This was originally written on March, 15th, 2013: but updated and released again as I believe it is still
relevant to the church, and even more so as we see the great falling away that scriptures say would happen before the end of the church age comes to a close... 2 Thess. 2:3
TO ALL WHO LOVE THE TRUTH,
THE WORKS OF THE FLESH
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Today, I ministered to a group of homeless men in Flint, Michigan at Carriage Town Ministries. After sharing my testimony briefly, and praying with them I taught them about what God hates, what God says will prevent people from going to heaven... they were listening very intently. I told them that they might not hear these words in most churches, and it was my responsibility to share this teaching from God's word so they would be forewarned and without excuse when they stood before God. My many years in the modern church has taught me many things, some good and some bad; but one thing is certain in my experience listening to thousands of preachers and pastors: THEY AVOID MENTIONING THESE VERSES OF SCRIPTURE LIKE THEY WERE AVOIDING THE BUBONIC PLAQUE! Sad, yes - but nonetheless true... when is the last time you heard any teacher/pastor/evangelist teach or preach on these things that God hates - and says will keep people out of heaven? Hmmm, just following these verses are the "fruit of the spirit" listed which I'm sure you've heard more than once... (I'm being sarcastic of course) The question is why? Why do so many pastors and churches avoid these verses?
WHAT GRACE TEACHES US...
Titus 2:1-14 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
The above passage from Paul's letter to Titus, reveals in summation, what the whole intent of God was in sending His' son to die for us. He came to not only "redeem" us from our sins, but to purify us and create a "special class of royal citizens" who are zealous, or in other words, outrageous in their display of godly works to the world around them... (my take on that verse) This verse needs to be read over and over again to sink in, as it has that much truth in it - it is dynamite just waiting to explode in our hearts and minds. We are to "deny ungodliness and worldly lusts" ... and live godly lives in this present age. We are partners with God in this process, and though we cannot avoid or conquer sin or iniquity in our own strength - we can allow God to work in and through us to overcome evil and the flesh, and all the powers of darkness by agreeing with God and submitting/obeying His' commands to us.
2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
FINAL THOUGHTS - I knew a Christian who was involved in evangelism outside of the church he was in, and the subject of "fornication" came up and I was surprised to find out that he not only didn't know what the word meant(it signifies all unlawful sexual relations), but he was engaging in acts of fornication and was not aware that it was condemned in the scriptures, and not something a Christian should be doing! I asked him had he ever heard a sermon in his' church or teaching on the subject of sins God hates, or sins that we are not to be doing?
His' answer was that he had not heard any messages or sermons against premarital sex, and many other sins we spoke of in our discussion. My eyes were opened that day to the fact that many persons going to church Sunday after Sunday, week after week have never really been taught or warned about the "works of the flesh", and the things God says will send them to hell... you be the judge of whether your' church is preaching the whole counsel of God? I hope so...
In the last days, many pastors will refrain from speaking the truth of God word in it's entirety; deliberately picking and choosing what they want to in order to "build their churches up" - not in the faith, but in terms of membership and tithes and offerings. For many pastors it is better to "tickle the ears", than risk offending people with the truth! In the end, all of us will be held to account, and there will be no excuses that will prevail in God's court. Let us all not play God for the fool, or make a pretense of being a Christian - let us rid ourselves of anything and everything that God says is evil and that will keep us out of heaven.
Blessings to all/Michael/fool4CHRIST
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I love God, people, and all of God's creation. For me there is always something or someone to write about...