Borrowed Truths

Prescribed Protocol

Borrowed Truths

Prescribed Protocol

Is Christ in your church, do you believe the building where you assemble each weekend has a holiness to it, that because of the items and relics within its walls and perhaps the stained glass windows that it is a place where, whether people are in it or not, it is a place set apart from the other buildings in the community.

Though it has been prevalent for many years, there seems to be a growing tendency towards ritualistic religion around the world, one that sets tradition and protocol above the Word of God. Within just the last few decades what would have been called ‘mainstream’ religious organizations have turned their backs on the one true God and opted instead to acquiesce to the desires of men, placing temporal, and to be frank, wicked ideology above the teachings of the Scriptures. For many centuries there have been these religious organizations that have not only entertained but enacted described protocols that one must adhere to, ideologies that have represented what they believe must be a continuing staple in one’s life so that they will be acceptable to God.

Many teach that the path that they have set is the only way to the Kingdom of Heaven, and without strict adherence to these tenants, entrance will be denied to them on their final day. In some, for a large sum of money, the individual is given assurance that, although not immediately upon the hour of their death, but after an interval of time, they will be granted entrance into God’s house. Others guarantee nothing, and in doing so refute the very words of the Scripture that says, “For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved,” (Rom. 10:13) claiming that they have a higher spiritual intellect about the doctrines of the Word of God.

Please do not misunderstand me, for there are still places of worship that understand full well that their meeting place on Sunday morning is nothing more than a building, whether it be recognized as a singular use structure for the intended purpose of worship, the back room of an automotive shop, or even as it was in the beginning, in someone’s home, they understand full well that the Church is the people, not the building. Yet even many of those have fallen into what I have termed prescribed protocol, an order of events before, during and after the service that must be adhered to or assumed order will be lost. Let us see if any of this sounds familiar to you.

You arrive at church and greet those that you have most likely not seen or heard from since the previous week, finding your regular seat, you begin to socialize with the people who normally sit around you, there is a congregational “Hello” from someone at the front, perhaps and elder or the pastor, a song or two, an offering is taken as music plays in the background, announcements, song, message, prayer, farewells while small talk resounds in the hallways and the chapel, rarely about that mornings message, many “See you next week” verbalizations are heard, and generally within just a few minutes the parking lot, as is the building, are emptied and quite. The protocol has been observed, everyone is refreshed until the Wednesday night Bible study or the next weekend’s repetition of sameness ensues, save for the message.

I am concerned with the fellowship of believers in many of the churches today, for in Luke 13:23-30 I see many of the individuals that Christ spoke about in them. They, not all of course, but many are practicing a type of ‘religious hypocrisy’ that seems to be spreading across the globe, a type of religion that they believe fulfills their obligation as Christians, an endgame result, if you will, that has met in their opinion all the requirements of what our Lord has said must be done to enter into His joy. They are deceiving themselves with a term I have used before in my letters to you, a game I have termed “churchianity,’ and it is perhaps one of the most vile and evil tricks that Satan has ever concocted. These individuals truly believe that they are saved, they have repeated the words, listened to the message, even placed money in the plate as it passed by them, but their hearts are far from Christ.

Although many of the messages from the pulpit today are encouraging, few are convicting, and even fewer still speak of the wickedness and depravity of man. One cannot completely blame the congregation of these assemblies, for although it is their personal responsibility to search the Scriptures diligently and daily, it is also the greater responsibility of the one behind the pulpit to expound properly all the aspects and truths of the Word of God, and some, I am sorry to say, are more concerned with how many of the pews are filled, instead of the spiritual growth of those who are in attendance. It is sad to think that there are pastors in the world who are changing the truth of the Word of God into a lie, (Rom. 1:25) or at least leave out the ‘hard parts’ so that they can make sure that the pews are full and that their own materialistic desires in the world are met, but it is true. Many of us have watched as an older pastor has moved on, and as the new one moved into his pulpit, many of the congregation left, for these were following a man and not the Lord Jesus Christ.

For those who think that the weekend ritual is all that is required to be a pleasing, obedient servant of the Lord Jesus, I would ask, where is your Bible right now? Is it at home, in the exact same place where you left it when you returned from the service last weekend, did you leave it in the backseat of your vehicle so that you would not have to bother trying to remember it next week, does it look just as new as the day you received it, not a scratch or mark on it, or in it?

I have heard it said that you can tell that if a persons Bible is falling apart, that usually means that that person is not. I have always wanted a Bible that is weather-worn, one that looks like it has been handled continuously every day for many decades, but even though I seem to underline or write something in my Bible nearly every day, about the time it starts to look used, I end up giving it to someone who does not have one, someone I have been blessed by Almighty God to lead to His Son.

To encourage and convict, my friends, that is the purpose of every one of these letters to you, to encourage and convict.

Do you really and truly have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, are you a submissive and obedient servant, listening for and heeding His call each and every day, ready in any moment and at any time to say “Yes, Lord.” Or are you playing the game of churchianity. If you are playing that game, you will lose more than you can ever know in the end, if not, then you have already won. The prize is not just heaven and all its splendor and wonder, (Psalm 16:11) It is not only the knowledge that you will be spared from the wrath to come, it is Jesus, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and when he shuts that door, (Luke 13:25) you will be safe with Him for all of eternity.

There are only two that know the hearts of those that I write these letters to, you and God, and only one of these can never be fooled or mislead. Seek inside of your soul, if you cannot see Jesus, repent, and diligently seek His face, (Prov. 817) and as His word promises, you will find Him. If He rests in you, if His Holy Spirit abides within you, rejoice, praise His Name, and ask Him to show you the truth of how He desires to be worshiped.

As I read from a very wise man once, “When God starts a revival in a man’s heart, that man rejoices, but do not expect it to overflow into the congregation.”

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

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