Saturday, January 3, 2009

Are You Journeying to the Wrong Destination?

What if, assuming you are a follower of Christ, after all the years you've spent faithfully attending church meetings, listening to sermons, studying the Scriptures with presuppositions which come from a particular theological position, that you find you have been going in the wrong direction, and that you are actually farther from where you actually ought to have been going?

Are you actually getting closer to where you should be? If you think you are getting closer to your destination, why do you so think? Indeed, where, or what, is your destination?

As I think of the lives of the people I've known and ministered to for half a century, I'm aware that most only thought they knew what, or where, their destination was. I'm certain that many assumed that if they attained to the lofty heights of some church “office” such as “pastor” or “deacon”, or “elder” they were closer to their destination, whatever that may be.

Isn't it strange how easy it is to board a train, bus, or some other mode of transport, with the most sincere belief that the journey's end will result in being whre you wanted to be? Yet, many have told how they set out on such a journey only to find they had been given misinformation, not only about the destination, but about the journey.

Asking most evangelicals about there destination would almost always elicit the reply that heaven was where they were headed. Death is inevitable, and for those who die in a saving relationship with God through the finished work of Christ, heaven is where it's at.

Heaven is for dead Christians!

What is the destination for living followers of Christ?

What did Jesus say about that? What did the apostles say?

Did they speak about regular attendance at meetings at which one person monologued?

Did they speak of silent masses sitting on their posteriors, nodding their heads in agreement at the pontifications coming from a guru whom many call “pastor”? Did they ever say that “making a decision for Christ” was arriving at the destination, or adhering to a theological system,or slavishly following rules and regulations, or any number of other things we might add?

The destination for living followers of Christ is a far cry from what we have been led to assume, or accept.

Thankfully, many thinking followers of Christ are asking the questions and adjusting their journey to the schedule set down by the Shepherd of the Sheep, and His apostles.

7 comments:

Plowman said...

Thanks for this excellent exhortation - "What is the destination for living followers of Christ?" This is a question we must answer if we are to truly serve the purpose of God in our generation.

BTW - I found your blog via Alan Knox and look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

Steven Owen said...

Mr. John, How this is so true of my walk. Four years ago God uprooted my family and I, then moved us 370 miles away only to show us that we were "doing church" wrong. My journey has now begun down a path I never thought about before because it is God orchestrating it and not man. It is wonderful to be on the journey and being able to see the truth be lived out as presented in scriptures. Especially concerning the way we relate with other brothers and sisters in Christ. As is laid out in the word. I praise God for the destination or race that I am running.
Steven Owen

Aussie John said...

Plowman,
Thank you for your comment.

Having led traditional congregations who had been previously led to believe that their only reason for living was to sit comfortably in the pews, nod their heads at what the speaker said, make sure that his salary is paid, the buildings look great,and dream about heaven.

I know the cliche is old but it's true; Christians are not saved to wait for heaven, they are saved to wait on all men. (I take the latter to mean the saved and unsaved).

Steven,

Thank you also for taking the time to comment.

You are so right. It's about BEING what God called us to be, a living, functioning, serving, loving representative of Jesus Christ amongst our peers, whether saved or lost.

When the world looks at the "new life" the Scriptures speak of, I'm afraid, in many people it appears more a living death in chains.

Ike said...

"Then "I" will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; "I" will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, "I" will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and "I" will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. "I" will put My Spirit within you and cause you (make you) to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances."

Emphasizing the personal pronoun "I"..........He is "adjusting" our journey not us!

Aussie John said...

Ike,

Thank you for commenting. Maybe I've not been clear in what I wrote. It seems I may not have been by your comment.

If I was an Israelite the words you quote would be very pertinent as a promise for the time of the coming Messiah. I am not a member of Old Covenant national Israel,to whom those words were spoken,, a spiritual but of the New Covenant people of God, a recipient of a similar, but different promise (Jer.31-34) where a new set of principles apply where Jesus is building His Church by using those who are faithful to His call as workmen.

These are members of the New Israel,a spiritual, as opposed to a national people"... living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."(1 Peter 2:5).

We, indeed, are a work of His hands(Eph. 2:10), but as Paul told Timothy, 'Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." (2 Tim.2:15).

A true believer in the perfect life and finished work of Jesus Christ as a propitiation for sin, will be an eternity minded person accepting the responsibilities of function spelled out in the Gospels and N.T. letters.

Far too many who claim to be believers think that once they say they are saved they can simply park in some religious parking lot, with their eyes on heaven. Scripture says otherwise!

Salvation IS God's work alone,by His Holy Spirit (Eph.2:8-9), but as a work of God indwelt by His Spirit, we are to be actively about His purpose of a function towards which all believers are to grow (Eph.4:12-16).

Paul Burleson said...

An absolutely marvelous post you've written here. I would love permission to not only link to your blog but reprint in in full on my blog with proper credits.

Aussie John said...

Paul,

I am privileged that you ask. I would deem it an honor to have the thoughts I write on your blog. Go for it!

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