"IF MY PEOPLE!"-A CALL TO REPENTANCE PART II
"If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues, great and prolonged plagues, and serious and prolonged sicknesses." Deuteronomy 28:58,59
You cannot deny the fact that in the past fifty years America has become a sick nation plagued with every malady known to man and disease has consumed us causing the death of millions, not to mention the cost of medical care and medicines of all kinds. Cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, auto immune diseases, chronic pain, West Nile virus, Parkinson's, MS, MD and on and on and on and even now Ebola has reached our shores, one of the most deadly plagues on the planet!
Everywhere you look there is a new remedy or a new cure for some disease that is advertised consistently on TV or the Internet and the drug companies are having a field day charging exorbitant prices to give us relief from all these things coming upon us. Sickness in the Bible most always had to do with sin and rebellion and God's people were healed two thousand years ago by the stripes that Jesus took on His body and from His blood shed for us on the cross, but we too are plagued by sickness and disease and there seems to be no distinction between believers and the world!
The American church leadership can be blamed for most everything we are suffering today because they have rejected the commands of God and not taught nor trained their people, but instead heaped up treasure stolen from their congregations of ignorant members, kept in the dark and controlled by manipulating wolves that could care less about your welfare and only concerned with padding their pockets! False prophets and shepherds are fleecing the sheep and ruining the testimony of the true blood washed saint's where it has made us all a laughing stock of foolish buffoons before the entire world, if you don't believe it, ask an unbeliever!
"Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this book of the law, will the Lord bring upon you until you are destroyed." Deuteronomy 28:61
'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "For laying aside the commandments of God, you hold to the tradition of men." Mark 7:6-8
Jesus was speaking to the religious order of His day not unlike what we have today with the modern all about me social club that honors God with their lips but their hearts are far away from the true devotion and intimacy He desires. Praise and worship is geared for the congregation and not God, it is entertainment to draw the multitudes on Sunday, not to exalt and worship the Most High God.
It is not unusual to enter a church service and never even hear the name of Jesus spoken or any praise for God but plenty of accolades will be poured out upon the pastors for their undying devotion to make us feel happy and safe in our little sheep pens of prosperity, far away from the cries of the damned right outside the door keeping their people in a sermon induced coma of complacency! Because of greedy shepherds and false prophets galore, the church has sunken to an all time low of spiritual life in which our devotion to Him is turned to our love and devotion for us and our own little world of selfish desire, and it is a stench in the nostrils of a holy God, deeply offended by our un-holy actions toward Him!
We have defected from the true devotion and love that our God desires His people to have for Him but have turned away to serve other gods, gods of money, gods of sports, gods of lust and gods of worldly desire for anything our little hearts want in regards to satisfying the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful, arrogant pride of life.
"But why do you call Me Lord, Lord and do not do the things which I say?" Luke 6:46
BEAR FRUITS WORTHY OF REPENTANCE
Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance." Luke 3:7,8
John the baptist was the forerunner come to prepare God's people for salvation through repentance, baptizing them as they confessed their sins. The fiery prophet preached the gospel of the kingdom in that a man had to repent of his sins by confession, turning away from his sin and then by being baptized into his own death, burial and subsequent resurrection, thereby transforming him into a new creation.
Salvation isn't acquired by simply bowing one's head and reciting a little prayer asking Jesus to come into their heart, something that is not mentioned in scripture nor practiced by anyone in the New Testament. The first words that Jesus spoke as He began His ministry was repent as it was by all the apostles and anyone else for that matter who preached the true gospel of the kingdom. Coming to the Lord Jesus Christ meant that one would lose his earthly life, repent of his former wicked lifestyle, submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit to transform him into the image and likeness of the Christ!
Hundreds were coming for baptism and the religious crowd also showed up for another religious ritual as they do today wanting to feel good about themselves and by somehow pleasing God by their religious works, but John had their number by calling them a brood of vipers and commanded them to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance! The fruits of repentance are a transformed life, a life that has been changed by the Holy Spirit's inward work and by having their sins washed away, not by the baptismal waters but by the blood of the Lamb of God.
"And even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Luke 3:9
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin