Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 27, 1970
NUMBER 16, PAGE 3,5b

20Th Century Christianity

John J. Miller, Jr.

20th Century Christianity as it is looked upon by many has failed to bring about any major change in the thinking or the acting of man. As a result of this kind of thinking, many in the church (those who are satisfied with "a religion") and those without fail to see "truth" as it has been revealed in God's Word. (Jn. 17:17) Christianity has been reduced, by many so called humble and pious men, to fit the whims of man and therefore cannot effect any real change in thinking, for these "pious men" and those that blindly follow have made Christianity into a form or way of life that meets what they (man's wisdom) consider necessary. This then, leaves the follower or inquirer to believe that "truth" is dependent upon man's needs or desires without consideration of what God has commanded and revealed to us. (Jn. 14:15)

Man has certainly developed in many areas in the past decade, yet he is just as far from God as was Israel of old (this applies to many in the church). (Isa. 59:1-2) And he knows nothing about "true" Christianity as a profitable and benefical way of life because of his twisting and perverting that which God hath made known. One can readily see that the "Christianity known by the world is certainly no better or no worse than those religions introduced by the pagan world."

During times of unrest in our country, and prosperity, in recent years more and more is being said against Christianity. Thus Christianity along with man's laws have for the most part been lumped together and condemned as a system that cannot work any longer, for it has been tried (?) and failed. How sad it is that minds have been closed to "truth" and to true Christianity which is the way of life revealed by God to benefit man and to glorify the Father and which sets forth the Christ as Lord and Saviour of mankind. (Jn. 1:1-5)

The popular religion that has taken the place of Christianity seems to be that of "Libertinism." Even the denominational world is feeling the effect of this kind of thinking for "libertinism" or "liberty to please self" is tearing them asunder. Yet in view of what has been said, "Who is at fault?" Certainly those who will not examine the foundation upon which true Christianity rests (truth) are to blame. What can be said for the man who condemns that which he knows nothing about? And yet that is exactly what has happened, so those who fall into this category are certainly to blame even though they are sincere. (Prov. 16:25) There is another group that I want to consider however, and that group is the group that call themselves, "Saints, disciples, Christians," etc. Is there the possibility that those who are so called could also be equally at fault? I believe that there is that possibility. Let me first say that there are many who have heard the Word of God proclaimed and have examined the evidence presented (Jn. 5:39; Rom. 6:17-18). Then realizing the truthfulness of this evidence, "sold out" all, that they might be saved and become a part of God's family upon this earth and thus a part of the "true religion" found in the Bible which we call Christianity. They continue to give all to serve the Lord. They read, they study, they meditate, pray, give, teach, exhort, rebuke or what ever else is necessary that they, as well as others, might realize how great is our salvation but more, how great is the God that has made salvation possible through the blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ. (Col. 1:12-14)

As I observe many who wear the name Christian, I am made to wonder if the full impact of the blood of one who was sinless has ever made an impression on them. I ask, for I see in the Lord's church (Matt. 16:18) today those who cry out, "I love the Lord," but act as though their love must be on their terms and at their convenience. Authority is cast aside and thus it would seem that many "Christians" have reached a stage of development wherein they can determine which of His laws are to be obeyed, and which can be omitted as well as when certain laws apply and when they don't. (Institutionalism is but a small part of the whole picture). Thus this group is just as the other group we discussed earlier. Yea, more than guilty are they, for they have tasted the sweetness of God's mercy and have eaten of the body of the Christ only to turn aside from "truth" and so live and so act as to cause others to wonder, "For what do you stand and to whom have you given yourself?"

Where is the child of God today that has turned the thinking of the world upside down by word or deed or one man for that matter? Where is the simple trust, the faith? Can there be any wonder the world cries, "Christianity has failed." Is it any wonder that the lost remain lost and the saved go back into the bondage of sin? (2 Pet. 2:18-20) I can well understand why, to many, that God is indeed dead. Where is the conviction of the first century? Where is the man that is willing to lay down his life for "truth?" Where is a "man" who has sold out? Yea, given all for the Christ who died for him. Who will stand this day and say, "It has not failed nor will it fail?" Who will stand against the multitudes and say, "I believe with all my soul, with all my being," and then so live as to cause no doubt? Where is that man?

Christian! No longer fight against God, resist the devil, turn from the ways of unfaithfulness and ask no more, "How much must I do?" but rather pray, "What more can I do?" Let the Lord use you richly in His service, let it be His will. The gospel which causes one to become a Christian wasn't designed to change the world, it was designed to change the individual (Rom. 12:1-2), and in so doing the world will become a better place to live and we will indeed be "known of God," heaven will be our home, and as the Spirit has revealed, eternity will be a blessing in the presence of God forever.

How trivial then is our fighting against the Almighty God, how senseless and how meaningless our endless excuses as to why we "can't." How utterly foolish that we should disregard the authority of heaven, the faith once and for all delivered, which can save the souls of men lost in the depths of sin. Friend and brother, be assured of this one thing, that you are a child of the devil and that you will remain a child of the devil, regardless of what form of doctrine you may have obeyed. You are condemned not to die, but rather condemned to eternal darkness, separated for an eternity from the grace and mercy of our great God until, until you have given yourself to the mighty God of heaven, selling yourself into slavery unto His Son, as a servant of mankind. Mankind who will laugh at you and mock you and persecute you, who will deny you and who will take your life if they can. To serve, friend that is your calling Christianity real? Meaningful? Only when we will die to this world, die! Think about it, we must die to this world.

For more years than we should be able to remember we have tried to live in the world and to the Christ. We have replaced the mighty wisdom from above with the weak blundering wisdom from below, let us therefore once again seek authority for all that we do individually and collectively. Seek it and abide in it. Let us awake while there is yet day and show the world that Christianity is just as important and means all that we say that it does by humbling ourselves before the God of heaven and by giving ourselves in service to the only Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Christ Jesus.

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