Sunday, November 25, 2012

Out of the Closet

Time to Come Out of the Closet, Christians!

I’m hearing it from everyone—maybe not in those exact words, but the sentiment is the same.  We can no longer stay hidden out of fear of being labeled “haters”, “right-wingers”, “radicals”, and the list goes on… We’ve let ourselves be driven into the shadows when we are supposed to be light.   I’ve heard this scripture play over and over through my head.  

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
(Matthew 5:13-16 NASB)

Now look at the scriptures immediately preceding these.

"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
(Matthew 5:10-12 NASB)

Can you see the progression here? When we have been insulted or persecuted because of the name and person of Jesus or for a stand for righteousness, what have we done? Have we rejoiced? Have we demonstrated our possession—The Kingdom of Heaven? Or have we shrunk back in the fear of man—fear of being labeled—fear of being rejected?  Where has this fear led us—to lose our saltiness and as the scripture rightly predicts to be “trampled underfoot by men”? 

Salt preserves.  We are meant to be the preserving force in this world. Light illuminates. We are meant to be the illumination of the heart, soul, and life-path of mankind.  Maybe we were thinking by our silence that we were going to win them with “kindness”; but could it be that our “kindness” is killing them?  Out of our own disdain for “fire and brimstone” preachers have we possibly let the pendulum swing to where we no longer deal with the reality that people are going to a REAL hell?  Many of these “people” are family and friends that we dearly love, but are we loving them straight into hell? 

If we are going to have a “Great Awakening”,
the people of God have got to have a “Great Awakening”, first.

“Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness (kindness, goodness, faithfulness); Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.”
(Hosea 10:12 NASB)

Maybe it is time to change what we’re planting—to break up the hard ground in our lives—the places where we have allowed the lull of the world around us to harden us and dull us to the things of God.         
In relation to this, there is one last passage of scripture that I have been hearing,

“I heard another voice from heaven, saying,
‘Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;
for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities’.”
(Revelation 18:4-5 NASB)

To quote Jesus out of Mark 3:23, “How can Satan cast out Satan?”  How can we hope to cast “the world” out of the world, if we are partakers of “the world”?   (I encourage you to read the whole of Revelation 18 and see if it reminds you of any current nations on this planet.)  The world has certainly infiltrated our lives as Christians, but this is especially where we need to seek God, each of us, for ourselves personally.  We can’t make a list of do[s] and don’ts or we will not be the ministers of the true New Covenant life that we are called to be.

“Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves,
but our adequacy is from God,  
Who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
(2 Corinthians 3:5-6 NASB)

I would suggest that this has often been the problem when it comes to dealing with the flesh and sin in our lives and others.  Have we been under the influence of the ministry of the Spirit of righteousness or the ministry of death and condemnation? (See 2 Cor 3:7-9)  We have to expose ourselves to the light of the Spirit of righteousness and allow Him to birth His righteousness through us. This is another message and paradigm shift within itself, and one we must seek.

            So, it’s time, Christians.  There is no more gray zone for us.
As Jesus said,“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” 
(Revelation 3:15-16 NASB)

Who will you be? What will you do?

Our King, Our Destiny, and A Dying World is Calling!

It’s Time to Come Out!


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