The Apostles’ Creed (Part 18)

One of the main topics making the news media viable is that of court cases. As a people, we want justice, even without knowing all the facts about the case or the people involved. Take Deputy Judge President Zondo’s first of three State Capture Report releases. Already we as a nation, who have been robbed … with no question as to the severity of this, want justice. We want heads to roll … we want people to pay back the money … we want people to be jailed … and it will give us much pleasure and satisfaction to see this happen

At times we can be a “blood hungry people” … and when one looks at the magnitude of our State’s inability to manage the country and care for the poor and deal with inside fighting … it does make one angry because whether you are poor and in need or whether you have investments depending on interest to live off, both are affected by State Capture.

We need to be in passionate prayer for our leaders. That is Biblical. So on the one hand we want justice and judgment against those we deem guilty, but have you ever stopped to think that people do not like to talk about their forth coming judgment by the Judge of all the world?

The Apostles Creed continues … “from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead”. This statement points to Jesus’ promised Second Coming. This Biblical doctrine is one of the least preached about doctrines. Sadly this affects the “condition” of the Christian Church.

1) This is and has always been the hope of the Church. The Church’s present and future hangs on Jesus’ return because his return means He then takes us His people to be with Him in Glory! If Jesus was not to return it would mean that there is no incentive for His people to pursue spiritual fidelity because heaven would not be on the agenda for us. When preachers and pastors proclaim the Gospel, this ingredient must be present. Many don’t, so many hearers and many of those who “surrender” to Jesus do not have a high view of personal spiritual purity. Is this why the Church is so lax when it comes to discipline and repentance? Is this the reason why so many Christians, married and unmarried get involved with shady business, sexual immorality and reduce their general morality to that of the world?

2)  What is the general condition of the Church like? If I suggest that it is not near as healthy as people in the pews would imagine, would that seem judgmental? It is true that Christians ought to be involved in every area and aspect of society. That is not negotiable. Look at what Jesus taught

Mt 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

(1) Salt of the earth. Interestingly Jesus did not say Christians are the salt of the Church or the Kingdom. He said we are the salt of the earth. Where salt is a preservative … we need to preserve Biblical morals and ethics to prevent society from decaying more and more. Has the Church lost its saltiness?

(2) Light of the world. As with salt, as with light, it is to the world not the Church or Kingdom of God. This world is in darkness and Jesus came as Light. We are to be His light, reflecting and radiating His holy values to our world. Without this, the world will have no conscience. These two factors expose the general condition of the Church, but it does not stop there.

(3) Where Christians ought to be involved in politics to bring Christian morals and ethics into the arena, too often the Church preaches party politics and loses the Gospel message because political emancipation is radically different from spiritual emancipation.

(4) Christians and Churches ought to be involved in social action to promote the plight of the poor and needy but they must not become an embarrassment to the Gospel.

(5) Many Churches focus on prosperity. Sadly the Church leaders seem to be those who prosper and their followers remain generally poor. There is no Biblical warrant for this teaching.

(6) Often to draw the crowds, Churches start entertaining people through drama, hi-powered music and singing, etc. replacing the exposition of the Word of God. People are certainly entertained but not through the Word, with no spiritual value. Although there are many more issues one could raise, these become obstacles to Biblical Maturity and Christlikeness. Without the exposition from the Word encouraging the pursuit of holiness, spiritual purity is lost, sin is condoned and the Church becomes worldly. Then the world looks at the Church and says … “Why should we become Christians? They are exactly like us and do exactly what we do!

3) Because Jesus is coming again, the Church ought to be expectant! There ought to be a holy anticipation that the Lord of the Church could arrive at any moment. When the Church has this awareness embedded in her, she will surrender all for the preparation of the King of Glory’s arrival. Although we will return to the following verses tomorrow, look at the question in the first sentence:

2Pe 3:11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

See the answer to the question: “You ought to live holy and godly lives”. It’s all about being prepared. Consider the parable Jesus taught of the Virgins.

Mat 25:2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The wise were prepared. The wise ones were spiritual. The wise ones were ready for the Groom’s arrival.

(Jesus Second Coming). Who will you be like, the wise or foolish virgins?

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You that You are coming again. Please help me to be ready by making preparations like the wise virgins did, in Your Name. Amen.

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