Published Aug. 4, 2009

Paul's Epistle...
"The Divergence" – (Followup)

Last week in this space I wrote about the divergence we're seeing today, as society moves farther and farther away from a Godly lifestyle and things of the Lord, while Christians should be moving closer and closer to a Christlike lifestyle. The point was that worldly Christians (an oxymoron, if I ever heard one) need to wake up and stick closer to the Lord's will for their lives.

The column received much positive response, and I'd like to share a few salient comments I received:

Rev. Warren wrote, "Paul, you are so right in this article. About ten years ago the Lord spoke a word to me saying, ‘The world and the church are on two different roads and the gap between them is going to widen greatly.' (This was more of a picture than a word.) Not that the world and the church have ever been on the same track, but like two arms of a ‘Y' they are going two drastically different directions. We as the body of Christ, not just the church, need to be more Christlike than ever before."

Lloyd H., wrote, "I started reading Jeremiah yesterday. Seems like we have the same problem that Judah and Israel had. We have turned to strange gods that our fathers did not know."

Roy B. wrote, "Your message this week is very good and much to the point. We are living in the ‘day' that the apostle Paul spoke of to Timothy. All of the things he mentioned, such as ‘lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud,' etc., etc. All of these things are legal; there is no law against them – that is, no law of man. In Matthew chapters 5-6 and 7 (Jesus' Sermon on the Mount) Jesus very clearly defines the differences between the legal law of Moses and the moral law of God. Stating that the moral law of God is superior to even the legal law of Moses. For many years our nation's government has been withdrawing from the morality of God, in the name of separation of church and state. And making immorality legal, because they are ‘lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud,' etc., etc. The apostle Paul could see this day coming, and thank God we are living in it. We have so much to look forward to, not because of the evil we see, but for the promise soon to be fulfilled, for these are the last days."

Shirley M. wrote, "Why is it that the one thing we treasure most in our lives, Jesus, they want to do away with? It makes me sick to my heart that people don't realize that Jesus is the One who cares for us everyday and sees us through the good times and especially the bad times when we feel we can't make it. How do people live without Christ in their life?"

Pastor R. Plummer wrote, "Again you have written what Christians need to hear. The 2 Timothy 3:1-4 passage has been on my heart lately and I have been urging my people to stand strong. For the last two weeks I've preached on the hymn, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,' based on Revelation 4 and reminded them we need to live holy lives. (Boy, so many of our classic hymns have such great doctrine in them.)"

And here's an excellent commentary from Rev. George Nixon: "I am not a writer, just a preacher in a small church in Canada, but I feel I must respond to let you know that we have seen this same thing for the last few years happening here in our country. But I feel there is an answer:

"In Matthew 26:58, we read that at the arrest of Jesus in the garden, ‘Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.' I feel like the church is beginning to act like Peter here – they love the Lord, as Peter did, but are following Him at a distance, allowing the ones who are ‘arresting' the Lord, i.e., hindering the work of the Lord in our land, to come between them and Jesus. Peter even went so far as to deny the Lord. Have we, by our actions and ‘sitting with the servants,' hidden our witness and love for Christ from the lost world?

"But all that changed on the day of Pentecost. Peter, along with the others that were in the upper room, spoke boldly to the multitudes concerning the Messiah and preached the truth to them until they were convicted of their sins and had a revival in the city of Jerusalem.

"I submit to you that what the church needs is a new Pentecostal visitation of the Holy Spirit to change us from those who ‘follow afar off' into a dynamic and anointed church united with a fervor for souls that will bring our countries to an understanding of who Jesus Christ is...

"Let's not allow ourselves to ‘follow afar off' any longer, waiting and watching for the end, but rather, let's seek the power from God to see this turn into a day of Spiritual awakening and power for the church."

Well said, and amen!

- Paul

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