BABYLON CONTINUES ITS PARTY
THE SPIRIT CALLS THOSE WHO WILL HEAR
Jam.4: 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
This present world if filled with all sorts of alluring trinkets. Material desires and fleshly excitements as well as false avenues to make the world a better place are widespread across the face of the planet. And here, in the west, the variety of carnal enticements is dazzling. We are surrounded by the voice of earthly and even demonic sirens calling us to a life of self elevation, self satisfaction, and self fulfillment. The prospect of self denial and sacrifice has been all but relegated to some medieval concept which is seen today as ignorant and superstition. To deny oneself of almost any pleasure within your grasp is an outdated concept even it requires going into great debt to have it.
This present world has thrown a great party with no accoutrements spared. It offers us what we want. Do you desire to be praised for your looks and intellect? Do you desire to experience titillation that thrills your flesh? Do you want more and more money? A bigger house? A more luxurious car? Do you wish to experience a vicarious thrill through your children? Do you desire to feel important and be a part of the social strata? Well come on in! The world has all that and more in this party that began in Eden and has grown to immense proportions.
And the best aspect about this party is that you do not have to openly renounce your faith in Jesus. In fact, if you wish, the world will bring its party right into your church! Yes, you can have a party and openly incorporate it right into your ecclesiastical practice and even your belief system. Think about it. Jesus wants you to go for all the gusto you can. He even desires to cater your party, and He will be partying right there with you! And in the middle of this colossal celebration of the flesh is a magnificent piñata.
Watch as that piñata is broken and all its hidden treasures come bursting forth. Financial prosperity; political clout; national pride; moral hubris; and all kinds of promises about having it all spill out onto the altar and God’s professing people can quickly gather them all up. It is a sinner’s dream!
So let me come out from the metaphor and openly address what continues to be happening in the lives of believers collectively and individually. And as we weigh these things let us also never minimize the effect that the visible church has had on professing believers and what they believe and practice. And at the very heart of this influence are new and enticing and well coifed communicators who used to be called shepherds and pastors. The entire western ecclesiastical construct is now one of a constantly expanding pattern of Scriptural equivocation. It is obvious that regardless of what the Scriptures openly teach they must be forced to conform to the dictates and desires of human flesh. It is quite astounding and I am sure repulsive to the Spirit of Almighty God.
And here once again I wish to uncover what I believe to be at the heart of this spiritual rebellion. It is called “nationalism” and it entails viewing your earthly country with high esteem and even love while also viewing yourself as its patriotic citizen. I realize this is not only acceptable within the church, but it is even embraced and celebrated. And while the so called church of Jesus Christ adores the founding fathers, and promotes conservative values, and supports democracy and capitalism, and embraces America as a divine construct, the depth to which these things have imprisoned the church in idolatry remains unnoticed to the evangelical masses. I mean who can hear the spiritual warnings knocking on your door when the party is raging? But in a spiritual reality this idolatry is practiced on a scale which would embarrass the builders of the golden calf.
And even while discussing this issue called nationalism most believers view it as a different perspective and a matter of focus. In other words they assume if you keep your love for America in perspective and place Jesus first you are alright and can walk in the Spirit. That is wrong. If you have ANY allegiance to ANY country you are walking in the flesh and you have compromised the Lordship of Christ in your life and you have swung open the gates which allow a multitude of compromises. Yes, it is that serious.
The problem stems from an illusion about the true nature of any earthly country. These are fallen countries which actively work against Christ and are tools of the spirit of antichrist. All sorts of deceptions are leveraged from moral issues to social issues to freedom issues to religious issues and everywhere in between. People’s hearts are transfixed upon their own material benefits and they vote their pocketbooks. And believers do the exact same thing. And preachers by the thousands show a visceral disdain for men like President Obama and then endorse and support Mitt Romney who has given millions to spread a spirit of antichrist. We are supposed to love sinners not endorse them and promote them as our leaders.
Step back a minute and look at the kingdoms of the world. They are not working with the kingdom of God. Yes God can use anything, but never has God directed the followers of Jesus Christ to join hands with unbelievers. Never. This is a spiritual principle that is foundational to the Christian life and must be foundational to the teachings of the church. I refuse to puff out my chest and castigate sinners, but I also refuse to join hands with them and their movements regardless of where I agree with them. Hugh Hefner is against stealing and so am I. Does that mean I can join with him in a nationwide movement against stealing?
So the situation is desperate and the issue demands an inspection and spiritual evaluation that goes further than just water cooler discussion. We as the church should be fasting and praying and begging God to open our eyes to our compromise. And this is the kind of foundational compromise which affects everything. You may compromise and watch a questionable movie without dismantling your spiritual life. But nationalism is the death knell to following Christ. And dare I say that at the crux of American nationalism is money, material gain, and the system called capitalism.
The entire immigration issue is also centered upon economic issues. All of it. Most illegals enter looking for a better economy and most Americans are against open immigration in order to protect their own economic situation. Yes, there are more layered issues about immigration but the roots grow out of money. But money is at the root of most things. Prostitution, drugs, crime, entertainment, sports, all have money roots. And the number one cause of divorce is money. And in the midst of all this the church has become a big business which elicits obscene amounts of money which they lavish on buildings, staff, advertisement, and activities of all sorts. Rarely, if ever, does an American evangelical church borrow millions only to send it overseas to minister to those is desperate need. Church debt is always centered on the material and leadership needs of that same local church.
And so where do we go from here? To be honest the visible church is probably not coming back. The call to return to Zion has gone out but those who love Babylon have stopped their ears with entertainment, material things, self affirmation, and more and more money. When the Lord called His people to come out of Babylon to rebuild the walls of His temple only a handful returned. Why? Because after they had been carried away to Babylon, and after the initial sorrow had worn off, they had found prosperity in Babylon. They had formed friendships and family roots. They had given birth to children, and in those 70 years they had not only become used to Babylonian life, but they had come to enjoy it.
They had been allowed to retain some of their religious customs even though they had not celebrated the feasts and sacrifices, and they had neglected God’s Word. And when the remnant returned to Jerusalem they had found the Book of the Law and openly wept as it was read. That remnant had repented and now they had seen just how far they had strayed from serving and knowing the Lord. And so much of that scenario mirrors what is happening today. A few have heard the voice of the Spirit, and although some are unsure as to where they should go, there is a remnant which have taken up their tents and set their faces toward heaven.
And when I say the word “remnant” I do not mean a company of prideful people who think they are better than anyone else or who are self appointed prophets who seek to draw attention to themselves. No, we are sinners saved by grace who are still in the process of repenting but who can never return to the religious grave clothes from which we just came. We do not have all the answers but this one thing we do know. God has called us out from the religious system that flourishes in this modern day Babylon. We have been set free and we can never go back.
Jesus Christ is Lord.