ARE YOU OR ARE YOU NOT

by CHARLES ROBEY
(TRUSSVILLE AL)

I understand just how you feel

Seeing churches that seem unreal
Watching believers with lives astray
For evil deeds they never pay
With religion you say you're through
To help you to know, what can I do
I pray the Lord will show you how
To seek His will on knees you bow
If you ever change your mind
Just turn to Him and you will find
By your faith just make your plea
His free grace will set you free
Of your life He'll take command
Of His love you'll know firsthand
Remember, life can be so short
Don't allow the evil one to distort
To the Savior come without delay
You are not promised another day
I understand just how you may feel
Evil misleads but the gospel is real

Do you ever feel "not saved”? In this topsy-turvy world, that's very easy to do. Just getting up, and having to face another day, sometimes just seems to take it all out of us.

The old parson once said, ”When I get up in the morning, I have just so much energy given me. I can jump through it and use it up in a matter of hours. Or I can drag it out all day."

So, where is the church in all of this? And where are we believers?

Have we told ourselves that we can enjoy both spiritual behavior and worldly values simultaneously? The sad component of this thinking is that oftentimes the material thinking wins out over the spiritual way of life.

Many of us tend to live our lives no differently than do the traditional unbelievers. The only positive trait is that we all probably attend church regularly each week. We both watch the same TV channels, listen to the same hard-rock radio stations, tell the same off-color jokes, and keep the same company. The old adage, "not of this world" is only a speculation.
You see, Jesus taught us, "No one can serve two masters." (Matthew 6:24) However, we who name the name of Christ seem to have forgotten this teaching, as we have spent

the better part of the last 2000 years trying to prove Jesus wrong.

The Apostle Paul also enforced this thinking. "And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2)

We need to revert back to the beginning of the New Testament Church agenda. The early church had one central purpose, to tell people about Jesus. And they were committed to the true gospel. (Acts 2:41-47)
Members repenting and being baptized as they received the Holy Spirit.
Members continued devoting themselves to the Apostles' teaching and to fellowship.
Members continued the breaking of bread and prayer.
Members continued being together and had all things in common.
Members continued selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with others, as anyone might have need.
Members continued day by day with one mind.
Members continued taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.
Members continued praising God and having favor with all the people.

A far cry from most churches today, wouldn't you say?
And guess what? The Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:41-43)

So have we, as a body of believers, veered off course here? If so, what will it take to get back to the Old Time Religion, so to speak, and hold to the same philosophy as the early church? This early church doctrine was really a simple doctrine.

Paul summed it up this way, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Amen!

So next time you meet in church, shake a hand or two. Talk to somebody. Pray for somebody. Raise a hand of praise. Sing out so your neighbor may be blessed. And above all, give the preacher a little encouragement. Amen!


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