Yesterday though, my mind drifted. I began thinking about John 1:1 and John 1:14 for some reason.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1
Here, we see that God and the Word are synonymous.
"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
Here, when we look at the context of the verse, we see that the Word and Jesus are synonymous.
So as I was thinking about these verses, four things came to mind:
1. If you don't respect God's Word, you don't respect Jesus.
2. If you don't give God's Word authority in your life, then you don't give Jesus authority in your life.
3. You can't know Jesus if you don't know the Word.
4. You can't follow Jesus if you don't follow the Word.
When I look at America, I see a nation heading downhill very quickly. I see a nation that has left Christ for the most part. The nation has left biblical principles for selfish desires. We have redefined right and wrong as if we know better than the God who has been here for all of eternity. Do we actually think we are going to change His mind? Maybe we're saying He made a mistake. When we call ourselves Christians and then redefine the laws of right and wrong He put in place, it certainly sounds like we are telling Him He was wrong on this matter or that matter.
Is it rebellion or just plain ignorance? Probably a lot of both and neither are okay...especially when we have the Word right at our fingertips.
This nation doesn't know biblical principles anymore because God's Word isn't present in most people's daily lives. A lot of churches barely preach it and most Christians don't read the Bible even once a week outside of church. That makes for a lot of people who claim they are following Jesus but don't even know what He taught. How does that even work? How do you follow a teacher if you never go to class or read the assigned reading? The answer is...you don't. You fail the class. The simple application here is that you shouldn't call yourself a follower of Christ if you don't even try and learn what He taught. In being a follower, application of teachings is important as well and it's hard to apply things that you refuse to learn.
It all reminds me of Matthew 7:21-23...
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
Those are some scary verses when I look around at what I see in this nation. I don't want anyone to fall into that...but how many that call themselves Christians in this nation will? They call themselves followers but there is no evidence of it. My heart breaks for that.
In Revelation 3:1-6, it talks about the church in Sardis:
1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3 So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
To me, that sounds a lot like the American Church and America as a nation. These verses should be a wake up call. We have God's Word so easily obtainable. Ignorance is no excuse in this nation. It's time to wake up and dedicate ourselves to learning what the Word actually says and applying it. Not only is there a great danger to this nation if we don't but more importantly, there is greater danger on the personal level with eternal consequences. Nations will come and go but what we do personally with God affects our whole eternity. There is nothing that will ever be more important.
Lastly, if you are going to follow Christ (and I pray that you will), truly follow Him. Seek Him and actually be a follower. Sure, you may make mistakes along the way. I know I'm certainly not perfect and have made plenty. Just don't be deceived into thinking simply calling yourself a Christian is really being a Christ follower. There is so much more you miss out on when being deceived like that. God has such a better plan for your life when you truly follow Him.