by Mike Ratliff
Last night in our Small Group we were discussing how each of us spend time in the Word and prayer on a daily basis in order to draw closer to God and surrender more and more so that we will become the disciples our Lord wants us to be. When my turn came I made the statement that, yes, I did start each day in the Word and prayer and reading devotions from Charles Spurgeon, Oswald Chambers, and Ligonier Ministries, but I believed that the thing that helped me the most was the research I did in preparation to write these posts. I must admit that usually I begin with one thing in mind that I want to write about, but it more often than not, changes as I develop a post. This happens as I get into the Word and listen carefully to what the Holy Spirit is saying through those passages and then I work things out from there. In this post I started by trying to write about this “fallen world” as it relates to our role in it as believers. That is still the topic of course, but the guiding hand in the “meat’ of what you will read below was the Holy Spirit alone.
I have written much about genuine Christians vs. nominal “Christians” or “religious christians.” In every church I have be part of it seems the membership has been plagued by “religious christians’ who many call ‘carnal christians.’ Some contrast these with “disciples” who they believe are more mature Christians. Is this a matter of authenticity or Christian maturity? I believe the real tragedy is churches dummying down their messages in order to placate the nominal “christians” in their membership so they will not be offended and leave. The tragedy of this is, of course, is that the true gospel is neglected or replaced with a man-centered false gospel that saves no one. What is the difference or differences between the genuine Gospel message and the man-centered false gospel message? It would be beyond the space and time here to go through each version of nominal Christianity showing the doctrinal fallacies of each. The best way to explain the difference is to show very clearly what Biblical Christianity is so that not only will it be plain to all, the Holy Spirit may very well draw many from darkness to light, to wash them with regeneration as they, by faith, repent and walk with the Saviour from now on instead of looking to their religiosity as their justification. Continue reading