God’s People, Intervene!
October 25, 2011
Many people are worried about what is coming upon the earth in the near future. They sense God’s anger against the prevailing wickedness and know that His hand of judgement is upraised. (Isa. 26:11) But what is it that God wants His people to do about it? He wants us to repent ourselves. He wants us to weep and pray and turn from the idols we ourselves are indulging in. “What idols?” ask those who claim Christ’s name. “I have no idols. I’m not an idolater.” Yet their main idol is Self, and “flattering themselves too much to detect or hate their sins” (see Ps. 36:2), they continue to cater to Self as much as they can –feasting its stomach with expensive foods, its body with fashionable clothes, its eyes with movie after movie, its ears with the latest trivia, news, and music, its heart with passions and pleasures… Yet “Self?” they quip. “Naw, there’s no idol of Self within me.”
So God continues to warn, to intervene with “wake-up calls” and through messengers. God takes no pleasure in destroying the wicked, but wants them to repent and be saved. (Ezek. 18:23) Therefore God says, “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it.” (22:30) But does He find any who will do this? He says, “But I found none.” (same verse)
In Jer. 5:1 God says, “Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.” For us, “Jerusalem” in this verse can mean our church, our neighborhood, our school, our city, our state, our country, our home, our heart. What about it? Can one truly (thoroughly) righteous and faithful-to-God heart be found? Let’s quit pointing the finger at the world, at those who don’t claim to follow the Lord. For as verse 2 informs us, God is rebuking those who believe in Him. And verses 4 & 5 inform us that the problem is rampant amongst the leaders who pretend they know His ways.
God is merciful. Do we believe that He desires that people repent? If so, why are we not acting accordingly? Instead of wringing our hands in dismay, and instead of hollering across the internet in anger and fear, why are we not –each one of us not– getting down on our knees and crying out to God to cleanse the people –and cleanse our own hearts as well? Is it because we think God won’t withhold His judgement either way? Is it because we actually don’t think God can cleanse wicked hearts and turn the tide? Is it because we don’t really believe God cares enough or is powerful enough? What is the problem? Why won’t God’s people believe His Word and PRAY?! –Really pray? –Pray without ceasing… pray with fasting… pray with others… pray when we sit and stand and eat and clean and work and drive and shop…? And why do so many who do pray think that their own hearts don’t have to be eliminated of all sin in order for God to listen? (Ps. 66:18 & Prov. 28:9 & 1 Peter 3:7) Why are they not spending time with the Lord in sweet worship and meditation in His Word so as to renew their minds, convict their hearts, and so be cleansed “by the washing with water through the word”? (Eph. 5:26) Why are they not going out and proclaiming the Good News to everyone (Mark 16:15), teaching them in gentleness (2 Tim. 2:24,25) how to obey all Christ’s commands (Matt. 28:20) and how to grow in the knowledge of God (Eph. 1:17) so as to become conformed to the image of Christ? (Rom. 8:29)
Yes, heavy judgement is near. And it will begin with God’s sanctuary / His people. (Ezek. 9:6 & 1 Peter 4:17) Why? Because they have rebelled against God by their sin (Jer. 18:11,12,15)… by holding to other loves (Jer. 3:1-11 & Hosea 4:12)… by refusing to circumcise their hearts (Jer. 4:4 & 9:26)… and by distorting the Word of God. (Ezek. 22:26 & 2 Cor. 4:2) Therefore God will give His unfaithful people “her certificate of divorce and send her away because of all her adulteries.” (See Jer. 3:8) This He will do to the temple that bears His Name. (7:14) This warning is for any temple where He dwells which becomes contaminated and refuses to repent of it. (1 Cor. 3:17) God warns, “I will thrust you from My presence.” (Jer. 7:15)
So many “Christians” are trusting in their supposed “election” and their immovable position in Christ, all the while remaining apathetic to walk in God’s will. Such foolish ones should read what God actually says in His Word, rather than listen to the false teachers who speak peace to them. Look at what God says in Ezek. 23:5-10: “Oholah [Samaria] engaged in prostitution while she was still Mine; and she lusted after her lovers… and defiled herself with all the idols of everyone she lusted after… Therefore I handed her over to… [be] killed.” (OSAS adherents, read this again, along with Heb. 10:26-31, for God will indeed throw into Hell even those who were once His, but who then turn to sin and will not repent.)
“Now your impurity is lewdness. Because I tried to cleanse you but you would not be cleansed from your impurity, you will not be clean again until My wrath against you has subsided… You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign LORD.” (Ezek. 24:13,14) (Calvinists, read that again and notice that “the Sovereign LORD” “tried to cleanse…”, but couldn’t. Might that be because God does not overrule men’s freedom of choice? And is God not stating that our own conduct determines how we are judged?)
Therefore, church-goers and Bible-believers, do not trust “in deceptive words that are worthless.” (Jer. 7:8) Instead: “Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for My Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel.” (v. 12) Yes, let’s go to God’s Word and read for ourselves what the Truth teaches, and stop listening to deceptive words that will only send us down the road to Hell. For God’s Word says that it is sinful actions that deny the God one claims to know (Titus 1:16), and that this will be cause for Christ to disown us (2 Tim. 2:12), nullifying the pardon once granted (Matt. 18:32-34 & Heb. 10:26-31) –something Jesus Himself clearly taught. (Matt. 10:33 & 15:7,8 & 7:21-23 & etc.)
So when we see the wickedness of society, let’s realize that we –as a church and as individuals– should have long ago been on our knees in weeping and prayer… should have long ago been proclaiming the Gospel everywhere… should have long ago been teaching others (and ourselves) to walk in obedience to God’s Word… But, even now, it is not too late. We can get ourselves right, step out in obedience in the power of the Holy Spirit, and ask God to bring repentance, revival, and cleansing to our land. For who knows? As Job 22:30 says, “He will deliver even one who is not innocent, who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”