2 Corinthians 11:1-4 ESV
“I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”
The Church Marketed to the World
What does this look like in the church (or in what is falsely called church) in America today, or in your nation? Since I only know America, that is what I will speak of, but if you are from another nation, I pray you will apply this to where it fits with your nation, as well.
In America, within the gatherings of the church, overall, though not necessarily representative of every church gathering, and which constitutes all that is called “church” today – which does include both true followers of Jesus, and those making false professions of faith, and those of no faith at all – there has been a massive shift away from teaching the true Jesus and the true gospel of the Scriptures to teaching what is false.
For the general body of Christ here in America at some point in time compromised with the world and with the state and with big business and they decided to incorporate the church under the state, making the church a state church. And then they turned the gatherings of the church into businesses of men marketed to the world just like any other businesses of men (and women) and their products.
And thus they began to conform the gatherings of the church to the world in order to attract the world to their gatherings. And now their focus became to find out what the world was craving and to supply them with a Christianized version of what the world was offering them. And so they began following business models for how to grow their churches, and for how to draw in large crowds of people from the world. So, they altered the gospel, too.
Instead of teaching that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, now they teach that a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ guarantees us forgiveness of all sins (past, present, and future) and the hope of heaven as our eternal destiny, with no requirements for repentance (turning away from sin) and for walks of obedience to our Lord and for honoring Jesus Christ as Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives.
[1 Co 1:10-17; Jn 2:13-17; 2 Co 6:14-18; Rev 18:1-5; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Eph 1:4; Eph 2:21; Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; Col 3:12; 2 Tim 1:9; 2 Tim 2:21; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet 2:5-9,24; Titus 2:11-14; Ac. 2:42-47; Ro. 12:3-8; 1 Co. 12:1-31; Eph. 4:1-16; Rom 6:1-23]
Halting the Working of the Holy Spirit
So, what this means is that the church, overall, though again not representing every single congregation, put a freeze on the Holy Spirit and halted the moving of the Holy Spirit in people’s hearts and lives. “The church,” in practice and in reputation, is not just the body of believers in Jesus Christ but it is institutions of human making following after the teachings and instructions of men and their marketing schemes.
Jesus Christ is not the head of this “church,” but humans are, and people are not being offered true life in the Spirit because what they are offering them is not the truth of the gospel but a cheapened and diluted version of the true gospel. What they are offering them is not death to sin and living to righteousness but freedom from the guilt of their sin and carte blanche to continue in deliberate and habitual sin without conscience and consequence.
And so this cheapened grace, which does not put death to sin nor demand holy living from its followers, is the foundation of what is being taught widely as the true gospel today, and people are buying into it by the masses. And what this cheapened grace has done is to put a sugar-coating over top of evil (sin, wickedness) so that sin is not being seen as evil anymore. Now they call it “messing up,” as though all they did was spill a glass of milk.
Also, many teachers and preachers of the word of God are now sugar-coating the gospel to make it more acceptable to the world and to the flesh of mankind. And so they are telling them that all they have to do is “believe” (not defined) in Jesus, their sins are now forgiven, and heaven is now guaranteed them when they die, regardless of how they live their lives from this time forward. Thus, they are lying to the people, giving them false hope.
And the majority of those listening to their sugar-coated messages are receiving these messages as though they are gospel truth, and they are putting up with the lies readily (easily) enough, for sure. And they are spreading the lies on the internet, in the blogging world, on Christian discussion sites, and on social media, etc. I see these lies show up in memes on Facebook on a regular basis, and many people are liking these memes.
And God is concerned, and I am concerned, and others of his servants and messengers are also concerned that these lies are being accepted as truth vastly within the gatherings of what is called “church.” And we are concerned that so many people calling themselves Christians are buying into these lies and that they are believing that how they live on this earth will not matter for them with regard to their eternity.
And so the Lord has me, and he has others like me confronting these lies, and exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness, and calling out sin for what it is, and teaching the truth of God’s word in contrast to the lies which are now permeating the gatherings of what is called “church.” For we share in his grieving over the spiritual condition of his church and over the fact that so many professing his name are following the lies and not the truth.
And this is because we love the church, the body of Christ, and we love God’s people and the people of this world, and we don’t want to see anyone taken captive by these lies and led astray from the truth to their deaths. For we know what the Bible teaches that those who walk in sin, who make sin their practice, and who do not practice righteousness and obedience to our Lord, will not inherit eternal life with God regardless of what they profess.
So, please don’t believe every meme you see on social media, and don’t believe everyone who calls himself a preacher or a teacher of the word or a pastor or a minister of the gospel, not even if his name is Billy Graham. Test everything you hear and read against the Scriptures in their context and compare Scripture with Scripture where discrepancies seem to exist. And let the Holy Spirit lead you to all truth, for many humans are lying to you.
[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 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
An Original Work / September 2, 2012
Based off Rom 12:9-21; 1 Pet 3:8-17
Love each other truly.
Cling to what is good.
Hate all that is evil.
Never lack in zeal.
Serve the Lord with fervor.
Joyful in hope be;
Patient in affliction;
Honor one another.
Live in harmony.
Share with all God’s people
Who are found in need.
Do not be conceited.
Love, and show compassion
Keep your tongue from evil.
Peaceful you must be.
Honor one another.
Live in harmony.
God sees who are righteous;
Listens to their prayers.
But He’s against evil –
Is His to avenge.
Do not fear what they fear.
In your hearts, make Christ Lord.
Serve Him faithfully.
Honor one another.
Live in harmony.