I heard a popular television preacher recently say this: "If God judges America He's going to have to apologize to Jesus."
But the Word says: "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil" (1 Pet. 3:12).
"The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the Day of Judgment" (2 Pet. 2:9).
The first fallacy in today's visible mainstream church world is ignorance concerning God's judgments and even wrath.
- Failure to understand God's judgments.
The aforementioned preacher's understanding lacks balance and the whole counsel of God. He says that Jesus bore our judgment and therefore God will not judge America or anyone for that matter. Honestly, this belief system is the edge of universalism.
It says Jesus bore everyone's judgment on the cross, so no one will be judged. Everyone is okay. Everyone will be saved in the end. Actually, it is this popular view that has opened a large door to so much deception in the church. It breeds a lackadaisical spirit and an absence of holy fear in most Christians.
In fact, Romans 1 offers specific proof that America is already under the judgment of God.
"The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth through unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18).
God's wrath is already being revealed, present tense. In other words, we don't need to wait until the Day of Judgement to see God's wrath. It is being demonstrated now. You need to read the rest of the verses that follow this verse to see this.
"Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness" (Rom. 1:24a).
"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions" (Rom. 1:26a).
"God gave them over to a debased mind" (Rom. 1:28b).
These verses are talking about sexual immorality, specifically the sin of homosexuality and lesbianism. The entire so-called sexual revolution is a product of God's wrath. America has been under the judgment of God for decades! We've praised AIDS victims as if they are heroes, but in actuality, it is the penalty of their sin that they have received (Rom. 1:27).
In fact, when those who practice such things that are deserving of death, also approve of others who practice them (v. 32) it is one of God's final signs of His wrath on a society.
Wake up, church! What are some of these preachers saying? We now have full- blown, same-sex marriage made legal, full-term abortion, and who knows what's next. God's judgment and wrath are already here! Can they escape? Yes, if they turn to God in sincere repentance, they can still receive His mercy and be saved and delivered. But many will not do so.
- Crooked view of holiness.
The second fallacy in much of the church world today is a total misunderstanding of true holiness. In fact, the Lord told me that there's been a diabolical silence on it. I believe that restoring the beauty of biblical holiness in the Church is a critical ingredient to healing the moral confusion in our culture. As the Church goes, so goes the world. Our disproportionate view of holiness is one of the big reasons there is so much of the spirit of the world in the Church.
True holiness has gotten such a bad rap and is looked upon with a sort of disdain, as being primitive, outdated, and just not culturally relevant. We need to realize, however, that negative experiences or unsound teaching does not nullify the real meaning, necessity, and beauty of God's holiness.
One of my favorite definitions of holiness as it applies to believers is that it is a moral dedication and a life committed to purity of thought, word, motive, and deed. At the center of that definition is the fact of being set apart or consecrated to God's purposes. in other words, we are not to be conformed to the world's ideals, patterns, or standards, but to God's nature and will.
But even more importantly, holiness has more to do with whom we belong to. To whom do we give our loyalty, love, and allegiance to? To be holy means that all we are and all we have belongs to God, not ourselves, and is set apart for His purposes. This is the theme of the apostolic letters to the early churches. How are some believers, even preachers, missing that today?
A distorted view of holiness, or simply the ignorance of it, is clouding our understanding of God's true love. When God is seen as a loving, non-demanding pushover whose love overrides His holiness, then people will live in accordance with that belief. Permissiveness and promiscuity will be prevalent. This brings me to the third big fallacy I see in the church today and that is the false concept of the love of God.
- Wrong concept of the true love of God.
There's a sentimental mushy kind of love expressed in the church and lives of so- called Christians today that falls so short of the real God-kind of love. It is a love not based on truth.
For example, one of the hot controversial topics today is that of the aforementioned homosexuality. More and more people in the church world are accepting it and now celebrating it. Entire denominations are now ordaining gay clergy. This is being done all in the name of love. But is so clear from the Word of God that this is a complete abomination that should have no place whatsoever in the church.
Does this mean we stop loving gay people? Of course not; we should love them all the more because they are in grave danger, but we must do so in all kindness, wisdom, and love, speaking the truth to them of the awful sin that it is. But most people will hate you for it as they did Jesus.
"No man was ever more loving than Jesus Christ. Yet even His love made people angry. His love was a perfect love, a transcendent and holy love, but His very love brought trauma to people. This kind of love is so majestic we can't stand it." (R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God).
You see, love must be mixed with truth and holiness for it to pass the biblical test. Today we are altering the Scriptures because we don't like certain verses that contradict the lifestyle that we or our friends may be living. Many have removed God's judgments and wrath, holiness, and hell, right out of the Bible. It's one of the signs of these evil last days we are living in.
We may criticize what is happening in the world all we want, but judgment must begin in the house of God if we desire to see His glory and the awakening that many of us have been praying for.
"For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God, and if it begins first with us, what shall the end be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (1 Pet. 4:17).
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