Rev 3: MSG
14 Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God’s Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God’s creation, says:
15 “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot!
16 You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit.
17 You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.
18 “Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.
19 “The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!
Mat 6: MSG
19 “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars.
20 Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars.
For the past several days now the word “bankrupt” has been going through my mind almost non-stop.
I had been trying to write about the axe head that floated, but for now that is for another time.
When I was in active ministry and trying to prepare a sermon, message to preach I would sometimes meditate on a subject, verse of Scripture, or maybe just a word for several days to weeks before delivering the sermon, message.
I wasn’t much into writing out my sermons or messages, I would just study and meditate on that which was weighing on me. By the time I went to speak I knew my subject inside and out.
Now to the topic of this article.
Here is a definition of the word which I would like for this article to focus on:
completely lacking in a particular quality or value.
“their cause is morally bankrupt”
I have seen the effects that financial bankruptcy can have on a person, persons, or families. Families fall apart, abuse of alcohol, and or drugs, or to the committing of suicide of a person. No matter how you look at it all outcomes are devastating.
Over the past years I have becomed alarmed of what is being said behind the pulpits of North America. Messages that have no Scriptural foundation to support them. Scriptures being twisted taken out of context to fit their misconceived ideas.
Preachers who at one time preached the message of the cross now resorting to teaching some other gospel.
Gal 1: MSG
6 I can’t believe your fickleness—how easily you have turned traitor to him who called you by the grace of Christ by embracing a variant message!
7 It is not a minor variation, you know; it is completely other, an alien message, a no-message, a lie about God. Those who are provoking this agitation among you are turning the Message of Christ on its head.
8 Let me be blunt: If one of us—even if an angel from heaven!—were to preach something other than what we preached originally, let him be cursed.
9 I said it once; I’ll say it again: If anyone, regardless of reputation or credentials, preaches something other than what you received originally, let him be cursed.
I am sure if Paul were to be alive today who himself would not recognize what is being preached as the Gospel he delivered over two thousand years ago.
It is easy to get caught up in something that seems to be the going thing and give in and preach it yourself.
There are many sermons, messages I wish I could go back and erase them as though I had never spoke them.
I have come to a conclusion that I no longer would consider myself an evangelical as is thought of when you mention the word. What I see and hear coming from “evangelical” pulpits I do not recognize them as sound doctrine.
Jud 1: MSG
3 Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.
As I look in on what I see and hear all I feel is a people who have become bankrupted. Yes, they have some of the correct actions, words, and maybe even looks, but spiritually totally bankrupt.
During the great depression of the 1930’s pastors, teachers, and evangelists were having a troublesome time trying to keep going for finances were slim to none.
Some began to try and find ways to bring in more money so that the bills would be paid.
Now from what I understand there were some tent evangelists that got together and talk among themselves of what they could do to better their situation. Hence, the birth of the “prosperity gospel”. It began to catch fire with those in the pews and the offering plates began to overflow with finances. The only one who truly prospers from that gospel is the one behind the pulpit spouting it. I at one time also preached that gospel, but I have renounced that false gospel today.
Paul in his travels would often send word to the local gathering to take care of the finances and such so that when he arrived he could preach the Gospel. Paul sometimes even had to fall back on his trade, tent making.
Act 18: MSG
1 After Athens, Paul went to Corinth.
2 That is where he discovered Aquila, a Jew born in Pontus, and his wife, Priscilla. They had just arrived from Italy, part of the general expulsion of Jews from Rome ordered by Claudius.
3 Paul moved in with them, and they worked together at their common trade of tentmaking.
4 But every Sabbath he was at the meeting place, doing his best to convince both Jews and Greeks about Jesus.
The Church and Government
When I was in active ministry as a pastor when it came to an election I never resorted to talking about politics from the pulpit. The minute a pastor does this he isolates some of those sitting in the pews. He forgets not everyone under the sound of his voice has the same political convictions as he does. So, for me I would only say to the congregation, ‘vote your conscience’.
The body of Christ needs to come to full understanding that government is not it’s friend. I realize I am somewhat alone in this matter, but, I will hold fast to this until my dying day. Yes, I follow Scripture, I pray for those who are in authority over me.
Israel had a king, not because it was God’s perfect will, He gave them want they wanted but, sent leaness to their souls. God’s will was that Israel would be led by the prophets who were led by God. When Saul became king he eventually turned his back on God and started Israel on it’s way to worshipping false Gods and idols.
David was probably the greatest king that the nation of Israel ever was priviledged to have, and yet, David was a flawed man. He sent a man to the front of the battle, the man was killed, it was David’s way to have the man’s wife. With all his failings God still declared that David was a man after God’s own heart.
Now forward to the time of the Romans. Rome was not a friend to Israel, Rome was Israel’s slave master. Word was brought to Herod about the prophecy of a king being born, a Jewish baby. Herod had his soldiers go out and kill every male baby two years old and younger. Mary and Joseph escaped by going to live in Eygpt during those troubling years.
Christ grew up in and around Bethlehem. At the age of thirty he begins his public ministry. He began to have favor among the people, but the elites among the Jewish temple began to become jealous. Those elites were the religious priests and others of the Jews.
They began to plan a scheme which eventually would have them convince Herod to send Christ to the cross. No, Herod had nothing against Christ, but, things were already set in motion. After the crucifixion the disciples and other followers of Christ went into hiding, fearing that they may be the next to be put to death.
Rome had their very own terminator, his name was Saul. Saul was a citizen of Rome and also a Jew. He would be considered in today’s society a lawyer. He probably was somewhere in the area when the crucified Christ, but, we have no written records to say if the two had ever met.
It was Saul who gave consent to the mob to go after Stephen and stone him to death. Later, the man who gave consent met the Lord on the road that led to Damascus. He then took on the name of Paul.
At first the disciples and others did not trust this man named Paul. They were fearful thinking that this could be a deception by Rome to persecute more followers of Christ.
I find nowhere in history where the new Christians ever became friends of the government. They had no trust in the governors of Rome and Rome had no use for the early church. I would urge everyone to seek out the writings of Josephus, the first century historian. Read the writings entitled, “The war of the Jews”. The government was brutal against the Christians. Feeding them to the lions as a form of entertainment. Crucifying and stoning everyone they captured. The disciple Peter was crucified upside down only because he did not feel worthy to be crucified the same as the Lord.
The apostle Paul was no stranger to the brutality of the Romans. He penned many of the epistles while in jail. Actually, they were letters to various new churches around the region and the known world. Paul while in prison in Rome finally met his day where he would lay his head on the block and lose his life to the axeman of Rome.
The author of the Book of Revelation, John, would spend his final years on an island meant for criminals, the Isle of Patmos.
Somewhere over many centuries and years the Body of Christ has come to believe that they would not see persecution. I have always maintained that we today are no better than that of the members of the early church over two thousand years ago.
I have more years behind me than I have in front of me, so, I may not physically see which that is coming upon this world, even North America.
There is coming a government upon this earth that will make the Romans look like saints. The ruler of this government will make it his task to destroy and kill all Christians. He will only save the lives of those who will renounce their faith in Christ Jesus. If they refuse they too will be beheaded. This time of trouble I believe will be global. Some theologians teach that it will be contained only in and around Europe and the mid-east.
He will present himself as a friend of Israel and make a treaty of peace for seven years, The Word of God tells us that half way through this treaty he will break it and declare war on the saints.
The upcoming battle that this will unleash will see rivers of blood of the slain as high as a horse’s bridle. It will take the world seven years to bury the dead.
It will begin to look like all is lost, Israel is near extinction, but just before it would seem all hope is gone Christ will come back just like the angels told the disciples on the day of the Lord’s ascension on the mount of Olives. When His feet touch the mountain it will be cleaved in two.
Christ will finish the battle and be the victor and then begin to set up His kingdom here on earth.
Every day as I watch and read of the events happening around the globe I see glimpses of prophecy coming into being. Then I look at the state of the church and even I wonder if many will make it through.
The eyes of the church have turned away from their focus on Christ. Little foxes have come in and began to spoil the vines and the fruit.
On the day of judgement when we stand before the throne of God we will have to give an account of our lives. Many like the Scripture tells us will tell the Lord, ‘we cast out devils in your name, we healed the sick’ only to hear the reply from the throne, ‘depart from me, I never knew you’. Most of these will be the preachers, teachers, leaders in the churches who led many astray turning their eyes off the prize of eternal life.
There is so much more to write but at this moment this will be sufficient to warn the church and the Body of Christ to turn back to the cross, get under the blood that washes our sins away and turn from all these false idols of wealth, luxury, etc.,
May God himself have mercy on the nations who have known the Gospel but perverted it with their religion, power, and money.