Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ZEAL FOR GOD

Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe

There are hundreds of churches in our nation, who preach and teach concerning the Kingdom of God.  This is commendable.  However there is a Scripture that stands out to me in the Word of God which says,
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." Matthew 7:21
These are the Words of Jesus Himself which are loaded and need to be pondered continually if we profess to be believers in Christ Jesus.

The Apostle Paul, while talking to the Church of Jesus Christ in Rome about the nation of Israel, said these words,
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10 vs 1-4

Look at verse 2 of Romans Chapter 10....For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

This Scripture tells us that Israel, God's chosen people, who were taught concerning the Kingdom first hand through Moses, had learnt the truth of the Kingdom of God in a measure.  God showed them great signs and wonders. He showed up in impossible situations – supernatural and out of the ordinary events like the parting of the Red Sea.  They were privy to hearing the prophecies of prophets of old who would have spoken of things to come.  The Israelites would have had prophets like Samuel who gave direction as God commanded, and also Elijah who proved God in the midst of the false prophets, that He is indeed God. 

These are just miniscule examples of what God did in the midst of His people as He revealed Himself to Israel.  Yet, somewhere along the line, the Israelites went off course.  They were found worshipping idols and doing things contrary to what Moses and the prophets had taught.  Others took the Commandments and made a religion out of it.  Instead of growing closer to God their acts or rituals made them become further away from God.  How could something like that happen?

Saul of Tarsus was one who had a zeal to persecute Christians for the sake of what he thought was righteousness…until the day he had an encounter with Jesus Christ, and decided to submit to His Righteousness.  Moses also had an encounter with God on Mount Horeb and his life changed drastically from that point.  He stayed close to God for years until his flesh got in the way and God pronounced on his action.  All of the great men of God had personal encounters with God which served to cement their faith and steadfastness in God. 

This holds true as a necessity even for us modern day believers. We all individually must have an encounter with God.  The Word of God, when preached, is the power of God unto Salvation.  However, we have the responsibility to keep the Word that we hear imbedded in our hearts so that it can change us and bring us into a personal relationship with God.  We would come from merely reciting prayers to talking with God spirit to Spirit.  As we allow the Word to change us, and as we become true disciples of Jesus Christ by the very Word that we hear, we are supposed to make disciples – we are supposed to replicate.  God told Adam and Eve these words – 
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis 1: 28
At that time Adam and Eve were in their untarnished state.  They were told to bring forth of their same species.  In the same manner, as we become changed through the Word of God, we are commanded to make disciples, we are commanded to be fruitful and multiply ourselves. 
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost Matthew 28:19
Now if we misinterpret the Gospel and share that misinterpretation to others, then we would make disciples yes…but not disciples of Jesus Christ.  We can then be accused of having a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge – the end of which will cause us together with the disciples we have made, to be shipwrecked as Christians.  We could run the risk of aborting the plan that God has had for us.

 Jesus warned of those persons who lead the flock away from the truth unto a false teaching.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6
As believers in Jesus Christ we are mandated to leave off the old things and come into the new.  We are to trust in the Word of God only, and adhere to the guidance of the Spirit of God.  If we do not live by these principles, we would have a skewed version of what is the Kingdom of God and of who God is.

I encourage believers to stay in the Word of God – do not try to add anything to it – do not adhere to any doctrine which is outside of the Word of God, and do not bring old habits and past religious traditions into Christianity.  Just because it sounds good, it doesn’t means that it is the Word of God.  Take heed to what God said to us in the Book of Isaiah.

Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: Isaiah 28:9-10
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide us into ALL truth so let us follow after truth and walk in the pathway that the Lord Jesus has made for us – and as we grow in God, let us make disciples with a zeal for God according to sound knowledge.

Blessings to all.



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