“Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you” – The Apostle Paul to the Gentile believers, Romans 11:20-21.
The American Christian Church is NOT the pure, spotless Bride pictured within the New Testament. Rather than “a pure virgin,” she’s becoming an “adulterous whore,” turning her attention to every sensual pleasure she can embrace. ADULTERY is having an intimate relationship with someone other than your spouse, and a WHORE, by definition, is “a prostitute; or a woman who is sexually promiscuous.” The American Christian church is cheating on God with other lovers which she enjoys more, while giving lip service to God and Jesus Christ.
IDOL #1 – SPORTS
Sports, for example, is an idol for many Christians; in fact, there are many Christian men who would rather watch the football game on Sunday night than they would go to church or spend time with God praying or reading the Bible. In fact, sports is so much an idol for many Christians that churches had to quit having Sunday night services due to the lack of attendance.
IDOL #2 – PROHIBITED SEXUAL PLEASURE
Another idol in the church is prohibited sexual pleasure. For example, there’s homosexual priests and pastors, Christians who are involved in fornication (pre-marital sex), adultery, incest, and more recently, those who believe that positions within the church should be given to people from the LGBTQ community, and all in the name of “love, acceptance, and inclusion.”
Also, according to recent studies, 60% of Christian men, including pastors, ministers, Bible Teachers, and TV evangelists, are addicted to porn, and in the next generation, these numbers are expected to greatly increase. And one gay pastor says that it’s perfectly normal and okay for people to be involved in premarital sex. But we have to wonder when priests are sexually abusing young boys, pastors and deacons are cheating on their wives, or even famous TV evangelists are visiting prostitutes, then where are the examples of holiness for people to follow? If the leaders are not living holy lives as examples, then how can we expect those under their leadership to be living holy lives? It’s sad to think that these people believe that God is fooled and is not aware of these people’s sinful behaviors and actions, when the truth is that He’s not fooled at all.
IDOL #3 – GREED, WEALTH AND MATERIALISM
Another idol within the church is greed, wealth, and materialism. Rather than seeking the Presence and holiness of God, people are seeking more money, bigger houses, fancier cars, and even an airplane or two. Several years ago, my wife and I went to a nearby church to hear a famous TV evangelist who would be speaking there. We were looking forward to hearing Him preach and talk about God, but instead, he spent the entire time talking about his new airplane that he had just bought. No mention of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or anything from the Bible, just his airplane. My wife and I left severely disappointed.
IDOL #4 – CAREERS & FAMILY
A fourth idol we see in the church is the dedication that people have to their careers and family. It’s not bad to have a career or a family, but when they are placed on a higher level of priority than spending time with God, then they’ve become an idol within that person’s life.
WHAT IS “SPIRITUAL ADULTERY?”
To place anything in our life of higher importance or priority than God, Jesus and the Bible is to commit adultery against God. And just like ancient Israel placed idols in place of God, and even alongside God, God still accused them of committing adultery against Him. For example, in Ezekiel, God tells Israel, “But you did trust in your own beauty, and played the harlot because of your renown [fame], and poured out your fornications on every one that passed by; his it was” (Ezekiel 16:15).
But the modern Christian, like ancient Israel, is confident in its own position, thinking that God would never punish them for their sins, but like ancient Israel too late discovered, there are many Christians who will discover too late that they are likewise wrong. It is just as easy for God to cut off the Christian from His Kingdom as it is for God to cut off the unbelieving Jew.
THE DECEPTION OF REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY
To rationalize its own sin and rejection of God’s Word, most expressions of Christianity continue the DECEPTION of REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY by teaching that the New Testament (representing the church) has replaced the Old Testament (representing Israel); therefore, by continuing this DECEPTION, most Christians believe that none of the laws that God gave in the Old Testament, particularly those in the first five books, apply to Christians. They erroneously teach that they all ended at the cross; therefore, freeing Christians to ignore everything that God taught prior to the New Testament.
However, now there are pastors, ministers, Bible teachers and TV evangelists who are teaching people that Jesus and His life and ministry was also under “the Old Testament,” so therefore, nothing that He taught applies to Christians either. The only thing that applies, they teach, is what is taught from the cross on. Therefore, the biblical Jesus has likewise been eliminated from Christian teaching.
THE DECEPTION OF “ANOTHER JESUS” AND “ANOTHER GOSPEL”
Instead, the modern church has created for itself “another Jesus” and “another gospel.” Rather than the biblical Jesus, who lived an obedient, holy life by keeping God’s commandments as our example of what we are to do, their “Jesus” lived a rich, wealthy lifestyle, violating the commandments whenever they contradicted His “love message.” And instead of the biblical Jesus who died in our place, paying the penalty for our sins as our holy sin-offering, and as our example of how we are to carry our crosses and die to self daily, the modern church Jesus,” when He died, His “righteousness” was imputed or transferred over onto Christians. So they reason, if we are already the “righteousness of God in Christ,” then what reason is there for us living an obedient, holy life when Jesus already did it and then transferred all that “righteousness” over to them? So now, they have all of that righteousness without them having to do anything at all, except “to believe what they’ve been told.”
Interestingly, even though “all His righteousness has been transferred to them,” they believe, do they demonstrate the reality of this by living obedient, holy lives? No, these same Christians commit the same sins and abominations as those who have rejected Christ. And yet, they say, because they went down to the altar and said “the sinner’s prayer,” at some point in their life, they now have “an automatic ticket to heaven,” regardless of how they live their life because after all, they say, they and all their sins are now “hidden” in Christ, so God doesn’t see them or their sins anymore. These people are going to be extremely shocked when they die and stand before Christ, because they are going to learn too late that what they were taught was not true, but was a huge DECEPTION.
THE DECEPTION OF THE ALTAR CALL
Going up to the altar and saying “the sinner’s prayer” is not all that you need to do to be saved. That is only step #1. You still need to be baptized in water (step #2), and you still need to develop a relationship with Christ. Why are we so dumb to believe that God is going to allow people in heaven who have not taken the time to follow through on their repentance by getting baptized and by developing a relationship with Him? How many of you, I wonder, call yourself “a Christian,” but you don’t think enough of God to spend any time praying or even reading the Bible, so you can learn who He is and what He’s like? There are Christians who are dying every single day and going to Hell, because they believed this DECEPTIVE LIE that the “sinner’s prayer” at an altar equals a “free pass to heaven.”
When will we learn that there’s no getting into heaven unless we’ve had an inner transformation, an inner change of heart and behavior, resulting in us living sanctified, holy lives before God? Without that, you’re not getting into heaven and neither am I. This is what it takes. Even Hebrews 12:14 says, “without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.” How do you expect to get to heaven and not see the Lord? Simply put, a two minute prayer, if that, at an altar where you’ve repeated it after a minister or an evangelist doesn’t save you. It can be the first step in this process, but it alone won’t do the job. And I think by looking at the lives of those people in the church today that I’ve described, we can see that this is, in fact, a DECEPTIVE LIE.
THE CHURCH HAS MISERABLY FAILED
The truth that no one seems to want to acknowledge is that the church has miserably failed to positively influence American society as “the light of the world” or as “the salt of the earth.” Instead, American society has negatively corrupted the church to the point that there’s no longer a distinction between those who are “not saved” outside of the church and those who “are saved” within the church. I’ve even heard many times, Christians say that they’re no different than those who are no saved. So if there’s “no difference,” then why bother with Christ at all? And unfortunately, within the church, there are Christians who are more interested in Girls Gone Wild and 50 Shades of Grey than they are in spending time with God in prayer or in reading their Bible.
THE DEVASTATING IMPACT OF BIBLICAL ILLITERACY
According to recent statistics and studies, 80% of people in the church have not even read through the Bible once. In fact, in a recent survey about what people know about the Bible, there were people who thought that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife, Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife, and even Pinocchio and Harry Potter were stories based on the Bible. Our extremely high level of biblical illiteracy in this country is not only clearly evident within the church, but it’s also evidence among students attending Bible colleges as well. In Kenneth Berding’s online article “The Crisis of Biblical Illiteracy & What We Can Do About It,” one Bible college student didn’t know the difference between King Saul in the Old Testament and the Apostle Saul in the New Testament, and another thought that Joshua, the successor of Moses, was the son of “a nun.” In response, Berding writes,
I can’t imagine such a thing happening to a group of German Lutherans in the 16th century, or to English Puritans in the 17th century, or to Wesleyans in the 18th century, or to modern Chinese-mainland Christians even if they only have access to a few Bibles in their house church. Or even to our believing great-grandparents in the United States. My paternal grandfather, who never came into personal relationship with Jesus Christ, read his Bible regularly and had many passages committed to memory.
Several years ago, I was speaking to a pastor who had the job of teaching the Old Testament to a group of students who were studying to get their ordination as pastors. He asked them, “How many of you have read the Old Testament?” Out of a whole room of people, only two of them raised their hand. How are these pastors supposed to teach their congregations about the Bible when they haven’t even read the whole Bible for themselves?
In his article, Kenneth Berding goes on to write,
In the book of Amos, people who experienced a “famine of hearing the words of the Lord” are portrayed as undergoing divine judgment. Amos paints a picture of people without access to God’s revelation searching for a message from God like desperate people — hungry and dehydrated — in search of food and water (Amos 8:11–12). In Amos they want it, but are not permitted it. In our case, although we have unlimited access, we often don’t want it.
As Berding noted here in his article, to be without God’s law, His Words, in our life is, in actuality, to be under God’s curse and judgment. How can we sit there and boast, saying, “Thank God, we’re not under the law anymore!” (meaning the Law of God) and not realize we’re thanking God for being under His curse and judgment? There’s not a single passage of Scripture anywhere where being without God’s law, His Word, is a blessing – NOWHERE!
JESUS AND GOD’S LAW ARE ONE
In fact, did you know that in Romans 10:4, Paul writes, “For Christ is the END of the Law for righteousness to everyone who [continues to] believes.” The verb “believes” is a present participle, which refers to “continuous” or “repeated action,” which is why I wrote “continues to” in brackets. Also, the word “end” here does not mean “the termination of,” which is how most Christians read this verse. Instead, the Greek word here means “goal, purpose, or aim.” In English, when we speak of our “endgame,” we are talking about our ultimate goal, and the word “end” here is being used to mean the same thing. “Jesus is the ‘endgame’ or the ‘goal’ of the law for righteousness to everyone who continues to believe.”
Jesus doesn’t REPLACE the Law, but He is a living example of what it is trying to accomplish within our lives. Therefore, logically, the more like Jesus we become, the more obedient to the Law we become, and the more obedient to the Law we become, then the more like Jesus we become. We also see this idea in John 1:1-2,
In the beginning was THE WORD, and THE WORD was with God, and THE WORD was God. The same was in the beginning with God.
This WORD was ultimately written down and described in the Scriptures. This is why Jesus tells the religious leaders,
You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life. (John 5:39-40)
But what Scriptures are they searching? There was no New Testament, so obviously, they are looking at the Old Testament, and Jesus says here, that the Old Testament is what bears witness to Him. Did you know that? Do you see Jesus all over the Old Testament, or do you also have “a veil” over your eyes as well? And then just a few verses later, He tells them,
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who [continues to] accuse you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for He wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words. (John 5:45-47)
What Jesus says here is “mind-blowing” to the modern Christian. Jesus connects Himself and His teachings to Moses. He says, “if you believed Moses, you would believe Me,” and why? Because He says, “He wrote of Me.” In other words, the written law of God (the first five books of the Bible), Jesus says, is a written description of Him, and I’m not talking about just the sacrifices, but all of the five books. He’s throughout all of it. He’s, in fact, the living embodiment of all that it teaches.
And not only that, but Moses’ writings are foundational for understanding Jesus. He says, “if you do NOT BELIEVE his writings,” then Jesus asks, “how will you believe My words?” So by rejecting God’s law that was handed down by God to Moses on Mt. Siani, you reject the foundation and context you need to understand and believe what Jesus taught. You can’t separate Jesus from God’s Law, for they are ONE. To reject the Law of God is to reject Christ, and to reject Christ is to reject the Law of God.
A king and His law are one, and Jesus is King and God’s law is the law of His Kingdom. The King embodies His laws, and the laws reflect the character and nature of the King. So whatever part of the Law you reject is a part of Christ you reject, and if you only accept the New Testament as being for today, then that means that you’ve rejected 60% of who Jesus is.
Also, throughout the Bible, God says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments,” but Christianity says, “we can love God without keeping His commandments.” The question is do we obey our church and denomination, or do we obey God and His Word? I wish I could say their teachings are in agreement, but they are not.
JESUS REPRESENTS THE LAW, THE PHARISEES RELIGION
Christians erroneously believe that the Pharisees in the New Testament are a picture of the Law, but they are NOT, Jesus is. He is the perfect picture of God’s KINGDOM, and the only one who truly kept the Law of God. The conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees was over the issue of CONTROL. The Pharisees had been working for about two hundred years to place Israel under the submission to a RELIGION, but Jesus wanted to return Israel back to KINGDOM. The KINGDOM, not RELIGION, was the focus of all that Jesus did and taught.
So if anything, the Pharisees are a perfect picture of RELIGION, those who distort, and even replace. the meaning of the Law with their own teachings for their own convenience. In many ways, the Pharisees are a picture of the modern RELIGION of Christianity. For just like the Pharisees, the modern Christian church has likewise distorted and replaced the teachings of God’s law with their own.
They’ve replaced the biblical Sabbath with their own day of worship, Sunday; they’ve replaced the biblical feasts given by God with their own man-made holidays that are steeped in paganism and the occult (Christmas, Lent, Easter, Halloween). They contradict God’s food’s laws with their own belief they can eat whatever they want, and they even expect God to bless something, He specifically told them not to eat. And none of these changes, I might add, can be defended from the New Testament, once we place the text back into its original Greek context and language.
And instead of living of sanctified, holy lives before God, they’ve replaced that with their own belief that Jesus did it for them, so they don’t have to, and it’s okay for them to sin then, because after all, God doesn’t see them or their sin anyway, all He sees is “Jesus.” And again, rather than this belief pushing people towards becoming more obedient, more holy in their lives, Christians only end up going in the opposite direction: they become more disobedient, more sinful, more evil.
THE AMERICAN CHURCH IS LOST AND HEADING TO HELL
The American Christian church is going down the BROAD WAY that leads to death, destruction and hell. In Matthew 7, Jesus describes two ways: one way leads to life and the other leads to death and destruction. He says,
Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and MANY are those who [continue to] enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that [continues to] lead to life, and FEW are those who [continue to] find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
There are TWO GATES (a wide one and a narrow one) and TWO WAYS (a broad one and a narrow one). There’s the WIDE GATE and BROAD WAY that many are entering, but they are all on their way to death and destruction, for just as the Bible teaches, “there’s a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death” (Proverbs 14:12).
But then there’s the SMALL, NARROW GATE and the NARROW WAY that leads to life. Jesus is the SMALL, NARROW GATE, but an obedient, sanctified, holy lifestyle is the NARROW WAY that leads to life. The NARROW WAY is the hard road, which is why Jesus said that “FEW are those who find it.” Most people want the “easy way,” which is why they take the BROAD WAY, but the easy one is the one that leads to death.
There’s been many Christians who have properly been through the SMALL, NARROW GATE (Christ), but then they leave the NARROW WAY, because of its difficulty, and they go back to the BROAD WAY. The problem is that they mistakenly believe that because they came through the NARROW GATE (Christ) that this will automatically entitle them to LIFE, when they are on the BROADWAY to DEATH and DESTRUCTION, which is not true.
We not only need to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior and be baptized, but there also needs to be an inner transformation, an inward change in our attitude and behavior towards sin, which is becomes evident by us staying on the NARROW WAY, and NOT going back to the BROAD WAY.
THERE’S STILL TIME TO GET ON THE WAY TO LIFE
If you are on the BROAD WAY right now, I want you to know that there’s still time for you to make the right choice – to get off the BROAD WAY that leads to death – and to come back to Christ, the NARROW GATE, and to this time, stay on the NARROW WAY that leads to life. The choice is yours: life or death? And contrary to the popular theology being taught, that salvation is FREE, Jesus makes it clear that following Him comes at a cost. He gave His all for us, so in return, we are to give our all to Him.
We are to die to self daily, placing our lives and all that we have on the altar, as living sacrifices. Paul writes,
I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
Jesus says, in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says to those wanting to follow Him,
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple [i.e., cannot be a Christian].
There is a cost to following Jesus (Luke 14:26-35), but it’s only in following Jesus where you will ultimately receive life. He also taught that this NARROW GATE (Himself) will not be open forever. That there will come a time where He will no longer accept anyone who comes to Him:
Strive to enter in to the NARROW DOOR (GATE); for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets us and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside, and knock on the door, saying, “Lord, Lord, open up to us!” Then He will answer and say to you, “I do not know where you are from.” Then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank in Your Presence, and You taught in our streets;” and He will say, “I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.” (Luke 13:24-27; Emphasis Mine)
If the American church keeps going on the path that it’s on, it will become a part of the “Great Whore” described in Revelation, as well as find itself receiving the Mark of the Beast. I’ve already one pastor tell his congregation that even if they did take the Mark of the Beast that god would still forgive them, and they would still be allowed to go to heaven. This pastor is DECEIVED, and he LIED to his congregation since the Bible makes it clear that there’s no forgiveness from God once a person takes the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:16-18; 14:9-11).
Right now, the door is still open, but the time for God to shut it is right around the corner. You don’t have too much longer to decide because soon, it will be too late. And just as God shut the door of the Ark, and then the floods of destruction came, so now, the day is coming when God again will shut the door, and then His judgment will again come upon the earth. You don’t want to be here when that happens.
What can you do? Do what Peter told the crowds to do when they asked him the same thing:
Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself. (Acts 2:38-39)
REPENT – Confess your sins, accept the death of Jesus on the cross as your sin-offering, thanking Him for dying in your place, and ask Him to forgive you of your sins and for liberating you from their power and control over your life. Then complete your repentance by being baptized in water, dying to your old life and coming up again out of the water as a “new creation in Christ.”
DEVELOP YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD by spending time in prayer, reading your Bible, sharing what’s God’s done in your life with others, and by attending a church where you can gain further insight in your study of the Bible, and by gaining encouragement from fellow believers. Just make sure that you attend a church that believes that ALL of the Bible is for today, both Old Testament and New Testament. The amount of churches that believe in the Whole Bible is continuing to shrink, so this may take some time. Just don’t give up. Ask Jesus to lead you to the right one.