There are many ways that Bible believers can invest their lives and zeal that are "good" in the general sense, but in the scheme of God's plan for the ages their zeal is mongrel zeal. Two Bible texts make is VERY clear what we are to be doing with our lives:
12:1 (KJV) Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and
from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
This was God's covenant to Abraham. Verse 1 through most of 3 are all about the family of Israel and the great nation they would be, and the whole Bible is full of references back to father Abraham as the anchor of the covenant to Israel. This text in Genesis is the first case of "special revelation" given to man. All the revelation up to this promise to Abraham was revelation to the whole human race, whoever would pay attention.
At the end of verse 3 is the clause, "and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." This transcends Israel and reaches into the future to the end of history on this earth, including the Kingdom reign of Christ in the future. The way God chose to bless all the families of the earth was through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The New Testament is all about the process by which God moved from blessing humanity through Israel alone, and God sent the blessing to the whole world.
28:18 (KJV) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto
me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
This commission is "unto the end of the world." What God promised to do through Abraham was now to be fulfilled through the Apostles and YOU, if you are born again.
3:13 (KJV) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse
for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
There are some things you are appointed to from which you cannot escape:
1. Life everlasting-
Romans 6:22 (KJV) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
No one can take that away from you because God said he would not allow anyone to do so.
2. Death physically-
Hebrews 9:27 (KJV) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
And, right after you die, you will be with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 10:3 (KJV) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
You are have no choice, you have no discharge papers, until you die physically. You are at war. The only question is, are you willingly taking revenge against wickedness, or are you gold bricking and letting other saints do the warfare for you?
4. You are to enjoy life-
Solomon speaks of both good and bad vanity in Ecclesiastes, but there IS good vanity. Here are a couple of them. These are not doing anything to accomplish number 5 below, but you are told to enjoy:
Ecclesiastes 9:7 (KJV) Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.
10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Don't let some jackboot preacher tell you that you are to leave your wife and family to go street preaching at all costs. There IS a time to enjoy your wife and family, and there is a time for feasting and enjoying the results of your hard work. You do NOT have to be broke all the time by putting too much into the collection plate every time it passes. BUT, remember, there also is no reward for enjoying your life. It is your reward HERE, not in heaven. So, keep that in mind. If you spend all your life enjoying yourself, you will have no rewards in heaven. Which brings us to the last appointment you have.....
1 Corinthians 9:16 (KJV) For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
You are under appointment to fulfill the promise given to Abraham 4000 years ago. You are to be a blessing to the families of the earth. Next door is a great place to start, or the guy next to you at the office or in the truck. You are never on leave from this duty. You may be AWOL, but that is because you are a rebel like Jonah who tried to run from the appointment of God to preach in Ninevah.
Now, having set up the list of things you are to do with your life, we will look at some of the ways you can waste your life on mongrel zeal. These are often "good" things by the world's standards, and they are often things in which sloppy agape liberals and Evangelicals are involved. They seem to be worthy, and some actual good things may happen in general society as a result. But, at the end of the day, Christ was not exalted, and that is the key to it all. If Christ was not exalted- VERBALLY AND TO GET A VERDICT- then you were wasting your life in mongrel zeal.
These days, as Washington DC sinks into hog slop and rebellion against everything our "founding fathers" stood for, there are arising many groups who are trying to get reform and redress to return the USA to its roots. If you live in Australia or the UK or anywhere on earth, you may well be seeing the same thing. And, there will be conservative groups trying to return your nation to its better days.
For a Bible believer to immerse himself in these patriotic efforts is a total waste of time. Why? Answer: They are peopled by unsaved and a few saved members. Their objective, though they speak of religious freedom, is NOT to preach Jesus Christ and him crucified. This is mongrel zeal. Let them do their thing. It may be used of God to give us peace, but you have a higher calling and must NOT waste you few days on this earth promoting the human "good."
The worst place to find patriotic zeal is in the church house and at the gatherings of the saints. Fundamentalists are the worst with this. The flag is waved, pledges of allegiance are chanted, and patriots songs sung, some of them riddled with heresy. To give a whole service to patriotic cheering for the USA is blasphemy. The saints of the ages did NOT do this unless they had been suckered into some wicked era of religious political action, as with the Nazis in Germany or the Roman Catholic Church during the Dark Ages.
Samuel Johnson said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." I believe that notable pastors like Jack Hyles and others make big patriotic rallies and roaring events to cover up their own personal wickedness. Waving the flag helps a lot to forget that the pastor has been accused of chasing women in the church.
Here is alleged pastor Hagee mixing Christian truth with Israeli agnostic and atheist zeal.
Also-- all those women who have abortions in spite of your tearful entreaties-- do you go look them up later when they may well be feeling guilt and think they are murderers? What an opportunity. They may be very ready to hear of the forgiveness in Christ. But no, you blast them in your report to the folks later at the church gathering, right? You are a blasted hypocrite. You do not give a damn who is damned. You only want the warm fuzzies for bravely standing on the sidewalk and trying to "save one" baby.
There are may social evils you can fight. Alcohol, gang warfare, filthy movies and music, on and on it goes. But, no matter what pious souls may be arm in arm with you, if the final verdict is not given, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is all mongrel zeal. And, by the Gospel I am not talking about a banal one liner, "We are here to serve Jesus, blah, blah, blah...." I mean your ONLY real objective, in whatever social cause you stand, you are obsessed with getting the subject to the lost soul of the sinner and the Gospel.
Was the Gospel preached from square one. In the case of a starving man, you indeed must feed him for a few days to get his brain back in gear, but as the process goes on, the real Bible believer will start talking about Jesus Christ. And, if the government tells you that you can feed them but you cannot give them the Gospel, then let the dead bury their dead. You have better things to do with your life. The unsaved do NOT get saved be feeling better. 1 Corinthians 1:21 (KJV) For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
If you cannot preach Christ, dead missionary, you need to dust your feet and move on. You are a spiritual criminal, for you are taking the giving of the saints in the home land and using it to be a social worker.
There are a lot of missionaries in the world today who are eight to fivers. They do their day's work for the mission, and then they play and diddle around and go wild pig hunting. I HAVE SEEN A GOOD NUMBER OF THEM IN MY LIFE. No mission is exempt of this curse. Pastors of the home churches have a moral obligation to find out if the missionary they support it just diddling away their life in Nairobi or Tijuana. Some of these Baptist missionaries in Mexico only go to Mexico once to open a mail box in Monterey and hire a Mexican to forward their mail to North Carolina. This is not just my creative mind run amuck-- I know of one of these which is now in process as I write.
Do you linger and talk to those who show any interest? If someone does get to talking seriously, do you offer to go have coffee with them and forget your little war zone on the street corner?
What is you REAL motive? Are you only trying to win the approval of your pastor and be one of those he stupidly exalts during church services? You are a fool.
Philip left a good ministry in the local church to go out in the desert and take a ride the wrong way in order to talk to one man. There is no way to imagine what that one day resulted in back in Ethiopia. Acts 8
Furthermore, if your only place to be brave and zealous is that street corner, you are a diddle head. The guy next to you at work or in school is you REAL missionfield. But then, of course, you have to LIVE the life, not just talk it. That guy can measure your zeal for the Gospel and his soul by your actions under fire, by your response to the cares of life. Do you even offer to pray out loud for your food and his when you eat together. If not, he knows you are a fake, and your street preaching is just your way of salving your conscience for being a wimp all week long.
The result is all manner of tricks are used to get numbers up. Fundamental churches will also use many tricks to get people to walk the aisle to "get saved." A 12 by 20 foot section between the front pew and the platform becomes the magic kingdom. This is where people kneel and "get saved." In the deep south, when someone witnesses to a friend, and if that friend decides to believe in Jesus Christ, the soul winner will often tell the person they need to come to church Sunday and "walk the aisle."
These conversions, and the numbers driven tricks of all churches, WILL result in "church growth." But, this does not mean people are really born again. It only means they responded to a good sales pitch in the name of Jesus Christ, and they are now in possession of a 24 inch section of a church pew. "It is all about nickels and noses and a butt every 24 inches." That is a wrestling promoter's slogan, and it builds mega churches just as well.
But, if the vast majority of these alleged victims of "growth" never show any Christian maturity, or worse, if they get baptized and then disappear after a couple of Sunday, it is all mongrel zeal. Jesus gave the complete deeper teaching to the 12 disciples. He did not frantically to door to door and "hit every door in town." He went to eat with Pharisees and tax collectors, the high browed snobs and the scum of society, as he also ministered to ordinary folks.
If your church life and Christian life revolves around "church growth" and building massive brick and mortar monuments to your hard work and good intentions, then you are a spiritual panty waste. You are possessed with mongrel zeal, and you need to repent and go fishing at the round table at the local cafe.
James Bible Only--
So what? So you have the right Bible. Good for you. So do the Mormons and the Freemasons. What do you do with your Bible. Do you read it anytime besides at church and maybe ten minutes with the family. Is it your FOOD for your soul's survival? And, do you use it to show your unsaved friends who Jesus Christ is and that they need his salvation?
If you are KJV Only, and that is the end of the matter, you are a spiritual mongrel mutt. Sorry to deflate your silly pride. You may have 200 preaching tapes by Dr. Peter Ruckman and know how to thrash James White and the Bob Jones University biblical critics, but if you don't take that King Jimmy to town and hit the street with it, you are a dead beat with the right Bible. Big whup!
That is like a guy all dressed up in a stripped suit, holding a Louisville Slugger, and sitting in the grand stand.
Or, to you folks in the UK, this is like having on the white uniform, white shoes, with the beast of cricket bats, a Kookaburra, under your arm, but off the pitch and having a spot of tea with the fans. Just another dandy arm chair expert.
This is when the preacher gets up to start the "church service," and he spends twenty minutes cracking jokes and chopping the deacons, and they roar and chop him back. It is also when the worship leaders go on and on about how much they love Jesus by trying to see how many clever adjectives and one liners they can use. It is when "Praise and Worship" turns into are screaming clapping hee haw, and much vain repetition of the heathen is the main quality of the alleged music.
What is called worship today is a circus. I have seen better from the Barnum and Bailey Brothers myself. They don't pull any punches. They admit they are a circus, but these mega churches, and some small ones, turn the gathering of the saints into a blasted rodeo. In fact, here in Texas we have churches which actually have a literal rodeo as their worship service, complete with calf roping. All of this is mongrel zeal and has no resemblance to what the Bible describes is happening around the throne of God.
14:2 (KJV) And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as
the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Did you notice-- no trap set-- no pipe organ played by a PhD so loud you could not hear yourself think?
My home church in California had a ball team. We also had a AAA rated pitcher. We were playing soft ball. To you in other countries, that is the slowed down version of baseball. The ball is bigger, and the game is supposed to be less rugged so that kids and ladies can play. Well, this pitcher had mastered the trick or pitching under hand (over hand pitching is only for regular baseball), and he gave the ball a side snap as he did so. The result was that the pitches were very fast and vicious. They would rise from his lowest point gradually to the strike zone and be moving fast.
This fellow was a vile pagan, and he had no use for Jesus Christ or the Gospel. But, he did attend church services, and our team won the church league because of him. The point: This was noting but mixture. It was a pretense of evangelism in order to get glory before men and ourselves. Our pastor was too much of a wimp to call the thing what it was, though I know it grieved him.
The problem with giving yourself to Calvinism and creeds is that you run a VERY great risk of becoming worthless as tits on a bore hog. I have found that nearly every dedicated Calvinist I have known could not give a damn if their neighbor went to hell.
They think, "God will get them if he elected them. So, I will collect commentaries and read many theological books and join discussion groups and show my zeal for deeper things."
This is possible the most wicked mongrel zeal in Christendom. I have found Catholic priests with more zeal to win souls than most of the Calvinists I have met. I am serious. I have no doubt about the real salvation of a convert to Catholicism, but to find priests who are trying to win souls is shocking.
Frankly, if I had a creed, I would mail it to the British Museum to put in the basement with the Egyptian mummies where it came from. Then, I would head on down town and sit at the round table of some cafe, and see if I could turn the discussion to Jesus Christ or the Word of God.
Well, there you are. Do what you like with it.
I have 67 years of experience catching myself and my friends being distracted into good things that do not count for beans. When we get to heaven, we may all be horrified at the time we used doing what we thought was good works, only to find out much of it was just our own zeal to be cool, approved by friends, or simply helpful.
Apostle Paul was very motivated with how his life counted:
1 Corinthians 9:19 (KJV) For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
What am I, what are you, doing to become what God wants us to be toward lost souls?
Jude 1:3 (KJV) Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
am very interested in adding your thoughts to this page.
I am sure I missed something.