes you weak spiritually is a big LIE! Among the weakest of weak and immature Christians I've seen are faithful church goers. And sometimes, even their pastors, too. Getting inside that building they call church won't make you strong spiritually.

True fellowship, says John in his first letter, is a fellowship of believers who have seen the Word of Life, Jesus. And the church altogether seeing this eternal life—seeing, touching, hearing it—is what makes for a genuine fellowship that produces complete joy and the LIFE. The Word of LIFE, not programs or activities or gimmicks or church attendance, is the only Source of LIFE. 

Seeing Jesus is what makes for a genuine born again Christian—genuinely God’s flesh. If you see Jesus, you’d be changed radically from glory to glory, non-stop. If not, you’d just be active in church and be happy there--just like showbiz fans gather together and have fun when their showbiz idol shows up.  If you see the invisible God, you grasp what His Kingdom is all about! If not, you form idols made by human hands which the physical eyes see—so that you’d see something and focus on that. You just form denominations and programs and activities.

Moses saw God who is invisible and that gave him the insight and strength to leave Egypt (Heb.11). Without seeing the invisible God, you can never leave Egypt, or worldliness. No wonder why many “born again” Christians remain in the world while in church. Genuine born again is seeing the Kingdom and entering it. “We fix our eyes on what is invisible, NOT on visible things—because visible things are temporary; invisible things are eternal” (2 Cor.4).

A genuine born-again has given up everything. It’s vital to let a person being evangelized know the narrow-road consequences of surrendering to Christ (and which is never just an option), not just mesmerize him with the rewards of heaven. Christ summed everything up when he said, “Deny yourself and pick up your cross daily.” We must equally stress to the person being evangelized the dire cost of discipleship as we stress the gift of eternal life and assurance of heaven. There’s a lot to sacrifice and give up to follow Christ—in fact we have to give up everything—and you can never separate this from salvation.


I know lots of churches with jam packed members and attenders and big-time tithers because it's so easy to join. There's nothing to give up or sacrifice because God accepts them as they are and God understands them--that they're just humans. They cry there and talk spiritual, thanking God for the grace that, they claim, overlooks their sins, making them sinners saved by grace. And they seriously do their ministries. They even say you don't fully understand God's grace if you insist on giving up everything and sacrificing all your comfort zones. 


The road to destruction is wide--many people travel through it, especially "born again" Christians, especially in these last days. The Master says, make every effort to take the narrow road. Many will not. We are not saved sinners. We are SAVED SAINTS. And God's genuine grace for us makes us say NO to wickedness (Titus 2.11-12)--it's not a license (Jude verse 4) to freely sin and still be saved. Being born again today has this infamous connotation--"Ah, born again! They're the guys who say it's okay to sin as long as you have a relationship with God through Christ. God understands you--and anyway, all you have to do is ask forgiveness later!"

I was a Filipino at birth, and this makes it free. But I also have to make sure I am a good Filipino citizen. If not, I become an outlaw Filipino, which is not good, because I won’t enjoy the benefits of being a citizen. I’ll be in prison. The same is true with not surrendering to the cost of discipleship—and many born again Christians are nothing but slaves in Satan’s prison—doing church activities there. Often, you see it in their character, and mostly when they’re outside the church.

Genuine born again Christians in bible times understood the consequences so well. They knew they needed “to persevere so that when you have done God’s will, you will get what has been promised,” (Heb.10. 36). They “stood (their) ground…in the face of suffering,” (32). They were “tortured and refused to be released (you see that?) so they may gain a better resurrection. They faced jeers and flogging. Some were chained and imprisoned, stoned, sawed in two, killed by sword, became so poor and persecuted and mistreated—oh yeah, the world was not worthy of them,” (Heb.11). We need to give people a clear picture of what it really means to be a genuine born again.

When I preach and am led to do an altar calling, I stress the cross. I tell them I’m not impressed by numbers going to the altar to weep and wail there and “accept” Jesus. Even if no one comes in front, I’d be okay. Then I tell them the mistreatments and persecutions they’d suffer for Jesus while remaining quiet and holy about it all, and the many things they have to give up on a progressive basis. The comfort zones they’d have to abandon. And this, I say, is what the joy of the Lord is all about. I mention how James said that various trials and persecutions are all joy! I talk about giving up sin for good. “Endure hardship,” (Heb.12).


Then I tell them being part of a serious and authentic Jesus discipleship is a must where your only business is to obey your discipler, period. Then "Anyone who perseveres to the end will be saved.” I also do this in my personal evangelism. Thus, no wonder, very few people surrender their lives to Jesus, receive eternal life, and willingly receive the cross when I evangelize. I’d rather have 2 or 3 fully surrendered souls, or those who are truly committed to live holy lives for Jesus no mater what, than have hundreds or thousands who’d later just have Egypt again in their hearts and defy their spiritual Moses and go back to their land of slavery—while serving in church. 


It is this kind of “service to God” that destroys the church and makes it useful only to Satan. It’s better to just stay home and sleep on Sundays with holiness than serve in this manner. If you’re a born again garbage active in church and ministry and even recognized and popular in church, souls you touch or share the Gospel with will be 7 times more wicked than you are. And people they touch and minister to will be 14 times more wicked, and so on.


Some Christians make people “accept” Christ first and mention only about all the beautiful, positive things. Then later, they give them the whole picture—when it’s too late for people to back out. They do evangelism like sales and marketing. The purpose is to get as many sales as possible to up the profits. They package the product to appeal to the flesh and carnal preferences. Jesus was never like that. He once warned, “Foxes have holes and birds have nests but the Son of Man cannot even brag of having a pillow for his head.” There was one who wanted to follow him but had to bury his father first. He, too, was given warning, and Jesus’ tone was more discouraging than encouraging. 



The first disciples were given the whole picture when Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” With that, they got the idea that it was going to be a weird life following Jesus—catch men? What on earth was that? Weird and crazy sounding ideas like that are sure not to end up in financial profits. Who'd invest in you if you tell them you're out to "catch men"? But the first disciples left everything anyway to join the weird Jesus LIFE. Jesus never hid the whole picture. He didn’t tell them to follow them now, and after they’d left everything, tell them later that, “Oh, by the way, have I told you it’s all about catching men?”


Most Christians need to stop, drop everything they’re doing for God in church, and re-think their real spiritual condition. Are they genuine born again Christians or are they among the lost whose only difference from the rest is that they’re more informed about their bible and denominations than most souls going to hell? Are they genuine Jesus disciples promoting Jesus alone, or are they nothing but sale and marketing executives or copywriters or propagandists for their denominations?