THE TUMULTUOUS 2020s: THREE MODERN DAY FALLACIES DEFILING THE CHURCH

I heard a popular television preacher recently say this: “If God judges America He’s going to have to apologize to Jesus.”

But the Word says: “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Pet. 3:12).

And this:

“The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the Day of Judgment” (2 Pet. 2:9).

The first fallacy in today’s visible mainstream church world is ignorance concerning God’s judgments and even wrath.

FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND GOD’S JUDGMENTS

The aforementioned preacher’s understanding lacks balance and the whole counsel of God. He says that Jesus bore our judgment and therefore God will not judge America or anyone for that matter. Honestly, this belief system is the edge of universalism.

It says Jesus bore everyone’s judgment on the cross, so no one will be judged. Everyone is okay. Everyone will be saved in the end. Actually, it is this popular view that has opened a large door to so much deception in the church. It breeds a lackadaisical spirit and an absence of holy fear in most Christians. It emphasizes a positional truth at the expense of an experiential truth.

In fact, Romans 1 offers specific proof that America is already under the judgment of God.

“The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth through unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18).

God’s wrath is already being revealed. Present tense. In other words, we don’t need to wait until the Day of Judgment to see God’s wrath. It is being demonstrated now. You need to read the rest of the verses that follow this verse to see this.

“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness” (Rom. 1:24a).

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions” (Rom. 1:26a).

God gave them over to a debased mind” (Rom. 1:28b).

These verses are talking about sexual immorality, specifically the sin of homosexuality and lesbianism. The entire so-called sexual revolution is a product of God’s wrath. America has been under the judgment of God for decades! We’ve praised AIDS victims as if they are heroes, but in actuality, it is the penalty of their sin that they have received (Rom. 1:27).

In fact, when those who practice such things that are deserving of death, also approve of others who practice them (v. 32) it is one of God’s final signs of His wrath on a society.

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF THE PRESENT JUDGMENT OF GOD UNDER THE NEW COVENANT

This list does not include the promised future judgments of God that are also found throughout the New Testament.

1.  The wrath of God is currently and continually abiding upon all those who reject Jesus Christ as the Son of God (John 3:36).

2.  Ananias and Sapphira (believers) are struck down dead for lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-10).

3.  King Herod is struck dead by an angel of the Lord for not giving God glory (Acts 12:20-23).

4.  Elymas the magician is struck blind “by the hand of the Lord” for being a fraud and son of the devil (Acts 13:8-12).

5.  The immoral brother is judged and handed over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh (1 Cor 5).

6.  Believers are judged and become sick, some even die, for not judging themselves before partaking of the Lord’s supper (1 Cor 11:27-32). 

When you take away the present wrath and judgment of God from the New Covenant you are changing the word of God and removing your name from the book of life and the holy city (Rev. 22:19). You are guilty of creating a god made in your own image and participating in an antichrist agenda.

Wake up, church! What are some of these preachers saying? God’s judgment and wrath are already here! Can they escape? Yes, if they turn to God in sincere repentance, they can still receive His mercy and be saved and delivered. But many will not do so.

CROOKED VIEW OF HOLINESS

The second fallacy in much of the church world today is a total misunderstanding of true holiness. In fact, the Lord told me that there’s been a diabolical silence on it. I believe that restoring the beauty of biblical holiness in the Church is a critical ingredient to healing the moral confusion in our culture. As the Church goes, so goes the world. Our disproportionate view of holiness is one of the big reasons there is so much of the spirit of the world in the Church.

True holiness has gotten such a bad rap and is looked upon with a sort of disdain, as being primitive, outdated, and just not culturally relevant. We need to realize, however, that negative experiences or unsound teaching does not nullify the real meaning, necessity, and beauty of God’s holiness.

One of my favorite definitions of holiness as it applies to believers is that it is a moral dedication and a life committed to purity of thought, word, motive, and deed. At the center of that definition is the fact of being set apart or consecrated to God’s purposes. in other words, we are not to be conformed to the world’s ideals, patterns, or standards, but to God’s nature and will.

But even more importantly, holiness has more to do with whom we belong to. To whom do we give our loyalty, love, and allegiance to? To be holy means that all we are and all we have belongs to God, not ourselves, and is set apart for His purposes. This is the theme of the apostolic letters to the early churches. How are some believers, even preachers, missing that today?

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7:1)

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord…” (Heb. 12:14).

A distorted view of holiness, or simply the ignorance of it, is clouding our understanding of God’s true love. When God is seen as a loving, non-demanding pushover whose love overrides His holiness, whose grace no longer teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts then people will live in accordance with that belief and come under the judgment of God. Permissiveness and promiscuity will be prevalent.

This brings me to the third big fallacy I see in the church today and that is the false concept of the love of God.

WRONG CONCEPT OF THE TRUE LOVE OF GOD

“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

There’s a sentimental mushy kind of love expressed in the church and lives of so-called Christians today that falls so short of the real God-kind of love. It is a love not based on truth and deeds.

For example, one of the hot controversial topics today is that of the aforementioned homosexuality. More and more people in the church world are accepting it and now celebrating it. Entire denominations are now ordaining gay clergy. This is being done all in the name of love. But it is so clear from the Word of God that this is a complete abomination that should have no place whatsoever in the church. There are churches and entire denominations turning into “synagogues of Satan” “where his throne is” (Rev. 2:9,13). Doctrines like this are the “depths of Satan” (Rev. 2:24).

Does this mean we stop loving gay people? Of course not; we should love them all the more because they are in grave danger, but we must do so in all kindness, wisdom, and love, speaking the truth to them. But most people will hate you for it as they did Jesus.

“No man was ever more loving than Jesus Christ. Yet even His love made people angry. His love was a perfect love, a transcendent and holy love, but His very love brought trauma to people. This kind of love is so majestic we can’t stand it.” (R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God).

You see, love must be mixed with truth and holiness for it to pass the biblical test. As I said, today we are altering the Scriptures because we don’t like certain verses that contradict the lifestyle that we or our friends may be living. Many have removed God’s judgments and wrath, holiness, and hell, right out of the Bible. It’s one of the signs of these evil last days we are living in.

We may criticize what is happening in the world all we want, but judgment must begin in the house of God if we desire to see His glory and the awakening that many of us have been praying for. Let us remove the evil from us. Let not any form of sexual  immorality be even named among us (Eph. 5:3).

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God, and if it begins first with us, what shall the end be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17).

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THE GLORY HAS DEPARTED: CLEANSING AND CONSECRATION IS THE DOORWAY TO RESTORATION

This is another excerpt from my new book, Cleansing The Temple, Restoring The Glory. It is a prophetic and present hour word for the Church today. Pre-orders will be offered soon.  

The reason there’s no glory in the modern Church has nothing to do with bigger and more attractive buildings, the appeal of outward appearance, the color effects, the decorative staging, the fancy lights, the cool bands, or the skinny jeans, big screens, and fog machines. Nor does it have to do with the kind of music or worship style we have. Nor does it have to do with whether you meet in a home, a building, or another venue, or whatever part of the city or town. Neither has it anything to do with compensation and lack of financial resources or whether you have paid staff or volunteer help.

The glory has departed because we have sinned. Our ministry leaders have sinned.

It was because of the sins in the priesthood that the glory departed from Israel in the days of Eli and his two wicked sons (1 Sam. 4:22). In fact, Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, didn’t even know the Lord, and they were priests (1 Sam. 2:12). I find that there are many in the ministry today that do not know the Lord. I don’t necessarily mean that they are not born again. I don’t mean that they are not engaged in the work of God, but they are carnal and motivated by pride and popularity. What I mean is that they don’t really know the heart and the ways of the Lord.

Hophni and Phinehas had no passion for the presence and glory of God, were not bold and valiant for the truth, had no love or consideration for people, and no honor and respect for the holy things of God. They were in the ministry for themselves, immoral men who sought only to satisfy their carnal appetites. They also mishandled and demanded offerings from the people (1 Sam. 2:16-17), which is so common today.

God blamed Eli for the wickedness and corruption of the priesthood. Not only that, but the iniquity of his house was so great that God said it could not be atoned by sacrifice or offering forever (1 Sam. 3:13-14). Think about that. God rebuked Eli for honoring his sons more than he honored the Lord — by allowing his sons to be fattened with the offerings of God’s people (1 Sam. 2:29). Eli knew the evil dealings of his sons but refused to judge the situation and the fact that they made God’s people to transgress (1 Sam. 2:22-25). We are having similar issues today, when no judgment is ever made on sinning ministers and sinning “saints.” There are hardly any constraints, restrictions, accountability, and no enforced disciplines for those who practice sin. A minister falls into adultery, and the next week or month, he’s back in the pulpit preaching. How sad.

Where is the glory of God today? Why has it departed? One big reason is that we refuse to judge the true condition of the Church and the body of Christ. We actually do the opposite and hold up our thou-shalt-not-judge card when we address sin and judge wrongdoing.

CLOAKS OF CHRISTIANITY

The truth is that such a great percentage of Christian ministry today is characterized by jealousy, envy, play-acting, self-promoting, self-justifying, and self-focused behavior — all of which are hidden under 101 highly choreographed religious cloaks.

Churches are filled with ministries who are wonderfully trained to perform “the liturgical functions” but who are sadly lacking in true spiritual maturity. And our assemblies are consequently full of professing believers who have no eye to discern and differentiate between true spiritual maturity and maintaining a disciplined outward appearance.

In this “Quid pro Quo,” “I’ll scratch your back — you scratch mine,” “I’ll promote your preeminence — you promote mine,” “good-ole-boys club” system, churches and ministries work together very diligently to keep God’s people from seeing the little men behind the curtains. We need to draw open the veil revealing that which many ministers and pastors know about one another and work so earnestly to keep the public from seeing. We have a soulish, carnal ministry cleverly cloaked over by a multitude of religious fig-leaves.

The real maturing of the saints (Ephesians 4:11-12) has been abandoned long ago by many and replaced by the drive to expand our ministerial piece of the pie with a guild of salaried professionals.

As the following author so succinctly says it: we must stop protecting our own projects.

“As we turn to the evangelical leadership of this country in the last decades, unhappily, we must come to the conclusion that often it has not been much help. It has shown the mark of a platonic, overly spiritualized Christianity all too often. Spirituality to the evangelical leadership often has not included the Lordship of Christ over the whole spectrum of life. Spirituality has often been shut up to a very narrow area. And also very often, among many evangelicals, including many evangelical leaders, it seems that the final end is to protect their own projects. I am again asking the question, ‘Why have we let ourselves go so far down the road?’” — Francis Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto

How can the church be delivered from further generations of soul dominance and energized flesh? Only by walking straight into the bright spotlight of the Holy Spirit, instead of maintaining a strategic business-as-usual distance from it.

This new book will serve as a plumb line to help restore the glory of God to the Church today. Purity, prayer, and power is the pathway to restoring the glory. Cleansing and consecration is the doorway into it.