And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:12
Anarchy is a social structure without government or law and order, and America is approaching it, being totally dysfunctional and always at a stalemate within its ranks! The church of Jesus Christ on the other hand has altered the word of God, perverted the gospel of Jesus Christ and has created a buffet for its members and like "Outback Steakhouse" their motto has become, "No rules, just right!"
A veritable free-for-all of spiritual ignorance that has led them into a complacent vegetated state, unable to operate as the all powerful body of Christ that it was intended to be. Discipleship has been replaced with "orientation," the gifts of the Spirit reduced to a motivational gift of giving, and the "Great Commission" has become the great omission! Because the modern day consumer driven church has refused to preach the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the world has suffered greatly with millions of lost souls descending into Hell!
I am not an enemy of the true church of Jesus Christ as some think, but I am an enemy of those who would pervert, distort or water down the word of the Most High and so was the apostle Paul who proclaimed a stinging rebuke to those who would alter the gospel! The body of the Lord Jesus Christ in the earth today is the most powerful entity in the world, capable of performing great works of miracles, signs and wonders while proclaiming the good news of His gospel to the lost.
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:6-8
A FOUNDATION OF SAND
And He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints (us) for the work of ministry for the edifying (building up) of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect (complete) man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
The true church (ekklesia) is to be built upon the solid rock of the Lord Jesus Christ and not on sinking sand as the old hymn states! The Greek word used in New Testament writings for church is ekklesia defined as an assembly and the word church comes from the Old English word "Circe" that it is said to be the name of the daughter of the Sun god, in any case church is not a place to go, but a supernatural expression of the Lord Jesus Christ in the earth!
The picture of a quaint little white building with a steeple on top, filled with pews and people dressed in their Sunday finest is stuck in our head, making us think that church is a place to go once a week and if anything spiritual is to take place pastor will do it, after all that is what we pay him to do while the rest of the congregation goes on their merry way enjoying their lives, but that can't be farther from the truth!
The disciples were admiring the temple buildings and Jesus said to them, "Not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Jesus came to do away with the old priesthood, including the temple, rituals and Old Testament rules and regulations and He took them all to the cross saying that He would do a new thing! The new thing is a temple built of living stones, a new royal priesthood of believers filled with His Holy Spirit and sent into the world to establish the kingdom of God!
We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head-Christ-from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint (us) supplies, according to the effective working by which every part (us) does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:14-16
AMEND YOUR WAYS
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. "Do not trust in these lying words, saying, 'The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.' " Jeremiah 7:3,4
The prophet Jeremiah wasn't very popular among the people of Israel as he was always rebuking them for their lack of passion for the Lord and their rebellious ways, just as it is today in many of the churches, especially in America where complacency has become the norm. Today however we are too smart to allow some glassy eyed prophet, spewing out rebukes in our comfortable laid back cathedrals to upset our dead ritualistic services, why we have to get out by 12:00 to watch the football game!
Jesus did the same thing when He approached the leaders of His church in Jerusalem when He said to them, "You appear righteous on the outside, but inwardly you are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness." The leadership had become lazy and comfortable and allowed people to buy and sell outside the temple where Jesus turned over their tables and rebuked them all. I wonder what He would do today in our consumer driven culture, selling everything from books to anointing oil from Israel? "Hypocrites, how shall you escape the sentence of Hell?"
Jeremiah warned God's people to repent and amend their ways lest they end up like His place (temple) at Shiloh where a fat lazy priest named Eli and his sons were committing wickedness before the Lord. His sons were stealing from the offerings and bedding the temple prostitutes and Eli refused to stop it or discipline them which brought death to them all and the theft by the enemy of the ark of the covenant that represented the very presence of God! What would Jeremiah say to God's people today?
"Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, "and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations'? "Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it," says the Lord. Jeremiah 7:9-11
Your servant in Christ, Timothy Laughlin