Church, Be Worthy Of God’s Favor
December 29, 2013
Zion, Jerusalem, was God’s chosen dwelling. But they rebelled, they refused to follow God’s laws. When He commanded them to administer true justice, and to act with kindness and fairness toward one another (Ze. 7:9,10), they instead remained stubborn. (v. 11) They stopped their ears and hardened their hearts. (v. 11,12) The words of the Lord and those whom He sent by His Spirit went unheeded. (v. 12) Therefore “the LORD Almighty was very angry” (v. 12), and deafening His own ear to their calls (v. 13), He scattered them with a whirlwind so that their pleasant land was left desolate. (v. 14)
In God’s great mercy, God has not let Zion’s rebellion against Him be beyond recovery. (Rom. 11:11) They will repent one day, as a nation. (Ze. 12:10-13:2) They will be grafted back into God’s favor when they finally accept their Messiah. (same verses // Rom. 11:23) For the LORD has promised, “I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called, ‘The City of Truth’, ‘The Mountain of the LORD who rules over all’, and ‘The Holy Mountain’.” (Ze. 8:3)
This is a wonderful redemption, recovery, and reconciliation promised. But what about the meantime? Who is God’s dwelling right now? It is the church, His bride. God allowed His former people to reject Him, for their rejection made way for the redemption of the whole world. (Rom. 11:15) Yet have we, Christ’s church, done much better than Israel? Have we, as a whole, not deadened our ears and hearts to His commands, His instructions, and the exhortations of those speaking by His Spirit? We should be being called “The City of Truth” now! Do we not have the Truth, are we not teaching the Truth, are we not walking in the Truth continuously and faithfully? It is expected of us! (3 John 1:3) Our Heavenly Father has commanded it of us! (2 John 1:4) But is the Church truly being faithful? Or does she promote falsehoods and live a lie?
What about “The Mountain Where The Lord Rules”? Does the Lord Jesus rule in our midst? Does He really rule our hearts and minds and actions, our attitudes and our words? Can the LORD Almighty call us “My Holy Mountain”? He expects us to be worthy of being called such. (Eph. 4:1 // 1 Thes. 2:12) We, His church, are now “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” (1 Peter 2:9) We are God’s temple and dwelling. (1 Cor. 3:16) That is, if we keep His place clean, undefiled, and full of praise and worship that is pure and pleasing to Him. Otherwise, we “also will be cut off” (Rom. 11:22) and destroyed with fire. (Luke 3:7-9 // John 15:2,6 // 1 Cor. 3:17 // Heb. 6:8)
Therefore, O Church, “Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.” (Rom. 11:20) “For if God did not spare His chosen people Israel from being banished from His presence, He will not spare us either if we continue along our careless path. (v. 21) They stumbled because they disobeyed the Message. (1 Peter 2:8) But has the church not disobeyed the Message as well?
She has, for the most part, disobeyed. And this is why judgement will begin with the family of God. (1 Peter 4:17)
Take warning, Church, and repent! (Rev. ch. 2 & 3)