Threadbare and Homeless

Revelation 3: MSG
14  Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God’s Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God’s creation, says:
15  “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot!
16  You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit.
17  You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.
18  “Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.
19  “The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!
20  “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.

When I was a young preacher just starting out I truly believed what is commonly called “prosperity gospel”.  How wrong I was!

As time went on and televangelists became more in view across the networks in North America and now worldwide the message of wealth equals the blessing of God and approval.  This message is not supported by the Word of God.

I try to listen to pastors behind their pulpits and all I see and hear is just empty words.  Yes, they have multi thousands congregations, television ministries, but they are very shallow.

I am old enough to remember when the subject of giving to missions was a very vital part of the Body of Christ.  One Sunday each month was dedicated to talk about missions, supporting missionaries  ministering the gospel to the sick, needy and the poor.  Sunday Schools would have children bring their pennies in and all of it would be collected to send to the mission fields.

Proverbs 19:17 MSG
17  Mercy to the needy is a loan to GOD, and GOD pays back those loans in full.

There was a hymn that most would sing, “Bring them in, bring them in, bring them in from the fields of sin…”

Some where across time this message has been forgotten and replaced with a doctrine that I now truly believe is directly from the pits of hell.  It has created a spirit of lethargy, complacency  and pure greed among those sitting in the pews across North America.

We have replaced the message of “Jesus Saves” with “get rich through God”.  Sunday nights preachers would preach an evangelistic style message directed in getting people to the altars asking God to forgive them of their sins.  As people would run to the altar the elders and others of the congregation would lay hands on them praying until they broke through to God.  Lives were changed dramatically.  Just like the early days of the church God added to the church as He saw fit.  There truly  was a feeling of community, a true body, the family of God.

There was no message of wealth, yet, somehow people’s needs were met.  Many times people would testify that when they were in need of food they would find a box of groceries on their doorstep not knowing how or who placed it.

As a pastor I believed in the Body of Christ having a pantry to help those in family of God and the community meet their needs.  This was the safety net set forth by the Apostles in the growing days of the church.

I am not rich, to most I would be considered poor, but, I have my needs met with a roof above me and food on the table.  Most important though is this, when I lay my head on the pillow at night I am at peace with God and my Saviour, Christ Jesus!

To the pastors behind your pulpits I have a message for you.  Like in the scripture quoted at the beginning, you are threadbare and homeless.  You need to return to the most important gospel message, that being reaching people for Christ.  No, don’t try to clean the fish before they are caught, but, encourage the lost to come just as they are.  God will cleanse the tabernacle.  He has many tools to do this and does not need the help of man.

To every child of God whether young or old, rich or poor, please change your focus from the dollar sign and put it back to where it belongs, the cross.

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