Is Our Focus Focused Right?


Religious influence has spawned the accusation (and rightly so) that believers are so heavenly focused they are no earthly good.

The focus on Sunday-go-programmed-event-driven meetings, adherence to religious rules and regulations, the pew-warming exercise of assembling in segregated denominated buildings, the one-man showmanship, and the endless other denominated traditional activities, while ignoring the purpose and plan of God for the Community of the Redeemed in the Community of Humanity, ignoring hurting people and being delinquent in establishing relationships with them while ignoring their need give credence to such an accusation is indicative of a self-righteous attitude. Their consuming preoccupation with preparing for, and going to heaven renders them ineffective in the Community of the Redeemed

When the plight of people are brought to our attention, we content ourselves with feeling sorry about them, telling them they are being judged by God for their sin and if they do not repent Hell awaits them, while doing nothing substantial to help them. Sympathetic thoughts or kind musings is not demonstrating the compassion of our loving God.

Jesus could have met the multitude's needs merely by forming a thought or speaking a command. He could even have done it from heaven without coming to earth. But His compassion (Mark 6:34) caused Him not only to come and live and die among us earth ones, but also to touch lepers, the lame and the blind, sup with sinners, and to take little children in His arms and bless them. True compassion is personal, active involvement that expresses God's merciful, compassionate, kind and loving heart in words and deeds.

God's chosen people (the Community of the Redeemed) are to "clothe" themselves with compassion [Colossians 3:12]. We are to be the salt of the earth, we are not to use the gospel to satisfy our selfish desires or incorrect interpretations to appease faulty religious beliefs. God showers us with comfort through His Word and through other believers, we in turn are to redirect the stream of His compassion, love and mercy to the hurting in the Community of Humanity. We are not to hoard God's love for ourselves and lie to the sinner by telling them God hates them. No, the love of God is to outflow from us as the good news of His compassion and love to all.

The dualism theology of the religionist's theology...the separation between what is spiritual and what is natural is faulty and not scriptural. Furthermore, it indicates that God is concerned only about the spiritual world and is not concerned about the natural world. In believing this line of faulty reasoning, it is accepted that believers should therefore focus their lives on the heavenly spiritual realm and repudiate the earthly realm. This kind of thinking is not conducive to affecting the kingdom of God in the earthly realm with the  good news gospel of Christ. God desires the atmosphere of heaven fill the earth...not the atmosphere of earth brought to heaven...heaven would be as messed up as earth if that happened.

I am convinced that in the mind of God, there is no separation of reality between the "spiritual" and "natural" realms. Through Jesus God has permanently united Himself to the "natural." In the person of Jesus, God took on flesh, thus uniting Himself with the people He created. We see the result of this union in the earthly life of Jesus. Jesus was concerned about and compassionate toward all people....the sinner as well as the saint. In His eyes, all people, whether they be "spiritually minded" or earthly minded, are recipients of His love. He loves and cares for all. Jesus was (and still is) the "friend of sinners" (Matthew 11:19). And that's good for us all because "sinning" is a human condition that we are all guilty of.

It's sad but true, many believers tend to think their calling is to isolate themselves from the "natural" world in order to focus on "spiritual" matters by going to their Sunday-go-meetings in segregated denominated buildings to isolate themselves, not only from the world bur from fellow believers that believe different beliefs. The result, is that people become so "heavenly focused" and self oriented that they are "no earthly good."

Now, the Bible does tell Christians to “set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). But that exhortation from Paul has to do with being Christ-centered in our thinking while daily interacting with people in the community, not about withdrawing from the worldly people by living in the ethereal realm. In fact, when we see Jesus more clearly, we see Him who, through the Spirit, is actively involved in the lives of all people...sharing with them His love and life in order to draw them into communion with Himself where they will experience their true identity...an identity now "hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).

Jesus gives all of life meaning and value. With Him and in Him, there is no spiritual/natural divide; no sacred/secular seperation. There is one Christ, who is Creator and Redeemer, and thus Lord of all. All of His creation has been raised from death and destruction in Him. As so as we walk with Him....our calling as Christ-followers...all aspects of life has potentially, deep eternal meaning and value. That includes seemingly "un-spiritual" (natural) things like hiking in the woods, drinking in a sunset, spending time boating, drawing a picture, singing a song, working at one's vocation, driving a country road etc. In reality I see God more active in this events then I do in Sunday-event-driven meetings.These things are the handiwork of God not the handiwork of man that so dominates the event-driven Sunday meeting.

We are to live life as one "sent" on mission with Jesus. The Community of the Redeemed exists not to stand apart from sinners but to stand, with Jesus, for the sake of sinners, sharing the "Good News of the Gospel" that Christ has the sin problem taken care of.

If you are one of the people who thinks that Jesus failed to take care of sin problem through His death and resurrection...rest assured...all of humanity is still in sin!


Comments

  1. Part 1:
    You say and I quote :Their consuming preoccupation with preparing for, and going to heaven renders them ineffective in the Community of the Redeemed. Show me one Scripture that proves that and I will show you at least a dozen that disproves it. The fact is that the more heavenly minded we are the more effective we are in kingdom of God.

    The problem in church today is that many are too earthly minded they are no heavenly good. How do I know that?

    Here is what Paul tells us in Col. 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
    2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
    3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
    4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

    Again Paul tells us that those who are more earthly minded instead of heavenly minded are enemies of the cross of Christ and he tells us to mark them. (Phil.3)
    17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
    18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
    19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

    How heavenly minded was Paul? How consumed was Paul with going to heaven?
    20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
    21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

    So Paul shows us here that you can be consumed with heaven and still be effective in kingdom of God.

    You say and I quote: Jesus could have met the multitude's needs merely by forming a thought or speaking a command. He could even have done it from heaven without coming to earth. Id like to know where you get your theology from. Sure not from the Scriptures. The Scriptures tells us that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Christ had to come to earth and live among us in order to shed His blood. I know there is a move on in church to leave out the blood because they say our religion is too bloody and it offends people.
    You say and I quote: I am convinced that in the mind of God, there is no separation of reality between the "spiritual" and "natural" realms. Through Jesus God has permanently united Himself to the "natural.
    I like what Watchman Nee says:
    The call of the cross of the Lord Jesus is to beckon us to hate our natural life, to seek opportunity to lose, not to keep, it. Our Lord wants us to sacrifice self and be yielded wholly to the working of His Spirit. If we are to experience afresh His true life in the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we must be willing to present to death every opinion, labor and thought of the soul life. The Lord additionally touches upon the issue of our hating or loving our self-life. The soul is in variably "self -loving." Unless from the very depth of our heart we abhor our natural life, we shall not be able to walk genuinely by the Holy Spirit. Do we not realize that the basic condition for a spiritual walk is to fear our self and its wisdom and to rely absolutely upon the Spirit?

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  2. Part 2:
    God puts a difference between the soul which is natural and the spirit which is spiritual.
    For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. 4:12)

    You say and I quote: It's sad but true, many believers tend to think their calling is to isolate themselves from the "natural" world in order to focus on "spiritual" matters by going to their Sunday-go-meetings in segregated denominated buildings to isolate themselves, not only from the world bur from fellow believers that believe different beliefs.
    For life of me I can`t see how you can come to conclusion that because I go to a meeting on a Sunday morning with other saints and worship God in spirit and truth and listen to anointed word being preached I am isolating myself from the natural world any more than you are doing so by staying home in bed.

    You say and I quote: That includes seemingly "un-spiritual" (natural) things like hiking in the woods, drinking in a sunset, spending time boating, drawing a picture, singing a song, working at one's vocation, driving a country road etc. In reality I see God more active in this events then I do in Sunday-event-driven meetings.
    Can you imagine Paul saying such things? Here is what Paul would say.

    What was more important to Paul? Enjoying natural things or assembling together with other saints?
    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.(Heb.10:)

    What was more important to Paul? Enjoying nature or breaking bread and preaching?
    7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.(Acts 20:)

    What was more important for early church? Enjoying nature or the apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers?
    42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.(Acts2:)

    The answer is different because Paul and early church had an experience far greater than many so called Christians have today.

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    Replies
    1. Your idea of being heavenly minded is opposite to the heavenly mindedness of Jesus Christ. I guess you did not read the following paragraph in my post quoted below, or chose to ignore it.

      "Now, the Bible does tell Christians to “set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). But that exhortation from Paul has to do with being Christ-centered in our thinking while daily interacting with people in the community, not about withdrawing from the worldly people by living in the ethereal realm. In fact, when we see Jesus more clearly, we see Him who, through the Spirit, is actively involved in the lives of all people...sharing with them His love and life in order to draw them into communion with Himself where they will experience their true identity...an identity now "hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3)."
      Religionists usually does everything based on the world system of doing things and sprinkles it sprinkle of spirituality to give it Godly sanction. It’s an impossibility. Being spiritual can’t be accomplished in addition to being worldly, it must be in place of thinking the way the world thinks or doing what the world does.

      The believer's example is Jesus, what did He leave behind to bear witness to Him being heavenly minded in the eyes of God - a segregated denominated building as the "House of God"? A religious institutional organization? Sunday-go-event-driven meetings in segregated buildings? Man-led, man-fed and man-manipulated pew-warmers who are starving spiritually? A reputation as a money-loving attention-grabbing celebrity preacher? Denominational recognition and advancement? It was none of these things. He didn't even leave behind the Bible! He left behind human hearts touched by the kindness of God through Him in His daily living. He did not consider being heavenly minded to separate from living in the natural world doing natural things.

      That is the standard of measure in the kingdom of God, and this is why we must allow heavenly mindedness to cause separation from earthly living thus being of no earthly good. Our heavenly mindedness ought to bring the atmosphere of heaven to the earthly realm influencing it with heavenly glory, as was what the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray, "...thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven..."

      That Hubert my friend, is what being heavenly minded is all about. It is not about segregation and isolation from the people of the world.

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  3. I will be the first to admit that there is a lot that`s not right in what we call Christendom. But to castrate all of Christendom and every Bible believing church just because they are a part of a denomination is not the answer.

    I admit there were no denominations in the days of early church but they had their regular times when they got together and broke bread, prayed, and preached.

    They had their problems in their churches the same as we have today but Paul didn`t tell them to get out there and enjoy nature where there is no problems but to gather together and face the problems head on. I won`t get into a long drawn out discussion on what these problems were but that is why Paul had to write letters to correct these problems and lay down some rules and regulations for them to follow.

    You see the church in Paul`s day were made up of christians who weren`t perfect and had the potential to make mistakes and when mistakes were made Paul had to write letters to correct them because he couldn`t get to every church all the time. While we can`t have Paul come to our churches we do have his letters for us to follow. They are found in the Bible which you seem to have an aversion to by saying Christ never left us a Bible.

    Every now and then when I am listening to radio I hear muslems give their testimony of how they came to Christ. Because they don`t have any Bible to read only the Koran God gives them visions of himself but after the vision God always without exception leads them to somebody who has a Bible so that they can grow in the faith and be fed.

    Back in Paul`s day as today the men that Paul and the elders placed in charge were human beings and therefore had the potential to introduce false teachings in their churches. That why he were always giving a charge to Timothy and others to stand strong and preach the word because there would come a time when Paul was gone that many wouldn`t want to hear sound doctrine.

    We are in that very day when many are rushing to our mega churches because all they hear about is the love of God mines His judgment and wrath that is to come upon the whole world.

    I`m not suggesting that all mega churches is just tickling the ears of people because there are some they are still standing up for truth.

    As for interacting in our society with people and helping those in need you won`t find any atheist who doesn`t believe in God doing this but it is usually the Christian who believes in God and is part of some Christian organization or denomination.

    There is a few that`s comes to mind that is well know but there are hundreds of others that we don`t hear about. I think of George Mueller of Bristol England. He preached at same church for over 60 years. He preached for Charles Spurgeon and D. L. Moody and inspired the great missionary Hudson Taylor. He built an orphanage by faith and maintained it by faith all his life and never once did he mention a need but just took it to God and He always supplied.

    I`ll just mention one more Mark Buntain and his wife from India. Besides establishing more than 700 churches and several Bible colleges, his hospital Calcutta Mercy Hospital has treated 2.3 million people, of which one million have received free health care.

    So I challenge you to list just one person who is an atheist or believes that it is more important to enjoy nature on a Sunday morning then to assemble together in house of God that is doing such things.

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    Replies
    1. An atheist does not believe in God, religion or going to a building you wrongly call the "house of God", for God said Himself, "I no longer dwell in houses made with hands". Rather He has made people His dwelling place.

      Though you say you make the Bible your final authority, you constantly refer to denominational buildings as the "House of God", rather than what the Bible plainly teaches...is your deception so great that you cannot see the simplicity of that Bible fact?

      Well now, let me see....one person that did not assemble in buildings called churches on Sunday mornings but mingled with people in nature...mmmmmmmmmmmmm...OH YES...JESUS, who by the way, said that there was ONLY ONE CHURCH, and that HE would BUILD it, therefore no matter how many denominated buildings someone may buildor establish and put their logo over the door, they did not build the church that Jesus is building. He alone is capable of that! Also there are many non-religious organizations who establish hospitals, orphanages and care for the poor. Is your reasoning so biased that you believe the only people involved in such work is denominated religious people?

      Wake up Hubert and smell the fragrance of God's gracious grace.

      Delete
    2. I agree with you when you said God has made us his dwelling place. The only time He dwells in a building is when we are there. It could be a church building, a theatre, a school auditorium, or any other building. He said where two or three are gathered in His name He would be there.

      I also agree that the buildings called churches are not the church that Christ is building. They are just places where we can go to worship, pray, and preach, teach and break bread. Those of us who go there comprise the church that Christ is building.

      I want you to know that all of the above is Scriptural reasons to go to a church building.

      Acts 3:1 says that peter and John went up to temple at hour of prayer.

      2 Tim.4:2 says to preach the word, be instant in season and out of season. In other words there is no time the Word of God should not be preached.

      Acts 2:42 says And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      Delete

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