AN ARTICLE IN AN ONLINE MAGAZINE RECENTLY STATED THIS, “The devil’s ultimate trick for Christianity … is embarrassing the church.”
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…. Wrong. No. Not even close.
The Church, the Body of Christ isn’t going to close, or fail. Individual congregations, and people may fail and fall, but the gates of hell will never prevail. The Church will continue no matter the efforts of sin-filled broken people here in temporary positions with temporary lives, in temporary countries on a temporary world. No, “The devil’s ultimate trick for Christianity” is not “embarrassing the church.” The “ultimate trick” is the same basic one he’s been using since the Garden to Eve, “Did God reeeeeeeally say and mean that??”… the evil one saying, “Naw… that’s not what God said and wants…”
Some of the evil one’s work is saying and directing our minds and eyes, and hearts to the fleeting distractions, to the haughty sophistry of men, and the band-aids this temporary world offers as answers and solutions. satan wants us to believe that Christ did not inhale on the 3rd day and exit the tomb. satan ultimately wants to drag us to hell… and if he can’t, then he’ll do his next “best thing” and do all that he can to sideline and bench Christians, to get them out of his way… and he’ll do so by robbing them of their vision… of their purpose… of their identities in Christ… of their Christ-centered-worth… and so much more! satan is a very real and active liar, thief, and murderer trying to create despair, division, hopelessness, heresies, and more, in churches as wolves in sheep’s clothing and in this world… and even uses sheep in wolves’ clothing, too.
Nevertheless, God is still on the Throne. He has all our tomorrows in His hands. He never said, “Oops, I didn’t see that coming!” He saw all of this coming and that is why He came. He didn’t want to have world without each one of us precious humans – even knowing our brokenness and sin-filled issues – and especially, He does not want to exist without each one of us in eternity.
God doesn’t need us. An amazing, and scandalous fact is that He WANTS us – so much that God the Son unpacked His Glory and entered the mess of a stable and this World, seeking lost, hopeless sinners on their way to hell. He was willing to die a death He didn’t deserve for those who don’t deserve Him and all that He has done. He still is an expert in entering messes and messy lives. He is interested in – not as much as what you have done wrong – but in what He can do with what you have done wrong – FORGIVE. He doesn’t want your past defining you. He wants the last word in your life – FORGIVEN. He has more forgiveness than you have sins.
Turn to Him. Repent. Trust in all His work done for you. Come into a safe harbour for a refit and renewal so you are equipped and empowered to go back out and face the waters, currents and weather that this life throws at you, knowing and trusting your Pilot. Find a congregation that teaches the Word in its purity and administers God’s Sacraments rightly. God bless you. (Pastor Rennie)