Christian Living

Awake To Righteousness

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I have been reading a book called “Socialists Don’t Sleep.” The subtitle of the book is, “If Christians don’t rise, America will fall.” The Bible says there will be a falling away of the last days. If we, as Christians, don’t wake up and turn back to our biblical roots, our nation will continue is fall and cease to be the country we know and love.

Listen to what Paul had to say to the Romans:

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:11-14)

I set my alarm for 5:00 in the morning, but it seldom goes off because my brain knows the time and I am usually up 10 to 15 minutes before it is set to sound.

As Christians, we should know that the alarm for the Tribulation is about to go off. It is high time that we awake out of sleep and get to work for our Lord.

The Bible clearly teaches that we are saved the instant we truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, so the salvation spoken of here is not the salvation of our souls. The Greek word is also translated deliver, health, salvation, save, saving, and is used most often to mean deliverance from physical danger. It is our salvation or deliverance from this sinful world and the coming judgment of the Tribulation.

The night is a time of darkness. This world is in spiritual darkness. It is a place of rioting (wild parties), drunkenness (intoxication with alcohol, drugs, and music), chambering (going from bedroom to bedroom),wantonness (unrestrained lifestyle), strife (contention, like the rioting we see in our streets today), and envying (jealousy of the prosperity of others). Sadly, many of these things are now common among those who claim to be Christians.

Contemporary Christian Music is the world’s music with christianized words. It seems that the majority of young people who claim to be Christians need to be intoxicated with this kind music. They don’t want anyone to tell them what to do (wantonness), and they are always questioning the Bible (strife). This shows the spiritual darkness that fills modern Christianity.

The end of this time of spiritual darkness is at hand. The events of the last year and a half have made this very clear to me. Our nation, and the world as a whole, has turned from the precepts of God, and turned to the sins mentioned in our text. Today, those who are for these evil things are considered good, and those who stand for the righteous precepts of God are considered evil.

As Christians, we are commanded to cast off these works of darkness and put on the armor of light. The armor of light is God’s righteous precepts. It is time for Christians to wake up and realize that their drunkenness with the world, and their wantonness are the cause of the problems we face today.

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. (1 Corinthians 15:34)

If we are going to wake up, we must first have the knowledge of God. The lack of knowledge of God and His precepts in professing Christianity is shameful. It is a result of the weakness of modern preaching. It is also the result of the multitude of Bible versions that all say different things. These corrupt Bibles are a direct assault on the Word of God and cause much strife among Christians.

How can you know God and His precepts if you don’t have a consistent source of that knowledge? We not only have confusion because of the Bible versions, we also have confusion because of all the different teaching on radio and TV. I know people who, because they have no standard Bible, but use the version that says what they want it to say on any given point, are always questioning doctrine.

Not only are we to put on the armor of light, we are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look at that name:

  • He is Lord. This means He is our Master, and He possesses all power and authority. If He is truly our Lord, we will do what He says, the way He says we are to do it. If we don’t, we can’t expect His blessing. Because we only give lip service to His lordship, but do things our own way, there is a lack of power and influence in modern Christianity.

  • His name is Jesus. It means Jehovah, our Saviour. When we realize what He did for us, and the suffering He went through to do it, our love for Him will grow. The more our love for Him grows, the more we will be faithful servants to Him. At this time, my wife is having some physical problems that limit what she is able to do. Because I love her, doing things for her brings me great joy. Likewise, if we love Jesus, serving Him will bring great joy.

  • He is the Christ, the Messiah, the one who delivers us from the ravages of sin. If we are truly saved, He has delivered us from the consequences of sin, eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire. As we live by His precepts, He is delivering us from the suffering of sin in this life. In the future, He will deliver us from the very presence of sin.

We are not to make provision for the flesh to fulfill it’s lusts. My life’s verse tells us how we should live in this life.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

All these things includes everything we need to live on this earth. If we seek His kingdom before the things of this earth, and if we seek to live according to His righteous precepts. we don’t need to be concerned about our needs in this life.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t have to work to provide for our needs, because the Bible says that if a man won’t work, neither should he eat. Bible precepts tell us to work and to be a good example to the lost people in this world. It also says that if a man does not provide for his household, he is worse than an infidel.

The problem is, too many Christians are more concerned with the things of this world than with the things of eternity. The Book of James gives us a serious warning on our love for this world.

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)

Notice what he calls those who will be a friend of the world. He calls the adulterers and adulteresses. That is pretty strong language. It is spiritual adultery.

He also tells us that to be a friend of the world is to be the enemy of God. I sure don’t want God as my enemy! Do you?

We live in a time when the greatest sin we can commit is to offend someone. We want to keep everything positive and be careful not to rock the boat. If we do, we might lose a good giver or a good worker. This attitude is condemned by the Word of God.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:11-17)

The works of darkness are unfruitful, and add nothing to our lives but pain and suffering. Any joy that comes from them is very short lived. We are not to join in the doing of them (have fellowship with), but are to reprove them. This passage says that it is a shame to even speak of these things, which at that time were done in secret. Today they are done openly. We are to shine the light on these things by reproving them.

Many Christians seem to be destitute of spiritual life. They are fast asleep and totally unaware of what is happening. It is as if they were dead. We are to wake up. This is not a suggestion, it is a command.

The biblical illiteracy of most professing Christians is appalling. As I said before, the multitude of Bible versions, and the conflicting teaching on the air waves, leads to confusion. Many don’t think we can really know the truth because of this confusion. I have good news for you, we can if we will stick with one Bible, the King James Bible. It has stood the test of time, and all the great revivals in English speaking countries were based upon it. We must, however, learn and apply the precepts found within its pages.

Remember, Satan corrupted the Word of God way back in Genesis Chapter 3. After centuries of trying to get rid of it without success, he started corrupting it. In the late 1800s, he fooled scholars in to thinking they were judges of the Word of God. Prior to that time, it was those who were true believers that kept the Scriptures pure. Scholars are dangerous because that have an inflated opinion of their own wisdom. They judged that a corrupt Greek text from the fourth century was the best text of the New Testament and used it to bring out a new translation. They did this even though that majority (95%) of the ancient witnesses disagreed with it.

I might point out that it was what we would call a Bible college or a Christian university that did the corrupting. God only left one organization on this earth to train Christians, and it was the local church (the only kind of church you find in the New Testament).

Today, many churches have Bible institutes, which in itself is not a bad thing. The problem is, they often grow into Bible colleges that attract students from other churches. Once it reaches a certain point, the Bible college takes on a life of its own. In order to have students, who are the ones who pay the bills and keep the school going, they start to avoid being to strict on certain things. Compromise sets in, and compromising Christians graduate.

I started my formal Christian education in a local church Bible institute. After my first semester, it became a full-fledged Bible college. That is when the compromise started to set in. The college is now very liberal.

I was fortunate to have started my real Christian education years before in a good church. It did not have a Bible institute, it was a Bible institute. What I mean by that is, we were taught Bible doctrine from the pulpit, and we were taught how to deal with the lost and with other religions. The main thing I learned from my Bible college experience is, Bible colleges always lead to compromise. There are a few pretty good ones around today, but I see the seeds of compromise already germinating in them.

Now that I have offended some of you with my rant on Bible colleges, let me get back on subject. We are to walk circumspectly, not a fools. Circumspectly means “with watchfulness every way, with attention to guard against surprise or danger.” A fool is someone who is “destitute of reason, or the common powers of understanding.” A person who is wise has, first of all, knowledge. Then, having the knowledge, is able to discern and judge correctly.

We are to have knowledge of what is going on around us (circumspectly) and have Bible knowledge so we can evaluate the circumstances in the light of God’s word. This is the light that Christ gives us when we are awake to righteousness and desire to live righteously.

We are to redeem the time. This means we are to buy back our time from worldly pursuits and use it for godliness. This is what is meant by seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

We are told that we are to do this because the days are evil. This is, of course, because they are filled with evil doing. But I think it goes beyond that. The days are hurtful and oppressive. Painful things happen everyday, and sometimes discouragement sets in because of what we experience. When we walk in the light of God’s Word, the hurt and oppression disappear.

The more we understand God’s Word, and the more we trust what God says, the more wisdom we will have. Our faith grows as we see that God’s precepts actually do work.

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (Romans 5:3-4)

As we go through the trials of life we grow spiritually. The trials teach us to keep on being faithful (patience) through them. Seeing God work through them gives us experience. This experience gives us hope, which is the essence of faith because faith is, first of all, that which stands under (substance) the things hoped for. When God comes through, and He always does, our faith is increased.

We often try to do God’s work our own way. Although, because of God’s grace, we do have some success, the success would be greater and longer lasting if we did it His way.

It is time that we wake up and realize how far we have drifted from the precepts of God as found in His Word. We need to evaluate everything in our lives to see if it is what God desires for us. Then we need to make sure that we are doing things His way.