"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rich, Young, Ruler Generation


The Word of God is rich in insights, and single passages can reveal a thousand and one meanings. There's never just one meaning for one verse or phrase. Thus, I see that the rich, young, ruler passage in Matthew 19 has a vital end-times principle to teach us. [Photo above from Daniel Jensen, Unsplash].

When Peter asked the Master what was there for them since they have left everything to follow Jesus, My Jesus told them that at the "renewal" of things, when the Son of Man sits on His throne, the 12 would judge all Israel, and those who have left (this is where we come in) fields, homes, families, etc., for Jesus' sake would get 100 times what was given up, plus eternal life as a major bonus. See? Definitely, this talks about last days scenarios.

The church generation in the end times would have these qualities--most church people would be rich, young, rule-hungry or mad for power and prestige, "spiritual," biblical, and hungering for Jesus--not because they love him but because they need him to protect their possessions and investments. Never in the history of mankind has people (and the church) been richer, younger (crazy about anti-aging), rule- or power-mad, and fond of Jesus than in this generation--in these last days. This is an amusing last days scenario.

Rich

Never in history has the church been richer than today--in material possessions, I mean. Even the entire generation. And never has greed been worse than today. It's hopeless even in churches. The rich, young, ruler (RYR) in the bible wanted God because he saw how God alone could protect his riches. Probably also why he wanted eternal life--a long, long life to enjoy his riches with.

Today's church generation is the same. Churches grab lands and properties in the name of church planting and compete with each other grabbing people to up church membership. Why? Because the name of the game is that the more members, the more church income. You wonder why the prosperity gospel is more popular today than in previous generations?

I know some western "missionaries" who live in posh mansions, stay in air-conditioned offices, and have never tried real mission work where persecution and the cross is the daily reality. They stay in comfy offices or are employed in seminaries to teach, get paid handsomely, and cling on to that lifestyle. And pastors who envy them (and have the same greed) either protest or become willing subjects to somehow gain the missionary's favor. Not all missionaries, but there are a number of them.

Young

People today lie about their ages more than people did generations ago. And they want to stay young--the number one industry today is anti-aging wellness. The church generation, on the other hand, is often manned by young people who want to do just anything in church---mostly, they want to imitate their favorite rock bands and stars and be their Christian version in church.

And most churches like it that way--they let young people take over because they feel good having a young-people church image. They want their churches to look young. Nothing wrong about this, but the thing is, they do this out of a spirit of competition--they just want to attract more people to up membership and finances. It's all greed.

I'm no saying church people should all be old people, or that the young should stay away from church ministries and just sit in pews. Young people must take a serious role in church, especially in its growth, but they should be well grounded in the Word of God--they must be fathered--not just do anything in church to make it more lively, making church worship like a rock concert "for Jesus."

Ruler

Oh! Most church people today are mad about power. This is the generation where politics--even church politics--is at its worst. Church politics is even much worse than mundane politics. Just watch how people in church behave during conventions and assemblies where there's election. You see cheating, vote buying, dirty campaigning, under-the-table negotiations, church cartels, and even the top church leadership involved in them. This is not to mention church splits--which is power wielding and display, somebody power-mad throwing his weight around and showing everyone who's boss. And then they "pray" for everything they do to make things look spiritual.

There are even pastors today who want to run for public office, or willingly be used by politicians as "spiritual advisers" because they get included in the payroll or get special favors or get popular and looked up to in church circles. And there they compromise left and right. But they hang on because the pay and power is good.

Just like the rich, young, ruler, the church generation today seeks God and come to Jesus--not because they love Him and seek to do His will. They want God to bless and protect what they are doing and what they have gained for themselves and their denominations--their tiny, pathetic empires.

Losing Their Sense of Eternal Life

Once you stick to that low level of spiritual life--just wanting God for protection of earthly possessions, denominational properties and assets--you begin to be like the rich, young ruler--you begin to lose your sense of eternal life. This RYR type of church is so biblical--they put in a lot of bible verses in their denominational doctrines and manuals. But this is merely to make people believe they are Christian, but they just use God to have him protect their interests. It's like a bribe--"God, we use your Word, so you must protect our interests."

As they keep on doing this, God puts a spirit on them so that they lose their sense of assurance--they begin to doubt their spiritual lives so that they have revival services at least two times a year. They plan to die in their spiritual lives at least twice a year. They feel they lack something but are at a loss what it is. That's what happens when you belong to this generation. Thus, the rich, young ruler went to Jesus to ask how he could get eternal life--though the law (the commandment) is intended to bring life.

Oh yes, the law is designed to bring life eternal! The young man asked how he could have eternal life. Jesus told him, to enter life, he had to "obey the commandments." See? (Today, we say it is by receiving Jesus by faith. That's correct, but that's not all. We should listen to what Jesus says in this passage. That's why so many Christians still feel they lack something even after entering life). The rich, young ruler said he had been doing the commandments since he was a kid. God's Word is life and God's law in the bible is part of the Word.

God intended the law to bring life. We catch this in what Paul said about the law.
I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. [Romans 7.10]
You see that? The commandment (the law) was intended to bring life. But man always twists God's law (and God's Word in general) to serve his worldly desires. The result is death, said Paul.

James said the law results to freedom! It is also key to God's blessings. If we use God's commands righteously, they have handsome rewards for us, foremost of which is to FREE us!
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it--not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it--they will be blessed in what they do. [James 1.25]
But religious people have been misusing and abusing God's Word to this day. Hence, like the rich, young ruler, they continue to get restless, dissatisfied and unsure about God because they stick to their worldly possessions and accomplishments. Their earthly trophies.

In the end times, the issue won't be assurance of salvation anymore. The salvation issue ought to be the concern of non-believers alone. In the end times, if this is still your issue, you probably are a non-believer still. If your church still has this as a problem among its members, you are left way, way behind. The issue now is--perfection. And perfection is not perfect church attendance or perfect church programs or activities or having read the bible many times or able to memorize verses or not doing any mistakes. Perfection is giving up EVERYTHING. That's what Jesus told the rich, young ruler.

Jesus asked him--"If you want to be perfect, give up everything, give to the poor, and follow me." The end-times issue is, have you given up everything? If you still hold on to some things, no matter how small--like your church denomination--you will never have perfection in your spiritual life. Jesus should own you 100 percent.