2005-04-18 - Impede the Church of God?
Hebrews 11:22, 23, "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect."
Let's just put it out there. It is an amazing fact. You can't stop the progress of God's church. Do what you will, send us to the gallows, cut our heads off, tie us to posts and let animals devour us in public like they did in ancient Rome, but the Church marches on. The Holy Spirit works where He wills and often in spite of circumstances. Not for one minute, can you stop the progress of the Lord's church. When you kill Savonarola, Jerome of Prague, John Huss, or John Wyclife, all hundreds of years ago, and in the dark ages of the church, you have not made a dent. Do your best - and we say it with the sound of arrogance, but it is really faith on our part - you cannot damage the Church. It is the Holy Spirit who sustains the church, and nothing here on earth can overcome the Holy Spirit.
I emailed my pastor the other day, actually e-mailed him back, after he and the elders called for a day of fasting and prayer for the church. We exchanged a little, but what I told him is that the only thing I covet is prayer. I don't covet things, and really could care less about things, but if I covet, it is prayer that I covet. This is for a simple reason. It is because prayer moves the hand of God. Prayer changes things. God moves in response to His children's pleading. It would be easier to turn Summer into Winter, than to stay God's hand in response to our prayers. The prayers of the saints make things possible that are completely impossible by our own powers. It is true in all things, but it is most true in conversion to our Lord and resting in His sacrifice. It is easier to create the world than to change a soul. Regeneration falls in the Holy Spirit working with our souls. It is not of ourselves.
I want to tell you that I love all the responses I get from you all. I especially like the negative responses. I have told my Theology class many times that we can all learn from each other, and I have learned from many of you. However, these devotionals are one of those small contributions that keep the church of God marching on. It would be insane to say or think otherwise. This internet stuff is a new way to reach out, but we have been doing it since 1993, and on the web since 1996. And we march on, seeking to grow in grace, seeking to encourage the household of faith, and nothing can get in the way of God's truth; it marches on.
Truth marches on. But for many, we can't get it through their thick heads that there is salvation from sin; there is peace from our conscience. It is often like going outside and trying to convince our car to repent. And I don't get it, but I will still plead with everyone to rest in Christ alone. It is all Christ or all nothing. The church will march on with or without you and me. The church will march on, if I die in 19 minutes. It does not depend on us, but rather depends on the Holy Spirit. God opens blind eyes. Where our arms are too feeble to accomplish the task, the arm of God does it easily. This is why we seek Him in prayer. It is the Holy Spirit who can turn a wilderness into a garden. There is not one person living who cannot revive by God's grace. We are receivers of God's grace, and God's grace is more than we can ever understand.
I know I have hit it hard today, but God's grace is not hard to apply to our lives. I have been reading the Psalms of late, and I encourage you to visit them also. The Psalms are often both instructive and encouraging.
Soli Deo Gloria,