“This world is all the hell that a that a true Christian is ever to endure, and it is all the heaven that unbelievers shall ever enjoy.”
The churches today are horizontal in their theology. They are intoxicated by the world and the very culture. So intoxicated by the culture that they throw aside the pure and inerrant Scriptures for the things of the world. They believe that by using pop culture and modern business models, they will build a church that will woo the crowds. Indeed, they do woo the crowds with exotic light shows, stage plays that have dramatic effects and costly props. The people clap with enthusiasm and excitement; thus they are entertained. The lead pastor who only is there via satellite applauds his team of under trained staff for making the masses happy. This is then repeated weekly. All the while, they are kept gazing horizontally, looking upon men and the world. Because of this, men have deified themselves and have lowered the holiness of God to that of a cosmic butler; who only can do something when He is given permission. God is reduced to a lucky charm that sits in the pockets of men and pulled out only when He is needed. The world to many professing Christians and so called teachers, pastors and leaders is their heaven. They love the world like a drunken man loves his booze. They dare not depart from it or want to be told they have a problem.
Because their theology is horizontal and man centered, they do not have sight of the Eternal Hope, the Lord Jesus Christ. They do not see God lifted up in His holiness and majesty. They do not have sight of the Celestial City, that eternal home where Jesus Christ went to prepare a place for his elect. Instead, they see this world as their heaven. They see this world as blinders hinder them from seeing the glorious heavens that all true believers look forward to. They do not have a genuine longing for heaven, because they are caught up and ensnared in the thick brush of the world.
A genuine believer has a longing for heaven. A believer’s perspective centers around heaven because that is where their Master is. They like Paul, long to be where Christ is. Because of this genuine longing the believer travels through the valley of affliction and tribulation with their sight not upon themselves but Christ, knowing that the valley will lead to that Celestial City. All genuine believers through the course of church history looked upward and not downward. Read the pages of the martyrs who marched with great joy to the stake, who sang hymns as their flesh burned and peeled off, who preached Christ Crucified as they slowly died. Oh, the sweet joy they had knowing that their next breath would be in heaven with their Master.
Should we not be the same in this life at this very moment? Are you heavenly minded? Or are you holding onto things of the world? To hold to things of this word is be at war with God as James 4:4 states. Do not love the world or the things in the world as the beloved Apostle John tells us in 1 John 2:15.
Dear Pastor, are you pointing to Christ? Are you directing your congregation’s gaze to the Celestial City, to the Lord Jesus Christ? Or are you intoxicated with worldly pragmatism?
I leave this entry with the words of Fanny Crosby’s, My Savior First of All:
When my life work is ended and I cross the swelling tide,
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see,
I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,
And His smile will be the first to welcome me.
Thru the gates to the city, in a robe of spotless white,
He will lead me where no tears will ever fall,
In the glad song of ages I shall mingle with delight,
But I long to meet my Savior first of all.
God Speed and Good Day!