Pleasing Christ in Uncertain Days

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:9 that he makes it his aim to please Christ. His goal, ambition, and great desire was to please his blessed King. May this be ours as well. In today’s post, I’d like to give you for exhortations for pleasing Christ in the midst of these uncertain days.

First, be a:

Glory Zealot

You want to make it your aim to please the Lord? Then be zealous for glory. I’m not talking about your glory or mine, of course. I am talking about the glory of God.

If you want to have a Christ-pleasing home or church or ministry it starts with being a glory zealot. One who is zealous for the glory of God.

More than any vision put forth by men, we need to recover the vision of God He reveals to us in His Word. High and lifted up! Holy, holy, holy! By the Spirit put to death the idols of your heart. Mortify ungodly ambitions. Make it your aim to please Him above all else.

Let us then recover this great phrase, Soli Deo Gloria, as more than just something to slap on t-shirts or coffee mugs. This great phrase is so much more than a hashtag. Let us live our lives for this wonderful end: the glory of God in all things.

Secondly, if you want to make it your aim to please the Lord, be a:

Bible Fanatic

It is our great aim to please Christ. Not another church. Not the SBC or any other denominational group. Not a coalition within the church. Not The Gospel Coalition either. Not the world. Not the culture. Not the government.

It is our aim to please Christ the King. It is our hope that others will be pleased along the way, but honestly, it doesn’t matter who is displeased so long as Christ is pleased. And that is our aim.

And so, this means we must be unwaveringly committed to His Word. Since He is Lord and King, He has all authority over us, and He has communicated that authority in His Book. If your aim is to please Him, be a Bible fanatic.

What am I saying here? Simply this: believe and do what the Good Book says! J.C. Ryle said, “Let us read our Bibles reverently and diligently, with an honest determination to believe and practice all we find in them. It is no light matter how we use this book.”

So, if the Bible calls it a sin, it’s a sin. Don’t try to nuance the Bible into oblivion. Open the Book and let it speak! Be so fanatical that you take this Book for what it says and how it says it. Be a Bible man or Bible woman.

It’s okay to be a weird young earther. Moses was. Paul was. Jesus is. I’m content siding with them.

If it’s the “simple-minded” who’re willing to believe what the Bible says, count me among them. I’ll make my home with the pig farmers over the professors. Count me among the cultural exiles rather than the capitulating elites.

Give me the degree from the Strip Mall Seminary over one says I need to read the Bible with a certain amount of melanin or different gender to really get it.

So, this is my plain and humble exhortation: take up and read the Bible and believe it and obey it. This is the inerrant, infallible, authoritative, sufficient Word of the living God. It has a Word fit for every season, every trial, every sin. As the culture seeks to silence the church today this Book is strong enough to turn their persecution into repentance.

Preach this Book without equivocation and see hard hearts break as God saves. Or if the Lord wills, this Book has the power to put a song in our heart even as they burn us at the stake. So, whether they are converted or kill us, preach the Bible and let the Lord be pleased – To Him be the glory.

Let me exhort you to get in this Book frequently. And get this book in you. Read it daily. Store it up in your heart. Please Him! Be a Bible fanatic.

Those who stand steadfastly on the historic principles of the Christian faith will eventually be called extremists by the ones blown about by the winds of cultural change.

Thirdly, as we make it our aim to please Him, be a:

Gospel Radical

To be a gospel radical is simply to believe this: What the homosexual needs, what the transgender person needs, what the glutton needs, what the drunkard needs, the liar, thief, and idolater need, and what I need, is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have no hope for reconciliation with God based on my merits or my work or my ministry. Oh, but what a blessed and enduring hope there is in Christ! Christ did not merely carry sin to the cross. He did not merely pay a debt for sin on the cross. No, 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, He was made sin.

That is, our sin was imputed to Christ. On the Cross Jesus was treated as us.

You already know the most important thing to know about every person you meet. In and of themselves, they were so vile, filthy, depraved, and wicked that their only hope of reconciliation with a holy God was for Him to slay His Son on the cross as a substitute.

And because Jesus rose from the dead, we know that any who have faith in Him are clothed with His righteousness. This is what has been called the great exchange. On the cross Jesus received our sin and by faith we are credited with His righteousness.

I know the next great church planting book will tell you how to reach your town or millennials or Gen Z or this or that demographic. But I’m telling you right now how to win them: The gospel of propitiation.

Be a gospel radical. Tell the men and women and boys and girls in your community to repent of their sins and trust Christ alone as their only suitable and all sufficient Savior. Tell your family. Tell your coworkers. Tell the masses: Jesus Christ saves sinners.

Worry far less about this or that ethnic percentage in your church and instead preach the gospel to 100% of the people in your community and see God save for His glory.

The foulest sinner in your town or in your home or God forbid, on your deacon board, is no match for the power of God in the gospel. Preach the gospel to the self-righteous, the down and out, the poor, the rich, the affluent, and the illiterate. And trust that it is the power of God for salvation for all who believe.

No breathing sinner is beyond the reach of God. So, be a gospel radical.

Finally, be a:

Local Church Extremist

It is impossible to have a ministry pleasing to Christ without being committed to the local church. Be so committed to the local church that the world questions your sanity. Be so committed they just wonder if you’re in a cult or something.

  • Be committed to regenerate church membership. That is, only those born again are eligible for membership in the church upon their profession of faith and believers baptism.
  • Be committed to restorative church discipline. Take sin seriously and membership seriously.
  • Be committed to life together with your church.

The local church has fallen on hard times, but I assure you this: When the Lord returns you do not want to be on the side of those who have disparaged her. Who have mocked her. Who have neglected her. Who have treated her shamefully.

Christ is King. Christ is head of the church. We must listen to Him in His Word on how we are to order the church and worship in the church and live together with the church.

You want to please Christ? Be a churchman. Love the local church. Train your men to love the church. Train them to lead in the church.

Now is the time to do your part to get the church you are part of in order because one day soon, you might just have to meet in a barn or in a basement or at night and in secret. And if you wait until that day to get serious about the church, it’ll be too late.

Maybe not for you per se. But the blood of some of your flock will be on your hands because u neglected to do now what needs to be done out of the fear of man.

But men are not who we are to be afraid of. And men are not who we are aiming to please. Believe in and commit to and teach your people the glorious necessity of the local church.

It is impossible to have a ministry pleasing to Christ without being committed to the local church.

Conclusion

2 Corinthians 5:10 reminds us that we won’t stand before earthly kings or presidents or networks one day. No. It will be the King of kings Himself. The Lord Jesus Christ.

Will we be found faithful? Will we be found loyal?

I’ve used these punchy words, but you know really, I’m just saying be an ordinary Christian. When they toss you in the gulags make it be for these reasons we’ve examined in this post.

And you better know that other professing Christians are going to be lined up applauding your arrest. You’re just trying to be an ordinary Christian living to please your great King, but they are going to say you are too zealous. Too fanatical. Too radical. Too extreme.

Those who stand steadfastly on the historic principles of the Christian faith will eventually be called extremists by the ones blown about by the winds of cultural change.

They are going to say you should have toned it down. While they were doing varying sorts of idolatrous and sensual practices in the name of evangelicalism, you should have just been quiet about it.

You’ll be tempted to believe them. You’ll be tempted to compromise. You’ll be tempted to conform to their squishy, middle of the road, fence riding, world pleasing, vacillating ways.

You’ll be tempted to get in the car with them and drive to destination nowhere on the road of indecision. But you must remember this:

  • Your aim is not to please them.
  • Your aim is not to please the world.
  • Your aim is not to please self.
  • You don’t need endorsements from Black Lives Matter or the evangelical elites.
  • You don’t need the approval of your local Mayor

Your aim is to please Christ. Your goal, your desire, your ambition is to please the King for the glory of His Name.

Carry that motto to the guillotine.

It’s alright to lose your head.

Just don’t lose your heart.


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