AMERICA’S HELL ENLARGING THROUGH “CHRISTIAN” HYPOCRISY

The past week’s news headlines in America are a laboratory analysis and forecast of the perfect storm that is lambasting our falling nation.

America mourns as basketball legend Kobe Bryant dies, and every news station, sports talk show outlet, and media center in America covers his death and celebrates his achievements in a sport. Meanwhile, a pastor in Nigeria is beheaded for refusal to deny Christ, and no one cares.

I wrote an article a couple of days after Kobe’s untimely death about the vanity of a celebrity gaining the whole world and possibly losing his own soul, and Christians defend him and his Catholic faith, and call me a classless individual who wrote a “creepy post mortem commentary”. The article’s purpose was to simply put us in remembrance of the brevity and vanity of life without Christ, the permanence of eternity, and was a simple call to salvation.

The truth is America and many professing Christians don’t want their American dream deflated. They don’t want to know that there is a God they’re accountable to. They are like the disbelieving brothers of Jesus of whom He said:

“The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil” (John 7:7).

AMERICA HATES THE REAL BIBLICAL JESUS

America hates the real Biblical Jesus. Many professing “Christians” do, too, including many of our celebrities. The stronghold in America is not the sinners who love the world, but the professing “Christians” who praise Him with their mouth but whose heart is far from Him — the ones who confess His Name but in works deny Him.

Folks, here is the big problem. Many of our celebrities and star athletes confess Jesus and have “God-talk” on their lips but they do not live for Him. As an example, the Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, whom I love by the way, is being lauded for his faith in God since his childhood, yet he is living with his girlfriend and parties with his teammates. There are numerous other examples of this type of double standard and hypocrisy in America’s entertainment industry and among our celebrities.

But here’s the worse thing: American preachers defend the faith of these individuals and praise them. They exalt them before our youth as an example of a bold Christian witness, but they’re living in sin. We not only have frauds in the entertainment industry, but the high crime is that we have them in our pulpits.

Mahomes says he participates in team Bible studies and chapel services, but who is leading them and conducting them? Who is mentoring young men like him and others, and giving them the whole counsel of God. Who speaks of sin any more? Who tells them their lives are wrong? What preacher in America lives up to this job description?

“Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2).

Observe the many comments from the sleazy Super Bowl halftime show. Some of those entertainers are professing Christians. Many viewers who defended the show are professing Christians. It’s alarming to me that a professing Christian could watch this halftime show and not sense the Lord’s displeasure and be grieved in their spirit. Listen, if you are in that category, you are asleep and in great need of a rude awakening. You need to repent of your false profession and your compromise against holiness.

Image result for image of America in hell

Have you ever read the following verses?

“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them” (Ephesians 5:3-7).

Much of “Christian” America doesn’t even know such verses are in the Bible. Such popular figures like mayor and presidential candidate Pete Puttigieg are professing “Christians” who are in a same sex marriage relationship. Honestly, it makes me want to vomit when I see half of our nation idolizing such effeminate men. Oh God, how far we have fallen from Biblical standards in America!

THE PERFECT STORM

The deception is rooted in this simple statement: We have divorced Christianity from the Bible. America is a homosexual nation because we celebrate this lifestyle and cater to them all. America’s new religion is sex in all forms, and in all fashions. We have been desensitized to sin and seduced by sex. We are a hell bound nation. The worst of it is that our children are bearing the brunt of our lust and being exploited by the thousands in the sex trafficking industry, which is so much worse than any of us know. This is all about shock value and bringing down our nation’s defenses, so that after awhile it won’t bother you.

I know many of you don’t want to hear it, but it was the Obama presidency that opened the portal of sexuality here in America to a greater measure, and accelerated this vile filth from the pits of hell. Political authority from those eight disastrous years allowed a hell-bent, full-blown deviant spirit to rule, while the church played church grow-thism and designed a consumer model to keep attendance convenient and carnal.

And worse yet, now that a true presidential leader is putting a strangle hold on some of the darkness and prevailing progressivism, and draining the national swamp of its evil, people are having hissy fits as they scream for their Sodom and Gomorrah to remain unrestricted and unrestrained. Even professing Christians are now unashamedly Trump-haters, bashing our president at every turn. Stars of champion professional sports teams, who profess Christianity, boycott their visit to the White House in protest of the most Biblical and church friendly president we’ve ever had. Shame on you. You are poor, wretched, blind, and naked.

This double standard and highly hypocritical Christianity is a recipe for disaster. It’s the perfect storm. A sleepy church and a sinful society. Unholy Christ professors and a hell bent nation. Cowards and frauds in our pulpits who won’t preach the full truth, while the world parties on into eternal damnation.

Lord, have mercy.

We must possess an unwavering stand for truth and righteousness to thrive in the new era. Read about it in my new book, The Tumultuous 2020s. I believe it will be a great blessing to you. Here’s what Dr. Jeff Thompson said about it:

Please let me take a minute to recommend what I believe to be one of the most powerful prophetic addresses that i have ever read. Bert Farias pulls no punches and lays out a non-compromised Biblical Worldview regarding the “hot-button” issues of our day. Bible-believing Christians cannot afford to be complacent.

Bert’s books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day.

THE TUMULTUOUS 2020s: A TIME FOR WIMPY CHRISTIANS TO BECOME COURAGEOUS

No Christian in this country is under the threat of death or imprisonment for preaching the gospel. No one’s life is in danger. No one is being beaten, flogged, or hardly even threatened. Yeah I know, a baker and florist among others had their day in court in a battle over first amendment rights concerning serving gay couples, and I’m still not sure how that was all settled. But no one is suffering for the sake of the name of Jesus in the same way the early disciples did. Why then is there such a passive posture and a cowardice in the church when it comes to standing for truth, righteousness, and morality in our culture? Why are there so few who are rocking the boat of our sinful, wicked, immoral culture?

Jeremiah said it this way:

“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” (Jer. 12:5).

America is still virtually a land of peace, but Christians are slumbering and weary with the weights and cares of the world and such indifference. What would happen if overnight we were raided by radical terrorists who demanded we deny Jesus and join their religion and cause or be executed? What if there was a foreign invasion or military coup from insiders, and our government was suddenly taken over, and a new antichrist government was established—and all our freedoms were taken away? It’s unlikely at this point, but what if?

C’mon folks, let’s be real. Our brand of Christianity here in the West is soft, weak, anemic and nearly good for nothing.

We resemble the church of Laodicea who boasted in its supposed blessedness and wealth when Jesus called it wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

“For you say, ‘I am rich, and have stored up goods, and have need of nothing,’ yet do not realize that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17).

Many Christians are terrified to stand against the sins of our culture and just tell others it is wrong. In fact, some professing Christians will actually celebrate those sins with the world. They will march in gay pride parades because they say God is love. They will rally for women’s rights to abortion because after all, their bodies are their own. They will say that fornication, adultery, and every form of sexual immorality are none of our business, and that we shouldn’t judge and yada, yada, yada … .

Adding to their moral cowardice and complete ignorance of biblical standards, these passive “Christians” will defend their “personal” Jesus and tell others He loves them and understands them. How despicably immoral that is in itself. How grossly deceived they are! How spineless and yellow-bellied these professing Christians have become! They’ve been conformed to the culture and a Jesus they’ve created in their own image (The Real Jesus) instead of being conformed to the biblical Christ. This makes them twice as much a child of hell as the sinners who commit such sins. Oh, I know that’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth. Jesus was most angry and displeased with the religionists of His day who professed religion but denied Him and His works.

I am not saying our primary responsibility as Christians is to attack the sins of our culture, but where in our society are Christians standing against sin and immorality? The world holds up its poster child of sin, and we applaud or remain silent. Antichrist laws are legislated, but where is the outrage and the opposition? Where is the strong resistance and defense of the truth? Where is the resolute stand for righteousness and morality? Where is the voice of the shepherds and the Church across this land?

I am also not saying that our refusal to denounce sin is our greatest problem, but how long will morality and truth continue to give way to an ungodly and evil agenda in our nation? Our faith is either being kicked to the curb, placed in the corners and fringes of society, or just being denied by so many who remain passive and neutral. We’ve allowed our faith to be cut off from normal life and relegated to our church sanctuaries. In a word, we’ve been silenced in the public arena. There are a large consensus of Christians who are actually helping our culture build an atheistic society. And we use the secularism in our culture to be secular ourselves. In many ways they have influenced us far more than we have influenced them.

There is very little evidence of true Christianity in our American culture, and it’s our fault. It is time to heed the Lord’s admonition to Joshua.

“Be strong and courageous” (Josh. 1:6a) …

“Be strong and very courageous” (v. 7a).

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (v. 9)”

Because of our lack of backbone and courage American Christianity is falling off the cliff. We are going the way of the dinosaur if Christians do not become stronger and more courageous in their faith and convictions. We are living in a very pagan culture right now in our nation. Things are so much worse than they seem. The vices, the bondages, and vile filth are expanding at an overwhelming pace. The church is to be the conscience of the nation, but the conscience of so many professing Christians is seared right now.

Our brand of Christianity is lame. It is seen as a nice religion of nice people. A wholesome fanaticism is missing. A life and a vibrancy is lacking. We are too passive and too wimpy. If we want to change our culture, we must come out of our closet of fear and intimidation. Many need to understand that we can be loving and yet fearless and courageous at the same time.

Honestly, we have no need to be fearful and intimidated. As I said, no one is being threatened with their life. No one is being killed for their faith. So what are we afraid of? The rejection of men? Who cares? Is that really going to matter in the end? There are plenty of others who will applaud you and wax courageous because of your example to stand for truth, righteousness and morality, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. And God will give you wisdom and grace to love even your enemies.

Let the change begin with you. A little courage will go a long way. And if enough of us wax strong in the Lord and stand tall and courageous, we will, in time, see the change our hearts are longing for.

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Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. 

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PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT

I believe that much of what the Lord is doing today is completely counter to Christian pop culture and the flow that we are seeing in the mainstream and most highly visible Western Church. It is typical in such times that there will be a counterfeit that runs parallel to the real. There will be an echo that arises right alongside the authentic voice.

Some of these echoes are very deceptive and hidden from the casual hearer, while others are rather obvious and easy to discern. For instance, there’s a false teaching out there, a part of the “hyper-grace” message that says the Christian doesn’t need to repent — that God has already forgiven all your past, present, and future sins. Yet there’s never been a greater need for repentance in the church world than there is today.

In a recent poll by ChristianMingle.com, single Christians between the ages of 18 and 59 were asked, if, given the opportunity, would they have sex before marriage. A whopping 63 percent stated that they would. How can that be? It’s simple. Either they are hopeless backsliders, or they’ve never repented of their sins and experienced true conversion. This is the kind of damage that extreme messages like this can do. A majority of these deceived Christians belong to a church culture that is perhaps trendy and popular but has no interest in fulfilling the demands of Christ. Many of them serve an “American Jesus,” who lets them live as they please and who will, of course, never judge them. Amidst all of the frenetic religious activity going on today, we need the ability to recognize the real Jesus (The Real Jesus) and the authentic voice and leading of the Spirit of truth.

In John 3, John the Baptist, who was filled with the spirit and power of Elijah and who ministered with divine authority, declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Then he declared again, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” We must continually behold the Lamb of God in prayer and our walk with Him, especially the attributes becoming to a lamb, such as those of being pure, harmless, holy, and undefiled. Unless we are constantly decreasing in pride and self-assertiveness and cultivating meekness, humility, and teachability in our lives — as well as a ravenous hunger and love for the truth — we will eventually lose our way and drift into deception.

John’s ministry was not one of self-exaltation or self-promotion, as is so common today. He was separated by God for the sole purpose of exalting the Lamb of God and preparing a people for Him, a bride for the bridegroom, “not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27).

“He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice” (John 3:29).

Those who are true friends of the bridegroom in this hour are hearing His voice, not an echo. The voice of His messengers, who are filled with the spirit and power of Elijah, will point people to the Lamb of God, not to their own ministries, personalities, or agendas. John the Baptist was a voice crying in the wilderness. The entirety of his ministry was focused on the Lamb and His bride.

If a ministry is not pointing people to the One who was, and is, and is to come, it will be judged harshly in this hour. Those who are truly exalting and honoring the Lamb of God have no interest in being seen or heard. They are not looking for a platform or a microphone to promote themselves. The things that denote ministerial “success” in our day, such as large buildings, large followings, and popularity, are of no interest to the true messengers of the Lamb.

Actually, the Lord is leading His true ministers and friends of the bridegroom right now to do the opposite of what it takes to build a large ministry. He is stripping away human wisdom and all we’ve utilized in our own efforts to build His Church, for He will not share His glory with another.

(This is an excerpt from my latest book, Cleansing The Temple)

FALSE VIEWS OF LOVE AND HOLINESS DILUTING THE CHURCH’S POWER

Years ago I was preaching a series of strong holiness messages in a particular church. After one of the meetings the pastor said something to me that I’ve never forgotten. “The Lord has dealt with me about preaching more on love than holiness,” he said.

That statement didn’t sit well with me. I knew it was not accurate. Yet back then I didn’t know why. I pondered that pastor’s statement with my own thoughts that raced through my head. Is love more important than holiness? Are they different, or are they virtually the same? They have to be different, or we’d have a lot of redundancy in the Bible, I thought. But how are they different? Although I knew the pastor’s statement came from a lack of understanding true holiness, at that time I couldn’t thoroughly explain the difference.

This pastor’s statement put an emphasis on love, which is of primary importance, while de-emphasizing holiness, which is not only God’s greatest attribute, but foundational to understanding man’s relationship to God. I walked away from that conversation knowing that this pastor’s view of holiness was not becoming or beautiful. I thought of how his view was probably shared by a multitude of believers, who have formed erroneous ideas and notions of holiness, due probably to their own negative experiences—like the cat who is afraid of water because of one negative experience of getting scalded by boiling water. Or of those who may have come from a background of legalism where do’s and don’ts were associated with holiness. These are among the reasons holiness has gotten a bad rap and is looked upon with a sort of disdain, as being primitive, outdated and just not culturally relevant. We need to realize, however, that negative experiences or unsound teaching does not nullify the real meaning, necessity, and beauty of God’s holiness.

WHAT IS TRUE HOLINESS

What then is the real meaning of holiness? Holiness is the likeness of God. It is the total summation of all His attributes. One of my favorite definitions of holiness as it applies to believers is that it is a moral dedication and a life committed to purity of thought, word, motive and deed. At the center of that definition is the fact of being set apart or consecrated to God’s purposes. Just as God is otherworldly, we as His chosen people are to be distinct and set apart from this world. In other words, we are not to be conformed to its ideals, patterns, or standards. Holiness is conformity to God’s nature and will.

But even more importantly, holiness has more to do with to whom we belong. To whom do we give our loyalty, love, and allegiance to? To be holy means that all we are and all we have belongs to God, not ourselves, and is set apart for His purposes. It means that every aspect of our lives is to be shaped and directed by God.

Personally, I believe that restoring the beauty of biblical holiness in the church is a critical ingredient to healing the moral confusion in our culture. As the church goes, so goes the world. Our disproportionate view of holiness is one of the big reasons there is so much of the spirit of the world in the church. A distorted view of holiness, or simply the ignorance of it, is clouding our understanding of God’s true love. When God is seen as a loving, nondemanding pushover whose love overrides His holiness, then people will live in accordance with that belief. Permissiveness and promiscuity will be prevalent.

For example, if a person believes that God is so loving that He would never manifest His judgment or wrath or send anyone to hell for their sin, then their conduct will reflect that belief, and much of their life will be lived with that awful presumption. Popular false concepts of God such as these are spreading rampantly in much of the Western culture. A vision and revelation of God’s holiness will alter any of these false perceptions and will serve to greatly strengthen the church.

Any understanding of sin must begin with an understanding of true biblical holiness. In Canaan the temple prostitute was considered a holy woman, and a homosexual priest was considered a holy man. However, what was accepted among the Canaanites and the other nations was an abomination to God (Deut. 23:17-18). And Israel, as God’s chosen nation, a type of the New Testament church, was forbidden to practice these things. The people of Canaan didn’t understand God’s holiness so they couldn’t possibly understand the gravity of their sin.

A person defines sin by his own concept of God. This is the reason we now have books being written that one can be a gay Christian; and now we also have the spread of universalism and the emergent church that teaches that in the end all will be saved, because God will not allow any human being to go to hell. Many do not understand God’s love because they are not seeing it through His holiness.

Our understanding of God’s holiness determines our estimation of sin. God defines Himself through His holiness. His holiness is the standard by which we judge what sin is and what sin is not. Righteousness and justice, which are vital aspects of God’s holiness, are the foundation of His throne (Ps 89:14). All God’s dealings with us are based on the foundation of holiness. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim 2:19).

It is wrong to elevate what we think is love at the expense of holiness. In fact, God’s true love manifests within holiness. Just as water flows through a pipe the love of God flows through His holiness. Moreover, it is God’s love that keeps Him from overlooking His holiness. After all, it was His holiness which made the atonement necessary. His holiness demanded the cost of God’s own Son, for He cannot excuse, acquit or clear the guilty (Ex 34:7). And what His holiness demanded His love provided on the cross of Calvary.

HOLINESS AND LOVE ARE NOT OPPOSITES

Holiness and love are not at odds with each other. Holiness is not in opposition to love or separated from it. The Bible tells us that love is the greatest (1 Cor. 13:13) and any word, motivation or act void of love is as nothing (1 Cor. 13:1-3). But at the same time, love is not separated from holiness. Rather, it is constrained by holiness.

For example, if a church will not draw a sharp distinction between sin and righteousness, or will not practice church discipline among its members as taught in the Word (Mat. 18:15-17, Rom. 16:17, 1 Cor. 5, Tit. 3:10, 2 Thes. 3:6, 14-15, and such) because in their minds, it doesn’t seem loving, has probably been deceived into a false view of love absorbed from the pop culture. On the other hand, a church that emphasizes holiness, yet fails to do so in the motivation and service of love is a church that does not understand God’s holiness.

The true love of God is fixed on God’s holiness. If a church does not abide in holiness, it does not abide in true love. Conversely, if it does not abide in true love, it does not abide in holiness.

A holy church is in the world but not of it. They abstain from sin while dwelling among sinners—both are characteristics of true holiness. The problem has been that some churches have swerved too far in one direction or too far in the other, waffling between a false view of holiness and a false view of love.

The same Bible that tells me to pursue love (1 Cor 14:1) tells me to pursue holiness (Heb 12:14). Without love we are nothing. Without holiness we will never see the Lord.

But here is my warning:

A holy church is in the world but not of it. They abstain from sin while dwelling among sinners – both are characteristics of true holiness. The problem has been that some churches have swerved too far in one direction or too far in the other, waffling between a false view of holiness and a false view of love.

It’s time for the modern day church to get that right and walk in that light.

This is an excerpt taken from The Real Jesus, a compelling piece of a tetralogy of books (The Real Salvation, The Real Gospel, The Real Spirit of Revival)

NOTE: Our books and articles are forerunners to the move of God and personal holiness. The fire of God and the fear of God is attached to them. If you feel like this article is valuable, please use the social media buttons below to share it. Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

DONATE 

Thank you, and may God’s richest and best be yours.

A COMPELLING HOLIDAY SERIES: WILL THE REAL CHRISTMAS JESUS PLEASE STAND UP? (PART 3)

The spirit of Christmas needs to be superceded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world. ― Stuart Briscoe

There is such a great need in this hour for the unveiling of the intimate and excellency of the holy knowledge of the real Jesus.

Oh people, do you see what we’ve done with the Holy One?

We’ve brought Him down to our level and made Him so common. Yes, He was made a common man, but yet so uncommon. No man ever lived like Him. No man ever loved like Him. No man ever spoke like Him. He was full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:14). He spoke from the fullness of the Godhead.

All His words were the purest of wisdom. His works were the purest of power. His motives were the purest of love. He was the perfect man; not like us, but sent to make us like Him. Instead we’ve tried so hard to make Him like us.

Why is there an increasingly number of people in the West so confused or deceived about who Jesus really is? Why do they seem to have so little depth or spiritual substance in their lives? Why can’t some people’s Christianity seem to go beyond, “Jesus said, do not judge?” Is it not in large part due to the distorted message of Him that our pulpits, our preachers, and our churches have presented? Is it not for the lack of example we’ve had in many Christian leaders? Similarly, the reason for much of today’s current moral and cultural malaise stems from the Church’s distorted image and message of Christ. 

The image of Jesus for many professing Christians has been shaped by the society around them.  Unless you have an intimate relationship with the Holy One and His Word, the image you have of Him will be distorted. It will resemble the pop culture you live in and what the people of that culture worship. In the West, self is god. Corruptible man is worshipped. Humanism rules. And this is what we see in much of today’s Church. This is what we see during the Christmas holidays. Jesus is Santa Claus who has come bearing gifts for all of us while His demands are ignored.

The fewer preconceptions we bring from the outside, for instance in the reading of the gospels, the more clearly we shall see Him and hear Him as He really is. It is all too easy to believe in a Jesus who is largely a construction of our own imagination—an inoffensive Person whom no one could dislike or disapprove of, and certainly whom no one would ever crucify.

But the Jesus we meet in the gospels is far from being an inoffensive person. On the contrary, He caused offense quite frequently. Even His own loyal followers found Him to be offensive and quite disconcerting at times. He upset all established notions of religious propriety.

An inaccurate, distorted, and unbiblical view of Jesus is a big reason why many pastors fail to confront sin in the Church and speak of the evils in our society and educate people on true morality.

When asked why pastors don’t speak out against the evils in our nation and government one influential pastor said, “I think one reason is a lot of Christian leaders have the wrong idea about Jesus. They see Jesus as this little, wimpy guy who walked around plucking daisies and eating birdseed and saying nice things, but never doing anything controversial.” 

Oh, how wrong they are. Read the red letters of Jesus. It will be an eye opener for you. There was no political correctness about Him. He was firm. He was direct. And He usually rocked the boat. Such a contrast from the baby Jesus in a manger that is depicted at Christmas time. Yes, He was once a baby, but in glory He was born. The shepherds were frightened when they saw the glory of the Lord that surrounded His birth.

“Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified…” (Lk. 2:9, NLT).

As Christ was formed in Mary’s womb by the power of the Holy Spirit so has He been formed in every true born again believer. That is the true fulfillment of Christmas and why He came.

Do you know Him? Is He in you?

This Christmas series contains modified excerpts from my book, The Real Jesus. It is a book that I’d love to put into the hands of many during this holiday season. It would make a great gift.

If this article has been a blessing to you please share it. And may God make you a blessing during this Christmas season as you exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.  

A COMPELLING HOLIDAY SERIES: WILL THE REAL CHRISTMAS JESUS PLEASE STAND UP? (PART 2)

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col 2:8).

In the above scripture and letter to the Colossian church Paul is writing to them of the inward life, encouraging them in the Christ life they had received — to walk in Him, and to be rooted and built up in Him. He is warning us of philosophies and empty deceits, based on traditions of men, and the basic principles of the world that speak to us of humanistic things, mystical things, and outward things that are without real eternal substance.

Christmas time is a great example of how Christ has been brought down to a superficial man-made and mystical level by the traditions of men.

Much like today and throughout the centuries of time, Christianity can too easily slip into an outward-ness, a mere form of the power that it was meant to reflect and transmit through Christ. “Don’t be cheated”, Paul says, from the simplicity and completeness of the inward Christ life. There are many things that seek to rob, steal, and plunder our love, affection, and holy intimate knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and none more evident than this time of year. Christmas trees, stockings, and mistletoes, Santa Claus, and his reindeers, jingle bells and the one horse open sleigh tend to nurture warm fuzzy feelings that make us happy but hide the life altering revelation of the Holy One.

It is not just the philosophies and empty deceits, included within them these human traditions of Christmas we need to beware of, but there are even good and acceptable things, which while having their proper place in the Christian life, have a tendency to cheat us from the real person and mind of Christ. For the true Christ-professing Christian, such things as buildings, budgets, programs, projects, meetings, committees, or other things that concern the church system apart from the mind of Christ, have the potential to dry up the real heart of the Christ life. Often it’s these very things that rob us of the hallowing intimacy which we are to experience with the Lord. These things although useful, must be kept in their proper perspective lest they dilute the vision of Jesus Himself.

When Christ was born, a hellish opposition immediately arose to attempt to kill and destroy Him (Mt. 2:13, 16). Likewise when the corporate counterpart of the Christ, the Man-child Company is brought forth near the end of this age (Rev. 12) there will be yet another most violent release of hellish opposition. “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18).

Everything of this world order is in direct opposition to the Christ being revealed personally in reality and power.

The return of the Lord will once again signal the removal of all that is earthly, temporal, and of man, so that only the eternal order of Jesus Christ and His kingdom remains. In the millennial reign of Christ on the earth I don’t believe we will be celebrating Christmas for He will be personally among us in reality and in power.

When Christ returns He is coming for the formation of Christ in us. It is Him in us that He will recognize. His words, “I never knew you,” and “I don’t know you” were spoken to so-called ministers and foolish virgins who were supposedly doing the work of God and who laid claim to His name (Mt. 7:23) (Mt. 25:12), but somehow the Christ was not found in them. Somehow their form of Christianity had replaced Christ Himself. Beware of the forms and festivities that hide Him from us.

So once again the question beckons us: How much of Christ is in your Christianity? Do you know Him or are all the Christmas traditions blocking your view?

This Christmas series contains modified excerpts from my book, The Real Jesus. It is a book that I’d love to put into the hands of many during this holiday season. It would make a great gift.

If this article has been a blessing to you please share it. And may God make you a blessing during this Christmas season as you exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.  

A COMPELLING HOLIDAY SERIES: WILL THE REAL CHRISTMAS JESUS PLEASE STAND UP?

When we see Jesus as He is, 
glorious and worthy of our deepest loyalties and affections,
 deserving of our total focus and supreme attention;
 we will catch fire inwardly and burn with holy fear, and a holy hunger for the Word will grip our hearts,
 and we will proclaim Him as He is. ~Anonymous~

We celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas, but for most He is not the center of the rejoicing and celebration that marks this time of year. I think many of us would agree that Christmas has become so commercialized that Christ is hardly noticed, much less celebrated and revered.

Easter would be in the same category. How in the world a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ could’ve ever evolved into an affinity with Easter bunnies and Easter eggs I’ll never know. Such is the tenuous nature of idolatry.

Is it possible for Jesus Christ to be lost at Christmas time and in Christianity in general, the very religion whose name it bears and professes? We know that without a relationship with Christ, just another religion is all that remains. We also know from scripture that someone can profess to know Christ but in works actually deny Him (Titus 1:16). But isn’t it also true that in works many may profess to know Him, but in authentic heart knowledge they do not?

Who knew Jehovah in Old Testament times? That earthly system of Judaism was to point the way to Christ, but in actuality it hid Him from the multitudes who were enmeshed in the works of the law. The external had glossed over the need for the internal. Sin and death reigned in the old order of the Law and all its rituals and ceremonial rules and customs.

Isn’t the same true today? There is an external order in modern Christianity that seems to rule and it is quite evident during the Christmas holidays. Its emphasis on appearance, hype, professionalism, showmanship, production, and commercialism that is prominent, especially during this time of year,  tends to hide the real Jesus from us. It easily allows us to deceive ourselves into thinking that somehow God is pleased with all this while Christ is glossed over.

Even many of our contemporary churches with their Madison Avenue tactics have become echo chambers for the latest trends in pop psychology, marketing, politics, entertainment, and entrepreneurial leadership while the piercing revelation of Christ and His simple demands are often overlooked or packaged in a way to make Him palatable to the masses.

We have become all too enamored with our own glory in the kingdoms that we are building, at times totally unaware of receiving that invisible kingdom “that cannot be shaken” (Heb. 12:2).

Judaism with all its forms, rituals, and framework began its removal 2,000 years ago and was replaced with a spiritual, heavenly standard established in the New Covenant. And now in this end time marks once again the removal of all that is external to bring us to a forcing point, and it is this: 

After all is said and done, how much of the Christ do you really have? Not what you do, not what you’ve built, not what you have, not all the shopping and gift giving and receiving done at Christmas time, not even the noble activities which constitute your Christian life, but how much of the Christ Himself have you got?

This Christmas series contains modified excerpts from my book, The Real Jesus. It is a book that I’d love to put into the hands of many during this holiday season. It would make a great gift.

If this article has been a blessing to you please share it. And may God make you a blessing during this Christmas season as you exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.