by Mike Ratliff
Lately the core messages of my writing and teaching ministry have been not only validated by some events and some reader’s comments, but they have also taken on a deeper and multi-faceted shape. God has given me the message that the majority of His people in the West, The United States and Canada especially, are living their lives for their own glory and tragically within false doctrines. They do not have a biblical view of Man or of God. They live for self-gratification for the most part. They can be quite religious, but their hearts are far from God.
A close reading of the Apostle Paul’s epistles reveals that his concept of the Christian walk was quite different than what we think it should be. We hate suffering and blame God when bad things happen to us. However in the book of Colossians Paul made an incredible statement.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. (Colossians 1:24-26 ESV)
Pastor John Piper preached a sermon entitled “Live to Die” at a preacher’s conference hosted by John MacArthur. Here are the links to Part 1 and Part2 of that sermon. Prayerfully listen to this incredible exposition of this passage. Also, here is a link to an article I wrote on the same subject here
Odeo link to Part1: [odeo=http://www.odeo.com/audio/1307526/view ]
Odeo link to Part2: [odeo=http://www.odeo.com/audio/1307540/view]