Day 13: Return

                Yesterday morning I saw a video by a minister whose name is Greg Laurie. I had heard his brief description of the rapture but it sounded like he was talking about the second coming of Jesus. I listened to this one briefly and he definitely was talking about the rapture. He said this about the events to happen. He said, “here is the chronology of prophetic events to come from my viewpoint.” The rapture, the antichrist, tribulation the battles and then Christ returns. He then starts rambling about blood moons and their nonsense and he even quotes Peter in Acts 2 but misses that the moon to blood already happened. So his viewpoint is no different than all the other dispensationalist who distort the word of God. Why does this matter? Yesterday I was talking about Deuteronomy 29:25 “And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.” 2 Kings 17:16 “They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger. 18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence.” and Zechariah 10:2 “The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd. 3 “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders.” Yes the verses are verses from the Old Testament but these teaching come after Jesus has come. His very words have been altered and now his word has been rejected for doctrines of demons. Man has gone their own way, formulated their own opinions and this is likened to what Israel did. They have rejected their final hope. We also read from 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. On Greg Laurie’s church website they have totals of “Through the Years – ATTENDANCE - 5,942,808, DECISIONS - 487,954, LIVE  WEBCAST - 2,842,299, ONLINE DECISIONS -18,691.” All those people have been lead astray and have been taught false doctrines and will only hear I don’t know who you are.
                How important is it to get it right. Your life depends on it. So this week we continue on our journey. We are focusing on the return and what we have to do to return to God. We are in a similar position to Israel, as the enemy because of our unbelief is defeating the church. In this passage the Ark was lost to the enemy but they returned it. Smart on their part I would say.  1 Samuel 5:11 “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it. 12 Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.”
                After the Philistines returned the ark to Israel, the people mourned and sought after the Lord. Earlier Samuel heard from the Lord who God said, 1 Samuel 3:11 “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them (sexual sins also).” Then this happened. Israel went out to fight the Philistines 1 Samuel 4:10 “and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.” On hearing that the ark had been captured Eli also died.
                During the absence of the ark the people mourned and sought after the Lord. Here is where we need to pay close attention. Samuel then said to the people. 1 Samuel 7:3If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.” They fasted and confessed that they had sinned against the Lord. Meanwhile the Philistines were assembling to attack them, They pleaded with Samuel to cry out to the Lord for them. “He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him.” That day the Lord thundered against the Philistines and they were routed by Israel.
                If we are expecting God to return to us, we must do as Samuel told the people. The church cannot continue to sin against the Lord and expect God to bless. You cannot continue to adhere to false doctrines and expect to be blessed. This week we will be looking at different scenarios where the people returned to the Lord. This isn’t just about going to church; this is about being completely changed by the power of God. God will defeat our enemies just as He defeated the Philistines. The promise to David still stands. 2 Samuel 3:17 “Abner conferred with the elders of Israel and said, “For some time you have wanted to make David your king. 18 Now do it! For the Lord promised David, ‘By my servant David I will rescue my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.’” This promise depends on whether we keep God’s word or not. Paul was told in Acts 26:17 “I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.” As we wait, continue to pray that God will clothe us with power once again. As we return to the Lord we too take heed to what God said to Moses Numbers 33:50 “On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho the Lord said to Moses, 51 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, 52 drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places. 53 Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.” The video I described at the beginning is just the tip of the iceberg as to what needs to be destroyed. If you are involved with any false gospels like what I described, turn and flee. Save yourself from this corrupt generation.