The Apostle Paul reflected back on his pre-conversion days in Romans 7 and ended his memorial ordeal by telling how he called on Jesus Christ to free him for the sin-soaked life he had been leading. He had always wanted to do good, but failed repeatedly. But was this a real problem? Today we are told that because he carried Adam’s sin gene, his desire to obey God was enough to please Him. Paul had learned not long after his run-in with Jesus that the answer is “No.” He soon became aware of what he had been lacking during those years when he wanted so desperately to serve God in righteousness but was unable to do so. Soon after meeting Jesus on the Damascus road he received that which would enable him to obey God and thereby please Him–the Holy Spirit. One will notice that, after calling on Christ to deliver him from his sin-saturated “body of death,” Paul never again spoke about personal sin. Notice also that, following the infilling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, not one of the apostles ever mentioned having sin in their lives. The reason for their ability to overcome Satan was the inner presence of the Holy Spirit. If only those professing their love for God would learn the lesson those men learned. The church knows nothing about the Holy Spirit, except that she is against that terrible “tongues thing,” which they do not understand. Having preached in Pentecostal circles for many years, I can state that the Pentecostals know little more than the “strait” Christians know. Satan has successfully parlayed “that tongues thing” into a major weapon which he uses to keep those within professing Christendom from becoming true Christians by receiving the Holy Spirit. As one strait church member said, “We have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit.” Their spiritual deadness and lack of power reveal that their rejection of God’s Holy Spirit is total. How has the devil been able to keep people from knowing what is inside the Book they all own, carry to church on Sunday and refer to when things get rough? The answer involves a self-inflicted spiritual wound called “Scriptural ignorance.”
The billions being held captive by him in the religious abyss known as Christianity have never heard God’s Truth, and are determined not to hear it, at least not intentionally. Preachers make sure their parishioners remain ignorant of anything outside of their doctrinal statements. Any minister within a “strait” church caught speaking God’s Truth will be put out of the organization and have his ordination papers pulled immediately. I have to believe that some know the Truth. I read the confession of a Catholic priest who made the mistake of admitting that people are not saved during this life. He quickly “saw the light” and reversed himself, thereby saving his job. Surely he is not alone.
Having never broken free from their Catholic moorings, Protestants continue to assume that their leaders are chosen by God, and that He directs their ministry. Both assumptions are wrong. This error is compounded by the fact that church people refuse to personally study God’s Word IN SEARCH OF HIS TRUTH. Many perform their “daily Bible reading” ritual. Most, however, never open the tome until they are sitting in a pew hearing THE ONLY message their leaders know– John 3:16. Though that might not be the title of their message, it is the “headline” that their message always comes back to. Neither the leader nor the parishioner studies the “fine print” in God’s Word. GOD IS IN THE FINE PRINT. Not having found the fine print, neither leader nor follower finds God. A fact Satan has hidden from them.
Having been taught from childhood to ignore any Biblical passage or spoken message that does not fit into their theology, parishioners do not realize that they are missing the “strong meat” of the Word (Heb. 5:12,14). Not knowing the Truth and refusing to believe it if they hear it, they are do not know God’s definition of sin (breaking His Law–1 Jn. 3:4), which prevents them from confessing and repenting of their sins, which prevents them from receiving forgiveness, which prevents them from being converted, which prevents them from receiving the Holy spirit, which prevents them from living holy lives, which prevents them from qualifying for salvation. Sinners saved by grace are still in their sins, and loving it. Being able to sin and get away with it gives new meaning to the old saying: “They are having their cake and eating it too.” Ask Adam and Eve how that eventually turns out. It is virtually impossible to convince the super religious to study the Scriptures for God’s Truth. We do not need to guess why.
It is easy to understand why so many salvation seekers flock to Counterfeit Christianity’s Obedience Free Zones, each of which calls itself “the church” and claims to be God’s instrument by which He spreads His truth throughout the world. When one compares the Lord’s Bible-centered, command-oriented, no-options brand of Christianity to Satan’s church-centered, suggestion-oriented, multiple-options version it is easy to see why the masses choose the latter. Choosing the right church is like reading a t.v. guide. One has an idea what he/she wants to watch (hear), pulls up that channel (enters that church) and settles in to be entertained (have his ears scratched). It matters very little which system one attends in that the message is basically the same– John 3:16–whose theme is “Jesus loves you.” Jesus loved Hitler and Judas. But I sincerely doubt that they died in good standing with Him. Why not? For the same reason that two billion plus church people are on the outs with Him today–sin. Why do they sin? They say it is because they have no choice. Does this cause a problem between them and God? They say it doesn’t. This in spite of the Apostle John, when writing to his brethren whom he called “sons of God” (1 Jn. 3:2), said that sons of God who sin are “of the devil” (1 Jn. 3:8). This proves what I have been preaching for years–the God of the Institutional Church is Satan.
In summary: Sin is a choice. So declares the Lord in His Word. Church people do not know, nor do they want to know, God’s Word. Having found that they cannot resist Satan’s call to sin, they turn their weakness into a virtue by calling it “natural” and “unavoidable.” Without the Holy Spirit their life’s “walk” will never deviate from the path they are on. L.J.