Mt. 24:10 π Lk. 14:23-24 π Jn. 10:27 π Jn. 13:34 π Acts 13:45-46 π 1 Cor. 1:18 π 1 Cor. 5:11 π 2 Cor. 6:17-18 π 2 Ths. 2:3 π 2 Tim. 4:3-4 π Heb. 5:13-14 π Jas. 5:5 π 1 Jn. 2:27
There may befall the preacher of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ no harder task than to preach His name, His truth, His story to a people who have already heard "all that," digested "all that," done "all that," rejected "all that." The man who sits quietly at the feet of Christ, hearing the profound depths of the Savior's heart for fallen mankind, who then goes out to share what he has heard with others is most often met with a deafening yawn of indifference and silence.
If this were the response of the world, it would be one thing. But this is the response of the vast majority of those who claim to be Christ's friends and children and followers. The reasons for this indifference are many:
- There is a famine of the true words of the Lord among the people because His voice has been drowned out by the ear-soothing, ear-stimulating teachings of literally thousands of teachers whose faces can be seen regularly on television or their voices heard on tapes, CDs and DVDs around the world. (see 2 Tim. 4:3-4; top ) Or one can just have the words of the Scriptures as half-tuned out background noise.
- There is an aversion to the true words of the Lord among the people because what He is saying is bad for "church" business. His words require people to leave their comfort zones and take up the plight of the orphans, widows and the poorest of Christ's brothers or just to deny themselves, take up a cross and follow Christ somewhere they don't want to go.
- There is a repugnance for the true words of the Lord because the hearer's favorite ear-scratching "pastor"-teacher has already explained away the plain meaning of the text at hand and has instead brought forth a "profound," "deeper" meaning of the Greek that excuses the listener from any further responsibility to actually obey the word of the Lord.
- There is a dismissal of the true words of the Lord because the people desire unrighteousness and lying signs and wonders, preferring warm-fuzzy feel-good moments under the mesmerizing spell of the "praise and worship" band rather than the sound teaching that we need to love one another as Christ loved us. ( Jn. 13:34; top )
- There is a derision of the true words of the Lord because the preaching of the cross of Christ, whereby we are required to lay down our own lives in exchange for His, is foolishness to the world and only the sweet savor of life to those who are being saved. ( 1 Cor. 1:18; top ) Note well how few really belong to this last category!
- There is an arrogant rejection of the true words of the Lord because the people practice lawlessness (whatever is right in their own eyes). They have no divine laws or King who tells them what to do - they have only to decide which doctrines and "theologies" are best suited to their own personality type and personal preferences.
- There is an inability to hear the true words of the Lord because the people have been trained only in passive listening to another man's "milk." (see Heb. 5:13-14 ) Rather than being able to sit quietly at the feet of the Master, hear His still small voice and rightly divide the word of truth for one's self (see Jn. 10:27 ), the "church" insists that the lowly laity sit down and shut up because they are too immature, too irresponsible, too ignorant, too stupid to know what the Bible really says and means. These need a man to continually teach them - for a reasonable fee, of course. (see 1 Jn. 2:27; top )
This is the treatment the words of Christ receive in the house of His "friends."
At one point in Paul's preaching, "the Jews...contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said,
'It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.'" ( Acts 13:45-46; top )
A similar time has come for many true preachers of God's word. Like the synagogues of Paul's day, the "churches" with their "pastors" in the pulpit stand in between the people and the true words of the Lord. For too long too many souls and spirits trapped in the pews have hungered for the power and liberty of the Spirit of Christ. Many have abandoned the "church" and sought the Lord not knowing where they were going nor what they would find when they got there - many have abandoned the "God" of the "church" as they recognized what an abomination such a "God" must be but these have failed to recognize that the living and true Most High God is not the same as the "God" of the "church."
The call to "come out" from the midst of the Christian idolaters (see 2 Cor. 6:17-18 , 1 Cor. 5:11 ) is another word of the Lord that will be met with a deafening yawn from the "church"-ites. But to those who have heard the word of the Lord and trembled at what it must mean, this writing will simply be a confirmation that the apostasy, the great falling away from the faith which occurs before Christ's return ( 2 Ths. 2:3 , Mt. 24:10; top ) is upon us and is happening inside the "church" buildings and denominations. To those who have heard this word, the Lord says it is time to be bold, to turn one's back on the "church" (including all those who linger inside its doors) and look instead to minister to the orphans, the widows, the least of Christ's brothers, the hundredth sheep, the poor, the lame, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, the outcasts of society, the downtrodden and the brokenhearted. In a word, return to His first love - the broken pieces of humanity the "great ones" of this earth are too busy to notice and too important to care. Many of these "leasts" are about to die horrible, terrible deaths as the great machinations of men and demons collide on the stage of world events.
On the day of judgment, let us not find out that in the face of these last cataclysmic events we "have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury and have fattened our hearts as in a day of slaughter." ( Jas. 5:5 ) Just because it has grown dark outside does not mean it is time for us all to gather inside our little boxes and feast luxuriously - rather it means that we should be all the more diligent to scour the highways and byways for those ones and twos who actually will come in and partake of the eternal feast of our great Master and King, the Lord Jesus Christ. ( Lk. 14:23-24; top )
Let he who has ears hear.
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