Revelation 18:3 …..And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, a…
Revelation 18:3 …..And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
For a long time I have been very perplexed about how a Christian, specifically a Christian in South Africa, should treat the topic of what it means to separate oneself from the world system around us.
First of all let me highlight some issues that as part of a white minority, in South Africa, especially part of the not “privileged” class. I often find myself often face to face with ant-white rhetoric and hate speech against whites. Then there is the often ignored problem of the farm murders in South Africa, over 3000 racially motivated farm murders since 1994. But you won’t read about that in the popular news media either.
I firmly in the Biblical call to be separate, but for the most part I see the church married to culture. People will vote for the ruling communist elite but go to church on Sunday. How does that make sense? And then there is the issue of forced integration. How can that possibly be any less evil than the old apartheid system of government was. Forced segregation, and then now forced integration. No difference.
Then there is the very touchy issue of race, off course any Biblical Christian will tell you that God only made one race, the human race. And that is how we should all see it. But see our country has thrown God out of the constitution and made His Name a term of derision. May God confound them!
I am in pains for my country, Liberals would criminalize our scriptures too if they could, current legislation is aimed at censoring certain portions of Scripture. But most Christians have not even heard of that law being on the table.
All the more I find the political scene in South Africa, rather vulgar, currently the leaders of the Black Majority often incite violence against white minorities. Should that not be cause for concern?
Personally I associate gladly and freely with all who share in my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and quite frankly anyone who will treat me with equal respect even on a human level I will and often do get along with just fine.
But there is this thing where it seems most South Africans idolize their political darlings, they seem to be able to do anything they want, say anything they want and get away with it.
So this post for what it is, is not about race, because in the Biblical view there is only one race. Its not about politics, because politicians in my view are expendable and for the most part corrupt. Its not about political affiliations, since I do not favor any current South African party. I vote according to conscience, and my conscience tell me the party you vote for should at least be Pro Life and have the Biblical view of marriage ( if you don’t know what that is go and read your Bible)
I am not writing to antagonize anyone, but who in this country of South Africa, will stand in the gap? Who will call out unrighteousness for what it is, and speak out against the current government’s tyrannical and dictatorial polices? Shall we let the godless just go unchecked?
May its time for Christians to extricate themselves from this world’s system of thought, to free ourselves from the bondage of the slave masters of our day would impose on us. May its time to be different, to be Christian to cease from associating with ungodliness and ungodly practices. To cease and desist from all forms idolatry. To turn to God and to turn from evil.
As I see it only a true revival of the Christian religion will save South Africa. We are a divided nation filled with hurt and pain.
By no means am I at the end of this matter, this is not a rant, it is a purposeful look at the circumstance of the country I live in, and how I am to live in it.
There are many who advocate the right to self-determination, and tend to side with them these days, one after all has the right to freedom of association and if that seems racist to you, well that is to bad, that right is enshrined in our rather leftist very liberal constitution. I am for it because I feel for those like myself who are part of the white minority in South Africa, who have been marginalized and made victims of hate crimes and are constantly lambasted by liberal media.
The Biblical call in revelation however is a clear one. “ Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. “
This world and its systems political and otherwise are slowly being shown up for they are, and so will every one individually. Either you are for righteousness only found in Christ of you are for the darkness of this current world system. Your call.
Firstly, the reason I selected this book by C. S Lewis on the subject of the Christian, suffering and the problem of evil. This is a subject that lends itself to much speculation especially in certain faith healing type of ministries so the truth of how suffering, the problem of evil and Christian spirituality connect I think is one of crucial importance since many false teachings around the subject abounds. Lewis offers a answer from a philosophical perspective, with a all round perspective of how the human psyche engages the problem of pain in a fallen world.
In the first two chapters Lewis upholds two basic character attributes of God that he lay down as a foundation for his book. The first is the Omnipotence of God, speaking of God’s power and almighty ability uphold and suction his creatures in any given situation they might be in, and secondly he speaks of the “Divine goodness” of God who in His almighty power would do only good to the creatures He made. Lewis does extend this goodness to the “animal kingdom” but does not in my view get a very sympathetic argument across for the suffering and evils that befall the animals that inhabit this world. Rather he says the goodness or evil they experience is limited to the human caretakers that oversee them who can treat them either for good or ill. Their suffering is only according to Lewis anyway, limited to this world and they do not have a soul of any significance that can suffer beyond the physical realm.
On the issue of human wickedness and cruelty Lewis says that for a man to fail to share and partake in the goodness offered to is in itself a depraved thing to do, since God whose absolute goodness is refused by a mortal man can have no end but in himself then and that in the normal course of his life a man would inevitably make bad choices that very often lead to destructive behavior. That is a man who has loosed himself from Gods’ offer of goodness. Such a man remains a slave to his own lusts and ambitions and left to his own devices will only make more bad or destructive choices.
It is at this juncture in the book that Lewis brings in the doctrine of the Fall, stating that in our “first parents” God created goodness and when the failed to obey the divine command to abstain from partaking of the fruit of the forbidden tree, the lost their innocence and gained a knowledge able to discern and practice either good or evil. From this Lewis says that “evil and suffering stem” since mankind from then on chose to follow their own choices and not follow the good design that God had planned for them. It is my view that Lewis offers a rather weak argument for the consequences of the fall, but he does say that he realizes that with the fall came the consequence that man died spiritually and that when a man is left in that dead spiritual state what emerges is a soulish selfish man that fends only for himself and only looked out for his own interests. This according to Lewis is the problem of evil, a soulish man bent on meeting his own desires and following his own will and not bowing to the will of His Creator.
In the next chapter Lewis seems to be back on a more biblical track addressing the question of human pain, saying that the Fall left man destitute of the known or felt presence o God, and this is according to Lewis the cause of much mental pain, or depression that people go through. He does make the point which I appreciate that such pain is a pain that is very often connected to a sense of a true futility that man feels when he does not walk in the light and does not experience a presence of God. In this sense Lewis was a bit of a mystic. However I do agree with him that physical pain and even mental can often have its root in spiritual deficiencies. Lewis does not like using the word “repentance’ but in essence that is what he also says has to happen for healing of wounded and seared consciences. One does have to “change your behavior Lewis says and to conform to the new nature on has in Christ. In this Lewis does not differentiate between Protestant views or Catholic views on repentance. Which I do find rather disturbing.
What I do appreciate about Lewis is his candor, he does not support the notion of hell so much yet because Jesus spoke of it he does not deny it, and also takes the view that at last divine justice has to have a say, that there will be those who say “no” to a Good Creator, who made a Redemptive offer but these who refuse will by necessity be sent to hell since they do so by choice. Lewis does not have much support from the Bible in this view, I think that he ascribed too much freedom and the wrong kind of freedom to the human will in this matter, but the point he makes is good. Justice will be served, at the end.In his chapter on “heaven” Lewis speaks of man being restored to the ultimate goodness God created him for.
In a assessment of the book I found that Lewis made a reasonable argument but he failed to put much biblical support behind his thoughts, his books makes a couple of good points as he points to divine omnipotence, divine goodness, the impact of the fall, but he does not present a clear understanding of the atoning work of Christ, I glean from this work, something of God’s magnificence, and man’s catastrophe. But in the topic itself “The problem of pain” and why there is so much evil and suffering, Lewis does not give anything but a blend of spirituality and psychology to remedy the situation. It is nevertheless a very insightfull read and helpful in many aspects.
By Mike Ratliff 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Co…
Great article by a good online friend
If you are church shopping [this article was first published in OCTOBER 2011] or looking for a local Christian fellowship a Reformed Baptist Church may not be your cup of tea 🙂
Well you see, Dr. James White has (honestly) noted that in a Reformed Baptist Church…
- You don’t get to leave after every sermon feeling good about yourself. You may even desire repentance.
- You don’t get to hear the sermons in the same way you may be used to. It’s frequently verse by verse, maybe not even relevant to your current situation.
- You don’t get to be entertained. We don’t want to entertain you.
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A thing is what it is, and nothing more, a thing cannot be what is not if it says it is something it is not, then you must look at its fruit, a chair cannot be a pear, and a apple not a bear- ” (Alice in Wonderland)
Being real, is a journey, if we are blessed, and God opens our eyes, to see ourselves for who we are, sinners who do not deserve any redemption, and we see God as Holy, and entitled to dispense only justice, yet he dispenses mercy. Then we can start seeing things for what they are. So how do we get out of the mire of sinful, sometimes addictive behaviors that so often beset us.
I like the story John Bunya n tells about himself in Grace Abounding” He says ” I was walking in a field struggling with the fact that I was so unworthy of salvation and that I would never attain to it myself, and then I suddenly realized, the righteousness I need does not come from myself, it comes from God. “
What God requires God provides, if He requires you to walk in holiness, He supplies the holiness you need in Christ. Whatever God requires you to be or to do, He supplies.
Many people still say, a man can be saved by the power of his own will, that somehow, he can bend his own inner nature to submit it to God’s will. That is not how the story started from the beginning. In fact to say that God somehow has to listen to what we tell Him to do, just because we “made a decision to accept Christ as our Savior” That is sheer fallacy. God does not bend to our will, if we submit ourselves to God, He will bend us to His will. That is what we call the “doctrine of sanctification” God makes us what we are not by nature. He makes us holy, He makes us pure, through the trails and troubles of life, He molds and shapes us.
It is true, that once a person has been regenerated by the Spirit of God, he can respond and in saving faith embrace the gift of God, which is the substitutionary death of Christ in our stead. But then there is more, God not only saves us from our own sinful selves and fits us for eternity. He makes us new creatures in Christ.
God deals differently which the person He saves, he guides them, He protects them, he disciplines them, o my friends! God is not an absentee Father! He is not blind to our spiritual state, or our moral depravity. In a very real sense, when God re-creates person anew, the miracle of our human birth is enlarged. It is miracle enough that God saves us from the wrath to come. But then He comes in to clean house, He makes us what we are not. Holy. Like Christ. He restores the image of God in man. He raises the spiritually dead and fills them with new life.
It is not fair to look at a person to look upon another person and pass judgement on another, the work of God in the heart of a man will be evident, a man saved for eternity will have certain difference about him.
He will be aware of his own sinful state, he will into look to his own self sufficiency, but instead will look to Christ. You do not rid yourself of sin, you run to Christ, who delivers you from evil. I have yet to save myself from some sin by my own moral or pious endeavors.
Look to Christ, look to Christ as it is written in the prophet Isaiah 45 :22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else’
The is no one else, so what’s in a look? can you look? Can you take a step outside of yourself and trust and unknown future to a known God?
Yes you can, we are made for better things, as it is in this world, There are many who claim to be what they are not, who claim to be self-sufficient when in themselves, but the heart knows, without God shaping it, moulding it and making it new, it remains what it is. And it remains in futility, the only hones a man can give with out regard to God is that everything is futile, as the atheist Bernard Shaw “life is full os sound and fury, signifying nothing” Well the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the one who lifts us out of the futility of our won thinking and makes us what we are not, from the inside out……
My beloved child, I want you to know that while I live and breathe I will be there for you. You can count on that. You can always count on me to help you and answer your questions for you as long as I am able. There is one mystery in life that I want you to firmly understand.
Though I love you dearly, God has loved you more dearly, before you were even born, He had planned the day of your arrival, and handpicked me to be your Dad. And I am exceptionally blessed because of that fact.
I want you to know that no matter what you might face in life, learn to be content with whatever you have. Those who learn this little secret will find happiness in whatever situation they find themselves.
Although as you grow older you will find many wicked and corrupt individuals along the way, who seem to do well for themselves in this life. But know this, Our God is not asleep, judgement day will come for those who give themselves over to indulge in sinful lifestyles and practices. Do not run with those.
But in spite of this you will find sincere, honest and genuine friends, Treasure and value those for they will sustain you in good times and in bad.
Remember not all people you meet will be in your life forever. Some come in for a season and then go their way. Let them, don’t run after the affection of those who do not return your friendship.
Be careful with money, don’t a borrower or a lender be. Be generous by all means but don’t go into credit for the sake of others. Be a good steward of the resources God gives you.
Be virtuous, don’t emulate the world, as it is this world and its things are passing away, rather set your mind on those things that have eternal value, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is praiseworthy. Think about those things. Do not let unwholesome words come out of your mouth, but speak words of thankfulness, and gratitude and be an encouragement to all those you meet. You never know what other people are going through.
Be Kind. It does not cost anything to be courteous and helpful to those who are less fortunate than you. One is never so poor that you can not say a kind word to someone else. Who knows God will extend His hand of Grace to those you draw with your kindness.
I know I have raised you to be strong and independent, but always be dependent on God, you will never outgrow your need for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Love it, embrace it and learn from the giver of Life, how to live your life.
Don’t ever give up hope, as long you live and breathe, there is hope, God gives deep valleys experiences, but also mountain top experiences. Trust in Him, whatever happens in life. He will give you an outcome.
Don’t trust everything people say, study to know God’s Word for yourself, your mind is a very precious asset you are meant to cultivate, movies and social media won’t do this for you. Learn to know what makes the world around you work, not that you may partake in it, but that you might be able to help those caught in tis web. Be discerning. Always test everything by God’s Word. And read as often as you can as much as you can, grow in grace and knowledge. God has given you a good mind. Use it well.
Keep your head when all about you even when all around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you; examine everything, keep the good and discard the bad
Dream big, but don’t let dreams be your master, fix your heart on Christ and let Him steer you through life.
Be careful whom you chose to share your life with, do not compromise with those who behave shamefully but rather associate with those who can give you good godly advice.
Be aware that while you live in the world, you are not off the world, you are off Christ, and that one day you will meet in glory all those who have loved you and cherished you in this life. There is indeed a great cloud of witnesses who are awaiting you who have served and trusted Christ with their lives.
If you can heed this counsel and seek to know the Lord, in this life, you will know His pleasure and live to know His blessing. And remember, nothing that is ever given to God, is lost. God does not lose things, especially not precious souls who have trusted Him.
I have taken great pride in seeing you grow, and grace and understanding, and in this path you must continue, as you grow older you will realize that to behold Christ as your greatest treasure, will make all the other blessing so much more pleasurable.
Now these three remain, Faith Hope and love, never let them out of your sight, keep them in your heart and remind yourself constantly that while your parents greatly love you. You have a God in heaven, who loves you infinitely more, he is Father of Mercy and the God of all Hope. Always look to Him.