Hi there! Kelly here! I pray you are truly happy, excited and grateful to be alive! This topic has been given to me and I am excited to write about it. I can simply say straight away, that what is expected of Christians in the 21st Century, I believe, is exactly what would be expected in any other century. Jesus said, "If you love me you will obey my teaching" (John 14:23). If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then obviously these words He spoke apply to His followers forever! However, different translations of the Holy bible have slightly different wording from version to version and so in the modern world, there can therefore be misunderstanding of what is expected of us, by Jesus and His Father.
Different interpretations can lead to confusion and frustration. Going back in time, there would have been less and less to choose from in terms of translations and interpretations. I must say I am still a big fan of the new King James version. I can't explain this, I just feel deep inside that it is a powerful translation that is clear to me. Perhaps this is because when I first became a Christian, this was the first Holy Bible I had ever read. Reading the Gospels from that version, I experienced the words of Jesus setting me on fire and the fire gets bigger every day! Amazing!!
I pray for this experience for all Christians as there is nothing I have ever had happen to me in my search for the truth, as when the words of Jesus were setting my heart on fire. The fire that I experienced when I first read the words of Jesus (Luke 12:49) where He says that He came to throw a fire onto the earth and that He wished it was "already kindled", was certainly lit in me. The fire continues to build as I pursue the "way, the truth and the life" (as Jesus describes Himself) to get to His Father and obey Him. This journey brings a fire in my heart every day that is beyond description. It is something I believe that each person will experience in their own unique individual way, with Jesus Himself. Jesus though, is obviously expecting the "fire" to be alive and burning brightly in His followers.
The point here with regard to the 21st century, is that Jesus is alive and well, and no matter which Holy Bible you read, you can speak to Him directly and have a personal relationship with Him! Once you have this personal relationship with Him, He says himself that we are not to call anyone else "teacher", for He is our only teacher. Therefore, as He is our only teacher, He is expecting us to "ask", and "we will receive", "seek" and we will find, "knock" and the door will be opened for us(Matthew 7:7). With Jesus in the role in our lives as our "only teacher", we can ask Him any questions and He will answer them.
Jesus also said that we will not enter "the Kingdom" unless we do the will of His Father (Matthew 7:21-23). So I can "lightly" say that in the 21st century what is expected of a Christian is the same as any other time, but with all of the interpretations of the words spoken by Jesus over 2,000 years ago, this may be quite a task to really understand what is being required of Christians right now. The thing that may be making it very difficult for Christians to truly know what is required of us, is simply perhaps, not taking enough time out to seek from Jesus Himself what He wants us to do.
How much time do we all have to be able to really seek the answers to our questions from Jesus? There are so many distractions in the modern world and having spent that last 20 years singing, recording, speaking and running workshops internationally, I have witnessed many Christians world wide, who are not really having or creating enough time to seek Jesus for answers to their questions. They also may not have time to even seek within to find the questions they need to ask Jesus to go deeper with Him!
The fact is though that whether we were born this century or one thousand years ago, there are still twenty four hours in a day. So for us in the twenty first century, the big question is, what are our priorities? For myself personally, I made my choice in August, 1988, when I read the words of Jesus in a "non-Christian" book. As I read His words, it was as if He was speaking directly to me, personally, saying that if I would "obey God" I could do what He did, and even greater things". (John 12:14)
Knowing very little about Jesus at that time, these words were still mind blowing to me, because I knew that I wanted to be a healer. I was very into the "new age" movement then, and so wanted to be able to help people and heal them by just "laying hands" on them, (I was then a "Reiki" healer) and they would be healed. Even though I knew such a small amount about the actual man Jesus and what He did, I did know that He healed people, and was the most famous healer I had ever heard of.
So when I read in that book that this man Jesus was telling me that if I would obey God, I could do what He did and even greater things, I felt that my mind blew open to this point where I could see that Jesus was showing me that all I had to do was obey God and I could be a healer like Him! Wow! That was the biggest "wow" moment I had ever had in my whole life up until then!
Then I realised that I couldn't obey God unless I spoke to Him and asked Him what to do for Him, so I walked outside and looked up to the sky. I said, "God, I give you my life. Tell me what you want me to do for you and I will do it! I want to make a difference for you. I want to do what Jesus said, to do what He did and even greater things!" A voice spoke to me immediately within a split second. That voice has been speaking to me ever since. That voice lead me to become a Christian seven years later. That voice is the Almighty God who has lead me to have a life that is beyond what people can even dream of. The story of what God has lead me to is taking many books to tell, but the testimony of the reality of God I have is huge and continues every day.
God always shows me that when He speaks to me, there is a continuous confirmation of His instructions in the outside, or physical world. The very next day after giving up my life to God, He showed me His voice in the physical realms. I was jogging along the road, out in the bush and He called to me, "Stop". This was a loud shout. A man's deep voice. It was so loud, that I stopped almost in a state of shock! It sounded like someone was right behind me. There was no-one physically there. My eyes were drawn to the road and only a few metres from my feet, coming over the road at a considerable speed was a long black Tiger snake.
I stood with the spirit of God filling me and I became as still as a statue. I had no fear in me at all. I stood in awe of the fact that "the voice" had just saved my life. If those snakes bite you, you can be dead in minutes. Well I am alive writing this to you and I am so grateful to be doing this!!! I have been seeking ever since that first day to obey God, but I did not want to ever be a Christian, so I was on the maddest path. Trying to obey God, without Jesus. I have a very big testimony for non-Christians as to the truth that Jesus lives, because I really tried hard to get around being a Christian. This is a story for another time, but for anyone reading this who is involved in the new age movement and believes you can go onto the life that you dream of having without Jesus, please contact me. I have so much to share with you.
Coming back to Christians in the modern world, I have discovered that we must make time to do what Jesus said and "seek". Seek what? Ask. Knock. Jesus says that "heaven and earth shall pass away" but His words "will never pass away". These words are telling us that whatever happens the words that Jesus spoke over 2,000 years ago are so important and so big that they will "never pass away".
Knowing that He said these words, then what next for us in the 21st century? On the surface, there appears to be a very simple answer to this question. For Christians, with Jesus telling us that His words will "never pass away", we are being clearly told, that to know His words, His commands and everything He spoke about, is the most essential thing we can really do in this world! This is obvious.
The more I come to know Jesus and His words, the more I realise that His words are the most precious "things" that I have on earth. It is through His words that I come to know Him more and more every day, as I ask Him, "face to face" wherever and whenever I can.
Sometimes when I am driving in the car, listening to the Gospels which I have a recording of, I will stop the CD and simply say to Jesus, "Lord Jesus can you please explain what you are saying or what you mean" about the particular point I am asking about in that moment.
It used to really shock me, and now I am far more used to this, but He really shows me or reveals to me exactly what He means and gives me the answer to all of my questions. It no longer shocks me, it excites me so much to have this beautiful and personal relationship with Jesus, which belongs only to me and is between the two of us. This relationship leads to my ever blossoming relationship with His Father, who is now my Father and the Holy Spirit. The amazing thing is that this relationship is available to any person who will do what Jesus says and follow Him.
Before I became a Christian, I would have believed people who would say something to me like this were full of ...rubbish! I would have said this in a much meaner way than how I am saying this here! Since I am on my journey knowing Jesus more and more every day, He is helping me in all ways. He is helping me to be kind. He is helping me to see other people's points of view. He is helping me to become a better...me! If I was a sales person, I would have adds running 24/7 telling people what Jesus will do for them, if they will only come with Him. He is so amazing, it is beyond words what I can or could say to you or any person at any time. I have to really try not to be raving about Him, as He does so much for me every day.
It is overwhelming to even start on the journey of telling people how great He is and how much He loves all of us. The terrible thing is that so many people are in bondage and have no idea of having a relationship with the living Lord. Jesus warns us about what satan does with humans. He said, "Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:43-44 RSV)
I pray that from reading these words today, you will commit to start really talking with Jesus yourself. Take some time out every day to really read His words and also to talk with Him. For me now, He is always with me. I can speak with Him anytime day or night. This has come from my focus. With my inner focus on doing God's will, I must seek in this way which is asking, "Father what do you want me to do for you today?". To come to the Father of Jesus, Jesus says to me that I must come "through Him". To come through Jesus, I must "love Him", to have a relationship with Him. Jesus says for me to "love Him", I must "obey His commands". How can I obey His commands if I know nothing of His words? If I don't take advantage of the fact that I have a Holy Bible and can read, what am I doing with my day?
Yes of course I know we are all so busy in the modern world, but what is more important to us? Watching football, shopping, talking on our phones, being on Facebook, playing video games and so on and so on! Whatever we believe or don't believe, Jesus says, " I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." (Luke 12:5) If you believe that any of us can fool the one who has authority to "throw us into hell", I pray for you right now to be delivered from this delusion that is coming from the devil. I know that Jesus loves me more than I can even express, but His warnings are to help us, to get our priorities right.
Of course we have many things to do in our daily lives, but deep inside at all times I have discovered that we are able to have God, Father Son and Holy Spirit at our very centre, at the core of ourselves. This comes from true dedication, putting God number one, obeying Jesus and the ten commandments and having a real desire to be a helper to bring God's Kingdom onto this earth. Doing God's will is the greatest joy I have discovered in the modern world. Nothing in the modern world compares to this state of being.
God bless you and see you again soon for the next episode from Kelly's corner!😉
🔑Committed to helping you to find the keys to the Kingdom
Pastor Kelly Newton-Wordsworth
BEING A CHRISTIAN: WHAT IS EXPECTED OF CHRISTIANS IN THE 21st CENTURY?
14th June 2017
- by Kelly Newton-Wordsworth
Being a Christian: What is expected of Christians in the 21st century? - Part 1