I must say at the outset here that this is not about any “holier than than thou” campaign. I am just another knucklehead trying to walk with The Lord, with the same faults and weakness as everyone else. Christians still stumble in many things, as sanctification is a process, in willing cooperation with The Holy Spirit. I must apply my convictions to myself first – for we are to examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the Faith [2Cor. 13:5].
Throughout Scripture we are exhorted to walk in holiness, “Without which no one will see the Lord” [Heb. 12:14] – We are exhorted to fear The Lord and to depart from evil. Yet these days if you talk about holiness and the fear of God with many who claim to be Christians, you are likely to immediately be labeled a fanatic or a “pharisee”. Why is that? First, sadly, many who claim to be Christians are not genuine Christians. Though they may have repeated a prayer or been baptized, etc., they never truly understood the seriousness of sin, the holiness of God, and their position before a holy God. Hence, there was no genuine repentance, no fear of God and thus no genuine salvation.
No one can be “saved” unless they understand what they are being saved from – without a genuine understanding of what sin is, what it does – and WHY Christ had to die for us?
Secondly, many Christians haven’t crucified the flesh and it’s desires, but instead have allowed themselves to become gradually desensitized to evil and to sin, and thus to become gradually conformed to this world – to this evil age. They have become apathetic instead of watchful and prayerful. They have become undiscerning – as false gospels and cheap grace lure them into churches that are more than happy to accommodate, entertain them and take their money. These things are happening at an accelerating pace, ripening the church for the end-time apostasy.
Have we forgotten that a Christian is someone who is supposed to be Christ-like. Have we forgotten that “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil!” [Prov. 8:13]? We are exhorted to “Be imitators of God as dear children”, and we are warned: “Therefore do not be partakers with them! For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light… finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them!” [Eph. 5:7-11]
In most churches today, especially those in the emergent movement, holiness is minimized almost to the point of non-existence. I think many in the emergent/ neo-emergent movement – who think they can use the culture, fashions and fads of this world – even dressing, talking & acting like the fallen world, are making a serious mistake. Aside from the fact that there is NO Biblical precedent for this, what kind of witness is this? What is this telling people – that they can have the world and Christ too – That there is no need for holiness and separation from sin and evil? Is THIS the message of the Gospel?
We are moving rapidly into the end times, for “The mystery of lawlessness is already at work”. More people are being deceived, more churches are falling by the wayside all the time – and this will only increase, as “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness!” – 2 Thes. 2:9-12
“Sad” is a word that doesn’t begin to describe what has happened, as many once solid churches have departed from the truth, being seduced by the desire for wealth, power and prestige. It is as the Apostle Peter predicted, that false teachers, “By covetousness will exploit you with deceptive words” [2Pet. 2:3] True believers need to stand on God’s Word – stand against the tide, and refuse to support corporate churches and ministries that are really only interested in expanding their own kingdoms. True believers need to stand on God’s Word like never before, and preach as Jesus did [Mark. 1:15 ] – that “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT AND BELIEVE the gospel”!