viernes, 21 de agosto de 2009

Christianity without blood

by Chuy Olivares

Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall be the coming of the Son of Man. MKJV

We are about to experience the most wonderful and extraordinary event in the past two thousand years: The return of Jesus Christ.

Christians from all eras have yearn the return of our loved Savior. Almost twenty centuries have gone by since the Son of God came to life from a virgin woman, died paying for our sins and resurrected for our justification.

Our Lord announced that one day he will return to Earth. But, yet, he described in detail how the days before his return will be. Here some characteristics of such days:

Tiempos finales- False prophets will deceive many people.

- There will be wars.

- People will suffer from starvation.

- Earthquakes will whip the Earth.

- There will be climate disorders.

- The wickedness will multiply.

It’s evident that many of this signs have completed already . Jesus announced this by comparing our generation with one of a remote era:

Contemporary English Version: Mat 24:37 When the Son of Man appears, things will be just as they were when Noah lived.

Modern KJV: Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall be the coming of the Son of Man.

Let’s analyze this announcement, step by step.

Who was Noah?

Noah was the son of Lamech, del seed of Seth. In Genesis 6:9 we find that Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, this means, a right, integral and without blot, he had always lived in an intimate communion with God, even in the middle of moral corruption of his generation. This verse closes with a strong and direct statement: “Noah walked with God“.

Contemporary English Version . Gen 6:9 and this is the story about him. Noah was the only person who lived right and obeyed God.

Noé…Noah, being 480 years-old, was advised by God of the imminent judgment to earth’s habitants, the earth was filled with violence through them. God would destroy unrighteous from earth’s surface with a flood of waters, but before that he will give one-hundred twenty years of grace, time used by Noah to build and ark to save himself and his family.

During those years Noah dedicated this time to preach, having no success since there was no repentance. The announces time arrived : God destroyed all humanity but Noah, his three sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with.

MKJV Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, having been warned by God of things not yet seen, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

God certainly brings judgment, but had always warned about that so the human being moves to repentance and will be saved from his wrath. Jesus did the same: he warned us as well, as in the days of Noah , that God’s final judgment will come upon each one of us.

The Bible shows us the life style of Noah’s fellow people. Clarifies that they practiced sin without any hesitation, because of that, they were degrading them selves, were corrupt, moving, even more, far away from God. Their iniquity reached the top, reason why the Lord decided to erase that pervert generation. That will also happen to the last generation, inside of which - everything tell us- we are living right now.

How were the days of Noah?

MKJV Gen 4:1-5 And Adam knew Eve his wife. And she conceived and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from Jehovah. And she bore again, his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the end of days, it happened, Cain brought to Jehovah an offering of the fruit of the ground. And Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat of it. And Jehovah had respect to Abel and to his offering, but He did not have respect to Cain and to his offering. And Cain glowed with anger, and his face fell.

What do we observe here? In one side we have a true believer in Abel and, on the other side, a false believer in Cain. We see a truth and genuine faith in Abel and a false-one in Caín, this show us how, form the beginning of humanity, the wheat and the darnel grow together. Both of them made offerings to god. Many years later the writer of Hebrews gathers the attitude used to make those offerings.

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…

If both, Cain and Abel, made offerings to God, Why did Abel’s was better? Why did God rejected Cain’s offering? Beacause of faith. The original word translated as faith from Hebrews 11 is the Greek word pistis that means a complete trust in the Lord for salvation.

In his epistle, James talks about a Faith that doesn’t save:

Jam 2:19 You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe and tremble.

The word exposes that there are believers of a faith that will not save, that is equal to the faith Demons have. This means, they believe so they aren’t atheists:

MKJV Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God, but in their works they deny Him, being abominable and disobedient and reprobate to every good work.

Contemporary English Version: Tit 1:16 Such people claim to know God, but their actions prove that they really don’t. They are disgusting. They won’t obey God, and they are too worthless to do anything good.

Sin derramamiento de sangre no hay perdón de pecadosIn order to understand the difference between accepted and rejected sacrifice, lets remember Adan and Eve after committing sin: they were urged to cover their nakedness with fig leaves. This means Adan used his own methods and resources to be accepted by God. Including Eve, Adan invented his own way of being close to God. The Lord rejected their sin and made coats of skins of animals, and clothed them, this means, he had to sacrifice innocent victims and shed blood to cover them. This way applied his justice and rejected human justification. The boold of those innocent animals signaled that Christ, the lamb of God, whose blood not contaminated by sin, cleans us from our sins with the only requirement for human being to believe in the sacrifice of Christ. It is clear that, from the beginning, God showed us that there was a need to shed innocent blood because of our sins, so we can be made clean.

Luk 22:20 In the same way He took the cup, after having dined, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is being poured out for you.

Abel’s offering, this is “the best of the flock”, talks about his conviction about sin. This man new, mostly sure by mouth of his father Adan, that the only way to be closer to God was by pouring blood. Abel, convinced of his own iniquity, humbled himself before God and demonstrated a genuine faith in Him when he gave his offering. God accepted him.

Cain, on other side, had no conviction of sin, he never recognized his condition before God and never humiliated. This way he cast aside the only chance of being accepted by God, this is, by pouring blood. So, Cain was never cleaned by the blood even though he declared believing in God. On the contrary, this man invented his own method to be closer to God, changing the blood offering for a bowl of fruits. God rejected it.

This pictures the condition of the early days of humanity. Those were Noah’s days. But, How are the days of our generation?

Our days: are the same as Noah’s? (He who has ears to hear, let him hear).

Nowadays, thousands of people say they believe in God, they go to church, but they have not washed their sins in the blood of Christ. Then Christians are living a Christianity without blood: did they were “attracted” to Christ without repentance, did they believed that if they “accepted Christ” all their problems will go away, their business will prosper and their marriage will be saved? They came after him because of the gifts, but they were never washed by his blood what so ever.

Those were never advised that it was necessary to repent and be born again. They were never informed that without holiness, no one shall see the Lord. They were presented a Christianity without Christ, a salvation without repentance and a regeneration without the precious blood of the Lord. What a shame, because many are in such condition that they believe they’re Christians, but have not experimented the truthful new life in Christ.

Can anyone be a Christian without a real repentance of sins and without being washed with the blood of the Lamb of God? The answer is a complete no. This kind of people follow another Jesus, the one being framed in Hollywood’s widescreen, the “cool” Jesus, the Jesus of the super grace. They live like that, a “cool” Christianity , just another vogue where even the devil can call himself Christian.

Deslumbrante vacío…What-a-shame: they have followed Christ because they have met him surrounded by bikes, skateboards and hi-style-cars, in the middle of circus-like presentations, awesome concerts and really brief messages of a diluted gospel that causes no pain for sin and because of the comfort everyone accepts.

And the Gospel of the Cross? Today has transformed in the Gospel of the cruise (or the cross-not) in the Caribbean, cheered up by preachers like comedians and motivators supported by singers that sweeten the ears whispering that God loves us but incapable to call to repentance. This is aChristianity without blood.

Deceived like these people are the multitudes that fill churches and stadiums to participate in the modern new miracle show, in tour around the world. Revival!, the scream out laud, but they’re not washed with the blood of the Lamb of God. They sign to the Lord when they haven`t even born again. A Christianity without blood.

The last data indicates that in the world there are 6 thousand 700 million people, where 20%, this is 1.3 million, don’t believe in God; and a 80%, 5 thousand 360 million, believe in God. Those believers are spread in many religions, but specially in 3: Christianity, Islamism and Hinduism. Close to 2 thousand million declare they are Christian. But how many are really washed in the blood of Christ, how many had been born again?

In Mexico 2009, there are around 110 million people and research indicates that 94 million are Catholic. Between 12% and 15% declare to be Christian non Catholic, this is, around 16 million. This last group includes Mormons, the followers of the Light of the World and the Evangelical Christians, and many others. Our state, Jalisco, has a population of 7 million, where only 1% professes as evangelical, this is, around 70 thousand people. Of this group, small itself, How many will be really washed by the Blood of Christ? Probably just a few.

Our country periodically lives crowded faith presentations. The visit to the sanctuary of the Virgin of Guadalupe with over 5 millions of pilgrims, while the pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Zapopan’s Virgin has about 2 thousand visitors. We are talking about millions, but will this massive manifestation a sign of revival? Clearly, not: it is part as well of a Christianity with out blood and without Christ, just as the one during the days of Noah.

How were the works of Cain?

I believe it’s clear: Cain worked accordingly to what he had always was: a non-born-from-God . Nevertheless he believed and gave offerings to the Lord!

MKJV Gen 4:6 And Jehovah said to Cain, Why have you angrily glowed? And why did your face fall? If you do well, shall you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at the door; and its desire is for you, and you shall rule over it. And Cain talked with his brother Abel. And it happened when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Gen 4:6 The LORD said to Cain: What’s wrong with you? Why do you have such an angry look on your face? If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling. But you did the wrong thing, and now sin is waiting to attack you like a lion. Sin wants to destroy you, but don’t let it! Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go for a walk.” And when they were out in a field, Cain killed him.

We have to clarify that the only way to control sin is through repentance and conversion to Christ.

Gen 4:8 Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go for a walk.” And when they were out in a field, Cain killed him.

Tercer ser humano, primer homicidaCaín, the first murderer in history, is only the third human being that step a foot on the earth’s surface! This was, obviously, a son of the fallen nature of Adam, but was not a son of God. Cain only gave the fruits of its nature, of one that has not been born again, even with his manifestations as a believer by offering something to the Lord. What it’s clear from the beginning : no one can give a fruit that its not from one’s own nature.

Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever practices sin is the slave of sin.

2Pe 2:22 But the word of the true proverb has happened to them: The dog turning to his own vomit; and, The washed sow to wallowing in the mire.

CEV 2Pe 2:22 What happened to them is just like the true saying, “A dog will come back to lick up its own vomit. A pig that has been washed will roll in the mud.”

Joh 16:2 You will be chased out of the Jewish meeting places. And the time will come when people will kill you and think they are doing God a favor.

Joh 8:44 - 45 Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies. Everything I have told you is true, and you still refuse to have faith in me.

Let us defend the purity of the Gospel and save it from the false Christians.

Let us hear what God inspired Jude to write his letter:

Jud 1:3-4 Having made all haste to write to you about the common salvation, beloved, I had need to write to you to exhort you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. For certain men crept in secretly, those having been of old previously written into this condemnation, ungodly ones perverting the grace of our God for unbridled lust, and denying the only Master, God, even our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jud 1:11-13 Woe to them! For they went the way of Cain, and gave themselves up to the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah. These are sunken rocks in your love feasts, feasting together with you; feeding themselves without fear; waterless clouds being carried about by winds; fruitless autumn trees, having died twice, having been plucked up by the roots; wild waves of the sea foaming up their shames; wandering stars for whom blackness of darkness has been kept forever.

Let us read in the Contemporary English Version:

Jud 1:3 My dear friends, I really wanted to write you about God’s saving power at work in our lives. But instead, I must write and ask you to defend the faith that God has once for all given to his people. Some godless people have sneaked in among us and are saying, “God treats us much better than we deserve, and so it is all right to be immoral.” They even deny that we must obey Jesus Christ as our only Master and Lord. But long ago the Scriptures warned that these godless people were doomed.

Jud 1:11 Now they are in for real trouble. They have followed Cain’s exampleand have made the same mistake that Balaam did by caring only for money. They have also rebelled against God, just as Korah did. Because of all this, they will be destroyed. These people are filthy minded, and by their shameful and selfish actions they spoil the meals you eat together. They are like clouds blown along by the wind, but never bringing any rain. They are like leafless trees, uprooted and dead, and unable to produce fruit. Their shameful deeds show up like foam on wild ocean waves. They are like wandering stars forever doomed to the darkest pits of hell.

Jud 1:17 But you, beloved, remember the words spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, because they told you that at the last time there will be mockers according to their lusts, leading ungodly lives. These are those setting themselves apart, animal-like ones, not having the Spirit.

¿Qué estás haciendo, pastor?It’s a fact: today, many pastors are frustratedbecause they find their churches filled with adultery, fornication, frauds, fights, rebellion and a long etcetera related with fruits of wickedness.

Here a fundamental question arise to pastors: are you leading sheep or goats? Your congregates are washed by the Blood of Christ? Are they as Abel or as Cain?

And further more, going back to the roots, to what makes the difference: Is the Gospel you´re preaching soaked in the blood of Jesus? Are you calling to repentance or are you bringing people to fun? Are you preaching a Christianity without Blood? Or even worse, Are you living a Christianity without blood?

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