'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
"For I never shrank or kept back or fell short from declaring to you the whole purpose and plan and counsel of God." (Acts 20:27 Amplified Bible)
We live in a society of "sound bites", video clips, instant messaging, and a pot pori of various and sundry "lnstants". TV commercials get shorter, with increasing glitz and lightening speed images - all compacted together within a very short time frame, and yet designed to have the greatest emotional impact. Truly, as someone has said, reality is what is perceived. The idea is to provoke us to ACT NOW, not necessarily to UNDERSTAND. And this can lead viewers down the primrose path of purchasing something they may not really want, much less afford or understand.
This approach can also be witnessed within the arena of preaching the gospel, and has become increasingly prevelent over the last 20 years or so. It is evident in a variety of settings. It is noticable especially within churches which customarily include an "alter call" (perhaps a different terminology is used}, at the close of the sermon. A short script is spoken asking those who do not know the Lord, or have not given their heart to the Lord, etc., to repeat a short prayer silently, accepting Jesus as their Savior. This of course is well and good, as far as it goes. However, there is a critical omission - or several omissions - often justified by time considerations.
In the effort to stay on a schedule (one Pastor was heard to say he was letting his congregation go so they could "beat the Baptists" to the restaurants), necessary elements of the gospel are, to say the least, neglected. Some make decisions "for Christ" without repentance even being mentioned, altlhough sometimes alluded to rather blandly. Counting the cost is almost never mentioned. There is such emphasis on grace that some hearers take the gospel to mean they are saved with no other responsibilities, accountability, or change required. Somehow, many process what they have heard into a form post-modern license. (Jude 1-4). It reminds one of the protest of Israel when confronted by the prophet with their licentious lifestyle. They simply replied "we are delivered to do these things".
Needless to say that the "WHOLE counsel of God" cannot be given within an alter call, or even perhaps many sermons. However, there are two sides to the coin of the gospel. Hearers of the gospel message need to hear about not only justification, but also sanctification, as well as mortification which is almost never mentioned. Some, after many years of attending a church have never heard the word "mortification". Many have not heard enought of the "whole council of God" to even "count the cost" (Luke 14:26-30).
Is it any wonder that so many of our churches are filled with nominal christians, who believe that it was "all settled long ago", and it is now downhill all the way to heaven? (Revelation 3:14-22} Let us pray that Lord of the harvest will call more laborers into His harvest who will do as the apostle Paul - declare the "whole council of God".
Are you seeking the WHOLE counsel of God?
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