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Dangerously Low Horizon

Philippians 3:18-19
For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. (NIVUK)

It would be nice to think that everybody is a friend of God, but that is not true.  Whatever people say, everybody is either living as a friend or an enemy of the cross of Christ.  There is no middle ground.  Clearly it deeply concerned the apostle, as he had passionately warned the church about the dangers of drifting from the cross as the only valid spiritual anchor point (Galatians 1:6-9).  Today, despite a plethora of so-called ‘spiritual’ ideas circulating the globe, the cross of Christ is still the only access point to God and sharing eternity with Him.

The gospel, the message about the cross, is still “the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).  Jesus’ death is still a radically transformative event to those who welcome what He did for them.  The Apostle Paul put the cross at the centre of his teaching and refused to dilute it (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).  Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, to redeem (buy back) those who have been taken hostage by Satan so that we may receive God's righteousness (2 Timothy 2:26).  

No wonder that Satan urges people to fight against the exclusively ‘narrow’ message of the cross (Matthew 7:13-14). Millions still in his grip refuse to accept that the cross was necessary for them personally: their lives show it now as will their destinies.  They are either proudly self-reliant survivors or miserable victims of life; they cannot accept God's free gift and insist on making their own way (Jeremiah 2:13).  Although some of them go to church, they do not really trust Jesus because they substitute their own appetites as gods to be satisfied.  There is no good spiritual future for such people, only destruction; and no joy-filled lifestyle, only shame; no heaven ahead, only hell.

Such people reject Calvary as the solution to a sinful world, lowering their horizon from the glory of God to the satisfaction of their appetites.  Their minds are full of eager or anxious short-term solutions to eternal spiritual problems.  They may be characterised by high energy projects, high grumbling inertia or hopeless apathy.  No wonder Paul was in tears over them.  Many are seduced into dutifully caring for family or making money, but without ever wondering if their lives honour the Jesus who died for them (1 John 2:2).  So, in a busy world with many pressures, we must remember that ‘righteousness’ that does not come through Christ's cross is eternally useless.  We who claim to know Jesus, must have a heavenly horizon and navigate there through the cross of Christ (view www.crosscheck.org.uk).  Those who love Jesus because of the cross will stand out from the crowd, and some will be persecuted; but that is infinitely better than to be an enemy of the cross of Christ.

Dear Lord. Thank You for knowing the many pressures which I face, and how easily I think of worldly solutions instead of seeking Your grace. Forgive me for allowing my horizon to sink from promoting Your glory to appeasing my appetites. Please cleanse me through Your blood shed on the cross, and help me to move from my earth-bound mindset - so that I will not be a disappointment to You. Although others may scorn the cross, help me to grow in my love for my crucified and risen Saviour to whom I am accountable. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams