I noticed in the news today another person felt the need to denounce their faith in God to the world. Of course to reject God makes much more sense than to repent and ask God for understanding. It makes much more sense to walk away instead of searching and working out your salvation. This again shows how much the church is missing the Spirit of truth. They shout to the world I am free at last, I am ignorant and I don’t understand yet they seem to think they are leading the way for others to have greater understanding. After a lengthy post on Instagram, Jon Steingard of the group Hawk Nelson said, “I’ve been terrified to post this for a while - but it feels like its time for me to be honest. I hope this is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning. I hope this is encouraging to people who might feel the same but are as afraid to speak as I am. I want to be open. I want to be transparent with you all - and also open to having my heart changed in the future. I am not looking for a debate at all - just a chance to share my story in the hopes some good can come from it. I love you all.”
                So let me get this straight Jon, you admit you don’t understand or know God and then you reject God to whoever is listening and you believe good will come from it. He is literally saying I want to help you turn away from God and be free. That is the same thinking that Jesus warned us about. John 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.” How messed up is that? He said “I am now finding I no longer believe in God.” He then continues to write about his lack of understanding of evil in the world. He said he was raised to believe the bible was the perfect word of God but began to have doubts and that is when His belief in God began to unravel. No Kidding! I wrote a little while ago about the preaching of Andy Stanley and how he teaches the bible is not enough to stand on. This man now takes it a step further and denounces God because of his unbelief in His words. John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” He has absolutely no fear in God and scripture has much to say about rejecting God. They falsely think if I reject God then I am no longer accountable if He does not exist. When you reject God’s word you reject God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Sure others may feel this way but this is exactly what Jesus said would happen Matthew 24:10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
                What I found even more startling was the response he got from other performers. "Love you bro. Always will," said Jeremy Camp” “Tenth Avenue North singer Mike Donehey wrote: “Man I love that you shared this.” Are you kidding me? “Former lead singer of Sanctus Real Matt Hammitt added, “To echo so many others here, I have nothing but love in my heart for your old friend." Wake up people, this man just rejected God to His face and let everyone know it. Thanks to a quick peek at the news feed, everyone knows. He even proclaims he loves the newfound freedom. This isn’t a man searching, this is a man who has rejected God and wants the world to know. How messed up is it to say I am now free after rejecting God. He has just made a deal with the devil. The devil promised him freedom but in the end Matthew 25:41 “He will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
                Sadly he is right that there are many like him who have no idea who God really is. All they know is the empty religion they were taught. They don’t know their bibles and God does not dwell in them. They are void of the Spirit and truth is nowhere to be found. They say they don’t understand some things in the bible and that is enough for them to reject God. There are thousands of things that people don’t understand but still believe. You may not understand how a plane flies but you still travel. You may not understand how data appears on your phone but everyone has one. Ecclesiastes 11:5 “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” God created the earth and no one understands that. So you reject that notion and accept an explosion instead, of which no one can explain either. God spoke and the world was created. He also spoke and everything needed for an explosion was created. An explosion does not explain the beginning. If you want to believe in a god particle, knock yourself out. Hebrews tells us Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” The amazing part about God is He gave you the choice to believe or not. Just as this Jon decided to reject eternal life, God has given us the choice to embrace eternal life.
                God does not change yet most people do not know him. The church that most have grown up in is oblivious to the rebellion that has taken place, which has resulted in this happening to people. Faulty teaching has led to corruption within the church. Like this Jon, they are unaware of the schemes of the devil and are deceived. Instead of searching for the true God, the true church, they have turned away to their own demise. Instead of turning from their wicked ways, they charge in the wrong direction. Yes I blame those in the church who have taught an empty and pathetic gospel but we are all without excuse. Lamentations 2:14 “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.” We were told very clearly in Proverbs to seek wisdom. Read Proverbs 1-9. Proverbs 1:20 “Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; 21 on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: 22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23 Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. 24 But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25 since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.”
                Since the word of God has been set aside, most in the church really have no idea what it means to even be a Christian other than they now go to church. They have never learned the fear of the Lord. Deuteronomy 31:9 “So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Then Moses commanded them: “At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts, during the Festival of Tabernacles, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. 12 “Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” After returning to the land, Ezra read the word of the Lord to the people. Nehemiah 8:2 “So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. 5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” Ezra 9:4 “Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice.” Most do not tremble at God’s word.
                The empty way handed down to us by those who went before has angered God. Yesterday we read about Josiah and his return to God. After they returned to the word of God, the one that Jon has now rejected, Josiah said 2 Kings 22:13 “Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” While this Jon has made his departure public, rejecting God is not way to make yourself famous. Isaiah 1:2 “Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” 4 Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.” Jeremiah 4:22 “My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.” 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.” Isaiah 5:13 “Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; those of high rank will die of hunger and the common people will be parched with thirst.” Matthew 13:13 “This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” Psalm 92:4 “For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done. 5 How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts! 6 Senseless people do not know, fools do not understand, 7 that though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. 8 But you, Lord, are forever exalted.”
                The Lord will be forever exalted even if others like this Jon also turn away. Jesus did say Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” Many will die because of a lack of understanding. Paul describes this turning away in Romans 3:10 “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Psalm 53:1 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good. 2 God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
                Sadly someone like this has a voice that is being heard but that voice is one of ignorance and the voice of a fool. When I read his words it was easy to see there was a huge lack of knowledge. Hebrews 5:11 “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Due to the rebellion of the church, satan’s voice is being heard. The deception and delusion that comes from the churches disobedience has led to millions being led astray and have fallen from their secure positions. 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.”
                Paul prays in Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” This was not a single rejection of miracles or healing, or the rejection of the birth or death of Jesus or His ascension or even His return. It was not a rejection of the anointing of the Holy Spirit; this was a rejection of God, which wipes out everything I just mentioned. Many people falsely think that due to our own intelligence and understanding, the world no longer needs God. The world has moved on. This is called post theism. One person described it as “a term that finds its roots within philosophy; it is a variant of nontheism and it refers to the idea of a society that has no belief in God anymore. While we are used to hearing the word atheism (the belief there is no God) as being in direct opposition to theism (belief in the existence of God), post-theism considers both of these views to be outdated because they acknowledge the existence or even possible existence of God. According to the post-theistic view, belief in God happened during a specific phase of human development that has since passed. Post-theism asserts that we have evolved beyond the point of needing any religious belief and therefore beyond the point of even needing to deny religious beliefs. According to this, both theism and atheism belong in the previous stage of human development and are thus no longer relevant within modern society. In a post-theistic worldview, the God of the Bible would be categorized in the same way that we view the ancient mythological gods.”
                God then responds. Paul says in Romans 2:5 “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.” Revelation 15:3 “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. 4 Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Luke 16:19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Isaiah 44:18 "They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand."
                There is only one hope for the church and that is to repent and turn from our wicked ways. When God turns His face back to us and His light shines among us once again Ezekiel 6:9 “then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me—how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices.” Ezekiel 18:30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
                Turning away from God to find freedom is instruction from satan. Luke 4:5 “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” Turning back to God is our only hope of life eternal. The message is still the same. Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 21 “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”