Isaiah 30:1-3 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!
Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.’”
The children of God today are all those who are believing in Jesus Christ with God-given faith in him, who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. At least initially they walked no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, but it is possible that some or many of them have since wandered off.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24]
And then there are the many who are professing faith in Jesus Christ who are gathering together with the beloved of God, presumably as part of the church, the body of Christ, but who are believers in Jesus in name only or on a surface level only, but not in truth. Collectively, along with those of genuine faith in Jesus, they gather together and they call themselves the church, but this also includes the people of the world.
Even in the early church they had people among them who were not true believers in Jesus. This is clear in some of the writings of the apostles where they used the word “if” frequently when referring to those who professed faith in Jesus Christ, for they did not presume that all who gathered with the church were indeed genuine followers of Jesus Christ. And since they met sometimes out in public, sometimes the world was also among them.
So, this is not a new concept to have the gatherings of the church include some false professers of faith in Jesus Christ and some people of the world. But today this has been taken to a whole new level! Via an unholy union with the government (the state) here in America, and with big business, the church at large has been turned upside down, and it has been turned into a business of men, THOUGH NOT ALL, and it is being marketed to the world.
Thus, the whole biblical concept of “church” has been altered (turned upside down). Instead of the gatherings of the church being for the intended purpose of the spiritual growth and maturity of the saints of God, and as a place where the saints are being nurtured and strengthened in their walks of faith, and in obedience to the Lord, so that they can take the gospel of salvation out to the people of the world, now it is about attracting the world.
And by saying the word “attracting,” this is not about drawing people to faith in Jesus Christ via the teaching of the truth of the gospel. In fact, that has also been altered to where the gospel barely resembles the gospel that Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught. And this is because they want to attract the people of the world to their gatherings, and so they have compromised with the world in order to win the world to themselves.
And this is indeed that they may “add sin to sin,” for the gospel which is largely being taught in these gatherings of “the church” is a diluted half-truth gospel which tickles the itching ears of those of the flesh so that they can “believe” (not defined) in Jesus, have their sins forgiven, and be guaranteed heaven when they die, while they continue in deliberate and habitual sin against the Lord and against his people, without conscience.
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.’”
And this is where “the church” at large (NOT ALL) has gotten today, at least here in America. The majority of the church is living in open rebellion against the Lord Jesus and against his gospel message. Most have rejected the true gospel and they are following a gospel which makes no requirements for them to repent of their sins, and none for obedience to the Lord, and none for submission to the Lordship of Christ and for surrender to his will.
And they are indeed saying to those who are still teaching the true gospel (the whole counsel of God), “Do not speak to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, and speak illusions, and leave the right way, and turn aside from the path, and let us hear no more about the holiness and righteousness of God and of his requirements that we must walk righteously before him.” And they will falsely accuse us of teaching “works salvation.”
Not long ago I spoke with a woman privately who teaches devotions each day. She has a very large following, and she had misquoted a passage of Scripture, which thus altered its meaning entirely. And it was one of those “life and death” Scriptures. I spoke to her privately and I asked her how approachable she was, and how committed she was to making certain that what she was teaching the people was the whole counsel of God. And I asked her if she was open to having her words tested against the Scriptures.
Her response back to me was to tell me that she is not approachable, and she can’t teach the whole counsel of God, and she is not open to having her words tested against the Scriptures. But she didn’t just respond to me privately, but she also said all that publicly to her followers, and much more. She made certain that they, too, knew that she is not approachable and that she is not open to having her words tested against the Scriptures. Wow!
And she is not the only one, though I doubt that many teachers of the Scriptures today would tell all their followers (listeners) publicly that they are unapproachable and that no one is allowed to test what they teach against the Scriptures. But still this is what many practice, and this is what they will do and say privately to people who may question what they are teaching. For this is what a lot of them are being taught to do, too, in their training. And this is dangerous! For we are to test the spirits. Amen?
For it is critical that we who teach the Scriptures are open to having our words tested against the Scriptures (taught in context) and that we are approachable, because we are all human and we could get something wrong. And we are to be those who make it our goal to rightly handle the word of truth because we want to make certain, to the best of our understanding, that what we are teaching is truth and not lies, for people’s eternity depends on it. Now they are still responsible for what they do, but so are we.
[Matt 7:15-23; Matt 24:11-14; John 10:1-15; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 1 Tim 1:3-7; 1 Tim 6:3-10; 1 John 4:1-6; Jude 1:3-23; Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12]
Jesus, Lead Me
An Original Work / July 22, 2011
Jesus, lead me all the way.
Be my hope and be my stay.
Gently lead me where I should go,
So Your Spirit, I want to know.
Open up my heart to You.
Fill me with Your love and truth.
Make my heart want to obey.
Be my Lord today. Gently lead always.
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Cleanse my heart, and make me whole;
Be transformed in my heart today,
As I turn from my sin and pray.
Make Your will known to my heart.
May I not from You depart.
How I long to hear You now,
As I humbly bow. Jesus, hear me now.