Their End is Destruction

Philippians 3:17-21 ESV

“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”20210223_152112(0)

Keep Your Eyes

In our day and time, at least here in America, it seems the godly are rare, especially godly pastors and elders. And by godly, I mean those whose lives are committed to following Jesus Christ in surrender to his will, and in obedience to his commands (New Covenant).

The godly are not those who are teaching a cheap grace gospel absent of repentance, obedience to Christ, and submission to him as Lord of their lives. If they are teaching you can be saved and have heaven guaranteed you but that you can keep living in sin, then they aren’t godly, but ungodly.

So, be careful who you follow and who you imitate. Test the spirits to see if they are of God. And just because a person gives lip service to the Lord, it doesn’t mean that person is godly. He could be faking the whole thing. So, test their character, their attitudes, and their actions, as well as their words.

Enemies of the Cross

Many walk (in conduct, in practice) as enemies of the cross of Christ. This is absolutely true! And some of those are people in high up positions in the government and in the institutional church who are passing down false ideas of who God is and how he operates, and who are distorting the Scriptures and what Jesus and his apostles taught, and some of this is purposeful.

If you think about it with me just for a moment, from a purely logical standpoint, and if you know anything at all about church denominations, you will realize that church leaders across denominational boundaries did not traditionally cooperate with one another and teach all the same stuff.

But all of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, multiple church denominations, of differing theologies, appear to all be teaching the same messages coming all from the same source, which is not the Scriptures, but which is from a book written by a man with a marketing plan for how to grow people’s churches. That doesn’t just happen.

So, this is an organized plan coming from people in high places whose goal it is to kill, to steal, and to destroy the church, Jesus Christ, and his gospel. There is no other plausible explanation for how all these denominations would agree to market their churches in the same way and to teach the same cheap grace gospel (not all church congregations do this, though).

And this was passed down to Bible colleges and seminaries and to church leaders at district levels and then to pastors. My husband and I were church planters twice, and we went through the training ourselves, so we know what is being taught, plus we worked closely with many of these churches for a time, and we learned what was being done and taught firsthand.

And then pastors are now marketing their churches to the world, and they are altering their worship services to appeal to the people of the world, and they are also altering the gospel message to make it more palatable and acceptable to the people of the world, too, and to human flesh.

One with the world

So, instead of the church being the light of the world and the salt of the earth and being God’s holy people, they have mostly become one with the world. So, it is indistinguishable now between the people of the world and the church, for the most part.

For, they have also largely rejected the gospel message as taught by Jesus and his New Testament apostles, and they have embraced a cheap grace gospel which makes no demands on them for repentance, obedience, or submission to Christ as Lord. Thus, it leaves them still dead in their sins.

So, this has resulted in a large number of people professing faith in Jesus Christ who are not walking according to the Spirit but who are still living to gratify the sinful cravings of their flesh, only now with the idea that they don’t have to feel guilty, and that heaven is still guaranteed them.

So, we have a massive number of professing Christians who are living no different from people who profess no faith in Jesus Christ at all, for they are living worldly lives, entertaining themselves incessantly, giving in to their fleshly appetites, living in immorality, and God is not even part of their lives.

Thus, sin abounds in the church, including sexual immorality, even among church leadership. And the church is proud. They are not grieving over this situation. Worldliness is commonplace. Holiness is rare. Those who are living holy lives are, thus, regarded as oddballs or as self-righteous or legalistic.

The Lord is sending out messages to his church through his servants confronting them with their sins, calling them to repentance, and calling them to obey the Lord and to submit to his authority, but many of these messages are being ignored in favor of the cheap grace gospel.

Even though you tell them that their chosen patterns of behavior (their habitual lifestyle choices) are going to land them in hell, not heaven, they do not listen, for they don’t believe what the Bible teaches, for they have convinced themselves that God will not judge them for their rebellion.

But our Lord will judge us all, and we will be judged by our works, by what we do. If we live to please the flesh (in practice), we will die in our sins. But if we live to please the Spirit by what we do in practice, we will inherit eternal life with God (Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10).

Our Citizenship

Whose citizenship is in heaven? It is not those who give lip service only to God. It is not those who merely profess faith in Jesus Christ but who then live their lives according to their own desires. And it is not those who go through the motions of religious practice, either.

It is those who have died with Christ to sin, and who have thus been born again of the Spirit of God, and who are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).

My Jesus, I Love Thee

Hymn lyrics by William R. Featherstone, 1864
Music by Adoniram J. Gordon, 1876

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
For thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love thee because thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say, when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight;
I’ll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

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