"So why do you keep calling me "Lord, Lord!' when you don't do what I say? -- Luke 6: 46 (NLT)
"Not everyone who calls out to me, "Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, "Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' But I will reply, "I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws.' -- Matthew 7: 21-23 (NLT)
Throughout the Old Testament we see Israel lapse into states of falling away from God. The Prophet Amos lived during such a time and God sent Him to prophesy to the ten northern tribes about how they lived versus how they worshipped. In modern terms, how they behaved during the week versus how they behaved on Sundays. What their religion said versus what their lives said. The wealthy in the days of Amos were making their money off of the backs of the poor and oppressed; a theme we see alive and well today in America. The difference is the Israelites should have known better. Yet despite the dishonesty and corruption that marked their lives they still showed up each week to play church (temple). The hypocrisy was not lost on a just God:
"I hate all your show and pretense--the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won't even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. - Amos 5: 21-24 (NLT)
While our worship and church activities are crucial in our walk, they must line up with how we live our lives. The words we speak must be reflected in the lives we lead. I never understand when I see people raising their hands on Sunday with no repentance in their hearts for the things they have done wrong in the kingdom. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! Or churches that have the best talent but no heart for the lost. Bullying members without the love of Christ and then holding prayer vigils. Leaving the pen door open so they can throw sheep out and then preaching on the 99 and the one. I won't even notice your offerings! Sharing the holy altar of Almighty God with pagan idols and secular influence during the week and thinking that the Holy Spirit will move on Sunday upon the same altar. I will not even listen to your music!
This is the backdrop for the set of key verses for today. Interesting that these represent two different situations, recorded by two different Gospel writers, showing that Jesus used the same exact terminology dealing with two different matters. In the account from Luke, Jesus is delivering His Sermon on the Mount. As an entre'e into His discussion on building our lives upon the right foundation, He asks this very sad question to His listeners that should still resound today. Why? Why do you keep calling me "Lord Lord" when you don't do what I say? I say sad because I can almost hear the disappointment in the words from my Lord and Savior. He pours out His life for us, taking the punishment we deserved, yet has to endure the lip service from religious people who claim His name with their mouths but not their lives.
With the rise of seeker friendly, purpose driven and emergent theories of church growth we have seen a shift in what is emphasized from the pulpit. We have seen even a shift in the worship music today as people are more interested in selling a compromised Jesus than the actual article. Grace alone doctrine skews the view mankind should have of God. Everyone wants to sing Friend of God but not so many want to realize they are the wretch from Amazing Grace. Instead of singing about how great thou art, we sing about how much He loves us. It may seem subtle but the worship matches the preaching, which is designed to make congregants -- not disciples. A bloodless, cross-less, useless religiosity replacing the absolute necessity of a frank realization of sin and repentance. But if enough people come back it is deemed a success -- or even worse -- a move of the Holy Spirit. Carnal metrics are used to measure spiritual success. The result are mega churches with waterfalls in the lobby, rock stars in the pulpit, and Jesus Christ in the parking lot trying to get in. does anyone else realize the profound sadness of the following statement from Jesus to the church at Laodicea?
"Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. -- Revelation 3: 20 (NLT)
Why is Jesus on the outside of a closed church door? Take a good look around the Pentecostal landscape today and you will see the same thing. But they sound right because they know the church-speak. They sound right because they know when to say amen and when to say hallelujah. They sound right because they wrap everything they do, from one heresy to the next, with the words -- "Lord Lord." Why call Him Lord Lord when we refuse to do what He says? Do we even understand what the word means?