Friday, August 17, 2007
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would that you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white clothing, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will eat with him, and he with me. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.
"The Church is the bride of Christ. (Jesus) gave His own blood for her. He loves her, and He's working to cleanse her. Do you honestly think that He's going to "vomit" His bride "out of His mouth"?
No. Then what's going on? Here's what I want you to understand:
We hear, today, all the time this:
'There's just as many liars inside of the Church as outside of the Church. There's just as many sinners inside the Church as outside the Church. There's just as much adultery and immorality inside the Church as outside. The Church is just as ugly as the world. What's the difference?'
That is a lie, and I'm going to show you how.
Let me tell you about the Church in the United States of America. She is beautiful, she is broken, and, although stubmling and sometimes taking three steps back and two steps forward, she is following her Lord and growing in beauty. Here's the problem:
What you're calling the Church ...is not the Church.
Because the Southern Baptist Church has left off completely the idea of compassionate Church discipline, our Churches are filled up with lost people, and the people Jesus is going to vomit out of His mouth in the congregation are not that small group that is truly saved and truly loving Him and following Him. He's going to "vomit out of His mouth" the people who've been in His Church, but they've been carnal, wicked, and never been converted. He's going to cleanse His church.
You see, my dear friend, when we water-down the Gospel so we can tell people, "It will just take five minutes of your time. Pray this prayer.", we're allowing lost people to be identified with the Church. Then when we have people who are members, and they can openly be involved in every sort of public sin and we do nothing about it because we claim to be "so loving", we're not being loving... we're condemning them... instead of practicing the very things that could save their soul.
The church is filled up with lost people who on Saturday night are living like hellians and on Sunday come to church, and the whole community identifies the Church with those people. (Then) the prophecy is fulfilled: "The name of God is blasphemed among the unbelievers because of the way the supposed people of God are acting." (Rom. 2:13-24; Isaiah 52:5; Eze. 36:20)
...Now you understand why I preach in alot of places only once."