For so many Christians, books by Tolstoy, Churchill, Austen, and Lewis gather dust on their shelves. CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, and MP3s from Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer, Chuck Swindoll, and others sit in their cabinets. Bibles are likely found in nearly every room, concordances, too. They have Biblegateway’s app on the iPhones and Watchman Nee’s “Sit, Walk, Stand” book can be found in their bathrooms.
They are surrounded by vast knowledge, grand declarations of the one true God’s charity towards humanity and His profound, powerful teachings and prophecies, yet, none have touched their soul, none have affected their character. They starve in a garden of abundance.
Starvation usually leads to shameful actions.
In Amos, chapter 4, verses 4-6 we read, “Go to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years. Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings—boast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do declares the Sovereign Lord. I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me, declares the Lord.”
The Israelites were rich in the things of God, but they wanted something else, so they starved.
God further says in Amos 7:11-12, “The days are coming, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.”
Amos was prophesying to the chosen people of God. How much worse will it be for those of us grafted into the True Vine? We are already seeing a famine of God’s Word in the world.
Today, in our society, can we speak openly about the blood of Jesus? Can we say God judges people? Can we say that Jesus is the only way for salvation? That without salvation a person will be judged and damned to an eternity in hell? Can we warn the lost so that some may be saved? We can, but not without being “damned” by churches, by Christians.
Sinners need the righteous person to sin. You can see that by just being around an alcoholic. They cannot tolerate a person that won’t drink. That’s the same compulsion of a person trapped in sin. They can’t tolerate a person seeking righteousness.
Amos was filled with sorrow over what he saw that God would do to Israel; for God is a just and righteous God. Sin was celebrated, righteousness was degraded, and the poor receive neither justice nor mercy. The rich got richer while the poor poorer. As God said in Proverbs 29:7 “…the righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” Sound familiar?
When Christians pray the Lord’s Prayer, take Communion / Eucharist, and then pray for things that are blatantly contrary to the will of God, they are using God’s name to pray against the one true God’s intent (i.e., will). This is embezzling! That’s right; if they do that, then they are signing God’s name to a check that He never authorized them to cash.
I pray that none of us will fall into the trap of using God’s name against the will of God. Always remember the words of that little book stuck in the back pages of the Old Testament; the book of Amos. God is an unchanging God.
Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash