Practical Application of the Word of God
I recently heard a sermon that frustrated me beyond words and that broke my heart because it demonstrated how corrupted and polluted, in general, we whom God has chosen at this point in time and placed within the ekklesia (this spiritual body is the Church, not any man-made organization, and Jesus Christ alone is – or should be – our Head) have become because of our idolatry, our abandonment of the word of God in favor of human words, and our hubris, our arrogance, and our pride which has blinded us and deceived us spiritually.
Ironically, the supposed point of the sermon was a warning about a lack of zeal and the attitude and mindset the Jesus Christ rebukes and offers correction for in His message to the congregation – and, therefore to us, since all the words in Revelation 2 and 3 are for all the congregations to hear and repent of) – of Laodicea.
But the message given was in the attitude and mindset of Laodicea and that irony seemed to be lost on most of the congregation.
I can see clearly how we’ve gotten here, to this point. I pray about this continually for myself and for my brothers and sisters whom God has called in this time for His purpose, and, yet, in general, I see us sliding further away from God, from His word of truth, from His supremacy and authority, into deception, idolatry, and sin. And, for the most part, we seem to not even notice, but are content to follow the corrupt and polluted ways that are rapidly engulfing a large part of the body of Christ.
And although I grieve deeply, much like Jeremiah did over the inevitable fate of Judah, I also have to remember that Jesus Christ prophesied that this would be the end-time condition of the ekklesia and that God is fully aware of what is happening and is allowing it, in part, I believe, to test our faithfulness to Him as individuals and to purify and refine us individually as His children.
That doesn’t mean I can’t be sorrowful about it even though I realize that spiritually it is necessary as we mature and grow toward the very spiritual image – the second phase of creation that every human at some point in time will have the opportunity to experience – of our Dad and Older Brother.
The zeal being proposed by the message was zeal for an organization, man-made and therefore, as we are all corrupt and sinful, a corrupt and sinful physical creation made up of corrupt and sinful people.
However, in the increasing trend toward equating the profane with the holy, this organization was touted as the Church and, as has been the case for quite some time, the message said in no uncertain terms that if our loyalty was not wholehearted to this particular organization, which we were told again alone has the truth, while all other similar organizations from the same initial root did not and were preaching deception and errors, then we are wrong, we are Laodicean, we are falling for lies, and our eternal lives are in jeopardy.
The message actually took the word of God completely out of context with the expressed thought that only people who assembled with this particular organization would be the saints described in Revelation 20:4-6.
That, my brothers and sisters in the family of God, is the product of deception and a mind that has been blinded by idolizing people and organizations.
And it is wrong. It is sin. And it is a stench in the nostrils of Almighty God and our King and Lord Jesus Christ.
The message went on to specifically say that if we are not listening to a certain “important” person in this organization explaining the doctrines of the organization, then we were also Laodiceans.
Is it apparent to you yet what the essential problem with this message is? If not, please take it to God and ask Him to show you because this is spiritually dangerous – and potentially eternally fatal – territory that we are being encouraged to enter, to embrace, and to believe.
To do so is spiritual adultery. God the Father has no equal. Jesus Christ has no equal. The word of God has no equal. Yet these are being equated with people, organizations, and human words and ideas. And that is idolatry and adultery. Period.
Another thing about this message which promoted a single organization as the Church and which said that fellowship with any other people and/or organizations that were similar was disloyal and disobedient to God and put our eternal lives in jeopardy was the passing statement that this organization had met with another similar organization to strengthen the ties of fellowship.
You can’t have it both ways. To preach a message saying that fellowship with any other similar organization or people with similar beliefs is wrong and in that same message say that this organization is reaching out in fellowship with another similar organization and that is right is to be double-minded. One or the other of these things – or perhaps both – are untrue.
In another part of the message, a blog post by a member of the ekklesia that addressed some of the needs and concerns from a generational aspect was spun completely away from what the writer was addressing. It was, and this pains me to say it, a lie the way it was presented in the message.
The message said that the writer wanted to change doctrine – II Timothy 3:16-17 tells us what God’s definition of doctrine is and it doesn’t come from human ideas and traditions – and the message also slammed the writer for daring to suggest that anything other than the Catholic-emulation way the church services, from the order of services, the type and order of music, and the literal positioning of the congregation, are currently structured was unrighteous and inviting spiritual compromise into the body of Christ.
I suggest that every reader of this blog get a copy of Pagan Christianity and read it to find out where the way we see services organized today – and why – came from (I do not agree with the conclusions the authors suggest to counter this false system of worship, but the book is instructive about how we came to what we see organizationally today).
In other words, the message was saying “this way is the only right way, the only God-sanctioned way, and to suggest otherwise is heresy.”
Prove that to me from the word of God. I don’t see the early New Testament congregations assembled or structured this way. I don’t see a “Thou shalt conduct services to appear before Me and worship Me in X, Y, and Z ways.”
What I do see from God’s word is how not to worship God – idolatry, looking around and emulating the way non-believers worship their gods, profaning God’s name, and denying Christ, to name a few – and yet those are the very things that have crept in among the ekklesia and what we are being encouraged to do.
One of the message’s issues with this blog post was with the ideas about music. Essentially the message said that any form of music that differs from the staid, stale, and, quite frankly, not always music that praises and worships God that we have already is opening the door to spiritual compromise.
That hubris, arrogance, and pride again rearing its ugly head. As I was listening to this part of the message, I thought of Michal watching David leap and dance and while all kinds of musical instruments were played to praise and glorify God and her later upbraiding of him for his, in her eyes, wanton abandonment in worshiping his Lord and King. I could not help but think that this messenger might be standing in agreement with Michal and nodding his head, while scowling with disapproval, to her words as she blasted David.
More and more, as I’ve already pointed out in this point, we see the word of God twisted, taken of context, and misused and misapplied, sometimes just out of thin air.
Are we paying attention? Are we grounded in – with our spiritual houses being built on the Rock that Christ is and describes in Matthew 7 – God’s word, which is the truth – or are we grounded in what humans and/or organizations say is the truth, which is building our spiritual houses on sand, which Christ also described in Matthew 7.
The storms Christ described are here and they will only get stronger, more daunting, and more relentless.
Will my spiritual house stand, no matter what? Will your spiritual house stand, no matter what?
Today is the day to examine our foundation and make sure that we haven’t built our spiritual houses on foundations of sand, but instead of the Rock that is Jesus Christ. It’s not too late to start over with the only Foundation that matters, that will endure forever, and that will support, protect, strengthen, and carry us from here to eternity.