Introduction Childish Things

Over the years, the Lord has shown me many things out of his word. I have written about the end times, revival, the kingdom, the church and the second coming in my other articles. Another topic that comes often is disputes and divisions in the church. We have an unending number of differences of opinion. In fact, it seems that whenever two Christians from different churches get together, one of the first things they do is to find something do disagree about. We have cases where there are a good number of scriptures that support either side of a question. And we have cases where a given scripture can be interpreted in two or more ways. Lack of maturity is what prevents God's people from agreeing on these issues and coming into 'unity of the faith.' How is this so?

Our first opening quote above refers to doubtful disputations. My paraphrase of it is, accept your brothers and sisters in the Lord who are weak in faith, or immature; but don't get into foolish arguments with them. These next two quotes reinforce that idea.

2Ti 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

In other words, don't get yourself tangled up in stupid arguments with immature believers. As these quotes indicate, they are 'doubtful', 'unprofitable' 'unwise' and cause a lot of friction.

One way of expressing why you should avoid these arguments is simply that it's childish. As I said, the Lord has shown me many things about the end times. Occasionally, he would go over them and summarize them to me. The way this worked was like this. I would imagine myself sharing or speaking on these topics to an audience somewhere, and the Lord would be giving me the things to say to them. [Some refer to this as the anointing to preach.] As I was doing this one day, it occurred to me that in my discussion, I never touched on the subject of the Pre-Trib Rapture. And furthermore, that some listeners would think this unusual since it has been a really big issue for some time. What if, I thought, someone would bring up a question like this: 'But, sir, you are not even trying to disprove the pretrib rapture!' Well that's right; I never even consider it an option. But I asked the Lord, well Lord what do I say if someone asks me that? His answer really startled me! Or rather, as some might say, it blew me away! He said: When I became a man, I put away childish things.

Wow! How like him to cut through all the stuff and nonsense and get right to the heart of the matter! Now even after about 10 years, I'm still learning the full implications of what he spoke to me that evening. That's what this essay is about.

One of these implications is this. To a mature believer, the pre-trib teaching is absolute childish nonsense, period, end of discussion. What does this have to say about the level of maturity in the church today? Well for the most part it says there is no level of maturity in the church today. Some few individuals are approaching maturity, but for in general you're not going to find much maturity anywhere. [What maturity I might have myself is purely the Lord's doing and nothing I accomplished by my own efforts, I assure you.]

So it's the immature Christians that get caught up in foolish fussin', fuedin', and fightin'. The mature are to avoid all that. I have found my self in several cases submitted to men that had far greater experience, authority, and ministry credentials than mine. Yet in these situations I was often puzzled by why they could not see the things the Lord was revealing to me in the scriptures. Now I realize that it's simply that they were immature. Even those with many years in the ministry, that you would expect to be mature users of the Word, turned out to be immature. In many cases that was because of stumbling blocks in their lives.

I was looking to them as experts in the word, but it turned out that I was more expert than they were. And I was putting myself at a disadvantage by regarding them as superiors. It was realizing this, which lead to this article.

As we proceed, we are going to look at what maturity is; and how it is linked with faith and wisdom. Then we'll consider what common obstacles to it exist.

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