Writer, teacher and Public Speaker

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Judgment and the House of the Lord

“Judgment begins in the house of the Lord.”

What I see and hear right now from church going folks is that judgment is coming to our nation because of the recent Supreme Court ruling. I see lots of prayer-less and careless fingers pointing to “those people” who have brought down our nation.

When Nehemiah prayed to God, he prayed, “We have sinned—“ he included himself in the corporate sins of his nation. When the prophet Isaiah prayed, he said, “I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips.” In the presence of a Holy God he saw not just the sins of his nation, but he saw his own sin.

When we point our graceless fingers at the unbelievers it smacks of self-righteousness, not authentic righteousness. With authentic righteousness we realize, “my righteousness is as filthy rags.” There is “none who is righteous. No not one.” – “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Pride and especially religious pride is an abomination before God.

Have you not read about the time that James and John offered to call down fire from heaven upon those who rejected Christ? In turn Christ responded, “You don’t know what spirit you are of!”

I’ve been part of the organized church now for more than twenty years and there is much I love, I’ve found grace and acceptance from many unlikely souls. But I’ve wrestled with much in the church that is ‘ungodly’. Fifteen years ago, I came very close to leaving the “organized church.” I saw behaviors, sins if you will, that ripped my heart out.

Furthermore, I’ve noticed that the service that draws the fewest churchgoers is the prayer meeting. How do Christians expect to keep the graces and disciplines of God if they fail to seek His face, privately and corporately?

It is only through prayer that His Spirit fills me to overflowing so I can live in His strength and not my own. Otherwise I risk having my prayers be as unpleasant as a clanging symbol. I challenge you, if you pray today, go in your kitchen and take a metal spoon and mixing bowl. Beat on it while you pray. That’s how it sounds when we come before God with a loveless heart. And who can change our loveless hearts? Him, only Him.

Will judgment come to our nation? Perhaps. But from what I read in scripture Judgment begins in the house of the Lord. First we must take inventory of our own hearts – if we consider ourselves to be God’s people, then we must turn our hearts towards him. What rudder will turn this nation around?

God himself told us through the prayers of King Solomon. “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” (emphasis mine.)

Our hearts should be more grieved than angry - we should seek God first so we can give prayerful and thoughtful responses. Perhaps all preaching should cease for a while and we should just call a solemn assembly. Perhaps every Sunday service should be a prayer service rather than a pep-rally. How can the unbelieving world know about the "kindness of God that leads to repentance" if the people who bear God's name are unkind? If I was an unbeliever I certainly wouldn't want to come to a church filled with those sorts of folks.


Unknown said...

Not sure why folks can't comment - all setting have been set so that anyone can comment and there is no monitoring. POST away -- at least try. Thanks

Unknown said...

I think this blot is spot on. I have to ask God to change me before I can ever think of asking Him to change someone else. I cant overlook homosexuality, BUT, I can include that with all those sins we should stand against, no matter who they are. Plus, I must include my own sins in this. Standing against sin does not mean we take this personally, because if God can see this sin and still love us and want us to be with Him, surely we can sincerely pray for them to come to Christ. The last point is, we cannot focus on love to the extent that we ignore the fact that God is also a Just God and will hold our sins against us without Christ. All the love in the world will not be real if we don't make it personal to them. They have to face their own sins and not worry about the fact that "all have sinned". They cant hide behind that fact, but rather, they have to come to Christ for forgiveness of THEIR sins. We are the salt and light to help them see the laws that have been broken, as forgiveness means nothing if they don't realize the laws that have been broken, resulting in a need for forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

Indeed the church has a very long way to go. If I did not have a relationship with Jesus I would never subject myself to such loneliness and misunderstanding. Though not gay, I am a single parent and have never been married. Where does that fit in the church? It does not. It fits perfectly with Jesus. He understands when others never will. He has a purpose and plan for all of our lives. He never fails.

Nirosha said...

It's all about Jesus!! If we lift Him up He will draw all men unto Him!!! So that's all we have to do!! Lift up Jesus and He will do the rest!!! We must be careful at every meeting to do this!!! Our thinking must be about Him, our talking about Him, our desire only to Him., our joy, love about Him. He paid the price for our freedom from sin and all other negative things whatsoever!!!!!