As far back as I can remember I have always been associated with the Church. I grew up in the Church and was married in the Church. Then one day back in 1974 God called on me to preach the Gospel of Christ for the Church. As I get older and deeper in the Church and its inner workings, I cannot recall when I began to see the Church so enamored with the world and corrupt from within. I’m not looking at just one denomination but all denominations in Christendom. All you have to do is just follow the headlines in the news to see just a small portion of the sin and wickedness being perpetrated behind closed doors. I have never seen the time when so called pastors and evangelists are so filled with lust of power, the lust of fame, and the lust of wealth. They are having a field day with the innocent and unwary souls of the Church. But what can I expect; the Bible says that the last days would produce more and more atrocities committed by the Church. The Book of Revelation has a name for this Church age. It is called the Laodicean Church. It is the last stage the Church will go through on this earth. In Revelation, the Apostle John is given seven letters from Christ Jesus, the Head of the Church, to publish. Starting in chapter two it discloses the timely situations of each church. Each one is commended and rebuked by the LORD, but when it comes down to the last church, Christ has nothing to commend it for but only offers a remedy for its demise. The last thing God will perform for the church is to pull its candle after the Rapture has taken place.
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold (wisdom) tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:14-19
“And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” Revelation 18:23-24
We might be thinking right now, but how did this happen, how did this come about? Well, for one thing that I can see, there is no repenting to be had from any denomination or from any pastor, preacher, or evangelist. In short, nobody is wrong in their own eyes and they are all right according to their pride and arrogance. I have been associated with many pastors, preachers, and evangelists, across the years and to this day, I have not found one that teaches and preaches the absolute truth of the Holy Scripture. I know in my heart there must be a man of God out there somewhere that does what is right in the eyes of God. However, you could probably count them on one hand. In some way or other, they will deviate here or there to suit their personal agenda to accommodate worldliness only to add to the numbers racket they play on the Church. By numbers racket I am referring to the gimmicks they employ to draw people into the congregation. They will stoop to any level of beguiling, but claim it is for the cause of Christ that motivates them. The truth of the matter is, in these economic times the church is feeling the pains of recession and the coffers are not what they used to be in much better times. It seems to me that every denomination has succumbed to the power of money. The pastors, preachers, and evangelists of today are like the prophet Balaam, a prophet for hire, sold out to his own gain. It is a sad thing to witness in these days when no preacher can talk without mentioning money in some fashion or form. As I see it, the man of God is already on the road to destruction when he says he has to make a living at preaching. He forgot that the Gospel message is free to one and all and demands no payment, dowry, or indulgences. The Apostle Paul explicitly stated he wanted no part in the collection plates of any of the Churches he established along his journey. Paul foresaw that money could be used of Satan to persuade his message. No doubt, this is a sad day for the Church and the picture it paints to the masses. It is no wonder God fearing people have such a hard time in the world today. We are all classed and stereotyped by the action of the marauders of the Church.
In II Peter chapter two, the Apostle Peter writes about the Laodicean church and its role in the world during the last days.
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2Peter 2:1-3
That’s right, false prophets, false preachers, false teachers, that pervert the Gospel of Christ into a health, wealth, and prosperity gospel. The Apostle Paul warned us about anyone that taught a different gospel and what would happen to them.
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-8
These men and women fulfill their lusts and ambitions when they are in front of congregations. Yes, they are handsome and pretty to look at, but on the inside, they are dead. The truth of the matter is that they do not know God nor do they fear Him. If they really did fear God, they could not perform for the Church in the manner they perform. They will say and do anything to promote them and make more money in the process.
“Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;…” 2Peter 2:14-15
They are very easy to spot. They dress themselves very expensively, they drive very expensive cars, they live in expensive homes, and some even have their own jet. You have to be careful; they come in all shapes and sizes and are at different levels of entry of the Church. The buildings they build are lavish and they will lock everyone that ventures into the congregation into financial bondage. I call them the ‘taskmasters of the pulpit.’
“These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” 2Peter 2:17-22
I know of a man here in this area that claims that he has just answered the call to preach the Gospel of Christ. I feel sorry for him because he is green and innocent and doesn’t know what he is in store for. Little does he realize if he is truly called by the Holy Spirit of God to preach, he will be in store for extreme testings of fire, some to the point of despair and discouragement. I am speaking from experience, God tests everything by fire, especially His chosen men. If you don’t believe me, just ask my wife. She has witnessed everything and has been right there with me in the fire just like the three Hebrew children in the King’s furnace.
If you hold great aspirations of being a preacher, as I see it, you have a choice, either become like the prophet Balaam or run for your life from the pulpit. I know from my own personal experience. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. If God truly wants you to carry the Gospel Message exclusively for Him, look no further than the Old Testament prophets. Examine their lives and then tell me it looks promising to be a preacher, pastor, or evangelist. Just remember what happened to all the Apostles of Christ. They gave their lives for Christ and His Gospel Message. No less will be asked for anyone who takes up the cross and follows Christ. Martyrdom is expected and rewarded by Christ Himself. He set the example and expects no less from anyone who claims to be His child or servant.
For myself, I want to say that I am honored to be counted worthy to carry the Gospel Message for Christ, no matter what the others do or say, my calling is from God and His Son, my LORD. I have learned over the years that it costs dearly to be counted worthy of Christ, but it isn’t over yet. Temptations abound for every man of God and it is only by His Grace that I make through each day.