I grew up with a wonderful dad who takes the Bible VERY literal. What it says is what it says. Uggh. You can imagine what I went through as a moody teen :) I hated it to be quite honest. But as an adult? I really couldn't be more thankful. He exposed me to so much of The Word. And not just the pretty parts. I was never taught a "feel good" gospel from my parents. I was taught that whatever God said-that's what he meant. No interpretation needed. I don't live that way.
Seriously. From music to TV shows to how I treat my husband-I compromise a lot. It has only been in the past few months have I really realized this. A lot of it has been from numerous sources. I had a wonderful friend tell me in the most rawest form that I was not being a biblical wife. DO WHAT??? Who says that? A person who cares, that's who. I was given "Created to be His Help Meet" by Debi Pearl. Every single thing is this book is backed by scripture. 1 Peter 3:1-6, Titus 2 and so on. Studying those verses and then having a woman who has been married for thirtysomething years tell me it works to live this way-I totally had to give it a try. You know what? IT WORKS!
Another verse I have been studying deep within my heart is Revelation 3: 16. ("So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.") Wow. No warm and fuzzy feelings here. You know what this means? There are no fence riders in heaven. Is being a Lukewarm Christian even possible? Christian the term means to "be Christlike"-from what I know, Christ was never lukewarm on anything, so why the heck do we think we can be? Why is a huge percent of the American church negligent to their ministry model? The church isn't about numbers people. Jesus said, "Will you also go away?" John 6:67. Even Jesus knew taking the narrow road wasn't very popular. And trust me, I am feeling pretty unpopular the more I want to live like Him.
I feel like the Lord is moving me and my husband into a lifestyle stripped of all the gimmicks. A lifestyle that is based purely on His word and nothing more. I can't even describe it. I used to be that person who could only go to a church if the music was good. Oh man, I am even embarrassed to type that. I also put most famous preachers on some sort of pedestal before I checked their teachings out for myself. (Another lazy faith contribution on my part) If someone had title of "pastor" and preached something-I would typically take their word as golden. I am learning more and more that it's crazy to even think that way. The way this world is now, if you don't know that Word yourself-you could be putting yourself in a horrible predicament.
Here is an example-Rob Bell. Most of you probably know him though his NOOMA series or his recent contreversy with the book, "Love Wins". *Sigh* This really makes sad. If you don't know much about him, just google. Simply put, Rob Bell is preaching a gospel void of hell. If this raises eyebrows and blood pressure, you are not alone. Even if you check out his church, Mars Hill, and look up their theology-it is all about service-NO GOSPEL. I think in 5 paragraphs Jesus was only mentioned once. Service is awesome, don't get me wrong. The Bible even says, "...faith without works, is dead." James 2:14-26. But how did anyone get that there wasn't a hell? What the heck did Christ die for? To make a good story? To become a super hero? To make Hobby Lobby rich with all of it's wonderful cross decor? I am lost for words. But God isn't. He says,
"1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." 2 Peter 2:1-3
He ain't kidding, is He? Rob Bell is not the only person on this planet who has even taught false teachings through words or actions. What about those who claim to be Christians but perform abortions? (George Tiller was killed at church) What about those who claim to be Christians but will never PROclaim His name? It's all the same. I see it more and more. My dad always said-"If Christ were sitting next to you, would you be watching/doing/saying that?" As angry as it used to make me as a stubborn teenager-this is pretty profound. Would we be listening to Lady Gaga as she allows such sacrilegious images to adorn her songs and videos? Would we be watching that horror movie filled with demonic themes? Would we listen to the rock bands that litter their music with lyrics that degrade Christ and what He is about? Would we ignore our children? Would we fall asleep in church? Would we laugh at that dirty joke? Would we pray for our enemies, even those who do wrong toward us? Would we exalt famous Christians just because their picture is slapped on a book or because they have a mega church? *sigh* I can really go on and on. These are attributes I have seen in myself. These are attributes are those that I see in most Christians. What has happened?
"Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don’t genuinely hate sin and aren’t truly sorry for it; they’re merely sorry because God is going to punish them. Lukewarm people don’t really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one (John 10:10; Romans 6:1-2).
Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for “extreme” Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm people call “radical” what Jesus expected of all His followers (James 1:22; James 4:17; Matthew 21:28-31).
Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, and thoughts, but He isn’t allowed to control their lives (Luke 9:57-62).
Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength. They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of total devotion isn’t really possible for the average person; it’s only for pastors and missionaries and radicals (Matthew 22:37-38).
Lukewarm people love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is typically focused on those who love them in return, like family, friends, and other people they know and connect with. There is little love left over for those who cannot love them back, much less for those who intentionally slight them, whose kids are better athletes than theirs, or with whom conversations are awkward or uncomfortable. Their love is highly conditional and very selective, and generally comes with strings attached (Matthew 5:43-47; Luke 14:12-14).
Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God (1 Timothy 6:17-18; Matthew 10:28).
Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America. Just as the prophets in the Old Testament warned Israel that they were not safe just because they lived in the land of Israel, so we are not safe just because we wear the label Christian or because some people persist in calling us a “Christian nation” (Matthew 7:21; Amos 6:1)
Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict. They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions (like church attendance and giving) than what God thinks of their hearts and lives (Luke 6:26; Rev. 3:1; Matthew 23:5-7)."-Francis Chan's Crazy Love (Chapter 4)
I know we are to be set apart. So why aren't we? Why don't we love our savior so much that nothing else compares?
I have nothing left,