I have watched, in amazement and sadness, the events of the past few days as a man has been deified right before our eyes. Sad because of the manifestation of the darkness which grips much (if not most) of those who profess to know JESUS CHRIST. Amazed because there have been many “prominent leaders” who should know better, who have, yet, joined in this magnification of the flesh. I have heard not one voice of the “great preachers” of our day raising even a question let alone an outright protest against such blasphemous activity. Surely I do not mean to imply that we need to beat on every drum that presents itself but there are times when it is appropriate to raise a protest(ant)ing voice.
The design of Satan is not necessarily to war against the plain facts of the gospel. His, intentions are more insidious than that. Recognizing the folly of trying to turn all men away from the basic truths of the gospel, he would use his powers of darkness to twist these foundational truths into something entirely false. Therefore, he has transformed himself into an angel of light, (i.e., one who appears righteous in order to deceive.) (see II Cor.11:1-15; Gal.1:8) He has found willing listeners among men, since their sinful, religious flesh delights in changing the truth of GOD and has a secret desire to worship the creature above the CREATOR. (see Rev.12:9)
Men have been worshippers of themselves from the beginning, abandoning revealed truth and turning to their own way. We are not amazed that this is taking place now, but we are outraged that it is taking place by those who profess to be followers of JESUS CHRIST. Let the potsherds of the earth strive with the potsherds of the earth, let the dead bury their dead, but when someone invokes the name (i.e., authority) of our LORD in these matters and leads others to think that HE is somehow complicit in all of this, then we cannot be silent. (see Joel 2:1)
Religion has always been a facet of man’s existence that he has taken great delight in. When the LORD JESUS walked upon the earth, HE laid the axe to the very root of this mighty tree and hewed it down, leaving not so much as a stump whereupon a man could glory. HE called the religious leaders of the day, vipers and sons of the devil. Needless to say they didn’t take it very well, and ultimately they conspired to destroy HIM. Their sons and daughters are alive and well in the present day, still contending for a religion that gives men places of glory and honor. One does not have to visit Rome to find them, they go about dressed in the garments of most of the organized religion in the world that calls itself “Christianity”.
The message of the LORD JESUS CHRIST was very plain to those who have ears to hear it. It is not a message which the natural man approves of nor thinks is appropriate. The plain truth which HE spoke has been twisted so as not to be recognizable. Some examples:
“But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.” (Matt 23:8-10) The giving and receiving of titles among GOD’s people is a grave departure from the message of CHRIST. The attaching of such labels as Reverend or Father to any man borders on blasphemy. (see Ps.111:9) The names given to the various offices of the church (pastor, deacon, bishop) are merely descriptive of the calling and gifts and are not titles of honor which are to be bestowed on men. Most “Baptists” would balk at calling someone “Father” but will use the term “Pastor”, “Preacher”, or (gasp) “Reverend” in the same connotation. Away with such! All of GOD’s children are brethren in the LORD, we have one PASTOR and one BISHOP of our souls. Even the term elder should only be used out of respect for the age of a brother, not his calling or office.
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” (John 6:44)This is one of the most universally ignored doctrines which the LORD taught. All who claim to believe the Bible pay lip service to believing this. Yet most go about denying it in their methods and practices which they call “soul winning”. They think they can persuade men with the newest fads or they can draw men with “contemporary” music or sports programs. Where did the mandate to play ball come from? It appeals to the creature so it must be okay. (see Rom.1:25)
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Nicodemus was startled by this declaration from the LORD because he realized there was nothing that a man could do to bring such a thing to pass. This is a far cry from the prevalent message of our day which assures men they can enter the kingdom of GOD any time they get ready. They tell us GOD just wants to save us if we’ll only let HIM.
“Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5) CHRIST often spoke of the necessity of repentance but it is indeed the forgotten doctrine of our day. Someone coined the term “easy-believism” to describe modern evangelism at one time, but I believe it has gone one step farther into what we see around us today as “only-believism”. True repentance is not something that a man can manufacture at will so it doesn’t fit in with today’s “decision” based salvation. After all if we tell a man he can be saved simply by praying a little prayer or repeating some script, how can we work repentance in. Repentance is the work of the HOLY GHOST in the soul of a man which cannot be produced by deciding for it to happen.mam