The TRUE Bride of Christ
In His church, that is, Christ's church,(The TRUE "Bride of Christ") no one lacks, no one goes hungry- while another is stuffed, no one has two coats while another has none, (that would not be love), no one lives in a mansion while another brother lives in a shed, one does not have an air conditioner while another lacks a heater, (and your neighbor is any one in need). One would not have a luxury vehicle while another drives a broken down dangerous wreak- one does not consume a lavish vacation while another toils excess hours in order to make ends meet! NO that's not love!
The Lord said, "that's where you're robbing me- by covetousness!"
"Wherefore" you say, "Did we do this?" and He will say,
"I was hungry" (and you were eating in fine restaurants)
"I was naked" (and you were buying fashionable clothes).
"I was in prison" (and you were on your boat)...
"DEPART FROM ME!"
Because one who loves always sacrifices for others, and esteems the other more than himself- love denies self for others. The true disciples of Jesus do not work that they may have to consume it upon themselves- they work that they may give to others. If anyone says that he loves God and doesn't love others, he's simply a liar- (the Spirit of God is not in him). (See I John or James)
Do not be deceived, regardless of what he says, if he doesn't love others- he's lost, not born again of the Holy Spirit- on his way to hell- in other words, such a one does not actually possess faith for he is proving/demonstrating by his life that he does not really believe in the Lord or His word (Good-by rich American, you've forsaken the cross! (Sorry, but- These are the "Hard words").
The true church of Christ is as well as being totally surrendered in love for the Lord and therefore love for others, is a separate entity from the world. This church is not part of Sodom and Gomorrah any longer, she has washed and separated herself from the filthiness of the world, in the name of Jesus and by His Spirit. It doesn't look or act anything like the unregenerated groups of this world. She's recognizable as a body set apart as holy, sanctified unto her husband, Christ Jesus- and is conformed unto His image- not the world and it's father the devil.
They live modestly, (not showy as the world). They live simply, (not entangled in the affairs and extravagances of the world) they live together in peaceful unity, (not as the world in selfish competitive enterprises building independent kingdoms to their own gratifications) instead, they sacrifice in love for all others- both for their brethren and for the lost, (not hoarding to themselves)
They share all that they have without fear, not considering their own selves, their simple homes are both shelters for their families and any extra room is open to any in need, their lands, crops, tools, clothes, and basic possessions are for whoever has a need. They are just not at all like the world or the mentality thereof- they've been transformed! God's people truly love and care for one another and desire even that the whole world would be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth- THAT IS THEIR GOAL!
The world's perspective is this world, but for God's people it is the kingdom of God, where Jesus is Lord of all. In a church community their clothes are modest giving no occasion to the flesh, only fulfilling the purpose of covering and protecting their bodies and nothing put on to be seen or accepted by man. Their food is simple and basic to the strengthening of their bodies for the service of the Lord, with no expenses for the pleasing of their fleshly appetites. What is the bottom line? How far would the Lord have us go? AS FAR AS LOVE DEMANDS
Is it really love for me to spend money for a fleshly indulgence if I can instead help someone who needs a basic necessity or the message of the gospel? What can I say? Is not this the cost of true discipleship, even self-denial to the death, even as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us? The true Christian's physical concerns do not go beyond their basic necessities, for everything above their basic provisions is for the cause of love- which ultimately is- spreading the gospel to all creatures, and the supplying of their physical needs- not wants but needs.The church in love, the church I desire to be part of, and could believe is the true visible body of Christ on earth, would be a family of people, set apart from the world by God, living as a unit in love with one another every day, living and working for the the salvation and needs of all men- demonstrated by simple, modest, self-sacrificing , self-denying lives.
To the human eye these church families would look like quiet villages of plain living people, with simple homes and primitive trades. They raise their food, plow their fields, and work and worship together, sharing all things equally and trustingly. Within this community everything above their basic needs, (time, efforts, and resources) is offered and sacrificed in love for the salvation and needs of others. Within this church are always a few extra houses for visitors, homeless, or newcomers, and some of the families have an extra room for same. This family community has gatherings and common dinners several times a week to which any and all are welcome- including family's individual Bible reading and prayer daily.
Individual family life is important, although everyone works and interacts closely and all are accountable one to another. There is a peace pervading this community and frequent singing can be heard. All homes and meals are open all of the time for any one to join with and share whatever they have, and all are encouraged to do so. No one is turned away, and everyday brethren from this community go into the hi-ways, into the cities, towns and country, sharing the good news of salvation; going by twos or even in large groups, sharing the love of Jesus and bidding all to come. (To come to Jesus and to also come out from this world system, and be truly part of a family of God.
Not only are these communities of God's people safe havens and alternatives from the corruptions of this modern world, (and where covetousness is clearly on the list of serious sins), but these servants of God go all over, and use other means besides their own lighthouse communities to call out God's sheep wherever they may be. They even rent buildings to be used as "fishing nets"- in the form of shelters, soup kitchens, halfway houses; they visit prisons, schools, hospitals- anywhere there can be a hand of love extended and the message of salvation given.
The disciples in Christ's church are known by their love, even the real church that has laid down their lives for others on the alter of sacrifice- they are the true followers of Jesus Christ and will be endowed and confirmed with the power of the Holy Spirit.
To these Christians the "Sermon the Mount" is not obsolete but contrariwise it is the heart and soul of their lifestyles. "You can not serve both God and money", "Do not worry about tomorrow...be merciful...love your enemies, do good to them", We are the salt of the earth IF we live what Jesus thought us. This message is not for some "Future Kingdom age", or just for those disciples then. Yet there are some pastors that teach that there is no way that we can live by the "Sermon on the Mount" today. We warn them, as Jesus did: "Why do you call me Lord and do not what I say?" "Everyone of you who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock, but everyone who ignores these words is a foolish man"...(and when the storm came- which surely is beginning) "his house fell- and great was the destruction thereof"). Matthew 7:24
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