The Christ Life Print E-mail

by: Bishop Samuel Smith

The Vision of Revival impacts the prayers and lingers upon the lips of Christians, world-wide. For that mighty sovereign move of the Holy Ghost we impatiently wait. "How long O' Lord, how long until the flood waters of your Spirit rise and cover man's fences, drowning all that is carnal, and sweeping multitudes into the Kingdom of God?"

The answer is becoming increasingly clear, Revival does not come by pushing God, nor boasting in the triune face of the world, the flesh and the devil. True Revival comes to those who talk less about "it" and more about "Him".

Why has it taken us so long to recognize the obvious? That most climactic and last book of the Bible, The Revelation, the key to endtime understanding and final fulfillment of Holy Scripture, eloquently proclaims in the opening sentence: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ!"

It is a witness to our lingering bondage to denominational orthodoxy that we search The Book of Revelation to discover the Beast, the meaning of the Number, the identity of the False Prophet and the Anti-Christ; plus, whatever else we may choose to pursue on any given day, while the chief purpose of The Revelation, to reveal Jesus Christ, is somehow given lesser importance, because we presume to already know enough about Him.

Our success or failure in end-time world evangelization will depend upon our ability to portray Christ in word and deed, nothing more, nothing less!

As we approach the end of the second millennium after the first appearing of Christ upon Earth, we all agree that momentous events are occurring. That which can be shaken…is being shaken. Bible prophecy of the last days is upon us. While untold multitudes are deceived by the spirit of the age, many still search for answers to life's complex problems: Why are we here; why do things happen; is there hope, what after death? To have the answer and conceal it is a sin! The answer is not another denomination; not a different slant on the scripture; but, Christ Himself!

The Twentieth Century Church, for the most part, has been overtaken by the spirit of the world! Regardless which extreme one falls into, liberal or conservative, the same deadly attitudes lurk, in one degree or another; strife, envy, malice, jealousy, hatred, competitiveness, lovers of pleasure. As the country preacher said; It is the same ole gal with a different dress. The spirit of the world is the same whether it wears a tuxedo or overalls; evening gown or a printed dress: God looks upon the heart!

Too often the Church, regardless of it's leftist or rightist leaning, wraps its message in ecclesiastical terms that neither challenges nor changes, convicts nor converts. In spite of efforts to dress up the message with excitement and fluff, inevitably, the lost respond with an apathetic sigh.

The only wrapping the Gospel needs is Jesus Christ, presented in truth and power! Let us forget our sermon notes, our degrees and pedigrees; our denominational biases, and pray for the Revelation of Jesus Christ!

I suggest that one obtains a red-letter edition of the New Testament and reads what Jesus said. Study again the accounts of the life of Christ in the Gospels. Too often people study the geographical and technical aspects of the Gospels for a special insight to better prove a preconceived point that props up personal pride that one is a greater scholar than he really is. Each story in the life of Christ is pregnant with Revelation: How to live, how to relate, success in physical as well as spiritual realms; how to die, and the hope of eternity!

There is not one reason in the sacred Scriptures to even remotely believe in a Baptist Christ, Methodist Christ, Catholic Christ nor Pentecostal Christ! We must rediscover the Biblical Christ robed in truth as revealed by the Old Testament prophets and New Testament writers!

Halley's Bible Handbook records The Old Testament is an account of a nation. The New Testament is an account of a man. The nation was founded and nurtured to bring the man into the world.

Certainly, we will study prophecy as part of Holy Scripture, but let others become preoccupied with the famed revelations of Daniel's 70th week, of Ezekiel's wheel, of 666. We shall pray for a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, and how He relates to our lives temporally and eternally. We will pray for a revelation of the ChristLife!

When, as a young theological student, Martin Luther voiced his goal to search out the hidden mysteries of God, the elderly and esteemed Bible scholar, Staupitz instructed him; To know Christ, is to know all about God that there is to know.

The indisputable fact is, Jesus Christ came into the world to reveal God's plan to and for mankind, to all mankind, to all mankind everywhere, world-wide. As the renowned theologian Karl Barth said, Jesus Christ is God's man, and man's God.

Not only did Jesus come to save man's soul, but he came to teach man how to live right. Better living makes for better witnessing; thus leading others to salvation!

Jesus Christ lived the most exceptional life ever known. He was patient, kind, and gentle. He hated to see people in trouble. He performed miracles, not to draw attention to Himself; but, to meet the needs of the people. We can only hope to share in His promised power, when Christ knows our motive is purely to serve Him and to minister in His stead.

The last thing a hell–bound, skeptical, and lost world needs is another sect of Christianity; another form of religion; another denomination with a new set of celebrities, proudly arguing that only they really understand what God wants for His people! The world needs witnesses who have so beheld Him that He has impacted their lives to the degree that He lives in them.

I am convinced that the Christ-Life will convert more souls to God than will a zealous quest to turn people to a particular point of view. An experience outweighs an argument any day!

When Christ walked the Earth, countless tired, suffering and wretched souls came to Him for comfort and help. He touched them in word and deed, and they were never again the same! Let us pray for fresh anointing; for the Spirit of Christ!

Rattle is not Revival; commotion is not creation!

As preachers of the Gospel, our duty exceeds that of shouting imperatives to the people; but, rather to shepherd the flock of God to full revelation in Jesus Christ. He is God with us, our Source, our Help, our Comforter, our Savior; both here and for Eternity. Pastor, if you want teachable, leadable, productive members; they must come into Christ-likeness.

Beloved laity, if you long for spiritual fulfillment and fruitfulness, you have no further to look than to Christ; the author and finisher of our faith. He alone is the foundation of all blessed relationships, of true physical and spiritual success in life. There are no limits to what blood-washed believers can accomplish through pure faith while pursuing the ChristLife in home, church, school, recreation, and business.

 
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