Saturday, March 12, 2016

Are Christians Mocking God?

Recently while corresponding with a new friend, she mentioned that God had told her that Christians mock Him, and that she should study up on the subject. Ever since she told me that (thank you, Bobbie) I have not been able to get that thought out of my mind. When something continues to bother me like that, I take it as a sign that I should look into the situation more thoroughly. It is not that I was unaware of the problem, but I needed to spend more time meditating upon it. I look at my own life and I look around at other Christians and I see that we are not taking God's instruction to live holy lives seriously enough.We need only look to Israel and see that God had very little tolerance for sin and breaking His laws. The excuse is given time and time again that we are under grace, (see my articles here on law vs. grace .
and ) and that God does not deal with us the way He dealt with Israel. We  supposedly have a different relationship. The truth is,  He may tolerate our sins with less harsh consequences at the moment, but He does not like our sins and the way we mock Him, and the Church is going to pay a heavy price for that just as Israel and Judah did. God demands holiness from His people, whether they looked to the future for the coming of the Messiah for their salvation, or they look back to it. 

First we should get an idea of all the forms that mocking can take. The word "mock" is defined in this variety of ways.

To laugh or make fun of
To criticize and laugh at as being bad, worthless, or unimportant (not that it necessarily is)
To treat with contempt or ridicule
To disappoint the hopes of
To mimic or resemble closely
To imitate in fun or derision
To act in an insincere or pretending manner
To deceive, disappoint, or delude
To defy or frustrate
To imitate or substitute
A sham or counterfeit

There are many ways to mock God. And in the Old Testament mocking God brought immediate and harsh consequences. A few examples are given below.

2 Chronicles 36:12-20 "Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.  And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD.  And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.  Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.  And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:  But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.  Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.  And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.  And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.  And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:"

The cost of treating God's prophets with contempt, mocking and despising His Word, and substituting the real worship of God with a poor imitation or counterfeit religious worship of false gods was to be conquered by Babylon and to go into captivity for the length of an entire generation. This fell upon the entire land of Judah. There were those who escaped and remained in Judah, because there were righteous among the nation, (Proverbs 14:9 "Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour."), but that did not negate all of the consequences for them either. They lost the temple, so there was no place to worship. They lost their freedoms, as they came under Babylonian rule. They most likely found themselves lacking the necessities of life, as they were the conquered and oppressed. Nothing would ever be the same for the people who lived at the time this happened, even if they were the righteous. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike.

Following God's commands halfway does not constitute being obedient. To defy or treat as unimportant a direct command of the Lord, only obeying it to an extent is mocking God. Saul found that out when he was told to slay the Amalakites and kill every man, woman, child, and animal. 2 Sam. 15:9 "But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly."  The consequences of a half obedience was that God took the throne from Saul. He had Samuel anoint David to take his place. While Saul did not readily give up that throne, and it took a while for David to ascend to the throne, the situation was that God walked away from Saul and no longer blessed him.

Intentions, no matter how well meant, if they defy God's commands, is still disobedience and God hates it that His rules are treated as unimportant and with contempt. When the ark was being brought back to Jerusalem, the cart that it was on was not steady, so when it looked as though the ark might fall off, a man named Uzzah reached out to steady it. Now God had commanded that the ark only be carried by Levites and they were only to lift it by using the poles that were inserted into the rings on the side of it. Nobody was to touch the mercy seat of God upon pain of death. Uzzah's intentions were not bad. He thought he was doing something good and was trying to save the ark from harm, but because of disobedience in how it was carried, and his disobedience in touching it, God immediately slew him. His intentions did not count. Intentions do not outweigh disobedience where God is concerned. There was quick and merciless justice upon Uzzah for his disobedience. 2 Samuel 6:3-7 "And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.  And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark.  And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God." 

Again in another incident, we see that substituting, imitating, counterfeiting, and treating with contempt something of God's does not suffice. Good intentions do not count when one mocks God, His ways, and His things. In the tabernacle God had specified that the incense had to be a very specific mixture offered in the prescribed manner. God was adamant about this. But in the usual human way of thinking that we can offer God whatever we like and He must think it is okay, because we have decided it is okay, Aaron's sons found out differently the hard way. Leviticus 10:1-2 "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.  And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD."

These are but a few examples of the many that we can find where God's people mocked Him. If one thinks that this is strictly an Old Testament way of God reacting to being mocked, Christians should beware, for God treated some of the early Christians in the same manner. I'm sure most Christians have heard the story of Ananias and Sapphira.

Acts 5:1-11 " But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.  And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things."

This did not occur during the "time of the law." This occurred during the "time of grace," as so many like to call this era since Christ. Should that not scare us enormously?  They tried to deceive or delude God, as if one could do that. Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Knowing that God does not suffer our mocking lightly, should we not take a good look at the things the Christian Church is doing these days to see how we endanger ourselves?  We were told in advance that in the last days, mocking God would be a serious problem in the Church as well as the world. Jude 1:18 "How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lust."  2 Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." In the end times (in which we are) Christians will not endure....what a harsh word, Christians will not endure sound doctrine. Another word for "endure" might be "tolerate." How terrible is it that we are told that God's people will not even tolerate sound doctrine or the truth of God's Word. Does this not sound like Israel? They will run after their own lusts and fables. How many times have I heard a Christian say in response to my statement that something is not pleasing to God, that God looks at their intentions, so whatever they are doing is acceptable to Him, no matter what it might be. If they are offering it to God, then He must accept it as good, because their hearts mean well. So did Uzzah and Aaron's sons mean well. It did not save them.

Knowing in advance that we have been told that the Church would turn its ears away from truth, and follow after their own lusts, should we not take a really good look at the Church to see what it is doing and how it is mocking God, so that we can take a stand against it and try to turn people back to the truth? Before actually looking at the churches and their practices, let us first take a look at the churches of Revelation to see what problems Christ had with them.

Revelation 2:1a, 4-5 "Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write;.............  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." Ephesus is accused of leaving her first love. What is a Christian's first love? It is that heady feeling of love that could be compared to falling in love. It is the overwhelming sense of loving and being loved in a way that no other being can love or be loved, for God knows our innermost secrets and still loves us. We know that He has sacrificed all for us, and we love Him to the extent that we want to do nothing but make Him happy with us. Ephesus is told to remember that love, for they have forgotten it, just as married people tend to forget how much they loved each other when they first married. Their works that they do at the first are solely inspired by love, not by duty or obligation, or for the praise of man, which is how so many works of the Church are done these days. Ephesus is told that if they do not repent and return, their candlestick will be removed, and indeed I understand that there is no longer a Christian church in Ephesus. At least not this one. This is a serious punishment which we should not take lightly. So just having the right kind of love for God is the first thing we should look at in our lives and our churches. And we see that while there is lip service given to loving God, and even works done in God's name, the true love for God and our fellow Christians does not really seem to be there. What we see is a lot of self-love. I want, I want, I want. I want the Church to entertain me. I want the Church to provide for my spiritual needs. I want to worship the way I want to worship whether God approves of that way or not. I want the Church to make it an enjoyable experience for me and provide support for all my addictions I have to get over. I want to do and say what I want, and pick and choose what I want to believe out of the Bible. I don't want to be told the truth that makes me uncomfortable, I prefer to be told that I am fine. This self-love is what has replaced the first love. And the consequences will be that the candlesticks will be removed if we do not start repenting of this self-love.

The next church to be addressed with condemnation is Pergamos. Revelation 2:12, 14-16 "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; ..... But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth."  The sin or sins here are holding to the doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. Balaam advised corrupting Israel by sending in the women to corrupt the men. In so doing, paganism became rampant among the Israelites and they abandoned the truth faith in favor of serving false gods. Who the Nicolaitans are exactly is not known, but their doctrine was in opposition to God's doctrine, which would then be some form of paganism or worship of Satan. One theory has it that the Greek derivative of the word means “overcoming the people”, They take this to mean that there developed a clergy who lorded it over the people with such teachings as: the laity couldn’t understand the scriptures, the clergy had to tell them what it meant, they had to confess to the clergy, etc. This was a problem in the first century as there were those who believed they had divine authority over others. So this is a possibility. There is another possibility of who these people might have been. There was at the time a deacon called Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. (Acts 6:5) As this is the only other scripture reference that would give us any idea as to what this passage is about, we must assume that it is the clue we have been given to help us understand. That and the warning in Acts to the Ephesians. It was said by Paul that men would arise from their own ranks that would speak perverse things to draw people away from the truth. We don’t know exactly what these perverse things were, but obviously someone named Nicolas (hence the followers being called Nicolaitanes) was teaching something that was bad. It is quite possible that he was one of these people who thought he had divine authority.            

 Do we see anything like this sin today in the Church? Is there any paganism or false or even Satanic doctrines infiltrating? Well, one of the first things that happened back in the early church was that laws were passed that people should worship on the pagan worship day of the sun, or Sunday, instead of the day set aside by God as holy, the Sabbath. Then the feasts of God were replaced with the pagan alternatives - Easter the spring celebration of the goddess Eastre, and Christmas, the birthday of Mithras. Many other things were added that originally were pagan such as the pantheon of saints, adopting the use of symbols and icons, and putting them around the churches or on top of them. (the church steeple is otherwise known as an obelisk or phallus). The Church has brought the music of the world into our services and say that it is worshipful, when in fact it is blasphemous in many cases. Even the lyrics are all about us, and not praising the Lord in many cases. The Church has adopted many New Age teachings in place of Biblical ones. Contemplative prayer, which is the Eastern mysticism practice of transcendental meditation is making inroads in the Church.  The doctrines and theologies being taught are so far from truth anymore that it is barely recognizable as Christianity in some cases. The consequences here were that Christ would fight against them with the two-edged sword of His mouth. Revelation 1:16; 19:15 "And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: ............And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations:"  To have Christ wield the double-edged sword which cuts both ways  against you would mean that you were cut asunder and sent to perdition. Again, the Church is being warned that God is not mocked and what we sow, so shall we reap.

In Thyatira, Christ is very plain what will happen to those guilty of their particular sin. Revelation 2:20-23 "Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works." Jezebel was the name of a very evil woman in the Old Testament. In this church she is called a prophetess who is seducing the congregation into committing all kinds of sexual sins, and to involve themselves with idol worship. The Church is having a serious problem with adultery, sexual perversion, pedophilia, pornography addictions, and idolatry of all sorts of things from money to fame. The consequences of not repenting of these sins are to be thrown into the Great Tribulation. Yes, the one that occurs in Daniel's 70th week, where Christ says He will kill them.  While some Christians might read this and think that they do not commit these sins, therefore they are fine in this respect, I would like to address a major problem these days - the internet.

The internet has enabled people to sit at their desks or at their tables and commit sins. We know that pornography is a major problem with people. It is not just men that struggle with this either. But possibly this is not your problem. Maybe you just like to go into chat rooms, or you have an online buddy of the opposite sex that you tell all your troubles to. If you are both single, that is not a problem, for many romances and even marriages have started by correspondence, long before the internet came on the scene. The problem comes when married people find a stranger online (or sometimes a person from their past) with whom they begin a correspondence. This can lead to an emotional affair, if not a physical one. Now, a person may not be guilty of this either, but there is an even more subtle and insidious way that Satan is getting people to sin and people, if confronted with this sin, will emphatically deny that it is even a sin. I am speaking of the social media of Facebook and Youtube. I watch how the people I can observe use these media sources. Some are very circumspect and treat it with the caution it deserves and use it as a way to spread God's Word. Others use it as a venue to give free reign to their feelings and inclinations, some which are not very godly. There are several practices that I have seen that Christians need to stop practicing.

The first sin is getting into nasty arguments with others. While differences of opinions and debates are not sinful in and of themselves, when one starts name calling and making unproven accusations against either known people, or perfect strangers, a line has been crossed. This tends to go on more on Youtube than Facebook, although it happens there too. Also spreading gossip or revealing personal information that is not yours to divulge is a sin. I have seen people use Facebook to vent feelings about family issues. This is not the place to do it. We are to confront the person face to face if we have something against them or they have offended us in some way.

The next thing which I see, which I am sure many will dismiss as not a sin (for I have mentioned this to some Christians who just dismiss my concern as being petty or ridiculous), is the exhibitionism and flirtations. I see women posting selfies of themselves in provocative poses. Often they are scantily clad. This is not just unbelievers doing this, which is bad enough, but I have seen Christian girls and women doing this. We are not to present ourselves in a way that promotes lust in the hearts of men (unless it is in your own house with your own husband). On the other side, I see some Christian (or those who call themselves Christian) men reacting to provocative posts (whether from Christian women or unbelievers) in totally inappropriate and sinful ways. They deny that it is lusting or flirting and justify it by saying that they are only being nice, giving a compliment, or just touching base with the person. Really? Would you care to stand before God and see if He buys that excuse?

First of all, on Facebook one can "like" and now "love" something. Now many people think this is nothing of importance and just "like" every single thing that is posted on their timeline. They somehow are under the mistaken belief that this is necessary to show their friendship. They are being foolish and using no discernment, for every "like" is telling people that we are putting our seal of approval on whatever is posted. Christians should be very careful what we publicly (and privately) put our seal of approval on.  Think of the witness this is giving. This is particularly true when there is a photo of a woman, who is showing off her endowments, who is not their wife or girlfriend and a man "likes" it. The message being sent, which is probably a reflection of what they are experiencing given men's responses to this sort of thing, is to tell the world that they are looking upon that woman with lust, for that is the reason she has posted that picture. To get that response. She wants to be admired and lusted after. And if a man actually responds with a comment such as "Looking GOOD!!!!" or "LOVE the way you look!!!" or "HOT stuff, lol !!! or some equally inappropriate response (which I see a lot), it is telling the woman who posted, and the world of his friends of Facebook, that she has achieved her goal of making that man lust for her. He has made his sin public. It is also telling his wife or girlfriend that he is looking at someone other than her for his satisfaction. Thus is not only a public sin, but it is publicly insulting and degrading the wife/girlfriend, for he has just said that he has just put someone elses feelings (the woman getting the response) above their feelings (that they are not the only object of his heart). And he has stated this publicly for all to see. This is not how love acts. It is a slap in the face of God and the woman he purports to love. It is not, as I have been told, just saying "hi" to the person. If it is so necessary to say "hi" to the person, just send them a message saying "hi" or wait for them to put up an appropriate post which you can respond to in an appropriate manner. While everyone knows that men are excited by visual stimulation, just as with any sin that pops into your head, you should never entertain it further by acting upon it. By "liking" the photo, by making an inappropriate comment, a man is sinning against God in lusting, and also against the women he supposedly loves, if he is not single.Matthew 5:28 "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

While I realize that many will scoff at this, saying I am making much ado about nothing, the fact is, I am not. It is these "little" sins which we dismiss that lead to bigger sins. It is perfectly acceptable for a man to compliment a modestly attired woman by saying "You look very nice." Nothing is lustfully implied in a compliment such as that, but when a man even thinks to compliment a woman who is deliberately dressed to attract lust, he is perilously close to sin. And when the compliment is one that implies a lustful reaction, he has sinned. Period. Even punctuation (!!!!) and emphasizing certain words, or the way a comment is phrased implies something, and we are to even to be careful about appearances of evil.1 Thessalonians 5:22 "Abstain from all appearance of evil." Godly Christian men should just turn away or turn a blind eye to women who are trying to provoke a lustful response. The last thing they should do is respond to it. Proverbs 1:10 "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not." Proverbs 6:25-26a "Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread:"

This sort of behavior does not only apply to men about women, this also applies to women who do the same to men who are posting inappropriate pictures of themselves. And this does not only apply to sexually provocative pictures. This applies to "liking" or making supportive comments of pictures of people participating in vices or things that promote Satan (such as rock music, or New Age medicine or activities). One should also not "like" establishments or groups that promote vices, or Satan's agenda (even if it is not overtly promoting him) or even religious organizations that are apostate. One should not even be connected to them on Facebook, for what does righteousness have to do with the ungodly or the apostate? It is not only a bad witness, it is in disobedience to God. We should not show support for what does not please God or is blatantly against Him.  We should not make ourselves a partner to those things. Psalms 1:1-2 "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." 2 Corinthians 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

As one last comment on this subject, I also know Christians (lots of them) who collect people of the opposite sex as friends on Facebook by actually pursuing people that are complete strangers for that purpose. Sometimes they do this by friending a stranger who is known to someone with whom they are friends, or they run into a stranger someplace and randomly start a conversation, then ask them to Facebook friend them. What exactly is the purpose in that? There is something amiss with people who do this, for social media such as this gets quite personal at times, and they are inviting these perfect strangers to be part of their intimate lives. This can be very dangerous, not to mention that in some cases it can be a sin depending on the situation. The computer has become an idol for some and these social mediums places of worship. We are to act in a wise manner, not in foolishness.

The next church whose sin is mentioned is Sardis. Revelation 3:1b-3 "I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."

Sardis had a name that they lived. They were known as a church in which God was alive and well and productive. They were probably well-known and bringing people in by the score, enlarging their church into a mega church. They probably had many ministries going on to serve the people, for they had works. But they were not alive, they were dead. And their works were not perfect. Why would that be? It is because they were not doing things for God, they were doing things for themselves, and in their own power, not in God's. They did not have a vital personal relationship with God from whom our works come.  Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." The works that we do have been prepared for us in advance, so that we are doing God's work and will. Churches nowadays are doing their own works and expecting that God will credit them with them, since they are doing them in His name. Even if we are doing things in His name, it does not mean they are His works. Matthew 7:21-23 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." So many people think they are doing things for the Lord when in fact, they are doing them for themselves, thinking that God will credit their account with these works. Again it is self-love at work. That is because they do not have a vital relationship with the Lord. They are not hearing Him when He tells them what works He wants them to do, because they do not really know Him. Their faith is actually a dead faith, for it is not based on a relationship with Christ.

The last church that Christ chastised was Laodicea. Rev. 3:15-20 "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 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.  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

Laodicea was a wealthy church. They had everything materialistically that one could need and then some. What they did not have was Jesus. They were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked in every spiritual way. The worst part was, they did not know they were in this state. They had literally kicked Jesus out of the church, because He was standing outside the door knocking and asking to be let back in. They were full of pride. Pride in their accomplishments, pride in their wealth, pride in their lives, which were doing nothing for the cause of Christ. They were even unaware that Jesus was warning them, for pride blinded them. This group was truly in trouble, for they did not even have Jesus. They were naked, and blind, and would stand before God in judgment that way. This is a perfect description of most of the American churches. They do not see their need for holiness. They see all their wealth as God's blessing. They do not realize it is not coming from God, for He sees them as paupers. They erroneously believe that they are so great in God's eyes that He would never let them suffer, so they believe the lie of a pre-trib rapture. They are completely blind to the state they are in. Unfortunately this describes far too many Christians, at least in this country.

Beyond these mentioned problems, far too many Christians are simply living carnal, worldly lives. We are assaulted by the carnality of the world every day through the media and other ways. Television, movies, radio, internet, books, magazines, newspapers, shopping centers, how people are dressed, how people behave (sexually overt public behavior), etc.  have so numbed us to sin that it does not even bother us. Some have even stopped thinking of some things as sin, such as homosexuality. We start to accept sin and even act upon some of it. Holiness is a thing that is not even preached in the churches. Nor is God's wrath. All that is preached is God is love, and God wants you to be happy and have everything in life. As if God is some kind of sugar daddy who lets you do whatever you want and have whatever you desire.

Proverbs 14:9 says "Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour." Christians today are foolishly mocking God with all their sins. They do not even know what living holy lives means, much less live that way. Lying, cheating, and gossiping are all sins, and unfortunately are things that people do without even thinking about it as sin. People who are coming to the Lord out of lives of sin and/or debauchery are not being shown that they have to leave the past behind and stay away from the old friends and old haunts, because continuing to spend time in those places with those who do not love the Lord will soon corrupt the good intentions of living for the Lord.  1 Cor. 15:33 "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." Proverbs 26:11 "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly."  For those coming out of a life of drugs, alcohol, promiscuity and such, to continue to habituate the places and hang out with the people with whom these things were once enjoyed will lead them right back into that life again. A break must be made and a whole new mindset must replace it. Psalm 1:1 "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."  Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Ephesians 4:23 "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." Colossians 3:10 "And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." A new man with a new mind and new life needs a new environment with new friends. Ones that lead him to godly living, not a return to the old life.

One of the definitions of mockery was to "disappoint the hopes of." Christians need to stop mocking God. We need to stop disappointing Him and treating holiness with contempt. We need to humble ourselves and study the Word to see what holy living is and then start living that way. We need to spend time in prayer and Bible study. Most people do not spend a tenth of the time in those pursuits as they do watching TV. How many hours a day do  you, the reader, watch TV? Or listen to worldly music? And throwing some Christian words onto an ungodly piece of music does not make it Christian and good. (see my article on music here).

Satan's followers are spending much more time in pursuit of his business than we Christians spend in pursuit of God and His business. Imagine if we dedicated as much of our time to God as they do to Satan. We might actually turn the tide and start winning the battle. How many people have ever fasted when they have prayed? This is a powerful weapon against darkness. I have not studied as to why this is yet, or even know if the Bible explains why it is, but I can say from experience that it seems to magnify prayers. Possibly it is merely because it allows God to see how serious we are about our prayers.

The people mocked Christ on the cross. We think that was horrible. But we are doing the same thing. We need to stop, get on our knees, and beg God's forgiveness for mocking Him.

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