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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Christians - Cry

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Christians - Cry!

You can read this title in at least two ways; as a simple fact that Christians, like all people, occasionally cry - we are not so hard-hearted after all! And then you can read it another way; as an appeal to cry, that in view of the shocking evils and suffering in our world, Christians ought to - even must, cry. But why would we want them to do this, what good would it do?
· NOT EMOTIONALISM
I am not writing about the basic social reality that all people cry, including Christians, but about the second meaning. But, don't get me wrong, I am not talking about weepy, emotional appeals that stir up your feelings without any reference to the facts of the case. I want rather to state the situation simply and as factually as I can, even if passionately, leaving you to respond in a way that is most meaningful for you.
· DECADENCE IS NOT FUN
At its most basic, this is an appeal to consider the plight of the millions lost from God, who are completely indifferent to their being on the broad road that leads to hell itself. This is a simple reflection on the terrible slide of the Western world into increasing post-Christian decadence and depression with the breakup of many families, where vicious gangland violence and street crime rule whole areas of our degraded cities, where girls and young women are trapped in brutal prostitution, where we see, before our eyes, the alarming disintegration and collapse of ordered, civil society, in which the compulsive craving for weird and senseless thrills of people thinking as if they were meaningless genetic junk (but know they are not) and where sex and drugs, or the wild excitement of a crowded concert, or an escape into a computerised fantasy world might quell the madness of it all.
· APPALLING INSENSITIVITY
Yes, Christian, cry that we are not appalled by it any more, that we have become so insensitive to the sheer God-defying brazenness that is a symptom of a deeper woe - that people are lost, profoundly lost from God and under his just condemnation. The Bible is clear that when people give themselves up to unnatural lusts and cravings with insatiable greed and approve of such behaviour openly in society - then 'God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity' (Romans 1:24).
This is not freedom; it is degrading bondage. This is the revelation of God's holy and pure wrath - his reaction to dehumanising decadence, when he allows the removal of restraint and in judgement gives people what they want. Oh, what a terrible gift, a sure mark of worse to come - unless they repent! And they must, and if they do God will be full of mercy and compassion to receive, to forgive and to cleanse them, and to make them his royal children - that is grace!
· FRESH SENSITIVITY
Oh yes, cry to the Lord Almighty for a new recognition of just how far the West has slid on the perilous road to judgement, and for a great movement of compassionate sharing of the good news that there is a way back from sin-slavery. Cry for a recovery of the wonder that God himself welcomes the wayward with open arms, no matter how far they have fallen. Cry Christians - 'To you, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy' (Psalm 30 8).
And then consider afresh that Christ, the Son of the Father's love has already given himself into the terrible condemnation that we rebel sinners deserve.
· A SIGHT OF CALVARY
So cry for a fresh sight of how the spotless Son of God, the Saviour of sinners gave himself into death on the cross, where he shed his precious blood and was willingly 'wounded for our transgressions... crushed for our iniquities... pour[ing] out his soul to death... as he bore the sin of many' (Isaiah 53:5 & 12).
Perhaps, before anything else, we should cry in repentance over our own sins, deep and dark as they may be. We should cry for a fresh sight of Calvary, to behold again the wonders of redeeming love that one so great, should leave such heavenly glory to come into the depths to rescue such vile rebels as we - what grace!
· RECOVER THE GOSPEL AT ANY COST
We must recover the gospel of the grace of God. Doctrinally tolerant new Evangelicalism, conditional immortality, weak, socialised views of sin, doctrinally shallow experience-centred courses and destructive universalism are just some of the often plausible-sounding errors we must leave behind as we cry to recover a sense of the holy majesty of God and the glories of his grace - as we recover the great and precious truths, at any cost, before the gospel of God's grace slips out of our hands altogether.
· GREAT SALVATION
We need a fresh grasp of the biblical centrality and vitality of the old 'doctrines of grace' that set forth how sinners must come empty-handed, in repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ to receive a full and free acquittal - being justified by his grace, by faith in a gracious Saviour who is Lord of all. We need a fresh burden to pray for great outpourings of the Holy Spirit in true Revival, when we shall see such a turning back to the Lord, first of many Christians, as we cry for great mercy for our own unfaithfulness.
Then as the gospel goes forth in renewed power with that glorious sense of awe and freshness in the presence of God, we shall see large numbers of people, young and old turning to Christ for such a great salvation.
Yes, Christians it's time to cry!

Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D. has authored several books and many articles that offer reasoned answers for many of life's big questions - 'Is biblical Christianity finished, or does it still speak to the 21st century?' Take a look at my ebook - 'Pray for Revival' - an urgent call to do just that! Use the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Pray-Revival-everywhere-challenge-ebook/dp/B007WT07PA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340899344&sr=1-1&keywords=pray+for+revival+-+michael+austin My title, 'I Saw Him Die' - takes a fresh look at the biblical meaning of Christ's death - a serious and heart-searching read: Find it on this link: http://www.amazon.com/saw-Him-die-Viewing-ebook/dp/B007TX696U/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_t_2 Use my books and articles to help you find faith in Christ, or to strengthen your faith.Also find titles on other websites - Thank you! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_J._S._Austin,_Ph.D. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7303524  


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