Yesterday’s blog about a man who rejected God shows why the church must return to God with the same intensity that Josiah had. 2 Kings 22:25 “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” I realize most in the church would never say they don’t believe in God as this young man did but many are living their lives as if they don’t believe God at His word. They do not consider the word of God their life as Moses said. Most do not believe because they are adding to and subtracting from God’s word, yet this happens in every denomination and every church that follows after a man. Those who hear these false teachings, just go along with it. 2 Corinthians 11:4 “For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” When theology, doctrines and teaching clash with scripture, scripture is changed. However you want to label it, bad, false, deceptive; theology and doctrines have corrupted the church. It is true that these will leave you empty. The reason for the emptiness is because the church has followed after other gospels, there is no power and yes the church just doesn’t make sense when God’s way is replaced with man’s way. We were warned in Deuteronomy 4:1 “Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you. 7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. 39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.” The church has been warned not to follow other gospels. By doing this, the church has set up their own idols that they follow. This happened when the word of God was changed to suit their own needs. Moses said Deuteronomy 31:29 “For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.” Judges 2:10 “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress. 16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.”
Yesterday we talked about a man who had decided not to believe in God. This is not new and why it is important to understand and read the Old Testament. Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.” Isaiah 1:4 “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.” Deuteronomy 32:5 “They are corrupt and not his children; to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation. 15 They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior. 16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. 17 They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear. 18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 The Lord saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.”
The problem is that the doctrines and theology that are being taught is not the gospel but the ways of man so there is no power. These are “false gods, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear.” Everyone goes there own way and teaches how they see fit. We are told in Titus 1:10 “For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” Proverbs tell us Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
Many have followed a way that appears to be right to them. The teachers and preachers all seem to know what they are talking about but they are leading you astray with their doctrines and theology. This of course comes from satan. Revelation 12:9 “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.” He is the one behind this corruption we are seeing in the church and unfortunately many are listening to him and then promoting his ways. Isaiah 3:12 “My people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.” Isaiah 9:16 “Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray.” Jeremiah 23:32 “Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.” Ezekiel 13:10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?” 1 John 3:7 “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.”
The corruption that has taken place in the church is just as it was when the crucified Jesus. Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” Stephen preached just before he died, Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” The church has rejected the words of Jesus and turned away from truth. Because of this God has turned His face from shining on us and our enemies prevail. Not only are our enemies victorious, 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” Hebrews 10:26 “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Just because a person says I no longer believe in God does not mean they won’t feel His wrath. You can say you don’t believe in the bible but that doesn’t make those words untrue and not apply to you. You can say I no longer believe in hell but that doesn’t make hell any less real. Sure you may satisfy yourself briefly but falling into the hand of the living God is dreadful and you will pay an eternal price. Yes your doctrines and theology probably have already let you down and will definitely let you down when you stand before Jesus. Luke 13:22 “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.” There will be many who are told I don’t know you but most have no fear in God so they don’t care. They believe that their unbelief will save them. The tell themselves God doesn’t exist so I have nothing to fear.
Today’s church is filled with doctrines of demons, false teaching and antichrists leading the church astray. The bible with the anointing of the Spirit of truth is the only way to know the truth. We must have discernment. 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 24:4 “Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.”
We have been warned to be careful but the church did not listen and rebelled against God’s word. The doctrines the church follows are not the doctrines we have been told to follow. Most of what the church follows today is the teachings of men and woman of whom have been idolized. Sound doctrine is the gospel of Jesus Christ without adding to it or subtracting from it. Paul commended the Thessalonians for following 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: Hebrews 13:9 “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.” 1 Timothy 4:16 “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
There will always be a church that will tell you what you want to hear. The problem is that what most people need to hear they are not hearing because most know that speaking the truth will not be popular and people will turn away. Those who teach are accountable before God. James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 24 The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!” Most people from leaders to congregants today do not want to be told they need to turn from their wicked ways and return to God. They will say look how many follow me. They will say but I go to church not realizing they have given their lives to another gospel. Most do not want to hear they follow other gospels nor do they want to hear that they need to confess their sins. For example the bible is clear on homosexuality, yet sadly so many churches have rejected the teaching of God’s word and have sided with the world but as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” When we follow the sound doctrine of scripture, there is power to heal and to be washed and sanctified. That power is missing in the church so many have decided the bible was wrong and have adopted other ways instead of repenting. Another example is a doctrine that is taught called ceasationism. This is a doctrine of demons that denounces the power of the Holy Spirit even though this power is clearly described in scripture. This list goes on and on.
Today we are part of a church that has been corrupted. Yes there is worldly corruption in the church such as those who have swindled and cheated and those who have abused but far worse is the fact that the church as a whole no longer follows God’s words but follows their own words. Jeremiah 5:30 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” Our only hope is to return to God and submit ourselves to Jesus Christ just as we were called to do in the first place. As Peter preached after Pentecost Acts 2:40 “with many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” We must do the same and then wait on God’s perfect timing. He promised us that from our captivity we still could find Him. Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Revelation 3:15 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”