TO FEAR GOD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM

Approaching worship with the idea that our hearts are in good enough shape to do so worthily would seem more than a bit audacious, but that is what much of both mainline Protestant and evangelical worship does. Contrast that attitude with one of the historic prayers of the Book of Common Prayer, commonly called the Prayer of Humble Access.

We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalms 51:17

So if worship is formative, guess what actually does matter. The form is inextricable from the substance of the liturgy.

The church cannot look like an entertainment show and retain any integrity whatsoever.

When we tailor our forms in accordance with what we think will resonate with people instead of what frames the liturgy with beauty and dignity, we are crowning people, lords of their own hearts.

That’s why the rule of prayer, not the rule of pop culture, should govern our worship.

None of us have hearts that are right with God, save the intermediation of Jesus Christ. We cannot worship, on our own, at our own initiative, with thoroughly pure motives and hearts that are in the right position. That’s why liturgy is a big deal in the first place. By praying right and true things steeped in Holy Scripture, by receiving the Word rightly preached, and by consuming the gifts of bread and wine, we are formed more into Christ’s likeness.

What is required seems to be approaching worship as we do the gospel. We must be ready to admit that we are helpless and that our hearts are in desperate need of redemption and renewal. We bring nothing to Christ. We have nothing of value to offer. Our works are utterly useless. This little bit of Romans 4 should both haunt us and overwhelm us with joy:

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” Romans 4:7-8

REPENT – AN OFFENSIVE WORD TO MOST

Humanity’s primary problem is sin, and without repentance, forgiveness, and faith in Christ, sin will be punished. When is the last time we have taught these things in our churches and to our youths? When is the last time, Christian parent, that you have taught such things to your kids? We no longer teach that people need to repent of their sins. Remember that word? Let me say that again, repent, since it seems offensive to most these days, even though it was the KEY message of Jesus and the apostles.

Anarchy on the streets of Seattle

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! Matthew 4:17

When is the last time we taught them that we will all stand before the Lord on judgment day to give an account for the things we have done in the body, whether good or bad?.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.2 Corinthians 5:10

Is it any wonder, then, that a generation of young people apparently feels no remorse, no conviction, no guilt for stealing, destroying small businesses, and injuring other human beings? There is no fear of God before their eyes because we made no effort to tell them the truth about God.

This Scripture will tell you how to understand the fear of the Lord and to find knowledge from God then He will be your shield and watch over you.

My son (daughter), if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understand; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.Proverbs 2:1-5

TIME TO TRUST GOD WITH YOUR LIFE

This is an important message from Torben Sondergaard (thelastreformation.com) and it will challenge many Christians as to what it means to be obedient to God’s call on our lives. He exposes the truth about much of the church in America. There is so much lukewarmness in the church – it is the church of Laodicea,

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.Revelation 3:15-22

Torben is right, he says it is time to be serious with God, time is short, so it ultimately comes down to, do we trust God for the next step. If you do, life will be exciting beyond belief but make no mistake it will also be challenging. Thank goodness we have people like Torben who are leading the way and giving us an example to follow.

LITTLE DISCIPLINE, LITTLE COURAGE – COURAGE IS CAUGHT MORE THAN TAUGHT

The situation in 2 Chronicles 15:5-7 seems eerily similar to our situation today: “In those times there was no peace … but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. King Jehoshaphat was King of Judah at the time.

One key principle we learn from King Jehoshaphat is that he prepared his heart to seek God (2 Chronicles 19:3). Build courage by strengthening yourself in the Lord … by spending time reading and obeying His Word, as well as praying, fasting, and worshiping.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving Enter His courts with praiseEnter His presence with worship

We play like we practice. Or said another way, we fight like we prepare. Courage is the outflow of inner disciplines — little discipline, little courage

If we take our focus off of Christ, we can easily become discouraged. Jehoshaphat said, “But our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:12). He knew that focused attention is critical in battle.

Our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this vast number that comes to fight against us. We do not know what to do, but we look to You. 2 Chronicles 20:12

Why would you walk willingly into the enemy’s camp? Why would you feed wrong desires and thoughts when they do nothing but war against the soul? If you’re losing the battle and becoming discouraged, look at your media diet. Is it instilling courage? If not, refocus your sights on Christ.

 God’s battle plan always involves courage: “Act courageous and the Lord will be with you” (2 Chronicles 19:11). Courage is important because it’s undergirded by trust and faith. In essence, we are saying, “Lord, I trust You so I’m going to step out in faith. I’m not going to fear. What can man do to me?” Courage meets fear with faith.

A Christian Call For Courage
Spiritual warfare requires spiritual weapons

We see an incredible event happen in 2 Chronicles 20:22:

When they began to sing and praise the Lord,” God defeated the enemy. Spiritual warfare requires spiritual weapons.

Exchange social media binges with worship marathons. Turn to prayer, worship, and the Word, rather than Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. We cannot fill our minds with the world and expect to develop courage. We cannot fill our minds with darkness and expect the light of Christ to shine in our lives  

The Lord tells us to stand firm — don’t go backward and don’t run ahead in your own strength — but hold the line through obedience, trust, faith, and courage: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today” (Exodus 14:13).

When difficulties come, let your children see you praying and seeking God rather than being upset or frightened. Our children are watching. If we are angry or scared, we’re subtly telling them, “God can’t get us through this; we can’t really trust Him.” Courage is caught more than taught. 

When we worship and walk in obedience, God fights for us, but when we stray, we become easy prey. Repentance and obedience reposition you back in the centre of God’s will … back to victory. Cowardliness and disobedience cost us far more than we realize.

Seeking God with our hearts must be a price we are willing to pay. Are you? It all begins here.

What made these O.T. prophets so bold? How was God’s Word burning in their hearts? It was because the Holy Spirit came upon them and filled them with boldness as they surrendered their entire life to God. You have the Holy Spirit but full surrender is the key ingredient that most Christians are missing. Are rivers of living water flowing out of you  — are you spiritually alive? The more you seek Him the more you find Him: “He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:16).

Extracted from an article by Shane Idleman, The Battle for Courage – A Hill to Die On. The Christian Post.

CHRITIANS NEED NEVER FEAR DEATH

Those in Christ should never fear death. The love of God continues from temporal life through to eternal life.

The church is the only society in the world that never loses any of its members, even by death.John Blanchard

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Psalms 116:15

The death of God’s people is safeguarded, watched over, protected, and secured. Much as we safeguard something highly valuable, so God safeguards His people when they die. As Jesus protected His disciples in life, so God protects them in death.

While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.John 17:12

For He delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence He redeems their life, and precious is their blood in His sight.Psalms 72:12-14

When the wrath of God is poured out on an unrepentant world we are told that the lost will seek death but it will elude them.

And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.Revelation 9:6

If you are an unbeliever and you are reading this post I hope you will repent of your rejection of God and His values and seek to know what Jesus Christ has accomplished for you when He died on the Cross over 2000 years ago. He died to pay the penalty for your sins so that you might inherit eternal life and not fear death.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18

GETTING IN STEP WITH GOD

Teach Me Your Paths – Psalm of David (Psalm 25)

David understood the truth of God’s Word. “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.” Psalm 66:18-19

What about us? Do we know God has heard our prayers as David did? Read what David had to say in this Psalm and then let us consider what we now have in Jesus and how we pray.

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.Psalm 25:4-5

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” Psalm 25: 8-10

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will He instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant. My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.Psalm 25:11-15

We know David was a sinner (Bathsheba and Uriah) but he understood repentance and God’s forgiveness. He was a man who feared the Lord. God even said He was a man after God’s own heart. What does this mean? I think it means David knew and trusted God and was doing His best to live that out. What we need is humility in relation to ourselves and confidence in relation to God.

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Consider now what Jesus has provided for all who believe in Him as Lord and Saviour. Through His sacrifice, Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirit, to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27

For us the Spirit is there revealing God’s will to us in the Scriptures and bringing God’s prayer concerns to life within us. He is searching our hearts and trying our ways so He can bring us to true repentance. He reveals the glory and goodness of God so that our prayers will be filled with praise and thanks.

We can be confident that God will hear when we come to Him. God answers every prayer that starts in heaven, every prayer born in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, every prayer based on a sure promise from His Word. As we pray to our Heavenly Father we need to acknowledge the Spirit and ask Him to help us to pray aright and to recognise His promptings that our prayers may be pleasing to our Heavenly Father and accomplish His purposes.

DOES GOD FORBID KILLING

One of the most common questions that someone serious about the Bible will ask has to do with one of the Ten Commandments; namely the sixth commandment that seem to prohibit the act of “killing”.

Putting aside for a moment the question about taking the life of an animal, the case of homicide (taking the life of a human) seems to be closed. Upon further examination of the underlying Hebrew original, however, a different, more nuanced picture emerges. 

Most English Bibles, especially the monumental KJV version, inaccurately (or rather not accurately enough) translates the sixth commandment simply as “Do Not Kill” (Exodus 20:13). But the Hebrew under the English translation justifies a much better alternative: “Do Not Murder”. To put this intense ethical matter into simple terms, every murder is killing, but not every killing is murder. (Murder is killing without a just cause.)

The Hebrew verb להרוג (to kill) can include unjustified homicide, but the Hebrew verb לרצח (to murder) is never used to describe a justified killing, such as killing in self-defence or court-ordered capital punishment. (This “justified killing” can also be translated by a different Hebrew verb להמית that is best translated as “to put to death”).

Keeping these insights in mind, the question then becomes simple. Which Hebrew verb is used in the Decalogue? The answer is לרצח – the verb that must be more accurately translated not with the broad meaning–“to kill”, but with a more particular definition–“to murder”.

So does God forbid homicide? The answer is yes, but He does allow it under certain circumstances such as murder.

Why did I include this post on living eternal now? In large part, because the world and even Christians no longer fear God and yet the Bible clearly says that the beginning of wisdom is to fear God. Sadly, the world does not believe in Noah’s Flood and yet the fossil evidence clearly reveals billions of living things, plants and animals were buried quickly worldwide. The evidence is a stark reminder of the judgement of God. He destroyed all but eight people and all the animals except two of a kind (some cases seven) of animals, birds and insects needed to repopulate the planet.

 

GOD IS ABLE TO STOP THIS PANDEMIC

The Living God can stop this pandemic in a second.  Know, He is allowing it to test us all, in every nation.  

Is God’s sovereignty ever acknowledged or mentioned in the media (except when He is mocked), in press briefings, in any statement by government leaders? Sadly, not.

In the USA and Australia, we have men in Trump and Morrison who declare they are Christians and will join prayer groups to pray. However, both nations have legislated abortion and gay marriage which has brought them under God’s judgement. Unless these abominations are repented of and changed we can only expect further judgements. Based on God’s end times prophecies, pestilences, famines, earthquakes and other so called natural disasters escalate, so I would venture to say nations don’t repent and only Jesus return to rule and reign with a rod of iron will put things right.

As I said at the start of this blog, God could end this Pandemic in an instant and history reveals He has done it in the past. There have been leaders of nations particularly of the USA and the UK that have had great faith for the Living God to provide miracles and God has always delivered, provided they gave Him the honour.

In 1777, a year after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the signers met again in Philadelphia, a city that was about to be overrun by the British.  The war was not going well; the untrained army was losing battles; John Adams and the other signers could all be captured and hung for treason. One local doctor asked John Adams: “Sir, given these circumstances, how ever can we defeat the British given their skill and their size? John Adams replied: ” We will defeat the enemy if we fear God and repent of our sins.” These two key spiritual strategies outlined in 2 Chronicles 7:14:  publicly honouring Christ and repenting of sins, personally and as a people, opened the heavens for the Lord to make the battle His.

The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution: About the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution

The Southern Campaign and the American Revolution

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)  

Another occasion John Adams called on the Lord was when he sought to avoid war with France in 1798 and 1799. President Adams called for national days of “Public Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer.”  Adams noted: ” ..the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgement of this truth is…an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him….this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty and of danger….” 

Church it is time to wake up and realise we are living in the “end times” prophesied in Scripture. Sadly, we know there is a great falling away in the church as it has already compromised with the world and its values. It’s time for the remnant to be courageous and be the light in this darkening world. We have a job to do, to preach the good news of Christ thereby providing hope where there is none.

  

DISTRACTED FROM THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY MATTERS

The busyness of life distracts us from the source of all life. our Creator. Our focus is invariably on our goals, tasks, and demands.  But when we pause to consider David’s words in the Psalms, we can see where our focus truly needs to be – let us ask the Holy Spirit to give us a heart after God that David had.

“I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water,” David wrote in Psalm 63

We can see the world getting darker exactly as Jesus prophesied would happen in the time before His return, lawlessness is on the increase and His Commandments despised. We are, indeed, people living in a dry and parched land. We need God more than anything else; our ultimate longing should be for Him alone.

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. But certainly God has heard me; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me!” Psalm 66:16-29

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.” Psalm 28:7

Do you want God;s help? David did and He knew how to get it – “my heart trusted God”.

Want to get right with God? It starts with repentance and acknowledging Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, understanding that without His sacrifice on the Cross, we are all dead in our sins. ” I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father but by Me.” John 14:6

LAODICEAN CHURCH – LAST DAYS CHURCH

Many of us have read Jesus’ letter to the Laodicean church in Revelation 3:14-22 and have rightly understood it to describe the end-times church—the church as we see it in the West today.

We are rich and seemingly do not need a thing, when in fact, we are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. As a result, we are under the discipline of the Lord but are unable to recognise it. Like the frog being cooked in the slowly heated kettle of water, many are unaware of God’s judgement and chastisement because we spend little time pursuing Him, listening to His voice and receiving discernment and wisdom from Him.

Instead we demand to be entertained and flock to superstar leaders who “tickle our ears” (2 Timothy 4:3-4) with false doctrine, unbelief and a grossly misplaced focus of worship. Because of our compromise and complacency, we have become powerless and are in darkness.

Materialism, an independent spirit, pride and gross immoralities are typical rather than atypical in a huge swath of those who consider themselves to be a part of the body of Christ.

There is considerably more than a hint of sexual immorality and impurity inside the church today. This should alarm us, considering Ephesians 5:5: “no sexually immoral or impure person, or one who is greedy, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” As Solomon said in Proverbs 8:13a: “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.”

The Holy Spirit exhorts believers in Ephesians 5:11-12: “And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.”

Today, homosexual behaviour, the sexual abuse of minors, adultery, promiscuity, the use of pornography and all forms of fornication are rampant among clergy and other so-called believers. Even among those who do not commit such detestable practices, a huge swath of the shepherds of the flock do little to nothing to call people to holiness or to equip the church to minister to sexually bound and broken people. And what is worse, many wink, nod and even encourage those who practice immorality. In truth, there is no fear of the Lord (Proverbs 8:13a, Romans 3:18). In truth, we have corrupted the biblical understanding of grace in order to excuse lawlessness.

“[Although they] know the righteous requirement of God, that those who commit such things are worthy of death. They not only do them, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32).

It is important to understand that doing nothing in the face of gross immorality in the church is tantamount to tacit approval in the eyes of those who commit such sins. Yet so many ignore God’s command found in 1 Corinthians 5:13b: “Put away from among yourselves that wicked person” lest their blood be on your hands. (Ezekiel 3:18c, 33:7-9; Acts 20:26-31).

As Jesus warned the hypocritical shepherds of His day, ”

Woe to you, blind guides … Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! … You cleanse the outside … but inside [you] are full of extortion and greed” (Matthew 23:16a, 23a, 25b).

The most egregious example of this during the last 50 years is those who molest children and teens and those who protect such predators, even sending them out among the flock to practice their evil trade on more victims. This is indeed an unspeakable evil.

For example, recent scandals have uncovered child predators in the Catholic Church as well as prelates who protect them. This should be a wake-up call to us all! And yet, such predators are sometimes elevated to the highest ranks of the clergy by those who are aware of their crimes. And worse still, many of these known sex criminals are secretly moved to other parts of the country to perpetuate the human carnage by destroying the lives of even more children.

Image result for pictures of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick being charged

Silence is itself an appalling crime in this matter. When Pope Francis was recently exposed by the highly respected Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano (who had everything to lose and nothing to gain by this exposure), for covering up the sex crimes of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the pope’s response was to refuse comment—a response that lost him all credibility among the Catholic faithful and observers worldwide. Pope Benedict had previously imposed sanctions on McCarrick over the same charges but to date, Pope Francis has not scheduled a canonical trial in the matter.

Where is the concern for the victims whose lives have been forever scarred? Even the various dioceses that house records that could corroborate the accusations against McCarrick and other abusers have refused to open their archives for examination.

One impressive exception to the cover-up in the Catholic Church is the Catholic TV network, EWTN, especially the reporting of Raymond Arroyo on ThWorld Over Live. Considering the fact that EWTN has since its inception been the most faithful and supportive media voice for the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican, their honesty in exposing this corruption at the highest levels is most impressive.

Sadly, however, a recent request by Robert Bennett, former head of the highly experienced lay panel, (the bishop’s National Review Board), that investigated the last Catholic sex abuse scandal in 2002, asking for the board to be reinstated so that this latest clergy sex abuse crisis can be investigated, has been ignored by this silent pope.

Bennett requested permission from the pope (through Cardinal DiNardo) to create a “lay independent inquiry board” in light of the bishop’s refusal to open up their diocesan records and considering the inability of church clerics to properly respond to any sex abuse crisis. Understandably, there is outrage by Catholic laypeople to the way things have been mishandled by the church, as well as a great sense of betrayal by those who have been sexually abused by clergy.

In a move that shocked and surprised everyone, Pope Francis was recently charged by Archbishop Vigano of defending practising homosexual clergy who have committed the bulk of the serious sex crimes against minors and adults. It is well-known that Pope Francis reinstated Rev. Julio Grassi in Buenos Aires (after Pope Benedict had removed him from ministry) until Grassi had finally been sent to prison for his sex crimes against minors. The pope also stopped the investigation of sex abuse allegations against Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, which “World Over” host Raymond Arroyo pointed out was tantamount to undercutting mercy and justice for the victims of the abuse.

Cardinal Muller recently pointed out that despite the Vatican’s refusal to do so, “the only justice for the victims is that the perpetrator must be dismissed from the clerical state. If you are a good shepherd, you cannot ruin the sheep,” he added.

According to numerous reports, the former prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of faith, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, was removed from office in 2017 by the current pope because he was not merciful enough to sexual abusers. Cardinal Muller’s response to that charge on a recent broadcast of The World Over Live was that such as claim is a misunderstanding of the priorities of biblical mercy, which should first and foremost be extended to the victims.

State attorneys general that have begun investigations into clerical abuses in the Catholic Church have uncovered tens of thousands of instances of sexual abuse of minors in each state that they have examined. Not surprisingly, tens of thousands of abuse cases have also been discovered in Europe and other continents. And yet the church continues to stonewall those same authorities who are trying to put a stop to these unspeakable crimes and bring justice to the victims.

The focus of the Roman Catholic Church, (as well as Protestant churches found to protect child abusers and to cover up clerical crimes), has been to defend the “machine” at all costs. Empty public spectacles of sorrow and declarations of concern for the victims have been a sham in light of the cover-ups and in light of the priority given to protecting the coffers, the leaders and the business of the church.

Where is the mercy? Where is the justice? Where is the ministry of healing for the victims? Where is the genuine sorrow for them? It is an atrocity that victims have been forced by the church to battle against lawyers for the slightest hint of admission of guilt, and for compensation for the lifetime of pain and therapeutic help produced by the predator priests and cover-up prelates.

The Protestant church is also filled with denials by abusers, cover-ups by churches, resistance by church lawyers to admit guilt and to appropriately compensate victims. They are, in effect, tying millstones around the necks of the victims and throwing them into the sea (see Luke 17:1-2).

Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino recently wrote that one of the problems faced by the church today is that we have lost our hatred of sin. He points out that Proverbs 8:13 says that the fear of the Lord is the hatred of evil, or sin. Morlino added, “Things are seriously wrong, and the church needs to respond and do our part.” He then called for a systematic investigation of the files of every Catholic diocese.

The Bible is clear regarding the commission of sexual sin and those who encourage it. The apostle Peter called such people false prophets and false teachers whose condemnation and destruction has been long hanging over them. He writes:

They shall receive the wages of unrighteousness. They count it a pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes who revel in their own deception while they carouse together with you. They have eyes full of adultery that cannot cease from sin. They entice unstable souls. … These men are wells without water and clouds that are carried by a storm, for whom the gloom of darkness has been reserved forever. . … for … they entice by the lusts of the flesh and by depravity those who barely escaped from those who live in error. Although they promise them freedom, they themselves are slaves of corruption … if after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and then turn back from the holy commandment that was delivered to them (2 Peter 2:13-14, 17b, 18b, 19a, 20-21).

And to those in the church who tolerate such immorality, Jesus declares,

Look! I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will put her children to death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the hearts and minds. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. … To him who overcomes and keeps My works to the end, I will give authority over the nations— (Revelation. 2:22-23, 26).

Be not deceived. God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8).

Truly, our modern “Laodicean” church has lost its fear of God and its hatred of evil.

But what of grace, you may ask? Let’s let the apostle Paul answer that question:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may increase? God forbid! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? … For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. … For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if through the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live (Romans 6:1-2, 23; 8:13-14).

So again I say, “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Ephesians 5:14b)

This abbreviated article by David Kyle Foster was in Charisma News  . He is the CEO of Pure Passion Media.