Isa. 28:13 π Mt. 7:21 π Mt. 7:22-23 π Mt. 23:13 π Mt. 24:10 π Lk. 6:46 π Acts 20:27 π 2 Cor. 6:14 π 2 Ths. 2:3 π 2 Ths. 2:11-12 π Heb. 5:9 π Rev. 22:15
There are two lies in the devil's arsenal that are particularly effective against those who claim to believe in and follow Jesus. The first lie is, "The way we do it today is the way they (the first believers in the book of Acts) did it then." The second lie is, "The way we do it today is different - but it doesn't matter." Each of these lies is very instrumental in keeping thousands, even millions, in the darkness and bondage men most often call "church."
The first lie is usually accepted without question. Should the Holy Spirit stir some "church" attendee to question this lie, the leadership of that "church" will be quick to squelch this questioning with strong reassurances that their weekly sermon is just like Peter's sermons on the day of Pentecost, that their thimble of grape juice and button of unleavened bread is just like the Lord's supper as commanded by Jesus, that being herded into a large lecture hall to rub shoulders with total strangers for an hour or so is just like the fellowship seen in the book of Acts, that studying the Bible "line upon line, precept upon precept" (see, really see Isa. 28:13 ) is the same as Paul declaring the whole counsel of God to the disciples of Ephesus. ( Acts 20:27; top )
Should the questioner remain dissatisfied with these reassurances, dare to conduct his own independent, unbiased research (which will readily expose multitudes of ways to contradict this first lie), and actually begin to share his findings with others, the leadership of that "church" will most like resort to all manner of backhanded, underhanded and/or overbearing tactics to silence or even expel the questioner from their midst. Those who practice this heavy-handed Nicolaitan "pastoral" oversight are not likely to ever recognize, let alone be able to admit, their own wrongdoing and can even shortly thereafter deliver a rather accurate sermon on "church discipline," all the while blithely reassuring the crowd that "The way it's written in the Bible is the way we do it here." Those who deny that this has become commonplace in "church" today have never hungered for Christ's truth.
The second lie is perhaps the most damning lie. It is saying, in effect, "My life and practice of following Christ is different than the Bible - but, so what? I like it that way." The New Testament calls this lawlessness, doing what is right in one's own eyes. Those who practice lawlessness, no matter how many wonderful religious activities they've participated in throughout their lives, will be rejected from Christ's kingdom. ( Mt. 7:22-23 ) Lawlessness, doing what is right in one's own eyes, has no fellowship (unity, commonality) with righteousness, what is right in God's eyes. ( 2 Cor. 6:14 ) Those who love and practice a lie, any lie, will be eternally condemned. ( Rev. 22:15; top )
As this age draws to its close, those who do not love the truth but instead prefer some strand of unrighteousness, will receive from God strong delusion so that they will not be capable of recognizing truth any longer. ( 2 Ths. 2:11-12 ) These will be able to skirt the real issues, dodge the real questions, argue every theological nuance of the original Greek and Hebrew texts, twist the meanings of words to avoid admitting their own sins and will be able to express their own relativistic (lawless) opinions so as to offend no one and to confirm everyone else in their own peculiar delusions and errors. These will hate and betray those who insist that Christ is the only King who must be obeyed if one is to inherit eternal salvation and life. ( Mt. 24:10 , also see Heb. 5:9; top )
The great falling away from the faith that happens before Christ's return ( 2 Ths. 2:3 ) is the "church" - that institutionalized counterfeit substitution that calls itself the body of Christ. The leaders of the institutionalized "church" stand in front of heaven's door as surely as did the traditionalized synagogue and temple leaders of Jesus' day - they don't enter in themselves and their practice and position actively prevents anyone else from truly entering in either. (see Mt. 23:13; top )
The real people of Christ are those who insist on finding and following the will of the King, Christ Jesus. ( Mt. 7:21 , Lk. 6:46; top ) This will be done both individually and corporately within the context of each person's life and will not be containable or acceptable in any organization that has patterned itself after any element of the false "church" paradigm.
Let he who has ears hear.
I'd love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!