John 1:19-23 (key verse is 23)
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
I am focusing here on verse 23 where John the Baptist declared who he was, which was God’s calling on his life even before he was born. He was the voice of one crying out in a place (situation) of spiritual dryness and desertion and abandonment among the people who professed God as their Lord. And this is where we are today, too, where it seems the majority of those professing the name of Jesus are in a state of spiritual dryness, desertion, and abandonment, where Jesus is not truly Lord of their lives.
For so many people who call themselves Christians are living no differently from those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. It is barely distinguishable now between the world and the church, for so much of the church has abandoned the holiness of God to follow the ways of the world instead. And what is being called “church” mostly now are businesses of men being marketed to the world just like other human-based businesses. And they are following after marketing schemes instead of the Holy Spirit.
And so we need many voices to be crying out today in this situation of spiritual dryness and desertion among those who claim to be Christians and followers of Jesus Christ. We need those who are following Jesus with their lives to rise up and to speak out the truth of the gospel (the whole counsel of God) in opposition to the lies being spoken in the name of Christ and in the name of his gospel. For many people are teaching a gospel which does not require repentance or obedient walks of faith in Jesus Christ.
And we need to be those who are making the way of the Lord straight and not crooked. And straight is holy, righteous, morally pure, honest, upright, godly, repentant and obedient to Christ as Lord. And we need to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness for what they are, and we need to call out this false gospel that so many are declaring today which gives permission for its adherents to continue in deliberate and habitual sin while claiming Jesus as their Lord and Savior and heaven as their eternal destiny.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
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How Long Till the Morning
Scripture: I Thessalonians 4:17
By C. E. Couchman
Consider the mornings of this mortal land,
Each a new beginning from the Maker’s hand.
While the storms may gather ‘gainst the evening sky,
The day breaks cloudless in the morning.
Rise up to the battle, for the skies dawn clear.
Let us gather courage while the foe draws near.
Though the night falls weary, saints of God, march on!
And He’ll raise our banner in the morning.
When the trumpet sounds to signal Heaven’s day,
Resurrection Morning when the dead shall wake,
What a glorious gath’ring when the Lord descends
And we rise to meet him in the morning.
How long, my Lord? Till we see the morning?
How long, O, my Lord, till we see your face?
O my Lord, guide us through our troubles
Till we rise above them in the morning.
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