Thank you, Father, for the gift of discernment.
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.2 Timothy 4:1-5, The Holy Bible; English Standard Version
August 9th, 2007 -- I received a piece of mail in the post today that “sent up red flags” before I even opened it. The return address indicated it was from the Mile Hi Church - “It’s different here.”
My very first thought was, “Why is it different there? Is not the body of Christ one in spirit and truth - regardless of where they gather together?”
Another “red flag” indication was a little logo on the outside of this mail that asked, “What if you could live the life of your dreams?”
On the flip side was a picture of a person silhouetted against a body of water at dusk, with their hands raised in the air and their palms open - a picture of what many would take to be a stance of praise to God. Above this person were the words, “Beyond Limits - Transcend old beliefs and soar to new heights!”
That was the clincher. I now had very little doubt that the contents of this mailer had little to do with God, or His plan of salvation through faith in Christ; but still I opened it, just to confirm my suspicions.
Sure enough, as I open this tri-fold mailer, the very first words in the upper left hand corner are; Practical Spirituality Institute.
The rest of the text on the left-hand panel read as follows;
Beyond Limits - A course that has transformed thousands of lives!
Beyond Limits is about PERSONAL AWAKENINGS. You’ll experience:
**Powerful practical tools for everyday miracles
**A “you” far greater than you may realize
**Access to infinite possibilities… and the power of “YES”
**Authentic expression of your purpose and gifts
**Essential spirituality free of superstition, guilt and fear
This practical spiritual philosophy, known as the Science of Mind and Spirit, does not require that you give up any other path or belief.
We simply invite you to.. CHANGE YOUR THINKING, CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
There is no need for me to share any more of the text from the mailer. Just that little bit is enough to show that the Mile Hi Church is not part of the body of Christ – as they are preaching a completely different message from that found in the New Testament of the Bible.
They are teaching that it is OK to be self-centered!
We do not need more instruction in this area. We are self-centered enough as it is. That is what is at the root of many of our problems today. Selfishness, self-centeredness, greed, envy are all at the heart of what is wrong in the world - yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Selflessness is the teaching we need!
If we were just as concerned about the well being of those around us as we are about our own well being, I could confidently say to you that this world would be a much better place to live. But there is no incentive in the world today to live in such a manner. There is no impetus toward self-sacrifice. If there were, the news each day would be more about how people are helping one another, rather than how people are hurting each other.
A Prophetic Sign of the Times.
The saddest aspect of this mailer is that it shows the truth and validity of the prophetic Scripture cited above. The more time that passes from when the apostle Paul wrote that letter, the more obviously valid His prophecy becomes. The same is true of what Christ said regarding the times just prior to His return. It would seem that in light of such prophecy coming true, that more people would be turning toward that which has proven time and again to be the truth.
So by this we know that – as the “signs of the times” are being fulfilled – more and more people will continue to set aside the truth in favor of what pleases them. Selfishness and self-centeredness will win out over selflessness and self-sacrifice — until Christ returns.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:1-11, The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001, S.
Additional Bible Readings:
Matt 24:11; Matt 24:24; John 3:19; 2 Pet 2:1; 2 Thess 2:9; 2 Thess 2:11; 1 Tim 6:20