“How to Approach the Bible”
A study series by Arthur J Licursi
Part 19 of 24 – The Real Need in the World
So, what about the needs of the world and the
, in this time of wholesale rebellion of society against God and the spiritual famine in the land? USA
Many Christians have erroneously thought God’s goal today is to make a Christian nation of the
under His theocracy. This is yet another false concept by people thinking God still today deals with “nations” as He has dealt with U.S.A. in “time past.” They have this error because they have spiritualized the Bible to think this; “Since God has dealt with Israel Israelin this way as a nation - then surely He deals with the today in the same way.” This is not correct during this day of “the dispensation of the grace of God.” U.S.A.
Actually, God today is in the business of dealing with individual human hearts. He seeks to have a Father relationship with His Spirit birthed offspring, as many as would receive His Son, individually. Today, He does not deal with or call nations; He only calls people, individually, to receive Christ salvation and “Spirit of life”; to make them His Spirit-birthed children, born of His incorruptible “Seed, which is Christ” (Gal 3:16, 1Peter 1:23).
Sadly, the condition of the
is largely unimpacted by the church at large. A survey taken several ago in the USA found that the number of people who do not participate in any religion has grown from 8% to 15% in just over 10 years. “The percentage of Americans claiming no religion, jumped from 8.2 in 1990 to 15 in 2001. Given the estimated growth of the American adult population since that census had the population at 207 million and rising to 228 million; that reflected an additional 4.7 million “Non-religious.” New England has taken over from the Pacific Northwest as the least religious section of the country, with Vermont, at 34 percent “Non-religious.” USA
Obviously, the “church” in the
in its current condition has had little or no effect upon the general population. USA
Actually, the church today, “the body of Christ,” is not here to try and bring theocracy, reform the “nation,” the world system, or solve the problems facing society, inaugurate social justice, etc. While true believers should have an impact for good wherever they are, we are not going to change the world system around us. In fact, part of our task is to testify to the fact that the world is not going to be made acceptable to God, but rather as the age progresses it will grow worse, morally and spiritually, until Christ returns to put down man’s rebellion and establish His reign on earth.
The church is here to save individuals out of this world system, to deliver men from “this present evil world” (Gal 1:4). Part of that evil world is the religious systems that Christianity has become, since it marginalized Pauline teaching. I refer not of the individual believers but of the religious systems and organizations of men. The “power of God unto salvation” (Rom 1:16) today is according to Paul’s mystery gospel that He received from the ascended Christ. His is the gospel that actually changes lives in a genuine way. Carrying the message of “the dispensation of the grace of God,” and “the revelation of Christ according to Paul’s mystery gospel” (Rom 16:25) that points men to receive the indwelling “Spirit of Christ” (
1:27) is the way to make our personal work relevant to the realities and needs of people in our time. Col
We are here to be used of God in the saving of souls from the wreck that this world’s secular and religious systems, which are doomed to destruction. We are not here to fix a doomed world, or the church system that has turned away from Paul’s grace gospel. Both the world system and the religious organizations of men are destined for the wrath of God and judgment. True believers are saved, but the corrupt religious systems of apostate Christianity are doomed along with all the other religious systems of men. These religious systems have become reduced to a mere “form of godliness” just as Paul described they would when he wrote to Timothy.
2Timothy 3:5 (KJV) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Sadly, many churches and denominations today are but a shell of what God had once done in the past. God, being living and purposeful, has moved on, while they hold to the empty “form” of what once was, and thus they are powerless.
Tragically, when the need is greatest, the church has become totally irrelevant and ineffectual in our floundering and confused religious and secular cultures.
Seemingly aware of its impotence, all kinds of Christian movements have emerged. They seek social and political power in order to gain attention to the causes dear to them – they most often miss the mark of our real cause. For all their effort in everything from political action to new contemporary methods and programs, the world around us rushes forward largely untouched by the truth deposited in the care of Paul for “the body of Christ.”
Why is this? What is the problem? Some answers they consider are these; a lack of prayer, the absence of holy separated living, an indifference to the lost, the need of world evangelism, a disregard for the earthly needs of those around us, etc. But these are really only the symptoms.
What’s the core cause of the churches impotence today?
The principle cause isn’t really that difficult to identify. It’s the departure of the church from God’s message and program for today as revealed through the epistles of Paul that is the root of the trouble.
’s departure from Moses’ law that constantly got them into trouble, today it’s the church’s departure from Pauline truth. Just as sure as the Law dispensation was committed to Moses, surely “the dispensation of the grace of God” was committed to Paul (Eph 3:1-9) for us to this day and until the rapture of “the church, which is His body.” Israel
Only when the church returns to the truths Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God” for today will it be able to fulfill its true role as “the pillar and ground of truth (1Tim 3:15). This is the true path to the revival so desperately needed and the only avenue that can lead to a genuine spiritual awakening for the individual people of our nation and the world.