About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
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.
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
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