Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Word of God is very clear here in Romans 12:2. We are to be transformed—changed. We are not to be conformed to the patterns of this world, but changed, different, unique. The Bible refers to believers as a ‘peculiar people’.  To be peculiar,, means we are to be distinctly different. We are not to do the same kinds of things others choose to do. Why? Because we follow a leader who leads us in a different direction for a different purpose. We are not just like everyone else. We belong to God. We choose out of our love for Him to follow Him in obedience. We are to do the things that please Him most.  We recognize that as the people of God, as the church, we have a different purpose. He has transformed us from darkness to light.  Now we must discover what our true purpose in life is. We need direction. That direction for our purpose is found in the Word of God.
Our Purpose:
In a recent radio broadcast, a well known speaker declared our purpose  as the church, to be one of declaring and upholding the doctrines of God. We are to get into the Word, know what it says, understand it, and proclaim it.  We are to hold the line theologically, in a world that wants to twist the Bible truths to suit their own personal agendas.   There are many voices out there, and if we are not securely grounded in the Word, we can be easily swayed by strong opinions.  Today’s generation wants to believe a different gospel. They want to think that the love of God supersedes the justice of God. They just cannot imagine that a loving God would send ‘good’ people to hell. The Bible clearly teaches us that our goodness is like a filthy rag. In us dwells nothing good. It is only through the cleansing blood of Jesus that we can become good, becoming like Christ.  It is nothing we can ever do that can make us righteous in the sight of God. It is only what Christ has already done and our willingness to accept it that can prepare us for eternity. God does not want to send anyone to hell. It is not his desire. He sent us Jesus to change our direction and make a way for not only the Jewish people, but us Gentiles.   He transforms us by the power of His cleansing blood.  Transformation means we are not what we used to be, but we are totally different, a new creation.  As a new creation, we have a whole new purpose for being. It is not self directed, but God directed.  As the ‘church’ we are to be the ‘called out ones’. We are to be called out of this godless world with all its humanistic ideas and false teachings. The church—us—is to be holy. “...Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless”. Eph 5:25-27  While the many emergent church leaders want to change the nature of the Christian church into a new image suitable to the unsaved masses, the Bible declares a different message.  In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching correcting and rebuking and training in righteousness. So that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work..
 We must stick by the Book. It is our foundation for a faith which cannot be moved.  The Rob Bells of the emergent church movement want us to think that a loving God would be welcoming to all faiths,  and that somehow He would make a way for good people everywhere to escape the judgment of hell. They neglect to read the entire message that declares the exclusiveness  of the gospel message as Jesus presented it.  He did not declare that He was one of many ways to find  faith. He said, “ I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father but by me:” John 14:6 There is no other way.  Jesus also declared that it takes a decisive choice on the part of each individual person. We all know John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The word ‘whosoever’ lets us know that each person...each whosoever… must believe. That is our choice if we want everlasting life.  Its not my goodness, or yours that will pave our way to heaven.  It is His goodness, His righteousness, His love that is accepted by sinful men with repentant hearts, that will bring us into eternal life and heaven.
Our distinct purpose as the people of God is to uphold these truths, to declare an uncompromising gospel message. The church is not called to compromise the truth to make it palatable to the sinner. It is to teach the truth as Christ presented it in the scriptures.  When we accept with open arms all other religions, such as Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Taoists and Confucians because they have a small measure of truth in their systems, we compromise the truths of the Bible. Peter said in Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  It  is an exclusive group...led by Jesus Christ. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone.
We are warned in Scripture that in the last days of time, ‘perilous times will come’ (2 Timothy 3:1). It states that people will not endure sound doctrine but will have ‘itching ears’  and will heap up for themselves teachers who will lead them into fables, turning them away from the truth. Our humanistic ways will lead us to disaster if we let it.  We must instead choose carefully, cautiously those who teach us the truth. Do they preach the uncompromising message of the bible? Do they know sound doctrine? Are they easily swayed by self-motivated teachers?
  In a recent radio broadcast, one Bible teacher clearly proclaimed the trouble the compromising church is in. He warned us of pastors who follow the ‘trends’ instead of the Word. The message of the gospel may be uncomfortable for the sinner, but if heeded it will bring great comfort and cleansing from sin and a way to escape the promised judgment of God. 
We are often awash in a sea of misinformation about what the Bible really teaches us. It is time for believers everywhere to take a stand and boldly declare the truth as Christ taught it to the disciples. We are called to minister the truth to the lost and we must know what the Bible says to do so.  Let us be truly transformed so we can transform our godless world in the image of Jesus Christ!                                          J. Johnson
Praise reports and prayer requests…..
Pray for revival!  Pray for those whose lives are filled with arrogance, struggling with forgiveness,  anger and doubt.
Pray for the Johnsons as they seek a new place of full time ministry...a church that needs loving  leadership. Pray as they intermin pastor in Wisconsin churches. Pray for grieving families who have lost loved ones (R. Janowski family, E. Yingling family). Pray for Evangelists, Missionaries, and Teachers. . Pray for US Army Chaplain Steve Maglio.
Pray for those needing a healing touch in their bodies: J. Berens (cancer) Rosemary (chemo treatments) Joyce Johnson (healing her muscles and feet —neuropathy and second round of chemo) Praise the Lord, Joyce’s tumor is gone! Pray for those who are in a famine of the Word of God. Pray for the nation, for the President, for our service 

Dear friends,
Please continue to pray for us as we seek God’s future for our lives. Praise the Lord! We are so thankful and so appreciate each of you who take the time to pray and write. Your financial gifts are so important and needed. Even though the tumor is gone, we continue to face many added bills from the treatments for Joyce’s cancer. Your cards and notes are so encouraging. God bless you all! God is faithful and we anticipate great things in the future……Serving the Master!  David and & Joyce Johnson
Update…..Joyce is getting stronger each day. We rejoice in the Lords touch. She is having a second round of chemo to treat two lymph nodes and to clean up any remaining unseen cancer cells. Join with her in faith and prayer for complete victory! God is able!