Psalms 79:1-4 ESV
“O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the bodies of your servants
to the birds of the heavens for food,
the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
mocked and derided by those around us.”
Do you know that this is happening right now in America today? It is true! For the temple of God today is the church, the body of Christ, comprised of all who are believing in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. We are now the temple of God in whom God dwells by his Spirit. We, the people of God, are his church, and no other. And that temple collectively is being presently defiled by the nations.
How so?, you say. Well, let me tell you. Now it all could have begun before this, for there were men of God even back in the 1940’s who were seeing this taking place and who were writing about it, one of whom was A. W. Tozer. He wrote about it in an article he first published in the 1940’s called, “The Old Cross and the New” (1). But in the 1950’s Lyndon B. Johnson convinced church leaders to incorporate under the state:
“Churches have been beguiled and seduced into voluntarily submitting to governmental control. In 1954, then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson offered tax exempt status to churches as a “favor.” All they had to do was fill out a government form, the 501(c)(3) form, declaring their organization to be a church. It was a Trojan horse. By law, churches were tax exempt anyway!” (2)
And as one who grew up in the 1950’s, I have watched the church transform from what was once more of the image of the New Testament church, though not entirely, to where now it appears as though the vast majority of gatherings of what are called “churches” are now businesses incorporated under the state, under government control, which have since severely digressed from what was once at least somewhat still under God’s control.
And, if you are at all observant, the evidence is quite obvious. The change has been slow and gradual, though, and a lot of it has been very subtle in how the changes have been introduced. But little by little, and inch by inch, and over time, the church, which is the body of Christ, has evolved into a business which is being marketed to the world just like any other business. And to make it work, they have made many alterations to “the church.”
Now this is not saying that the body of Christ has ceased to exist, for it hasn’t, but that the gatherings of Christians have mostly been altered in order to draw in large crowds of people from the world to their gatherings. And this all began to take place, I believe, once the church surrendered their sovereignty to government control. That is when “the nations” came into the Lord’s temple to defile it, and defile it they have certainly done!
And so probably the majority of what are called “churches” here in America have switched over to operating as businesses and to following marketing schemes and trickery, and in order to attract the ungodly to their gatherings. So most of them are not teaching the truth of the gospel, but a diluted version intended to tickle itching ears and to appease the flesh, and their gatherings are more geared to entertaining the world.
So, “the church” has been defiled because, for the most part, it is no longer operating as the church, the body of Christ, and for the purpose God has designed for his church and for her gatherings. And so believers in Christ are mostly not being encouraged to exhort one another so that none are hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, and to provoke one another to love and good deeds so that no one falls away from the faith (see Hebrews 3:13 and Hebrews 10:24-31).
And it appears that the body of Christ is mostly not being encouraged to use their spiritual gifts for the encouragement and strengthening of the whole body of Christ in the areas of ministry to which God has assigned them, under the power and guidance of God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4). But they are either just spectators in large arenas or they are being assigned tasks according to marketing books and their goals for these “churches.”
So, “the church” overall in America, but not including every congregation, is in ruins. The gospel being taught in most of them barely even resembles the true gospel anymore. Death to sin and living to righteousness and walks of obedience are rarely being taught these days, or if they are, they are more like recommended but not demanded. And so we have a mass of professers of faith in Jesus Christ who are living not much different from the world.
But those who are largely being taunted and mocked and derided are not those who have surrendered their sovereignty to the nations, but they are those who have refused to bow the knee to the beast (basically), and who are still holding on to the truth of the gospel even in the face of much rejection and criticism and mocking and deriding and persecution and opposition. And even most of what is called “church” is rejecting and/or is casting them out if they are truly standing for truth and righteousness.
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Jn 17:14; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 7:9-17; Rev 11:1-3; Rev 12:17; Rev 13:1-18; Rev 14:1-13]
Hear my Voice
An Original Work / July 9, 2012
Based off Psalm 27
The Lord is my great salvation.
He’s the stronghold of my life.
When my enemies attack me,
My heart will not fear at all.
Though a war break out against me,
Confident in Christ I’ll be.
Of the Lord, I ask that I may
Live with Him eternally.
Hear my voice, Lord, when I call you.
Merciful to me You’ll be.
Though my relatives forsake me,
My Lord God will receive me.
Teach me Your way, O my Jesus.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
I will sacrifice to my Lord.
I will sing with joyfulness.
I am confident that I will
See the goodness of the Lord.
All the richness of His blessings,
My Lord has for me in store.
He asks me to be of courage;
To be strong and to take heart,
Patiently as I wait for Him,
And from Him to ne’er depart.
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