Read part two: Clear the Old Paths (7/16)
I make no apology when I say that this message may be the most important message I’ve shared in the past twenty years.
And I pray you’ll open your ears to hear and your heart to receive, because Jesus gave us this promise in Matthew 13 that those who have ears to hear, eyes to see and hearts to receive will be given the treasures of the Kingdom. But those who don’t, even what they have will be taken away. And we are watching that happen rapidly. Churches that once preached a clear gospel are now turning away from it, because they closed their eyes, stopped their ears and shut up their heart.
Jesus was in the northern region of Galilee, at the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, at the foot of a mountain and a large crowd began to gather. So He sat down on a rock and began to teach them. That lesson that Jesus taught that day was recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 5-7.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
On another occasion 600 years before this, around 6 B.C., God gave a similar message to the Prophet Jeremiah. Judah and Jerusalem were in a moral free-fall.
The leadership of the nation was greedy for bribery and extortion. The judges were ruling unjustly. The spiritual leaders of the nation were rewriting the Holy Scripture and were redefining those things that had been clearly known as truth.
Adultery, fornication, and same-sex relationships had become commonplace. The nation was filled with violence. Widows and orphans were unjustly treated.
And in this moral cauldron that God commanded Jeremiah to go to the temple and preach these words:
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not walk in it.” Also, I set watchmen over you, saying,
“Listen to the sound of the trumpet!” But they said, “We will not listen.” Therefore hear, you nations, And know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people—The fruit of their thoughts, because they have not heeded My words nor My law, but rejected it.For what purpose to Me comes frankincense from Sheba, and sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, Nor your sacrifices sweet to Me.'” Jeremiah 6:16-20
God has clearly given to them, and to us, this word. There is a clear way to find rest!
What makes this doubly sad is that the preachers contributed to the blindness, because they were rewriting truth and redefining those things that used to be clear.
And as they were doing this, they were doing what Ezekiel says, “Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.” Ezekiel 22:26
We have some of that going on today.
A year ago, regarding same-sex marriage, super-mega church pastor Brian Houston said “an ongoing conversation is happening at Hillsongs. This is a conversation the church needs to have and we are all on a journey as we grapple with the question of merging biblical truth with a changing world.” (Christian Post article here.)
In my previous article, “Does God Ever Say Maybe” I quoted 3 other pastors who are receiving the LGBT community into membership and even call them Christians.
I have a question.
On what basis are they Christians?
Because they attend your church? Because they go through water baptism and become a member?
Following Jesus and “eager to live faithful to the gospel” is defined by Jesus Himself when He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments”.
How can someone clearly defy the Word of God and then have their pastor say to them, “You’re a Christian and you can fully follow Jesus and be a member. Just live a holy life, be faithful, be godly…”
Wait a minute!
So are we now saying that social norm defines what is is holy and godly? Are we now saying that man can set the definition for what is holy and godly. Or can the Supreme Court rule what what is holy and godly living.
This is what Jesus said, “Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”
God said, “Be holy for I am holy.”
Almighty God says that holiness is not set by cultural norms, by the Supreme Court or the redefining of a group of clergy, even if they have Ph.D.s in theology.
They don’t define holy!
God Himself defines holy!
So, why is there a grappling? Why is there a need for merging the Word of God with a changing world?
Don’t be deceived. Tolerance and political correctness do not have as it’s objective the equalizing of the base so that everyone can be equally accepted.
What tolerance means is, “You will begin to tolerate what you at one time knew as wrong.”It means that we will now be forced to accept their behavior and if we don’t you will be punished.
How else can you explain that wonderful Christian couple in Portland whom the courts of Oregon silenced and fined $135,000.00 because they chose to not make a cake for lesbian wedding.
The social engineering that Lyndon Johnson began in the 1960’s has come to this. Social engineering means, “You will tolerate us and embrace us, and you will be silent. If you are not silent, we will punish you.”
But I say to you, Almighty God will not be silenced!
Though there may be preachers in the church who will redefine and rewrite. It doesn’t change God’s Word.
“Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89
If we soften our voice and allow tolerance and political correctness dictate what we will and will not preach, the light in the church in America will be snuffed out.
But I will stand because the church has her finest hour in the hour of persecution!