Monday, June 20, 2016
God chose Jerusalem for the place where Solomon would build the Temple. In the room called “the holy of holies,” God would take away their sins. Yet, God’s people thought the Temple and Jerusalem would be protected by the Lord, along with them, regardless of how wicked they became (Isaiah 1-5). The people may have crossed ever “t” and dotted every “i,” but God was not impressed with their hearts (Isaiah 1:11-15). Is it possible for today’s church to ingest that same philosophy?
Is it possible to teach the truth, yet be ineffective and worthless (Revelation 3:1-6; 14-22)? Is it possible to follow the example of Adam and Eve, while believing one is walking on Jesus’ path (Genesis 3:1-24; Matthew 11:28-30)? Is it possible to establish the church of Ephesus, Sardis, and Laodicea, but believe we have arrived in Jerusalem (Revelation 2:1, 4; 3:1, 16)? Is it possible to strongly assert that we are following the old paths, yet the pavement beneath our feet is a road built from tradition?
Is it possible to condemn one another over which version is faithfully translated, and the Good News is not preached from any version to the world? Is it possible to make differences over the indwelling of the Holy Spirit a matter of fellowship, while the world continues to die without that Spirit?
Is it possible to read our culture and activities into the Bible as if they restored our practices, rather than restoring their inspired example of going “into all the world and preach”? Is it possible to bind things upon others which God did not? Is it possible to do things which God actually forbids, and believe we are doing the “godly” thing? Is it possible to preach the Good News and omit Jesus? Is it possible to focus entirely on what we are doing and minimize what Jesus did? Is it possible to stress obedience and exclude grace? Is it possible to preach grace and forget obedience? Is it possible to get so wrapped up in incidentals and expedients that the world continues to be lost due to our “important business”?
No, not us! It’s always “them” that are the guilty ones!