by Mike Ratliff
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 ESV)
This year my wife and I will be traveling for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We leave tomorrow (Monday) after my physical therapy appointment and will return Saturday the 28th. This time off from writing and contending has come at just the right time for me as I feel drawn to the throne of grace as I seek my Lord’s wisdom. I am both discouraged and encouraged with events in the Church at this time.
The apostate seem to be gaining numbers and are getting even worse, which brings to mind Revelation 22:10-11. There are also some encouraging things in that I have never believed the evil that has overtaken much of the visible Church would consume us all. There is evidence of some who were formerly in the darkness of idolizing churchmen and being content within their apostate Churchianity being drawn into the light of repentance and personal revival seeking to minister within sound doctrine in submission to the Lordship of Christ and the Sovereignty of God. Yes, I rejoice in this, however, in the Church age we are still plagued by believers majoring in the minors thereby causing conflict that only opens the door for our enemy to divide us.
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. (Jude 1:17-23 ESV)
The medicine of truth is sometimes a bitter pill to swallow to those who believe they are in the right place doing God’s work while they are really serving human enterprise and following men who are actually good businessmen whose leadership would be better served in the secular, but they have created large corporate-like church, education, and seminary groups that are run like a company rather than as a ministry to our Lord. We are easily deceived my brethren if we are not very careful to build ourselves up in our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keeping ourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. This must be our focus, not building huge ministries or becoming popular with the world or even within the visible Church. No, we should point everyone to our Saviour.
This Thanksgiving let us really make this a season of THANKS giving from a grateful heart, thanking our loving God for keeping us from stumbling, preserving us even in a church environment in which it is sometimes very difficult to tell who is true and who isn’t because the tares have become so predominate in our time. Let us rejoice in the Lord from grateful hearts full of the grace of God and prayer for those professing Christians who have been blinded by their idolatry of serving men rather than God, serving their Churchianity rather than their Saviour, and believing that God is glorified by empty religiosity.
Soli Deo Gloria!