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Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Fitting Comparison

Contrary to popular belief, human nature has not evolved over the course of millennia, but rather has remained eerily predictable. That which was, is again, and refusing to learn from the mistakes of those that came before us, we fall into the same snares, make the same foolish choices, and distance ourselves from God just as our ancestors did.
We have grown tragically comfortable with paying God lip service, with cloaking indifference in the robes of tolerance, and with justifying disobedience by convincing ourselves that God has changed, and His standard has been lowered. We march in orderly fashion toward eternity, dragging our feet in a semi-conscious fashion, no longer bothered by things that only a few years prior would have enraged us, and stirred within us a righteous anger.
With our mouths we say one thing, with our hearts we pursue the contrary, finding comfort in the idea that we are in the majority, and surely God couldn’t punish a majority. We chase after the extraordinary, we want to see the mystical, we want to experience something new and different, no longer content with the simplicity of intimacy with Jesus.
We’ve been deceived into believing that we can bypass prayer, we’ve been deceived into believing that we can bypass righteousness, and still experience the power of God in the fullness of its glory.
As far as sound doctrine is concerned, progress itself has relegated it to irrelevance, like the pony express riders of old, or the telegraph. We’re too educated, too cultured, and too cosmopolitan to take the Word of God at face value. We find sound doctrine too rigid, too politically incorrect, too costly, and so we gravitate toward those who offer the widest path possible, never taking the time to consider where this wide path is leading. As long as we can do what we want, as long as we can satisfy the proclivities and appetites of the flesh without being challenged by the truth, church is great, and the preacher understands us and where we’re coming from, because he speaks to the big needs in our lives, such as greater self esteem, and a positive self image.
We view the men of God as entertainers, our offering as the admittance fee, and if we are not entertained, if we are not made to laugh and feel better about ourselves, we feel as though we haven’t gotten our money’s worth.
We’ve grown so accustomed to dry, monotone, lifeless presentations of a pseudo-gospel that whenever someone comes along who is sincerely passionate about the Word, and the power of God, when someone comes along who is uncompromising in the presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are stirred, but only to a certain point.
During the time of Ezekiel, God forewarned him of the attitude of the people, and their reaction to the warnings he was speaking. Although some twenty six hundred years have lapsed since God spoke to Ezekiel, the core of the message, and the implications are as relevant today as they were then. The spiritual condition of today’s modern churches and the spiritual condition of the people of Israel during Ezekiel’s time are eerily similar, and upon reflection one can draw a fitting comparison.
Ezekiel 33:30-32, “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them.”
I do not know what prompted this message to Ezekiel from the mouth of God. Perhaps Ezekiel began to see that more and more people were coming to hear him speak, perhaps he began to see that there was a growing interest in what the Lord was saying, but although the reason for this word is never given, the message is crystal clear.
Just because the people came to hear the word of the Lord, it did not mean that they followed through and did what the word of the Lord instructed.
Today there is a growing interest in the prophetic. The crowds that are gathering to hear what the Lord is saying are growing larger in number, the chorus of amen seems to get louder, and for many who have been preaching a warning message, and a message of coming judgment, this might seem like progress.
I recently received a letter from a brother who preaches a message very similar to our own ministry, basically a message of repentance and obedience toward God, and he was very excited because as he put it, ‘I think we’re finally making headway, I think the people are finally starting to listen.’
The problem has never been the listening, or the hearing, the problem has always been the doing. We are anxious to hear what will be, we are anxious to hear what the future holds, and once we have received this information, we gloss over the most important aspect of the word, namely what we must do in order to be spared and sheltered from the coming storms.
“Keep the repentance to yourself preacher, keep the need for holiness, just tell us what’s coming, and make it quick I have to get back to my life.”
What’s the point? What’s the point of knowing without doing? What’s the point of seeing prophecy unfold without being reconciled unto God and walking in His will?
Every time I preach and someone comes up to me to shake my hand and say ‘great message’, I just want to look them in the eyes and ask, ‘but will you do what the message instructed?’ So many hear the word ‘judgment’, but are somehow wholly immune to the word ‘repent.’
The underlying foundation of the message I preach is not judgment, but repentance that we might be spared the judgment that is reserved for the unrighteous. Maybe it’s my fault, maybe I don’t make myself clear enough, but I find no joy in the crowds getting bigger, or the message getting out, because I know a great majority will hear the words, but will not do them.
Knowing what is coming and not taking the necessary steps to make certain that our hearts are pure, and that we are walking in the will of God is allot like a man who is driving down the road, and sees a major wreck blocking all lanes, but rather than step on the break, he accelerates.
The church is hastening God’s judgment, because it refuses to obey Him, and those few who remain that still preach the uncompromising Word, are getting weary, and hoarse, and dismayed.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Matthew 16:24-28

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Mrs pugh said...

And we are so grateful to those courageous few who continue on, despite their weariness and hoarse voices. I think of Colossians 2:8 and I hope you know how many people apreciate that you stick to the principals of Christ. So keep plodding on Brother Michael, take a throat lozenge have a nap and be uplifted. God sees your heart and this good work.

Love in Christ,
Mrs. Pugh

Anonymous said...

"...convincing ourselves that God has changed, and His standard has been lowered."

The word says that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

I'm going to take this a little sideways, so please bare with me, as it has been a trying day, as there is no one to speak to about this at this time, so please forgive me and my ramblings.

I went to the funeral of a long time friend of ours, but that we hadn't seen in a while. The last time I'd seen him, he said that he knew the Lord and basically brushed me aside from the conversation. The minister at the funeral threw in a couple of scriptures, but only talked of a man and his worldly accomplishments, nothing of a relationship with God. At the end of the funeral his favorite song was played by the Beach Boys. One knew without asking where eternity was for him at this moment.

After the funeral another long time friend, when asked, talked flipitedly about his faith in a Christ Jesus by another means, that only required him to go to church once a year and mail in his tithes and carelessly spoke of the Holy Ghost, as if He was just a throw in at the moment.

Another long time friend who has a major heart condition, but was not present, some time ago I have been told by another Christian not to talk to him about salvation, that God will do it instead, to leave him alone. I didn't heed their warning, when he went in for open heart surgery.

Some believe that they have salvation, but don't feel that they have to give up their sin, or that they'll get saved at the end before they give their last breath, others just don't care.

All of us worked ambulance together and there remains 11 of us left from our crew after the buy out, all of us being within 10 years of age of each other in our 50's.

On the ambulance and fire dept., as with the police, your partner's life as well as your own are in each other's hands when on the job. You learn to trust and depend on each other. With a new partner, you have to depend on the other person to know their job fast, but trust takes time. Outsiders don't know or understand the things that you see and have to do, that while your still stuck emotionally in the last call, you have to go to the next and not have time to feel at times. You become each other's life-line, even when the crowd forms and the sight seers show up and you have to keep then away, so you can do your job, the news media is the worse. Sure, with the major stuff, a counselor or chaplain will talk to everyone, but no mention of God is ever used to keep it friendly.

(In our day, ambulance and fire personel were not called heros as today, we were looked down at and avoided, as if we were dirt. You didn't associate with those kind of people.)

The problem is that few in these jobs see that their lives are in God's hands. Many times with them questioning if there really is a God and why He would allow that things that happen to people, as they have just become His mop-up crew. They don't trust outsiders, thus not learning to depend and trust God as their life-line.

Please pray for the salvation of all ambulance, fire, police, corrections personel old and new of your own areas. We are a hard people with thick skin due to what we do and it takes a lot to penetrate our outer shell, even for God at times as I know only too well.

Thanks for letting me unload,
You Sister in our Lord

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Sister,
Consider youself prayed for. You and your fellow workers.

Mrs. Pugh