Will Hell Replace Heaven?

Colossians 2:3 (Christ), in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

How far we have strayed from this simple truth. The Church continues to buy into much of the philosophy of this world and is not even aware of it.

DISCLAIMER: As I sit here and ‘throw stones’ please be aware that not too long ago, I was one of those who had been completely deceived by the philosophies of the modern age.

It is easy to hear something that sounds plausible, and then find a verse to support the idea.

For instance, “The Secret”, a New York Times bestseller for the past three years, says that you can have anything in life that you want, if you just know the secret to getting it. That “secret” is in the “Law of Attraction.” Focus your energy and your thoughts on what it is that you want, and the Law of Attraction will go to work for you, bringing you your desired outcome.

How is that different from Joel Osteen’s faith message, filled with sound bites, which is affecting thousands of Christians daily.

Or, how about the Buddhist influence into the Church, as saints seek ‘no mind,’ which is claimed to be at the root of most of our troubles? Or, the Hindu goal of enlightenment? Enlightenment is the experience of “knowing” and not being hindered by dualistic thinking.

Why is it that we cannot see “The LIE” in all this? It is the same lie Eve succumbed to in the garden–“you shall be as gods”–and that is very tantalizing.

Now we are being told by many that we are the ruler of our own ‘universe.’ That is, WE are the ones who control our destiny; WE are the ones who make decisions without regard for anything outside ourselves (except for the caveat of “as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.”)

NO!! It is only in Christ that we have any life at all. (John 15:5)

And, there are some who would pervert even that truth by saying “Christ means ‘anointed’, and when you understand that you are ‘God’s anointed’, then you have risen to that which God has prepared for you.”

Why does all this continue to happen?

Because we have gotten away from the truth of God’s Word. We have allowed philosophy to overtake our pulpits, rather than the plain teaching and exposition of the Word. And the people do not know any better, because they spend so little time in the Bible themselves.

A one or two-hour fix each week is not enough to prepare yourself for the battle that lies at our door! Especially when that ‘fix’ is tainted with enough poison to put us to sleep.

Well did Karl Marx say that “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”

We have allowed religion to replace spirituality. We have allowed ‘relevance’ to replace reality. We have allowed sound bites to replace sermons. We have allowed experience to replace exposition. We have allowed problems, and challenges, and issues, and disorders to replace sin. We have allowed therapy to replace repentance.

If we do not turn it around soon, we will discover that we have allowed hell to replace heaven.

NOTE: This is the second in a weekly posting on the Epistle to the Colossians. I am not the only one who is writing on this book. There are others who will be posting something on their blog each day of the week. We are each bringing something that the Lord gives us from chapter two of the epistle. You will be greatly blessed and encouraged, and your heart will be filled if you will take the time to read each day’s posting from one of the other saints involved in this collective effort. Put the following link in your “favorites” or on your link bar at the top of your browser: http://www.philter48.com/bbs/ and make it a point to visit everyday.

Imitation is More Than Flattery

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own…Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. (Philippians 3:12, 17 ESV)

In today’s self-centered, narcissistic society, this statement would be viewed as incredibly arrogant. Who are you to say that we should follow your example?!!?

The prevailing philosophy is that I am the center of my own universe. I control my own universe. I am the best for my universe.

Simply because someone has had an experience from which I might benefit, is no indication that I should consider their results.

There was a series of jokes going around when I was in high school that always ended with, “Mother, please! I’d rather do it myself.”

It is no longer a joke. Rather, it is the reality.

Sadly, this worldly way of thinking has infiltrated the Church.

However, I am not as concerned about it being in the pew as much as I am about it being in the pulpit.

There are few godly men and women who are willing to say, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

That is a scary place to be. It is a scary place to put oneself–especially with all the dire warnings against being placed on a pedestal. Why would anyone place themselves high enough to be emulated?

We’ve all seen many toppled from a high and lofty place in ministry. Now we avoid it.

In this age of calling many by the term “hero” who are not, could it be that the world is actually bereft of any real heroes to imitate?

Rather than shrink from the calling, stand up, go forward, and allow yourself to be a standard to which others will want to look. And do not be reluctant to say so.

And find someone to whom you can look for imitation.

NOTE: This is the third in a weekly posting on the Epistle to the Philippians. I am not the only one who is writing on this book. There are others who will be posting something on their blog each day of the week. We are each bringing something that the Lord gives us from chapter three of the epistle. You will be greatly blessed and encouraged, and your heart will be filled if you will take the time to read each day’s posting from one of the other saints involved in this collective effort. Put the following link in your “favorites” or on your link bar at the top of your browser: http://www.philter48.com/bbs/ and make it a point to visit everyday.