There is something terribly wrong in the church in America. I am not talking about a particular church or denomination. I am talking about the church universal, the body of believers in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. We have been given a great deal, but have done so little with it. Jesus tell us,
And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. Luke 12:47-48 ESV
I am writing this to bring a warning, because warnings are so scarce, yet so important. The Bible is replete with warnings for the people of God, but we have been taught that those are for another time and for other people, and that they do no apply to us. Instead, we are spoon fed a positive gospel of what belongs to us in Christ. Our sin is inconsequential, and some denominations teach that apostasy (falling away from the faith) is not even possible.
I am embarking on a long series of posts on the subject of God’s warnings to His church. This was not my idea. I would be elated if someone else was doing it. But I feel a bit like Jeremiah, when he said, “there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.” It is the things that are not being said that make me miserable, more than what is.
Before I begin, I want to say that I am the mouthpiece of no denomination or para-church ministry. I work for a para-church ministry, and they strive to work with churches of many denominations, as long as they agree on a certain statement of faith. Anyone who works for them must agree with it, and I do, but it is not the subject of these posts.
I also want to say that I possess no worldly credentials that would recommend me. I am a simple working class believer in Jesus Christ who has been reading the Bible for over 36 years. I don’t read commentaries because I find that they have biases that might affect my relationship with God. I believe it robs us of some of our intimacy with God when we let commentaries be our devotionals.
My goal is to get YOU to read God’s word for yourself, and to obey it. My recent favorite verse has been, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29. I make no pretense of knowing the secret things, but I do believe most of God’s word has been kept secret from YOU by people who are content to manage the flock rather than feed it. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4.)
In recent years, I have begun to read the Bible like it’s God’s diary, from beginning to end, over and over. When you read someone’s diary, you are learning some very personal information. You discover what he likes, dislikes, how he might act, and discover his patterns of behavior. When you wait for the movie to come out, you get a different message from the director than you do from the author. And a book report leaves out many things that matter.
I hope you will stay tuned, and read these and be challenged. I will leave the comments open, and look forward to challenges as well. I will make a point of writing about things I understand and, and leave off the things I am still pondering. Hopefully, you will do the same.