Zeal for God’s House

Psalm 119:137-138 ESV

“Righteous are you, O Lord,
and right are your rules.
You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.”

So many people today have a distorted view of who God is. They think God is altogether like us, but he isn’t. They try to bring him down to human level, but he isn’t on our level. They try to humanize him. So, they give him character traits that are not his, that are not godly. They try to mold him to their image rather than submit to being molded by him to HIS image.

How do I know this? Look at what so many people are teaching about God these days. Look at what they are teaching about his gospel of salvation and forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God. So many who profess faith in Jesus Christ have turned the narrow road (the hard way), which few travel, into an easy and broad road, which many travel.

And, they have totally obliterated any requirements of God for repentance, obedience, submission to Christ as Lord, and for righteous living. So, this means they must ignore the bulk of the New Testament teachings on holiness, righteousness, purity, and truthfulness, etc. Thus, they focus on cherry picked Scriptures which they then use to make their case.

The gospel they teach is not the gospel of Jesus Christ, but a gospel of the flesh of man intended to tickle itching ears and to pacify the sinful cravings of the flesh. They teach a salvation that requires no change of heart or conduct, which then implies that they are free to continue living in sin. Thus, they say that God can’t even see when they sin, but that all he sees is Jesus.

So, they totally ignore the righteousness and the holiness of God, for they feel they now can live however they want, only without guilt. They have no use for his commands, so they do not see them as righteous, either. And, yes, under the New Covenant, we must still obey our Lord’s commands to us, his followers. We must still obey God’s moral laws (1 Jn. 2:3-6).

If we have no use for God’s commands and for righteous living, then we have no use for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. We would, thus, be then following the god of this world, instead, who very much wants us to continue living in our sin.

Psalm 119:139-141 ESV

“My zeal consumes me,
because my foes forget your words.
Your promise is well tried,
and your servant loves it.
I am small and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts.”

I believe we need to do more to distinguish between the church (the body of Christ) and the church (institutions of men), for there is much confusion here. Since “church” is so traditionally associated with buildings with steeples, maybe we should say “saints” when we mean the saints of God, i.e. true followers of Jesus Christ. That is what the book of Revelation does after the proclamation of judgments on the churches.

And, here is why it is high time that we do this. “The church” as most people see it are these institutions of men and their buildings. Even back as far as when I was a child, I was taught a rhyme with hand motions that basically taught the church was a building with a steeple on it and that the people were inside the building.

I was taught, too, that when I entered that building, that I was entering “the house of God,” and that the “sanctuary” (auditorium) was holy ground, and that it was when we entered into the sanctuary that we entered into the presence of Almighty God. And, many “church” people are still teaching this today. But this is not biblical. This is a carryover from the Jewish temple.

The truth is that the church (the body of Christ) is the people who are believing in Jesus Christ, who are walking according to the Spirit of God, and who are not walking (living) according to their sinful flesh. The church is not something we go to. We are the church. But we do gather together.

So, what’s the big deal? Why do we need to make this distinction? It is because these institutions of men are not the church. They are businesses called “church.” They are denominations of men called “church.” The true church may gather with them in their buildings, but the buildings and the institutions of men are NOT THE CHURCH.

So, if we leave these institutions of men, we are not leaving the true church. We are departing from man-made religion. We are departing from being unequally yoked together with the ungodly and with the unbelieving world. We are leaving “Babylon.” We are leaving man-made teachings and worldliness and false gospels which are leading people away from Jesus.

For, this is what most of them are. And, they are being marketed to the world just like any other man-made business. And, that is why we have seen such a massive spiritual and moral decline in the gatherings of the saints of God, for they are intermingling with the world, and thus they are conforming their gatherings to be acceptable and enjoyable to the ungodly.

So, what is often being called “church” really is not the body of Christ, even if some true believers in Jesus do attend their gatherings. It is a mixture of the world, big business, government, and the saints of God, which God forbids. And, it is the saints of God unequally yoked together with unbelievers, which God also forbids. And, it is turning God’s house into a marketplace – the same.

Now, this is not to say that the saints of God can’t gather together in a building. The building is not the problem. The problem is what is in people’s hearts. The problem is idolatry, immorality, and spiritual adultery among God’s people. The problem is disobedience being practiced among those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and it is the absence of the fear of God.

So, that is why Scripture teaches that we must come out from among them so that we don’t share in their sins, which are piled high to heaven. We must separate ourselves from this unholy union with the ungodly. For there is no fellowship between light and darkness. For, we must be a pure bride for our husband, Jesus, untainted by the sinful pleasures of the world.

Psalm 119:142-144 ESV

“Your righteousness is righteous forever,
and your law is true.
Trouble and anguish have found me out,
but your commandments are my delight.
Your testimonies are righteous forever;
give me understanding that I may live.”

In this crazy world of ours, our only hope is in Jesus Christ, our Lord, our God. We, as the people of God, must stop “playing church,” and we must get serious about our walks of faith and holiness with our Lord. And, to be holy means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being made to be like Jesus.

And, this means separating ourselves from the worldly church, or these businesses called “church” which are of the flesh of man and not of God, and not of his holiness and righteousness. And, we need to bathe ourselves in the Word of God, do what it says, and surround ourselves with godly followers of Jesus who are not compromising with the world, and who are not diluting the gospel of Christ to make it more palatable to the world.

There’s a Stirring

By Annie Herring

There’s a stirring deep within me
Could it be my time has come
When I’ll see my gracious savior face to face when all is done
Is that his voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’
Is he calling me?

I will rise up, rise up
And bow down
And lay my crown
At his wounded feet

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