Jeremiah 23:13-14 NASB
“Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing:
They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray.
Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing:
The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood;
And they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
So that no one has turned back from his wickedness.
All of them have become to Me like Sodom,
And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.”
This sounds like what is happening today in America in much of what is called “church” today. Only, it is not necessarily prophets who are doing these things, but it is people who call themselves pastors and elders of church congregations (or of what is falsely being called “church”) who are doing such things. And it is their adherents who are also promoting such things as this. And they do this all in the name of Jesus, and in the name of “church,” and in the name of reaching people of the world for Jesus Christ.
For so much of what is called “church” today is of man, and it is businesses of human making, run just like other businesses with the goal to attract the people of the world to come to their stores and to buy their products. And so they are marketing “the church” to the world, and thus they are altering the whole biblical concept of “church,” and they are altering the character of God/Christ, and they are altering and diluting the gospel in order to appease human flesh and in order to attract the ungodly to their gatherings.
And so they have united themselves in an unholy union (unequally yoked together) with big business and with the government so that they have become more like state churches, being influenced by the government and by the world of business, and by men (and women) with their marketing schemes and goals for how to build their “churches,” i.e. their businesses. And so many of them are becoming man followers and not God followers, who are putting their faith and trust in other human beings over God.
So, in order to attract the people of the world to their gatherings, they have created a man-centered gospel message which appeases human flesh and which makes no demands of the “believer.” And so they are leading many people astray to their deaths by telling them lies which their itching ears are more than happy to accept. For most are not teaching death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness. But they are teaching the broad road which leads to destruction as though it is the narrow road which leads to life.
And the result is that we have a whole lot of people professing faith in Jesus Christ who never, in truth, were crucified and buried with Christ in death to sin, and so they were not raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin, but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness. And so they are still living in slavery (addiction) to sin, and they are not walking in obedience to our Lord in walks of righteousness and holiness, to the glory of God, in the power and strength of God.
And so we do have many gatherings of people in what are called “churches” who are living in sexual immorality and in adultery and who are lying to the church and to their spouses about what they are doing in secret. And they are not repenting and turning away from their evil, because they are being convinced that they don’t have to. For they are being told that all they have to do is “believe” in Jesus one time (not usually defined biblically) and now all their sins are forgiven and heaven is guaranteed them, done deal.
And the other part of this is that they are rejecting the truth of the gospel and they are criticizing the truth and those who are sharing the truth, and so they are calling the lies the truth and the truth the lies, and they are convincing many people to reject the truth for the lies. And they do this through misimpressions, and deception, and mind manipulation, and trickery, and cunning and craftiness in their deceitful scheming. And this is because Satan is the one behind it all who is pushing his agenda.
But the truth of the gospel is what Jesus taught when he said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self and take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for Jesus’ sake we die to our old lives of living in sin and for self, so that we can now walk in holiness and in obedience to him, we have eternal life. For if we are ashamed of Jesus and his words in this life, he will be ashamed of us when he returns for his bride (see Luke 9:23-26).
So, if we want to be saved from and forgiven our sins, and if we want to have the hope of eternal life with God when we die, then we must die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily (regularly), and we must now walk in obedience to his commands (New Covenant) as a matter of practice, in living holy lives pleasing to God. For if sin is what we practice, and if obedience to our Lord and righteousness are not what we practice, then we will not enter the kingdom of heaven regardless of what our lips profess.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Sweet Beulah Land
By Squire Parsons
I’m kind of homesick for a country
To which I’ve never been before.
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won’t matter anymore.
I’m looking now, just across the river
To where my faith, shall end in sight
There’s just a few more days to labor.
Then I will take my heavenly flight.
Beulah Land I’m longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand
There my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land
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