The word conform means to form one’s appearance, manners, character, etc. according to prevailing (persuasion, widespread) standards. To act or be in accordance with a law, rule, customs, etc. To be similar, to conform to a pattern or mold; a marker which shows association with another thing or person in outward fashion, appearance, or customs. The Apostle Paul discusses the necessity of not conforming to the world but looking like the things of God (Romans 12:1-2). Christians should not fashion themselves after or be adapted to the world’s external or superficial customs, but Christians should be transformed or changed by the entire renewal of their mind by its new ideals and its new attitude of being connected with Jesus Christ. Christians cannot conform to anything in this time, day, age, etc. People will say, “I’m a Christian, so I don’t look like the world” even while they attempt to be relevant to the culture that surrounds them. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). If you are changing the fashion, customs, or appearance of God, you are making efforts to conform Him to fit your desire and the desire of the world to gather a crowd, not true faith-built Christians. God does not change. His message does not change. No one cannot market God and make Him relevant. He does not need anyone’s help, everyone needs His help. This principle should be the motivation for people to seek Him, not because they want something exactly like the world has to offer. People have been to the world to find peace, joy, and love, but it is not there. Only God can fill the void within the lives of people. God worked the same for Moses as He will for you. God worked the same for David as He will for anyone else. God worked the same for Paul as He will for anyone seeking Him, He does not work for a gimmick or show. Jesus gave Himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14). God’s people are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy people, a peculiar people that should praise God because He has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Christians are to be a peculiar people, not a relevant people. The word peculiar means one’s very own, special, belonging to, a possession, or purchased possession. Those that are born again should be God’s people, not the world’s people. We should look like, talk like, be fashioned after, belong to, and agree with God. Christians cannot look like the world but add a Godly twist. They cannot serve God and mammon which means riches or worldly pursuits (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13). Christians should be like the New Testament examples that stood against the world and did not allow themselves to be changed by the world, but changed the world, because of God in them. May Christians not be conformed to this world, but be changed in our minds, words, and actions to do God’s will. They should carry the message of God to the people and give them what they are truly searching for, a forgiving Savior that loves them and wants them to be changed by His righteousness and to put on holiness, not a cheap imitation. May Christians stop marketing God and let Him change us, our churches, and help the people that are seeking the truth about God.
In the last few months while spiritual attacks have taken place against Christians in this region, those attacks created a great amount of Christians working together as the body of Christ. This working together of churches goes beyond denominational names, beyond religious traditions, and into a common love and obedience to Jesus Christ to give this region the Gospel. With pastors and other fellow Christians joining together the darkness of the region was pushed back by the light of God through willing vessels having a boldness to stand in these last days (Ephesians 6:13). When Christians join together as the body of Christ they are tackling the spiritual enemies with more power, more boldness, and more light. For so long the enemies of the cross have known that if the body of Christ joins together there is no stopping them in what they do. This is why for so many years there have been divisions, dissension, and issues created to spread throughout the region to keep Christians apart. Not anymore. The Christians of this region have taken note of the power and results of the body of Christ working together as one body, joined in one spirit, and for one purpose. That purpose is to give glory, honor, and praise to God the Father through our Savior Jesus Christ while being led by the Holy Spirit. Just as natural bodies have many parts, each part has a special function (Romans 12:4). This is the same situation with the body of Christ being many parts but coming together as one body serving Him to do His will (Romans 12:5). There should be a harmony among the body as each member cares for one another, loves one another, and serves together for one purpose (1 Corinthians 12:25-27). The spiritual enemies of the Christian faith were met by Christians clothing themselves in love, binding these brothers and sisters in Christ together creating a harmony and peace that stood with boldness to win a victory in letting the message of Christ be shared within this region (Colossians 3:14-16). Breaking through the religious walls, overcoming the attacks of some of the enemies of the cross, and being armed with a confidence of this working as the body of Christ, pastors and Christians alike should assist in keeping this mindset going within their own hearts and within the churches of this region. Having such a victory over the spiritual enemies draws attention to more spiritual warfare, but when anyone is on God’s side there is victory! Now is the time to live out the Word of God to not allow offense to arise, not allow sin to creep in, not allow slander or false accusations to be given attention, but to handle every situation as the Bible prescribes in efforts to not allow the division that once had a hold within this region to regain access to the hearts of Christians or church leaders. May every Christian within this region stand against the spiritual enemies of God and the spiritual enemies of His people to continue working together as the body of Christ for His glory, His honor, and His praise.
In this modern time, people desire to have equality in every aspect of people. This is not how modern Christians are viewed even in the eyes of God. Not all Christians are the same even in their loyalty or sincerity of walking with God. According to the Word of God, there are three different types of Christians. The first type of Christian is a name only Christian. This type of person carries only the name of a Christian and does not have any characteristics to reflect a walk with God. Even Jesus says that many will stand before Him and declare all that they did in His name, but Jesus did not know them (Matthew 7:21-23). These name-only people will be so good at hiding within the midst of God’s people that Jesus describes them as wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). Others will come having only the name of Christ as a believer but deceive others in having a lifestyle that does not align with God’s standard of holiness while inviting them to do the same (Matthew 24:4-5). Every person to be a true Christian must be God’s person through being a born-again believer, be called by His name, remain humble, pray, seek God’s face, and repent for God to hear from heaven to forgive their sins and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14). Some people prefer to have the name of a Christian and not be held accountable to live as a Christian. The second type of Christian is the name and image person. This type of person carries the name of a Christian and has a religious façade. Those with a religious façade draw near to God with their mouth having the right speech but refuse to allow God to have their heart (Matthew 15:8-11). More than anything else, God wants the heart of those who desire to be with Him. The Apostle Paul also declared this same issue with people having a form of godliness but denying the power (2 Timothy 3:5). These people have a form which is an appearance, outward semblance, or fashion but it is not genuine due to rejecting, refusing, and forsaking the power of God within their lives. God gives His children power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). This is condemning as proof that those that do not allow the power of God in their lives are not God’s children. The last type of Christians are name and known Christians. This type of person carries the name of a Christian and is known by people and by God as a child of God in faith through action. Those that remain in God and follow Christ’s example of obedience to God do not practice sin as a lifestyle and are known by other people to have a holy manner of living (1 John 3:6-7). Those that do not practice a holy lifestyle or manner of living belong to the devil (1 John 3:8-9). Others should know where the lifestyle, fruit, doctrine, and testimonies of each believer because they live holy and biblical before everyone that they meet (2 Timothy 3:10-11). More importantly, God should know each person that declares to be a Christian due to the true relationship that is lived every day with Him (John 17:11). To accurately carry the name of a Christian a person must be born again, have a current relationship with God, and be known by God as His all while others take note of that person’s life reflecting the Bible.