About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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In Matthew 28:19 we read that Jesus told His apostles to go into the entire world and preach the gospel.  In Acts 1:8 we read that Jesus said His followers would represent Him to the world once the Holy Spirit entered their lives.  Presenting Jesus to the world through our words and our lives is priority number one for both us as Christians and us as the church.  As is often the case, though, we get easily sidetracked from our mission by prioritizing secondary issues over our primary issue.  


Christianity got seriously sidetracked in the fourth century when it politicized itself by making Christianity the state religion.  It got sidetracked in the fifteenth century when it commercialized itself by mixing the gospel with commerce during the expansion of Europe into the New World.  Both the politicalization and the commercialization of Christianity have been prioritized as number one in much of today's western-world Christianity.  That was a mistake in the past and it is a mistake today. 


It's my opinion that much of that which we call Christian today resembles the commercialized political Laodicean church (Revelation 3:14 - 22) that Jesus eventually did spit out of His mouth, as He warned.  Nevertheless, Matthew 28:19 and Acts 1:8 still stand as the ministry calling for both the individual Christian and the church.  Nothing has changed in that respect.  It is for this reason that I believe a great purification lies ahead of us.  It might be what the apostle Peter had in mind when he wrote about the judgment of God's household, as is recorded in 1 Peter 4:14.


"For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?"


If you read Revelation7:9 through 17 you will note that as this age draws to its end, there will be a massive salvation of souls.  You will also note that this salvation of souls comes through the purification of God's people via persecution from an anti-Christ culture, which includes the execution of Christians.  How close we are to that day, I don't know.  One thing I do believe, though, is this.  Tertullian, a Christian leader who lived from 155 to 220 AD, was correct when he said that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."  The apostle Peter and many others were martyred because of their association with Jesus.  The day of persecution is coming to our present-day Laodicean style Christian church.   

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