Isaiah 30:1-2 ESV
“’Ah, stubborn children,’ declares the Lord,
‘who carry out a plan, but not mine,
and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit,
that they may add sin to sin;
who set out to go down to Egypt,
without asking for my direction,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh
and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!’”
The church of the 21st Century, at least here in America, is not much different than God’s people of the time of Isaiah the prophet of God. For the vast majority of the 21st Century church is stubborn, and they are carrying out plans that are not of God but are that are of human origin.
For, they have made an alliance with the US government via the 501c3, and they have incorporated as a non-profit entity under the headship of the state, making the church a state church. Then the church at large agreed to also partner with big business in marketing the church to the world just like any other business.
In order to market the church as a product to the world, the church modified their purpose and their mission and they patterned their gatherings more after worldly gatherings in order to attract the world to their gatherings. Thus, they put their focus more on pleasing people than on pleasing God.
Since they wanted to now attract the world to their gatherings, they used worldly means and methods to draw in large crowds of people from the world by means of what appeals to human flesh. Worship services turned into stage productions and preachers turned into entertainers and comedians.
Since they wanted the world to feel comfortable in their gatherings, they also adulterated the gospel of salvation to make it more acceptable to human flesh and to the world so that they no longer require repentance, obedience, or submission to Christ as Lord, for the most part.
Their focus is more on getting people “saved” so that they can escape hell and go to heaven when they die, but the majority are no longer teaching that we must die with Christ to sin if we want to live with Christ for eternity. So truly this alliance is so they may “add sin to sin.”
For, what they are now teaching is that we can be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God guaranteed, but that how we live our lives on this earth will not have any affect on where we will spend eternity.
Isaiah 30:8-11 ESV
“And now, go, write it before them on a tablet
and inscribe it in a book,
that it may be for the time to come
as a witness forever.
For they are a rebellious people,
children unwilling to hear
the instruction of the Lord;
who say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’
and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us smooth things,
leave the way, turn aside from the path,
let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.’”
Since the church at large, which is marketing itself to the world, wants to attract the world to its gatherings, it also does not want to offend the people of the world with the truth of the gospel. So, now they are soft pedaling the gospel to make it more tolerable and acceptable to the world.
But this move isn’t just to draw in large crowds of people from the world, but it is also to ease the consciences of the pastors, elders, and congregants who are living in sin so that they can now continue living in sin guilt free. So now we have congregations filled with people living in sinful addiction.
So, in order to not offend the flesh of humans and the people of the world, they are also silencing those who are still teaching the truth of the gospel, and they are telling them to “stay in your own lane,” and to “not confront people with the gospel until you earn the right to do so.”
Or they are calling biblical truthers self-righteous hypocrites, intolerant, bigoted, judgmental, and hyper-religious extremists who are legalists and who are teaching works-based salvation which we are to all avoid. So, the opposers of truth have turned darkness for light and light for darkness.
They don’t want to hear the truth of the gospel because it makes them uncomfortable, so they are vilifying those of us who still are teaching the whole counsel of God in hopes that other people will not listen to us.
But the truth is…
But the truth is that Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. When we believe in Jesus with God-persuaded faith, thus, we die with Christ to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24).
The old is gone. The new has come. Now we are no longer living under the control of Satan and the flesh, but now we are living under the control of the Holy Spirit and Christ’s righteousness. So, now we are walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26; Tit 2:11-14; Gal 2:20; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
It doesn’t mean we are perfect people, for we still live in flesh bodies, but that we are being made into the likeness of Christ, and that we are walking (in practice, in conduct) according to the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, and that we aren’t living any longer according to the sinful desires of the flesh.
But this isn’t what a majority of people who call themselves Christians are wanting to hear, and so they are not listening or they are strongly opposing the truth and they are teaching the lies, instead, which are what tickle the people’s itching ears, and which are the “smooth things” they want to hear.
Isaiah 30:12-14 ESV
“Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
‘Because you despise this word
and trust in oppression and perverseness
and rely on them,
therefore this iniquity shall be to you
like a breach in a high wall, bulging out and about to collapse,
whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;
and its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel
that is smashed so ruthlessly
that among its fragments not a shard is found
with which to take fire from the hearth,
or to dip up water out of the cistern.’”
The Scriptures teach us that if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh that we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God. And they teach that we are slaves to the one we obey. If we obey sin, it leads to death. But if we obey obedience, it leads to righteousness, which then ends in eternal life with God (Rom 8:1-17; Rom 6:16-23; Gal 5:16-21).
So, eternal life with God is not guaranteed us upon some outward confession of faith in Jesus Christ or on some words we repeat after someone else, but we must walk (in practice) according to the Spirit, and we must walk in obedience to our Lord, and we must continue in our Lord and in his will for our lives to the very end if we want eternal life with God.
[1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6, 14-15; 1 John 2:24-25; Jn 15:1-12; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]
An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV
My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.
So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.
Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…
They know my voice, so they follow me.