Sunday, September 11, 2011

GOD HATES ALL RELIGION


A. BROTHER

“I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
I cannot stand your assemblies.
Even though you bring Me burnt offerings,
and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
--Amos 5:21-24


          These are hard words, but they must be spoken today, to the modern churches.  God is speaking, and we must listen.
          The Lord God Almighty is fed up with our religious posturing and our self-seeking modern Christianity.  We have hewn for ourselves cisterns that cannot hold Living Water, but have made sure we have plenty to eat, and plenty of music, and great religious feasts and assemblies.  We bring what we consider our ‘offerings’ of carefully crafted entertainments, the choicest of programs and talents to display.
          God has no regard for them.  He is not listening to our noisy and insistent sounds of self-satisfied worship.
          There is no obedience to the Word of God among His chosen.  We have abandoned simple obedience in favor of flowery songs.  We have crafted a fine and beautiful religious world with our own hands, and our leaders tell us constantly how fine and good it is.  They proclaim the favor of the Lord, and encourage us to keep on with this religious life.
          God is turning His back.
          God wants our obedience.  He wants our love, which is proven by our obedience to what He commands.  And as Jesus told us, His commands are simple.
         
“As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you.
Now remain in My love.
If you obey My commands,
You will remain in My love,
just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands,
and remain in His love…
My command is this:
Love each other as I have loved you.”
--John 15:9,10,12

          Like the religious Jews of Amos’ time, we choose instead to make a lot of noise, and ignore the commands of God.
          We don’t love one another, and sacrifice for one another.  We don’t even know each other.  We don’t obey, so we are not in Christ.  As the apostle John said, we claim to be Christ’s, but our disobedience shows we don’t belong to the light.
          God is furious.  We think because of our affluence, and our pleasant lives, and our wonderful worship music, and our fine pastors and teachers, and our great buildings and busy programs we can get Him to ignore the Truth.
          The problem is this:  God is not a man, and we can’t fool Him like we try to fool ourselves and other people.  He is God, and He made us, and He knows us, and He will not tolerate our trickery and deceit.
          Almighty God is going to sift us and that sifting has begun.  But it is just started.  He will discipline those He loves.  If you are without testing, without severe trials, without difficulty and opposition for your walk with Christ, then you are an illegitimate child of God, and not the real thing.  If you claim to be in Christ, then you will eventually meet great tribulation, which will prove either the validity or the invalidity of your claim.
          God says today, to American Christians:

“I will pronounce My judgments on My people
Because of their wickedness in forsaking Me,
in burning incense to other gods
and in worshiping what their hands have made.”
--Jeremiah 1:16

          God will bring judgment.  He is bringing it now.
          Give up the worship of what your own hands have made.  Your wonderful religion is a stench in the nostrils of the Lord.  Learn true humility, practice love for others, including your enemies, and justice for others, including the poor and the needy.  Don’t ignore the needs around you any more.  Go to your knees and repent, deeply, and grieve over your sins and the sins of your so-called Christian brothers.  Those who claim Christ must confess and turn away from sin, not just give lip service to belonging to the Lord Jesus.  We must live lives of love, as He did, and lay down our life for His Body, which is the ekklesia, the ‘called out to be together’ people of God.  We must call the world to true repentance and tell them the Kingdom of God is among us. 
          No more compromise.
          If you hear this, and you are offended, then you are one of the problems that God will deal with.  You must understand that this Word is His Word, not our own.  You must understand that though men stand against this Word, and they always will, as they did throughout history, God will honor His Word, and it will prevail.  Modern American society, including the compromised, ugly, comfortable, religious sub-culture we call modern American Christianity, is judged already.  We have fallen, and cannot get up.  The foundations are rotten, and the building is flawed, and in the tough times to come, it will come crashing down.  Our religious observances and man-made traditions, whether originally born in the first century, or the twenty-first century, will be brought low and become dust.  No man-made extra-biblical or anti-biblical tradition, no matter how long it’s been in practice, will make it through the pruning process in God’s Vineyard.
          God has weighed us in the balances and found us wanting.
          The Kingdom is not in our hands, though we think we have commandeered it and made it in our image.  Our fancy churches, great pulpits, smooth sermons, easy curricula, rich and comfortable buildings, busy programs for every age, great music and worship services—all of it will disappear when the trials and testing come.  There is no room for these things in the fiery furnace.  Only Jesus, and His Spirit, and His will, and not our own fancy ideas about what His church is supposed to be doing.
          Christ came to break us out of old religious molds, but we have fashioned our own, to replace them.

“My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken Me,
the Spring of Living Water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
Jeremiah 2:13

          Do you understand that this means us?  God wasn’t working fast enough so we have created our own marketing for the churches.  God wasn’t teaching us fast enough so we have taken it upon ourselves to created thousands of books, and hundreds of seminars and meetings to speed up our knowledge.  God wasn’t giving us a regimented church life at all, so we have created our own solid traditions of time, place, and church life.  There was too much flexibility and lack of religious form in the New Testament church, so we have replaced the simple Truth with our great ideas about church.  God designed things to messy, and we like order.  God designed things to be dynamic, and we like steady ‘you can count on sameness’ religion.
          The old wineskins we create by our own efforts cannot possibly hold God’s powerful New Wine, and God will not pour the New Wine of His Holy Spirit into man-made religious systems.  So the impasse is:  God’s Way from Scripture, or our way that does not please Him.  Which will we choose?  It is our choice alone.

          Let’s give up our own ways.  Go to our knees.  Repent, and seek theKingdom of God, not our religious ways.  Before the darkness overtakes us, and because we have lived in the light of our own torches so long, we cannot negotiate the narrow, dark Way with only the light of Christ to keep us.
          Learn to walk in the darkness, with only His Hand, and His Spirit to guide you.  He is faithful, and He will never leave you, though you give up everything--all your comfort and safety--to walk the mountains with Him. Make the decision to take the dangerous, difficult road with Jesus and His small band of true disciples, the ekklesia,
the ‘called out to be together’ people of God, surrounded by love, hope, and empowered to live the life of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

5 comments:

  1. Exactly what I am hearing. Praise God.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amen A Brother! Some may scoff, some may think you're crazy, but this is the heart of God in our day and our 'American' church. May He grant us repentence before its too late. Keep speaking the truth brother. It's hard, and it's certainly not popular -- but Jesus said the TRUTH will set us free! May we glorify the Father.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't keep silent. I have no choice in this matter. This message isn't my own, and if it were up to me, I'd choose easier things to talk of, and more pleasant things to dwell on. However, God is Sovereign, and He decides what needs saying. May Christ be glorified. May He increase, and I decrease.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It almost never fails that what The Lord is teaching me ends up being something you post about.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sifted Believer:
    It's because we're both just trying to listen to the Word of God, and to the Spirit of God. So glad you benefit. I am really just a voice in the wilderness, for those whom God brings to listen.
    May you be strengthened in Christ today.
    Your brother,
    A. Brother

    ReplyDelete

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