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Christian Calling And Redemption: Privileged Or Opportunity?

Aug 06, 2011

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''For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this command: 'love your neighbour as yourself'' [Galatians 5:13-14 – NLT].

 

''As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.'' [1Peter 2:16-17].

 

As I observe the life-style of many christians, I see people living out their christianity as an opportunity rather than as a privilege. This kind of life-style includes both many of the church leaders: Bishops, Reverend, Pastors, Evangelist, Prophets, General Overseers and various workers in the church. Most christians thought freedom in Christ means freedom to conform to the worldly standard of living. They are easily carried away by the enticement of this world: pleasures of life than loving God, inappropriate competition/ambition, inappropriate fashions/appearance, over greediness towards money, lack of love to brethren, crave for fame, injustice, oppressing the poor and so forth. Many christians thought that the purpose of believing in Christ is all about worldly riches and materialism; they forgot that the true dwelling and inheritance of christians are in heaven. Therefore, they pursue worldly things of this world, even at the detriment of their christian faith; as if our eternal reward is here on earth. If christians can earnestly believe that our stay on earth is very temporary and inferior to the glorious reward awaiting for saints in heaven eternally; then, vulnerability and casualty among christian community will be very minimal. Furthermore, many christians have been misled with heresy teachings, that shining as light is all about acquiring riches and wealth for living luxury life-style, in contrary to the true meaning of shining as light: ''You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.'' [Matthew 5:14-16 – NLT].

 

I still remember the preaching and teachings that convicted me to gave my life to Christ in those days over two decades ago. These preachings and teachings is all about Jesus, His kingdom, His coming soon and the urgency to earnestly prepared for the readiness of His rapture. These messages keep re-echoing in my heart where ever I go, and it makes me to be very conscious about life after here on earth and focus my attention towards heaven; yet, without neglecting the reality and responsibilities of living here on earth. Those messengers of God in those days, have God's burning words in their mouth through their heart, that persuaded and penetrated the hearts that heard them, to gave their total life to Christ. In those days, God was prospering many true christians; but they never make show of their riches, because brethren were very humble and simple with their possessions. They avoided using their possessions as a worldly enticement to other brethren that are economically lower than them. Richer brethren eagerly and willingly render help to needy brethren; and they also support the work of God with their possessions. They strive to conform with the life-style of the early christians: ''Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.'' [Acts 4:34-35]. I also remember that in those days, the joy and encouragement of ministers of God is seeing people surrender their lives to Christ and continues to grow in the works of the Holy Spirit. When you hear about Christian Revival Gatherings, it is all about wining souls in to the kingdom of God.

 

Contrary to christianity of those days, in these days christianity tends to generate more worldly tensions rather than heavenly focus. In this days, when church organise revivals, it is all about raising funds and millionaires, rather than raising righteous souls for the kingdom of God. Riches and materialism is now yardstick and identification for anointing and blessings; any minister that lacks them, is regarded as not having God's calling or approval. Prosperity and worldly motivational messages are now the most viable commodity in the christian market; rendering salvation, righteousness and heavenly messages very scarce on the pulpit. The messages of the Old Testament, especially in giving/offering messages are more louder than the messages of the grace through faith in Christ of the New Testament. Ministers of the gospel are now more serious with their messages of offerings: tithe, seeds sowing, first fruit, first born redemption, church offering, building offering, thanksgiving and so-forth; but are rarely concern with the weightier matters of this laws according to our Lord Jesus Christ: ''Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.'' [Matthew 23:23]. The weightier matters of the law is what the early christians manifested among themselves in Acts 4:34-35; this is the very evidence of the manifestations of fruit of the Holy Spirit within them. It proofs that the apostles saw their calling as a privilege to serve God and His people, not as an opportunity for excessive extortion from God and His people.