LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

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Location: Horsham, Pennsylvania, United States

John is a "Tentmaking Evangelist" (Architect). Licensed and set aside for ministry by the Anchor Bay Evangelistic Association (non-denominational). Co-Founder of Kingdom Gospel Ministries, a ministry now in its 36th year with a mission to reconcile people of different racial, ethnic, educational, and economic situations, and the producer of three weekly radio programs - a Sunday morning verse-by-verse Bible Study on Radio Delaware Valley, a weekly message from current events in California, and a weekly radio drama on the Wilkins Radio network. He also has archived many, many radio programs and written articles on the Internet. John is a PA/NJ Architect with his own practice in its 43rd year working on a wide variety of projects including churches, convenience stores, residences, and academies as well as industrial enterprises. He has helped in numerous property acquisitions and worked with real estate investors. Acutely interested in politics since a teenager with many articles published over the last 55 years, he served as a guest on a Talk Radio show discussing race relations and on "It's Your Call" TV show with Lynn Doyle dealing with the subject of interethnic marriage.

Monday, December 27, 2021

WILL 2022 MARK THE END OF "CHRISTIANITY LITE"?

This post was originally written way back at the dawn of 2005 when Christmas and New Year’s Day were on Sundays.  It will be on a Sunday again in 2022, so we will see if there is a repeat! In 2020, churches were ordered closed in many parts of the country. Precedent was claimed since in 1918 churches were ordered closed (but for only several weeks) during the Spanish Flu. That pandemic hit the young much worse than the old and the fatalities were almost triple percentage wise to today.  It is approaching two years now where some churches are STILL closed by their own decision while most others have opened with no apparent ill effects. I trust this post will speak to you today! 

 

From 2005:

Much ado has been made of churches canceling services this 2005 holiday season. Our church did not, but we decided to pay a visit to another Pentecostal church near us on New Year's Day, and it was CLOSED! Not closed by Communists, not closed by Muslims, not closed by the ACLU, but closed by none other than CHRISTIANS! It was already just after 11:00 AM, so we went somewhere else nearby - Zion Baptist in Ambler, to give credit where credit is due - and they were not only open, but with a big crowd and in no rush to end it! Over an hour of worship and praise, a wonderful dance performance by Living Stones on getting into the heart of Jesus, and an interactive sermon from Hebrews 13:1-5 that was practical, up-lifting and enjoyable. They then were taking a group to a Senior Citizens' home to minister on New Year's Day afternoon! 

 

For quite some time now even well before 2005 and seemingly more through 2021:

Why are some assemblies so eager to serve God, and others afraid of being too "radical"? We live in a world of "lite" everything. I think Miller Beer started it all. Remember "More taste, less filling."? We now have "lite" margarine and "lite" everything else. Some of these are perhaps more healthy than the full blown version. However, we also unfortunately have "Christianity Lite" and it is far from healthy. Not only does it have less taste, but it is also less filling. 

 

The Psalmist says in Psalms 34:8, "Taste and See that the Lord is Good." Psalm 119:103 says "How Sweet are Your Words to My Taste". So many Christians have not had a solid five course meal of God recently that they do not know what it tastes like. Instead they are in a hurry and fill up on junk food such as get rich schemes, worship that stops almost before it starts or is more about us than about God, and messages more about current trends than on imparting heavy duty soul food into the spirit. In essence, they drive through and eat while pursuing other things. Recipes, the big game, and other thoughts often replace diligent attention to what is being said from the pulpit even those few minutes. Not only is the body not nourished, but the enjoyment factor is low because it is not the slightest equivalent to what Jesus has prepared for those who diligently seek him. An appetizer of praise and worship. a fruit salad of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in full operation, and a meaty message are far better and there is no need to count spiritual calories. We need everything to nourish the body, not food of limited value with lots of salt and no balance. We are to be FILLED with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). We can't have "fillers" and have room for the Spirit, too! Many Pastors are afraid of losing people if the services are too serious. I say, so what? We need to move beyond where we are and fully engage the Lord in concert with the rest of the Body EVERY time we are together. The truth is, sinners would be more attracted to that level of reality. 

 

One unintended consequence of the closure of many churches in 2020 and 2021 is that since so many churches practiced Christianity Lite, those with hunger went to Facebook and YouTube and heard a much stronger word, perhaps for the first time. Pastors have been telling me that they have more people online than in the pews, and their outreach may transformed from primarily local to global.  Many have also experienced increases in giving, so what Satan intended for evil, God has turned to good.  I encourage you in 2022 to look to the Lord in everything. Do not be satisfied with the mediocre.  Do not go to a church where you leave still hungry and unsatisfied.  Taste and see that the Lord is good!  He will surely satisfy you!


Here are some practical tips – 


1)    Know your position in Christ. Do not live in the outer courts or as if the veil is still there and you need a priest to go into the Holy of Holies for you. Jesus tore the veil from top to bottom. LIVE in the Holy of Holies. Live in His presence. You need to carry God's presence with you. You must not walk into it and then out of it! That is far below your privilege! 

 

2)    Pray without ceasing. Know that when you walk with the Lord, you have an open line, a BROADBAND CONNECTION if you will. You needn't talk all the time, and neither will the Lord. However, when either of you have something to say, it can be said and freely received. It is effortless if you live that way. 

 

3)    Worship God on your own. It is not a good sign if you have to be in church to worship. Worship at home, in your car, ANY PLACE. Worship with songs, with words, with attitude. Use English or your native tongue. Use your gift of tongues. Worship with the mind and the Spirit. 

 

4)    Write down what the Lord tells you. Expect him to share with you every day. Share what he says with others if it could bless them. Make sure to note specific commands the Lord gives you and follow through in a TIMELY manner. When we obey, the windows of heaven open wider each time. 

 

5)    Contribute sacrificially to God. First your heart, then your time, and last, but not least, your substance. Never give to get. Give to GIVE! God will supply your needs, but we give to facilitate the growth of the kingdom, not for selfish reasons or with expectations of return. Don't let giving be reduced to a formula! Simply learn to hear God's voice and give him WHATEVER he asks of you. Do not hold back anything from your heart, your time, or your substance. 


Don't wait for others to take the lead. Take the initiative yourself. If your church is practicing "Christianity Lite", talk to your leaders and tell them you want more taste and to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit. As you are filled each time, your capacity grows for Him, so this is a continuing process for both the individual AND the Body of Christ. Tell those guarding your soul you want 2022 to be the end of "Christianity Lite" and the beginning of a "take no prisoners" brand of New Testament Christianity. Our lives surely depend on it!

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