A Return To Biblical Christianity

December 26, 2012

A Return To Biblical Christianity

            We love convenience.  If there is anything that will simplify life, lighten our load, and give us more free time we are prone to accept it.  There is nothing wrong with that, but unfortunately, we are prone to take our Christianity in the same way.  When that happens, our Christianity deteriorates.

In Acts chapter eight we read about the courage and faithfulness of the early Christians.  Instead of denying their faith in Christ, they chose to abandon their material possessions, even their source of livelihood, and flee to escape from persecution.  They immigrated to a place where they were free to practice their Christianity.  They went on witnessing in their new environment.  Acts 8:4 says, “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.”

Throughout history the most effective means of winning others to Christ has been a personal testimony.  Sometimes we read about great evangelistic crusades in which great numbers put their faith in Christ.  It’s true, but still many put their faith in Christ because housewives witnessed to their neighbors, and men witnessed to their fellow workers.  Acts 1:8 says that God has given us the power to witness.  “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Sometimes churches teach classes on soul winning. That’s good, but most often that which is most needed is the motivation.  It doesn’t take a lot of education to do it.  If someone has experienced the joy of salvation and new life in Christ, it’s just a matter of telling others about it.  Even someone who doesn’t know how to read or write can do it.  Being a witness for Christ is a step back into Biblical Christianity.

Biblical Christianity produces fervor in the life of the believer.  As we have seen, those first Christians were willing to pack up their material goods and move in order to be free to continue practicing their Christianity.  It’s a lot of work to move.  It may be more exciting if we are moving into a new or better house.  That certainly wasn’t true of these early Christians.  They had to leave behind their conveniences and comforts and start life all over again.

In our day we are so attached to comforts that we don’t want to be without them.  People go to churches that have central heating and air conditioning.  The pews are padded.  In Argentina I have seen Christians worshiping God in churches that had no heating or air conditioning.  They sat on wooden benches that had no backs on them.  Today many Christians won’t attend church on a hot day if the air conditioning in their car isn’t working, or if they know that the air conditioner in the church wasn’t working.

Our great grandparents heated water on a wood stove so they could take a bath in a round galvanized tub.  They sometimes walked two or three miles to church, or they either rode a horse or went in a horse and buggy.  In summer they didn’t even have fans in the church.  In the winter the building was heated by a wood stove in the center of the room.  Going back to Biblical Christianity isn’t going back to these primitive conditions, but it is a willingness to make sacrifices, when necessary, to practice our Christianity.  Our forefathers practiced Biblical Christianity.  Not only were they willing to be ridiculed and suffer the loss of all their material possessions, some even gave their lives rather than deny Christ

Today there are those who claim to be saved, but they fear they will be called fanatics if they attend church regularly.  They stay up late watching television programs, but they get restless if a church service lasts a little over an hour.  Some are willing to travel a great distance and pay a sum of money to go to a football game, but they won’t make any sacrifice to go to church.  Where are their priorities?

Biblical Christianity manifests the new nature of the new man. “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;   And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;   And that ye put on  the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”  (Ephesians 4:22-24).  It is a willingness to give up some of your conveniences and pleasures as well as some of your money.  The Bible talks about being constrained by love.  When it’s done willingly, out of love, it isn’t as great a sacrifice.  If we love the Lord we find joy in serving him.  Jesus said in Mark 12:30 that the first commandment is “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Those around us need to see the new man; not just a reflection or a remnant of him.  He will be manifest in our attitude, the way we dress, and the way we talk.

If you go back to Biblical Christianity you may find yourself out of place in your church.  You may feel like you are headed in a different direction than the others in your church.  There are many churches that do preach the gospel, but they no longer preach that God’s people should be separate from the people of the world.  It’s God’s desire that his people be what is called a peculiar people.  Titus 2:14 says “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”  Again, In I Peter 2:9 we read “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” It’s sad, but true, that the church is loosing its influence over the morality of society.

The only way to truly go back to Biblical Christianity is to go back to a close loving relationship with God.  If you don’t have that relationship, you need it above all else. Then what we do for God will be done from our hearts.  “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (I Peter 3:15).

 

Our e-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

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