NOTE: Darren Smith reaches out to the homeless in Texas.
BEYOND REVOLUTION—Going Deeper
(by Darren Smith)
A while back I sent out a word called the Five Points of Revolution. We have had a lot of responses and I feel its time to go a little deeper in this word. I believe that we are all being called into this deeper walk of faith and must be challenged to draw closer to the Lord. I will be taking each of the five points and teaching more on each one in this series. The first one we will look at, is the return to the true faith, that I feel we have lost in the modern church.
1) Return to the true faith: When you look around at all the teaching in the modern church, how much true faith can you find?…Before we tackle being born again, we must go further back to get clear on what was the reason for Christ going to the Cross, which, I might add, is missing from most modern teaching. Why did Christ have to die on the Cross? The most common answer I get when I ask people is to “save us.” That brings about the question—What is He saving us from? When this question is asked most people reply from hell or the devil, which is not true at all! Jesus came to save us from the wrath of God!! But wait a minute, isn’t God loving and kind and full of grace and mercy? Yes, that is why He sent Jesus to take the full cup of Gods’ wrath for man’s sin. Without His blood covering you, God’s wrath will pour out on you!
It’s simply not popular. We must not look for popularity, but hold onto truth. One day we will stand before God and give an account for our life and being popular will mean nothing on that day. I believe that the reason most do not share their faith is that they are not sure what their faith is! If all you know is to tell people to ask Jesus into your heart and you will be saved, then you don’t have the true faith and can’t share true salvation. There is nowhere in the Bible that says to invite Christ into your heart and you will be saved. This is a man-made doctrine that will not stand, a convenient message designed to make men feel better about themselves.
There is a group that ministers alongside us every Saturday that always tells the people in the street to ask Jesus into their heart and they will be saved, and every Saturday the same people raise their hand and invite Jesus into their heart. Minutes later they are right back on the streets doing the same thing they were a few minutes earlier, no change and worse off than they were. Why? Because they are being misled by a false doctrine that requires nothing other than raising their hand to invite Jesus in to their heart.
On the other hand, we preach that Jesus came to take their punishment and to withstand the wrath of God for mans’ sins and that to be saved you must be born again. We spend a great deal of time showing them that God loves them, but never compromise the true Gospel. Which is easier for them to believe, that you must believe, repent, confess and be baptized; or to raise your hand and invite Jesus into your heart? Which is easier, teaching that you must die to yourself to live for Christ, or that Jesus wants to give you all your heart’s desires?
So many become hardened after a while of inviting Jesus into their heart and seeing no results that they kindle anger and disbelief against God. I’ve had guys tell me that they had been saved many times but nothing happened in their life and now they don’t believe. This is what false teaching does, it turns hearts cold to the truth. We must return to the Gospel and not water it down to make it more appealing to the flesh. The preaching of the Cross is the Power of God and releases the supernatural in peoples’ lives!
When you preach the Gospel, you see salvation and healing, not man-made shows. It’s the power of God unto Salvation, why water it down? This world doesn’t need to feel better about itself, it needs to see the state it’s truly in before the Holy God of the Universe—and repent and bow down to the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. We must teach the true faith which is loving God and loving your neighbor which brings about Kingdom change in this earth!
True Faith isn’t going to a religious service a couple times a week and singing a few songs and hearing a little preaching. True faith is about being light in this fallen world. Light that shows men Christ, the only hope of redemption. You won’t find that in a meeting that is all about having your best life now. You only find that by living for Christ and not yourself.
Most churches today are by design self-serving instead of God-serving, that’s why they have no power. Where the Gospel is absent, so is the power of God! Jesus not only preached the Gospel but lived it as an example for us to follow. We must live the Gospel as well. As the Church, we are to build relationships with God and with each other. A selfless relationship always looking to lift up the Lord and blessing others. Instead, most relationships today are selfish and only look for how serving can benefit them. Be not fooled brothers, God will judge this. His eye is not missing how many people are in need and the modern church pours into itself instead of helping.
The American gospel, which is no gospel at all, will be judged and will be found guilty as well as all those who partake in it. We must warn people of the wrath that is upon us for we have all been guilty. This is why returning to the true Faith is so important. So what must we do?
2 Corinthians 13:5—”Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith: test yourself.”…The first thing we should do is examine ourselves, test ourselves to see if Christ is in us. Do I know the true Gospel? Have I been born again? Can I see Christ in my life? Do I really Love God? Do I really love my neighbor? All of these are valid starting points to begin this journey. If you ask God to show you, I promise that HE will.
I want to go on a little further, even though I will not be able to get through this point with one email. This point is, am I willing to forsake myself and follow Him? Luke 9:57-62—please read this very closely—it’s just one place where Jesus tells us to forsake and follow. Jesus said if anyone comes after me, he must lay down his life and pick up his cross and follow me. Have you laid down your life or are you holding onto it trying to follow Jesus? Is Christ evident in your life as a present reality or just a religious theory you kick around from time to time? Does self consume your life or Christ? Is love your lifestyle or pride? All these and much more must be opened up to truly examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith. I pray you will take this test with me and we will draw closer to God.