For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:17
I haven’t written in a while, and I am not sure what this post will turn into, or if I will even publish it. I just want to get my thoughts out. I want to see what the Word of God might say, and if there is any exhortation and encouragement that will bubble to the surface.
I guess, what the Lord is telling me recently is that I need to prepare. I don’t know what for, but He has spoken to me that I need to get my priorities in order. I have been focusing on those things more and more, and especially in these last three weeks.
He has also been impressing on me to purify my heart, and be even more obedient to His Holy Word.
It is so easy to get distracted and discouraged. Like the psalmist I have seen mean people prosper, and I have felt the injustice. I have asked in my heart, is my way passed over by the Lord?
Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Isaiah 40:28
I mean of course it is not! I know that. But there are times when I have scratched my head and wondered what is going on.
I went through a season where Psalm 73 actually took on personal meaning:
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no pangs in their death,
But their strength is firm.
They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like other men.
Therefore pride serves as their necklace;
Violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes bulge with abundance;
They have more than heart could wish.
They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression;
They speak loftily.
They set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue walks through the earth.
It guess I always read it, as if they Psalmist was talking about those OUTSIDE the faith. I never related to it, because I don’t want to go back to the old life.
It takes on new meaning when you see it apply to those who call themselves brothers.
I have seen so many Christians hurt by these so called brothers, in church leadership.
There was no accountability.
No rescue for the helpless.
And the brothers continue to prosper; they hide behind their reputation.
It stumbled me.
Leaders in the church, biting and devouring the sheep.
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them.”
“Why Lord? Why don’t You correct them? Why don’t You fix them? Why don’t You /judge/ them, maybe? Don’t You see Your injured sheep? Why do they get away with everything?”
Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,
And washed my hands in innocence.
For all day long I have been plagued,
And chastened every morning.
Discouragement seeps in. Why do I even bother? Why do I even care? Why do I even try? Why do I even pray for them? /reality/
But the Lord, tells me to read on . . .
If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.
When I thought how to understand this,
It was too painful for me—
Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their end.
Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors.
As a dream when one awakes,
So, Lord, when You awake,
You shall despise their image.
Thus my heart was grieved,
And I was vexed in my mind.
I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.
The Lord is coming.
He is a righteous judge.
He will reward each one according to their works.
He sees MORE than I see.
He sees the heart.
He sees my heart.
He sees MORE of my heart than I do.
And when He shows it to me, I need to respond with obedience to Him.
“As for you, follow Me.”–John 21:22
I want to turn my eyes from all the distractions, inside the church.
I want to turn my eyes from all the distractions, outside the church.
I want to follow Jesus.
I want to work out my salvation with fear and trembling.
I want to look to Jesus, the author and FINISHER of my faith.
I want to be one who does not just hear the WORD, but does what it says.
I want to be one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
I want to be one that Jesus KNOWS.
I want to have my things together, and be ready to go.
There will be tares in that Day.
I don’t want to be numbered among them.
There will be those who say “Lord, Lord! Don’t you know me?”
There will be a Day when the Lord divides the sheep from the goats.
I need to draw closer and closer to the Lord as that Day approaches.
Christians are angry that the nation passed the Gay Marriage law.
The sky may indeed fall.
But I think that we need to use this time to focus on ourselves.
What sin do I tolerate IN MY HEART?
We can’t choose Jesus for anyone but ourselves.
We may be persecuted for our stance on gay marriage.
But before that even happens, let’s clean house.
Let’s say NO to the immorality inside of us.
Because I know that there are many heterosexuals sitting in churches every week tolerating pornography, unclean thoughts, adulteries, idolatries, hatred, outbursts of wrath, drunkenness, etc.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you.
But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
We WERE these things.
But we should not still BE these things.
We should have been WASHED, SANCTIFIED and JUSTIFIED.
The Holy Spirit makes us new. He helps us.
We should not still be these things.
And may God help us if we are deceived, thinking we are okay, when we are not.
We have time, right now.
We still have this moment to repent.
WE need to take the speck out of our own eyes, so we can help others.
We need to purify our own minds, so we can be vessels of honor.
The Lord desires obedience.
The Lord desires holiness.
The Lord desires our love.
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3
Let’s be washed.
The WORLD sees a dirty church.
They see a church of self-righteous snobs.
They see a church that DEFENDED a child molester three weeks ago.
But is ANGRY at a couple of people, who don’t BELIEVE in Jesus, that want to follow their own different desires.
The world may support gay marriage, but at least they agree that it is wrong to molest a child.
But if you are a /famous/ Christian, we say, “It was a mistake, Jesus forgives.”
I don’t want to be like that.
I don’t want to minimize the sin in the church. We need to call it out and learn from it.
We need to make an example of what happens when people in the church commit crimes.
It should be a warning, not a pride parade.
I saw an article saying that Josh Duggar is a hero! It says that not only is he a hero, because we now know he molested 5 girls, but he is the BEST type of hero because he is a “broken hero.” So when we find sin in the camp, we pick up the criminal, carry him on our shoulders and add his name to the list of heroes in Hebrews 11?
Christians say we have to ignore it, because if we speak against this tragedy we are throwing stones. But no one is trying to kill Josh!
The church needs to stand up for victims of abuse and say, “Hey! It happens even in what we would think are the most perfect of families! What should we do to protect other kids from this? How can we raise awareness?”
That didn’t happen.
Like a dysfunctional family, Christians publicly dismissed this scandal and shamed anyone who thought this was horrible, for “not understanding the gospel of grace.”
Jesus died to pay the punishment for our sins.
This actually means that He hated that sin enough that He thought someone should die to atone for it.
It doesn’t mean that He thinks it is just a mistake, and we all make mistakes, just hide it.
He hates it.
I don’t want to be like the Duggars– who condemn the sins of non-Christians, and add human rules to Biblical teaching to create a long skirted, patriarchal, “Super-Christianity,” all while hiding sin /crime/ so grievous that even Non-Christians are disgusted by it /child sex abuse/.
Yes, gay marriage is wrong.
But we need to clean up our own house.
We need to start taking a stand against ALL sexual immorality, even the stuff we think isn’t AS BAD— premarital sex, pornography, lust . . . and as far as I can tell, I guess Christians now are ready to minimize pedophilia . . . Who would have thought?
We have a form of godliness . . . but we are denying it’s power.
Let’s stop pretending we are better than the world, when we are hiding the truth.
We have our own hidden sins.
We need to deal harshly with ourselves, before we scold the world.
We are children of God, and we know better.
“The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:50-51
It is time to get our house in order.
The Master is coming.
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now
“If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?
1 Peter 4:17-18