“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14
I am sure that I don’t have to tell you what a mess Christianity in our culture is today – and what a complete disaster the “Christian single’s scene” is right now. Y’all see it and live it every day.
The past few generations of believers dropped the ball. We have allowed the world to influence and change us rather than the church influencing and changing the world for Christ by the power of God’s Spirit working in us. We have allowed heresies, false doctrine, worldliness, ungodliness, lies, and sin to flourish in our churches without consequence. Of course, there have been consequences and the consequences we are reaping are severe.
- We have embraced the god of “tolerance” of sin and false teaching.
- We have embraced materialism – purpose and contentment can be found in having more stuff and more luxury and comfort.
- We have embraced feminism – the ideas that men are the problem, women are the solution, men and women are exactly the same emotionally/spiritually/relationally, God’s Word has no authority and no longer applies to us, we can define sexuality however we wish without regard for the Bible, and God can be whatever or whoever you want “her” to be
- We have embraced universalism – all religions lead to God, everyone will get to heaven eventually somehow. Jesus and the cross are not necessary.
- We have abandoned church discipline.
- We have abandoned the truth of the Bible.
- We have abandoned the idea that Jesus taught that to be His disciple is very costly – it costs us everything.
- We have abandoned the ideas of holiness, obedience to God, full submission to the Lordship of Christ, and being filled with God’s Spirit.
- We have abandoned solid Bible teaching and preaching.
- We have distorted God and Jesus to be who we want them to be instead of who they present themselves to be in the Bible.
What are the results?
- We have children with no godly examples, many of them facing abuse in some way who grow up knowing nothing about God’s power, His ways, His wisdom, how to love as He loves, what it means to be a godly man or woman, what godly marriage is about, or how to have healthy relationships.
- We have millions of people in the grips of one addiction or another – even in the church: pornography, alcohol, drugs, gambling, food/body image addictions, greed, codependency/controlling others, self harm, spending money, and all kinds of destructive addictions/idols.
- We have millions of aborted babies.
- We have embraced birth control practices that give us greater “freedom” sexually that ultimately destroy us.
- We have countless broken families and marriages.
- We have much sin in the church today and zero accountability.
- Our churches are dying, weak, wimpy, watered-down, and sometimes totally devoid of Jesus, the truth, and God’s Spirit.
- We have more sexual sin, perversion, and confusion than our country has ever experienced before.
- Marriage rates are declining.
- Children are growing up in chaos.
- Dads are often absent for a variety of reasons.
- We have no ability to delay gratification. We want what we want right now and we are willing to spend ourselves into outlandish amounts of debt, as we pursue happiness through possessions. Then, we live in total bondage to our debt for decades. We have become slaves of our possessions.
- We have so many idols and don’t even realize it – romance, happiness, marriage, children, family, money, beauty, fitness, luxury, comfort, career, government, the economy, doctors/medicine, etc… we trust other things rather than God.
- We have more people who are depressed, anxious, and struggling with mental health issues than ever in our country. We don’t have the peace and joy of God.
- Those who pursue godliness and holiness are despised even in the church today, many times. Virgins are mocked. Those who want to obey God’s Word are rejected as “radicals.”
- There are very few people who truly live for Christ and who actually know Him who are being transformed and regenerated by His Spirit.
This is not okay. Not at all. What we are doing has not escaped the notice of our God. He is giving us time to repent and return to Himself. Let’s make the most of this grace while we have it!
There will be consequences for our nation and for our churches. If the church maintained its purity, it would not allow any false teaching, worldliness, or major unrepentant sin in its midst. The church leaders are our shepherds that are to watch over the flock and expel anyone who teaches things that go against the Bible. They are supposed to expel those who refuse to repent of sin (Matthew 18:15-17) until they humbly turn from sin and back toward Christ and the holy living He desires. There are not to be any unrepentant false teachers, greedy people, impure people, sexually immoral people, or idolators in the Body of Christ. This sounds pretty harsh to our ears, but when these sins and ungodly practices are allowed to flourish in the church, the church is destroyed – as you can see is happening today. 🙁
This is what Jesus looks like in heaven right now as John described Him in Revelation 1:12-16
among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
He gave messages to His churches in the first three chapters of Revelation. He praised them for what they did well, and He rebuked them for what they did wrong. The “lampstand” represents each church. Look what Jesus, Himself, says to the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2:4-5
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
I don’t want to see God remove the lampstand from His church in America or any nation around the world. When that happens, it is no longer His church. Those people are not His.
I hope you will prayerfully read the first three chapters of Revelation this week. Read what Jesus praised and read about His rebukes. Ask God to show you anything in your heart that He wants to change and allow Him to change you. Some Bible scholars believe that the church in Laodicea at the end of chapter three represents the church in our period of history. Read it as if Jesus is talking to us in the church today. And really focus on what Jesus says to those who remain faithful to Himself. That has to be our goal – our only goal.
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit [lit. vomit] you out of my mouth. 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. 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.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 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.
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. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3:14-22
MY DEAR SISTERS:
We need to take to heart God’s life-giving instructions for us in I Corinthians 5:9-13. We cannot expel people from the church. But we can avoid surrounding ourselves with those who claim Christ but who live for self, for sin, and for evil. Otherwise, they will taint us and entice us away from Jesus into sin.
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
If you are living in one of these sins, please – be reconciled with God! Repent – turn away from the sin and to Christ. Allow Him to transform you. Allow Him to cleanse you by the blood of Jesus. Allow Him to give you a new heart, mind, and Spirit. Run away from the world and its pleasures. Run to Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Seek Him only. He is Real Love and Real Life. He alone can satisfy your soul.
Don’t date or marry a man who lives a life against God, even if he claims Christ. Don’t be a woman who embraces sin. Ask God to make you holy like He is holy. You may have sin in your past, but God can cleanse you and heal you and make you new! Jesus can give you the power to walk in victory over sin. Not that we will be completely sinless and perfect in this lifetime. But what He did on the cross can and does give us power to live holy lives for Christ. Seek godly girl friends who understand this. Seek only to marry a man who wants to be fully submitted to Christ in his own life and who is self-motivated to do this – meaning, he longs for Christ more than anything all on his own (you don’t have to “make him” want to serve and love Christ).
Pray for God to bring faithful, mature, godly believers into your life if you don’t know any. Pray for Him to empower you to be faithful to Him no matter what the cost. May we each be willing to take up our cross daily and follow after Christ. He alone is worthy of this level of devotion. I’m so thankful that God always reserves a remnant of people for Himself who are faithful and obedient to Him. May He include each of us in that remnant!
There is great reward waiting in heaven for those who seek Christ above all, who love to do the will of God, and who obey Him.