Where Will It All End?
Read 1 Kings Chapter 14
1Ki 14:22 Judah did evil in the eyes of the LORD. By the sins they committed they stirred up His jealous anger more than their fathers had done. 23 They also set up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 24 There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.
Many today claim to follow Christ, yet their lives tell a different story. I wish I could say that my life and my walk with Him have never been contradictory. I cannot. But my heart’s desire at this time is to no longer allow anything to hinder my walk with Christ. In today’s passage, the Lord is jealous and angry over the misdeeds of His people. They had strayed so far away from Him that they had no problem engaging in the detestable practices of the culture of their time.
Our churches today are not far from this state of affairs. We aren’t there yet, but we have taken steps in that direction. How many more steps will it take to find ourselves engaged in all the evil practices of the world around us? The Lord’s people must walk in such a way that there can be little question where their loyalty lies. It is time for Christians to wake up. Our congregations and our teachings are beginning to look like the world. Why is it so hard for us to understand? There was a time when it was easy to distinguish the difference between Christians and those who had not turned their lives over to Christ. No more. It is difficult to tell who follows Christ and who does not.
The prevailing attitude among our churches today is that we must show more love toward sinners. After all, Jesus ate with sinners, tax collectors, etc. Yes, He did. But He never allowed a man to go away without giving them an opportunity to repent from their sins and turn their lives over to God. He showed an incredible amount of love to the adulterous woman. But before she left His presence, He said, “Go your way and sin no more.” Our churches should show unlimited compassion and love toward those who are living outside of God’s will. But that compassion should never allow them to walk away believing there is nothing in their lives which displeases God. Repentance is absolutely necessary for anyone who claims the name of Christ, who call themselves Christian.
If that were our only problem, perhaps we could see a way of correcting it. But our churches are beginning to go far beyond that problem. We are beginning to approve of sinful behaviors, and beginning to join them in their folly. Do you not believe that? How many Christians do you see today who are living together without benefit of marriage? How many Christians are engaging in premarital sex? If you don’t know of any, you haven’t gotten out much lately. Many Christians today see nothing wrong with these actions, and as a result many of those engaged in those actions falsely believe they are in sync with Christ and His beliefs.
Once the church begins down that slippery slope, where will it end? Will our churches become a safe-haven for unrepentant men and women? Will they be able to attend our worship services and never hear any call to repentance? Will the church simply become a place where anyone can come and hear, “You’re okay,” and walk away unaffected? May it never be!! The silence of the Church is another step toward those ends. Where in scriptures does God or Christ allow that to take place?
Every time the Israelites wandered too far down the pathway of their world, God took drastic measures to discipline them. He exhibited an inordinate amount of patience before He took action, but when He did, it was severe. None of us can change entire congregations, or denominations. But we can determine that we will not be a party to the process. We can decide that we will not contribute to the demise of Christianity. Being very frustrated and heartbroken at this time, I honestly don’t know anything else I can do but spread the word in whatever venues God allows opportunity.
Prayer: Father, heal our broken spirits. Heal us first, that we can be sure that we are faithful to Your message. Beyond that, give us opportunity to spread Your truth to anyone who is willing to hear. Turn the hearts and minds of all who have heard, but failed to heed, Your word. God have mercy on us all!