by David J. Stewart
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1st Corinthians 3:1, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ."
The Greek word for “carnal” in 1st Corinthians 3:1 is “sarkikos” and means “pertaining to the flesh.” Hence, to be carnally-minded is to be fleshly-minded. In sharp contrast, Philippians 2:5 teaches, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
First let me say, the Apostle Paul struggled with the flesh daily (Romans 7:14-25). There is no such thing as a Christian believer who doesn't struggle with sin. Those who think they are above sin are self-righteous hypocrites. They are the ones who pervert the Gospel and demand for lost sinners to clean up their life in order to be saved. There's not a Christian alive today that doesn't deserve to plunge immediately into Hell beneath. The only basis upon which any born-again believer is righteous, no matter how bad or right they may live, is because of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ (Romans 4:5-6).
Having said that, America is in spiritual shambles today. It is difficult to find a born-again Christian these days, let alone one who has a passion for lost souls. Soulwinning ought to be at the heart of every believer (Proverb 11:30). No amount of failure or personal tragedy can prevent a person from proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the Devil kicks you in the rear, you kick him in the groin. When the Devil's crowd teaches Evolution and every other sort of heathen trash, you quote the Word of God. When enemies attack and slander you, you increase your soulwinning efforts. Make the Devil pay! The best revenge is massive success! The more Satan attacks you, the more Gospels of John you ought to give away. The more people try to destroy you, the more you ought to help the homeless and reach the lost for Jesus Christ. The Devil cannot win. He is a defeated individual and his time is short. Amen!
The sad truth is that we have churches all across America filled with people who are sitting-on-the-premises instead of standing-on-the-promises. They fill 18-inches of pew every Sunday and think they're done their part. Carnally-minded believers are choked by the cares, pleasures and riches of this life (Luke 8:14). They bring no fruit (souls saved) to perfection (i.e., they become a soulwinner them self). The Great Commission in Matthew 18:19-20 is two-fold—to get people saved, and then teach them to become soulwinners themselves. Most believers who sit on their blessed assurance and never make a difference for God. We need to get MAD (Make A Difference).
I was visiting a church for their Wednesday evening prayer meeting. They had a long list of things to pray about. I noticed that they prayed every week about "The abortion issue" as they called it. Now I'm not against prayer. As a matter of fact, prayer is the most important thing we do as Christians. Prayer is not preparation for the greater work, prayer is the greater work. Jesus never taught His disciples to preach, but He taught them to pray. We must pray, it is not optional for the obedient Christian.
However, I couldn't help but ponder over how ridiculous it was for these Christians to be praying about the "abortion issue" without ever lifting a finger to do something about it themselves. We are all guilty of not doing as much as we can for God. I don't ever want to feel like I'm doing enough for God.
Freedom Isn't Free
Did America just fall out of the sky into our founding father's hands? No, they fought 'til the death in many cases to secure their freedom (and ours). I mean they picked up deadly weapons and went to war. I think the least we can do is protest (which is our 1st Amendment RIGHT).
Churches are filled with believers who attend services every Sunday, sing in a choir, carry a Bible, put some money into an offering plate, and do nothing for God. They call each other "Brother" and know all the religious lingo. Unfortunately, they would never stick their neck out and stand against the evils of our day. America is going to hell! The average churchgoer does NOTHING to make a difference for God. As mentioned, we need to get MAD (Make A Difference!). Christians in communities all across America should be protesting against abortion. You can save lives! A real good way to convince a mother not to get an abortion is to use signs with photos of aborted babies. A picture truly is worth a thousand words. Go to http://www.antiabortionsigns.com/catalog.html
Even Christian Bible colleges across America have become a major disappointment. Too many Bible colleges are simply out to make a buck! They dip their sails, compromise their standards, hire people with degrees from heathen universities to add "prestige" to their academic board... it's disgusting! We need a multitude of new Christian colleges who aren't trying to increase their attendance at the expense of Christian integrity. A "Christian" college becomes more popular as they move towards the left and add secular courses to their curriculum. The first sign of a Bible college going down the tubes is when they start offering secular courses. Gradually the secular courses increase until they outnumber the "Christian" courses. Eventually, you end up with a heathen university like the University of Chicago which was started by a Baptist preacher over a hundred years ago. So sad!
We need a generation of young Christian people who are serious about serving God. You'd be surprised how many young Christian people are more concerned about having a miniature golf course or an ice cream parlor at their Bible college than they care about saving America. I think Christian colleges would be wise to filter out the wrong kind of students by removing the "lures" that so many of them are using today to increase their attendance. It's sad that once great Bible colleges have become so desperate for money.
The Love of Money
I won't mention any names in this article (or any other) because I will not fight against my Baptist brethren. However, the issue needs to be addressed. It is sad when a Bible college advertises to the parents of prospective students that there are many "jobs" awaiting graduates. "Jobs?" Is that what everything boils down to? Money? Yes, that is the sad truth today. Everything is about money, money, money. What happens is that growing colleges hire staff members and other various employees. Their budget naturally increases as the school expands. When the going gets tough financially down the road (for whatever reason), the lack of money becomes a major issue. So they start to think of ways to make ends meet. Do we lay people off? Do we admit to our prospective students that we are shrinking? Do we cut our expenses?
Or do we aggressively try to convince young people to pick up their cross and follow Christ? Follow Christ? How many young people want to pick up a cross of self-sacrifice and live for God? Not many compared to the tens-of-millions of worldly young people in this country! So what do Bible colleges do when the money stops coming in like it should? Sadly, in many cases they resort to WORLDLY methods and lures to increase their attendance (money). It may work in the short term, but it undermines the integrity of the institution in the long-term. Money must never be an issue! Money must never be an issue! Money must never be an issue! Money must never be an issue! Money must never be an issue! Money must never be an issue!
Unfortunately, money means everything to most people nowadays. Many of the folks administrating Bible colleges have convinced themselves that they are doing the right thing by using worldly tactics to gain more students. Money should never be an issue when a young person is considering going to Bible college. If you want to make money, then go to a heathen state university and get an accredited degree but don't make money off God. I am sickened that a Bible college would promise "jobs" to prospective students. If you want a real job, then you need an accredited degree. If you want to serve God, then money should not be an issue.
Bible colleges should get out of the middle of the road. Either you're going to train young Christian people to serve God, or else you're just going to take people's money and become an employment agency. There is no middle ground. If you compromise your convictions to gain students, then your days are numbered as a Christian organization. It's time for Christian leaders to forsake the love of money. There's a better chance of Hell freezing over. If people need to be laid off, then so be it, but a Bible college should not promise financial gain to prospective students to boost their attendance.
Let's get back to serving God (without concern over money). Let's stop sitting on the premises and start standing on the promises! Churches all across America need to cry aloud publicly against murder, homosexuality, witchcraft and other sins that are common today. If the church doesn't expose evil, then who will?
I would be ashamed to be a pastor in any community and fail to make people mad. Why? The truth makes some people mad and a Godly Christian will make someone mad sooner or later (probably sooner!). The early Christians in the New Testament were persecuted, many even to death. They preached the truth publicly (Acts 20:20). If I make someone upset with the truth, it means that the truth got to them, and to that I say amen!
Certainly, even the best of Christians are often carnally-minded. It is inherent to our sinful nature. In 1st Corinthians 15:31, the Apostle Paul said, “I DIE DAILY!” Every Christian struggles with the carnal nature and the Bible teaches that we must DAILY crucify the old man and “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
"America is Absolutely a Satanic Nation"
Carrying Your Cross