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STILL SLEEPING, STILL DREAMING

 

The more you try to wake them the more they prefer sleeping. The ongoing dream they are having is much more desirable and comforting than the waking present.

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When will you arise from your sleep? “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest”— [Proverbs 6:9-10]

LOST IN A DREAM

The following may appear at first glance as a strange idea, far from Biblical orthodoxy, something concocted by a writer doing a story featuring a full-tilt New-Ager with stars in her head. She can see the future in a crystal ball mounted on a small round wooden table of early vintage in her dark backroom parlor decorated with heavy felt drapes, multicolored hanging bead curtains, and the usual accouterments used by fake-out confidence artists who know vulnerable marks can more easily be had in the midst of over-the-top and off-the-wall surroundings and imagery. Her clear ability to see what we cannot and her flawless emotive verbal declarations attests to her authenticity. What need can there be for greater verification than this? She fulfills the need in one’s soul. She allows one a glance within the dream…  

And that’s where they would rather be. In the dream. They spent a lifetime creating the dream, fashioning everything that must fit within it in order to honor tradition, their family religion, and their own deep set desire for what “works best for them” regardless of what the Word of God might say. The Word reveals a common truth for all, of course, devoid of partiality or designer beliefs, and invokes requisite commands which must be addressed by each and every disciple-to-be. Rejecting such pure truth is infinitely preferable by these due simply to the maintenance of a faux comfort zone which includes, by forced option, rebuffing the Lord Jesus Himself and His problematic “hard sayings”—the One they claim to follow, though they assert otherwise, since He apparently would never actually claim such discomforting notions, which means there must be a problem with those Christians who spout such clearly penned New Testament verses or even a problem with written Scripture itself.

I mean, who can really trust what the Bible says after eons of translations and endless word-of-mouth renderings? Better to not get too dependent on the off-putting black and white in-your-face dictums of ancient epistles and primitive apostles whose authentic words are likely lost in the gray mist of ages past. One must leave a reserve from which to insert calming rationalizations and soothing validations in order to walk with head held high in smiling peaceful rectitude honoring one’s own grand and gallant noble views which the better people of this world surely appreciate and recognize…

THE WISE STILL SEEK HIM

Though many strive for a salvation process featuring peace at all costs in an effort to bend spiritual reality toward an impossible concord, neglecting to acknowledge the presence of evil in this fallen world, there is actually no such thing as a peaceful coming to Jesus moment. This phrase has been made fun of by the devil, of course, and those who rest assured in their own standing often use it to both disavow those idiot real Christians who make it a thing, as it were, as well as forswearing the entire idea of the need for soul salvation in the first place. They are simply not aware of their sin or they are and don’t care. One wonders how the rude and sacrilegious enunciations of a culture gone bad can mute the unrelenting loud speakers of one’s conscience incessantly warning of an unaddressed terminal threat on the very threshold of one’s future. But an ongoing dream state could fit the bill. Being lost in a dream of one’s making could certainly be the cause.

No, the reality of coming to the Lord as an otherwise hopeless sinner, the so-called Come to Jesus Moment, is anything but peaceful. If one actually makes it that far it will have involved the greatest decision of one’s life and the wrenching of oneself free from the binding chains of willful living, personal sin, immoral cultural mores, and traditional belief systems holding one in check. It is a wholly solitary place as will be the final Judgment when one must face God alone. There is no greater gut-check occasion in life. It is the height of courage to recognize the depravity of one’s condition and attempt to remedy it. No, there is no peace until afterward, until after one has repented profusely, throwing oneself upon an altar of sacrifice and having the old man and all his sin burned away, until after one has faced spiritual reality and caught a glimpse of hell. It should be characterized as a RUN To Jesus Moment because those who finally awake from their enchantment waste no time in getting right with their Savior.

OF THE FOOLISH AND THE FEARFUL

Would that this wise attitude could be had by all professed Christians but as it is, far too many remain ensconced within disguised sleeping stations—traditional Christian versions of the old hippie sleep-ins where everyone is crashed out in the pews in a haze of otherworldly religious languor and far out abstraction while a weirded-out droning guru sets the laid back tone for religious repose and holy hibernation.

On the flip side of this LP, as proven in these most recent times, fear acts as a wide door to such a dream, an entry portal into transchristianism, as one can be driven by fear into a psychological corral with no egress, since one rejected the door to life which obliged one to embrace the only other door—the entrance beyond the great gaping chasm separating Paradise from Gehenna—the ultra-tropical other side of Abraham’s bosom—the hot place where rich man Dives begs for a drop of H2O not to be had.

In other words more simply stated: Unrepentant sin causes massive deception. Personal pride, as with Mr. Dumpty, leads to a great fall. Refusing to be cleansed of sin causes the attached sin within one to act as a powerful attractant to the great death magnet sucking souls into the black hole of eternal damnation. The temporary corral on this side of life acts as a deceptive soothing waiting room inhabited by those of like minds who reassure one another and confirm each other’s wayward eternal choice since for many there is great comfort in numbers. Rather than solitarily entering the diminutive unpopular gate and taking the difficult road narrowed by pressure on both sides as an ongoing lifespan birth canal toward eternal life to validate their choice per the Scriptural directive, many people choose choice validation by the numbers following great groups of the like-minded who prefer well-lit free-wheeling Broadway, and the larger the group the better. This latter view places great faith in people in great need of a Savior rather than in the Savior Himself who is often on the outside looking in and thus stuck fast in the shunned group.

From a Christian perspective, the members of one’s local church or denomination and the doctrines thereof serve as the large validation sample group of one’s chosen beliefs rather than the Lord Jesus and His difficult though pure teachings. This means that rather than seeking validation for one’s beliefs from the Word of God one will instead trust the collective word of one’s chosen group and its chosen leaders.

WHEN THE DREAM BECOMES A NIGHTMARE    

Even though an apparent majority of Christians still grapple with what should otherwise be a flawless Biblical fact, that the Creator Himself became a Man and visited His Creation, we can still learn an otherwise obvious truth by simply observing how this world treated Him when He was here as one of us: The greatest Light was vociferously and repeatedly opposed and attacked by the greatest darkness. If nothing else, this proves the great darkness existing in this world, its residence also within certain humans, and their connection to the devil. Whoever sided with such people could not possibly be on God’s side, and owing to the devil’s bewitching ability, those hesitant to go all in with the Lord would inevitably gravitate in the other direction, being gently pulled along by the malevolent magnet, the enemy making sure not to rattle them so as to bring them closer to his trap (corral). It’s why antichrist spiders spin their webs on the beaten path, on the major cultural highways inhabited by the teeming masses who most always look with disdain upon those who stray from established societal methods and mores though such straying often avoids the web.

If one looks closely one can see that this is what they did in the Lord’s time. They first took control of the crossroads and the few major thoroughfares. In time they controlled religious thought. They decided what one should believe and practice to be in good standing within the culture. In essence, they captured the media. The same thing has occurred in our time. This would otherwise be blatantly obvious if so many were not enchanted and sleeping. Those lost in the dream do not know they are heading for a bad one. 

“If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.” [Luke 19:42]

One MUST understand that the deception was so thick among these people in that little land in the first century that the Creator himself could not get through to most of them. No matter what He did the majority could not be broken free from the devil’s trick. They were greatly afraid of being in the synagogue and also greatly afraid of being out of it. While in the synagogue as bona fide members they were subjected to the vindictive religious control of the leaders thereof and without the synagogue they could hardly function in society because the vindictive leaders saw to it that they would be outsiders within their own culture. SOUND FAMILIAR?            

Therefore everyone must choose from where they will gain their comfort, either from going along to get along, adhering to the dictates of the sinful culture, and obeying without question the pronouncements of the beguiling gurus in charge OR following the Lord Jesus with one’s whole heart. And whereas one might trust in and accept any number of false belief systems, faux Christian or not, and gain the comforting sleep and enchanting dreams thereof, there will come a day when one will be forced to wake up, though they would not awake for the Lord.

At that time, with their ears ringing from the blasts of angelic shofars, the simulated reality of their chosen comforting dream state will suddenly fade away like fog in the morning light, and they will find themselves in an eternal nightmare from which they can never awake.

This is the real fate that must be avoided at all costs.

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:41-44][1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

ONE FRUIT TWO FRUIT GOOD FRUIT BAD FRUIT

         “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.

         “Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.” [Matthew 7:13-20]

         The gate to life is narrow. The Greek word for this gate is stenos. The way (road) to life is also narrow. The Greek word for this road is thlibo. The first Greek word portrays a small gate. This small, narrow gate contrasts with the wide gate that leads toward destruction. Anyone can enter the wide gate. It takes little effort. The narrow gate, however, forces a person to get real. It is the gate of the repentant, humble, disciplined, and committed. It is the gate associated with bravery and courage. It is difficult. There is opposition.

         The narrow road is also difficult. The Greek word defines it as compressed, as with pressure on all sides, as one may press grapes. It is constricted, and associated with affliction and distress. One must be very strong and valiant to walk this road. The Lord contrasts this road to life with the vast, wide way that leads to annihilation. There’s no pressure on Broadway. It’s a walk in the park on a sunny day.

         The false prophets hang out on the broad way. They are ravenous wolves disguised as sheep. The people on the broad way have no idea. To them, the false prophets are good guys. They look like sheep. They act like sheep. The people do not know they are deceived. They think they’re on the right road. They think the false prophets are real prophets. They support them. They honor them. They even love them. All is well on Broadway. There is little pressure, no affliction or opposition, and nothing to stop freedom of movement. At the end of the broad road is a cliff. At the bottom of the cliff is the lake of fire. The road to hell is comparatively easy. One needs zero courage or discipline to get there.

         The narrow road, by inference, is manned by true prophets—the ones who tell the whole truth and pay for it. Any study of Old Testament prophets reveals that they each shared very difficult lives. They were greatly opposed. Most were killed. True prophets are as spiritual sheep with absolutely no disguise or guile. They are real. They are not above suffering. They are known by their fruits. The apostle Paul describes spiritual fruit in the following passage:

         But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. [Galatians 5:22-26] [1]

         From this we get a clear indication of the contrasts between the true and false prophets. And though all believers are on the way toward being perfected by God, the above is also a guide toward perceiving the difference between Real Christians and Unreal Christians. The real guys are busy fighting the good fight of faith. Their road involves pressure from all sides. They have subjected themselves to the discipline and work of God. They fight against sin, instead of submitting to it.

         However, because the Lord grants spiritual strength, power, ability, and gifts, the end result is the carrying of an easy yoke and light burden. It is the Lord’s intention that this be a road of joy. But the narrow way is only possible for the fully committed. Whoever looks back goes back.

          Consider the lives of the Lord Jesus, the apostles, and the early believers. Consider what they were subjected to, what they endured, and what they achieved, both in their own spiritual lives and in the world. One is known by the fruit one produces, and the Lord is the only Judge.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.