Isaiah 1:2-3 ESV
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the Lord has spoken:
‘Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.’”
The Body of Christ
The church, the body of Christ, is the family of God. We who believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives with God-given faith are God’s children. And times have not changed a whole lot, for there are still many of God’s children today who have turned their back on God, and who are rebelling against him, and who are going their own way.
Some of them never did come to genuine faith in Jesus Christ so they are illegitimate children who are claiming Jesus as their Savior. But they never died with Christ to sin, and they never lived to God and to his righteousness. For they bought into a false gospel that told them that all they had to do was “believe” without really explaining to them what it means to believe in Jesus.
But it isn’t just that, many are being taught that God does not require repentance, obedience, and submission to him as Lord, as though that all went away with the Old Covenant. But it didn’t. Jesus demanded full submission to him, and repentance, and obedience. And his NT apostles taught the same. Faith in Jesus is still equal to obedience to Him.
But there are those who believed in Jesus with genuine God-given faith, who did follow him in obedience, and who walked by faith, but then they got drawn into this modern cheap grace gospel which convinced them that they could live like the world and in sin and still have salvation from sin and eternal life with God. So, they turned away from obedient faith in Jesus.
God’s Plan of Salvation
Now, this is where it helps to understand God’s plan of salvation for our lives. For, Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would honor God with our bodies.
When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Jesus delivered us from our bondage (addiction) to sin so that we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness, no longer living under sin’s control.
And Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, to be one of his disciples (not optional for the believer in Jesus), he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For, he said if we try to save our old lives we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives for his sake (die with him to sin), we have eternal life.
Our salvation from sin is not a one-time deal and then heaven is guaranteed us. Our salvation is progressive. We are saved (past), we are being saved (present), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus returns and our salvation is then complete, provided that we continue in him, and we abide in him and in his word, and that we walk in obedience to his commands.
For, we are all going to reap what we sow in this life. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. If sin is what we practice, it ends in death, but if righteousness is what we practice, it ends in eternal life. If we obey the Lord, it ends in life. If we don’t obey, it ends in death.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]
Isaiah 1:4 ESV
“Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the Lord,
they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are utterly estranged.”
People Laden with Iniquity
We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are the church. We are a holy nation, a spiritual nation, not a physical one like the Israelites of the Old Covenant. We are the children of promise. God no longer dwells in buildings. We are the temple of God. God lives within us, his people. The church is who we are. We are not some location we go to once or twice a week. God is present with us no matter where we are or when we meet together.
But the church overall here in America, which is a blend of the true church and a false church meeting together in an unholy union, is largely living in adultery against the Lord and in idolatry. For she is putting other gods above God, she has pushed the Holy Spirit right out of her gatherings, and now she is following marketing schemes of men on how to build Christ’s church.
Jesus is not her head, not in practice, but men and the flesh are her head, and big business, and the government, etc. For she is largely relying on the flesh to conduct the gatherings of the church, to preach sermons (or talks), and to “worship” God. And she is following the “talks” and “motivational speeches” of men more for her direction than the word of God.
And so she is living very worldly, blending in with and immersing herself in today’s culture so that she can connect and identify with the people in the world. And this is apparent by how the gatherings of the church mostly are about appealing to the felt needs of the people of the world and about pacifying the flesh, and they are not about true worship of God.
Isaiah 1:5-6 ESV
“Why will you still be struck down?
Why will you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and raw wounds;
they are not pressed out or bound up
or softened with oil.”
The Church under Judgment
I believe it is apparent that the present day modern church in America is under the judgment of Almighty God in our day and time. And this is because she lost her saltiness and she hid her light under a bushel. And she adopted human philosophy and psychology and marketing schemes in place of the teachings of the Scriptures.
She bought into this whole modern philosophy that says we are to “stay in your own lane” and not say anything that would offend anyone. And that we are not to judge anyone, including Christians who are living in sin. And the gospel has been reduced to just hanging out with your neighbors and doing “good deeds” for them, which they call “being the gospel.”
Sharing the truth of the gospel verbally is now frowned upon because they say that is being judgmental. Or they call it legalism or “works-based salvation” or being rude. They don’t want anyone to feel bad about their sin, and so they coddle them in their sins and give them excuses and the freedom to continue living in their sin, only now without guilt.
And this is why the American church is under judgment and why our nation, as a whole, is in the spiritual condition that it is in where sin is now running rampant all over the place. And that is because the church has lost its witness and they are silencing the Holy Spirit and are attacking the Lord’s messengers and his gospel.
But the Lord is still calling out to his people to repent of their sins and to return to him as their only Lord, and to walk in his ways and in his truth, and to go with him wherever he leads them. He still has a plan and a purpose for your life if you will surrender your life to him. And he will be with you wherever you go, and he will give you all you need to live for Him.
Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)
Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton
I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son
I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now
Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven
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