Saturday, May 24, 2014
THE PROPHET JEREMIAH - A WARNING TO AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN CHURCH
Jeremiah the Prophet was called by God to warn the ancient southern kingdom of Israel of impending doom brought about by open spiritual rebellion. By the time Jeremiah began his ministry, the northern kingdom of Israel, known as Samaria, had already been destroyed due to sin and rebellion towards God. Jeremiah's purpose is to warn the government and religious leaders of the southern kingdom that their fate will be similar if they do not change their ways. Each time I study Jeremiah, I am struck by how similar the sins committed by Israel mirror the behavior of America at large and, to a certain degree, many in the church. I share my observations because I believe that America is headed towards the same judgments that Israel suffered and for the same reasons. Our culture has embraced sin at the highest levels and like no other time in history, we see good called evil and evil called good. This post is meant as a warning to American Christians. A large portion of the American church is embracing popular culture, embracing the idolization of entertainers and sports figures and supporting a satanic agenda by purchasing entertainment that directly defies God. Much like the false prophets in the days of Jeremiah, many American preachers have embraced easy believism which is bereft of any call to repentance. I will focus on some key scriptures of Jeremiah and show how our society has embraced the same behaviors the Weeping Prophet condemns in Israel.
Jeremiah 2:5 Thus says the LORD: "What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?
The first passage I would like to look at, Jeremiah 2:5, is foundational to this topic. At some point, our leaders in entertainment, government and, in some cases, the church, have abandoned the principles of God and begun to pursue worthlessness. God's word is very clear in the above passage, if we pursue worthlessness, we become worthless. It is the concept of reaping and sowing. Each of us has inestimable worth in the eyes of God, as demonstrated by the cross, yet, if we begin to abandon the ways of God, and pursue worthless pursuits, we trade that worth for a spiritual worthlessness in which we ourselves declare, "I am of no use to God."
Jeremiah 4:22 "For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are 'wise'—in doing evil! But how to do good they know not."
click here to read about Barna's study on the relevance of the Bible in today's young Christians
Ask the average youth group member about the lyrics to Mylie Cyrus's Wrecking Ball or Katie Perry's Supernatural. Next, ask the same youth group member to quote the 23rd Psalm, or even John 3:16, ask them to give a simple explanation of salvation. I think you will be very disturbed by the results. It is not that the youth are not interested, because they are, sadly, they are not having their questions answered. Parents are not spending time in Bible study with their children and youth groups have become focused on fun activities and very little Biblical teaching. As a former youth minister, I can assure you that if you teach teens the Bible, they will ask questions and become engaged. Our entire culture is geared to teaching evil to our kids, from television, to radio, to movies, to intrusive sex education in schools, to lies about evolution being taught as fact. We must counter that negative influence by teaching the youth of America the Bible.
Jeremiah 5:30-31 An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land:
the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?
In this passage, Jeremiah points out that the religious leaders are teaching falsely, and the people love it. One well known pastor and author, Rob Bell, teaches that Hell is here on earth, that eternity is more a quality of life issue than a matter of time, and that God's love demands that we allow room for salvation outside faith in Christ. If Rob Bell is right then Christ is a liar. Bell went on FOX News to defend his views.
ROB BELL DEFENDS HIS HERETICAL VIEWS ON SALVATION AND HELL. click here
Rob Bell has also given his endorsement for Gay marriage - something expressly forbidden in scripture. Also, in a very eye opening interview with Oprah, Rob Bell never once mentions Christ or judgement when asked about afterlife and salvation. - YOU CAN SEE THAT INTERVIEW HERE - PAY ATTENTION FROM 1:50 ON click here
While you may or may not have heard of Rob Bell, I am sure you have heard of Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven movement. Rick Warren has turned his pulpit over to Rob Bell and Saddleback Chruch uses Rob Bells teachings. Obviously, Warren endorses Bell's theology. The only criticism for Bell from Warren has been Bell's decision to leave the ministry and pursue a career in publishing and conference speaking. Warren criticized this decision intimating that it diminished Bell's influence. Warren's Purpose Driven model is a Gospel-lite approach that is more concerned with social injustice than actual salvation. At a World Economic Summit, Warren makes that abundantly clear. SEE WARREN EMBRACING OTHER RELIGIONS FOR "PROGRESS" IN SOCIAL ISSUES click here
A great book exposing Warren's true agenda is New Evangelicalism by Paul Smith. You can read my review of this book by clicking here.
No false teacher has as much acclaim in Christian circles today as Joel Osteen. Osteen teaches that our words have creative power and if we are unhappy or suffering, we need to speak something out in order to give life to our words. According to Osteen, if I believe I am blessed that is good but if I say, "I am blessed", that is when blessings begin to come down. Osteen teaches that we have the same creative power in our spoken word as God in Genesis. Joel Osteen also stated on Larry King Live that some who do not believe in Christ may gain salvation as God judges their hearts and motives. Osteen says he cannot state that those who deny Christ are not saved click here
Bell, Warren and Osteen are false prophets of the modern age who have captured the hearts(and possibly souls) of millions of American's
Some of America's top religious figures, the ones selling the most books, seem to be "prophesying falsely" on a regular basis. What will their followers do "when the end comes" and they realize they have been lied to and are not prepared for the return of Christ. In Matthew 25, Jesus, discussing end times, tells a parable about the ten virgins. The ten virgins represent the church, 5 were ready for the Bridegroom(Jesus) and 5 were not.
The 5 who were not, did not have oil for their lamps( oil represents the Holy Spirit) and were excluded from the marriage, or in our terminology, left behind. According to the teachings of Christ, half of the people who claim to be Christians do not have the Holy Spirit and will be told by Christ. "I know you not." This is a terrifying thought when we consider that many of the world's Christians are persecuted, but here in America, it is culturally acceptable to be called a Christian.(as long as we don't get fanatical about it) If Jesus truly meant that half of professing Christians will be left behind, what percentage of that half will come from the American church. I fear a largely disproportionate number of American"Christians" will be without oil and miss the rapture.
Jeremiah 1:16 And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands.
One of the major pitfalls for the nation of Israel was idol worship. This is not really an issue in America, especially in the church...or is it. Do we have idols in America today? If so, who or what are they? FOX Television answers that question for us, I believe.
Today's entertainers have replaced God when it comes to adoration, devotion and instruction.
adoration of Elvis fans reacting to the Beatles
fans at a heavy metal concert
Open displays of worship and adoration for musicians is nothing new in America, but how many of our Christian youth,(and shamefully, adults) openly worship their idols up on stage. This idolatry does not stop with mere worship, but also indoctrination. Many of today's most popular musicians openly endorse evil. Beyonce, who started singing in church, openly admits to being possessed by a spirit that empowers her on stage, and has revealed the name of the spirit as Sasha Fierce.
Beyonce describes being possessed - click here
Beyonce describes Sasha Fierce - click here
Lady Gaga has has come out with her own perfume - Fame - of which she claims was designed to smell like a slut.
Black- "like the soul of fame" Lady Gaga packaged for the children
Obviously not child friendly
Amazingly, part of the chemical composition of this perfume is based on men's semen and Lady Gaga's blood. Also notable is Gaga wanted the perfume to be black to represent the "soul of fame." I wonder how many Christian girls have this perfume and how many Christian parents have bought it for them.
You can see ABC News' release here -
Katy Perry is another former "christian" who has admitted to selling her soul for fame and undeniably sings about welcomed demonic possession in her song Supernatural.
Perry admits leaving Christ for fame - click here lyrics to Supernatural click here
Our youth(and many adults) are being poisoned by popular culture and parental apathy is probably one of the biggest factors. It is imperative that parents are aware of the entertainment their children are being exposed to. If you are a Christian parent, take the time to go through your child's music and movie collection, Google the artists and use IMDB to check out the movies. We are losing our youth and do not even realize it. As a parent, take the time to find out what your child is watching, listening to and surfing on the web. You are obligated before God to do so!
Jeremiah 8:1 "At that time, declares the LORD, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs.
And they shall be spread before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have gone after, and which they have sought and worshiped. And they shall not be gathered or buried. They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground.
Jeremiah does not just condemn the spiritual leaders and idol worshipers, but the governmental leaders as well. A cultural shift has taken place in America, a cultural shift unlike any seen before. This cultural shift is due, in large part, to the current political atmosphere in Washington. Never have we seen so many policies and ideologies(from both parties) that are so opposed to Biblical truth. The latest attack on Biblical values comes from a federal judge who overturned a Pennsylvania law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. PA voters decided to define marriage according to the Biblical definition but U. S. District Judge John Jones III overturned that vote, stating, "We are better people than what these laws represent." The amazing thing about Judge John Jones III is that he was appointed by President George W. Bush on the recommendation of then Republican Senator Rick Santoram. Santoram is considered a staunch conservative.
As a nation, we have shifted into a post-Christian era, as our current president declared that America is not a Christian nation.
President Obama declares America "no longer a christian nation" - click here
The Republican National Convention has been battling internally over faith based issues, as many in the Republican party feel that faith based issues have become passe and are ready to abandon conservative social issues in order to focus on fiscal conservatism. Our money says, "in God we trust" but it seems that money is more important than God to many in the new GOP.
The Democratic party abandoned issues of faith years ago, and now we see the Republican party sliding into same moral abyss. George H. W. Bush supported Planned Parenthood prior to his being selected as Vice President under Ronald Reagan and Mitt Romney attended Planned Parenthood fundraisers in 2002. The two parties seem to be two wings of the same bird, both flying away from God.
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn wrote a ground breaking book comparing prophecies in Isaiah to current events in modern day America. The Harbinger shows how America may just be about to fall under major judgment from God. Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn address the presidential inaugural prayer breakfast - click here
If you have not seen Jonathan Cahn's address at the presidential inaugural prayer breakfast, click the link above, it is long but well worth viewing.
Jeremiah 4:1 "If you return, O Israel, declares the LORD, to me you should return. If you remove your detestable things from my presence, and do not waver, and if you swear, 'As the LORD lives,' in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory."
All is not lost or hopeless. I believe this nation can experience a revival, but it will depend on the American church submitting to the authority of God. I do not write this because I believe all is lost, but because I believe that we have an opportunity to see one more big move of God before the end. I do believe we have lost the cultural war, but I believe the real battle is for the souls of individual Americans. I believe the battle must start in a church that calls for holiness in it's members, a church that demands accountability of it's leaders and a church that stands on the literal interpretation and application of scripture. The church needs to get back to the basics of Bible, prayer, true discipleship. If we are willing to call for repentance in our churches and to purge those who will not repent, we can see the church grow in it's moral authority and begin to affect the greater society.
I named a few people who need our prayer, Rob Bell, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Beyonce Knowles, Stephani Germanoti(Lady Gaga), Katy Perry, President Obama, our government leaders, and judges all need our prayers. Each of these people is loved by God. Christ died for every one of these people, just as He died for you and me. Pray, pray, pray, and then pray some more, read your Bible, live your Bible and love people into the kingdom.
As Christians, we need to take responsibility by not supporting sin with our entertainment choices. We need to direct our youth to things that honor God and steer them away from that which glorifies the things of Satan. Jeremiah's warnings went unheeded by the people of Israel, to disastrous results, let's not make the same mistake or experience the results that Israel suffered.