Lights. Camera. Actions.
Welcome to the show! No, this isn’t Shakespeare. We aren’t in a theater. This isn’t Broadway.. Or are we? Is it?
The ever expanding theological playground that is the modern church has become a mockery, a false image of the intended body of Christ! Pastors dress up, put on a show, and charge the viewers 10%; not counting the donations they openly accept so that they can continue to put on their show! That is not to say that to tithe is wrong, of course it is right and we should adhere to the principle of giving back to God! It is to say, however, that there is a difference between tithing and marketing!
Blessings are sold by Pastors who claim to heal; “I will come to your church, and God will heal your members!” They have turned what is meant to be a righteous and holy practice into a farce, and then they charge for it!
Sermons are preached in costumes, ranging from stylish to out of the ordinary, and messages are turned into an act! For all of the screaming and all of the show, they are lost on the truth of God! Yet there are many who follow this simply because it appeals to their flesh, as opposed to shutting it down because it conflicts with their spirit!
Millions flock into churches across the globe every Sunday to hear how much God wants to give them money and cars, and how much He wants to give them new homes and perfect marriages for the low-low price of $19.99! They gather in herds for a spiritual infomercial, that has no more spiritual validity than a stone; in fact a stone likely holds more, as He said “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out!” (LUKE 19:40)
We have allowed a cancerous mass to develop, going unchecked and unvanquished, metastasizing in what should be the spotless body of Christ and not a building full of halfhearted souls whose light shines no farther than the pew in front of them!
He said that we should not be like this, but that we should “Come out from them and be separate,” and “touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you” (2 CORINTHIANS 6:17) and this because “we are the temple of the living God.” (16) He told us that we were “once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord,” and that we should “live as children of light.” (EPHESIANS 5:8)
We have decided somewhere along the way though, that our own ideas of what church is holds more precedence than what the God of the Universe created it to be! Churches have become businesses and their members nothing more than customers who, for all their money spent are destined to never find satisfaction in the product they are buying!
They sell their churches as a brand and slap it on mugs and t-shirts, praise it on television and over the radio, proclaiming their joy in being “bad Christians.” Euphemisms aside, we should never compromise our faith for the sake of fitting in, or proclaim to be what is contrary to our faith because we are embarrassed or feel cast aside by the people around us!
We were never meant to conform to this world, so that we are more appealing to sinners and so they can relate to us! We are meant to conform to the image of Christ, in fact we are created to live holy and righteous lives just as Christ Jesus Himself did! Did He not say that we should put off our old ways and “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (EPHESIANS 4:24) Or would we make the sacrifice of Christ in vain; choosing to live in things that He came and died, and rose again to remove us from?
Foolishness! Wickedness! Cast it off, and walk away from it! When you are born again you become dead to your past, in all aspects! Stop holding on to foolish and ignorant things for the sake of being a part of a religious popularity contest!
This is not a game! It is not a play! This is eternal life, or death! It is not to be toyed with, and it is not to be taken lightly! The God of Creation, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Almighty God of the Universe is a fearsome force that those who are disobedient will tremble at the sight of! He most certainly did say that “God’s wrath will come on those who are disobedient.” (EPHESIANS 5:6) and that “It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (HEBREWS 10:31)
We are a people who are set apart; driven by devotion, fueled by trust in the Lord, and perfected by obedience to His commands!
Christ said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (JOHN 14:6) and that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.” (MATTHEW 7:14)
The word narrow, in the Greek, as used in this context is stenos: meaning “narrow” (in the figurative sense); a closely defined path that God ordains to travel in order to gain His approval. Coming from the base word histemi; meaning “narrow (from obstacles standing close about) – strait.
Looking now at the word strait; to hold together or constrain, i.e. being restricted on both sides, under a pressure which prevents a definite choice.
He told us that it would be difficult and that few would find it, however not without giving the answer to finding it! He very openly tells us how to get past this constricting and difficult path by giving us a direct path to follow; one that is free of distraction, sin, death, and free from the desires and the ways of the world! These are what make the way strait, binding us to them and putting pressure on us from all sides! If you find that hard to believe just take a look at the world around you, how many are full of dread and burdened!
So God says, there is a path in which, if you travel through it, you will not easily find the kingdom but I will show a direct path to Me; a path that is clearly defined and easy to follow! That path is Christ!
Remember, He said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (JOHN 14:6) then He told us how to get to that path in being born again and accepting Him into our hearts as our Lord and Savior, but it does not stop there! No, we have an action to perform! We have to look to Him, and die to ourselves. We have to give up our old way of life, which only leads to death, and keep our focus on Him; living as obedient children! Like He said, “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive His approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” (2 TIMOTHY 2:15)
There is a reason that He told us, “since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (COLOSSIANS 3:1) It was for a purpose when He said to “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” (COLOSSIANS 3:2) It was so that, in doing so, we would walk the path that He had already made clear for us so that we would not stumble!
I find myself getting sick of hearing people say that “we are all sinners.” No! No you are not! Christ did not give His life so that we could remain sinners, simply for the fact that we are too lazy to obey the commands that He gave us!
Or would we call God a liar? He said that you are “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (ROMANS 6:11)
I could go on about ROMANS 6 all day, but that is for another time. For now I will stick to the topic at hand.
We are not born again so that we can continue to live like the people of the world live! The entire premise of being “born again” is that we become dead to the world completely, and literally reborn into God! This is why He said that, “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 CORINTHIANS 5:17)
If you don’t take the time to learn from Him, and understand the value that He has placed on you, you will never mature spiritually! Growth requires effort, and more than just one day a week and listening to men ramble on about how much money and how many things God wants to give you, or saying that you ca live this way or that way because it is what you want to hear! God doesn’t base His commands on what we want, we live our lives based on His commands!
This open humiliation of the church, this filthy and unrighteous lifestyle that has become modern Christianity is an open insult to the truth of God! We do not get to decide what God says, we are commanded to obey it! We do not get to say, “This is good. We can do this because the bible doesn’t say that we can’t,” making excuses and saying that “The bible was written before this was even a thing, so it doesn’t count for this.” That is foolishness! Time may pass, but the relevance of the Word of the Living God does not! It is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Our opinions, and our desires are not greater than the will and the command of God!
In fact, He said “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” (PROVERBS 3:5-6)
There it is again, that He will show us the right path. He also said that “He will give you the desires of your heart.” (PSALM 37:4) Not that He will give me worldly things that I want, but that He will show me what is good to desire!
I cannot expect anything from God if I say that I love Him, but live like the world does! He says this, that “Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (JAMES 1:8) and that “That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” (JAMES 1:7)
It takes persistence, determination, serious and intentional effort, and obedience to follow this path! That is why few find it, because few put in the actual effort that He says to put in! Everyone is so quick to say that “we are all sinners,” and that “no one is perfect,” but Jesus Christ said to “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (MATTHEW 5:48)
People are so quick to say that they love God and that they believe in God, they believe that He is capable of creating the universe and everything that is in it, but they immediately turn around and deny His ability to perfect them! Who are we that we are more complicated than universe? Are we so much more complicated that even God cannot make us into something perfect? Would we really say that He can create the universe, but that He cannot perfect His people while they are alive on the Earth? Would we really be that ignorant and foolish?
Would we give ourselves over to idols; whether in movies, on the news, in the music industry, and even in church and expect that the God Who commands us to be separate from the world and its ways will do anything for us, much less that we would be allowed into His kingdom?
“Hypocrites!” He said, “You generation of vipers!” What makes us think that anything has changed? Time has passed, but God is still God, and His commands are still His commands! We are no less bound by them simply because the year is different!
It is not me that will judge you, nor is it me that will condemn or welcome you! It is God Who will judge us all, or deem us worthy! It is Christ Who will either be life to us, or a force so great that we cannot stand against it unto our own destruction! He has commanded us, and we are to obey; no questions, no complaining, just obey!
It is His Word, and it is in His Word what we are supposed to do! It is up to us to be obedient, which He said we cannot do unless we study His Word every day! He did say to “Study continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.” (JOSHUA 1:8)
We are responsible for working hard, diligently and determined to “present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 TIMOTHY 2:15)
Beloved, it is my hope that you will not only take my word for this, but that you will seek His Word! I pray that you will look for His guidance like you would look for gold, and that you would search for His way like you would for hidden treasure, because our treasure is in heaven and not on this Earth! I pray that you open His Word and look harder than you have ever looked for anything else, because if you seek Him with an honest heart you will find Him!
This is what we are called to! Not to cheap sermons and empty words, but to power and to life! We are children of God, the Almighty Creator of the Universe, and we are more than filthy and worthless sinners! We are valued, so much so that He gave His life! We are full of worth! Because of what He did, we are worthy in Him; it is our birthright in Jesus Christ, an inheritance that we are called to live, not to wait for! Don’t wait for what you have the right to have right now! Don’t wait, and miss the path that leads to salvation! Fix your eyes on Jesus Christ! Look to Him in everything that you do in your life, and He WILL show you how to live as He lived!
This is who we are meant to be; conquerors, a people who shine brightly for all of the world to see, full of righteousness and holiness, living spotless lives in Him and not double-minded lives, unwilling to let go of the things of the world! We are born again to love Him and to live as He shows us to live, and not say that we love Him but live as the world lives! We are so much more than that! We are so much more valuable than that! Our worth is far greater!
You used to be darkness, sin, fleshly and worldly desire! You used to be conformed to the world, you used to look like it, but now you are reborn to be conformed to pattern of God by Christ in you! His Holy Spirit in us is power and victory, enabling us to stand in the world but not be of the world! You were once darkness, but now are not! You ARE light in the Lord! Live it!