“Laziness makes one fall into a deep sleep…”
PROVERBS 19:15 (LITV)
Spiritual slumber is the result of spiritual laziness. False teaching, empty faithless works and spiritual pride are all factors that lend themselves to the horror of such a condition. The life of the true believer is characterized by the fear of the Lord. This healthy fear of the Lord produces a diligence that is the safeguard from this slumber that leads to death and deception. Paul in writing to the Corinthians said,
“I therefore so run,
not as uncertainly; so fight I,
not as one that beateth the air:
But I keep under my body,
and bring it into subjection:
lest that by any means,
when I have preached to others,
I myself should be a castaway”
1 CORINTHIANS 9:26-27
Paul clearly sets forth here the effect that the fear of the Lord produces in a man whose faith is active, living and real. This is a live truth that stands in stark contrast to the antinomian gospel that is prevalent in much of the church today. The antinomian gospel declares that because of grace I can live my life without consequence. This teaching presents the salvation of God as an event rather than a life which is contrary to the entire context of the scriptures set forth in the New Testament. The fruit of a thing is the revelation of the ACTUAL inherent life in it. Jesus did not say you will know them by their confession and their words. Judas, in the very act of betrayal, greeted Jesus with a kiss yet it was his works that revealed him as the son of perdition.
“A good tree CANNOT bring forth evil fruit,
neither can a corrupt tree
bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit
is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”
The life of the true disciple of Christ is revealed by the intense desire to please and honour HIM in the everyday concourse of life. Contrary to the “evangelical gospel” of our day the PRIMARY purpose of the Gospel and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is to make us “witnesses unto HIM” not unto men.
“And he (Jesus) said unto them,
It is not for you to know
the times or the seasons,
which the Father hath put in his own power.
BUT YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME
and in all Judaea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth”
The true teaching of the New Testament is to produce people whose lives are lived as a WITNESS unto HIM! The power of the HOLY SPIRIT is given to empower us to live pure and godly lives in all sincerity and authenticity unto HIM. Much of the church of today aims to please the world rather than God. We see compromise and “seeker friendly” strategies to “market” Jesus rather than to live in the power of the HOLY SPIRIT that brought conviction to the world. The false teaching of this hour portrays a gospel that seeks to befriend the world rather than convict it. It has produced a gospel that has reduced it to a “message” rather than a LIFE of power. The result of such a gospel is a church that is slumbering and lost. A “church” where the people have no other vision or purpose than to try and increase their numbers rather than “making disciples of Christ”; a gospel message that is more intent on filling the pews than glorifying the risen Christ. Rather than being humbled and broken over the divisions of denominations and the following of men they are proud and contented with a gospel that presents a divided church. This is not in keeping with the prayer of Jesus “that they may be ONE AS Thou art with Me and I am with Thee… THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW”.
Men and women who know that their lives are to be lived unto HIM are free from the opinions of men. They know intrinsically within their own hearts that they must give an account unto HIM for the life they live.
“Wherefore we labour,
that, whether present or absent,
WE MAY BE ACCEPTED OF HIM.
For we must all appear
before the judgment seat of Christ;
that every one may receive
the things done in his body,
according to that he hath done,
whether it be good or bad.
THE TERROR OF THE LORD,
we persuade men”
2 Corinthians 5:9-11
We clearly read here that Paul and the Church of his day “labored…to be accepted of HIM”! How does this fit into the complacent gospel of today? Paul WAS not speaking of working for his salvation. He was speaking of living a life unto God that was acceptable and well pleasing. Without this foundational truth the gospel becomes a man-centered worldly teaching rather than a Gospel pulsating with the Life of the Son who only lived to please His Father.
The fruit of such a gospel has produced a laziness that has engulfed much of the church today in a slumber that will bring great judgement.
God’s Word to those who have preached such a Gospel…
“His watchmen are blind:
they are all ignorant,
they are all dumb dogs,
they cannot bark (to warn others);
sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
Yea, they are greedy dogs
which can never have enough,
and they are shepherds
that cannot understand:
they all look to their own way,
every one for his gain,
from his quarter.
Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine,
and we will fill ourselves
with strong drink;
and to morrow shall be as this day,
and much more abundant”
The “strong wine” of such a gospel produces slumber, worldliness, apathy, compromise and lack of conviction; the sins of the world are the sins of the church. It is upon such that the ends of the earth are about to fall and they know it not.
“None so deaf as those who will not hear”
Matthew Henry (1662–1714)
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