ALONE IN THE DARK (Dec 2005)

    Here is a poignant email exchange I recently had with a new believer that associates with the Websites in the network we are affiliated with.  I thought it's contents very relevant to today's situation in America, and felt it would be a good idea to share it with our readers.  Here are her comments, and my response to them...  

    Trouble is I wrote this Article back in December, and forgot to post it!!  What an idiot.  Well I found it today, and here is the "better late than never" Article... :P

 

She wrote

Frank,
    I just finished your article. Separation Of Church And Faith! I really liked it, and even forwarded it on to a couple of my friends. Also, I would like to ask you for some advice, if you don't mind. As you know, my dad has recently become a believer, and in turn, enlightened me. I now find myself thinking about Jesus and his commandments to us almost constantly. I have many friends who have always professed to be "Christians." They go to church weekly, but their faith seems to end there. 

    They knew I was not a Christian and had no interest in joining their church. That was fine with them. In fact, other than that small difference about going to church, our lifestyles were not different at all. In fact, even then it seemed I had a higher set of values than most of them, simply because that was how I was raised, not because of faith. 

    However, now that I have found Jesus, I find that my whole thought process is changing A LOT!  I went to some of my "Christian" friends, and was glad to tell them how I have changed, and had the hope that they would want to talk with me about the Bible, Jesus, what it all means, etc. However, I was very disappointed to find that every one I have approached with the subject has turned away from it. Some have said they have never even read the Bible, saying it was enough to have the pastor in church do it for them. One had never even heard of end times or even the Book of Revelation! 

    I found that they were ignorant of even the simplest of Jesus' teachings and how he taught us to live. It was made very apparent that the faith they had proclaimed to me for years was not very important in their lives. No wonder my non-belief never affected our friendship before!

    So, my question to you is this..........Can I help them and save them from falling away? I find that I just don't bring the subject up anymore, because to tell the truth and quote scripture on how to live makes them feel insulted. They make excuses as to why they don't have to obey, saying, "Well, no one is perfect. God understands." When the truth is, they do not even try in the first place or feel remorse when they mess up. 

    Since I don't want to cause my friends to dislike me, I just don't bring the subject up anymore. I did forward your article to a couple of friends, thinking it might make them reflect a little, but I feel they really have no interest in learning anything that might shed some light on how to be.  I think they prefer to be left in the darkness, because it is easier and they can pretend they are being righteous. To learn anything different might mean they would have to change their lives, and I see they have no interest in doing that! They seem to be so deceived!

    I have so many questions on just about everything I read, but have no one to turn to for understanding. My dad and I get together once a week now to talk about things we read, but we really aren't much help to each other, as we have both just started learning. We feel kind of alone in wanting to become real Christians. Do you think I should join a church? That makes me worry because so many churches have fallen away, and I don't want to end up being deceived.
 
I would much appreciate anything you can say that might help. Thanks!

 

The Response

Hi,

    What you are seeing in your friends is unfortunately exactly what this world is coming to, and especially in the United States of America.  It is a clear showing of the scripture..

2 Timothy 3:1-5  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; *Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

( * life changing power that is),

    Also Scriptures like...

Matthew 15:8  This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

    Your assessment of your friends demeanor before God comes from a level of discernment beyond your years as a Christian, and is in support of my belief that God extends the gifts of the Spirit to each and every person according to his own good will and judgment. These things have zero to do with how old a person is, and how long they have been his servants. Obviously the elders have the advantage of experience and the school of hard knocks, and its good to seek their council, but when push comes to shove, GOD gives the increase with no respect what so ever for the human level of accomplishment or achievement.

    Your friends are victims of the toothless, repentance free, "feel good" gospel that is being preached by the likes of Joel Osteen and many others who feel that the numbers of their church membership, are far more important than the quality of the relationship with Christ in the lives of those members. Half of the converts of the last 3 years are no more than fallen Christians who have returned to the church when they found out that the Church is 100% down with the concepts of violence and revenge that are being perpetrated in Christianity today, and they came back to feel good about this method of dealing with the terrible tragedy of 9-11. What the church in America is calling a revival of unprecedented proportion, is actually a massive pressing on to the broad road that leads to destruction.

    The Mainstream Church today has chosen style over substance, they have removed all of the "religious" looking decor in their churches and have replaced them with Globes and images of the world, they have put charming likable "representatives" on stage before a world starving for meaning in their lives, and they have chosen to tell folks that your financial success in this world is a reflection of how God feels about you.  That your financial success will continue to grow as long as you support their ministries. They have removed all images of the roots of our faith from the visual aspect of Church attendance, just like the country has in government buildings. They have even skillfully and deliberately removed the most powerful aspects of our faith that lead men to repentance, and traded them in for words of shallow encouragement, false love that is content to watch each other walk in darkness and not say a word, and an admonition to live a life seeking wealth and "personal satisfaction" over crucifying the flesh, and pressing on toward the high call of God in Christ Jesus, which is to constantly deal with and try to expel the sin that wishes to remain in our lives, and walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, as he ordered us to do. You said... (In blue are your statements.. my accentuations and bolded type)


"They make excuses as to why they don't have to obey, saying, "Well, no one is perfect, God understands." When the truth is, they do not even try in the first place or feel remorse when they mess up. Since I don't want to cause my friends to dislike me, I just don't bring the subject up anymore. I did forward your article to a couple of friends, thinking it might make them reflect a little, but I feel they really have no interest in learning anything that might shed some light on how to be. I think they prefer to be left in the darkness, because it is easier and they can pretend they are being righteous."


    Sadly, this is the key to hell right here, and it is so sad and even sickening to watch someone you care about walk in it!  The Christian world has for some 1800 years now been told "well you are always going to sin", and "no one is "perfect" anyway". The main truth of Jesus' teachings on the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan 2000 years ago, is that man is no longer ONLY responsible for his actions, but also for his thoughts and intentions. IT IS NOT that he is no longer responsible for his actions (going forward), because of Christ: making our Lord some kind of a scapegoat for the continued sin we allow to remain in our lives. 

    The fact that "they do not even try in the first place or feel remorse when they mess up" is the reason that so many "Christians" in the world are going to hear the words "depart from me ye workers of iniquity"  Its not because they were unable to be perfect, but it is because they never even tried, (to deal with the sin in their lives), and they didn't feel one bit bad about that, as they used semantics and foolish questions that engender confusion rather than truth.  Its the fact that they really "have no interest in learning anything that might shed some light on how to be. And as you truly ascertained: They prefer to be left in the darkness, because it is easier and they can pretend they are being righteous."  

    People would rather "not know" the truth, so that they are not responsible, which is what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for so clearly, and why he was so angry when they tried to play the word games with him to attempt to hide their knowledge of the truth. Here is an instance where he talked about it, one of the most powerful scriptures in the bible in my opinion. Speaking to Nicodemus the Pharisee...


John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.


    This is the reason that you will find it difficult to get them to discuss scripture and the personal relationship with Jesus with you. Because when you open that discussion you open a spiritual window, and the "light" of truth comes in upon them, reproves their deeds, and makes them feel convicted (guilty) of their sin. This feeling is what people perceive as uncomfortable, and the churches have taught them that it is not of God to feel this way. This is quite simply the state of deception as you named it. The only thing that you can do for them after you have tried to discuss this with them is to live it out for them.  Show them with your life the REAL meaning of freedom in Christ, which is freedom from the bondage of sin, rather than the bondage of freedom from responsibility! 

    Simply refuse to do the things they do. Stay with them, and hang with them up to the point that they are going to do what you know God would not approve of, and then excuse yourself from their company.  Not in a condemning way, but just excuse yourself, and count on the power of the Holy Spirit to convict their hearts of the reasons why you left.  If the Spirit is in them, you can trust that Spirit to do it's part.  When they see the undeniable difference in your life, the ones that truly seek to please and know God better will come, and they will seek you out, and they will follow.  The others, you will just have to leave to God. 

    But don't fall prey to esteeming their friendship over standing for the truth of the faith.  If you really love them, you will tell them, and show them the truth. You said you don't want to cause your friends to dislike you, but unfortunately this is quite simply not always possible.  Jesus said the world would hate us. They will accuse you of being judgmental when you stand up for the truth verbally, and they will call you self righteous when you obey the word of truth.  In the end, you will be victorious and you will be given a crown that fades not away!  Most vital to all of this will be to pray for them, and to take the ground in prayer as often as possible.  Only God can harden or soften hearts.  Where does that leave the lost of we do not intercede for them?

Frank

 

THE MODERN DAY QUANDARY

    This exchange represents a quandary that many Christians who see the truth of God's word are facing every day in America, and across the world. The teachings of modern day Christianity, and the lives of many modern day Christians quite simply do not line up with the words of Jesus and the disciples, and even brand new Christians like this young, kind spirited woman, after reading the words of the Bible can see that this is the case.  When they speak to address these realities, they are "put in their place" by elder Christians who have gone through decades or more of gradual chipping away at truth by an enemy that wishes to see their destruction, and the satanic order of hierarchal structure again, as it did for so many people in Galilee 2000 years ago, silences the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In turn new Christians, hungry for the truth they thought they saw, (life changing and true satisfaction), find themselves confessing that truth is second to feeling good about ourselves, in order to fit in at their local church. and they eventually wither and die. 

    I couldn't really advise her on what to do about church.  I told her in a different conversation, that I too can not recommend one as I don't know her area, and that there are very few Churches right now that actually preach the truth. I really couldn't advise her beyond being VERY careful about holding tight to the truth that she now has and be careful not to compromise that truth in order to "fit in" at a local Church.  It was kind of scary and sad to have to warn a new Christian about Churches in America, and to go away from the conversation truly worried about what she might find out there.  There has never been a time in Church history, where the truth is more under siege than it is in today's world, and I know that the reason for that is that Satan, as a roaring lion goes about seeking whom he may devour, because his time is VERY short!

    Our prayer is that God will move upon the hearts of Christians in America, and that he will stir their hearts to remember the reality of our faith, and to hunger for its life changing, life cleansing power.  That they will not see those changes as some unpleasant experience to go through but rather that they might see it as a marriage with a reality so powerful and everlasting that they would hunger and thirst for nothing else.  That the foolish pleasures and satisfactions that this life offers are hardly worth the time it takes to endure them, and that the only TRUE fulfillment in this life is walking with Christ. That walking with Christ can NOT be hand in hand with walking in the love of the world, and those foolish pleasures as some folks were thinking as they read that line, but that he is ALL IN ALL.  That the current trends of hatred and revenge, which lead men to destruction are no less dangerous when they are sanctioned by our local church than they are when they are sanctioned by hate filled and evil powers world wide. Heavenly Father, save us in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord!

 

In Christ, F. E. Reilly

 

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