In a post-modern world, Christians can be broken down, like a pack of crisps, into two polarised strands-the blessed and the damned! A blessed Christian is that rare gem in a collapsed world who embraced the word of God without any fruity dilution like a Go Go juice. A Christian may be a former thief, womaniser, fraudster, drug addict, murderer, sexual pervert, alcoholic, witch, wizard, con artist, terrorist, war mercenary, liar and various other sins our mind could imagine. Once you accept Jesus Christ as your saviour and Lord and you confess the sin and repent, the sin is forgiven and the whole world is now open for you to enjoy an enduring peace and joy from His healing hands.
The bottom-line for a permanent blessing is to tame and control the flesh from its stubborn insistence to go back to the old self. To be victorious in this we have to adhere to Apostle Paul’s wisdom to the Thessalonians church in which he says, ‘It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that each of you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honourable…1 Thessalonians 4: 3
In a sexualised world that is full of emotional, social and economic turmoil, how would a practising Christian survive? What are the available armour that would form a shield around such Christian and his or her family and friends? There is no doubt that Satan and his agent, the anti-Christ, have penetrated the ranks of weak Christians and a feeding frenzy goes on unabated due to lack of knowledge. Hosea’s anguish cry that ‘my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge’ has immediate resonance in our materialistic world of high iniquity.
How do we stop sin from coiling itself on us like poison ivy? I shudder to say it, but I bemoan the calibre of Christians that have taken over our churches. A Christian should be a paragon of high moral and spiritual virtues radiating anyone lucky enough to come close. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:15, ‘do your best to present yourself to God as one approved’. The approval our Father talks about is those enduring Christian qualities found in a true practitioner of the faith.
These qualities distinguish between those who are marked out for blessing and those who are not, the damned. Blessing from God could start from knowing who he is. And the only way you could know who he is, is through his timeless words, the Holy Bible. In fact, because our God is an encourager the Bible says that God rewards those who diligently seek him. And because light dwells with him and he is a revealer we read in Jeremiah 33.3 where God says ‘call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Plenty of Christians find Bible boring, outdated and irrelevant to the present turmoil found all around them. It is regarded as a book of myth and fantasies. Stupid and heretical statement of the Bible like that is common.
In order to make the words of God accessible to many worshippers, modern day preacher-pleasers have watered down the fundamental principles of the Bible and remove the boring, antiquated edge. Sunday services have become the more the merrier even though many of the worshippers there are not for Jesus but to prove to an inquisitive world, especially neighbours, that they are Christians. And to keep them spell bound and hooked to the Sunday Opera, imaginative pastors have invested huge sums of money on multimedia which beam out colourful strobe to the beat of break dancing music.
Our children are dressed like fiery angels to entertain disbelieving worshippers whose attention span is like that of an ant. Our youths are taken through fanciful rap manoeuvres and on Sundays, with microphone in hand, are rolled out on stage to entertain and stir up the laughing bags of our brethren. I am for technology and all its feel good trappings like the scenario I painted above. However, the brutal fact is, are we making better, truly blessed Christians in all these? Can Christianity be reduced to a formulaic ritual of glamour and Hollywood chutzpah?
What this says to my inquisitive mind is that Christians need to be entertained in order to draw them to God. Emphasis is rapidly shifting away from the message to the messengers who are the choir groups and children artistes who break-dance to our delight and applause. When questions like why you go to a certain church crops up, it is quite common to receive a predictive answer like, ‘Oh, the choir group is quite good. Their songs lift my spirit and I enjoy the children dances.’ Preaching that carries with it sobering truths are becoming uncommon. Worshippers are becoming too delicate to ruffle their feathers.
The love of God is being traded for worldly strivings and material acquisitions. The Word of God and his timeless wisdom are not given enough time of study and sober meditation. The Bible exhorts, ‘Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written it’ Joshua 1:8 Majority of worshippers grab their Bibles only on Sunday morning and returns back to it the next Sunday. I am not saying that they read their Bibles on Sunday rather what I mean is that the Bible is a necessary accessory on Sunday and that is where its usefulness ends.
His blessings elude many Christians because his words are not being sowed in their hearts on a daily basis. Knowing, loving and serving God is big business and like all big businesses you have to be disciplined, dedicated and focused. A blessed Christian must create time for Bible reading and meditation as required by God. Bible knowledge and its meaning could only be gathered through repetition which in time will become a habit. We live in a world that throws thrash and junks at us through the television. We have little or no time to look after ourselves and our children. The race to be like the Joneses drives us to the pinnacle of frenetic madness. The world will not stop in its accelerated drive to explosion. But one thing, you could stop the world and re-order your priorities which will bring blessings to your life.