The Challenges Of Our Time (Part II)
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. “ – 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
The title of last week’s article should have read “THE CHALLENGES OF OUR TIME” but a printer’s devil saidTHE CHALLENGES OF OUR. We are sorry for the omission of “TIME.”
Last week we concluded that,Ignorance is an enemy – The Bible says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”-Hos. 4:6. This is as true in the spiritual realm as it is in the physical. God has revealed Himself to us in His word and in nature. He has given us everything we need to be able to live, harness the resources of our world and live in righteousness and in love towards one another. Lack of knowledge of who God really is, what blessings, lessons, power and wisdom He has for us and how He intends for us to live with Him and with others is our downfall. A lot of us born again Christians lack knowledge and because of that we are making no headway in our Christian life and certainty no impact in this world of sin. Please read on:
- 1. lack of love, complacency, false teachings compromise, nominalism, denominationalism, lack of evangelism and outreach and insufficient teachings on discipleship – all these are enemies within. God has truly given us all we need to be able to live to please Him and to enjoy the fullness of the earth’s resources. We must rid ourselves of all that stand in our way so that we can enjoy the abundant life that God has for us – John 10:10; Heb. 12:1-4 and 2 Pet, 1:3-11.
WHAT MUST WE DO
We must repent and turn back to God. We must do a real Sankofa – a return to basic, unadulterated Christianity. We must return to the roots of our faith where the Gospel is preached with power; where repentance for sin is encouraged and practiced; where righteousness and holy living is sought after; where Christians are taught about the need to be disciples, people who love Jesus Christ and seek to follow Him. We need a Christian lifestyle that indicates that we have really come out of the darkness of this world which is under bondage to Satan into the marvelous light of God where we have been freed by the finished work of Jesus Christ and given the power to live the way God wants us to, through the Holy Spirit who is the seal of our salvation and adoption as children of God – Eph. 1:13-14 and 4:30. We must put away the clothing of our old sinful, earthbound nature and put on the righteous robes of our new life in Christ. Our lifestyle must be distinctively different – it must be the lifestyle which is a direct fruit of the Holy Spirit who lives in us – a lifestyle marked with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – Gal. 5:22-23. We must daily follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every aspect of our lives. – Rom. 12:12; Eph, 4:17-Eph. 6:9; Phil. 2:3-15; Col, 3:1-Col. 4:6 and Heb. 12:1-17 & 13:1-17.
1. As Individual Christians – we need to stand up and be counted. We must not blend in with the world but rather affect the world with our goodness and righteousness. We are the SALT of the earth and we dare not lose our saltiness.
2. We must be totally committed to God – no half-measures. We are the LIGHT of the world. We must exalt Christ who lives in us so that He will draw men to Himself. As light, we must consume the darkness; people should desist from sin when they are in our company. Our light will dim if we:
- keep quiet over wrongdoing when we should speak out against such things.
- refuse or fail to witness about Christ.
- ignore the needs of others.
4. As A Church - we must undertake the mission of making disciples of all nations – that is
Christ’s commission to us – Matt. 28:19-20. We must stand up for the truth, pointing to our nations that righteousness will exalt us, enabling us to exploit all our God-given resources for our own good and for the good of other nations but evil will bring us disgrace Prov. 14:34. The Church must be the conscience of the nation. We must speak without fear about all the wrongs of injustice, tyranny and favoritism. We must directly impact lives by being involved in activities that enhance the quality of life – education, agriculture, health delivery, research and development. We must be united in purpose, breaking the barrier of denominationalism and living with other members of the Body of Christ (whether weak, rich, poor or errant) as living proof that: There is one body and one Spirit – just as you called one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all – Eph. 4:4.
The Challenge of our times is a golden opportunity for Christians – if we know how to make the most of it. We need to be alert to the openings God gives us and prepare to make use of them. We need toshare the Good News of Jesus Christ withour friends, neighbours, and colleagues. There are many who are perishing because they are ignorant of the Good News. Jesus has commissioned all of us to be His disciples throughout all nations. What are you waiting for?
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