THE SIMPLICITY OF CHRIST
Copyright © 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
People are hungry for the supernatural. Any book that purports to be a dream of Heaven sells like wildfire. I notice an advertisement for a new book that tells us we have counterparts in another universe, and if we will tap into that other person we will have another persona with new skills. The New Age adherents sometimes seek to allure us with promises of mystical experiences, such as spirit travel.
Paul used an expression that rings true to me. He spoke of the “simplicity of Christ.”
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (II Corinthians 11:3—KJV)
The simplicity that is in Christ!
Sometimes people on drugs tell us about the weird sights they see. I have heard that some of the “rock” stars make a bargain with Satan so they will rise to preeminence. I have no way of knowing whether this is true or not. The individuals who dabble in occult experiences usually have no idea what they are opening themselves to. Satan and demons are as real as our physical world, and they are strongly opposed to letting go of any of their prisoners.
There is a simplicity about serving Christ. Christ is a Person. He is alive. The Father, God, has given all authority in the heavens and upon the earth into Christ’s hands.
Our world of today is in turmoil as people and nations strive to be preeminent. The result of their efforts can be seen in the immense confusion on every hand, as well as the slaughter of thousands of people. I am convinced that the Spirit of God is telling us that moral and physical chaos are ahead for America. Whether or not our nation will survive its troubles I am not certain. But I think it never again will be in a position of world leadership. When there are shortages of food and money, many may despair of their survival and the survival of their loved ones. There is little doubt that some will commit suicide because the way of life they have known appears to be gone forever. This especially is true of those who place their trust in the government and in money to supply their needs.
We are wise if we, in the present hour, become accustomed to thinking of our daily needs as being supplied by the Lord and not by the world. We must learn to live moment by moment, always looking to the Lord Jesus for all things. If we could behold King Jesus on the highest throne of the universe, possessing all power, all wisdom, all wealth, and realize the promises He has given to those who are faithful to keep His commands, we would have no fear of the future. Christ holds all people, things, and situations in His nail-scarred hands. What, then, do we have to fear?
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. (Psalms 37:25)
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. (Psalms 34:7)
The provisions for our well-being do not just happen. Did you notice the condition accompanying each promise?
- “He trusts in you.”
- “The righteous.”
- “Those who fear Him.”
When it says “the righteous,” it is not referring to people who have “accepted Christ” and are righteous by imputation. It means people who are honest, truthful, kind, merciful, and who walk humbly with God.
We do well when we do not clutch the future, but live one moment at a time, keeping our eyes fastened on the Lord Jesus.
Can you see how simple this is, as compared with the complexities of efforts to derive wisdom and power from the realm of the occult?
For several years, I have been warning Christians to not attempt to use spiritual formulas to help them with their problems. There are books telling us that if we change our attitudes we will be healed of this or that. Then there are the faith and prosperity devices. “I can get what I want if I only believe hard enough.” Some of these methods are more Hindu than they are Christian.
When we have a need for healing of our body, or help with some other problem, we are to call on the Lord. We do not need to word our prayer in a special way. Jesus is a Person. He understands us and our needs far better than we do. All we must do is call on the Lord and ask for His help. He will answer this simple prayer. Christ is very interested in the smallest details of our lives!
We Christians often try to bull our way through our problems without praying. I do not know whether we don’t believe God will answer, or whether we do not want to bother Him with details. Let me tell you that God wants us to bring every problem to Him, no matter how small. We are to bring everything to God in prayer!
The Apostle Paul told us to pray without ceasing. This means what it says. We do not need to keep asking for things, but we should be talking to Jesus all the time, telling Him how we feel, asking for wisdom and strength, giving thanks when things go right.
The Bible says if we will ask anything in Jesus’s name, we will receive the answer. This is as true as any other promise in the Bible. We do not receive because we do not ask. If we are asking amiss in some manner, Jesus will show us how to pray correctly. But we must keep praying!
As I have stated so many times, trouble and danger are coming to our country because of our sins. Many of the entertainers are beyond obscene, yet the American people keep cheering them on. God sees the moral filth, and He will not let it go on forever. In the hour of God’s judgment, we have numerous promises that we need to keep rehearsing to ourselves. We are not to fret about the actions of wicked people, but to keep our minds on the peaceful, loving things of Christ. If we do not, Satan is going to pull us down from our high place in Christ.
Can you see the simplicity of this way of living? There is no need to despair or to seek occult aid. Christ is available to everyone, except to those who are wilfully disobeying Him. He stands ready to help us in our time of need. He never will leave us or forsake us. Thus our life becomes a continual communication with a living Person who is able to solve every one of our problems.
Satan is doing so many things today to gain our attention, especially in America. There is a multitude of distractions, electronic gadgets, ways to become rich, articles to buy. The media continually is presenting information to us. There is the situation in the world, with various forms of turmoil in the Middle East. In presidential elections, our country is divided between those who favor the old American values and those who are espousing new patterns of government and new moral standards. Any one of these uproars is sufficient to occupy our thinking and remove our vision of Christ.
Some are pressing Christians to become involved politically. As American citizens we should do what we can to sponsor those who hold fast to our traditional moral standards. But you know, the problems we see in the financial and political sectors are symptoms of spiritual sickness. The prevalence of abortion alone would bring down the wrath of God on us. Then there are the attacks on Christianity, the increasing nakedness in the entertainment field, the acceptance of homosexual behavior, that are driving God from our shores. Bringing in the worship of Allah is not helping.
Carnal efforts to solve America’s problems will not defeat spiritual enemies. I have begun to think, as I read about what is taking place in our country, that severe Divine judgment is going to take place. I believe also that God is going to send His Spirit on those who are keeping the commands of Christ, but it will be in the midst of great trouble.
So it is up to you and me if we are to save ourselves and our loved ones. We must be sternly obedient to Christ, seeking His presence in all that we do. We absolutely must live a holy life as the Spirit of God helps us, confessing and turning away from every sin that is pointed out to us.
The government is not going to help us survive either physically or spiritually. It is Jesus alone who will solve our problems as we look continually to Him, learning to think as He is thinking, speak as He is speaking, and act as He is acting.
Christianity was born and flourished under an empire that was hostile to it. Our New Testament was written at that time by men who were being persecuted. As I see the scorn and worse being directed at Christians in our country, there is little doubt in my mind that vicious persecution is ahead for us. When we are experiencing persecution, we need to keep in mind that this has been the lot of the disciples of the Lord Jesus throughout the history of the Christian Church.
God has been with the heroes of faith throughout the ages, heroes who were seeking a better resurrection. We will meet them some day when we die. We want to live each day as they did so we will not be ashamed when we are in their midst.
The Christian life simply is a matter of keeping our eyes focused on the Lord Jesus.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1,2)
(“The Simplicity of Christ”, 4055-1, proofed 20210910)