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   Broken Hedge and Chinked Armour

•   The Broken Hedge  
                  •   The Broken Armour   
                                                 •   The Broken Promise
 

Dear Pastor Friend,

(The Voice in the Wilderness has said much over six decades about the grievous departure by some from sound Biblical teaching. The Voice in the Wilderness 2015 theme is “Upon this ROCK” emphasizing Christ and the Truth upon which He has founded His Church. So are churches and families stronger due to the changes occurring in ministries? Could past church standards be outdated? Think about these things.)

You may find this hard to believe, but it is the truth. Of all things, at a funeral home visitation a preacher friend I had not seen for thirty years said in our brief reunion that he and his dear wife were taking dance lessons. Our conversation had nothing to do with dance, but he seemed compelled to tell me about their wonderful experience and liberation. There is more to this abbreviated and grievous encounter, but I’ll say this - Their dance class membership was totally out of character for the preacher I once knew. The circle of churches this now, pirouette preacher had served in and fellowshipped with had been fundamental, at least conservative, in standards and separation. Sadly, that just scratches the surface in examples of pastors and preachers that have abandoned their long held convictions on many worldly activities such as dance, social drinking, Hollywood theater attendance, mixed swimming at the beach and pools, tattoos and body piercing, just for a start. Now a list of do’s and don’ts will neither save your soul nor makes a Holy life. But be very clear on this, 1John 2:15-17 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

Just a few years ago these preachers were in churches where the leadership demonstrated a Biblical distinctive on the outside and in their attitudes. Their choir was filled with men and women that not only dressed the part, sounded the part, but also reflected the presence of God’s sweet Holy Spirit in their music ministry. The ushers and greeters wore coats and ties while Sunday School teachers were dressed in a modest fashion that gave visitors an unquestionable testimony that these church people respected and reverenced the One they served. As a matter of fact, those visitors regularly got saved, were baptized and soon thought Jesus was worthy of their dedication and separation. There was an apparent enthusiasm about church attendance, Bible study, soul winning, and simply living a life for Jesus that honoured Him and influenced others to be Christ-like as well. There is a whole lot right about that!

Sadly, these preachers often did not have the backbone to say “no” to prodigal sons and daughters, possibly wives. A deacon wanted their divorced adult child re-married. After all, it was not their fault and they deserve to be happy. Business owners in the church began to sell alcoholic beverages. The Bible College gets soft on Bible versions, once prohibited dress fashions, and contemporary styles of music. On and on and down and down the spiral of disintegrating Bible teaching: Big name ministries, denominations, the apparently successful yet un-separated start to influence pastors and people. There is the false notion that holiness is legalism, rules are bad, and it takes a little contemporary, worldly, Hollywood, rock-and-roll to win them today. Authority and rules are out, “Let it go,” and live it up for Jesus, He wants us to party at church is in. Get rid of those coats and ties, trash the ancient hymnal, put on your Hawaii shirt, let your hair down, rev up the amps, bring in the drums, and we now have a good old boy Jesus. Zoomba, dance classes, alcohol socially is ok, the church campus is “build it and they will come,” along with baby showers for out-of-wedlock moms, and even sodomy is ok if you don’t practice, but that is subject to change. We’ve not even mentioned the big screen super bowl Sunday and the sports god.

“What! Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God” (Philippians 1:27-28).  “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude3 and 4). The Bible says much about separation from the world and the distinctiveness of God’s people. Certainly as the world’s perversion increases the difference that Christ and His Word makes in the believers life should be even more apparent. However, some seem to think the opposite.

There is a precious couple that are business owners in a church where I have preached often. They told my wife and me that numerous older couples that frequent their business are living together outside of marriage. They said these men and women profess to be Christians and claim there is nothing wrong with their lifestyle. By the way, these men and women are church members and in their sixties, seventies, and older. Is that just our modern sophisticated culture indicative of the changing times or is that sin as the Bible says, said in the past and will always say? 

Would you consider with me the following? 

The Broken Hedge – “Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord” (Ezekiel 13:5).  “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30).  There is a broken hedge and we have endangered our families, church and nation. Will any one stand in the gap and make up the hedge? God’s Word does not change and to violate His Truth brings Divine judgment.

The Broken Armour – “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  Please take time to read Ephesians 6:10-19.  It is impossible to stand against the wiles of the devil without putting on the whole armour of God. With chinks in the armour we are exposed to the attacks of Satan.

The Broken Promise – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10: 9 & 13).

Okay, just think about it, if you will. When the lost soul gets saved, whom does he call upon? It’s obvious. The Bible tells us we call upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the One who saves us. We do not save ourselves by our good works, or our own righteousness. The Lord Jesus Christ saves us. So if we call upon the Lord Jesus Christ and He saves us, does that not mean He is Lord? Therefore we have given Him our life and acknowledge Him as Lord of all. Would it not be sin and the ultimate Broken Promise to say Lord save me, but my life and body are mine to do as I please--Absolutely not. Maybe there is an infestation of goats, tares and wolves in sheep’s clothing.

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