Isaiah 9 16For the leaders of the people have misled them. They have led them down the path of destruction. 17That is why the Lord takes no pleasure in the young men and shows no mercy even to the widows and orphans. For they are all wicked hypocrites, and they all speak foolishness. But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.
Here is the rest of the story. Notice one almost awful thing that God says about His people. No mercy to widows and orphans, yet that is who James says we should be ministering to. Contradiction? No, I think God was saying that the people had become so estranged from Him that even the most vulnerable in that society would not invoke Him to act on their behalf. So, what seems to be God’s issue with His People?
I went through the Prophets to show you what we are not hearing in our ‘censorship of God’s message.’ I have been accused of being too negative … you be the judge. God tried to bring His People back to Himself through various means, yet the people refused to come. We have had a big scare with the Coronavirus and very few people are asking us to return to God. Why? Good question! I don’t have an answer, except we have censored God’s Word to sanitize God’s indignation with our lack of Honoring Him.
When I looked for the phrase, ‘You have not returned to Me,’ I found the following:
Amos 4:6 Did not return: there was no bread, famine
Amos 4:8 Did not return: there was no water, thirst
Amos 4:9 Did not return: in spite of wind, mildew caterpillars that destroyed crops
Amos 4:10 Did not return: in spite of plagues, violence swords, stench/filth
Amos 4:11 Did not return: they were living like Sodom and Gomorrah
Isaiah 9:13 Did not return: the godlessness, foolish behavior, no mercy on society
Hosea 5:4 Did not return: they were following the spirit of Harlotry
Hosea 7:10 Did not return: because of their pride
Hosea 11:5 Did not return: because of a new King
Jeremiah 3:7 Did not return: they did not learn the lessons of the past
Jeremiah 3:10 Did not return: they did not learn the lessons of the past
Haggai 2:17 Did not return: in spite of wind, mildew, and hail
Okay, I think this makes my point. Even when God brought Judgment through distress upon the People, they refused to return to Him. They didn’t even acknowledge Him. They must have ignored these conditions and considered them as natural occurrences.
Well, as far as I can tell, I don’t think we have been admonished much in the Church during the Coronavirus scare. The news made it clear that it was devastating, but the Church seemed more concerned about safety and compliance to the Shelter at Home Ruling, than they were to remind people that this could be a time to review our hearts, motives, and direction, and come back to God.
My son had a great illustration that he applied to those businesses that had to close. He encouraged them during the closure to use the time to refocus how to do things differently when things return to normal. However, I am going to use it in light of what has been written here so far.
When fishermen cannot go out to fish, they stay at home and mend their nets. As a follower of Jesus Christ, our nets may need mending by the act of Returning to the Lord. You may need to assess how censored you have become in what you have heard over the years from some teachers or preachers. I can attest to this one thing:
The God of the Bible is greater and has more depth to Him than what most of us hear preached and taught today.
God is looking for people today who want to know Him as He is, not as He is described by many of those in the pulpit today. Again, I have been criticized by some who say I have no right to speak this way about some of the leaders who lead the Church. My response is unequivocally simple: “I do not condemn anyone, the Word of God does, I am only repeating what the Word says. Period.” Look at the content of this blog. The Word says that the people will not return even after they have been put through a meat grinder, so to speak. Well, where were the leaders whose job it was to lead people back to God????
That’s my point. Where are those who are not censoring the Word of God to make it sound good for those who want to have their ears tickled?
We have had a censored gospel in America, and again, it’s not my opinion … it is God’s Word.
2 Timothy 4:3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.
Okay, so one of your tasks if you want to be a serious follower of Christ, is to identify the censorship in your understanding of the Gospel. By doing so, you become like fishermen mending their nets. This is the rest of the story.
Keeping Life Honest and Truthful … Larry Kutzler
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