The Danger of Being in Comfort Zone.

 

By Nick Bibile

 

Today many are calling themselves Christians but not doing the will of God. These people who calls themselves Christians are illiterate in the Bible. They do not read and study the word of God. The majority of all born-again Christians read the Bible once or twice a week, or not at all yet 93% of Americans own a Bible.

 

Many are being poisoned by wrong doctrines. As a result A majority of citizens cannot name the four Gospels of the New Testament. A woman said that she thought Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.

 

Nearly three out of four Americans (and nearly half of "born-again" Christians) believe the Bible teaches that "God helps those who help themselves.Ē A similar number of born-again Christians deny the existence of the Holy Spirit and Satan. One in five denies Jesus' physical resurrection and believes he was a sinner.

 

Christianity in modern America is an easy believism. It is tends to be upbeat, it is a convenient and compatible with the world. In this kind of false Christianity you donít need self sacrifice, no need of discipline, no need of humility to have a godly fear, live holy, no need to have a zeal for souls. I want you to hear this sermon and see where you stand?

 

Ephesians 3

 

Eph 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words)

 

Ephesians chapter two ended with the church that was built upon the foundation of Christ, Christ being the cornerstone, founded on the doctrine of prophets and apostles and we the church is built upon this solid foundation. Christians are the city of God shining in darkness, showing lights through what we believe and how we behave so we can win souls to Christ.

 

Apostle continues in verse one preaching the gospel to Gentiles caused him to be a prisoner of Christ. People go to prison when they violate the laws and law breakers go to prison. Was Paul a law breaker? No. Then why did they put him in prison? For preaching the gospel. Is the gospel bad? No, the gospel can save people from going to hell. So if the gospel can save people why is it that Paul was put in prison?

 

The enemy of God, Satan does not want people to be saved and go to heaven, Satan is working day and night to deceive souls and he is using the world and unsaved men as instruments to accomplish his purpose. He will bring persecution to the true Christians.

 

2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

 

Was Paul ashamed being a prisoner. No. Why? Because he did not violate any law, he obeyed the commands of Christ who is the lawgiver to preach the gospel and he went to prison in obedience of his Lord and King, Christ.

 

Today there are many who call themselves Christians but in reality they do not want to do what Christ tells them to do. They are not following the will of God but their own will. Many are hesitant to preach the gospel, tell of Christ because they are scared that they will get persecuted. Oh poor baby.Sometimes you wonder if they are true Christians are not. They would walk as the world gossiping, spending their time in the world, TV, having an appetite and fulfilling the passions of this life instead of having a passion for Christ.

 

During China's Boxer Rebellion of 1900, insurgents captured a mission station, blocked all the gates but one, and in front of that one gate placed a cross flat on the ground. Then the word was passed to those inside that any who trampled the cross underfoot would be permitted their freedom and life, but that any refusing would be shot. Terribly frightened, the first seven students trampled the cross under their feet and were allowed to go free. But the eighth student, a young girl, refused to commit the sacrilegious act. Kneeling beside the cross in prayer for strength, she arose and moved carefully around the cross, and went out to face the firing squad. Strengthened by her example, every one of the remaining ninety-two students followed her to the firing squad. 

2Ti 1:8Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.

When you go through persecution and affliction on behalf of the Lord, it confirms your calling. That you are a true Christian and the devil is pretty upset that you are doing the will of God but God gives the grace to the true Christians to undergo hardship for his name sake.

Some want just a little of Christ, a little of his word not to get too involved. They are hoping that they will just make to heaven. They donít want to be too involve as they fear persecution.

Re 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

It is better to do the will of God and being persecuted for the rest of the life than to enjoy in the palace of a king. Moses who had the privilege enjoying the pleasures of the palace chose to suffer with the children of Israel in the wilderness. The greatest and the true Christians are the ones who suffer for Christ.

Eph 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

What do you mean by the dispensation of the grace of God? Dispensation is Godís divine government,it is the declaration of the free grace of God in salvation that came to you from God. This free grace was not cheap as Christ paid for it with his blood and there is a cost to be a disciple. Here the apostle proves that he suffered for them.

Look at the example of Paul.

2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

Col 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God.

We too are called by God to do his will not our will.

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words)

The word mystery here is to be understood as something hidden in the past, (OT) now being revealed. 1Co 2:7

ďBut we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.Ē (1 Cor 2:7)

What is being reveled then?

See verse one, speaking to the Gentiles.

See chapter 1:9-10

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

See Eph 2:11-15

The mystery is that God is not the God of Jews only but also the God of Gentiles.

Here is a hint in the Old Testament.

Isa 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Paul was persecuted by the Jews in preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.

Acts 21:27-36

They beat Paul and was on the way to kill him when the commander of the soldiers intervened. For Paul to go through this severe persecution was he in the will of God or out of Godís will?

Ac 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

The answer to my question before is Paul was doing the will of God and the result of doing the will of God is to suffer for him also. Let me give you the correct meaning of the word suffer.

Now this does not make sense in what we hear from the majority of the preachers today. They say if you are doing the will of God you will be blessed. If something goes wrong the first thing that comes to our mind is what did I do wrong? You should have done it differently. Let us see this whole picture from todayís point of view.

Paul made a mistake by going to the Gentiles. Of course Jesus told to preach the gospel to the Gentiles but it means that you have to wait till God opens a door and someone will come to you not that you will go out of your way and be so radical of your faith.

Most of the Psalms were born in difficulty. Most of the Epistles were written in prisons. Most of the greatest thoughts of the greatest thinkers of all time had to pass through the fire. Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress from jail

Suffer means to feel and undergo pain in body or mind.

So today if you go through pain in the body of mind take a Motrin or an Advil, go to a doctor.

Satan is like a lawyer how cunningly he has poisoned and deceived people of wrong doctrine. And many are believing the easy way out instead what the word says as people do not want to suffer for God.

On the other hand the Bible says that if we are really Godís children, I mean Christians we will suffer.

 

Ro 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

 

But the true Christian who will suffer for doing the will of God should not worry or be afraid about troubles he or she is going through but should be happy.

 

1Pe 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.

 

Many would say, I donít want to suffer I believe in Christ and thatís enough for me. This is easy-believism. I donít want to go too radical for Christ, I just want to stay in the comfort zone where I will believe in him at the same time I will not suffer. Wow! What a point you made if that is Christianity, the apostles made a huge mistake as they all suffered brutally for Christ. If that is Christianity the early Christians who were tortured severely were fools. If that is Christianity then the hundreds of Reformers who were put to death made the wrong choice. But let me tell you and do not be deceived by Satan that is not true Christianity.

 

Php 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

 

1Th 3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

 

Suffering comes when you are in the will of God, doing his will which is opposite to the world and the devil. Godís will is to follow his ways. Live holy not to be conform to the world. The world will mock at you and make fun at you and you will suffer in mind. Are you suffering to live a holy life for the Lord? If you say no, then you are compromising.

 

The true Christians suffer in preaching the truth of the gospel. Exposing sins and calling sin as sin, telling the wrath of God that is going to come, calling them to repent. You will be not very famous if you tell these but will suffer.

 

Someone asked "Why do the righteous suffer?" "Why not?" the other replied. "They're the only ones who can take it."

 

If you want to reign with Christ you will suffer for him and if you donít want to suffer for Christ and compromise then want to live in the safe and comfort zone it is to deny Christ.

 

2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.

2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

 

I would rather suffer for Christ doing his will, in getting involved in the ministry, than just to come and hear the word of God then go home and stay in my comfort zone. If you stay in your comfort zone thatís where sin is, I will rather watch my favorite T.V programs, I will have fun going out with my worldly friends.

 

There is a new generation that does not know God. They have no fear of God. The teenage sexual activity and pregnancy have increased 400%. 70% of unwed teen mothers will go on welfare. Of teens who marry because of pregnancy, 60% will be divorced in five years.

 

Many are so busy pursing the American Dream of the good life, eat, drink be happy while you are alive. I would have time to feed to my flesh. Sin is at the door waiting for you, Satan is calling you with deceptive words.

 

If you donít do the will of God and suffer for his sake then you are sinning against God with evil.

 

1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

 

1Pe 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.