So Walk in Christ Jesus

Colossians 2:1-7 ESV

“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

The Institutional Church

In America, in the modern-day institutional (state) church, which is not the true church, but which is most widely called and accepted as “church,” we have a conglomerate of those of genuine faith in Jesus, and those whose faith is a false faith, and the people of the world (those making no profession of faith), and the government, and big business, all mixed in together.

For the conglomerate has elements of all. Most of these institutional (state) churches teach some truths from the Bible, which is the Word of God. But they also teach lies, usually taken from Scriptures pulled from their context and twisted to say something they don’t say. And some teach humanistic philosophy and psychology and some teachings from other religions, too.

Most of the ones I have been a part of also teach government worship via the pledge (vow) of allegiance (loyalty, fidelity) to the US government with hand over heart, and via the singing of patriotic (worship of government) songs, and via the honoring of our military as our heroes and as our saviors who are making us free and who are keeping us safe.

They have also turned the gatherings of the church into marketplaces where they are marketing “the church” to the people of the world. So, they have altered the way they “do church” in order to draw in large crowds of people from the world, in order to grow “their churches.” So many are entertaining the world with jokes and comedy routines, and with great sounding bands, and with motivational speaking and talks (many don’t call them “sermons”).

And since the people of the world are their “target audience,” most have also altered the gospel of Jesus Christ to make it more attractive and acceptable to the flesh of man (of humans). So, they removed from the gospel God’s requirements of repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord, and many are teaching that we don’t have to repent of our sins and that we don’t have to obey the Lord, for they call that “works-based salvation.”

And this is largely the condition of today’s institutional (state) church in the USA which is where most people calling themselves Christians in America go to be taught the Scriptures and to fellowship with other Christians and to sing “praise and worship” songs and to socialize with others in their communities. This is where they also get involved in various activities and ministries and community events, some of which minister to the people of their communities via food and clothing drives to help the poor of the world.

They all vary on how much they do in each of these areas, i.e. some are still more biblical in their teachings, while others are way more sociable and community oriented, while others are huge on marketing, while others not so much, so they aren’t all the same. But what they have in common is that most all are partnered with the government via the 501c3, and most all are more controlled by humans than by God, and most are fairly worldly.

The Adulterated Gospel

Also, another thing most have in common is the diluting of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For most are teaching that all we have to do is pray a prayer to receive Christ and then we are good to go. Our sins are all forgiven (past, present, and future), our salvation is complete, and heaven is our eternal destiny guaranteed, no matter how we live from this moment forward or how much we engage in deliberate and habitual sin.

I find that very few are teaching faith in Jesus and salvation as a process of sanctification in our lives that will not be complete until Jesus returns and he takes us to be with him for eternity, which is also when our marriage to Christ will then be consummated. Most are not teaching that we must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh if we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God.

But if you read the Scriptures, especially the New Testament where the gospel is taught, and you read Matthew to Revelation word for word, in context, and with hearts and minds willing and eager to hear from the Lord, you can’t miss it that the Scriptures teach that how we live matters for eternity and that how we walk (in conduct) determines whether or not our faith in Jesus is genuine saving faith that will result in eternal life with God.

But so many of them are not willing to see this. They are not willing to consider that what they call “church” is not the church, the body of Christ, or that Jesus Christ is truly not the head of their “churches,” or that what is being done in their gatherings, and what is being taught to them is largely not biblical, in most cases, especially with regards to the teaching of the gospel of Christ as he taught it, and as his NT apostles taught it.

The Worldly Church

Thus, it is largely indistinguishable between the church and the world, for those professing faith in Jesus Christ are largely not living much different from those making no profession of faith in Jesus. Their conversations, the things that they do, the places that they go, the things that they watch, the things that they listen to and that they are entertained by, and that they share on social media, etc. mimic those same things that the unsaved are engaged in and share. And I am speaking of worldly and ungodly things here.

And so the church at large in America today does resemble the description of the church in Laodicea as described for us in Revelation chapter three. And so I do struggle in prayer over this, and I do weep over this, and I do pray for blinded eyes to be opened, and for revival, and for people to see the truth and the lies so that they can distinguish between them, and so they are not deceived, and so they don’t end up in hell on the promise of heaven.

And so it is my prayer, also, that you would not be deceived by clever enchanters who are smooth tongued and who know how to manipulate the truth and the people to their advantage. For there are hordes of these charlatans who are wolves in sheep’s clothing speaking in the pulpits or on the stages of a great number of these institutional churches who are leading the people astray by the masses.

And I pray that the Lord Jesus would bring home to God all those who have wandered off from the true faith and all those who are yet to believe in Jesus with genuine faith, even if it is at the last minute before some of them die. For many professers of faith in Jesus are still living in habitual and deliberate sin against God and against other humans, and even against their spouses and children and other family members and their fellow Christians, etc.

[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; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 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]

Although the lyrics to this song (following) are not an exact fit for this passage of Scripture, I believe the theme here is that we should be mourning over the spiritual condition of today’s church, especially in light of the teachings of Scripture with regard to the judgments to come, and that we should be praying for God to save all those who are now lost and who are living in rebellion against the Lord, that the Lord would bring them home to Jesus, for that is their only hope of salvation and of eternal life with God.

Bring Him Home

By Alain Boublil / Claude Michel Schonberg / Herbert Kretzmer

God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there

He’s like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son.
Let him be
Let him live
If I die, let me die
Bring him home.

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