A Voice in the
Wilderness

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Re: "...and you who fear God"

"Paul and his party...went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.." And
when invited to speak, "Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand
said, 'Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen..." (~Acts13:13-16)

"Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you
who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent.." (vs26)

"I tell the truth in Christ...that I have great sorrow and continual
grief in my heart...for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,
who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the
covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the
promises...For they are not all Israel who are of Israel." (~Rom9:1-6)

While this ministry doesn't presently include public speaking, I often
wonder 'what' I would say, were I invited to speak some place. I
remember what I used to say, back when I was still 'in' the organized
"church" system and would sing and preach. Back then I thought that
pretty much everybody in the congregation was "saved", only... needing
to be encouraged to live "more faithfully" before God. But as the
reality of the truth of the matter becomes verified, it is the sadness
of the understanding, that -MOST- people in the "church" are not
Believers. They are not saved. And so, I think about saying things like
I often do in these writings... "Dear Believer: blah, blah, blah.."
Making little "asides" specifically to that segment of the readership
that truly knows the Lord. It makes a distinction between the masses,
and those "few" (Mt7:14) who are Believers.

This morning (the day this is being written) as I was progressing in my 
daily reading, Acts ch13 came along next. And I was struck with the 
fact that Paul did the same thing when he spoke to Jews. He went into 
synagogues, the places where Jews met. Jews had God's Law, and were 
descendants of the recipients of God's blessings. They had the various 
rituals that would have indicated a state of supposedly "being saved".
They were "baptized" into Moses as they came out of Egypt. But with
"most of them" God was "not well pleased". (1Cor10:1-5)  While they
were descendants of the promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they were
not "Israel"..."of the heart". (Rom9:6b, 2:28-29) They were not saved. 
They did not "fear God". And thus, Paul would address the complete 
audience, and also make a distinction, "..-AND- you who fear God". 
Saying it in such a manner indicates his understanding, like we do, 
that the percentage of Believers in the crowd are "few", compared to 
the masses.

The prevailing methodology today assumes that everybody in the 
congregation is saved. If they are all standing, raising their hands 
and "praising the Lord", they are treated as saints (Eph1:1).  They are
given duties of ministry to perform, and to teach. And the pastor gets 
up for his Sunday morning sermon and addresses "all you wonderful 
Christians".

Dear Believer: if you are still in such a congregation, are you
beginning to realize that -most- of those sitting around you are not
saved? If you realized this, would this change the manner in which you
converse and fellowship with them? Would this modify the manner in
which you pray for them? Are you "happy" because -you- have found
fellowship which 'uplifts' -you-; or are you filled with "great sorrow 
and continual grief in [your] heart" (Rom9:2) because of the lostness 
of their souls?

A different perspective to ponder, eh!

Amen!

Q/A -Tired of VW saying, "Christians are not Christians"