January 1, 2012
There is Sin in the Camp
While God looks at our sins individually as believers, there is biblical precedence for God looking at the church as a WHOLE when they refuse to be obedient to his command. Sin is running rampant among the body of Christ in IC’s today, and it must be addressed. This is why this blog exists.
The seven churches in Asia Minor Jesus wrote (Revelation 2 and 3) did wonderful things in his sight, yet for some of those churches, Christ had something AGAINST THEM.
For Ephesus they forgot their first love which is CHRIST.
Pergamum had people who held to the teachings of Balaam (Idolatry and Sexual Immorality) and the Nicolatians, (Authoritarian and controlling doctrines which conquer and destroy the people.)
Thyatira tolerated those who have the Jezebel spirit and enticed people away from God and into serving Idols and Sexual Immorality. (Sound familiar?)
Sardis had a reputation for being a live and active church, but in reality, they were DEAD.
Laodicea worst of all was LUKE WARM in their faith, neither being cold or hot. They also loved money and thought that money, prosperity, and being RICH made them more spiritual and not in need of the grace of God… God told them that they were REALLY WRETCHED, PITIFUL, POOR, BLIND AND NAKED! The harshest words were for them, God didn’t even commend them on anything GOOD!
The point being: GOD IS NOT PLEASED WITH SIN IN THE CAMP.
You can cry out all you want to God for relief, you can pray, fast, praise, shout… It doesn’t mean anything unless you deal with sin in the camp and obey Christ.
I look at some churches in the news, scandals which have risen this year from within many IC’s this year, and the call for the church is always to “just pray about it,” “don’t judge,” “touch not mine anointed,” etc.
Forgive my Ebonics here but God ain’t tryna hear dat. The scriptures are PLAIN and instead of obeying God and doing what he has already commanded us to do, we ignore him, yet cry out for relief, not realizing God’s hand is in all of this exposure of false prophets and teachers.
We cry “don’t judge” when God has already judged us, Judgment begins in the house of God… We cry “Touch not mine anointed!” when according to Jude, God has anointed or chosen some to go to blackest darkness because they refuse to REPENT.
I think of an incident in Israel’s history in Joshua 7 where Achan sinned by taking some of the “devoted things” and God’s anger burned against ISRAEL. They went out with 3,000 men to fight a battle with the men of Ai which they should have easily won because there were few men there and got their behinds handed to them. The bible says the people’s heart became like water because they were so discouraged by the defeat.
They cried out to God, got the elders, the people etc. together to pray and fast before the Lord. Israel had NEVER lost a battle under the Lord’s direction… God was ALWAYS WITH THEM since he brought them out of Egypt.
So what was the problem, why didn’t God give them the victory they were wanting?
Joshua 7:10-12 (NIV84)
The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore UNLESS YOU DESTROY WHATEVER AMONG YOU IS DEVOTED TO DESTRUCTION.”
This cannot be ignored saints, whether it be in our personal lives or collectively as the Body of Christ. Jesus is serious about holiness and righteousness. He is coming back for a bride without spot or wrinkle. What are we doing to obey Christ and remove sin from the camp of our lives? Do we make excuses and say “oh God forgives” or “God understands” or the ever dreadful “God knows my heart?“
The same is true in our congregations. Are we tolerating sin from those who we think are untouchable, ourselves even? Is obeying Christ the most important thing in your fellowship, or have you been sidelined like the folks in Asia Minor?
In light of the New Year, let us examine ourselves more today… what sin have you amongst the camp? What evil have you not purged from among you? What weight have you not laid aside?
BELIEVERS! There is sin in the camp. And God is not pleased. Our Lord God is the same and he changes not. The same holy standard he had for his people Israel he has for believers today. Let’s learn from Israel’s history: These people obeyed God and removed sin from the camp, and as the scripture says God’s anger turned away from them. No let’s not stone and burn the immoral brother or sister in the Lord, but LOVINGLY lead them to repentance God’s way, but DO NOT tolerate their sin. God gave each of the churches in Asia Minor a choice to obey him, and a promise that he would bless them for their obedience. He has given us his Holy Spirit so we have the power to obey him. The ball is proverbially in our court.
Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption!
They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness—only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil. Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.
The Daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a field of melons, like a city under siege. Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.
Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah! “The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says the LORD.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.
When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
1 Corinthians 5:12-13
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” – Deut. 17:7; 19:19; 21:21; 22:21,24; 24:7