Speaking of Marty and Mark, I think it is great how God has sent to us two very committed Christians who love to teach his word but if you have noticed, their styles and passions for teaching the Word varies from mine. Each of us have varying gifts and passions as it pertains to God’s Word which I think is great and how God truly wants it when it comes to the “Body of Christ”. I consider it a privilege to be teaching beside these two wonderful men of God. I tell you these things so I can help you to understand what the passions are that God has placed within me. Some may think that my vision is narrow as I always seem to be focusing in on the Church and all of the flaws that lie within. Some may think the “End Times” theme you always find in my studies is being used as a scare tactic. So before I start this weeks study, I will give you a one paragraph examination of what God has put in my heart and the Godly passions that drive me.
I believe the “Church” on a whole (not all) to be morally bankrupt and after leaving their God has embraced the world and its ways. I believe God has a remnant of believers here in this Country truly serving him but they are in the minority. God has given me a passion for “End Time Prophecy” and as a student of Hal Lindsey (Watchman on the Wall), I believe my calling to be a “Mini Watchman on the Wall” to all God has brought to me to teach. Each of us and our mission should be to see the lost saved but I believe my specific calling is to wake up the Church from it’s slumber. Souls will not be saved if the Church is asleep at the wheel. I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture that I believe to be but mere moments away. So though my passions are narrowly focused, I think they can be summed up in this one sentence. “My calling is to wake the Church from it’s slumber and to warn my world that the return of Jesus Christ is at our door“. I’m reminded of John the Baptist whose mission too was narrowly focus as he continually preached this one message…”Repent, For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. Two thousand years later that same message permeates through my spirit but to the last generation that this world will know before his second coming.
With that being said friends, Mark had a question in his study that asked us about our knowledge of Christ and what he means to us. I will take his question one step further by asking you…If we have a true knowledge of Jesus Christ and profess our love for him, why are we not living for him? Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command”, but we just blow it off as if it was a simple suggestion. If we are not keeping his commands then we are all liars when we say that we love him.
John 14: 15..."If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
1 John 2: 3 - 6...We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
These two verses tell us that if we know and love him we will keep his commands. You see, when you have a sleeping Church or an apathetic Church, God’s commands are not being followed or lived by. We are all running around doing what we want to do and not what God wants us to do. We are following man made doctrines of our Churches that cannot scripturally be found. We are allowing sin in every aspect of our Churches including the pulpit. We put our faith into “Men Of God” and put them on pedestals instead of placing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on that pedestal. Later on I will expound on many of these sins but for now I want to give you the main scripture for this weeks study…
2 Timothy 4: 3 & 4...For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Paul tells Timothy that the time would come when men would not tolerate sound doctrine and believe me that time has come my friends. In these verses we see two major problems with the Church in these last days. The first is with the body of believers itself. The Church wants a Pastor or Preacher who will not preach on the very sins that they are living in. They want a Pastor who preaches watered down messages and compromises the very Gospel he has been called to preach. They don’t want a preacher who calls a sin a sin but one who preaches a shaded gray Gospel that condones their sins. In other words someone who they can control that will tell them what they want to hear. The body of believers was the first problem and the second problem is the Preachers themselves. Any Minister of the Gospel that would allow God’s word to be compromised and mocked is unworthy of his calling and ministry. The problem I see with most Ministers today is that they look at their calling as more of a career than a calling. I contend that many in the “Ministry” today were never called by God but were called from a lust of the money and power the position allows them. Any Minister who allows the Church to dictate his sermons is weak and is not allowing the Holy Spirit to teach through him anyway.
Do you think that Jesus, Peter , John or Paul would have accepted this limp wristed tolerant attitude from their Ministers in the early days of the Church? We know that Jesus overthrew the money changers in the Temple and yet today our Churches have become a den of thieves just as Jesus called it then. Now I want to break down the “Sins of the Church” and the “Sins of our Ministers” and see what God has to say about both…
SINS OF THE CHURCH
*** EVANGELISM…Lets first address the Church and it’s lack of heart for evangelism to go out and to make disciples. The Church is more concerned today with building great buildings, putting on plays and other extravagant events to lure unbelievers in instead of going out to them as Jesus commanded us to do…Notice the words GO YE THEREFORE!!!
Matthew 28: 19 & 20...Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
***TITHING…If every believer actually tithed a tenth to God as we have been commanded to do, there would be no need for “building funds”, praiseathon telethons, nor the need for every Preacher under the sun to be out there begging for money. A small percentage of believers actually tithe and give offerings while the rest use their tithes and offerings for worldly pleasures as they see fit. If you are one of these people, God sees you as a thief and you are currently living under a curse. God promises those that tithe that he will open the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing that you don’t have room enough to receive it, but still we continue to rob God. Since the “Church” is made up of believers and God promises that believers not tithing are under a curse, then we have to assume that most “Churches” are under this curse of God today. Don’t believe me? Lets read…
Malachi 3: 8 - 12..."Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty.
Luke 6: 38...Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
****UNFORGIVENESS…The Church today is teeming over with Christians who refuse to forgive others of the wrongs that have been done to them. Some it is as simple as holding a small grudge while others are simply filled with hate towards another human being. Though your anger may be justified in your own mind, God says that no matter what the offence is, we must forgive it. If we refuse to forgive someone we tie God’s hands and his ability to forgive us of our sins. I did a study on this not to long ago and I still believe as I did then, that the Church is flowing over with multitudes of “Unforgiven Christians”. From whatever point in your life that you decided not to forgive, from that point on your sins lie in a state of unforgiveness from God. Let’s look at what God says about it…
Matthew 6: 14 & 15...For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Ephesians 4: 32...Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Colossians 3: 13...Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
***GOSSIP…If there is one sin in the Church that God could tag each and every believer with it would be Gossiping. Some things are just innocently repeating something we heard that we think others need to know. Some in the Church are malicious gossipers who go around telling other peoples personal matters either because they dislike the person (see the above sin), or it makes them feel important with such a wealth of information about everyone. No matter how you look at it, tale bearing is a sin in the eyes of God and we are all guilty of it. The part of gossiping in the Church that I think is so damaging though is the tales of others sins before they became a Christian. Someone tells someone else something in private to get their help through prayer and the next thing you know, a wildfire has been set. Maybe Suzie used to be a prostitute and use drugs heavily and needs prayer for strength, the next thing you know as the tale grows and changes, Suzie is turning tricks now and can’t get off of the crack and her marriage if failing because of it and social services is about to take her children away. Then Suzie gets the judgmental treatment from then on, which is our next sin, right after I show you what God says about tale bearers…
Leviticus 19: 16...Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the LORD.
Proverbs 11: 13...A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
Proverbs 20: 19...He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
Psalm 50: 19 & 20...Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.
***JUDGMENTAL ATTITUDES…We in the Church have very short memories when it comes to sins, at least as it applies to our sins. When it applies to the sins of someone else we have long and in depth memories. That old saying that says, “ When you point your finger, there are three more pointing back at you” truly applies here but I happen to think another saying applies more and that is…”When you point your finger, There is one big finger pointing at you, Gods”…Countless times we are told in the Bible not to judge others but we just can’t help ourselves, can we? I guess if we are constantly pointing out others shortcomings, hopefully nobody will notice ours. Nobody but God that is! I believe some think the lower they can sink a Brother, the Holier they appear. Speaking of judgment, that is exactly what those who stand in judgment will receive from God as Romans 2 below tells us…
Romans 14: 10 - 13...But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
Romans 2: 1 - 3...Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
***UNHOLY CONVERSATION…This sin I believe is very self explanatory. I have been around those who are professing Christians and thought I had just had an encounter with a drunken sailor on shore leave. Our conversations not only include profane ranting but also negative and backbiting talk against our Brothers. We are told that all of our conversations should be “Holy”. Here are a few scriptures that back that up as well as a few that talk about that nasty little creature that hides inside of our mouth, “The tongue”!
1 Peter 1: 15...But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Philippians 1: 27...Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
2 Peter 3: 11...Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
1 Peter 3: 10...For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
James 1: 26...If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
James 3: 1 - 12...My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
***CONFORMING TO THE WORLD… I believe this is one of the greatest sins in the Church today. We have conformed ourselves to be exactly like the world we claim to have come out of and been delivered from. We talk the same, dress the same and act the same. Just like the Israelites who had just been delivered from bondage kept looking back desiring the sinful lives they just left, we have taken it one step further, we actually went back!! The reason the world doesn’t want anything to do with our “Christ” is because when they look at what we are offering, they see no difference between them and us. When American Idol came out the Christian world couldn’t get their version of it out fast enough on Christian television. When the world introduces a new music sound style, the Christian world quickly follows suit with the same new sound. We want to look like them with our nose, ear and tongue piercing and our tattoos and when the worlds baggy pants started drooping, so did ours. Enough of the examples, I think you get my point. Below in 2 Corinthians Paul tell us to “come out from them and be separate”. I’ve been in Churches before and have seen women dressed so provocatively it would make the Devil blush. I’ve seen our young girls running around the Church Isles with shorts so short it makes Daisy Duke’s shorts look like a pair of bell bottoms. And we, as parents of these young Christians let them do it! Where are the Elders, Deacons and Ministers of the Church while this is going on, In fact where is the “Church” at, Church! You know, the dirtiest word to ever be adopted by God’s Church is the word “Tolerance”! This of course is another word the world loves because it allows for every kind of action to be accepted as long as there is someone who embraces it. So the Church has adopted this “Tolerance” view toward sin and refuses to come out against sin because we have people in the Church who decide they want to embrace it. People of the world should be able to look at us and see a noticeable difference between them and us not a mirrored image. I will touch on this “Tolerance” thing later as I address another sin that has the Church falling deeper into the abyss. Let’s see what God says about conforming to the world…
Romans 12: 1 & 2...Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
2 Corinthians 6: 14 - 18...Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
In part 1, I have covered seven sins that are alive and well in many Churches today. Next week, I will continue on with more sins of the Church, sins of those in Ministry and tie them all together to show you how all of these sins are leading to the fulfillment of 2 Timothy 4: 3 & 4...
The end times are upon us my fellow Brothers and Sisters and God is trying to wake the Church out of it’s slumber. Judgment is coming and it begins at the house of God!
1 Peter 4: 17 & 18...For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"
Have a blessed week my friends and know that I am praying for you all.
Your Brother In Christ
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