The Apostate Church - by Pastor Mike Taylor -
"Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. \
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:18-20)
Most of us would agree that we are living in the last days of mankind's rule on this earth. But are we living like we believe it? We see the evil around this nation manifested in grotesque shootings of the innocent in our schools, on our streets,BLM and Antifa looting, destruction of people's lives and businesses and the multitude of sins that are growing exponentially as each day passes and we scream, "WHEN IS THIS ALL GOING TO END?" Of course, we know that the last days will become more and more evil as time passes, because the Bible prophesied it would be so.
Paul writes in 2nd Timothy:
2, "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers,incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5, Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away"(2nd Timothy 3:2-5)
There is evil rampant all around us, but is there nothing we can do about it? Are we powerless to stop the flow of evil that is overtaking our nation, our families, and our culture? (Maybe).
14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.(2nd Chronicales 7:14)
True, the scripture above says that the times would be evil, but is that all we can expect? Is mankind in it's evil nature the only fault of the nation going into the dark times we see? The evil of man is a given according to scripture. But I say that there is a symptom that is growing in this country and has been festering for a long time, probably for the last 50 years. What is that symptom that has coming to a fulfillment? Give up? Let's look at what scripture says about where we are and why.
THE LAODECIAN CHURCH ERA
14, "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;
15, I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. v.16, So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17, 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: (Revelation 3:14-17)
" I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." (2nd Timonty 4:1-5)
In the opening passage, Paul warned Timothy to preach the word of God, not turning to right or to the left from what God's Word said. But to use it to rebuke, exhort and teach sound doctrine. He also warned what we are experiencing today, in that the LAME stream religions, from Roman Catholic (which always has strayed) to now infecting Protestant churches with fables of men. Those who sit in the pew on any given Sunday morning want a "new modern" religion that will make them feel good, entertain them, and not face what they really need, and that is repentance from their sins and turn to Jesus Christ as Personal Savior and the only remedy for their God forsaken immorality, and sinful lives.
We as born again Christians, lament how the church of this modern era has grown cold and preaches a watered down version of salvation through faith, applying God's mercy and grace to the broken and contrite heart that sees their lost condition and realizes that without God and the Lord Jesus Christ, they are doomed for a devil's hell. But the Laodecian Age of the church has come to pass, just as Jesus warned us in Revelation 3:
"14 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;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 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:" (Revelation 3:14-17)
I spoke of this very thing in past sermons, so nothing has really changed and this is but a follow up of that message when I spoke of how this age has become nothing but lukewarm, watered down Christianity and anything else pagan.
If you be a church going believer, and there are many who are not, what was the atmosphere of the service you attended? Sadly, I would wager that most of you have not heard a good 'ole hell fire and brimstone sermon in years, or for that matter, even that calls out sin and it's forgiveness. Scripture says that we all have sinned and deserve death:
"20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"(Romans 3:20-25)
"11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."(Romans 5:11-14)
20 "For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."(Romans 6:20-23)
(sin is death, and death is hell fire or the Lake of Fire, remember those? It's high time the church tells the truth about sin).
The Gospel according to Jesus Christ has been watered down to the point of the average church service has become a social club gathering, that is intent on providing the masses the comfort they desire. Sin is no longer a subject discussed or preached on. Your local pastor may be into the social gospel of a feel good "Christianity". We don't want to feel bad about ourselves, and we sure don't want to upset that unbeliever that sits in your pews every Sunday. NOOO...that would be impolite, or politically incorrect and we need the support (ie. The money) to build that bigger and better sanctuary or expand our Sunday School classrooms, or the latest buzz project that has the member's attention. If you upset them, they may take their money elsewhere. Sad, but it's true.
And what of that member who leaves your churches and goes out into the world to work and play? Do they live their faith, or do they assimilate into the masses of the unbelieving world? Do you see where I'm going with this? The fault of what our generation is experiencing right now, falls into the lap of the one place where morality is taught and implemented into each of our lives. That blame is at the threshold of the Laodecian "church". (if you can call them that) and those sold out to speaking to itching ears by pastors of this era who don't want to speak the truth. I talk of faith, and so does James in the opening scripture, but what of this faith?
THE CHURCH IS TO TEACH TRUTH
You've heard the old saying, "actions speak louder than words"? In speaking of being a Christian, who has taken on the spirit of redemption, who has believed in their mind, the sinner's prayer, and believes in his heart that Jesus died for his sins, does our faith stop there? James addresses this in this chapter and following chapters...let's take a look at some of his admonitions. James chapter 2:
v.14 "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."
(I believe James is speaking of faith misplaced in the wrong place or person)
If you neglect the nurturing of others through the application of your faith toward your brother, your fellow human being, then what has this faith accomplished? Faith is the beginning, not the end of our Christian walk. Out of sheer obedience, we are commanded to show fruit worthy of repentance. Let me elaborate, as I can just imagine the questions in your mind concerning this teaching. Let's take an agricultural product, say a plum tree. When the time to harvest the plums from a producing plum tree arrives, what do we expect to find on the branches? Of course, plums is what we would expect. What if we found rotten apples, or thorns, or some other illegitimate product that is in direct conflict to what this tree was suppose to be? Well, we would have say that we have been cheated by the seller of these trees we planted, or the seed that grew. So it is with the born again Christian. We are to produce good fruit. Let's not get the cart before the horse now, as many produce good works because, morally, they are good people, but they have not faith in Jesus Christ. Those of us who have faith in Jesus Christ are commanded to walk as He walked. If we truly belong to Jesus Christ, we will produce fruit just as sure as the sun comes up in the east and sets in the west or a plum tree produces that plum. We are commanded to produce fruit worthy of that calling of the Holy Spirit. Collectively, we are to be taught the right teachings according to the Bible, not some feel good gospel, and that's where the church is failing today. Jesus warned of this in the last days. Revelation 3:
16 "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 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."
The churches of today, including this abomination called the "Emerging Church" and those that preach a "Prosperity Gospel" relies on everything but the pure, unadulterated Word of God. They are into meditation, self awareness, motivational speaking, and anything and everything that is grounded in this world. They have lost touch with God and His requirements for being a true Christian built upon the Rock, which is Jesus Christ. The majority of the churches today Jesus said that they make Him sick.
I went to a church a few years ago, because my grandsons were being baptized and I was appalled by their service. I saw steel guitars, rock music, smoke rising through smoke machines, video cameras focusing in on the musicians on the overhead screen, and music so loud that I couldn't think. I thought I was at a Led-Zeppelin concert, not a church service devoted to the worship of the Living God. Is this an example of worship services in America's churches today? Sadly, it is more prevalent than I would care to admit. These churches are ripe pickings for the delusions that will come upon the earth in the near future of the rise of the One World Religion headed by none other the the False Prophet, ie. The grand Poopah in Rome
WHAT ABOUT OUR CHILDREN?
This gets down to the brass tacks of this message. Our children are our future. Are we teaching our children according to God's Word? I would say in the majority, the church is failing miserably. See all the crimes of insanity of young people who have lost hope, or desire suicide to end their sufferings. Of course, they want to take as many people with them as possible, hence the awful past shootings of Columbine, The Batman Rising shooter in Colorado, and the Newtown, Connecticutt school killer just to name a few in the recent past. Do you know what the #1 single killer of our young people today is? It used to be accidents, as in trauma from motor vehicle accidents, or accidents of dare-devils who think they are immortal, but that has been surpassed in recent years by SUICIDE. Yes, suicide of a lost generation that has no hope, no anchor or faith in something bigger than themselves. Morality begins in the home, nurtured by the church, and guaranteed by our laws of this land called the USA. But the last 50 years have seen morality take a deep six nose dive. We have raised a 2nd generation of unschooled, unbelieving, and godless people who now have kids of their own with no compass in their lives, and pray tell do they get it in the truth in our churches of today? The answer would be a hearty "NO"! Most of these stay away from church, as they have figured out that the churches provide nothing they need in their lives.
6 "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."(Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
14 "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (John 14:15)
3, "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4, He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5, But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him."(1st John 2:3-5)
This is not about works, but where your faith lies. Is it in Jesus Christ or in a religion of men? Who do you love? If you love this world, Jesus and the Father are not in you.
THE POLITICS OF EVIL
And what is the answer of our elected leaders? Gun control is their answer. The POTUS past (I'll not use his name, as it makes me sick) had a plan. I would call it a sinister plan in the same regards as Hitler had plans for Germany. And no Dorothy, we are not in Kansas!! The world we know has changed...was that the then POTUS idea of "hope and change"? It's not my idea, and probably was not yours either. And you can bet your bottom dollar, nothing is going to change for the better, until the heart of America changes and I don't see that coming in this life, unless this nation falls on her knees and cries out for redemption, and not to our government. That is the LAST place any sane American would look to today. Our leaders are as clueless about the root cause as the rest of the unbelieving world. The only answer is to teach our children the way they should go from the Word of God and as a nation, but we have failed miserably as parents, as a church, and as a nation...just look around you.
A clear command comes from God to give our children a Christian education. Are we prepared to say that not to do so is sin? After all, God orders it. How are we doing it? What have we provided for our kid's Christian education? How much time are we spending doing it? If we have children, we can be sure these questions will be asked.
Obviously, the church is not doing it's job. The parents are not doing their job, as they were not taught either. So the nation is falling apart. So the problem grows, and grows until we have a lawless society bent on destruction of other human beings because of their own pain and inability to cope. (of course we have evidence that the recent looting and mayhem in Democratic run cities are designed to bring America to her knees.) Men look to the government to fulfill their needs. Ask any bleeding heart liberal that is on food stamps and welfare. Pity the fool that looks to men and not looking to God for their salvation.
YOUR FAITH ON TRIAL
Let's take that evidence of faith and put it into a courtroom setting of this age. At the Great White Throne judgment or even the Bema judgment seat of Jesus Christ, at the end of the church age, the Judge has brought you before the high court and the prosecutor reads the charges. If we are asked about our faith, the Judge will ask to show us our faith by our actions as evidence for our defense. True enough that works cannot save anyone and we could get into the argument of works based salvation as the Pharisees of Jesus Christ day thought salvation was achieved by. They were wrong, as faith is all that is required, but what of the above verses? Is there anything required or let's say, expected for the truly converted believer to show this High Court if their faith was in God, or was it misplaced in something else? Maybe that faith was in their church, their denomination, or their parish priest or pastor. We see people everyday that we see in our churches, and you know, you can't tell them apart from the sinner down at your local bar drinking himself into a stupor. Listen to their speech. The action at the Bema Judgment seat of Christ are loss of rewards, but at the Great White Throne judgment is the loss of your life and facing eternal death in the fires of hell and the Lake of Fire. James explains it well found in your Bible:
3 "Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm whithersoever the governor listeth.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell,
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. "(James 3:3-9)
Understanding we live in a sinful world and evil talk and crude language is all around us. Do we take on the actions of this world, this Laodicean Age of apostasy? If we are guilty of this sin, what does it say to the unbeliever? Are they impressed with your aura of righteousness? Do you honor God in spirit and your actions? Do you esteem your neighbor above yourself? Are you kind, considerate, careful of your language, and project an aura of a bought and paid for saint for God's Kingdom? If no, then are they impressed? I think you know that answer to that one. They are not and they see no need for your luke-warm religion as it doesn't speak to them of their lost condition. Many on judgment day will think they are alright. They went to church, they paid their tithes, and they even believed in their heads about this person "Jesus Christ". Remember the portion of the opening verse. "thou doest well. Even the demons believe and tremble" But they are not saints. Let's examine what Jesus said about these pseudo-christians, in name only.
31 "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left."(Matthew 25:31-32)
If you are familiar with the parable, Jesus separates the true Christians apart from the fake, in name only Christians. This is after the Tribulation that Jesus will judge the nations. Both thought they were doing God's will. The goats on His left, they did what they thought right in their own eyes. Pseudo-Christians, or the ones in name only, missed one vital point, they were playing the game, but didn't have the power within their lives. They relied either on themselves being a good person, or their church, or their pastor/priest, or something else in a religious nature, but missed taking on the likeness of Jesus Christ and into their heart, and their very being. They put their trust in a false religions, a false god or even no god at all. They only had the label, not the power of God. Or. the seed planted by Jesus Christ had been over run with thorns and weeds and they were not really a new creature in Jesus Christ, but play acting. They spoke it, they read about it in their bible (rarely), they counted on their priest to get them to heaven, or they just thought being religious was good enough. You know what, it was not. That scenario can both happen before and after the beginning of the Tribulation, so applies even more so today before the true Church is removed. I speak of misplaced trust and faith in the wrong place and the wrong Person.
JUDGMENT PASSED ON MANKIND.
As in the final court case at the end of the age, noted above, the Judge is Jesus Christ, as God the Father has given Him all authority to judge mankind, the prosecutor is God's Holy Word found in the books opened. If you are not found to be written in the book of life, but who were just going through the motions and had not really taken Jesus Christ into your heart, then God have no choice but to repeat what was said at the sheep and goat judgment by our Lord Jesus Christ by saying:
41" Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" .
You will have no defense, and Jesus Christ cannot/will not defend you, as you have not taken on His likeness and have not been clothed with His righteousness. God the Father will see you in all your sinful nature without being clothed in the righteousness of His Son, as the only pardon for your awful condition. The sentence will be passed and you will be condemned for all eternity to separation from God and destruction in the Lake of Fire...the second death burning with fire and brimstone mixed with sulfur.
TIME RUNNING OUT
Understand one thing my reader, the nation of the United States is sadly going down in flames. How long it will take, I haven't a clue, as the time table is in God's hands, but going down she is. This past POTUS put it's demise on warp speed. We pray we have a reprieve with the current administration from the wrath of God and pray for 4 more years of such, but what if we don't receive it this November? The evil nature of men has only grown worse and worse. Morality and the love of anyone but yourself has nearly vanished, if it hasn't already done so. Men will tear each other apart just to get what they think they want or need. If a crisis develops, men will take guns and kill anyone and everyone in their way. This government we have elected found in Congress and the Senate (you did it, I didn't) will come down with both feet and declare martial law. The United States of Socialist America will be upon you and despair will be the order of the day.
There is coming a day, and I pray it is soon, where the righteous saints clothed with the blood of Jesus Christ will make a sudden exit from this earth. Men will be astounded. Men will be confused and looking for a reason for the calamity that has come upon this earth. Only the faithful will be removed. When I say faithful, I mean those who have taken on the likeness of Jesus Christ in all our imperfect attempt at following in His footsteps. Jesus knows each of our hearts and where our faith and our treasure lies.
Does yours lie in this world, or does it lie in the next life to come through Jesus Christ our Lord? Look at Matthew 6,
19 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."(Matthew 6:19-21)
So where does your faith lie? Are you acting on that faith? Are you putting Jesus Christ first in your life? Paul said in Galatians :
26 "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ".(Galatians 3:26-27)
What does it mean to put on Jesus Christ? ,
11 "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfi the lusts thereof."(Romans 13:11-14)
We are commanded as believers, true believers to put on Jesus Christ. Emulate what he said, what He taught, and what He lived everyday of His short life and ministry on earth. To do so, is to "Show true faith". Nothing else is but playing around and hoping we are not a goat...Don't take that chance. Your final eternal home depends on it...
There is coming a day, where those who have played the game of the Laodecian Church age and think they are OK who will sadly find out that they were not OK...at least not in God's eyes. They have rejected the one thing, the One Person who could have changed their destiny and gave them the right to be called the "sons of God", but alas, they have succumbed to the spirit of the Anti-Christ and been lulled to sleep in a Laodecian mindset and having a form of Godliness, but denying the power there-of.
5, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6, For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."(2nd Timothy 3:5-7)
This age is fast closing and the Tribulation spoken of in Daniel's prophesy could be right around the corner, just out of sight. When that time period begins, then to be a Christian will come with a higher price than even it does today. Let us not rely on man, or the apostasy that grows in luke-warm churches of this Laodecian Age, but let us turn to the only source of our salvation and victory over this world.
"For God so love the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.". (John 3:16-20)
Who does the Apostle John speak of? The only source of our salvation, Jesus Christ, the Lord
And again Paul emphasizes what Jesus spoke of and recorded by John the Apostle:
8, "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:8-13)
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying your salvation through the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Should you have a need for prayer, counseling, or just a friendly ear to listen, then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org , God bless you all until hopefully: WE MEET AT JESUS FEET