Sunday, January 12, 2014

Denying Christ

Mark 14:30 - Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”

Sort of an odd scripture to start this blog. many times does one deny Christ? If Peter could do it, can't we? How is it done?

I blog because I write better than I speak. I started years ago to put my thoughts of what God was teaching me in writing. As a friend recently said, it's a way to help me learn. Didn't I learn a long time ago that if a person writes something down it sticks better in your memory. So....

My thoughts just run swiftly to my fingertips. My husband gets pretty upset because of how fast I can type. "It's not fair," he says! Sometimes my thoughts on paper are much clearer than my words, too. I get too easily backed into corners without ways out. I know I have the answers in my mind but it's like my mind shuts off when it's time to say them aloud. I can lose arguments easily. So I write. I get my thoughts down without interruption!

While I might be wrong at times in my understanding, I am standing on the Word of God. When we are followers of Christ we are called to be word and deed. I sometimes think I fail in the deed part of that command. And I suppose if I fail to speak the words, I may have failed there too. I don't want to say my writing is an excuse not to speak. I have on occasion been able to speak. It's few and far between, however. I can only say I believe this is a result of my being an only child in a dysfunctional home and finding it easier to hide in my room and not confront anyone or anything. I know should be over this, but there is something so very strongly linked to that I don't even want to go there.

I know we are filled with the Holy Spirit when we are saved. While I didn't know what was happening at the time because I was unfamiliar with God, I felt a sensation through my body, originating at my upraised hand the moment I received Christ. Who can dispute something like that if one hasn't heard about the Holy Spirit indwelling us at the moment we are saved? Later it was revealed what I experienced. I know that my writing would not be if it were not for the Holy Spirit's teaching, opening of my mind, heart and spirit, to God's words. But I sure would like this to be transported from my fingertips to the tip of my tongue!

What I'm getting at here is, for now, these written words need to be understood as my form of witness of Christ. Christ desires that none should perish. Without words in cyberspace through blogs or Facebook...or preaching, teaching, evangelism on the streets...people would not truly know Christ. It's just how one responds to what is written or heard. It's acceptance or denial.

I recently watched a YouTube video of a young man street preaching at a comic book convention where one knows there will be an onslaught of people coming and going. I was saddened for two reasons. One, it reminded me of my days before Christ when an old brown, beat up station wagon with scriptures painted in white from one end to the other and a speaker on top would drive up and down Wisconsin Avenue of downtown Milwaukee preaching "Repent, for the time has come to believe the Gospel." (Amazingly, I just recently saw this same old car...25+ years later parked at a fast food restaurant!) At the time, to me...and I'm sure many was just plain obnoxious. My heart was so hardened to it all. How many times in those days did I deny Christ?
Two, I noticed the hundreds of people in the video who walked past this man and less than five shook his hand or gave some sort of sign that they agreed with him (or we assume they agreed). They denied Christ. It reminded me of the narrow road to life with few on it.
Many will be offended by street preachers. I was one of them. Many will be offended by any form of discussion about Christ, even in what I write...if anyone happens to read my stuff! But I tell you, the words of Christ and God are true. If we do not come to Christ and decide we don't need to or believe that we are good enough (and I certainly don't believe I'm good enough, because we can never be good enough, because we are all sinners), we are what He calls us: lost...because of our sin.

...for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. ...Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  ...The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel. ...unless you repent you will all likewise perish. (Luke 19:10, Romans 6:23, John 10:11, Matthew 12:30, John 3:3, Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3)
You cannot dispute what the Word of God says. It is the truth. 
All I want is to point people to Christ. It involves exposing our sins, which never feels good. But if a nerve is struck whether it be the first time or 100th time, repentance can take place and our hearts softened to receive Him as He desires us to...into a relationship with Him. Knowing Him in our hearts and spirits not just our minds. Some words may seem hard. They may be rejected as I described with the car and the street preacher. When things like these irritate, there is a denial of Christ.
The Apostle Paul was a man who basically denied Christ as Saul. He persecuted Him, was confronted by Jesus, converted and then preached the Gospel. The point is, he changed. Here's a list of sorts of those who might deny Christ. The time is today:

2Timothy 3:3-7 - But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 
So while I don't often speak these words audibly, and I should, they are in my heart. We are warned. In fact, I would say I am in the category of denying the power God has given me. There is a narrow road and a small gate (Matthew 7:14) that leads to life. And like all those in the video who passed by this preacher, many will not heed the warnings, believing it is too much to ask or that their lives are too precious as they are to give them up to Christ. He gave His precious life up for us. How can we be so selfish? I speak to myself here, also. Do not deny Christ.

Mark 13:31-32,35 - Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning...

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