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Numbers 34-Deuteronomy 1:1-15
As a new year has dawned, Satan continues on his quest to deceive. His efforts are either improving or the discernment of the masses are in full regression. The technology-free saints of the early church did the impossible without PowerPoint, the internet, advertising agencies, and a Super Bowl Commercial budget.
They made disciples!
For some odd reason, modern day Christians self-diagnose their engagement prowess, with respect to sharing the Gospel, as mediocre at best. The simple task of opening the Bible and reading it aloud, to the dying world, is arduous, and debilitating. As if reading the words brings death instead of life.
In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of the Lord, saying, Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may count the money that has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people.
And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. And Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord. Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes.2 Kings 22:3-4, 8-11
Is this what frightens, alleged, members of the church? Are we afraid of a potential strip party? Or are we more concerned that reading the Word to the world will require us to respond likewise? The latter has been proven to be the reason. We desire self-autonomy and zero accountability.
So, we embrace any wind of doctrine, or scheme, that will allow us to share an impotent, and sin-loving, Jesus whose death for our sins was more a bucket list event over saving souls. Jesus becomes a fraternity brother and/or sorority sister. He's hip, gender-fluid, and accommodating to our least whims.
King Josiah's strip party was a far cry from activities of today's Superbowl-themed, Swinging-themed, Race-Baiting-themed, and Social-Justice-themed churches. His tearing of clothes signified a sign of grief, and loss, that led to repentance. He clearly understood the impending predicament of his nation were he not to cry out for mercy.
King Josiah led the greatest revival in the Old Testament by first requiring the priests, and other faith leaders, to seek God in earnest prayer. Once it was confirmed of their sin and rebellion against God; a time of repentance and revival was sought. He led the people to observe Passover, which hadn't been observed since Israel sought a man to rule them instead of God. (cf. 2 Kings 22-23). If only we had a king, prime minister, president, protector, priest or pastor with the same mindset of King Josiah in the 21st century.
Modern Christianity leaves little to no room for repentance. It is treated as an unnecessary and guilt-driven ordinance that diminishes the self-esteem and self-appropriated value of the hearer. Rather than prescribe the needed medicine of repentance; alleged Christians share quaint stories to illicit emotions of sorrow, and sadness, that turn into joy after emotional worship songs, passionate dramatizations, and a Cliff-notes rendition of a semi-factual/relevant message of Jesus that may or may not include the Gospel message.
What is the Gospel message? That Jesus, fully God and fully Man, was the Only Means of Restoring men, and women, back into a Relationship with God through His Sacrificial Death on the Cross, and Resurrection that believers inherit through Him.
That simple line, that simple message, suffers derision from church attendees because it insinuates that there is something wrong with
inherently good people! It is a message better told by not addressing the sin but acquiescing to the sins of the needed hearers. Not only meet them in their sin, greet and complete it with joy.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.Romans 1:28-32
The Word of God condemns those who give approval to the sinful behavior of unrepentant people. What other way to describe the active ministry of placating to a person's, or group's sins, than to avoid addressing the sinful nature/disposition that separates us from God? That is the modern church that sends people to hell in a sanctified manner only to be shocked when they hear the fateful words of Jesus on the last day:
And then will I declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. Matthew 7:23