WHAT WILL GOD DO TO THOSE
WHO ABUSE OTHERS IN THE CHURCH?
I Peter 4:17-18
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly appear?"
The church is probably 95% ignorant of that judgment. It is seldom mentioned in sermons. When the verse in I Peter is mentioned, it is usually used in reference to a scolding or mild correction of the Lord to make us the bright and shining Christians for the rapture. However, the verse says that the righteous shall "scarcely be saved..." The word "judgment" is from the Greek, "krima" which means "damnation."
The people of God are purposely ignorant of that judgment.
In the time of Jeremiah, he went about for 40 + years trying to convince a group of religious people that God was angry with them, and judgment would soon fall if they did not repent. He tried and tried to awake a people who did not want to hear his message. They cannot say they were not told, but they remained ignorant.
"Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times, and the turtle and the crane, and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but My people know not the judgment of the Lord."
The ministers of God, in these last days, must stand up and announce this judgment that was preached by Peter, and was preached for forty years (or more) by Jeremiah. It is to happen shortly before the rapture, and purify a church that has more false preachers than in Jeremiah's day. The church of today has many Pharisaical people who are there to cause many souls to backslide.
In Noah's day, many people were ignorant of the judgment that he preached. In Lot's time, many they were ignorant of the destruction about to befall Sodom and Gomorrah.
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man. They did eat, drink... until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all... Likewise, also as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven... thus shall it be in the day that the Son of Man is revealed..."
Even Lot's wife was ignorant of the nature of the judgment, for she was turned into a pillar of salt for disobedience to an important command, and thus we are instructed to "Remember Lot's wife." In Jeremiah's time, Jeremiah was slapped, put in stocks, plotted against, criticized, mocked, imprisoned, etc. -- all because the people did not like his message. They were ignorant, willingly, of the judgment that finally came. If Jeremiah had just spoken about the judgment on Babylon that would someday come (and it did), he would have drawn large crowds of people who would gladly say "AMEN". If preachers of today would tailor their messages to what the people want to hear today, they would not face such criticism. Many of today's preachers are doing that. Those ones then become today's false ministers. They have probably stopped reading this book long before this part, and don't know that I identify their messages of "Peace, Peace" as being ignorant, willingly, of the "sudden destruction" about which the Lord warns us. When they cease hearing the message of the Lord, and begin teaching a message that is contrary to the truth, they have become "false ministers."
There is coming a judgment in the last days when the Lord will remove from His "kingdom" all those who "offend", and those who "do iniquity."
"As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the age. The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them that do iniquity. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
There is much sin within the church of today. We don't like to admit it, but it is true. Many church sanctuaries are like morgues. It is not that the Lord does not want to move and bless. The Lord cannot move or bless in some churches because of sin. Some churches are seeing the sheep scattered, not because one of the ones who left it is a "troublemaker" who is "splitting" the church... No! it is because of the "troublemakers" still within the church who continue to "offend" and "do iniquity." In some churches, many have gotten into astrology, visiting of psychics, occultic practices, new age teaching, sexual sins, impurity, astral travel, etc. This may astound many within the churches. Yet, the Spirit is revealing to many ministers in the world, the terrible sins within the church.
The church has been too long blind to sins within. Many a sinner can point out the hypocrites within the church, and yet, we as Christians, seem blind to them. Many within the church have become so intent on earning dollars, buying new homes, driving expensive automobiles, traveling first class around the world, etc., that they have strayed far from the God-fearing, sin-hating, Holy Spirit empowered ministry that God wants us to have as His ministers in these last days before judgment.
Children are being taught in schools devoid of Bibles, but filled with pornographic, perverted, sexually deviant teaching. Many can barely read and write, add or subtract, when they graduate. However, they know how to get an abortion, (murder an unborn child) without their parents knowing about it. The church people, all too often, sit in their pews, and hope this next Sunday's lesson on David and Goliath will be sufficient for their children. The church has been blind, deaf, and dumb to the tactics of the devil. We have let the devil's plan rob many of our youth of the faith they need to survive spiritually.
Many can skip church, skip worship, and avoid Bible study, without caring. Many have an apathy and unconcern for spiritual things. Many churches are filled with nit-pickers, quarrelers, gossips, complainers, fault-finders, and hypocrites. These churches need revival. Yet, revival cannot come with these people still in the churches.
Is God going to rapture that kind of church? Is He satisfied with a "pew sitting", sleeping, dead religion? Is He going to allow these sins to continue within the church until He returns?
The Bible tells us that He wants to return for a revived church:
"That He might present it to Himself, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy, and without blemish."
In II Timothy 3:1-14, we are told that "in the last days, perilous times shall come." Then Paul describes some in the church who have a "form of godliness, but deny the power thereof." These "perilous times" will include the purging of the church of the "tares" (as prophesied in Matthew 13). Paul describes in detail the sins of these who will be damned in that judgment.
Jesus wants a pure and holy church that can have the kind of revival that He desires in the last days. The Laodicean church cannot have the revival that Jesus wants.
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot: I would that thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth."
This warning is given to the Laodicean church, which represents the majority of churches of the last days. Most churches are "lukewarm." Jesus says that He will "spue them out." The church at Laodicea thought they had "need of nothing." And many church people of today think they have "need of nothing."
Many of today's churches are still ignorant of the judgment that is about to befall shortly before the rapture of the church. The "bumps on the log" had better get stirred. In these last days, the church had better get into the revival, or face a quick and sure judgment. This was Jeremiah's message to his time, and it is our message to our time.
The church is likened to a body, and all parts of the body are useful and needed. God does not want to sever the arm, or the leg. No! However, the body (which is the church) has many "warts" and "cancers" which are presently hindering it. The great "Surgeon" is about to remove the "warts" and "cancers" of the body, so it can have the healthy revival that God wants the church to have in these last days.
Into our churches have "crept" some who are soon going to face a terrible judgment. It is dangerous to be a troublemaker in these last days. We had better be the kind of Christian who will stand up for the abused, the weak, the little ones of the Lord. If we are the kind of church person who is an abuser, we will face a damnation about which many ministers have warned.
"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who before of old ordained to this condemnation (krima), ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ..."
The Bible indicates that we will know these false ministers by their words... They will speak terrible things, they will have the spirit of lying, they will speak fair and flattering words to those they wish to deceive, and then speak harsh and critical words to those they abuse. They will fool many. They did in Jeremiah's day. They did in Jesus' day. They are also fooling many in our day. They will even prophesy in the name of the Lord, and preach in their sermons, messages that "they" are the "true ones," and the "true ones" are the "troublemakers."
Oh, how awful when saints are easily deceived by these ones. The false preachers may have started out as good Christians. They may have been friends. They may belong to the same ministerial prayer group. However, if they can unblushingly abuse little ones, or encourage others who abuse little ones of the Lord, if they can spread half truths, untruths, and twisted truths about those who say "Quit!" to these abusers, then they are not of God. Perhaps they never were saved.
"That every idle word (rhema = claiming to be speaking for God when it is not truly a message from God) that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment (krima = damnation). For by thy words, thou shalt be justified, and by thy words, thou shalt be condemned (krima = damned)."
Just as Jeremiah spent most of his ministry preaching this message to the religious people of his time, the ministers of the last days need to awaken the religious people of our time. We cannot let the truth of God be unspoken. The false ministers of our day are trying to sing lullabies to a sleepy church. The true ministers must sound the trumpet warning as did Jeremiah. No! We will not be treated any better than Jeremiah. We will be lied about. We will be shunned. We will be avoided. Sermons will contain slams and insinuations against us. We will be pushed out of churches, and then blamed for splitting the church. We will be treated as Jeremiah. It is quite a price to pay, but the true minister would rather pay that price, than to be the false minister who is heading full speed for judgment.
The church is somewhat "upside down" today. The Lord said that if we would hurt one of His "little ones," it would be better for us to hang a "millstone" about our neck and jump into the sea. Yet, the churches of today, too often, treat the abuser (the offender of the little ones) better than those who say "Stop" to the abuse. They take the ministers of today, and want to hang a "millstone" about their necks, and cast them into the sea. Don't be dismayed! We may defend the "little ones" of the Lord, and yet, we may not defend ourselves.
Perhaps it seems that few, if any, ministers have the discernment from God to know the "lies" of the abusers from the "truths" of true ministers. Therefore, some may go from church to church for a while looking for one who is willing to accept them. Many a true minister is learning this unpleasant truth in these last days. Such ones are part of the "remnant" that the Lord is separating, and using to awaken, or attempt to awaken, the church of the last days. Jeremiah had a horrible reception in the temple, in his hometown, and in the whole nation of Judah. They were not even satisfied with putting him into the prison, they had him thrown into the sewer of the prison. The Lord Jesus had a similar reception. The religious people of His day were the ones who plotted the crucifixion. True ministers of today might as well expect the same type of treatment.