Today’s thought is not merely a New Year’s Thought but a New Decade’s Thought. Most of my day has been given over to thinking over the last decade and looking forward to the next. As I think of this last decade, I see the bounty of the Lord God in my life over this time. I see how the Lord fulfilled so many things and answered so many prayers (even secret prayers)*. My marriage, my daughter, our house, and my being in ministry are the largest ones I think of, but there are really too many to count when it comes right down to it.
The Lord has been so gracious to me. But when I think of this next decade, I’m saddened. I see trends which as I look at the previous two decades started when I was still a child. I see these trends continuing even as I pray over them with tears flowing down my cheeks. The first issue I am thinking of is the preeminence of culture over the preeminence of Scripture in the Body of Christ (the Church). This one is a huge one for me. I love the Word of God. I am in it daily and am continually learning more and more about it.
This trend has brought in so much pain and will bring more. It won’t stop, but I fear it is going to continue to the Lord Jesus’ return. Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,” (NKJV). This apostasy from the Body will first take place within the Church and this is what we are seeing, and it breaks my heart. We need to stand firm on the Word of God as we come into this third decade of the third millennium.
Now, let us remember how we are to go about this. To be clear truth (which could also be called doctrine) is important! However, love is the primary doctrine. We must make sure we speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). I want to repeat that: We must make sure we speak the truth in love. Staying silent is not loving someone. Staying silent is allowing someone to run after the lusts of flesh rather than the Spirit. At our assembly, we are in studying through Romans. In Romans 8 we see the difference between someone the mind on the flesh and the mind on the Spirit.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5-8 ESV) This is what is so important for us to see. Are we focused on our rebellion – our sin? Or are we focused on the Spirit – that is God?
Let us focus on this as we move into the new year and the new decade. May we see a beautiful returning to the Word of God on which we must stand firm. We cannot give up the Word for our culture. If we take the culture over Scripture how soon will it be before we give up Christ as the only way to the Father? Or give up our ability to call people to come to Christ? Let us remember the history of the Church and how in early centuries they found trouble for themselves because they would not say, “Καῖσαρ κύριος” (Caesar is Lord) but instead said, “Ἰησοῦς κύριος” (Jesus is Lord). Can we admit we are submitting ourselves to the Lord Jesus’ will – which is to do the will of the Father – when we bow our knees to the secular culture of the day?
Beloved, speak the truth in love and stand firm on the Bible. Maybe we will see a revival in our day and people returning to God rather than a continued apostasy!
* To be clear I believe God answers all prayers, but what I mean at this moment is
answered the way in which I asked, or answered in the affirmative.