Sunday, May 7, 2017

God Hates Religion

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” – Revelation 3:15-19

We are to abide in Jesus daily. Jesus makes that clear in the 15th chapter of John. We are to forsake this world, the riches of this world, the entrapments of this world (even the ones in the church), and the cares of this world and abide in Jesus. That means that Jesus is to be exalted above ALL other areas of your life EVERY DAY.

God provided manna in the wilderness in Exodus 16, every day. It was only good for the day it was gathered and then it rotted and turned into worms if it was saved (except the two days worth so they would not gather on the Sabbath). God has never been a God of weekly lip service, special ceremonies or special holidays. He has always commanded and demanded our daily attention. It is no different with Jesus. He commands and demands our daily attention on Him. That is what is meant by the word ABIDE.

Don’t believe me?

This is how God opens up His judgment against Israel as He delivered it to Isaiah:

“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?”
Says the Lord.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle.
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
Or of lambs or goats.

“When you come to appear before Me,
Who has required this from your hand,
To trample My courts?
Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;
They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them.
When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood. – Isaiah 1:11-15

Do you still believe that God winks at sin? Do you still believe that Jesus gives a free pass on Sunday morning for whatever you did on Saturday night? Do you think that God is going to continue to tolerate your religious acts apart from abiding in Him daily? I don’t believe you can read the above passage and be content in giving Sunday lip service to Jesus. Jesus is not a salve to put on your wounds. Jesus is not a bandage to cover your ouchies. Jesus is not there to give you a free pass for your Saturday night sins. Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and commands your daily presence.

There is a greater question that must be asked of those who confess Jesus as Lord and an enormous warning to be delivered to those who are trusting in their religion to save them. (Go and read my last post when you finish this one.)

Are you among those who Jesus never knew?

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” – Matthew 7:21-23

Standing alone, it is pretty easy to clearly understand that having a relationship with Jesus trumps all other good works you might do, but if that isn’t enough, the six verses before these three make it clear that the fruit one bears testifies to their true nature and the four verses after them tell you where you ought to be investing your efforts. John 15 makes it very clear how one who bears Jesus’ fruit is to act. If you have no desire to abide, as in John 15, or build upon the solid Rock, then you need to repent and seek a new relationship with Jesus.

God Will Not Be Mocked By Your Religious Practices

Not only should the above passage from Isaiah have you trembling concerning your Sunday lips service attitude, but you need to be aware that if you are not abiding in Jesus, the Word of God, on a daily basis, then you will be among those who are deceived by the false teachers and the Anti-Christ. Both the False Prophet and the Anti-Christ are already in this world, so you better wake up and start paying attention. Pay attention to these words of the apostle Paul:

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-7

All of my adult life I have sought to understand what is meant by the phrase "holding to a form of godliness, but denying its power." The Holy Spirit has led me to a full understanding of it. It relates to what we just read in Matthew 7. When we deny our relationship with Jesus, we deny the power of our salvation. It really doesn't take a lot of wisdom to understand that if the branches deny the sap of the vine to flow through them or become disconnected from the vine that they will quickly die. Besides the death of never being connected, denying our daily relationship with Jesus puts us at risk for deception.

Deception will come and already has come in the form of religion. Deception is in the common Christian symbols and traditions that you probably see in your church on Sunday. Without the guiding of the Holy Spirit, to guide you into all truth (John 16) and the relationship connected to abiding in Jesus on a daily basis, even the scriptures are a stumbling block.

There is no wisdom, there are no codes, and there are no professors or teachers that can give you a full understanding of the Word of God. The Truth can only be found through the guidance of The Word, The Light and The Truth (John 1). The Truth stands on its own apart from what you believe or what you’ve been taught. All things must be tested against the Word of Truth. Apart from Jesus and Him glorified and exalted in your life, you WILL BE DECEIVED.

Abide in Jesus Daily

Give up your religious practices and your dependence upon religious rites and symbols. Instead, abide in Jesus every single day. Exalt Him above all other things in your life and seek His wisdom and His guidance through the Holy Spirit and through His Word. We all get off track, but in order to continue to abide in Jesus; we must recognize our wandering and rebellion, repent of it and get right back into abiding. BE RESTORED NOW!