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Sin In The Camp

October 26, 2008

(Re 22:7) “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Re 22:19)  and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

 

Today we are going to be examining some to the perversions that are found in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must be prepared for the day when we will encounter them. Understand that there are problems outside the church, what with legislators trying to make the preaching of the gospel a hate crime and antichrist’s seeking to remove every last vestige of Christianity from the public square.

 

But there are problems within the church that are just as sinister, just as menacing and just as dangerous. The days of hiding our heads in the sand are over. We must be aware of the dangers within and without. Indeed, God graciously directed a warning to us in the book of Jude as He moved that holy man of old to write these words to us nearly two centuries ago. Look with me at verse and hear the word of the Lord! 3 “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

 

It is interesting that up until around ten years ago I wouldn’t have thought the problem of falsehood and anti-Christian teaching was that big of a deal. In other words, it wasn’t affecting me and so I didn’t see the seriousness of the problem. But then I encountered false teachers first hand and let me tell you: I have seen the monster with my own eyes! I can tell you from first-hand experience that the spirit of antichrist is abroad in our land and let me tell you, it is feverishly performing its wild work of perverting the truth.

 

Consider this thought; when you have men and women standing forth in the church for the purpose of foisting unscriptural ‘ideas’ of where they would like the church to be going, I can tell you that trouble is a-brewing. When the pastor asks the congregation what they would like their church to be, red flags begin to wave furiously. There is no place in the scriptures where the pastor is called to ask the sheep where they would like to go. Instead, the pastor is to go before God and receive direction from Him!

 

Understand that there is only one standard of rule for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ and it isn’t Robert’s Rules of Order! It’s not ‘whatever the congregation can dream up.’ The standard for the church, the marching orders for direction doesn’t come from ‘some really cool idea we heard at some conference or the latest best selling church growth book that has come down the pike! The standard of rule for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is found in one place and one place only; The Holy Bible. God has laid out exactly what He wants His Church to be about. It is His Holy Law: His revealed truth that we are to be implementing, not the latest ‘evangelistic formula’ we heard at that ‘wonderful conference we attended last week, month, or whatever!

 

The visible Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is facing dangers from within as Satan, the angel of light continually sends his ministers to kill, steal and destroy! I am here to tell you that there are pastors out there whose sole purpose in life is to lead churches away from the truth and into doctrines of demons that manifest themselves in programs and schemes and agendas which may look good outwardly but in reality they have come straight from hell! There are members in good standing of churches all across our land today who have it in their heads to take over the church and rule, if not openly, then from the shadows. They are ministers of darkness who hate Jesus and all that He stands for. And we know what Jesus said about those who love darkness. They are already condemned because of unbelief.

 

Now these ‘ministers are desperate to please their master Satan! And trust me when I tell you that they will go to any length to override the Word of God in order to get their programs implemented. They care nothing about the word of God or the God of the Word for that matter. In fact, these ministers of unrighteousness hate God! To quote from the book “Pilgrims Progress: “they are the enemies of our King. They hate His person, His Law and His people.” This is a truth that is borne out in their agenda’s for His church. Their doctrine is the doctrine of antichrist.

 

Jude nails it on the head for us in his little epistle. His warning is there, not to be passed over but to be heeded. He is telling us that there is danger ahead 4 “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men… The illustration here is of someone who has come in uninvited. He or she has crept into our midst through a side door: secretly, stealthily, unnoticed. Suddenly, quietly, they are in your midst, subtly injecting their errors into the minds of whoever will listen. They may seem nice, even sincere and those who don’t know their bibles, who believe that it’s the pastors job to know what the bible says, these will be led down this broad road that leads only to destruction.

 

Note what Jude says of them. They are those “who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men” Scripturally speaking, these people are called goats by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They are lost: enemies of God and the Gospel. And the word of God tells us that they are storing up wrath unto the Day of Judgment. And they are content to stay that way. They are the wicked whom God made for the day of evil! They are servants of Satan and like their master they are condemned already. Their future judgment is sure for God Himself has declared that on the appointed day, their foot shall slide.

 

Now you must understand that these false teachers are not open about their agenda. You are not going to have someone come into your church, stand up in the pulpit and say; “Hi, I’m a false teacher and I am here to lead you down to destruction.” No, they realize that a full frontal assault upon Christians will not work. John Lennon explained it this way: “You can’t just come right out and say what you want. You have to sugar coat your message to make it palatable.” This is the modus operandi of the antichrists who are working among us today.

 

Even the most poorly taught Christian could see through a statement like, “Hi there. I’m a false teacher and I’m here to take you down the broad road that leads to hell!” Understanding that such an open statement would not go over well, they use the mind-set of the wicked witch of the west; ‘these things must be done delicately.’ The idea of course is stealth. And what is their agenda? They are turning the grace of our God into licentiousness, The technical definition for licentiousness is unbridled lust, excess, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence. The short and to the point definition is “A license to sin!” In other words, false teachers have sugar coated their message, made it palatable, put it forth delicately. They have ‘Christianized’ their wickedness. Here is a little history lesson that will demonstrate the truth that ‘there is nothing new under the sun.’  

 

Jude and the people of his day were dealing with a group of men known as the Gnostics. Their name means ‘the knowing ones.’ These men claimed to have special knowledge:  from God! And what was this special knowledge? Well part of it was that anything physical was evil while anything spiritual was good. And what they did with this ‘doctrine’ was teach that you are going to sin; that’s a given. Your flesh is sinful and you can’t stop it. Furthermore, according to the Gnostics, this was ok, even sanctioned by God. In other words God had given them a license to sin. Hence the term: licentiousness.

 

Not only were they teaching that God actually sanctioned their sin they were also …denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Are you aware of such things today? You may think this type of wickedness only goes on in cults like Mormonism or whatnot.

But I am hear to tell you that there are men and women who call themselves Christians, (the name means “a follower of Jesus Christ”) who will tell you to your face that Jesus Christ is not God, that God is not Holy, that God is not sovereign, that God doesn’t exist and so on, that the God of the Bible has mellowed, changed His mind etc. These people will say things like, “Our modern world is dealing with problems that didn’t exist in Bible times and God understands this. And He has made concessions for that. He is a ‘kinder, gentler God.” And these people who are advocating such heresies are in positions of power. They hold prominent positions in the Church. They are Pastors and Sunday school teachers and deacons: they walk among us stealthily, slowly delivering their devilish poison to placid piles of pathetic pewsters.

 

I use this expression; “placid piles of pathetic pewsters” because of the sad truth that the average church member just doesn’t have time to open their bibles to see if the things being taught are really true. In fact many times I have actually heard people say, “That’s the pastor’s job. It’s his responsibility to know what the bible says.  That’s what we pay him for.” What a sad indictment against modern Christianity. When there is a lack of love for God’s word, there is a serious problem because when we open our bibles and read the words there we are hearing the voice of God speaking directly to us. His word is a living word just as He is a living God and not just some dumb idol that cannot see, hear or speak!  

 

And He has not issued idle commands. When He said that we must contend earnestly for the faith He was not just talking to pastors. He was speaking to every one of you. It is your responsibility to live for Jesus. It is your responsibility to bear witness of the grace of God by living holy lives and by proclaiming the holy Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

We forget this and so God has directed Jude to write to us who are so forgetful. He says in verse 5 “Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”

 

These are hard words are they not! And we would like to forget that God is a God of wrath who is angry with the wicked every day and instead we replace Him with a god of love, a mush god that we can manipulate like a genie in a bottle. Men want to be in control of their lives and they don’t want anyone meddling in their affairs. To put it another way, sinners don’t want anyone messing in their business. Unfortunately for them, God is not going to go away. Even though men declared that God was dead in the 60’s, I’m here to tell you that He is very much alive and active in the affairs of men.

 

(Heb 1:1-3) “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.  When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Here is a glimpse of God and it is frightening to those who hate Him. The word tells us that He is holding all things together by the word of His power. He spoke the world into existence and one day He will speak it out of existence. It is His world to do with as He pleases.

 

In (Re 4:11) the twenty four elders who sit in thrones around God’s throne fell upon their faces and cast their golden crowns at His feet saying “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” We sing hymns like “This Is My Father’s World” but do we believe it? You want to know something sad? Men, even those who call themselves Christians, would rather believe a lie rather than the truth.

They would rather believe that the world is sitting on the back of a giant turtle, which is standing on the backs of two giant elephants etc. instead of an Almighty God who created heaven and earth, who came to this planet to live a perfect life on our behalf, die a sacrificial death in our place and be raised for our justification and who has prepared a home in heaven where we may live for all eternity; but who will by no means clear the guilty. So every time they encounter a difficult passage in the bible, whenever a doctrinal issue comes up, whenever a point of theology arises where they are tested, they do one of to things: they either explain it away, (adding to the word of God) or they eliminate it altogether (taking away from the word of God) saying something like, “we don’t believe that stuff around here.”  

 

Take the subject of the fear of God and the Judgment Seat of Christ. Instead of the awesome majesty of Jehovah such as is seen in Exodus 19 and 20, where the earth trembled and men shook with fear, today God is presented as a combination of the ice cream man and Santa Claus. The Church is portrayed as a spiritual ‘candy story’ where you can get every goodie your heart desires. They even twist scripture and convince people that ‘if you can just get two people to agree in prayer with you about something you want, God has to give it to you. I mean, HE PROMISED!’

 

Jesus has been reduced to a pathetic figure who sits up in heaven wringing His hands and hoping that someone somewhere would let Him come into their heart. He is described by some pastors as “so good, so loving, so forgiving and so gentle, that He wouldn’t hurt a fly.” Is this the God of the Bible? I say NO!  In (Ex 15:11) after seeing the mighty power of God firsthand, Moses was moved to song and worshiped this magnificent Heavenly Potentate saying, “Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?

 

The book of Hebrews gives us this warning when it says, (Heb 10:31)  It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. and Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, whose wisdom came directly from God Himself declared in (Pr 1:7) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; (only) fools despise wisdom and instruction. We must have a clear understand of the word of God and a biblical view of God Himself; we must behold both “the goodness and the severity of God!”   

 

Instead of compromising what God has declared in His Holy word, and participating in the folly of modern evangelism which seeks to build up the sinners ‘self esteem’ we must stand up and declare the whole council of God. We must go to the law and to the testimony and demonstrate by His holy word that men are sinners, cosmic criminals who have broken the Holy Law of God and we must show men and women that they are guilty and sentenced to death already for their crimes. We must demonstrate the rightness of God in so judging them and after we have declared the bad news, we must then show them the good news. This is the way to declare the Gospel, not “God loves you and has a marvelous plan for your life.”

 

The sad reality is that the only plan that God has for the life of an unrepentant sinner is Hell! Modern evangelists say, “God loves sinners but hates their sin.” Oh really? Then why doesn’t He just cast their sins into hell and let them in heaven? Do you see the fallacy of such unbiblical thinking! It is we who are limited, not God. God is infinite, we are finite. While we are dependent, God is independent. He didn’t created us just so He could have company, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; (Ac 17:25) 

 

God really is God. He is sovereign, which means that He is the absolute ruler of all of His creation. At no time has He taken His hands off of anything. He upholds all things by the word of His power and He is leading all of creation to that final day when the heavens will collapse with a thunderous bang and the elements will melt with fervent heat and all men, great and small will be drawn up before His throne to be judged. This is the God I serve, the God I believe in. This is the God of the Holy Scriptures and He is above all of the so-called gods that men have conceived of in their little finite brains.

He is “majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders.” From everlasting to everlasting, He is God! And if anyone has any hope of being with Him in heaven it is because He has first chosen, then called and enabled them to come.

 

I’m going to tell you something else that is disturbing to those who don’t know the Word of Truth. There is no such thing as a truly free will! This is one of the sacred cows of many churches but it is foreign to scripture. I defy anyone to bring up a verse of scripture without taking it out of context and saying “See, we have free will. See, we can stop God from accomplishing His will.” Now let me say that we do have freedom of will in a limited scope. Here it is; as lost sinners we have the freedom to practice sin. But even that is limited. Not everyone is a Hitler or a Ted Bundy. And even these were not as evil as they could have been for God restrains the wickedness of men.

 

But lost men and women do not have the ability to go to God without God drawing them to Him. We don’t drum up conviction of sin and we have no ability to coerce God into saving us. God is the one who calls and convicts and saves sinners. Salvation is the work of God from beginning to end.

 

Look with me at (2Th 2:7) and see the sovereign Lord at work as we read “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.” The word, ‘restrain’ means to hold back, detain, to restrain, hinder the course or progress of. God is at work holding back the wickedness of man and like His edict to the sea, so to is it with men, “And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; and here shall your proud waves stop.’ (Job 38:11)

 

This is the God of the bible. He is nothing like the ‘mush god’ of many ‘believers’ today: a god who has been fabricated in the minds of sinful men who want nothing to do with the True God! The modern ‘believer’ wants nothing to do with a God who is sovereign, who actually exercises authority over His creation, who issues commands and expects them to be obeyed, who has created all things FOR HIS PLEASURE! Men forget that He is the potter and we are the clay.

 

Instead they have formulated a god who can be bought, manipulated, or even forced into complying with the ‘desires’ of sinful men. They forget that as the Creator, He has the right to do as He wills in the hosts of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. They forget that He is Holy, Holy, Holy and that He has set the standard by which we will be measured. In (Heb 12:14) the writer tells us to “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” He calls those who are His to separate themselves from the world. He says in (2Co 6:17) “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; and I will welcome you. After killing Nadab and Abihu, Moses reminded Aaron of the words of the Lord who said, “By all who approach Me I will be regarded as Holy!

 

How do you approach God? Is it on this scriptural basis or is it in a flippant manner? Do you bow before the Holy God of the Universe or do you arrogantly prance into the Throne-Room and issue your laundry list of demands?

 

How about this scenario: you commit a sin and then instead of repenting immediately you console your accusing conscience by saying, “Well, when God looks down at me at any given time, He doesn’t see me anymore. All He sees is the smiling face of Jesus.

 

And what about this stranger than truth doctrine: “The Carnal Christian!” in this example of pretzel logic, we are let to believe that any ‘believer’ who doesn’t believe anymore, who instead has returned to the world, like a dog returning to its own vomit, this person is still said to be a Christian! Though he is now practicing sin with the same gusto as before, those who have left the faith to pursue worldly lusts are said to be 2nd class Christians. But is this true?

The scriptures tell us that if any man is in Christ, He is a new creation. The language speaks of an actual transforming event, in which one who was sold out to the world, who loved the world and obeyed his father the devil has now been called out of the grave of self and sin and has been granted new life in Christ. His feet have been set upon the path that leads to life. The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in his life and now he lives for the glory of God. I am not saying that the Christian never sins. What I am saying is that it is no longer the practice of his life.

 

Jesus said in (Mt 24:13) “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. A simple way of saying this is, If you continue in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, you are bearing fruit, giving evidence that you are truly saved. If you return to the world you are giving evidence that your heart was either the wayside, rocky soil or thorny ground. In other words, if you leave the faith, you are not a Christian. If you deny Him He will deny you! This is God according to His word!

 

There is sin in the camp! It takes the form of denying biblical truths in exchange for ‘logical, rational doctrine that seems right to a man. Its ‘god’ is merely an idol which cannot see, hear nor speak. This is the mindset of lost men and women who love themselves rather than the truth of God. They are filled with pride rather than the humility of heart which is one of the main characteristics of one who has been saved by grace. The end of all who follow such antichristian doctrine is death! There is only one path that leads to life and those who have been placed upon this path by the Lord God are new creatures who love the TRUTH!

 

True Christians are like Jesus, humble and lowly of heart. They know that they deserve hell. They realize that they are the recipients of infinite mercy and love; that it is not that they loved God but that God loved them and sent His only Son to die in their place so that they could be raised up from death to life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Their lives are characterized by a deep and abiding love for JESUS and a heartfelt desire to be conformed to His will. And their lives are lived by faith in the Son of God who loved them and called them from darkness into His marvelous light. They understand that they have died and their lives are hid with Christ in God. There is no such thing as ‘self-esteem’ in the Christian life. No one who has stood before the blazing light of the glory of God has been left to feel good about themselves. Instead we who love Jesus hate our sinful flesh and long to be completely set free from the bonds of this earthly life. Instead of self-esteem, we have God esteem!

 

God is our all in all and we are nothing but worms and maggots who have been forgiven and adopted FOR HIS GLORY!  So here it is, truth and error, the Gospel and ‘another gospel.’ Which one have you embraced? I pray that you have been emptied your self centered life and have been transformed by the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as found in the pages of Holy Scripture.

 

The alternative is unthinkable!

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