The Dangers of being a Casual Christian
by Richard Billingsley
It is extremely important today that you be encouraged to stand up in your faith and resist the temptations of this world as it will attempt to entice you away and keep you unaware of its deceptions. God needs you now more than ever to be a shining light of righteousness in a world that is quickly growing darker each day. This darkness is easy to see, as we watch those around us, who we thought had enough common sense to know better, are doing things that ten years ago nobody would ever consider. As a Christian you have the power to protect yourself from such influences and to shine as a light to lead others away from these entrapment's. But it requires you to take an active resolve and making a willing decision to stand apart from the darkness.
This Darkness is one of the seven parts of “The Mystery Babylon,” it is how deceptive influencers use Knowledge, Education and Communication in this world order to control the weak and foolish and it will be judged by God in the 5th Judgment of the Tribulation (Revelation 9:1-12 and 16:10-11). You can read more about this in: Tell Them to Prepare – The Final Restoration. God needs every one of us right now to be actively pursuing those who are being pulled into this darkness, to be a guiding light to show them a better way. We can see this darkness that they cannot see growing in our world today and it will get increasingly darker because this world refuses to accept the ways of God. But by the time this darkness reaches its fullness at the judgment, it will become so black that it will seem more like insanity to us today. Jesus speaks of this in Matthew 6:23:
Matthew 6:23 (NLT) – “But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!”
For those who are in this darkness, the darkness has become so extreme that they consider that the darkness they have to be light or wisdom. This is a very dangerous place to be because they have reached a place where they consider themselves so wise they are unwilling to listen to and accept counsel from anyone who does not agree with what they consider truth. And if we are seeing the fruit of this emerging in our day, how black will it get before it reaches the fullness at the Judgment of Darkness?
This is all the more reason that we must prepare ourselves today to stand against the attacks of the enemy and have the strength to resist the pressures to be overcome by the thoughts of this world. These deceptions pull on us to relax and take a more casual viewpoint on the importance of our relationship with Jesus. We can’t afford to become influenced as a Casual Christian today, as there are too many dangers involved with this attitude, including the loss of the opportunity to escape the Tribulation in the Rapture as we will get into shortly. But James makes his case with this warning:
James 1:22-27(NLT) – But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. 26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
We can’t just simply go to church on Sunday and listen to what is preached then head off into our week barely even remembering what was said, and Sunday church should not even be your primary source of spiritual food. As James says we should study the word constantly, until our lives begin to reflect what is in the Bible. James is drawing the picture that we are the ones who should be mirrors and the Bible should always be before our eyes, studying it every day until we begin to reflect Jesus through our lives. Joshua 1:8 tells us to study it day and night and to meditate upon what it says, because only then will we have the ability to succeed.
Stand strong in the conviction of your faith and don't allow yourself to be fooled into being a Casual Christian, for such a life gives the things of this world entrance in to corrupt your soul and brings darkness. This is a sure way to lose what you think you had. Keep your focus on the word of God, don’t just read it, but study it like you would study yourself in a mirror seeking to discover every little detail. Let the word penetrate deep within your heart and soul transforming you into the image and likeness of Jesus. Seek to become like Him in every area of your life. This will then open doors for God to bless you. If you think you are religious but live like this world and carelessly speak like this world speaks, then your religion and your salvation are worthless and the only thing you have done is fool yourself. For when the day of judgment comes, you will discover, after it is too late, that you did not measure up to the image of Christ and will lose your soul because you did not value, the gift that you were given.
Too much of the Christian world today promotes a Casual Christianity where all you have to do is believe and you will be saved. But that is not what the scriptures teach. Romans 10:9 tells us that we have to believe Jesus was raise from the dead and then confess Him as Lord, then we will be saved. That is true, but it is not the whole truth. It’s wonderful that it God made it so easy to lead someone to the Lord, but without discipleship a great disservice is done because most people simply do not understand what it means to confess Jesus as their “Lord” or how to it should be applied in their lives. Christ did not call us to just save the lost, but to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:16) and that requires teaching. If those who are saved are not discipled they will never learn how to make Jesus their Lord and if they never reach that understanding, then ultimately they will be faced with all the other scriptures warning what happens to Casual Christians on the Day of Judgment (John 15:1-14, Matt 7:21-23, Luke 6:43-49). They said the sinner’s prayer, they thought they were Christians, but if they were never taught or they never sought after a personal relationship with Jesus and really made Him their Lord, they will stand before Him in tears and cries for mercy, only to be cast into outer darkness. Everything in our salvation rests upon the strength or weakness of our personal relationship with Jesus, including whether we are accounted worthy of escaping in the Rapture and these teaching come directly from Jesus.
The way we live today we don't use or understand the meaning of the word "Lord" like they did in Jesus' time. Back then a Lord was a person who owned you, not as a slave, but as a subject, a person who lived under the rule of a Lord. They had full control over every aspect of their subject’s life. They told them what to do, where to go, where to live, even who to marry. It didn't matter if it was something they wanted, if the Lord told them to work as a farmer or a blacksmith that was their job. They didn't have a choice in the matter. If someone had a benevolent Lord, they were well taken care of and they could ask for a favor and perhaps get it. But it was not their choice; it was their Lord's decision. Many of the Lords of this world have been considered harsh and difficult taskmasters.
But when we come to Jesus as our Lord, he is a benevolent Lord who wants only the best for those He watches over, his burden is light and his yoke is easy (Matt 11:28-30). He knows how to make our lives better and how to turn difficult situations around into blessings. But for Him to do these things we must do what He tells us to do. We have to live our lives according to His principles, not our own or those of this world. His ways are higher than our ways, but He wants to teach us His ways, if we will let Him. And in allowing Him to teach us a better way to live our lives are transformed for the better. But we must make Him the "LORD" of every area of our lives by studying His word, obeying what He tells us to do and in doing that He will teach us and lift us to a life that is higher and better than we could have ever imagined.
For those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, but have never made Him the Lord of their lives they have no true relationship with Him and are like the five foolish virgins who lived casual Christians lives and missed out on the greatest blessing of all (The Rapture) when the opportunity to enter in with the Bridegroom came (Matt 25:1-13). I am not trying to be harsh here; I am speaking out of love trying to provide a warning before it is too late. My spirit cries over the dangers that are coming and I don’t want anyone to be caught up in those things and suffer loss because they were unprepared. I’m not talking about those who have a heart for Jesus, who yearn for closer a relationship with Jesus. For them there is no fear where the Rapture is concerned. But those who have never cultivated a relationship with Him are at great risk. They may be saved, but without that relationship they will miss out on the glory.
Right now we are living at the ending of the greatest opportunity history will ever record, we are living in the "Times of the Gentiles," the dispensation of grace when anyone, Jew or Gentile can become part of the Church, a new creature in Christ simply by making Jesus their Lord and in return they receive the free gift to become part of God’s inner circle in an intimate, family relationship with God, simply by believing by faith. (James 2:17, 18) But this is not casual faith, it is for those who put action to their faith by developing that relationship, through studying His word and spending time with Him, otherwise they won’t get invited in. They may be saved and they may become one of His subjects in the Millennial Kingdom, but they will never experience being in the inner family of glorified saints as a ruler in His kingdom. This is reserved only for those who have intimate personal relationship with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Once Jesus returns to rule from Jerusalem, the "Times of the Gentiles" will end and this kind of opportunity will never exist again. There is nothing in the Bible that teaches this opportunity will be available again, but it does say that those who do enter that glory with Jesus will be with Him forever. You don't want to miss out on this wonderful opportunity.
If you have not already done so, simply make the decision that you believe that Jesus was raised from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God, and then with your mouth declare that Jesus is your Lord. Once that is done, you just learned what “Lord” means, so commit yourself to following Him, by reading His word, praying and following after everything He has for you. Ask for the Holy Spirit to come and fill you and He will lead you in the way you should go. Develop that intimate relationship with Him and you are guaranteed to be included in the greatest blessing.
Right now you count yourself among the wise and prepare yourself, for the coming of the Lord is drawing near. Don’t play games with your faith and fall asleep, for the time is fast approaching when the midnight call is given and when that happens it may be too late for those who did not pay attention and were not prepared.
What is this Midnight Call?
Matthew 24 and 25 is a prophecy given by Jesus to his disciples about the last days. At the end of Matthew 24 he talks about judgments and in Matthew 25 He expounds upon those judgments giving the three judgments of the last days: The Judgment of the Bride, the Church and the Nations. The story of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13, is the Judgment of the Bride and represents the Rapture of those who are wise. I’ll teach on the other two later. Right now let’s take a look at the Judgment of the Bride.
Matthew 15:1-13 (NLT)
Note here that Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven would be like this in the last days. This is not some parable that may or may not apply depending on individual circumstances. He is saying this is how it is going to happen in the last days. We need to see it, accept it and prepare for it, otherwise we will be counted among the foolish. In the King James Version “bridesmaid” is translated “virgin” and both words represents a young woman, ready to be married. Because all ten are virgins, they are all pure and have accepted Jesus as their Savior, but not all were wise and developed the relationship they would need with the Lord, so they are not prepared for what was going to happen (See: Luke 12:42-48). In this context the 10 bridesmaids represent the whole of the Christian community in the last days. The “oil” represents the Holy Spirit and the “lamps” a relationship with the Lord. Those who were foolish did not store up enough oil of the Holy Spirit to maintain a proper relationship with the Lord. These are the Casual Christians, the ones who are lazy and distracted by the things of this world more than they are the things of God and when the time comes their oil will be too small to maintain the fire of a relationship with the Lord when it is most needed. When the Bridegroom is delayed the 10 bridesmaids get tired and fall asleep. At midnight just before the Bridegrooms arrival, a shout will be heard, an announcement that the Bridegroom is coming.
This announcement is not some simple message given from the pulpit or street corner. It is an announcement that is given with such earth shaking supernatural power that it wakes up all of Christendom from its slumber, but for those who are not prepared for this event it will be too late. This is not the shout that is part of the Rapture as describe in 1 Thess. 4:16. This announcement is given a short time before the Rapture and will shake the entire world and while all of Christendom is startled awake by this call, most are not going to be expecting it. This announcement is an actual event and is mentioned in the book of Revelation with cosmic disturbances to shakes the entire world. This announcement is also the ultimate mission of this ministry and part of the calling that given when I was 12, then developed more than 30 years ago, but at that time I was commanded to keep silent until the appointed time. It is a message that the entire Church knows about, but none of them are expecting it. God has worked to keep this message hidden even holding me back because given the chance I could have missed His timing, but today He is releasing it and calling His Church to prepare for the Rapture. Even though the timing of this announcement is still in God’s hands, there is not much time left and He wants you to be prepared for it now. God has taken my entire life from age seven to teach me and prepare me as a prophet for this one point in time and given me very unique insight and revelations and kept them hidden for this appointed time for one reason; to prepare His Church for the events that are coming. While the world carelessly stumbles into the judgments of the Tribulation never expecting what is actually happening to them, the Body of Christ, the wise ones who are prepared will stand up and shine as beacons and stars of righteousness knowing the works God is doing. This midnight announcement is also mentioned in the book of Revelation as the cosmic disturbances that will happen during the Sixth Seal, just before the Rapture, as outlined in the book: Tell Them to Prepare – The Final Restoration. It is also the reason why the Lord gave me the book and kept that hidden until it was time to reveal the mystery of the last hour.
Once this event occurs the entire Church will be startled, awoken and brought to its feet along with the rest of the world, some in celebration for those who are prepared, but fear for those of the Church who have been foolish. They will beg the wise to help them, but there just isn’t enough time for them to develop a personal intimate relationship with Jesus in the time left. Jesus is returning for a bride without spot or wrinkle, but the foolish ones wanted to live a Casual Christian life are still covered with the deceptions of this world and unprepared. They seek and struggle to develop that relationship, but there just isn’t enough time. While these foolish ones run off to seek after the relationship they so desperately need, the Bridegroom comes and takes the five wise bridesmaids in (the Rapture) to the marriage feast and the door is locked.
Afterward when the foolish ones realize what has happened, they plead, crying outside to be let in also, but the only reply Jesus gives them is: “Believe me, I don’t know you.” It wasn’t their salvation that qualified them for the Rapture and escape from the Tribulation; it was their relationship with Jesus, which they did not care about. (See: 1 Cor 10:1-12) Because they didn’t have a personal intimate relationship with Jesus they were not prepared for Him when He came. Likewise do not think that your salvation is your ticket out of here in the Rapture, because the scriptures do not teach that. There are many more scriptures that reveal the penalty for those who live Casual Christians lives and who get caught up in the ways of this world, they will miss out on the greatest blessing and have to suffer through the Tribulation. This is not an issue of doctrine; it is an issue of the Word. It is clearly spelled out in the scriptures for those who are willing to take off the rose colored glasses of their “Traditions” and study the word for what it says. The Rapture is reserved for those who have committed their life to Christ, who have a personal, intimate relationship with him who will be called to join Him in glory on that day and on that day the door will be locked.
So, what happens to the five foolish bridesmaids? They must endure the Tribulation and afterward will be in Judgment of the Church in Matthew 25:14-30, just before the Judgment of the Nations Matthew 25:31-46. After the Rapture there is only one other way to join those who have been glorified in the Rapture and that will be to die for Christ during the Tribulation, afterward they will be raise up with a glorified body. There is no other mention in scripture of this ever happening again. That is why it is called an encouragement and a blessing. It is also a warning and motivation for the others not to head to the hills and hide through the Tribulation. Those who are found worthy in the Judgment of the Church will be saved and brought into the Millennial Kingdom as subjects, but they will never be part of the glorified family of God. Even in this Judgment of the Church there are those who have no understanding of the grace that was given to them and bury or hide it only to be judged wicked and cast into outer darkness because they didn’t value their gift and did not understand their Lord.
Therefore, since God has released this revelation into His family, be aware that the clock is counting down. Do not live your life as a Casual Christian any more. Commit your life to Christ and look steadfastly into the perfect law of liberty. Let it transform your life until you look exactly like Jesus in every area of your life, then when the midnight announcement is given you will be prepared for that day of glorification and blessing.
Live in God’s Peace.
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