Our First Love!
The Ole Land Mark!

by Larry C. Hamner

August 18, 2007

Why Call Me Lord! Lord!

It is a disquieting thing to look at the influence of the world in today's church. Although it is a foolish thing for the church to embrace the world and its values, that is precisely what has happened in today's church. Many Christian are regularly immersing themselves in the godless values that permeate the mass media today. Sitcoms, documentaries, talk shows and reality shows all promote promiscuity, gangsterism, adultery, and the gay lifestyle. God commands His people to be a separate people, a different people, and representative of all that is pure and holy.

“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. ” (Luke 16:15)

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. ” (2 Cor. 6:17-18)

The end result of continual subjugation to such ungodly influences is a lost of conviction. The evidence of this lost of conviction among Christians can be seen quite vividly in the statistics on divorce. When one looks at the divorce statistics of American couples, and compare Christians with non-Christians we find that divorce rates among Christians match those among the rest of the population. According to federal census numbers, the so-called Bible Belt states have the highest divorce rates in the nation. Another piece of evidence is the move of many churches toward the ordination of gays as ministers and pastors. It is quite evident that today's Christians do not have the same conviction and biblical values as their parent's generation.

False Teachers!

There are too few ministers who are willing to speak out against sin and assail it as an evil to be eradicated from the Christian life. They fail to call men and women to genuine repentance and holy living. No more “fire and brimstone” and “heaven or hell ” preaching from the pulpit. Even those who are involved in the most abominable behavior are readily assured that God's grace is sufficient and covers all their sin. It is a lie from deepest reaches of Hades and a tool designed to effectively silence those who would decry sin amongst the pews. And of course everyone dies and immediately goes to heaven. A note from the author... if some of the people whom we so quickly pronounce are in heaven are there then... I don't want to go to heaven. The ministry is duty bound to exemplify and teach holiness among the people of God.

“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”(Ezek. 33:7-9)

“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” (Ezek. 44:23)

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim. 4:1-4)

There are too many professed Christians who want it both ways: they want the benefits of salvation but don't want to depart from their ungodly deeds. We as minister and custodians of the gospel must continue to resist and vigorously speak against the denigration of Christian values in The Church. If we don't immediately take a stand for holiness from our pulpits, it won't be very long before The Church will be indistinguishable from the world which surrounds us and the ungodly culture that permeates it.

Be Not Conformed!

Churches throughout the country are reshaping themselves to serve the concerns of our secular society. If you listen closely to the wind of change that is blowing through the church world today you will hear the sound of self-fulfillment and needs gratification. Materialism, pleasure-seeking, immodesty in dress, sexual laxity and divorce are common place in the modern church. The God-dependent Church is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Gone are born again believers who obey the Word of God. The average church service today is equivalent of a religious quickie--sing a few hymns, pass the offering plate, tell a joke or two, listen to a fifteen to twenty minute sermon, and then everyone rush to their cars and high tail it to the nearest buffet. Since all these things are so; it is little wonder churches struggle to reach the world.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

Salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ calls for a radically wonderful change in our lives, and for a vibrant loyalty to His teachings. As born again believers we must practice nonconformity to the world. Neither our ministries nor our lives are to be tailored to fit the world around us. How bout it? Let's all go back to the ole land mark!

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