Lately, I have listened to a number of pastors plead with parishioners, on TV and in church buildings, about the importance of going to church.
I do believe in assembly, I do accept the importance of unity in Christ, fellowship based on the revealed Word of God.
Why I have found, however, in many churches is that Christ is not centerplace. Jesus is not even mentioned in many churches. They may quote the Scriptures in the Bible, but they do not talk about a living Savior who cares about us today!
A living Savior, isn't that what we are looking for today?
Yet in so many churches, Jesus is still presented as a distant, static figure.
Apart from the blessed ministries of Bob George, Joseph Prince, and Kenneth Hagin, most preachers are revisiting man's efforts, rather than revealing the Finished Work of Jesus Christ.
What He accomplished for us on the Cross will take more than one thousand lifetimes for us to understand.
Why else did Peter declare to his readers in his Second Epistle:
"Grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord!" (2 Peter 3: 18)
Yet in how many churches do we find pastors who help us to grow in grace and knowledge of a living Savior?
Jesus is alive, people! He is a living King, and He wants to live and reign in each of us:
"15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 15-17)
Because the Word of God is not presented, let alone prized, because Jesus is an after-thought as opposed to the full and final subject in our churches, I do not go to church anymore.
As one radio pastor declared, I am part of a growing group of people in the Body of Christ called "Dones."
Not just done with the hypocrisy and bitterness, not just fed-up with the disgraceful behavior, but done with the bankrupt lack of attention to the grace and truth of God's Word, which speaks of one Person: Jesus.
We are in the last days, which Jesus prophesied about in Revelation when He rebuked the Seventh Church:
"15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
This passage speaks of hte growing mixture in our churches not just of secular and sacred, but of law and grace. Everything we have in this life, His life, is a gift.
16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because 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:
People are not on fire for God, because they do not know that He is on fire for us! They do not appreciate His grace because they do not understand the severity of His law, which Jesus fulfilled in full at he Cross. They do not understand how lavish is His love toward us, either. John explains this problem in his First Epistle, that man love the world, they succumb to the lust of the flesh and the eye, and the pride of life because they do not know the love of the Father (1 John 2: 14-15)
Jesus' rebuke of their "wealth" is not just an indictment against material goods, nor the Megachurches of the 1990s, but the pursuit of wealth as the only prosperity which God has for us. 3 John 2 could not have been clearer. God our Father sees us as Beloved, and he wants us to prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers.
Our soul prospers as we walk, we identify with the truth, that in Christ we are fully justified from all thing, of which we could not be justified under the law of Moses (Acts 13: 38-39)
Many churches have neglected the soul prosperity part, forgetting that the Word of Truth causes us to prosper inside and out.
18I 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. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Let every passage by read in the light of Scripture. Gold speaks of righteousness, which is without price, paid for through the precious blood of Jesus. We are made rich through His sacrifice, not our efforts. The white raiment again speaks of the gift of righteousness, and the context of removing "shame of they nakedness" confirms this, all referring back to the Fall of Man in the Garden, when Adam and Eve saw themselves as naked. When we read about repentance, Jesus speaks of believing the truth of all that Jesus has been talking about. We believe that "It Is Finished", that when He died o the Cross, He took all our sins, and our sin, and brought us into Himself.
|Jesus wants in: Will You Let Him?|
20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Revelation 3: 15-22)
Jesus stands at the door of many churches, including all the churches I have attended thus far. Paul invited everyone of us to let Jesus be at home in our lives: "The Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith" (Ephesians 3: 16)
I want to know more about this Savior who lives in me. Many churches do not even welcome Him into their congregations.
Therefore, I am a Done. I believe that the work is done, and I am done with churches where they minimize Christ Jesus and the Cross, and they augment man's efforts.
There is indeed a Grace Revolution restoring the fullness of the Gospel to the full awareness of all people. I cannot recall the number of people whom I have met who still have not found a good church, but not because they don't want to be with other believers. They do not attend a gathering on a Sunday because whatever they find in those buildings is not the assembly we are exhorted not to forsake.
Consider the fullness of the following passage:
"19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:19-25)
Many provocateurs who have given me and others a hard time about not going to a church on Sunday will break out Hebrews 10:25, but there is a context to this passage, and a Person who defines the Church, the Body of Christ.
The blood of Jesus is what grants us the boldness to enter before Him. How many churches talk about the Blood of Jesus? There is so much worship today which is "Bloodless", and therefore lifeless. The blood cleanses, the blood speaks, the blood is eternal, precious, and incorruptible. Why no mention of the blood in today's churches?
There is also the mention of the New and Living Way. This Way is the Person, Jesus, and He has enacted the New Covenant for us:
"8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
"9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
"10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:" (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
I never heard about this New Covenant until I heard Joseph Prince preach about it, along with "People to People Ministries" leader Bob George. They asked the same question: "Why is this not preached?"
Very good question. Churches are supposed to be preaching the New Covenant, and they don't. So, I am done with those churches.
There is also the revelation of Jesus as our High Priest today. How many people even know that Jesus is seated right now at the Father's right hand, and that we are in Christ?
"Herein is love perfected among us, that we ma have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)
I shared this verse with a Bible translator, who had worked with indigenous tribes in South America, and he had never read this verse. He thought that the translation was faulty, but I should him the original Greek. It was an earth-shaking revelation for him.
Why is this revelation not being preached, either?
Churches which do not reveal the Blood of Jesus, the New Covenant, and Jesus as our High Priest Forever cannot qualify as assemblies. Simple as that.
How can anyone of us forsake assembly, then, when there is none to forsake?
Many Christians are tired of the upsets, the selling out of pastors to tickle men's ears rather than feed their souls. People want to see more of Jesus, not themselves, they want to hear the truth which sets them free, not the opinions of men which make them feel good (temporarily). The Grace Revolution is rising up, and this eternal insurgency will not be stopped.
Praise God for the blessed men and women who reveal the Word of God, who refuse to preach anything but the Word of God, who rightly divide the Word of Truth, so that Jesus is magnified and every other name is brought low.