Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Matthew 22: 8-11

          It is always so interesting to see how scripture, though written centuries ago, is so relevant to situations today.  And when reading passages you've read many times before, the Holy Spirit points out a truth that is relevant to a current issue you are facing.  Once again, recently, this was the case for me as my daily reading was Matthew 22: 8 - 14
          8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.  11 "But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, 'How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?' The man was speechless.  13 "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'   14 "For many are invited, but few are chosen."
          To me this parable is a reminder that not every person who claims to be a Christian really is one.  They may act like they are, use religious vocabulary, and fool many believers, but they will not enter heaven's gates because they haven't been born by the Spirit.
          Have you ever wondered how many of the people who sit in your worship services are really born again?  What about the members of your praise team, your ushers, your church employees and maybe even your deacons and elders?  Being a church attender or leader does not mean that you are a born again member of the real church.  People attend church for many reasons.  They like the music, they enjoy the people, it makes them feel good, it sets a good example to others, they enjoy the atmosphere.  And they may pick up the vocabulary and even use it.   But they may not have the "wedding clothes".  And their destination is hell, a topic we don't talk much about today.  They will be eternally "speechless" and "in darkness" with "weeping and gnashing of teeth".  So very sad.
          This scripture and reminder hit home for me as I thought about the many experiences that I had during the recent rugged presidential election.  A number of my Facebook friends, including some who grew up in evangelical churches, continued to post articles from liberal bloggers which condemned statements supposedly made by so called born again people.  Many of these statements were really off base and based on these the bloggers ripped evangelicals.  The statements certainly didn't show any evidence of coming from actual true believers, even though they may have called themselves "Christian".  As a result, these liberal bloggers, part of the "Not My President" movement, also became members of the "Not My Jesus" movement.  And their conclusions, based on these sad statements,  condemned all Christians and evangelical churches.  They wrongly assumed that these "spokesmen" represented true believers, which they didn't.  And I must admit, at times their wrong conclusions really hurt.
          Unfortunately, today it is easy to call yourself a Christian and speak as though you are one.  After all, if you are a conservative and live in America, you must be a Christian. I guess that is what the term Christian has come to mean in today's society.  And people incorrectly believe what is being said as being representative of all true believers, what they stand for, and for what the Bible says.  As we approach the end times, this will become a much bigger problem as deception increases and more discernment is needed.
          Now as I read those stinging Facebook postings, my natural desire was to post replies and try to defend the true Christian faith.  But I chose not to fight that battle in the heat of the presidential election when opinions were so strong and alternative viewpoints, which often included the truth, were interpreted as being offensive and usually not even considered.  However, I would have liked to ask some of my friends how they could have grown up in a solid evangelical church and now accept these claims as coming from true believers.  Of course, this passage from Matthew 22 probably answers that question.
          I imagine that one day when we are in heaven we may be amazed at who is there and who isn't.  Calling yourself a Christian and "playing" the game doesn't make you born again.  Jesus is the only way to heaven.  And only the Lord knows our heart.
         So I will continue to pray for these friends as well as for the people who serve me at church or sit around me during worship services.  Only the Lord knows their hearts and whether they are part of the true Church. My prayer is that if they aren't, that they will make that decision before it is too late.

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