Posted by: forfreedomalone | 10/07/2019

Expect less, be grateful for more.

It was observed by someone with whom I was in conference recently, that when churches leave the Scriptural Gospel they always create another Gospel in their own image. He proceeded to mention one or two he had observed, then said, “But the most worrying is the American Gospel, because it is created in the American image and that couldn’t be farther from Scripture if it tried”.

I cannot say that his observations are infallible, but I can say that I have observed a similar thing. There is a general, cultural template which fits a country; albeit that it does not apply to every man jack of them; and it can be applied to the Gospel they preach when they leave Scripture and start creating their own doctrine.

The American Gospel is full of “unalienable rights” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Now, while those may be desirable, no one has a right to life, liberty or happiness. No one has that right on any plane, be it alienable or otherwise. Life, liberty and happiness are all gifts from God and in no wise, rights. When one starts to see them as rights one stops seeing them as privileges and then one starts to demand them instead of giving thanks for them. The whole mindset of life, liberty, happiness, wealth, health, peace etc being “rights” results in an arrogance which is tangible, a superiority which is repelling and division which is unbridgable.

The Bible does not promise any of these things, in fact, it could be read to promise the opposite. In chapter 8 of the Book of Romans, Paul says that neither, “tribulation, nor distress, nor persecution, nor famine, nor nakedness, nor peril, nor sword” can separate us from the love of God. Logically there is no point in telling me that these things cannot separate me from God’s love unless those things are going to come to me and try to separate me. Therefore, we can expect to encounter, tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril and sword and we should not be surprised when we do.

A few verses later Paul says he is convinced that neither “death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature” can separate us from God’s love, so we had better add that lot to the list of things which will come against us and try to separate us from God’s love. The unpleasant list is mounting!

In the Second Book of Letters to Timothy, we read Paul talking about “my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at Ico’nium and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured! Yet from them all the Lord rescued me.” He does not say the Lord give him a perfect life, but that he was persecuted, suffered and endured great hardships, yet God saw him through. “Indeed”, he says, ” all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”, so how do you fit in an, “unalienable right” to “life, liberty and happiness”, not to mention wealth, health and the power of the Spirit into that?

The simple answer is, you don’t.The so-called, American gospel, is a lie from start to finish, from the point where the exponents of it leave Scripture. Those who fall for it was being set up for great failure, because they are looking for things God never said he would give them and when the opposite comes they are utterly unprepared.

Paul lists some of the things he did receive in his life as an Apostle, in the Second Book of Corinthians chapter 11. “Five times I have received, at the hands of the Jews, the forty lashes less one. Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches.”

This is what we should be expecting and when we receive, peace, blessing, financial wherewithal, extra and comfort, we should be even more grateful.
Children of God, pursue the higher things, not the lower; pursue the eternal, not the passing; store up your treasure in heaven, where it is safe and expect nothing here but trouble. If you take this path, you will never be disappointed, you will never feel enmity towards God and you will always have joy and praise in your hearts.

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