In Matthew 16:18Jesus makes it clear that the Church is His and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. If that be so, then why does it seem that the Church is failing today? Obviously, many who are called Christians have no resemblance to Jesus. Most of the churches have followed the way of the world and not only condone but endorse everything Satan upholds. Has Jesus lost His grip and Satan seized the Church? What is going on?
Read the previous paragraph carefully, because I have been very careful in my wording. Satan may have taken over many “churches,” but he does not have the “Church.” A steeple does not make a Church. Neither does the fence one straddles make a Christian.
So let me say right up front that Jesus’ Church is made up of many people who are in many different churches, but those churches do not necessarily belong to Jesus. Many of the churches are dead, but the real Church lives. When Christ calls His Church out of the world at the Rapture, the cream will rise to the top. All those remaining, and there will be many, are not the Church.
There are millions of people who are “church” members today, but how many of those are “Church” members? Only the bridegroom really knows, and He will call them to Him one day soon.
An untold number of church members are depending on everything but their relationship with Jesus to “get to Heaven.” But as the Devil walks the aisles, and leans over the pews he continues deceiving gullible people, and there are many of them.
That Devil whispers:
You’re a member of the church. You’re okay.
You signed a card. You’re okay.
You walked the aisle. You’re okay.
You work tirelessly for the church. You’re okay.
You tithe. You’re okay.
Your family are Christians. You’re okay.
You’re in the right church. You’re okay.
You’ve received many awards for your work in the community. You’re okay.
But the Holy Spirit tugs at the heart and says:
There is only one way. Trust Jesus and be saved.
As the Devil walks the aisles he has brought the world into the churches of today. It has seeped in through the front door, back door, side doors, and even the windows. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and His holy Bible has been thrown out and replaced with humanism (love of self), materialism (love of money) and hedonism (love of pleasure). Shockingly, even sins such has homosexuality are being accepted and promoted from the pulpits, while those in the pews either submit or leave.
For those who leave, the echo reverberates throughout the land from Christians saying they cannot find a church that actually teaches the Bible. Maybe it is because many churches no longer even believe what the Bible says. Therefore, the true Church within the churches are hungry for the sincere milk of the Word (1 Peter 2:2), but are being denied.
To be fair, there is another reason so many in the Church have not advanced very far in their Christian growth. They have become lazy. Think about this: Most of the restaurants in your area may be serving bad food, but one can always eat at home if you are really hungry, and many these days are doing just that. On the other hand, many more are not. They’re doing without and starving spiritually.
Jesus said through the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:13-18:
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth [a determination to live for Christ], having put on the breastplate of righteousness [holiness resulting from living for Him], and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace [confidence and inner peace from God’s divine support]; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one [continual basic trust in God].
And take the helmet of salvation [confidence of security in Christ], and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God [total belief and reliance in God’s Word];
praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”(Ephesians 6:13-18, bracketed comments are mine)
God wants His children to grow in Him. For example, He clearly says so in the following Scripture passage:
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
It is unfortunate that so many pastors are false prophets, and I do realize the problem is worse in some geographical areas than others. I’m sure it is probably not as bad in the area we live as it is in many of the large cities, but even here some of the churches have long ago compromised with the world.
One dear brother in Christ informed me that he has had some pastors who refused to teach the writings of Paul. That is an indication of either a pastor who is not saved or a flaming idiot. Jesus says,
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17.emphasis mine)
Jesus then had the apostle Peter confirm that Paul’s writings are Scripture.
“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16, emphasis mine)
I have heard of “silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” (2 Timothy 3:6-7) actually say they would not listen to Paul because he was chauvinistic.
I believe the apostle Paul has been attacked more than anyone except Jesus Himself. I believe it is so because Jesus appointed Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13) and Satan has tried for 2,000 years to discredit any and everything Paul as said; even Paul himself. However, the one critical point these fools are overlooking is this. The message is not Paul’s. The message comes from God that He gave Paul for us to heed.
These mealy-mouthed hypocritical blasphemers are leading thousands to hell with them. They are blind to the Truth. Don’t follow them, for Jesus said.
“Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:14)
Paul’s epistles comprise about 1/3 of the New Testament and that does not include the book of Hebrews. Obviously, Satan desires to keep people from hearing all that Jesus says through the apostle Paul.
I would not want to be in the shoes of most pastors and teachers on judgment day. The Lord has made it very clear that we are held to very strict standards that He alone has set in stone. That standard is “Truth.” We are expected to provide the Truth and “accurately handle the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1)
See also Ezekiel 33:1-9. God has several men and women today who are being faithful watchmen on the wall, but there are many more who are failing miserably in this area. Many of these so-called watchmen have so compromised themselves with the false gospel of the world, the true Gospel of God has been extinguished in their area of responsibility. Because of these wolves in sheep’s clothing, millions are being led away from the Truth.
If your pastor or teacher is not being faithful to God’s Word, the Bible, don’t allow him to lead you down that dark alley of lies and hypocrisy. Get out into the sunlight of God’s holy Word and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. The air will be fresher and life so much more joyous.