We could all learn from Paul's words in Philippians 3:18-20 when he said, "For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ". Where is your citizenship? This word, in the Greek is "politeuma" which means the administration of civil affairs or of a commonwealth 2) the constitution of a commonwealth, form of government and the laws by which it is administered 3) a state. Now I am not saying, in any way that we should just abandon all laws and rules of this nation. This is not some anarchy-ridden battle cry whatsoever. What I am saying is that we are to be a people completely fascinated with the LORD's Kingdom, with things that are above. Why? Because He is above. We are to live below (earth) what we see above (Heaven). Do you see this simple biblical truth? What I see and hear and experience above, I live out below. Do you see why it is vital for us to fellowship with the Father? If we are only fascinated with all of the things of this world, bad and good alike, we will never discover what is above! I ask you, where do you reside? What holds your attention? Which world do you spend most of your time in? Where do you get the majority of your information? CNN, FOXnews, Time, People, TV Guide… or the God of all Creation? It only takes one a few moments to easily discover what land they willingly dwell in. We must learn set our mind on things above my friends!
I strive to live as Christ, dead to myself, my agenda and my role in advancing any earthly kingdoms. Colossians 3:1 states this perfectly, "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God."
So here we are, back where we started with the shroud of Turin. The key word in this verse, that summarizes this entire article is "if". Let me rephrase this verse in order to make this as plain as possible. "If you have been raised up with Christ, why in the world are you so fascinated with the things below, upon the earth, where you, if you are in Christ, are not now seated?" Please hear me. I have not lost my influence in this world. Nor am I holding out for "Sweet Beulah Land" and missing out on the here and now. But I am not affected by every wind of change either. Let me just come out and say it, despite how this flies in the face of modern-day revivalists and self-professed "prophets". America will never "turn back to God" for She never was in Him to begin with. As I intend to write much further about in an upcoming piece, there is a huge difference between godliness and morality. American Christians, as a whole, have settled for morality but have no clue what it means to live holy and righteous. I believe that this mindset is what leads us to bicker about politically related "Christian" issues. Most Believers are offended and flabbergasted that news headlines would say that the shroud could be a fake or hear our president say this is not a Christian nation. I yawn and keep my gaze set on the Father who is seated as firmly on His throne right now as He was when He first sat down after Creation. Nothing changes in Heaven despite all of the hullaballoo down here.
To wrap this up, well aware that I have gone somewhat off-topic here and there, I believe a lot of this discussion boils down to one word… fear. I personally believe that the average Christian is so afraid that if the world around them, ie: America, continues to get darker, they will fall prey to it and be overcome. They fear that if they are not raptured out, they won't stand. They fear that if the darkness gets stronger, that their light will dim. They fear that if the "leadership" of this nation denies Christianity, it will somehow falter and fail. You see my friend, herein lies the problem.
Fear has gripped the Body of Christ because She does not realize the awesome power of her mighty King.
We've grown so strong we think we can just make it alone. We don't need each other. We don't really need God… after all, things will never really get that bad, right? The Body is so disjointed, most people feel alone and isolated. Few have deep, meaningful vulnerability-level relationships with other Believers so there is little power in the gatherings of the Body. What we have are hoardes of milk-fed Believers alone in a dark alley of spiritual warfare and he/she are scared to death because they do not understand the reality of the LORD that is within them nor His agenda that is so much bigger than any Christian/American dream. When the "American Jesus" fascade is torn down, what will remain? Only what is rooted and established in a personal, intimate, maturing relationship with the Author of it all. Believe me my friend, it will soon come down. I cry out for those whose hope is within a system instead of the LORD. We must hear what the Spirit is saying.
So, I said all of that to say this, I don't need some "proof" that Jesus Christ, the Anointed Messiah was buried in some grave-clothes that have now been supposedly exposed as a fraud. My Jesus is The Christ – the LORD of all lords and KING of all kings. There is none like Him. He is beginning. He is end. He is not bound by time. He is from everlasting to everlasting. He is all and absolutely everything is under His authority. Nothing takes place without His approval.
"Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed'." Isaiah 28:16
I will believe. I will not be disturbed. Please go on as you wish.