Some missionaries in China recently reported about their work and their congregations saying, “We can’t afford any big programs or fancy gospel presentations. All we have to give people is Jesus.” Is Jesus enough? What have we come to expect from churches? The world expects many things from the Church, so they’ve made their own. When did Jesus quit being enough?
The masses want to be saved, but not to be disciples. They forget to be disciples come to Jesus and learn from Him (Matt. 11:28-30). They forget to be disciples and listen to their teacher and observe all things that Jesus commanded (Matt 28:20). They neglect that loving Jesus means obeying His words (John 14:15, 21–24). These Christians are arrogant that they doubt the Spirit’s guidance of the words of the Apostles especially Paul (1 Cor 2:13). They do this even thought Jesus said that He gave His words to His apostles (John 17:8) and Jesus said, “If they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20).
The teachers of the man-made churches have been caving into immorality. Congregations are changing “according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth.”
Is There a Love of the World in the Church?
Do we want more than Jesus? Do we love what the world has to offer us? The Spirit says in First John 2:15, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Have not members even whole churches been led away into the world? Can we say that we do not love the world? Do our actions say that we do not love the world?
The Holy Spirit says in First John 2:16, “For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world.” See, it is lust and pride that lead people away. Do you think people want their appetites and their pride fed in the Church? I think many do.
First John 2:17, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” This world is not going to last for your body or in itself it will burn with fire. Do we love what the world can give us? Do we love our possessions? Do churches want to resemble the world? Do we want to spend our Sundays in recreation and with our families and claim to fellowship God? Doesn’t the world do this?
What Does the World Do?
Isaiah 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” These are those days revived.
There are those who call evil good.
- Killing the unborn is called a “choice.”
- Teaching children that they are apes is called “education.”
- Promoting immorality through conjectures is called “science.”
- Neglecting the discipline of children is called “building self-esteem.”
- Forcing people to live and trade with the corrupt is called “tolerance.”
- Perversions are called “alternative lifestyles.”
- Coveting your neighbor’s possessions is called “ambition.”
- Slandering, reviling, and profanity are called “freedom of speech.”
- Pornography is called “freedom of expression.”
- Pre-marital sex is called a “personal choice.”
- Adultery is called “adventurous.”
- Separation for irreconcilable differences is called “divorce.”
- Unholy conjugal unions are called “marriages.”
Then, there are those who call good evil.
- Christ’s words are called “intolerant.”
- Christians are called “closed minded.”
- Going to church is called “self-righteous.”
- Praying in public is called “oppressive.”
- Reading the Bible is called “hate speech.”
- Evangelizing is called “rude.”
- Bringing up your children in the training and the admonition of the Lord is called “abuse.”
This is the time when evil is called good and good is called evil. This is the marketing of evil. This is what is fed into our homes. They dump refuse in a box. Write a “good” on it. Then, market it.
What does the world want you to do? The world does not just want tolerance. It wants your approval. They seek approval from one another trying to confirm and sooth their consciences. Romans 1:32, “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” The world hates you when you do not approve of their vices with your own. The life of a true disciple of Jesus reminds them of their life in judgment to God. Proverb 17:15, “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.” The world wants you to justify them while the world condemns you.
Why does the world want you to call evil good and good evil? Isaiah 5:21, “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!” It is arrogance that the world does this, but we find this among believers of Christ too. God says to these in Isaiah 55:8, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD.” This is the arrogance that boasts that our thoughts and ways must be God’s too. Are the church’s thoughts God’s thought? What your thoughts? The Spirit says in Jeremiah 10:23, “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”
The truth is not in you. The truth is in Christ. His word is the truth (John 17:17). This is the truth that will set your free. Your thoughts are not God’s thoughts. Unless your thoughts are from God’s thoughts. We have to submit to God. Jeremiah 10:24, “O LORD, correct me, but with justice; Not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.” This is the prayer that we must have. Have you ever prayed to God to correct you?
Jesus said in Luke 16:15, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God“. On judgment day, we will not be justified by the words and actions of others. God knows our hearts.
The hearts of the world are defiled. Jesus said Matthew 15:19-20, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” It is the evil thoughts in the hearts of men that defile him.
If you don’t see a contrast between the evils of the world and your beliefs, then you need to change your heart. Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Who are you? Are you a Christian or are you of the world?
What is Your Identity?
Are we God’s kingdom? Jesus said in John 18:36, “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.’”
Are we God’s chosen people? Second Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”
Second Corinthians 6:17, “Therefore ‘Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord.’” Do you surround yourself with evil? Second Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” First Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’” Your habits will be changed by your friends.
Still Jesus gives the invitation in Matthew 11:28–30, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Jesus said in John 10:10, ‘I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Jesus’ teachings are not highly esteemed by the world or the churches of men. Jesus said:
- “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
- “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins…Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM‘” (John 8:24, 58).
- “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).
- “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5:32).
- “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
Do you believe in these words of Jesus? Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”