“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Rev. 3:14-18 KJV)
In these last days of the final warning to the Churches, we clearly see and understand the need for such a word from our Lord. Practically all the mainline churches have given up the preaching of truth for the purpose of marketing and commerce. The souls of men are not what interests the hirelings of today, rather it is their pocketbooks. It is not the Gospel of our Lord that is preached, but the budget; not holiness, but conformity; not spirituality, but enthusiasm; not evangelism, but enlistment. Statistics are of more importance than people. Just as people have become mere numbers in the electronic age of the world, so saints have become nominees for three-year committee assignments.
The works we are called to by our Lord have taken last place in our activities. We have come to the place where there are no poor whom we know, and don’t care to seek them out. Why? Because they represent overhead; let them find food at the inner-city soup lines. Let them apply for welfare. Let their families or neighbors help them.
We classify the “works” we do as “works of Christ” because we call them “good” works, and that is what we were saved unto, “good works”. How can anyone say that our discipleship programs are not what God wants of us? Surely this is a good work for the Lord. It may be, depending upon what is taught. But, who are the disciples? They are the same “saints” who were in the last class, and the class before that. Just when will these taught and re-taught “disciples” take to the streets? Never! Why? Because they are LUKEWARM, and until they hear the Gospel and respond to it, they will never go into the world, let alone evangelize. The whole purpose of these programs is to keep the members close to home, and encourage them to be more active in the church’s selfish, ingrown activities and programs.
How did all this get started? It started in our seminaries and our publishing houses. Prideful young men sought out teaching jobs in Bible schools, and worked their way up to professorships in colleges and seminaries. They became philosophers and theologians who studied philosophers and theologians, then taught their charges what they learned out of books written by philosophers and theologians, the Bible being the nebulous reason for their conflicting theories. The next step, of course is that of the student being hired to a pastorate and working his way into lucrative jobs in large congregations to preach their “gospel”, which is no gospel, but so much denominational philosophy and theology, which is all they know.
Adding to this lukewarm problem is that of scriptural modernization. The Authorized Version of God’s Word well proven over four hundred years in the English language alone apparently is not adequate for us today. Why? because it contains too much Gospel, too much Truth, too much exhortation. Many solid scholars of Greek and Hebrew have many, many times warned and made clear the dangers of these corrupt texts, but who listens? The seminary professors? the pastors? the church members? the publishers? They have heard, but refuse to repent. They really know, but argue weak reasons, that the Authorized Version is too hard to understand, even though we are better educated today than in any previous day. Children can master complex computer games and other software, but they cannot fathom the words of the Bible? Ridiculous!
The works most of the churches are involved with today are works of frustration with endless ways and means provided for the members to improve themselves with hopes that they are establishing a “transforming relationship” with God. The Pharisees in Jesus’ time were all at this same work, trying to appease God with noteworthy personal “holiness”. Jesus’ word for us today is the same as it was for them, “ye must be born again”. The old man must be crucified with Christ so that the new man might live. Satan does not want to deal with new creatures in Christ. So, by using the blind eyes of the high level authorities of the churches, he is able with modern “bibles” to keep the churches lukewarm, an abomination to our Lord.
The churches are fast relegating to social organizations that cater to the well-to-do moral American. This trend is well established and progressing exponentially, and if the Lord were to return today for His flock, not many churches would notice the decline in their numbers. But God has warned us in His Word that in the latter days there would be a falling away. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 KJV)
Where since Christ has come is there a temple of God? Our body is the temple of God; also His Church. If the man of sin is seated in the temple of God, he is seated in our hearts, and he is exalting himself above God deceiving us and causing our lukewarmness to God and His Word. Notice what type of person this “son of perdition” is. He is like Judas Iscariot. “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”(John 17:12 KJV)
What was Judas like? He was a thief, and carried the money for the disciples and their Lord. “Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always. (John 12:4-8 KJV)
Judas is with us today and is in the hearts of many “christians” exalting himself as God. He does not care for the poor, but sounds good when he suggests that some money should be set aside for them, not from offerings but from some fund-raiser. God’s Word is clear about how we are to care for the poor. Notice what he says in Proverbs 21:13; “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.”. Also, in James 1:27 we read;” Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” The widows and fatherless are among the poor of the earth, being without a male breadwinner.
So, what is the solution to our great problem? Those who are God’s sons and daughters need to minister individually, apart from the programs of the churches which stifle the spread of the Gospel and the good works we are called to by our Lord. As we do this, ministering from our churches, many will come to know what we are doing and will need to come to some spiritual conclusions concerning Jesus’ command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all nations, beginning at home, our church’s backyard. Pray that God will add to your missionary work with helpers to whom you may witness, hopefully for their salvation if they are not yet saved.
God bless you as you keep His commandments,
and His commandments are not grievous.