SPOTLIGHT: CULTURES REFLECT VARIOUS AND DIVERSE WAYS OF LIFE IN TERMS OF EVERYTHING FROM BUILDINGS, VEHICLES, HOMES, DRESS, AND APPROACHES TO LIFE !
Christian culture affects our way of life over all. It is and can be identified in our outward demonstrations of life events, our actions in government, how we design buildings, and how we handle economics.
Peter the Apostle of Jesus Christ our God mentions in I Peter 2 that we are a chosen nation of people. Nations reflect a primary style of living which is called a culture and that means the people are distinctively identified by not only their skin color, but the outward manifestations of things one sees in their domains.
Inward ideas and belief systems do affect many things outwardly. For instance, a Christ follower may show a more conservative approach to outward dress. That is, their dress will be more modest than the non- believers, or at least it should be!! Buildings used for worship are distinctively recognized as Christian. Many times there are outward symbols such as a Cross. Secular buildings may have signs indicating what goes on inside of them.
Cultures can be studied in human history. For instance, the culture of the Corinthians in the time of Christ and Paul the Apostle was noted for its immorality, especially sexual deviations, and idol worship. Then there are certain tribes or racial groups on various islands around the globe were people practiced head hunting and would kill and eat the human bodies they had slain.
I noted one tribe that practiced cannibalism, but also, practiced honesty and were very careful not to steal someone else’s property.
The Roman Empire eventually had a reputation which identified them with much immorality, so much so, it actually contributed to their total downfall.
I refer to all of this because I wish to share with you how throughout history God allows tribes, nations, and individuals to progress more and more into evil and sin, or He may bring certain tribes and cultures to faith in Himself and His Son Jesus Christ changing their entire way of life and culture.
In the United States there has been times when we were collapsing spiritually and morally. Church buildings were empty, worship of God was on a low level. Bars and sordid and crude entertainment was prominent, drunkenness and prostitution was high. Our nation was in deep trouble. But, God chose to bring people back to worship and changed the entire nation and we called that period of time “The Great Awakening” reflecting how people turned to God through Jesus Christ and began worshipping Him. Bars and houses of ill repute were closed down and Church buildings begin filling up with people worshipping God. They took their faith seriously and it changed the culture.
Remember this, we cannot, no matter how strong our desire to do so, in our own power change the culture to a righteous and holy one. Only God Himself can do that by changing the hearts, souls and spirits of the people. He has to do it!! A nation can become more religious, but that will only be outward, but the innermost part of the culture’s citizens will be rotten to the core. They will be basically hypocrites, or moral deists without Christ. This is spoken of in the scriptures as, “those who have a form of Godliness but deny the power of God”!
This world is not paradise. You and I can’t make it into a paradise. Often when I ask others how they are doing, I hear, “Having another wonderful day in paradise”! Well, that’s not so! No paradise here. Paradise is coming, but it will only come when Jesus comes back and makes a new heavens and a new earth! But while we are here the culture will always be changing.
It either gets better or worse . And without the influence of true, Biblical Christianity it will get worse.
True chosen Christ Followers, are those who realize their culture is different. Different than the one they were in prior to being called by Christ into His Kingdom and the new culture of God!
Inclusion in this new culture means there is going to be radical changes in the Christian’s life. Changes so different and so dynamic others can’t miss them.
God, for our good and His glory, has chosen to keep us in this broken-down sinful world. He has chosen to use the hardships of this world to complete our transformation into the image of Christ. He does not leave us helpless or alone either. He is not somewhere up there or far away from us. He is actually in us, with us and directing us.
He blesses us every day, and He has us right where He wants us to be. That means your marriage, your job, your local congregation of fellow believers, your family, and your friends and acquaintances, will NEVER be the paradise you want them to be in this world. If you are expecting that from them you will be highly disappointed.
We live in this world system, but as pilgrims, aliens, migrants from another unseen world and culture which is totally foreign to this one, but God has given us a place in that unseen culture and kingdom which is eternal paradise beyond our wildest dreams. Jesus said:
In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you but I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:2.
As we face hardships in this world, we must remember that GRACE has purchased us a ticket for the paradise above with Him which is to come. He will keep His promise. He kept His promise to the world to come the first time, to die and rise from the dead paying the penalty for our sins, so we can escape the judgment and wrath of the Father, and He promised to go back to Heaven and send the Holy Spirit to His chosen ones and He did!
So, He will return! Are you ready for Him? Do you really know Him and His culture? Are you finding that He is more satisfying than this world system and all it has to offer? If not why not? Come to Him and find life, satisfaction, contentment, hope and assurance that ONLY HE can give, for He is God! He loves His own and will always provide for them since they are HIS family!! Amen!