One Hell of a Revolution
Gen. James Green
“THE CHURCH IS BACKSLID!”
BUT WHY AND HOW?
T HERE ARE many reasons and methods to this MADNESS. “Sane” exegetes, while they ostensibly adopt the same method of investigation, and while they actually agree in many points respecting the “solution to the pollution,” in some cases reach sundry conclusions as to HOW to deal with these ineluctable nuances. Some depend upon sheer conjecture, and some on facts. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that these exegetes explore the divergences presented by each other.
Frankly, most church leaders ARE the PROBLEM, not the SOLUTION…and they just don’t care to present a Biblical solution. Fame and fortune have replaced faith and fairness. This is the PROBLEM!!
Most church leaders could care less about “truth”—“exegetical truth.” They suppose this concept to be unnecessary in a fast-food generation...just feed the sheep (who I feel are goats!) any ol thing. But Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, points to TRUTH (Jn. 14:6) as the WAY unto the Father. Jesus also tells us: “…ye shall KNOW THE TRUTH, and THE TRUTH shall make you free ” (Jn. 8:32).
There is Spirit truth, and written truth. Most rely upon written truth. Most rely upon written truth—Scriptures—“saving” truth and “keeping” truth are revealed only from God “by His Spirit” (see 1 Cor. 2:10), which does not originate from any person (1 Cor. 2:12, 13). But who is hungry for Biblical/Spirit truth? Very, very few I must say.
THESE, SADLY, have not been pursued with much vigor. The “good life” (not the “good news”) has stimulated the church’s appetite. Christological discussions, debates, and investigations are slowly but surely disappearing. Theological studies have been replaced with meritorious, hubris, and prodigious endeavors.
Deny Self? (Mk. 8:34)
(Strong’s G533, aparneomai: “to disown, abstain;” G575, apo: “separation, departure, cessation, reversal, etc.”)
HERE IS the real PROBLEM folks: the LOVE of SELF!!, and the lack of DENIAL of SELF!! Here in Mark 8:34-38, Jesus deals with the COST of (true) discipleship (the antithesis of church-membership) (see also Mt. 16:24-28; Lk. 9:23-27).
Here we have Jesus pointing to the Cross (before He experienced it!) as the instrument whereby the “self-life” is to be placed. “Oh, not, NOT that bloody Cross stuff!” YES! Most church leaders of today try their best to AVOID this “cruel and unloving” subject. Sorry, it is central of the “good news.”
But I can see why this “Cross stuff” offends the modern, backslid Churchite—they are abysmally languid in spirit (more effeminate than militant), and the Cross of Christ is a symbol of suffering (1 Pet. 2:21; 4:13), death (Acts 10:39), shame (Heb. 12:2), ridicule (Mt. 27:39), rejection (1 Pet. 2:4), and self-denial (Mt. 16:24). The church sissy la-las will certainly AVOID this subject and will RUN from experiencing it. Was Jesus crazy in telling the people to deny themselves, take up the Cross—their/our Cross—, and follow Him? But hey!, I thought that “Jesus is crazy about us” (Rev. Joyce Meyers), and you need to “Have your best life now” (Rev. Joel Osteen)? I could go down the line and mention all the GREATS! that AVOID the “crucified way.”
Do your own study if you think Heaven is obtained by “living the good life,” “loving self,” or “treating self with respect and dignity.” HA! This is not salvation, but damnation.
Are We Ashamed?
IN THIS SAME narrative, Jesus makes this uncordial statement: “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words…of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed…” (Mk. 8:38). In other words, all those who seek to AVOID the “Cross,” seek to be safe and sound from suffering, persecution, and identification with Christ, will be AVOIDED by Him.
We could call v. 38 the law of retribution, which Christ willfully carried out, that NO ransom can be given. This bringing into prominence of the contrast with the Lord Jesus and His Words, by means of ἐντ γενε is only given here in the vivid delineation of Mark; and there is conveyed in it a deterrent power, namely, from making common cause with this γενεά by the DENIAL of Christ.
We have both a WARNING and an ENCOURAGEMENT in this verse.
So, dear professor of Christianity, where do you stand? Accepting Jesus as Lord, not merely Savior, but LORD, demands not only believing the “truth” of Jesus’ Words (and the Gospel writers), but also committing ourselves to sacrificially follow Him. This choice between DENYING/DYING to ourselves, and living for our own selfish selves must be made daily.
Why have preachers/teachers stopped telling this amicable truth? Jesus was and is the “friend” of the sinner—He wants us to be saved, not damned.
WHAT A DREADFUL word!!—EXCLUDED!! Excluded from the Messiah’s Kingdom—the man/woman/boy/girl who does not DENY themself…not living daily for Him…not crucifying the “self-life” (as did Paul in Gal. 2:20; 6:14; Rom. 6:6).
You can’t live the “crucified way” unless you hate the self-life, the world, the devil! NO WAY!! And this is exactly the problem: those who profess to be “Christian” live a crossless life…but live a very contentious life whereby they, as Hebrews 6:6 tells us: “…they CRUCIFY to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open SHAME.” These are the ones that “fall away” (v. 6a).
Forget the “once saved, always saved” stuff; it is not true. This 6:6 phrase (in the original Greek parapesontas, from parapipto, G4045) is an aorist (=a verb tense in Greek that denotes past action without indicating completion, continuation, or repetition of this action) participle, and should be rendered in the past tense: “If they shall fall away,” to literally: “having fallen away.”
So, when we despise the Cross, we despise Jesus Himself. Lack of self-denial kills the Spirit of Christianity more than anything else. We can kill ourselves just as effectively by passing up the Cross, as much as by bombs. There is a prophetic poem that says:
“Things fall apart. The center cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood of dammed, the tide is loosed and everywhere the ceremony of innocency is drugged. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of intensity.”
I think this part of the poem shows us what man becomes and will do when the center collapses.
Look around friends—the world is about to go into anarchy; the crossless/Christless church is celebrating its independence FROM God. The solution to the pollution is Repentance Revolution.2016