In order to rebuild something it has to have been built already. If that is the case then obviously something happened to that building. Tomorrow I will talk about that devastation. We see this example in Ezra 3 “And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise.” As you are aware the temple had been destroyed and they were rebuilding it after their return from captivity. Ezra 5 says, “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished. 12 But because our ancestors angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.” 2 King 17 “All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God.” Later on when Josiah became King they made repairs to the temple. As they were doing that, “Hilkiah the high priest said, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” Isn’t that interesting. They found the Book of the Law in the temple.
That seems to be the case for many churches in our day. I am sure the word is there as almost everyone has a bible; it’s just not being used as it has been set-aside for something better or so they think. By the way no one would ever admit that is what he or she have done, but they should repent of that. So after reading the book the King tore his robe and said. “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.” This is exactly what happened in our time. This is where the deception kicks in. Many churches have the appearance of following God’s word but yet they are following mostly man. For example, many preachers preach on a verse or two and get the word to say what they want. Much of the time the message is out of context. I remember a charismatic (not enthusiastic) preacher saying he wanted to get the preaching out of the way to get to the good stuff happening at the altar. If he and the people listening actually spent more time in the word, they would have realized the good stuff was not of God. They had been deceived because the word of God was lost.
When it comes to building the church most people use a Fortune 500 business model. The CEO is now leading the church. Most of the models and ideas come from the business world. Leadership has been the buzzword for some time and continues to be. This has lead many leaders away from the word of God to follow the likes of Stephen Covey (died 2012) and his Habits (Covey was a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Then there was Robert Schuller who believed “everything will go positively positive if you are positively just positive enough.” Norman Vincent Peale, the author of “The Power of Positive Thinking” was his mentor. The many concerns over his ministry where “vindicated with the almost total collapse of his ministry.” I like what this writer said about Shuller’s ministry. “The question has to be asked: if we could see the issues, by simply contrasting Schuller’s teachings with the Bible why could the Christian community generally not see it just as clearly? The fact that so many were fooled by this wolf in sheep’s clothing bears testimony to the poor state of the Western Church.” Then you have others following in their footsteps like Rick Warren who wrote the Purpose Driven Church and Life. What would people do without this man-made bible? Again if people read their bibles they would see that they should not be following this person’s teachings. Yes on the outside it is beautifully whitewashed but on the inside is full of dead man’s bones. These books will not bring the power back but many confuse the power of a large church with the power of the Holy Spirit. We must find the word of God again.
Then you have the likes of the Mars Hill gang. Pastor Mark Driscoll resigned and his mega-church is dissolved. One person said, “Perhaps no singular, simple answer will ever emerge.” Yes there is, they lost their bible in the temple!! On another side of the Hill, Mars Hill Bible Chapel, under Rob Bell’s leadership was one of the fastest-growing churches in America. On June 2011, Bell was named by Time Magazine as one of the "2011 Time 100", the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Like other leaders many follow, pastors followed his teaching as if he was the Christ. Why because they want the same thing. After 12 years Rob Bell told Mars Hill that he will leave for Los Angeles to follow a “calling to share God's love” in new ways. The new way or other gospel is this. “One of the big problems he has with the traditional teaching on heaven and hell is that he finds it irreconcilable that a loving God would send billions of people who never heard of Jesus and thus never had the chance to accept Jesus as their saviour to hell.” Again where has the bible gone? I believe Romans 1:18-20 has something to say about that –All are without excuse. I don’t know where things stand with these examples but I do know this, there are many sheep who do not know the voice of their true shepherd Jesus Christ.
The word of God is missing in the church. When will man stop following man. I said to one pastor one time to stop reading books about the bible and focus on the bible. He said that's true and then next time I saw him he said, have you read this book it is fantastic. If you don’t know the bible, how will you know if truth is being taught? Here lies the problem. The word of God has been lost and there is a famine of hearing the word. Amos 8:11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” Repentance is returning to the Lord by turning from our wicked ways. You only have your life to do this. Don’t wait.
This list could go on and on of the up-and-coming gurus. They continue to say God gave me this plan and pastors and people continue to flock to them. I agree there is a plan but it is not found in their latest book, it is found in thee book, the bible. The masses will continue to flock to the latest and the greatest but where will they be in the end? Do not be deceived. If we are to rebuild, we must “build on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:20 If Jesus is not the cornerstone the building you are building will collapse. All the men I listed will stand before Jesus Christ one day just as we will. What will the answer be?
Prayer: Lord I will make an effort to restore your word to its rightful place once again in my own life. I will not longer be satisfied with the words of men and women. Lord help me to see and hear once again. Read 2 Peter 2