When doctors measure a patient’s state of health, they go through a series of measurements and tests to come up with a diagnosis. What is this patient’s temperature and blood pressure? Is the patient healthy or horribly ill? But what if we were to diagnose modern “Christianity”? Would we find a healthy and vibrant specimen of the Church, as Jesus Christ intended it to be? Or would we find a very sick “patient” on our hands?
Checking measurements as per the norm of healthy standards we might have abnormal temp or cholesterol. Luke the beloved physician and is going to be Christians to see if they are healthy. Where can we find the standards in a global diverse culture and diversity of faiths? Traditions of Christianity and most people celebrate Christmas go and decorate trees and then it is forgotten and a few months later Easter comes with eggs and the Easter bunny.. Most people will claim that it is okay cause Christ saved us from it all and that we live under his grace. These are good traditions most would say and we like them! so lets turn to the standard and look to the Bible Deuteronomy 12:30-31 as God speaks about the pagan peoples around his chosen that walk with God.
30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after
that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
He didn’t just say do not worship them gods but also said do not worship me in that way.
Jeremiah 10:1-4 Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
This was the teaching in the old Testament. So what does Jesus say about this in the New Testament?
Mark 7:6-7 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. He then concludes strongly in verse 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
The people in Jesus’s day are doing the same thing they are doing today ignoring God’s commandments in order to keep their own traditions. More importantly Jesus Christ the founder of Christianity strongly condemns this.
Now so far our vitals in this first measurement is not so good but maybe it will get better so lets look into this further. One thing that we should look at in Christian security is it’s level of financial success. Christianity is big business with books marathons asking for donations music love gifts etc. So what is really wrong with that? Are we supposed to use Christianity as a profit center as in financial profit? Let’s turn to the passage where apostle Paul appeals to the people for donations? OH WAIT!!! There is no such passage actually Paul does warn against using godliness with a source of financial gain.
1 Timothy 6:5 but more crucial are the words of the founder of Christianity Jesus says this in Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give Jesus commands those that will preach his word not to turn what he has given you and turn it into an opportunity to make money. He commands ministers to freely give. looks like another diagnoses of ill health in modern Christianity. We should have a passion for sharing the Gospel with others and to not be asking for money.
We have been examining modern Christianity and it’s state of health so lets look at another aspect of our patient; modern Christianities approach to biblical prophecy.
Some modern day profits use prophecy to make money and sell books but most churches today seem to just avoid prophecy all together. When we hear about it, it is just a point of interest or a fascinating morsel here and there. Prophecy in general in many churches use it as a source of distraction from the gospel. So lets check the standard again. Lets check the patients vital sign against the word of God and the teachings of Christianities founder Jesus Christ.
In the book of Revelation which is an entire book devoted to prophecy states directly on it’s pages in verse 19:10 b for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. The first verses of the book state in:
Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
The book of Revelation covers the continuous story of the Christian church from the time of the Apostles all the way up to the return of Jesus Christ and beyond. Christ plainly says that whoever read the prophecy and act on it will experience blessings. Why would any church hold back on the blessings that Christ pronounces on those who seek to understand prophecy?
2 Peter 1:19 a; We have also a more sure word of prophecy …
Oh oh today’s patient has another ailment so if the church is not preaching about prophecy it had to be preaching about something. Lets look at some of the doctrines of modern Christianity. Most of us are familiar with a lot of them. Most teach that when a believer in Christ dies he/she will go to heaven. While those who do not believe will go to a burning place of torment for all eternity. Also Most teachers of Christianity teach that the commandments were done away by Christ and nailed to the cross so that we don’t need to keep God’s law.
Some teach a modified versions of that standard where some commandments are still good, but, others like the 7th day Sabbath were disposed of. Actually it is very hard to discuss the doctrines of the modern church cause they vary so much from denomination to denomination and even within denominations. Do you baptize infants or not… do u baptize by sprinkling water or complete submersion? Should Christians meet on Saturday? Sunday? or is any day of the week just fine? If you get 10 Christians together and ask them about the doctrines of their churches your likely to get 10 different sets of answers. So what does the Bible say about this? Lets look at one of the doctrines I mentioned going to heaven or hell for eternity when we die. Does the Bible speak of a conscious state immediately after death?
Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Apostle Peter said after Christ’s death and resurrection Acts 2:27-39
That King David is still dead in his grave and Apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Dead Christians are not alive in heaven but are sleeping the sleep of death and awaiting their resurrection at Christs future return.
Being in a Christian world that cannot even agree on the most fundamental doctrines Paul has scathing words in 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Paul also says 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Do u see peace and order and lack of confusion when you look over the various doctrines of the Sunday churches that call themselves collective Christianity; non biblical doctrines, confusion and chaos and doctrinal differences? On this note I think we have to agree another one of our patients has a negative result and is enough to make one wonder if Jesus is really alive and leading the church like the scriptures say He is. We should look at that as well .. another way of taking Christianities temp or blood pressure.
Lets examine the Jesus Christ it claims to worship. Most modern churches and priesthoods seem to claim that Christ kept the commandments so that you don’t have to do so. That he came to do away with his fathers laws and commandments. Obeying the commandments has nothing to do with eternal life! they claim; there is nothing for you to do cause He did it all! Is this the kind of religion that Jesus came to establish in this earth/, How do these claims compare to the standard? to the scriptures and the teachings of Christ; Christ answers that one directly in the Gospel of Matthew. Have the commandments passed away and should we no longer teach obedience?
In Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Or to fill to the full!
He didn’t do away with them; he made them even more binding not just in the letter but in the Spirit. Now lets go to 1 John 2. The keeping of the commandments are so vital and so central, so essential to Christianity that Apostle John is able to make a powerfully bold statement in
1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
In Matthew 7:21-33 Jesus says 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Those who preach that Jesus did away with the law of God ,the necessity of keeping God’s commandments are told by Jesus Christ … I never knew you. Your told by the Apostle John that you have no idea who Christ really is. As doctors analyzing modern Christianity we must concur at this point that things look very very bad for our patient. I have one more important point to discuss with you before we can definitively announce our diagnoses.
We have one more vital statistic to examine: What is the purpose of the christian church? What is it supposed to be doing in the world? Modern Christianity is in utter confusion at this point. Some believe the church should be heavily into politics others should be devoted to feeding the hungry the list can go on and on but when we look in scripture we find a church that was dynamically alive, supernaturally empowered and focused like a laser beam consumed with a driving purpose. A purpose commanded by Jesus Christ himself!
Turn to Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. That Gospel is often misunderstood. Many believe it is the story of Jesus life death and resurrection. and it certainly does teach us about Jesus sacrifice for our sins and his subsequent glorification. The Gospel that Jesus Christ brought to this earth was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God!Turn back to Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
The church was to go all out and preach the message of the coming government of Jesus Christ on this earth and a church that is failing in that mission. Is a church that is failing at the very purpose that Jesus Christ created in the first place. Friends lets look at our patient do we not have enough evidence to make our diagnosis? The tragic state is that Christianity is completely detached from it’s Biblical foundations and from the teachings of Jesus Christ that created the church for His purpose. We can’t ignore the symptoms, we can’t live in denial, we then have to ask ourselves if Jesus Christ is alive in Heaven and running His church as he promised. Is that church somewhere else?
Friends Jesus Christ does have a church, here in this troubled world that is committed to His word above all else. A church that He runs from heaven, a church that does keep the Biblical Holy days and commandments instead of the pagan hybrid and commandment ignoring traditions of modern Christianity and a church that is passionately devoted to spreading the prophetic Gospel of the real visible worlds ruling Kingdom of God. Free of charge into all the world before the end of the age, at all costs, and all seasons and against all opposition. Christ promises us in:
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
That this church will survive till the end of the age no matter how perfectly we may strive, we strive to be apart of that church. Put God and Jesus Christ to the test and let them prove it too you.