The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. – 2 Kings 12:3
Joash, the only remaining son of King Azahiah, had become king at age 7. So long as the priest Jehoiada instructed him, he followed the ways of God. He served God for most of his life and trusted in him until much later on. He even went so far as to have the temple repaired after its years of neglect by previous kings. King Joash was a godly king with a sense of doing what was right in God’s eyes, but he didn’t tear down all the idols and shrines to the foreign gods that had become part of daily worship in the lives of the Judeans. Although his drive led him to do right, he accommodated the sins of his people. The Bible says they continued in their idol worship in spite of everything else.
God’s Word speaks very loud to me today about the current status of the American church and her undershepherds, who are leading the sheep of God’s pasture. The modern American church is so full of sin and hypocrisy that one might say it is not the church of God any longer but the apostate church of Satan. So many false teachers and prophets have infiltrated and polluted the grazing lands that the sheep don’t know they are eating poisoned fodder. They sit in their pews in their mega-churches and swallow the cherry kool-aid served up by the ministers of Satan. They don’t want to hear the Truth of God’s Word, so they fill their itching ears with the “peace and prosperity” gospel delivered by the likes of Osteen and Warren and Murdock and Schuler.
Jesus foretold the coming of this day and age when people would become offended and betray one another followed by the love of many Christians growing (waxing) cold. Paul and Peter both referred to this day as the great falling away. The saddest part of this whole phenomenon is that there are many good preachers working hard to deliver the Truth of God’s Word to the flock, but the sheep refuse to graze on the bread of life and have and continue to choose the bread of death. They want to be told that they can go on living like the world and still make it to heaven. They want to hear that they can work their way to heaven rather than having to trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus’ blood, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and the only entryway to the Father in heaven.
Many churches are experiencing downsizing like never before. They see their numbers dwindling across all denominations while the church in other areas of the world are expanding exponentially because they are either located in nations under repressive regimes or don’t have the affluence to hinder their trust in God. The other side of the coin reveals that sinners don’t want to become Christians because they see no benefit from becoming a believer when most believers look no different from they do. Thus, what reason would a sinner have to enslave oneself to the chains of religion? The world already enslaves them to personal wants and desires they experience in their sins. Accordingly, the American church resembles the Laodicean church so much that she doesn’t even know that she is poor, blind, wretched, and naked and has the audacity to think that she is rich and has need of nothing. Who are most Christians kidding but themselves?
Fellow Christians, true followers of Messiah and not so-called Christians who are really sinners, we must fall on our knees and pray to the God of Israel and intercede for the American church. We must band together and lift up the names of family and friends before our God and petition Him to shake up our flocks and restore true Godly worship in Spirit and in Truth. I dare say that most so-called Christians give mere lip service to God and don’t love Him with all their hearts, minds, and souls. Many a frustrated pastor has contemplated leaving the ministry because of the pain and anguish of leading a flock that refuses to repent and seek God and live according to His Word. If our pastors and church leaders don’t demand a tearing down of the shrines, altars, and idols in the lives of their congregants, we will see the devastation that came upon Israel and eventually Judah here in the USA. It is not a matter of “if” but “when.”
There is coming one last Great Awakening to the sinful nation of America to gather the saints together and give one last reprieve to the house of God in the USA prior to Jesus’ gathering of the church at the rapture. Because we, as leaders and followers of Jesus, have not gone and torn down the idols in the lives of God’s people, they will continue to worship Satan rather than God. They will bring judgment upon themselves. We must encourage our pastors to preach the Word from the pulpit and not worry about what people think. God has demanded of us to live holy lives and to preach and teach the True Gospel of Jesus to all people everywhere. Many a sinner is dying and heading toward hell. Many of them sit next to us every Sunday. We dare not rest on our laurels and think we won’t have to answer to God one day.
It’s high time we cleansed the temple of the Holy Spirit and removed all sin from our lives. It’s high time we started living holy lives and demonstrating to the world that there is a benefit of serving the Almighty God. It’s high time we preached and taught the Truth of the gospel to everyone around us including the lost that call themselves Christians but are really serving Satan. It’s high time we do the right thing even if it means we suffer for the cause of Messiah and the cross He bore. He gave everything for us, are we willing to give everything for Him?
Father, I have spoken with people about seeking You and Your righteousness and living holy lives. The only way we can do so is to be plugged into Your Spirit, the Word, and the Body of Messiah. No one person can do this alone. We need You and each other. We can do nothing without the power of Your Spirit teaching us, leading us, and guiding us. As I read the histories of Samaria and Judah and how the people continually deserted You and prostituted themselves before other gods, I can’t help but think of the so-called believers who do the very same things today. They come into a building called a church and preach lies from the podium and please the lying and deceitful hearts of the masses, those who don’t want to hear the Truth of Jesus. I lament over this most horrific state of the church. Truly it is as Your Word says that many are called but few are chosen. Thank You for not only calling me but choosing me as one of Your children. I will do my best with empowerment from Your Spirit and grace to live a holy life before You in all humility, so that men may see my good deeds and glorify You and decide that being a true follower of Messiah is worth it all. Help me to spread the Truth that will cause others to repent of sin and tear down the idols in their lives. Your Word is clear that we can only be made clean through the washing of water through Your Word. We have to renew our minds and transform ourselves based on the Word and making our lives living sacrifices by laying down our wants and desires and making Your wants and desires our own. Help me to usher in the Great Awakening You’ve planned for this nation by calling people everywhere to repentance and prayer. These two things must occur if we expect to see You bring revival to this sinful land. I love you, Dad. In Jesus’ name, Amen.