aloof, anonymous, connecting, decretive will, detached, discipleship tool, disconnected, disobedience, evangelistic tool, Internet, preceptive will, social networks, technology, threshold believers, unrighteous works
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35, KJV).
Isn’t it ironic that in this modern age of technology there are far too many professed Christians who are using their Internet access capabilities for the primary purpose of remaining “disconnected” (detached, aloof, or anonymous)? Instead of using the Internet as a way to connect their faith in God and the CHURCH (Body of Christ) with the entire world (e.g., using the Internet as a global evangelistic and discipleship tool), many Christians are choosing to NOT be intimately involved in the spiritual lives of their online friends.
What also is ironic is that these disconnected believers, for the most part, have not realized that by choosing to just participate in online fun and games without ever trying to reach the unsaved, unchurched, and unspiritual people they have befriended on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the gazillion of online Christian Social network sites, that they (the disconnected Christians) also are being disobedient to the Preceptive (revealed moral) Will of God. Indeed, what most online believers do not realize is that their disconnection—failure to connect their faith in God and the ministry of the CHURCH with their various online communities—has caused irreparable damage to their own souls!
Additionally, even though all of the aforesaid social networks boast about being the place in which people not only can connect with family, friends, and/or co-workers but also communicate with them too, the truth of the matter is that believers are not really connecting, communicating, or fellowshipping with very many people on any of these sites. To be sure, most of the disconnected Christians who are spending so much time online are just sending and receiving unimportant messages—messages that in no way fulfill the command to evangelize and disciple the world. Two of the reasons why these disconnected believers are more interested in keeping their Christian beliefs to themselves is because: (1) they have become so indifferent about their faith in God, and (2) they have become so indifferent toward Jesus the Christ’s CHURCH. As a result, these disconnected believers have accepted a threshold Christianity.
People who are living the life of threshold believers are people who are not concerned with whether God is pleased with their individual lives, because the last thing these believers want to hear from, for example, sold out for Jesus the Christ believers is that God is interested in more than threshold believers’ personal happiness (contentment). For sure, God wants ALL of His sons and daughters to be about His business of spreading the Good News Gospel wherever and whenever an opportunity presents itself. Moreover, discipling people—teaching others about the Kingdom of Heaven—is also what God wants all of His children to be doing, as well. Therefore, not wanting to pay the cost for being the persons threshold believers profess they are, these believers end up choosing, instead, to settle for living a life that is barely inside the Kingdom of Heaven’s door (a life that scarcely has gone beyond an acceptance of Jesus the Christ, who is the door through whom all must enter into the Kingdom of Heaven). Consequently, these threshold Christians’ disconnected status prevents them from realizing that the time they are spending online engaging in “works” that are not of gold, silver, or gemstone quality (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15) will result in a unfortunate great spiritual loss for them.
The Holy Bible is clear about this divine truth: EVERYONE—believers and unbelievers—will have to stand before Jesus the Christ, who is the One who will judge this world. In the CHURCH or believers’ case, after Christians are raptured, they will have to stand before the bema (seat) of Jesus the Christ, not to be judged for their sins, but to be judged for the quality/value of their Christian service to the Lord (whether good or bad) so that the Lord can determine the nature of the rewards they will receive for their “works” done on Earth (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:10). Now, there is not going to be any spiritual loss for the believers whose “works” are of gold, silver, or gemstone quality/value; for sure, they will receive many rewards. However, the Holy Bible makes it very clear that threshold believers’ souls will “suffer great loss.” Thus, even though threshold believers still get into Heaven, they enter Heaven with the smell of smoke on them! The spiritual loss they suffer is because the Holy Spirit’s fire has consumed their wood, hay, and straw-quality “works.” In other words, as the Apostle Paul puts it, these threshold believers will make it through the Holy Spirit’s purging “…like [people] escaping through a wall of flames” (1 Corinthians 3:15b, NLT).
A word to the wise then should be sufficient. The online “works” of disconnected threshold Christians will be judged as wood, hay, and straw. Without a doubt, the believers who spend time online inviting and accepting friends just so that they can have more friends than everyone else, or those believers who spend time online doing twitter-like news feeds or short status updates, as well as those believers who invite and/or accept invitations from others with whom they have NO desire to establish any true friendships, and NO desire to witness to or disciple, will suffer a great spiritual loss. Since they cannot build their unrighteous “works” upon the foundation that Jesus the Christ has laid, and since their aforementioned online actions do not meet the standards of God’s Preceptive (moral) Will, then their online actions will equal disobedience.
As morally responsible people who have chosen, instead, to disobey God’s principles, precepts, and/or commands concerning expressing their relationship that they have with God (e.g., demonstrating ONLINE to the entire world that they are Jesus the Christ’s disciples), these disconnected threshold believers’ online “works” will fail to meet the Preceptive (moral) Will of God standards. Once again, the reason why their online “works” do not meet God’s standards is because these “works” are of wood, hay and straw quality. Since these online disconnect threshold believers cannot or will not meet the primary objective of the CHURCH (Body of Christ), which is to demonstrate an agape love for God by showing this agape love FIRST to their online brothers and sisters in Jesus the Christ, and then to the unsaved world, the unrighteous “works” of these disconnected threshold believers, again, will NOT survive the Holy Spirit’s consuming fire!
Online believers who become disconnected threshold Christians are invariably those believers who refuse to communicate more than mere snippets about their own lives, as well as those believers who share little to nothing about sin, faith, God, Jesus the Christ, the Holy Spirit, justification, sanctification, glorification, salvation, discipleship, eternal life, eternal damnation, righteousness, or holiness. Because disconnected threshold believers have a difficult time doing the spiritual “works” that match their love for and faith in God, their deep-seated discomfort causes them to choose to do what they “want” to do, instead of doing what God has called them out of the darkness into His marvelous light to do. What they have been called to do is to love the Lord, their God, with all of their heart (human spirit), might, and mind; and to love their neighbors as they love themselves. However, because these disconnected threshold believers want to do their own thing, and once they yield to this soulish desire, they then become guilty of disobeying the greatest commandment.
Now, the objective of believers’ faith in Jesus the Christ is to experience the purpose for which God made them, and an important CHURCH objective is for believers to be God’s reconciliatory ambassadors on Earth who evangelize and disciple others by teaching God’s wisdom to anyone who is unsaved, unchurched, immature (babe in Christ), weak (in the faith), or overtaken (by sin). If believers, therefore, are online just for forming new social groups, clubs, and friend lists, or if they are online for playing pleasurable activities that have nothing to do with soul-saving “works,” then these believers are not doing the work of the Lord that fulfills the objectives of their faith and the CHURCH.
Furthermore, we do not accept Jesus the Christ as our personal Lord and Savior and become Christians just so we can secure a place in Heaven. We are to do more than just “profess” our faith in the Father, and in His only begotten Son; we are supposed to demonstrate our love for and our faith in God and Jesus the Christ. Our public profession of our faith in Jesus the Christ, who is our Lord and our Savior, our demonstrated love for the Father, the Son, and human beings, and our commitment to live a life of holiness and righteousness are the major ways we fulfill the objective of our faith. Our commitment to support the work and ministry of the Body of Christ and our willingness to be subject to the authority and government of our local church are the ways we fulfill the objective of our CHURCH.
For these reasons, we must realize that we are NOT supposed to be living disconnected, self-centered lives—living to please ONLY ourselves—because when we only think about ourselves, we will be people who no longer draw from the true Vine (Jesus the Christ) to produce the commanded spiritual fruit. When we only think about ourselves, we will be people who just focus on seeking those ways that will bring us the most comfort. Therefore, the danger of being self-centered is that instead of us looking for the ways we can be a part of the Body of Christ—the ways we can bear spiritual fruit (righteous works)—we will look for the ways we can fill our own needs. The end result is that we will begin to see our local churches as existing for us, the members, rather than see that we, the members, are here to serve the world.
For those of us who are disconnect threshold believers, let us totally surrender our lives to our Lord and Savior and then let us get reconnected to the whole Body of Christ. Let us also totally surrender our lives to the Perfect (decretive) and Preceptive (moral) Will of God. Next, when it comes to sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and so forth, let us stop wasting our valuable online time. Let us truly connect our faith in Jesus the Christ and the ministry of the CHURCH with the people we add as our friends. Instead of being the self-centered people we used to be who just solicited and/or accepted online connections or friendships so that we could make an impressive list of friends, let us NOW be more about bringing the CHURCH to the people who are on these aforesaid sites. Since the Internet can be a wonderful evangelistic and discipleship tool, let us (the whole Body of Christ) start using the Internet for more than a way for us to find mere fun and games activities.