You always enter God’s hospital as a charity patient. You can’t pay your way.
We build expensive churches and sometimes it is like erecting million-dollar launching pads to send up firecrackers.
The Christian’s view of the future is not a spectacular dreamed up by science or the brainstorm of secular historians. He gets it from an old, old book written by a solitary exile on a lonely rock in a restless sea. The Apocalypse is laughed at by this world and discredited even by some churchmen but it is precious to all strangers in modern Babylon who are looking for the City that’s soon coming down. Its strange, mysterious characters make more sense every day as the seven-sealed book opens the meaning of God’s history within history and the stage is set for the last chapters in the drama of this age. He does not argue with the wise-acres of this world, for that would be casting pearls before swine. Blind eyes cannot see this vision nor can dead men understand Scripture until they are born again. God goes His quiet way and lets the panels discuss and symposiums debate current events in all their learned ignorance. Headlines mean something entirely different to Him and newscasts tell another story to His ears. Blessed is the man whose vantage point is Patmos!
There are many brands of treason in the Christian camp. Men who deny the historicity and authenticity of God’s Word; worldlings who hobnob with the enemy; indifferent church members who come not to the help of the Lord against the mighty – all these are traitors. It sounds good to talk about forgetting all our differences and closing ranks to face the foe without, but we may lose to the foe within. Paul recognized two threats to the church – wolves from without and false leaders within (Acts 20:29, 30).
Someone has suggested that a good text for an Easter sermon can be found in a phrase out of Acts 12:4: “Intending After Easter…” Everybody goes to church on Easter Sunday but most of them do not intend to keep it up. It is not a religious show on a big day but faithfulness to God every day that counts. Putting in an appearance on a special occasion and then being conspicuous for absence on most occasions is the bane of our church life today. Isaiah thundered against the hollow and meaningless observance of new moons and Sabbaths and ‘the solemn meeting.” Christmas and Easter Christians, the holly-and-lilies crowd, make poor soldiers of the cross and followers of the Lamb. The real test of our piety is what we intend to do “after Easter.”
DOCTRINE, DYNAMIC, DISCIPLINE
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine.
I Timothy 4:16
Stir up the gift of God which is in thee.
II Timothy 1:6
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
II Timothy 2:3
Doctrine, Dynamic, Discipline – Paul would have young Timothy qualified in all three. For lack of any or all, our Timothys do not fare so well today. Some know not what they believe or else turn from truth to fable. Some lack fire from heaven, vainly “compassing themselves about with sparks.” And real discipleship has given way to a modern version without a cross.
How the church suffers for lack of all three! How many members can give a reason for their hope? How much of our religious activity is the work of the Spirit? And while we have professed believers aplenty, how many disciples do we have?
We need a fresh course in the Three D’s!