Thursday, August 4, 2011

... if I but enjoy Christ

"It doesn’t matter if public opinion embraces a certain concept or if the majority of believers accept a certain standard. If that concept or standard is contrary to the will of God, it must be questioned, challenged, or rejected. …Fellow soldiers, holy servants of the risen Lord, blood bought disciples of the Master, heed the call. It’s now or never; it’s time to put up or shut up. Either we take a stand once and for all, or forever hang our heads in shame. History is awaiting our move. So on with it! Let’s start a revolution!" (Dr. Michael L. Brown)

"I pledge my head to heaven for the gospel." (Keith Green)

"When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." 
(D. Bonhoeffer)

In AD 111, Ignatius was thrown to the lions as a result of reproving the emperor openly for his worship of other gods. When he learned of his punishment for confronting the sin of this ruler, Ignatius stated,
“Now and only now do I become a true disciple of Jesus Christ… It is sufficient for me if I but become a partaker of Christ. Let the devil and evil men afflict me with all manner of pain and torment, with fire, with cross, with fighting against wild beast, with scattering of the members and bones of my body; all this I esteem as very little, if I but enjoy Christ.” (Martyrs Mirror)

Revolutionaries and those who are willing to fight for reform both in society and in the religious establishment of their day had better be prepared for their day with the lions.
To stand in the face of ungodliness and lukewarmness is not meant for men who still live. It is for dead men only. Only then can one walk with courage against the flow of popular opinion, the spirit of the age and a sin stained church. 
The one who dares to accept the call to be a revolutionary or reformer, had best be ready for loneliness and rejection. They must be ready to preach, pray or die in a moments notice (The missionaries motto) and be ready to have your head served on a silver platter. But that is nothing compared to the heavenly bliss of a dead man’s march toward heaven or the pilgrim’s prize, or the prophet’s portion and the servant’s reward. 
Jesus bids us to come and die, that we might truly live. For those who think they are the only revolutionaries and reformers out there, remember what God told Elijah, “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal.” (I Kings 19:18) 

Don’t lose heart, you're not alone. Keep your feet on the earth but your heart in heaven. Set your face like flint. Be single eyed and close minded. Embrace the cause of Christ and live ( and die if necessary)! It is only then that we can understand the joy of true spirituality the way our church Fathers did. With hearts blazing... take up your cross, forsake the world, be filled with the Holy Spirit and follow Jesus! 

It won't be long and we'll be with Him.

Tom Zurowski

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