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American Christianity & Its Love of the World.
Remember Lot's Wife!
The Cities of the Plain.
The Sin of Looking Back!
Jesus said in Luke 9:62 "..No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
For years the story of the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah and the cities of the plains was considered by the God-bashers to be just a myth or an allegory at best. Thanks to modern archeology and the discovery of extant writings from period, even the most tried and true Bible haters have to acknowledge the "once" existence of several cities by name in the area of the Dead Sea. At one time it was part of a major trade route; very wealthy and fertile area with a population enjoying the "good" life in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
All was not well in Sodom-ville for their sins had become a stench in the nostrils of God and He was going to remedy the situation. It just so happened that there was one found righteous living in Sodom by the name of Lot; Abraham's nephew. Long story short: God sent angels to lead Lot and his family out of Sodom before His judgment fell upon the wickedness of the city (pre-70th week) but as Genesis 19:16 states, they lingered. The angels had to forcibly grab Lot, his wife and two daughters by the hand and drag them out of the city. One would have to wonder why they would have lingered in the first place but as we shall see, they are NO different than the majority of "Christians" in our churches today.
The one instruction given to Lot and his family was that no one was to look back upon God's judgment of the cities; very akin to the only instruction given to Adam: do NOT eat of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It has been and will always be a heart issue, for his wife's heart never left Sodom. Just as Adam died spiritually the very moment he ate of the forbidden tree; Lot's wife suffered a far worse fate immediately. As I quoted previously from Luke, the scriptures are very clear about God's attitude towards those who look back:
- Hebrews 10:38 - "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have NO pleasure in him."
- 2 Peter 2:20-22 - "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them NOT to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them....".
this is not about losing one's salvation: it concerns those who have enjoyed the benefit of association with believers but without a saving knowledge of our lord jesus. With knowledge comes great responsibility and so many within our fellowships have head knowledge but their hearts are entangled with the world and per the word, their judgment will be worse than those without knowledge.
Evil #1- Pride
Evil #2 - Abundance (Wealth)
Evil #3 - Idleness (Leisure)
Evil #4 - Neglect of the Poor!
How Are America's Churches Like Sodom?
If you ask most Christians why were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed, the pat answer will be because of homosexuality which is wrong; for the perverted lifestyle is result of a much deeper problem and as Christians, we are NOT immune! Per Ezekiel 16:49 God lays out the root of the problem and as we shall see, my favorite Walt Kelly quote via Pogo is so true within our churches today: "We have met the enemy and it is us."
First sin: pride
The following is addressed to myself and my fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have become so prideful of so many things that affect our lives. I am not talking about the eternal but the here and now. We extol our church buildings, our church programs, our pastors, our homes, cars, jobs, possessions and our achievements. In doing so we truly reflect the world around us and we are so caught up in the act, we don't even notice how guilty we are of pride in the non-eternal things of this age. Several years ago I changed by life verse to 3 John 4 - "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the Truth." I am proud of my children, but also acknowledge they are sinners just like me saved by grace. We really have one major thing to be proud of this side of heaven: Jesus Christ. We are NOT humble by nature, but being a new creation, we have an opportunity to learn.
Second sin: abundance (wealth)
We don't have to think too hard on this one: just look around us and measure the comfort level we have afforded ourselves. We know from 1 Timothy 6:10 that money is the root of all evil and that those of us that have made this our main goal this side of heaven have "...pierced themselves through with many sorrows." Wealth has never brought anyone lasting JOY; whether it be Solomon or the one staring back at you in the mirror. Truly it is fleeting for when upon this path it will always clamor for more and more. We don't have to go too far to see the massive misuse of wealth by the American church.
third sin: Idleness (leisure)
The Word set the standard: work for six days and rest for one. The industrial revolution, the assembly line, automation and unionization brought that down to five for most of the 20th century. Interestingly two days suddenly was not enough of a break from the workplace and we now have three and four day weeks, plus vacations, comp-time and the like, which leaves us with an abundance of idle time. Sadly as the adage goes: idleness is the devil's playground. We have invented myriads of ways to attempt to occupy ourselves. Has this made us spend more time in the Word, in spiritual fellowship or in prayer? Very unlikely sad to say and we as a Church have become drowsy and lethargic. We have missed an opportunity in these last days to feed and buildup the faithful and to warn the lost of its impending doom. Churches suffer for attendance during heavy vacation periods, pastors are absent due to great vacation benefits and we take our local fellowships too much for granted.
fourth sin: neglect of the poor
I have seen churches hoard their monies when their own people are suffering want in many of the basic needs of life. I wonder how much I have spent upon myself to the detriment of my brother in Christ, neglecting the witness to my neighbor in times of trial and all the while imagining myself as a giving person. We are so easily lulled into apathy, self-justification and becoming one who puts love second in our lives.
Rest assured; God is not sitting idly by.
It Is Coming With A Vengeance!
Stand Ready - We Are About to Feel God's Heavy Hand!
The hand of God saw the haughtiness of Sodom, Gomorrah and the cities of the plain and brought them down from their lofty estate to never rise again. If anyone thinks He will not chastise His own, they are gravely mistaken, for whom He loves, He chastises. We have assumed such a lofty position in our own eyes believing that we are beyond needed correction. Our Father loves us so much that He will not allow us to remain prideful and ineffective in our witness for Christ.
A great shaking is coming and the unbelievers among us will flee our assemblies for the persecution coming will be severe. We are the generation that is at fault and our time has come to arise and be counted as worthy of the name of Jesus. I believe the biggest shock to most believers will be how few there are of us or conversely, how polluted our assemblies have become because of our watered down preaching and worldliness.