Welcome to Leaving LaodiceaThe Survival Manual for the Coming Underground Church
This has been one of the most contentious election seasons I can remember. Good people have been dragged into the mud with lies and character slander for the sole purpose of trying to win an election. Which raises a few questions for the Christian.
How does a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, who is also a citizen of the United States of America, reconcile their responsibility as citizens to both? Especially in this election.
What is the purpose of human government? And what is our duty towards that government? But what if that government is oppressive? Are we to obey a government that commands us to sin? Then what are we to do as Christians when we are appalled by the corruption in our own government?
Have you ever asked yourself these questions? I have. To find the answers from Scripture, keep listening.
Some of the most chilling words of Jesus begin with a condition that seems impossible to meet. He begins this by saying:
“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20).
But what does this mean? Who were the scribes and Pharisees and what was the characteristic of their righteousness? What is the nature of the righteousness that must exceed their righteousness and how is that righteousness obtained? And once it is obtained, how do we know? How can we be sure? In what way does our righteousness have to exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees? And finally, what does Jesus mean when He says, “You will by no means enter the kingdom of Heaven”?
These are tough questions. Important questions. Eternal questions.
Jesus spent much of His Sermon on the Mount preaching about the Kingdom. What’s the Kingdom like? What are the unique realities that belong only to those in the Kingdom? Are there promises to those who live in the Kingdom? And, if so, what are they? How does one receive the Kingdom and, more importantly, how does one enter into the Kingdom?
The key is found in Mark 10:15: “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
Did you catch that? Receiving must precede entering when it comes to the Kingdom.
What if God was bigger than the box in which we try to place Him? Wouldn’t that be incredible? You and I both know that He is bigger than anything we can imagine. But nevertheless, we have a tendency to always try to place Him in a box that allows us to understand Him on our terms.
Think of the boxes in which we try to place Him. We have our experience box that rejects God moving in any way other than what we have experienced in the past. This box makes our experience with Him as the defining element of His character and the full expression of His will. God can never be bigger than He has been in our past. He becomes one-dimensional, myopic, and is not allowed to do anything that makes us feel uncomfortable or stretches and expands our faith.
We have our denominational box that limits God to the tenets of our theology, our sacred creeds, or our agreed upon statements of faith. But this box assumes we know all there is to know about the Unknowable One, the One who defies human description. This box cannot be true. For how can the created know all there is to know about the Creator, no matter how infested the created is with pride and arrogance and self-exaltation?
Then we have our spiritual maturity box. This box states that the way God is dealing with us right now, at this present moment, at our current level of maturity, is how He deals with everyone. Why? Because we can’t accept the fact there may be others who are more mature than we are in the things of the Lord. That would make us feel uncomfortable. Or, worse yet, convicted. And there are other boxes we conjure with different labels. We have our faith box, our feelings box, and the like. But God cannot be contained by the constraints of our fear or insecurity.
God is beyond all that. He’s incredible. He’s beyond comprehension. He cannot be understood or described by mere human words. It is foolishness to assume we can know the Almighty and all His ways. Why? Because He says about Himself in Isaiah,
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Often we find ourselves hamstrung and impotent in our spiritual lives, when compared with Scripture, because of the limitations we place on our God by the box we try to force Him into.
Often we preach about the need for revival in the church and in our own lives. We hold the virtues and blessings of revival up high, for all to see, yet fail to talk about the dark side of revival, the downside of totally surrendering to Him.
And that downside is satanic attack.
For the novice, this attack can be devastating because they are often ill-prepared to stand against it. For the more mature believer, the attack is just another affirmation they are living as light and walking where the enemy dwells.
Do you know how to prepare for a spiritual attack? Do you know how to stand when the day of evil comes (Eph. 6:13)?
One of the greatest needs in the life of the believer today is revival. Revival is defined as “a restoration of life, consciousness, vigor, or strength. It is an awakening to something previously dormant. It is an improvement in the condition or strength of something or someone.” Spurgeon said revival means “to live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired; to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished.”
But how does revival come about?
What does true revival look like?
How does it change the person being revived?
Are there stages or steps to revival?
And how can we have revival now, today, in our lives and in the church?
Are you interested in finding out more? Then keep listening.
Great question. Why did God choose to save each of us? Was it because He wanted to make our life better? And, if so, what does “better” mean? And “better” from whose perspective? His? Or ours? Maybe He chose to save us to give our life purpose and meaning. And what would that purpose be? And whose purpose are we talking about? God’s? Or ours?
See the problem? When we view the purpose of our salvation from how it affects us, we tend to become self-centered and inner-focused. But it’s not about us, it’s all about Him. Totally for Him and Him alone.
Want to discover the true reason God chose to save you? Then keep listening.
There are great men of the Bible the Lord places before us as examples of human frailty and divine grace. Men such as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Job and Daniel fill the pages of the Old Testament. And then there are our New Testament heroes, Peter, James, John, Paul, and Stephen, among others. Church history is also littered with men who forsook this life for the life to come. Men “of whom the world was not worthy” (Heb. 11:38).
But what characteristic or spiritual trait runs through each of these men? Was it human ability or ingenuity? Was it their upbringing and privileged background? Maybe it was their education, family status, financial security, political position, or something like that? No. Each of these men possessed only one characteristic that allowed God to use them like He did. And that one characteristic is being totally, fully, surrendered to Him.
Do you want to know more about total surrender? Then keep listening.
Often we find ourselves focusing on the temporal things in life and not on the eternal. We seem to devote most of our time and energy on the things that pass, things that fade away, things that are transitory at best and have an expiration date, and not on what truly matters and what lasts. Why is that?
Matthew 5:18 – “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”
Jesus said the law, the Word of God, is something that will outlast even heaven and earth. Then, according to Psalm 138:2, God said He honors His Word above His name. So what does all of this mean? And what are the implications for each of us? To find out more, keep listening.
Great question: “What is truth?” It’s the question Pilate asked Jesus and the same question our culture asks of the church today. But there’s more to that question than is readily apparent. For example:
Is there such a thing as absolute truth?
And if so, what is that truth?
How do we know that absolute truth is absolute?
What about the changing times in which we live?
Does truth change to meet the culture?
Is truth living and active? Does it evolve?
Why is truth for yesterday truth for today?
Doesn’t each generation need their own truth?
Jesus addressed these questions in His first sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7. Let’s take a look at His answer together, shall we?
Something About Us
This is a collection of the many questions I have struggled with and the answers I have found regarding the relationship between authentic faith in Christ and much of what is portrayed today as Biblical Christianity. Especially with the coming darkness looming over all of us, including the church.
Come with me. It should be a wild ride!
To find out more about us and what we believe, just continue reading…