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.