First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
Building a Foundation of Faith (j)
If you read the LA Times, New York Times, and other major U. S. newspapers, you are forced to scratch your head in befuddlement. These news outlets constantly paint Islam as a religion of peace while Christianity is shown to be a religion filled with intolerant bigots who hate gays, illegal aliens, the poor, and are gun-toting, war mongers.
Okay, what are the facts?
(1) Which religion promotes jihads and is involved in most of the wars occurring in the world right now? Islam. Period.
(2) Which religion reaches out to the gay community? Christianity. Islam never does this.
(3) Which religion helps the world’s poor? Christianity. There are no Islamic missionaries, unless you consider Islamic terrorists as such.
(4) Which religion loves freedom and hates cruel bondage? Christianity. Islam wants everyone to live under repressive Sharia Law.
Then, how can the two religions be so misunderstood?
The 1970 Pogo cartoon line, “We’ve met the enemy and he is us,” is certainly apropos for us American Christians because the blame is ours, not the media’s.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35).
The word love, used four times in the above two verses, is translated from the Greek word agape which is the same word that Paul so elegantly defined in 1 Corinthians 13. The two words – one another – that are used three times, refer to us believers (His church) and does not refer to the world system or unbelievers.
Yet sadly, we Christians – Pentecostals, Charismatics, traditional Evangelicals, liturgical Christians, liberal/progressive Christians, emergent Christians, Word of Faith, Prophetic Movement, and whatever – don’t really love each other. In fact, we often look down our noses at each other.
If you doubt this assumption, check out how we Christians piled on Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Ted Haggard, Todd Bentley, Jim and Tammy Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and other leaders who have made mistakes. Can you remember who wanted to cover these leaders’ errors with love? I cannot.
Let me suggest a major reason why revival has not hit America and why we are seeing secularism and Satan win battle after battle against Christianity in our nation.
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love. (Galatians 5: 6 KJ)
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13: 2 NKJ)
All prayers must be prayed in faith in order to please God, but if we don’t have love, our faith fails. It may be that all of our fasting, all of our prayers, all of our efforts to change America’s destiny may be nothing more than shadow boxing, which has never even touched heaven’s doors.
How sad, huh?
Lack of love is a close relative to pride and is the second biggest hindrance for not receiving answers to our corporate or individual prayers.
I suggest that when our prayers are not being answered in a timely fashion – if it’s not pride – then we need to read 1 Corinthians 13 and ask the Lord if we have fallen short of His agape-love standards. If so, we need to repent and change.
What is another reason for not receiving answers to prayers?
(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)