“ As I study these passages I see that we are to become more and more separate from the world, not more and more like the world. If you are so in love with your video game or books series or tv series that you become resentful if your participation in it is questioned as a professing Christian then that is evidence of a deeper spiritual problem such as idolatry. Remember my brethren, spiritual blindness is a judgment that comes from God upon those who refuse to repent of their idolatry (Romans 1, 2).”
I can think of any number of other actions, activities, practices and beliefs, besides video games, books and TV shows that many in today’s culture hold sacred as rights and get offended at anyone who challenges them.
Mike you refer to Bunyan, perhaps his messages are too sharp for today’s culture.I have yet to hear any pastor preach on his small work on Jesus’ parable: T H E Barren Fig Tree; O R, The Doom and Downfall of the Fruitless Professor; 60 pages, 1688.
Which contains both a message of hope but also extreme warning.
“ From this brief pass through this parable, you have these two general observations:–First. That even then when the justice of God cries out, I cannot endure to wait on this barren professor any longer, then Jesus Christ intercedes for a little more patience, and a little more striving with this professor, if possible he may make him a fruitful professor. ‘Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it; and if it bear fruit, well,’ &c. Second. There are some professors whose day of grace will end with, Cut it down, with judgment; when Christ, by his means, hath been used for their salvation.
As you well describe we can only pray and hope that the Holy Spirit’s work in us produces this fruitful result. From my own actual fruit trees, I know there are good years and bad years and that a little “dung” can help. Perhaps the key word here is “None”.
Luke 13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
Perhaps more discussion of the 58 or so verses in the New Testament that refer to “fruit” would be a useful encouragement? Are fruit’s just actions, or attitudes, or is there a fruit of good “doctrine”, and how are they described? You might consider some posts on these if you have not already done so.
As for Bunyan here is the link.
by Mike Ratliff
16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:16-17 (NASB)
Even through as Christians we are justified and are under no condemnation (Romans 8:1) it is also clearly taught in God’s Word that Christians are to live lives of repentance from the works of the flesh. There are some, such as those who call themselves “New Calvinists” who take the Doctrines of Grace and separate them from the great teachings of the Puritans such as John Owen, John Bunyan, Thomas Watson, Jonathan Edwards, et cetera that made it clear that in this life Christians are required to “work out their salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). No, these “New Calvinists…
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