Borrowed Truths

Check Your Lamp

Borrowed Truths

Check Your Lamp

Do you believe that that the church today, the fellowship of the body of Christ, is wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked, or do you see it as rich, increased with goods and in need of nothing? If you are familiar with the Scriptures you will recognize this verse from the Revelation of Jesus Christ, (Rev. 3:17) not the Revelation of St. John, as some Bibles have mistakenly named it.

This is the section containing our Lords warning to the church at Laodicea, the church of the apostacy. We must be wise here and submit our thoughts only to those assemblies that are Christ centered, those who profess that what he did on the cross was enough, and that no works of any kind need to be added to that incredible sacrifice for those who believe on His name to enter into His kingdom. We must also limit our conversation to the fellowship of believers that agree that the entire Word of God is inerrant, that it is completely sufficient for all of our spiritual needs. As you may be able to tell, we have just negated an extremely large part of the worlds religious organizations, for the vast majority of them are works based not only in the area of salvation, but in thought that one must continue in these and other works to remain in God’s ‘good graces,’ as it were.

“We have one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” (1st Tim. 2:5) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9) This is what our Lord requires of us to remain in fellowship with Him.

So then, in this letter to you in the discussion of this verse in the Book of Revelation, we should understand that our Lord is talking about His children, His church, and not a false church, only of those who have their names written in the Lambs book of life, the final church before the rapture. To some degree we will need to apply these words to not only the current church that you may serve in, but also to the fellowship of believers around the planet, of which the first may be the most difficult, for it will require you to not only look but to see with your spiritual eyes, as it were.

For many of us our church family is as important to us as our biological family, more so in fact sometimes, but for others not so much. So herein would need to be our first step into the discerning of this verse, are your brothers and sisters in Christ more important to you, do they hold a deeper place of love in your heart than those who are related to you but are still lost. We have barely scratched the surface in this letter  and an extremely important question has arisen, do you love your fellow servants of God more than your errant child, your unsaved spouse, your mother or father that have yet to accept Christ as Savior.

There are many Christians that have tried to shy away from the words of Christ when He said, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) The general interpretation to this verse to these individuals has almost always been “To love less.” Well then I would ask this question of you if are in this group, if your brothers and sisters in Christ have the Holy Spirit of God residing in them, if they are being transformed into the image of Christ, should you not love them more than those who do not know Christ yet.

This is a very, very difficult subject for many Christians to contemplate, for how can I deny the flesh of my flesh even though there is no fear of God before their eyes, (Rom. 3:18) and instead place the prominence of my love first upon Christ, then upon my brothers and sisters in Christ, leaving lastly the lost that are still in my heart. Again, I would ask, if you will not do this for them, what makes you believe that you are truly doing it today for Christ. Are your lost family members as much of a blessing to you as the fellowship of believers that you surround yourself with.

The question is one of obedience, will you sacrifice all for me our Lord is saying, and to many Christians the answer is a resounding yes, but they begin to think twice when He says will you leave your mother and father, your spouse for me. I have had many conversations with those who like to say that the brother that John is speaking to us about in 1st John 3:14 means all of mankind, and many of those still refuse to accept that the brethren are our brothers and sisters in Christ, not the lost. Yes indeed, we are commanded to love all men, but to the lost we are not brethren, they are not yet, and may never be part of the fellowship of believers. In Matthew 18, those who will not submit to the will of God are to be treated as a “heathen man and a publican.” It is sad to say, but if this is how we are to treat those who will not obey here in these verses, how are we to treat those who will not listen. In love of course, always in love, but nothing ever as close as we are to treat those who are in the fellowship of the love of Christ, those who have dedicated their lives to Him.

“For whosoever will do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matt. 12:50)

The church in many ways is miserable and wretched today because of these thoughts and actions against these Words of Christ. For the most part we see our true family for only an hour or so on Sunday morning, we shake hands and give hugs, ask them how they have been, speak the pleasantries that we spoke to them last weekend, and then head off on our own sperate ways. Though the church service may be uplifting and the songs wonderful to sing, beyond the morning’s announcements and needs, the before and after times ae dedicated to small talk and idle chatter and very little of the Savior. During the week we may see them in passing, but very little of our time is dedicated to them.   

I am sorry if this is your church, I truly am, for this is not what fellowship was ever intended to be. A gathering once a week on Sunday morning for an hour or so should never be considered the fulfilment of Hebrews 10:25, where we are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. The church has become so much less today than it was ever meant to be, it has become poor and blind in this area, and that blindness has been transferred in full to the body of believers around the planet. We hear of the needs of many of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the earth, the great needs they face every day, the struggles and persecutions, and after looking at the checkbook and determining the next week or next months ‘needs and wants,’ we write a check and feel better about ourselves, usually forgetting them just as quickly as they entered into our minds. The potluck and prepared small talk of next Sunday again takes precedence, we have become blind to needs and poor save for material possessions.

The church has, for the most part, become nothing more than a religious organization within and for itself, and is in danger of becoming, if it is not already, the church of the apostacy. Its nakedness is not only being observed by some within the congregation, but by the lost world as well. The lost meet these ‘church attendees,’ and know them as such, but rarely hear the words of Scripture from them, they see them leaving the church building on Sunday morning, but not coming to where they are, they hear the occasional “Bible” word from their lips, but rarely if ever do they seem to take the time to expound them to them, to encourage these lost souls in their need for Christ.

These church attendees are naked to the eyes of the lost, they see them as they truly are, not as they believe themselves to be, they see them pouring themselves into the lost within their own family units, but rarely spending time with fellow believers save for the weekend get-together, and sparing very few words for them, for those who are also lost.

I really, truly hope that I am wrong in your case, I pray that the fellowship of believers in your local church are a vibrant group, that they are rich in faith and love, inside and outside of the building, that they are increased with both material and spiritual goods so much that the entire community acknowledges the goodness and graciousness of God, that their cups are overflowing and Christ’s incredible mercies are known to all that they meet. If you are though, you must understand that you are the rare ones, that this is no longer the common occurrence.

The love of many believers is waxing cold, (Matt. 24:12) many churches are not much more than clubhouses today where certain seats are reserved for certain long time members, they have become spiritual hospitals where nothing more than milk is served, where the words ‘conviction and commitment’ are seldom heard. Is this the beginnings if the apostasy my friends? I hope not, but I see many lights growing dimmer, and the darkness is beginning to enfold much.                              

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