Please note - the principle Scriptures which drive this message: 2 Corinthians 4:3;4 ; 2 Corinthians 2:14;15;16 ; Philippians 1:27;28;29
Also note - the definition for “unregenerate”
Recently, I had an online forum comment directed my way. I sometimes participate on my town's online forum. Rather than remaining anonymous, like most of the participants, I freely use my own name. Hence, I am an easy target.
This following comment is not unusual. I've heard forms of this type of judgmental criticism, before:
"emeritus — adj (usually postpositive ) retired or honorably discharged from full-time work, but retaining one's title on an honorary basis: a professor emeritus.
Tell me, what is so honorable about you. Your posts seldom have any positive message, something that I find odd about a Pastor. If the pastor at my church was as honorable as you, we would be looking for a new one."
Accordingly, I replied. My comment was pointed and lengthy. However, (here) I will attempt to briefly summarize:
In my response comment, I stated that he was stereotyping me, - that he was making blanket charges without foundation and evidence. I explained that his flawed and flaccid reasoning would bar Christians and Christian pastors from exercising their God given rights to express themselves and that those same persons have a right to free speech according to our nation’s Bill of Rights’ 1st Amendment. I also, (basically) told him that there are plenty of pastors out there, who are mealy mouthed and that I was not one of them. And, that he should not be so quick to judge me from his limited experience.
I also corrected him about his slanted definition of what constituted, an "emeritus" pastor, giving him the (older dictionary) definition which states:
"....having served out one’s time........retired from active service, usually for age, but retaining one’s rank or title....."
I further explained: "From my life long academic and living learning experience, I've known this title of "emeritus" to usually be a title attributed to clergy and professors."
Why do unbelieving souls so often take exception with Christians? Why the clash?
It is the unregenerate nature's bent, not to want to hear any message which runs contrary to one's thinking. People will say that they are open to reality and truth, but, when push comes to shove, they will abhor that reality and truth when it presents itself on their life's doorstep. There is the familiar adage which states: "A person convinced against his own will, is of, the same opinion, still."
And, when a non-Christian often communicates with a Christian, there is a "disconnect" which often takes place. This disconnect has really nothing to do with the Christian, but, of the unbelieving soul. The Bible gives us an indication, for this disconnect:
Please note again - 2 Corinthians 4:3;4 ; 2 Corinthians 2:14;15;16 ; Philippians 1:27;28;29
The Bible states – “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” [Amos 3:3] There will always be miscommunication between the unregenerate non-Christian and the disciple of Christ. Such, is unavoidable. On one hand, the Christian is in communion with the Lord [1 Corinthians 6:17] and the non-Christian is spiritually bankrupt. [1 Corinthians 2:14] So, on this basis, Christians and non-Christians, clash.
Christians are commanded not to lend their ears to the advice of unbelievers. [Psalm 1:1f] Unbelievers have not been [spiritually] born from above [John 3:8] and therefore do not have the spiritual capacity to appreciate the spiritual as do Christ’s disciples. 1 Corinthians 2:14
Christian – count it a privilege to be separated from the world of unbelief
I think that some of the loneliest people (humanly speaking) are Christians. Christ prophesied that life would not be easy for His disciples. John 15:1f ; 2 Timothy 3:12
However, faithful Christian – take heart! Know and be reassured that you have the communion of the Triune God within your [His] spiritual sphere. [1 Corinthians 6:17] God has not abandoned you, but has set you apart. Romans 12:1;2 ; Philippians 1:27;28;29
Christian – your godly behavior is noticed by the non Christian world
My fellow Christian, if you are like me, you become discouraged. Sometimes you feel that you are being scorned and laughed at, behind your back. Sometimes you feel all alone, as if no one is there to help you battle the spiritual darkness that pervades the decadent culture. When you read and view the daily news, you become even more frustrated and wonder if people have any moral smarts. You ask yourself: “Why are they so stupid to believe all these political promises and lies?”
Take heart, dear Christian friend. Your prayers, your conduct, your daily life is in full view. It’s in full view of the unbelieving world in your particular niche of this world’s sinful culture. Here’s what the Scripture, says, is taking place:
…….Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,…… - Philippians 1:27;28;29
Non-Christian, friend and, unbeliever
The reason that you act the way you do towards Christ’s disciples, is very plain. The very Scriptures which you distrust and sometimes ridicule, tell, what your mode of behavior, is like.
First of all, the Scripture says that you are a dead man walking. [Ephesians 4:17;18;19] The Scripture also says that your understanding of spiritual realities is zero. [1 Corinthians 2:14] The Bible states, that because of your lost condition, Christians living around you become offensive. Their very presence makes you feel uncomfortable [2 Corinthians 2:14;15;16] You instinctively despise them and even sometimes hate them.
Secondly, that same Scripture, you despise, says that you will be damned in hell when you die, because you will have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to rescue you from your sins against God, sins against His holy commandments and sins against your fellowman. Romans 3:23 ; John 3:36 ; Mark 16:16 ; Romans 1:18
Third, the very reason that you harass Christians and give them a difficult time, is that you are one of those spoken about in the aforementioned Philippians 1:27;28;29 Scripture. Instinctively, you know that you are headed for hell. But, you can’t seem to do anything about your lost, perverse and pathetic condition.
There is hope, my friend. And, that hope, which is an eternal hope, can be found in the very divine revelation you scorn and cannot understand. Why do you continue to scorn and distrust God’s divine historic revelation and the prophesied and fulfilled Christ, of human history? Is your posture to God’s Word a convenient excuse to slap him in His face by accepting, for instance, the false religion of evolution, - that pseudo science, which conveniently leaves God out?
Don’t trample the divine revelation. The Scriptures are God’s gift to you. They can smarten you up. [2 Timothy 3:14-17 ; Romans 10:17] Those same Scriptures reveal your Savior to you. [John 3:14-21] Those same Scriptures are to be read, heard and even studied by you. God will not grace you with understanding them, apart from simple faith in the Christ, of the Scriptures. Only God’s Holy Spirit can work within you to change your attitude and rebellious spirit which is set against Him. I encourage you to begin your quest. May you be like the Ethiopian eunuch. [Acts 8:26-39] Read God’s Word as did that heathen man. And, may God grace you with the faith to believe and be baptized. Romans 10:17 ; Hebrews 4:12;13 ; Romans 1:16 ; Luke 16:19-31 ; Colossians 1:4;5;6 ; James 1:18;19;20;21 ; 1 Peter 1:23;24;25
Above Message and Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:
Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins
Related Scriptures To the Above Message
Psalm 1:1f and Psalm 2:1f
Also, the following New Testament Scriptures:
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." KJV - 2 Corinthians 4:3;4 – [Note: Please read the whole chapter for context]
For better understanding - read the following Scriptures in their context (before and after):
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? - 2 Corinthians 2:14;15;16
"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake....." - Philippians 1:27;28;29
Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
Please note: Topical Messages, by subject
Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel
Please also note:
The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.