Sure, Go To Church & Sin

July 22, 2012

“Go to Bethel [church] and sin; go to Gilgal [another church] and sin yet more.” (God’s words in Amos 4:4) “Bring your sacrifice of songs and tithes and brag about them, even while you reject My holy law.” (See v. 4,5) “Yet I despise your religious assemblies and will not accept your sacrifices or the noise of your songs!” (See 5:21-23) “The worship you offer Me, from your hearts filled with sin and false doctrines, is being done in vain.” (See Mark 7:6-8)

What should we do if God feels this way about our church worship? He tells us what to do: “Seek Me and live; do not seek Bethel… Gilgal… or Beersheba [various churches].” (Amos 5:4,5) Why? He tells us: “For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to grief and wickedness.” (v. 5) Isn’t this what we’re seeing across our nation? Churches are dying, being given over to the realm of the evil one, and becoming haunts of thriving sin. Why? Because falsehoods are being preached –doctrines that promote and/or cause immaturity, self-centeredness, pleasure-seeking, pride, and spiritual laziness (1 Cor. 3:1-3 // 1 Tim. 6:3-10 // Heb. 5:12,13 // James 3:13-16) as they give out licenses for immorality. (Jude 1:4)

God is warning us that it is only by seeking Him that we will live. In other words, if we seek church, we are walking the road to eternal death. This doesn’t mean that God, in His mercy, will not reveal Himself there to the truly repentant person, the one who is genuinely seeking Him; but God is warning us that the church as a whole is full of hypocrisy, falsehoods, and wickedness. And that to seek the church itself, or to seek the earthly things it might provide (entertainment, friendships, knowledge, a spiritual high, etc.), is the way of death, not life.

Where then is the primary place to seek God? It is in His Word. Yet this is exactly where so many will not go. Even most of the preachers are merely seeking theology or what to present as a sermon, rather than meditating on the Word of God in order to find the Lord Himself. Thus, everyone (generally speaking) is left with no close relationship with God, and in not knowing Him, no one knows how to point out, or shine out, the One who is true Life.

So, because of the sin and falsehoods in the church, God is bringing judgement to His bride. (1 Peter 4:17) She is an adulterous bride who has left her God to run after the world (James 4:4), her worship to Him being done only in pretense. (Jer. 3:10) The stench is obvious even to the common sinner. For everyone can see the pride emanating from the majority of those who stand and sway on the stage as they sing and skillfully play their instruments. Are most trying to bring glory to God, or are they participating in the hopes of heaping glory to themselves? And what about the preachers, the greeters, and the ones who give the announcements? Are they serving God in humility and in true loving concern for their fellowman, or are they serving their own reputations and honor? Anyone with a shred of discernment can tell what most, throughout America’s churches, are doing.

Because of this stench, because of this abomination, because of this harlotry in the camp, God warns again and again: “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found –and live.” (See Amos 5:6 w/ Isa. 55:6) “Let the wicked forsake their evil thoughts and ways, and I will pardon.” (See Isa. 55:7) “Otherwise, because of you who cast righteousness to the ground, I will sweep through the house like a fire; it will devour, and Bethel will have no one to quench it.” (See Amos 5:6,7) In other words, the church will not be able to save its sinners from God’s wrath.

with love,

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