Echoes From the Campfire

Juries like good stories. They don’t always just listen for the truth.”
                    –Mel Odom  (The Pecos Undertaker)

        “Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers.”
                    –Deuteronomy 7:12(NKJV)
How to Live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World

Key Verse:  “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”  –1 John 5:19 (NASB)

I recall one of the cartoons from the old comic strip “Pogo”.  In that particular strip he came up with the conclusion, “We have met the enemy and they are us.”  Too much, in fact, most of the time we fight ourselves.  There is a war between the spirit and the flesh (see Romans 7).  By now from our studies you should realize that we are only pilgrims traveling through this old world.  The problem is that often we give into the pleasures that world has to offer and thus we take on the cares of the world, the anxieties of the world, and if not real careful, the character of the world.
       Most attacks are upon the written Word and the living Word–Jesus Christ.  In saying that I would ask where is your focus?  Is it upon the world and what it has to offer, or is it upon Jesus Christ?  Is your focus on things materialistic, but on the spiritual?  Is it upon what the world has to offer in this life or is it upon heaven and the kingdom of God?
       Christianity is not a mystical feeling or experience.  It is not getting in touch with the “Unseen,” or the “Force,” or the “heart of the Universe.”  It is repenting of one’s sins and accepting Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as Savior.  Christianity is not just saying that Jesus was a good teacher, or that He has wonderful ideas.  Why, the demons recognize and confess that.  This is why theology and doctrine is important–we cannot be ignorant of the Scriptures.  Remember John said that the “antichrists” came out from among them.

                    “By this you know the Spirit of God:  every Spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.”
                                   –1 John 4:2-3 (NASB)

       Often these “antichrists” do not deny Christ, however, they misrepresent Christ.  Beware of what you hear and then check it out by the Bible.  Again, I must emphasize, know your Bible!  Read it, contemplate upon it!  Practice it!  
       Look around you.  Do you not see the spirit of the antichrist at work?  Chaos, confusion, disorder, hatred, terror, immorality, are these not the marks of someone who is antichrist?  It is for us, the light, to go through this world knowing and proclaiming Christ.  “Let us therefore declare His death, His resurrection, and His all-sufficiency until He comes again.”  (Lloyd-Jones)
       Take heart–we are not of the world.  Get that, know that, hold on to that and don’t be swayed by what the world says and has to offer.

                    “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.  They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and they world listens to them.  We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us.  By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
                                   –1 John 4:4-6 (NASB)

Paul warns us not to listen to the voices of the world no matter how good they may sound.  Be careful of opinions and again I would say know the Word of God.  I always take notes on the Pastor’s sermon and have often joked saying, “that’s to make sure you’re not preaching heresy.”  It is a joke, but again, it is not.  I will put question marks on areas I need to ponder and go back to the Scripture to confirm.  Watch out for heresy, for false doctrine, for outright lies.

                    “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!”
                                   –Galatians 1:8 (NASB)