Despite all indications to the contrary, faith must always proclaim: “This world belongs to the Lord.”
I highly respect Christians that are involved in intercessory prayer. I believe their prayers are powerful and God pays them heed. Nevertheless, I have repeatedly seen Christians become over focused on the hostile powers and principalities that have commandeered the world and are now holding it hostage. Much attention is given to the devil’s schemes. Very little attention is given to the power and sovereignty of God. Hope seems distant and elusive.
Years ago I worked for a national retailer. In their sales training they told us that the average customer will share a negative experience with many people, but they will likely share a positive experience with only a few people. This happens because people typically give more attention to problems than solutions.
As Christians, we ought to know that the solution to sin and the devil has already been formulated and prescribed in the word of God. God wins. Sin is judged and the devil loses. Perhaps our prayers would be more powerful and effective if we had these facts more enthusiastically in mind.
Psalm 24:1 A psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.
If the people were allowed to be the church…
Sunday morning on the projector screen: “Today’s sermon will be preached by the congregation.” (The pastor will moderate)
Fear persuaded Adam to suggest that God and Eve were at fault for his sin. God said, “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” And Adam replied, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it” (Genesis 3:12).
Fear of punishment compels a man to point the finger of blame
toward anywhere but self.
Fear caused Cain to have great concern regarding his own impending punishment, but no regret for the brother he had just murdered (Genesis 4:13-14).
Fear stands directly in front of us, obscuring our view of personal responsibility.
Pride is a whip in the hands of the arrogant. Shame is a shovel in the hands of the willing victim. The willing victim digs an emotional hole, too deep to climb out and then jumps in. The arrogant, prideful one lashes the willing victim for jumping into the hole. The willing victim accepts the lashing as appropriate and deserved. The arrogant, prideful one leans back and smiles in satisfaction.
In the end, shame will be the great equalizer for those that are unrepentantly prideful.
Pride is a source of false hope. But shame is a source of false hopelessness for the christian, because; “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Psalm 34:4
It is sin to believe pride and shame’s definitions of self. It is humility to believe God’s definition of self. If you truly wish to stop believing the lies, God will set you free unto a Godly humility. You must choose to go there, but only God can bring you.
Pride and shame are fraternal twins. Though they do not look alike, they were born one right after the other. Pride was the firstborn, then came its inevitable brother, shame (Gen 3:1-10).
Now, it is easy to see that having much pride is shameful. But what is often hidden from our sight is that having much shame can be prideful. The person with much shame often believes that harboring a sufficiently large quantity of shame is a necessary self-punishment before God (and others) and a means by which he might earn some degree of personal acceptance. In this way, his shame has become a self-determining, self-dependent, work of atonement, denying the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for his sins. This is pride.
Generally speaking, the “social gospel” seeks to apply Christian ethics to social problems such as poverty, slums, education, alcoholism, crime, and war. It’s a great idea! The problem is; these things are emphasized while the doctrines of sin, salvation, heaven and hell, and the future kingdom of God are often downplayed.
From God’s perspective; man can never be saved or transformed by social justice. He can only be saved and transformed by personal repentance and faith in Christ.
Instead of a social gospel, Jesus preached the saving power of faith in His sacrifice on the cross for our sins and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Why? Because according to the bible –
The entire nature of man, mentally, morally, spiritually and physically is sadly affected by sin.
The understanding is darkened (Eph. 4:18; 1 Cor. 2:14); the heart is deceitful and wicked (Jer. 17:9,10); the mind and conscience are defiled (Gen. 6:5; Titus 1:15); the flesh and spirit are defiled (2 Cor. 7:5); the will is enfeebled (Romans 7:18); and we are utterly destitute of any Godlike qualities which meet the requirements of God’s holiness (Romans 7:18).
This does not mean the entire absence of conscience (John 8:9); nor of all moral qualities (Mark 10:21); nor that men are prone to every kind of sin.
It does mean, however, that man is totally destitute of love to God which is the all absorbing commandment of the law (John 5:42); that the natural man has an aversion to God (Romans 8:7); and that man is in possession of a nature that is constantly on the downgrade, and from the dominion of which he is totally unable to free himself (Romans 7:18,23). (From The Great Doctrines of the Bible by William Evans.)
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one.” (Rom. 3:10, NLT) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Rom. 3:23, NLT)