The Church That Nauseates God!

The Church That Nauseates God!

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.Revelation 3:14-16 NIV

Whenever I read this passage of scripture, I think about where the Church is today. Every year, it seems, we get further away from living the way God intended us to live. And every year, we come up with more and more excuses to turn away from the tried and true–loving God and loving one another–living in obedience to His Word.

The reason the world is in the shape it’s in is because we no longer know how to love–God or one another. If we loved God, we would not support, promote or encourage sin–living in opposition to His Word. If we loved one another, there would be no violence–no killing of children, people or suicide bombers. There would be no theft, no backbiting, no name-calling and hurling insults at others simply because we lack appropriate communication skills.

Yes, “what the world needs now–is love sweet love–it’s the only thing there’s just too little of.”

But because we know not how to love–we have become complacent–apathetic–void of any feelings one way or the other. We are neither hot or cold, but lukewarm and God says, being lukewarm, makes Him sick enough to throw up. I can only imagine how nauseated He really is watching us flounder betwixt and between pacifying the world and man’s dictates and trying to muster enough energy to give Him halfhearted worship. Our obedience to His Word is not evident in most of what we see on the news and in our communities–and in the buildings where everything is supposed be done according to God’s Word–not man’s traditions.

Oh yes, we’re making God nauseous and if we’re honest with ourselves–most of what we do should make us sick enough to return to Him, but apparently, we have not arrived at that place–yet.

We will get there–to that place when we realize we’re tired of living in our own puke–trailing it wherever we go, stinking up every place we go, watching people cover their noses so they won’t inhale the stench. Hopefully, we’ll get there before Jesus returns but if we don’t, we’ll have no one but ourselves to blame since His directions are written in His Word and since we have Holy Spirit to guide us–we must listen and obey. When we don’t, we spread the stench of disobedience.

 

Why Jesus said, “God’s Worshippers Must Worship In Spirit And in Truth!”

“God is a spirit and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24 NIV)

It is probably because of this passage and some others that reference God as a “spirit” that many naysayers casually belittle Believers by calling God a ghost. Ghosts are spirits of the dead, therefore God is The Spirit of life since He was neither born nor died, He simply is. For those of us who know God, not just believe “in God” we know Truth.

What was going on when Jesus had to make this distinction? Jesus had sent His disciples to purchase food and He waited for them by a well and had a conversation with a Samaritan woman–a no-no for a Jewish people to interact with the Samaritans (then). At any rate, Jesus told the woman all about herself and a conversation rose about where a person should worship. And the following is Jesus’ response to her:

John 4:19-23

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”

What were the Samaritans worshipping? Idols (images) with altars set up in the mountain who served no purpose other than pagan worship. Unfortunately, the debate about where a person should worship is still going on between some factions of Christians and what Jesus said, then, is true now. God, the Father is seeking those who will worship Him in the spirit (allowing His spirit to interact with our own) and in truth (with knowledge of who He is and how He wants us to live). 

There are many people who go to church buildings out of tradition, but for no real purpose or knowledge. They go through the motions of singing songs, praying empty prayers, and listening to sermons with half an ear. I know people who attend a church service on a regular basis, but then they claim they don’t know if they believe the Bible or not. If they don’t know if the Bible is true or not, why are they wasting their time going into a building? These are those who believe “in God” but do not Believe God.

This is the point Jesus was trying to make to the Samaritan woman and those who Believe God, not just believe in Him. We cannot believe God if we don’t know His Word. His Word reveals who He is and for those who understand this, we know we do not have to be in a specific place to worship Him–acknowledging all He has done for us and giving Him praise for who He is.

For this reason, many church services are devoid of the Spirit of God, because His spirit is not welcomed due to the traditions of man, taking precedence over the leadership of Holy Spirit. None who are led by Holy Spirit would encourage anyone to live in opposition to God’s Word. None who are led by Holy Spirit would call God said was wrong, right nor what He said is right, wrong. None who are led by Holy Spirit would deliberately entice anyone to live a life apart from the knowledge of God and His purpose for our lives.

When we become so complacent as leaders in the church that we choose not to stir people with Truth and allow God’s Word to convict of sin, we are merely going through the motions of a bland, flavorless service. We are told to preach the Word–whether it is convenient or not, whether people want to hear it or not and we are to say what God says, not just teaching a “feel-good, sugarcoated messages” because we don’t want to offend sinners. If we are afraid to offend those in sin and choose to offend God instead, we place ourselves in a position to know His wrath.

Satan isn’t concerned about the leaders in some churches; he has already recruited them as commanders in his army. What they have forgotten is this–the payment for sin is death. And this is why there are so many spiritually, dead churches–devoid of life–because Satan’s job is to kill, still, and destroy. Can we not see that is exactly what is happening around us today?

Be filled with the Spirit of God and know Holy Spirit will not dwell in an unclean temple, but meditate on The Word, knowing there is life in The Word of God, leading us to closer relationship with Him and giving us power–to stay bold and courageous–to say what God says. Worship Him in Spirit and in the Truth of His Word. 

More of what Jesus said and why, next time!

Nothing Like a Good Understanding!

Sympathy–sharing the feelings of another. This is what happens when we “feel” what others feel about events or situations.

For example: Since I know what it is like to lose a loved one, I can be sympathetic to others who have lost a loved one and generally, will know how to respond to them.

Empathy–identifying with another’s feelings, thoughts, attitudes.  We can relate to a person’s feelings or attitudes about an event or situation.

For Example: Understanding how dysfunctional our Congress is, I can empathize with new-comers who think they will be able to effect a change in the status-quo.

Apathy–lacking interest or concern about things that concern others; absence of excitement or passion about a situation. We don’t care one way or another about an event or situation.

For Example: Although I have concluded that the political system in this country does not work for the middle-class and poor, I will not be apathetic and not vote for someone in the upcoming elections.

Why bother to make these distinctions in words? Based upon my observations of people and how they behave towards others and situations, I simply thought to offer insight.

When I see people do nothing to improve their quality of life–mentally, physically, or financially, I refuse to have any sympathy for them. After all, unless they are totally physically incapable of doing something about their lives, they deserve no sympathy.  With recent outrage about water shut-offs in Detroit, I have no sympathy for anyone using the service and thinking they do not have to pay for it. Having access to water is not about it being a “human rights” issue; it is about being responsible in determining how much one can afford to pay for having water and making arrangements to pay on the bill–before it gets turned off. For the person who struggles and yet pays something, I can have empathy for in their plight. For those who deliberately use and then don’t want to pay, they get no sympathy from me.

The same is true for those who do nothing for days, weeks, months at-a-time and then over-exert unused muscles and end up in pain, expecting sympathy from others. Not from me. Exercise those muscles on a daily basis and then if there is a problem, I will be sympathetic regarding the situation and respond accordingly.

Knowing the difference between being sympathetic, empathetic, and apathetic makes a difference in how we respond to others. Since I am highly emotional (and opinionated), I doubt seriously if I could be apathetic about any situation, but I can certainly be sympathetic or empathetic about many.

“With all of our getting (or gathering of information), we need to get understanding.”

No more excuses!

Is there something you need to do today that should have been done–a long time ago?

Well, now is the time to get it done–whatever the “it” is–do it now–no more excuses!

You’ve been saying for years that you wanted to go back to school–get it done, now!

You’ve been telling yourself and anyone else who would listen–that you were going to exercise–get it done, now!

You promised your children you would spend more time with them–do it now!

What about that promise to your spouse–whatever it may have been–stop procrastinating and get it done now!

Stop making excuses for not doing what you need to do and get it done now!

Don’t wait for another “tomorrow” because tomorrow’s sun may not shine in your life-get it done, now!

Find reasons to accomplish, not excuses to put things off-until…!  When we consistently delay in doing the things that must be done, we become our own worst enemy.  It is not the dog’s fault, the cat’s fault, the neighbor’s fault, the children’s fault, the spouse’s fault, the teacher’s fault, the school’s fault, the government’s fault–the fault–apathy–being a procrastinator–lies within us–own it and do something about it.

The more we attempt to do in order to accomplish all that God has put on our hearts to do–each day–the more we honor Him and the more we honor Him with what we do, the more blessings we can expect from Him.  No more excuses–get it done!