Bible Lesson 125

The Pulpit and Politics #2 in series

“Unless the Lord build the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.” Psalms 127:1 “When people fear government, that is Tyranny?.When government fears the people, that is Freedom.”
Thomas Jefferson

In our last installment of this lesson, we asked the question, “Does Politics have a place in the Pulpit'” We gave the answer, which was yes and no. In Bible lesson #124, we attempted to show that in the present church atmosphere we cannot properly think that we are ready to do politics from the pulpits; because pulpits of our nation, for the most part, have failed to do the work of God which is to “Rightly divide the word of truth.” Whatever the problem that caused the visible church to get off God’s path and take up a path that appeared to do what God had instituted, but falls sharply short of bringing souls into the kingdom of God.

Forgive me if I seem to wield a sword against the true Church of God; because that is not my intent. What I want to do is simply to call to the attention of serious seekers of the Faith, the sad condition of the institutions that hold themselves out as representatives of the Church of Christ. The Church has taken on itself a very high and noble calling and that is to represent the body of Christ here on the earth. In Ephesians chapter 5, we find that God relates the Church, to Christ as to a bride; and it tells us that we as members are “are members of His body, of His flesh and His bone. God goes on in the fifth chapter of Ephesians to tell us that Christ died for the church. “That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

I would ask that you open your copy of the Word of God and read Ephesians chapter five, and contemplate all of it, but paying particular attention to verses 22-33. If we are going to accomplish anything in this lesson each of us, including me, must be willing to open our heart, mind, and soul, and examine ourselves and our church groups to see if we are indeed in the way and will of God. These scriptures in Ephesians chapter 5, speak of what happens in salvation and that is that we die to self and become part and parcel of the true church which is the invisible church that is made up of truly saved, born again, obedient members. It is hard for us to keep that fact in mind, that there are a true church and a pretended which has become so much like the world in many or most cases that it does not look anything like the real church. The institutional church, with all of its various denominations and doctrines reflects a fracturing of the church.son

Now, I realize that this kind of soul searching and accusations are always hard to deal with and we have become a people that do not like to look seriously at what has happened to us as a people and society. The Church that is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness, is to be a church without spot or wrinkle; however, we have either, wittingly or unwittingly, failed to protect her virtue. We now tend a church that is part holy, part sinful, part spiritual, and part fleshly, and we have trouble marking the difference. It reminds me of Moses coming off the mountain with the Ten Commandments and finding the people who were supposed to be waiting on word from God, indulging themselves in an orgy of pagan worship.

These were people who had just been “saved” from scores of years of slavery in a foreign land, yet they could not wait upon God, and instead insisted on worshipping a golden calf that had been fashioned by Aaron. Whenever we leave the pure Worship of God, worship in Spirit and Truth, we set ourselves up as idolaters, just like these people did. Are we worshiping God today in Spirit and Truth or are we simply going to church and sitting as we are led through the traditional church routine, where everything is the same, everything is planned down to the last minute, where every prayer is programmed, every song practiced, everything is planned, except time for the Holy Spirit of God to work in the lives of those who are there and individuals are allowed to truly worship their Creator. Worship, that word that so many of us use but so few of us understand the meaning of. What we should think about when we say that we have come to worship God, should be that we have come to humble ourselves before Him, to bow in awe and reverence, to render service, praise and thanksgiving to Him alone. We worship God when we prepare ourselves to enter into His courts with praise, and by prepare I mean prepare by first cleansing our hearts and minds and body if need be, by prayer and confession and repentance of any sin in our lives, by coming to share with the family of God in Church.

No, we are not a church and not doing what the church was established for, which is to come to worship and learn of God and to prepare ourselves to go forth to serve Him in bringing in the Kingdom. I’m afraid that we have allowed the church and the church service to become an opiate of some kind that we need to make us feel worthy of our salvation. That has to be offensive to God. We are a part of the body of Christ who is God, and the foot does not look at the eye and think to itself that it can function independently of that member. We are worthy of our salvation only because God has saved us by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die to redeem us from our sins. We are worthy because our Savior was worthy, and we truly worship God as we come to the throne of grace, humbly committing ourselves to His way and His will, ready to get up off our knees determined to go out to fulfill the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Coming to church and spending an hour or even a day is not worship unless our spirit connects to the Spirit of God. Our Hymn must always be “Take my life, and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee; Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of Thy love. Take my feet, and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee; Take my voice and let me sing Always only, for my King.

Take my silver and my gold, Not a mite would I withhold; Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my will, and make it Thine, It shall be no longer mine; Take my heart, it is Thine own, It shall be Thy royal throne. Lord, I give my life to Thee, Thine forevermore to be.” Unless you can commit in that degree to God through Christ, then your prayer will not be heard. That has not been taught in most churches in our society in the past few decades. We have fashioned, Seemingly, out of a desire to add members to our congregations, a new gospel, a softer gospel, an up-to-date gospel, that sets aside many of the truths that people must understand to be saved.

For instance, and we have been teaching this truth for a long time now, preachers stand in pulpits and preach with great authority, that Jesus loves everyone. Have you ever heard your preacher say that’ If you heard him say it, he was teaching something that he cannot find in the Bible. What the Bible teaches us that Christ loves those who obey His commandments. He is a friend to those who obey Him also. (John 14:21-24; John 14:15; John 15:9:10; John 15:14). So many in our day like to preach in such a way as to put out the fires of hell and even dismiss the idea that God would send anyone to a place of eternal punishment, that is not Biblical. The visible church has taken it upon itself to pronounce salvation on those who walk the church aisle and shake the preacher’s hand and are placed on the rolls of the church; and that is not Biblical, because we are told by God in His Word the Bible that salvation is of the Lord (Psalms 3:8); and it is God and He alone that can assure a person of their salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14). All too many preachers today pit Faith against Works and they preach as if it would be a sin to go out to work what God has wrought. We are saved by Grace through Faith, not of works lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9); however, the very next verse in Ephesians chapter 2… Verse 10 tells us that we are the handiwork of God, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. That means that Faith and Works are hyphenated and always go together. In other words, we are saved by faith alone, however, Faith is never alone it always produces godly works.

True preaching never assures everyone that they are alright and we are alright, and we just do the best that we can do. That has never been good enough for our God; because we are all born sinners and are not acceptable to God as sinners. Everyone is born into this world in a state of enmity toward God. It is not that we are God’s enemies, it is that God is our enemy. We are born with a nature that will not be ruled by God, at least not if we have anything to do with it. Humans have an innate desire to rule their own lives and no one ever rules their own lives. We are born under the rule of Satan, and while we live on this earth some will come to submit themselves to God through Christ and will live under his rule. If you don’t believe that, then read John chapter 8:31-47. Lest we forget, this lesson is about Politics and the Pulpits, but what we must understand is that our pulpits are so far from God in our day that we must first, as Jesus preached in His Sermon on the Mount, “consider the plank that is our eye, before we attempt to remove the speck from our brother’s eye .” (Matthew 7:1-5). Yes, the world is corrupt and our politics are in disarray; however, we are not prepared in the present condition our churches are in to do much about it.

The church has gotten so lax and lazy and concerned itself with so many ungodly things that it does not qualify as the cure for what ails our country and its politics. Certainly, we should vote our convictions in every election, and we have the freedom to speak out about those who position themselves to lead this nation; but this is nothing new, we have always had that right and we have voted as individuals for many individuals without even taking the time to examine their past lives (which can indicate a trend in their political lives). If you vote, then you are partially responsible for every thug that sits in these high political offices.

If the church has been what it should have been, it would have exerted its good influence in our communities and there would not be so many who were quick to vote for whoever offered them the most in personal return, rather than who had the mental and moral and ethical qualifications to be a leader. The question now becomes, “Why doesn’t the church have any authority in its community, why does the church exist in communities that are ungodly and wicked’ Good question, but the answer is that the church is not much different than Walmart or Sears or any of the other businesses in our communities. Businesses exist to sell their goods and make money: or for success in their efforts. The visible church, the denomination church, the institutional church has become a business, not too different from other business except that the church does not sell beans and bread, or furniture or lawnmowers, instead it sells itself as a social club and a place where you can spend a little time and make good friends.

That is certainly not supposed to be the business of the church but it turns out to often to be exactly what it does. We long ago left the purpose that Christ established His church to do, and that was to preach and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, “Preach the Word of God, the Truth, being instant in season and out. Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”(2nd Timothy 4:1-5). That tells us that it is the Church’s job to reprove sin, rebuke sinners, and exhort the saints to holiness. Are we doing that’.absolutely not! Instead, we are setting up sports events, shuttling the old folks away from their jobs to teach the younger generation how to live properly, we are fragmenting families, by separating parents and children in the church, separating age groups, separating according to single or married and technically the church is attempting to parent children rather than teaching them the Word and teaching the parents how to raise Biblical children.

I see so many churches today that advertise “Mothers morning out” where they keep the children while mothers have time for themselves. I don’t know about you but my wife would never desert our children to someone so that she could have a morning to herself. Perhaps that is the reason that so many of our youth seem to care nothing for their parents. The way I see it the Church must go back to square one and start over being very careful to make sure that we plot our course and make every step as we follow the clear word of God. I know that so much of the visible church is made up of people who are not saved, we will have to make some jolting moves. We may have to give the social clubs to the social seekers and begin to worship God on His terms.

Where have we fallen away from God’ We fell away as we began to lift man and put down God. What we have to do is to begin to reread the Bible and read it to let God speak to our hearts; instead of reading the Bible to teach it what, the church has been teaching us most of our lives. Then we need to recertify pastors to make sure that they truly believe in the God that is taught in the Bible. We have to begin to preach, that the Word of God, the Bible is inerrant and it is the absolute truths that God would have us to know and obey. We must preach that everyone is born dead in trespass and sin, under the wrath of God and that they are lost and undone, and their great need is to know and submit to God through Christ, believing that what Christ did on Calvary was sufficient to save them to the uttermost.

We must teach men that they are not in charge of their salvation because they cannot earn it on their own. God must call, justify, sanctify, and glorify those whom He saves. We must make people understand that there are only two kinds of people. There are saved people and lost people, sinners, and saints, people who have an intimate relationship with God and those who have no relationship to God. There are children of God and children of the devil, people who have an inheritance in heaven, and people who have an inheritance in hell. There is not one person in between any of those comparisons. The church needs to begin to preach Jesus Christ and He crucified’.dead and buried and resurrected and ascended back into heaven, soon to return in Judgment. We do not need to repackage Christ or edit the Bible, we need to preach it and apply it to everyone. I know that many in our milquetoast society think that we must be more tolerant and allow people to make their way; however, Christ has already made ‘the way’ and it will be that way or no way at all.

Jesus said it in Matthew 12:30, and what He said was, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” We must ‘man-up’ as preachers and begin to care for men’s souls to the point that we preach with our minds made up, that this may be the last sermon in which my congregation hears the truth of the gospel. We as church leaders and laypeople must understand that we are called to be watchmen on the wall, just as the people did back in the Old Testament. Most cities had walls built around the city to keep invaders out of the city and the leaders placed watchmen on the wall to watch for and warn the people of approaching danger. We must watch for men’s souls and warn them of the judgment to come. Most preachers today worry more about getting ‘professions of faith’ and adding members to their congregations than they do about what God wants. I want all preachers to remember God does not call us to add members to the Church of Christ, instead God called us to preach the truth of His Word and He will do the reaping of souls. Remember, Noah, preached a hundred and twenty years and never had a convert. God did not hold that against him because God had not called him to make converts, God called him to be obedient and to preach the truth. We must go away from this lesson with the understanding that we cannot make any difference in this world unless we have God’s approbation on what we preach and how we live. We must “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness’

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob