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June 22, 2020

From Judah to Laodicea to the American Church -- When the Word becomes an Offense

By Anthony Wade

A prophetic warning for the church and those that claim to lead it...


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To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it. But I am full of the wrath of the Lord, and I cannot hold it in. - Jeremiah 6:10-11 (ESV)

What is past is prologue. The bible says God made sure these things were written down so that we might learn from them. There is not a lot of learning anymore in the modern American church. Like the Laodicean Church the American church has become bloated in its own sense of self-importance, fancying itself rich beyond need when in reality it is pitiable, poor, blind and naked. What does that mean for us today? The naked church refuses to see its own hypocrisy. It no longer cares how it looks to those who ae still in darkness and need the Gospel. It flaunts itself like the emperor without any clothes making grandiose and pompous statements as if it was operating under authority. Without the adherence to scripture however it has the same authority as the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19; none. We see the full depravity of the naked church during the current COVID crisis when pastors defiantly thumb their nose at the authority God has put in place just because they were asked to not hold corporate gatherings for a short period of time. The result has been the death of pastors and sheep alike. I recently saw a local pastor braggadociosly post on Facebook that he would not even require children to wear masks in Sunday school. The unmitigated arrogance was stunning as his sheep piled on with hearty amens for the naked pastor. The blind following the blind.

Which brings us to the fact that the church today is blind as well. It thinks it sees clearly but it may as well be walking in utter darkness. It follows agendas contrary to scripture. It leverages verse fragments and eisegesis to provide a whitewash of pseudo-piety to the tomb of their preaching. That is because their preaching has abandoned the true Gospel, which according to Romans is the only thing that has the power of God unto the salvation of man. They abandon it when they pursue the riches of this world, the status of being cult of personality preachers, and of course mega-church stardom with the requisite book deals. They abandon the true Gospel when they pursue false signs and lying wonders, usurp the power of God through word faith heresy, or the utter apostasy of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). And yes beloved, the dominionism you may cling to, which is a core element of the NAR, is likewise just as blinding. Our citizenship is in heaven and we are but pilgrims and sojourners through this land. Jesus was completely apolitical when He walked the earth. His disciples desperately wanted Him to be political and deliver them from the oppression of Rome. He came however to deliver them from their sin and the oppression of Satan. That is the Gospel and it remains unchanged to this day.

The modern apostate American Church is poor. It is destitute. Not in the trinkets and baubles of this world of course. Why would it not be rich according to the standards of Satan? It is fully in bed with the world. That is why the dominionist seeks to conquer this world. That is why the NAR spends their days like Pinky and the Brain trying to figure out how to take over a dying, fallen world. It is why they will compromise everything they are supposed to stand for as Christians to support and follow their politics and who the world tells them are their politicians. Like King Saul before them, they build monuments to themselves in their mega-church buildings and cannot even begin to realize they are impoverished in the eternal. They have traded in the one thing they were called to do for the promises of this world and that makes them so unbelievably poor.

This all serves to make them pitiable beloved. Do not think for a second that this is not how the world views the church today because it is. The American Church has spent three decades trying to be relevant to the world. They have removed crosses from sanctuaries so as to not offend. They have changed worship into the carnal slop of Hillsong/Jesus Culture that makes worshipping God about you. Why wouldn't they when their relevant, tattooed, skinny jean hipster pastor-dude spends sermon time trying to make them feel better about being sinners. The exact opposite of the Gospel. Pitiable. After these decades we now have a church firmly embedded within the world. It acts like the world, thinks like the world, and of course chases the world. Besides what damage it wreaks for the unsaved, it is equally pitiable because of what it does to those within the walls of the church:

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' -- Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)

These verses should make every Christian pause and self-examine. We are supposed to work out our salvation with fear and trembling not bravado and arrogance. Read these verses closely. These are fully churched people we are talking about. These are people who sat in Bill Johnson's Bethel cesspool and thought they were serving God. These are people who sat through Joel Osteen's pablum every week and believed him when he said they were heaven bound. These are people who spend their Christianity worshiping this world, wrapped up in a flag. These people are genuinely stunned that they are not heaven bound when it is too late to do anything about it. The words of our Lord and Savior should chill us to the bone. Away from Me, you who practice lawlessness, for I never knew you.

That brings us to our key verses for today from the Weeping Prophet, Jeremiah. While they are certainly not written to us, we are to learn from them. Jeremiah prophesied to the Kingdom of Judah right up until the point that they were taken into captivity by Babylon. He tried warning them constantly how their idolatry and apostasy was going to be judged. They did not listen. The parallels should be obvious for those with ears to hear. I was listening to a sermon recently from a dear friend and he referenced these scriptures from Jeremiah as he travailed over the state of the pulpit today. I share that plea and as discernment continues to die a slow torturous death in these end times, these verses jumped out at me as well.

To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. Like the people of Judah, the modern apostate church seldom allows the truth to be spoken. Their ears are closed to such truth. God has warned us about this in His Word:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sounda]"> teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. -- 2Timothy 4:3-4 (ESV)

Another translation says they will not tolerate the truth! They will not put up with sound doctrine! If you start talking doctrine to the deceived they will dismiss you out of hand as either legalistic or not understanding the love of God. I understand that God's love would not leave us in our fallen state of sin. The cross is God's love. The blood of Christ is God's love. Oh do not be deceived beloved. Make no mistake though. It is the people that gather around for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. Paul Washer once quipped that Joel Osteen was not as much a false teacher as he was God's wrath upon those willing to sit through his sermons. It is not that the people do not hear the truth. It is that they willfully turn away from it and wander into the myths they now embrace. Try talking to a Joseph Prince follower or a dominionist adherent. It is a near impossibility to break through with the truth of God's word. Jesus Himself once lamented how deep the darkness is when we have convinced ourselves that it is light.

The word of the Lord? It is offensive to them according to the key verses. Think about that for a moment. It actually offends them. The bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom but they operate devoid of wisdom because they have no fear. The truth offends them because it is contrary to the lies they live by. Not only is it offensive but they cannot find any pleasure in it. Remember the true word of God is as sharp as a two-edged sword. It shows us what is right but it also reveals what is wrong. Paul once drew a clear distinction:

You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ's authority, knowing that God is watching us. -- 2Corinthians 2:17 (NLT)

Many of the hucksters today preach for personal profit or power. They have no sincerity with God and no authority from Christ. The discerning pastor understands the great burden that is preaching God's word. He will understand that he is judged by a higher standard. When Paul said goodbye to the elders at Ephesus in Acts 20 he declared that he was innocent of their blood because he did not hesitate to tell them the entire counsel of God. What we need to take from that is that all preachers will be held to account for the blood of those they preach to if they did not present the entire counsel of the Lord! Half a gospel is no gospel at all.

I am full of the wrath of the Lord and I cannot hold it in. Such was the plea of Jeremiah for the people of Judah and such is our prayer today for millions of lost souls wandering in the darkness of the contemporary church. They have been purpose driven right off a cliff. Chasing money as if it mattered. Chasing this world as if it were their home. It is not. There is no revival coming beloved. I am not saying that -- God already has. In his letters to the Thessalonians, Paul reveals that there will in fact be a great apostasy in these end days. A great falling away. A great wandering off into myths. A great uprising of idolatry. These things were written down for our benefit that we might learn from them. Past is prologue.

Reverend Anthony Wade -- June 22, 2020

Authors Bio:
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.