“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 1:3-5).
As I sit down to type this message, it seems the whole world is being given up to a reprobate mind. North Korea has garnered the world’s temporary attention as it is threatening a nuclear strike. Iran is rapidly approaching the famed “red line” in its pursuit of becoming “nuclear” so they can make “Israel no more.” Same sex marriage is gaining momentum and because of it, now pedophilia is trying to piggyback its way into the mainstream as a normal way of thought and lifestyle. Can you say “gross darkness?” All across the globe, culture is heading towards a time unless God shortens the days, no flesh would survive.
The day of the Lord’s wrath is swiftly approaching, and the nations are being turned into hell.
“When the wicked spring up like grass, and when all the workers of iniquity flourish, It is that they may be destroyed forever” (Psalm 92:7).
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).
The time we have left on this fallen planet is ONLY for reaping those “ripe unto harvest,” the ones for whom Jesus prayed in John 17.9: “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.”
Author Paul Washer has said, “With one hand God is motioning man to come to Him. With the other hand He is holding back His wrath. Soon He is going to drop both hands.”
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Yet despite God’s goodness and His desire that none should perish, Jesus exhorted in Mathew 7.13: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
With that being the case…
Why are we wasting our breath?
“Church,” is the golden calf of today.” Say it isn’t so! I’m becoming more and more convinced that one of the greatest deceptions of our time is “church.” Why would I say that? It is because of what I’ve witnessed on a very personal level over the years.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24).
It is because of our obedience to the Word of God and our love and devotion to Him that we should assemble together: In the Name of Jesus and not by any other name or person other than Jesus Christ!
“In My Name,” Jesus said!
This generation has become a witness to the “mega church” epidemic and its incredible extravagance. A mass migration of: Both sheep and goats have been “flocking” toward this movement and it’s getting down right scary. In the early 80s there was a movie called “Body Snatchers” and I can’t help but think of that movie when I see what has been happening all across the nation in which I live.
Certain “churches” and ministries have “increased” in this “mega church” apostasy. All the while Jesus has “decreased.” How can this be so? Because we have thought it is a self-righteous act to “go to church” and that righteous act has been exalted in our minds as an act of tremendous sacrifice of our own will, which then validates SELF in the eyes of God?
The great tragedy of this mindset is how it has devalued the cross. The ONLY thing that removed my sins, or yours, the sins of the whole world was Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. That ACT of divine will triumphed over my carnal will and redeemed a hopeless “chief of all sinners”(me) into a one on one (atonement) relationship with Almighty God. I am crucified in Christ and FORGIVEN. When we realize what the cross was all about how desperately exclusive that act was to our eternal existence…How can we NOT fall on our faces and esteem Christ and Him crucified as SUPREME?
It is NOT for going to “church” that Jesus died. It was to reconcile our lost and totally destitute lives back to Almighty God as “Abba Father.” THAT is what makes us the “church!” In order for church to decrease and Jesus to increase, we must repent and make like John the Baptist and point way more to Him and way less to us. We must yield from self-glorification and begin to LIFT HIM UP!
[Jesus said,] “If I be lifted up, I will draw all man unto Myself.”
We who have been forgiven much, should, with incredible love begin to use our voices and our energy to lift up the Name that is above every name 1,000,000,000 to 1 in whatever name that we trumpet. I know it grieves the One who sent to testify of Jesus tremendously that we tout our names or a churches name when the Bible has said the ONLY Name given us by where lost man can be saved is Jesus Christ!
And He does NOT need to be marketed. It is such a sad state of affairs in our time that we have been “sold” into thinking that selling Jesus is the call of a people who were lost and now found, who were blind and now see, who were dead but now live again. So many think we need to market Jesus in clever ways so if they like us and where we hang out, then they will listen to us talk about Jesus.
Talk about having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof! There are movements in this country that are “ELEVATING” (very much like a multi-level marketing scheme), and because it’s done in Jesus’ Name people are eating it up. They hook you with Bible verses taken out of context, selling you that you can have your “best blessed life now” and yet they are “fleecing” and making merchandise of the ones they are selling their watered down, cross-less gospel to. They offer-up strange fire, playing satanic secular music to attract the crowds and then have them: Repeat after me,” a prayer of tremendous self-deception and then pronounce it: “Christian.”
I feel led to take a stand here that will have about as much chance of success as say, a sling shot against a giant. But I’m going to sling this stone out there. One of the most misused words in the English language is the word “Christian.” I wish it would be scratched from MY vocabulary in describing anything to do with me.
SAY WHAT? I personally think to say, “I’m a Christian” is such a statement of absolute pride and absurdity.
“You did NOT just say that?”
“YES I DID, but hear me out.”
The word “Christian” means “Christ-like.” It was first used in the book of Acts: By the people of Antioch to describe the disciples who were preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified. But to say that of myself, no way! I promise you I absolutely love Jesus Christ and He is my Lord and Savior. Flesh and blood did not reveal that to me, but My Father in heaven. I follow Him in my daily walk and life but to pronounce myself “Christ-like” that would be so over-promising and under-delivering on steroids.
I’m absolutely destitute without Him and it’s only He that works in me to do anything “for His Glory” that is actually authentic or real. I am crucified with Christ and yet I live, yet not I, but Christ in me. Yet because of my carnal man, I’m forced to take up my cross and die daily. To exalt anything of me is so worthless, but to exalt Him who would first love me in my utter depravity and yet die for me, anyway? Now that is amazing grace!
Why am I taking such a stance? Because in its current context, “Christian” is being used for so much deception that it is shocking. Everyone calls them selves “Christian” today, using Jesus’ Name for selfish ambitions. Mormons call themselves “Christians” and there was a time that the sheep of God’s fold knew that NOT to be true!
Now there is this ecumenical movement afoot that is ascending in the name of Christ, not preaching repentance, but tolerance. Despite all the protest to the contrary anyone who signs an agreement of unity with Islam is not working for the same team. Anyone endorsing the new pope and asking for “believers” to unite under a common cause using the Name of Jesus is gross error! It’s downright petrifying to me how many “big named” pastors and leaders are NOT crying out against this, but are promoting, defending and blasting those who are warning against it.
The Golden Calf was a god of man’s own making. Of man’s own works. That is very similar to the social gospel being espoused today. People are boasting of how much they tithe and how many foundations they have established and all the reasons their good works should validate their use of Jesus’ Name. Just because someone comes in Jesus’ Name…does NOT mean they are of Him!
Judas was one of the 12 who walked with Jesus and ministered for Jesus, even had a “personal relationship” with Jesus, but he was not OF Jesus. Judas SOLD Jesus! He was a salesman using Jesus’ Name for his own self-agenda. Today, shepherds of self-serving motives all across the globe are using Jesus’ name to fleece God’s sheep for SELF-agendas of their own making and you can recognize this by the words out of their mouths. They put great weight upon their people to build “a church” but since they do it under Jesus’ Name, many well-intentioned people have been yoked with a burden to build a monument called “church,” which has taken preeminence over the One who died and rose again!
I am absolutely sure that the apostle Paul would be shouting “WHO HAS BEWITCHED YOU?”
Having three kids in this very apostate and deceptive hour, how oh how do I train up my children “in the WAY” they should go? Especially when Jesus Himself warned in Mathew 24.4-5: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”
Who Do You Say that I Am?
“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” “Flesh and Blood did not reveal that to you but My Father in Heaven” (Mathew 16:15).
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
Is Jesus a means to an end or is Jesus: The end?
The apostle Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 2.1:
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
Today, the only message that can be used to reap those “ripe unto harvest” is the message of the cross! It is “narrow minded” because it’s the narrow way. Jesus said in John 15 that He would send us the Holy Spirit who would “help us” and guide us into all truth.
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me” (John 15:26).
“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you (John 16:8-14).
IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS!
He is the means. He is the End. He is the Alpha and He is the Omega.
“In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps” (Proverbs 3:6,, emphasis added).
“For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’” (Acts 17:28).
In the simplest of terms, “for my children’s sake” John the Baptist came “pointing” toward Jesus, The Holy Spirit was given unto us to do the very same thing. When I was a kid we sang that old song in Vacation Bible School that sums it up: “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.”
We were also told, “Kids, it’s like this. You are in a very dark cave with a group of friends. You have a flashlight, and it can definitely get you and your friends out of the dark cave, lighting “up the way.” But instead of using the flashlight to point the way, you take the light and point it toward your SELF. That would be criminal to your friends. They would be so ticked off that in their “darkness and lost state” that you would take the light and point them in a wrong direction!”
I would be shouting, STOP FOOLING AROUND, and point me to safety! You can tell the false or apostate from the real by where the flashlight is pointing!
Today, ministers, shepherds, churches, and conferences are using the light of Jesus Christ to point to themselves. It makes you want to shout, “STOP POINTING THAT WAY!”
I don’t want to see and hear another “shout out” about your churches name, or your conference name.
PLEASE will you just lift up Jesus?
Stop using Jesus to promote your sermon series or your outreach or your next level of self-elevated greatness. To hear all the testimonies of churches using carnal and ungodly means to add numbers and credit God for their “self trumpeted success” is like watching a music awards show hearing someone who paraded themselves in the most vile means to win an award and make a gazillion dollars, say “I thank God.”
I can only imagine how much that “grieves the Holy Spirit.”
Hey, we played AC/DC at “our church.”
“And you think that is a good thing?”
“Thousands have baptized.”
“They gave their lives to Jesus.”
“The biblical Jesus or the Santa Claus you preached and called Jesus?
This is a very dark hour. And for the “love of God” we need to stop fooling around with strange fire! I mean we are dealing with EVIL that wants to take aborted babies that survive and kill them anyway! We are dealing with a devil that has come in great wrath, to steal and kill and destroy. He is elevating in minds all across this globe to accomplish an evil plan. He is winning souls to hell at an alarming rate and he’s doing his best work in a place called “church.” He’s got the flashlight pointed in the wrong direction.
“Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. This is how dangerously deceptive it is” (Isaiah 60:1-2).
You are nearly a dead man walking, and you find yourself pointed to an unbelievable looking hospital with a sign out front (flash light), which says that IT is a “life-giving” place. You walk inside and they greet you with a smile, they prop you up and bring you tea and play an awesome video all about the hospital. For a little over an hour you hear all about how great the hospital is, talking about the “series of treatments” that you need.
They ask you, “Does that sound good?” You nod your head and say sure, “But I’m dying, it’s stage IV.” They tell you that you have come to the right place but instead of giving you the needed treatment (chemotherapy). They decide to save time and insure you that you’ll like the place realizing you might NOT like the actual treatment needed, so they give you a self-deceiving placebo, plugging you into a “feel good” experience, and hey, you do feel much better about yourself, but you are still dying!
That is the mode of operation taking place in “Jesus’ Name” all over this planet!
But “Hey I went to church!” No, you went to a golden calf. That would be like needing open-heart surgery but going to a foot doctor! You’ve been pointed in the wrong direction!
Lets get this flashlight back pointing in the right direction.
This world is like a dark cave. People love the darkness and hate the light because their deeds are evil. BUT those who are ripe unto harvest are begging for LIGHT!
“Please someone, anyone, IS there any hope?”
I’m so glad you asked!
Just over 2,000 years ago, “For God so loved the World that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall Not Perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Jesus came born of a virgin, lived a sinless life. He performed many documented miracles healing the sick, raising the dead. The World saw a GREAT LIGHT. Evil people who hated His testimony came to arrest Jesus. He joyfully surrendered. He was tried and convicted but had committed no crime. He was dying because of our crimes.
They took Him and stripped Him and began to whip Him with a cat of nine tails, lashing His bareback 39 times. They made a crown of thorns and placed it deep into his brow and skull. They then dragged Him through the streets as people mocked and spat upon Him. They placed Him on Cross and drove nails deep into His feet and Hands. They then lifted Him Up for all to see. He Cried out “Father Forgive them for they know not what they do.” He bled profusely. The earth shook, and the day became as night. They buried Jesus in a borrowed tomb. It was like a very dark cave.
They put a security force around His tomb because Jesus had said that He would be alive again. Then it happened…there in the midst of the most incredible dark cave, the Light of the world walked out of that dark cave and grave, conquering death. He’s alive and His Word lights His way. “I AM the Resurrection and the life, He that believes upon Me, though he were dead, yet shall He live.”
What is His command to you and me? Believe and Follow him, If you don’t repent you will all like wise perish.
Why, oh why would we point in any other direction?
“This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11).