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Evangelist, Baptist, Husband, Father, Mid-30's.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hear the Call of the Kingdom

The Reformation was born in Sola Fide (salvation by faith alone), it spread in Sola Scriptura (God speaks in this age only through his Word), but it was sustained in Sola Sacerdos (every believer in the New Covenant is a priest/sacerdote). This is an exceptionally amazing privilege for the Christian, we are allowed to do things that most people cannot ever dream of doing, we can pray and have God hear us, we can approach his throne of grace, we can preach of his atonement in Jesus Christ, and our whole life becomes a sacrifice to the Lord of heaven and earth.

But recently many have forgotten or ignored Sola Sacerdos, they have begun to build a hierarchy of believers, a sacerdotal religion, one that dotes on the super-spirituals. In Seattle a witch claims that God spoke audibly and authoritatively to tell him to "marry [a certain girl], preach the Bible, to plant churches and train men." In Charlotte a minor antichrist has set himself up in this way, "[Our church] is built on the vision God gave Pastor Steven. We will aggressively defend our unity and that vision." If these were based in the Bible they would not be as destructive as they have been. Other more subtle sacerdotal religions say to listen for God, he might want you to sell all your stuff and give it to the poor. Others listen for "a still small voice" or a "leading" into ministry. All of these have utterly wrecked the church, because they are everything but biblical. Witches and hirelings run throughout spreading heresy and speaking for God where God has not spoken.

As professed Christians, professed priests of the Living God, their condemnation is tremendous, as it is written,
Yet let no one contend,
--and let none accuse,
--for with you is my contention, O priest.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
--because you have rejected knowledge,
--I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
--I also will forget your children. - Hosea 4:4,6
Dear Christian, if you are not terrified by this prospect, then I beg you to test yourself to see if you are even in the faith. Let us be sure that before our mouths open that we are not misrepresenting God, let us pray that before we could dishonor God with our words that our tongues would fall out or cleave to the tops of our mouths (Psalm 137:6). I am writing this to motivate you to obey the call that you received when you first heard of Christ and believed on his name. There is no special sacerdotal call to the ministry, you are called to present your body as a living sacrifice, to take up your cross and follow Christ, to live a life worthy of his calling, yours is the priestly duty of preaching the gospel of forgiveness of sins; as a Christian, favored by God, you are a minister in his kingdom.

He gave you a command two millennia ago to preach the gospel, and he has never rescinded nor altered that commission. Therefore, dear Christian, do as it says in Jesus' parables, go to the highways and hedges and compel as many as you find to come into the wedding feast so that the wedding hall is filled with guests, whether good and bad; yours is the invitation, not the discernment. Your call is to be the herald of good news, the messenger of the kingdom. This is not a silent job; while it does not require a trumpetous voice, it does require you to open your mouth and proclaim to humanity the excellencies of him who called you out of the darkness into his glorious light.

Under our modern sacerdotal religious system, many sit back and say, "I haven't been called to share my faith." This excuse is wicked and lazy, for any Christian who has ever read the New Testament knows they are called to share their faith. Over a century ago William Booth put it this way,
'Not called!' did you say?

'Not heard the call,' I think you should say.

Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin.

Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help.

Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there.

And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.
Beloved, if you are in the kingdom, then you are called. Do not fall for some ridiculous hierarchal call to share your faith. You are a priest of the Living God, you have the same authority as if you were God's Son himself to publish peace and call mankind to repent, because you are in his righteousness and seen as though you had lived his life. He came to seek and save the lost, and he has commissioned and prayed for you to do the same, calling all to repent and trust in his saving work on the cross and in the empty tomb.

You may live in an exceptionally godless place, or like me, in a place that is so hardened to the gospel through the wicked free-will message that most won't know they are God's enemies until he casts them into Hell, but who knows, perhaps you have come into the kingdom for just such a time as this. If you remain silent, then relief and deliverance for God's saints will rise from another place, but you put yourself in tremendous danger that you may be found false, and in such a terrible judgment you will perish.

Jesus says that if his followers do not declare who he is, that the rocks will cry out. Beloved, I refuse to be outpreached by a rock, and I pray that you will open your mouth and proclaim the excellencies of Christ. Hear the call of the kingdom and proclaim Christ and him crucified for the forgiveness of sins! Don't wait for something mystical; it is revealed: he calls you to be a priest and a herald of the kingdom, to open your mouth, and call lost sheep home.

Beloved, don't be outpreached by a rock.

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