Malachi states, Malachi 3:7 “Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Not only have we robbed God; we have been robbed of what Christianity is supposed to mean and the power that goes with it. We have been raised with the belief that Christianity is simply about going to church and being the best you can be while we wait for heaven and God is love! Meanwhile there is no power and the church sits in desolation defeated by its enemies just like Israel in the Old Testament. The Jesus we were taught to understand was a figment of the imagination of men and woman who have gone their own way and followed other gospels. Jeremiah 23:9 “Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and his holy words. 10 The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. 11 “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the LORD. 12 “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the LORD. 13 “Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. 14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.” 15 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says concerning the prophets: “I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.” 16 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17 They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The LORD says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ 18 But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?”
                This empty and powerless way has only lead to death and destruction not life and prosperity. The sad part to all this is most in the church have been so deceived they do not know that they need to repent because they feel secure because they go to church. Hosea said Hosea 4:6 “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” The church we have been raised in is dead just as Jesus said to the Pharisees. Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. Our only hope is to turn away and we have. This is good news for those seeking the truth. Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” By turning from our wicked ways God said he would come to us. 2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.”
                The christianity we have been taught is what they call churchianity. One definition said “Churchianity is any practice of christianity that are viewed as placing a larger emphasis on the habits of church life or the institutional traditions of the church than on theology and spiritual teachings of Jesus; the quality of being too church-focused.” Many use the word to describe the institutional church yet the definition of churchianity is much broader to include not only a liturgical service /institutional church but those with no order whatsoever and everything in-between. It is still about going to church no matter what kind you go to. The more involved you are, the better the christian you are especially if you dressed the part whether suit and tie, dress or t-shirt and shorts. Once you make your commitment, you go to church and then do what you are told. The problem is you have inadvertently given your life to the church not to Jesus. By doing this you have turned your life over to man who has no power to defeat satan instead of giving your life to Jesus who has given us authority to use his name to defeat satan. So if your experience took you to the Catholic church, you then became a Catholic, a Baptist or Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, Brethren and the list could go on and on. What you have been taught is that by participation in any one of these denominational distinctives you have been set free but truly you are worse off than you were before. 2 Peter 2:17 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”
                And yes there are some very committed chrtistians who have no idea that they have been deceived. Jesus said Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” You can’t do the will of the father if you have been deceived by a false gospel and are not following His words. Many think they are safe and secure but imagine with me on that Day of Judgment the person who thought they had followed God’s will but didn’t know they had been deceived. Going to church isn’t going to get you into heaven. Paul tells us the way it is supposed to be and what you are supposed to do. Colossians 1:22 “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” Yet Paul said Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”
                We will continue to talk about the deception of churchianity in the upcoming weeks. True Christianity defeats our enemies because God lives among us and his word and His power flow from us. Churchianity is all about defeat and captivity and God turns his face from shining on us. We are not clothed with power and remain naked and ashamed.