What in the World has the Church Become?
What in the world has the church become? People who attend church regularly rush down the streets and highways exceeding one speed limit after another. And they do this knowing full well they are breaking the ordinance of God to obey the laws that exist. They deliberately ignore Romans 13:1–7 which begins with, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God….”
What about those who entertain the lust of the flesh or the desire for riches? What about those who sit in judgment of others and the backbiters who spread rumor after rumor slandering their brothers and sisters in Christ? And, what about those super-Christians who are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, claiming this, claiming that, declaring this, declaring that, supposing themselves to have the authority of the Son of God? With their haughty and arrogant attitudes, they too show no hint whatsoever of a disciplined Christian life. Believing they have the same authority as the Lord, they feel they need not submit to Him, but are free to use their authority anytime and in any way they wish.
Dear friends, there are countless other such sinful and lawless practices we have all either been guilty of or have seen others committing. With this in mind, would you agree that it certainly appears that many of us are following the Man of Lawlessness, rather than the Son of God; the Man of Sin, rather than the Son of Righteousness? Please ask yourselves these questions: Where will we be standing in the end? Will we be in the camp of the righteous or the camp of the lawless? Will Jesus say, “Well done,” or “I never knew you?”
I Samuel 15:22, 23, says, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry….” For this very reason, God rejected Saul from being king. What does that say for those of us who rebel against the speed limits and cheat on our income taxes, and those who lift themselves up to places of authority pretending to be something they are not?
In the end, will we be counted among the sons of God, or will we be counted as hypocrites and sons of lawlessness? Will Jesus welcome us with open arms, or will He say to us, “Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness?” Matthew 7:23. It all depends on whether we deny ourselves and submit to God and learn obedience through the things which we suffer, or if we feed our egos and do whatever we want when we want.
The gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and only a few will find it. The gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. It is a road that is strewn with fleshly pleasures and countless ego boosters. It is a road on which you don’t have to obey any speed limits. It is a road on which you can cheat on your income taxes and sit in judgment of your fellow man. You need not concern yourself with what is right or wrong; you need only do what you feel like doing. You need not become a bond slave to Christ Jesus and walk in obedience to Him and to God. On this road, you can do whatever you want when you want.
I believe it is time to wake up from our slumber, Romans 13:11. It is time to strengthen what remains and is about to die, for our deeds have been found to be unfinished in the sight of God, Revelation 3:2. And it is time to remember what we have received and heard, and to hold it fast, and repent. For if we do not wake up Jesus will come like a thief, and we will not know at what time He will come, Revelation 3:3.
There are so many who have been carried away by false doctrines and false assumptions of the day. Please test yourselves to be certain you are not one of them. Guard yourselves to be certain you are walking down the narrow road that leads to life.
This is very serious. Jesus appeared to take away sin, not just cover it up as the blood of animals did. Just as Paul asked the Romans, “…Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” Romans 61–2.
Peter refers to this in 1 Peter 4:1–2,
1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
The writer of Hebrews speaks of this also,
4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM.
6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
May God bless those who deny themselves and follow Jesus,
Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org