This might just be the sin which destroys American Christianity.
This is how God’s children and the devil’s children are distinguished. No person who fails to practice righteousness and to love his brother is from God. This is the message that you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because what he was doing was evil and his brother’s actions were righteous. (1 John 3:10-12 ISV)
You have probably read this so often that you know what it says without reading it. But do you understand what John is saying?
This is probably the last letter John wrote, therefore, the last book written in the Bible. It closes with the words Little children, keep yourselves away from idols. (1 John 5:21 ISV) An idol is anything you place between yourself and God. Yes, I am certain that you already knew that.
However, John’s point is that when that idol is revealed, made manifest, exposed, we explode in rage. The first child, Cain exploded in rage when his brother’s righteousness exposed his sin. Cain walked and talked with God. He was, to use a modern comparison, a “church member.” He was “raised in the Church.” Yet what he was doing was evil.
Throughout history, great acts of evil were often initiated by the people close to God. Cain’s sins eventually led to the destruction of the entire earth with a universal flood.
God in His mercy and grace saved Noah and his family. Yet their children quickly rebelled against the Lord, corrupted His Word and built a tower which God judged.
When Moses went up to speak to God face to face on Mount Sinai, Aaron and the children of Israel built a golden calf to worship and party around.
Until they were led away into captivity in Babylon, the children of Israel continued to worship idols in high places. Jeroboam I, when he rebelled against Solomon’s son Rehoboam, built golden calves for the Northern Kingdom to worship in Dan and Bethel.
Just before he was stoned by the leaders of the Jews, Stephen pointed out that this idolatrous attitude crucified Jesus. “You stubborn people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Which of the prophets did your ancestors fail to persecute? They killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers.” (Acts 7:52-53 ISV)
Dr. John MacArthur had a conference on “Strange Fire” which pointed out how Americans do what they want without any concern for the teaching of the Word of God. This series faced a storm of criticism when it was published. The Church of the United States is filled with unbelievers who do what they want to do and are in control of worship services.
The first time I heard someone tell me that they went to praise services but would not attend or even listen to sermons I told him that his attitude was not that of a believer in Christ Jesus. Since then, I have found this to be a common attitude. Paul told Timothy to Preach the Word, be instant in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. (I Timothy 4:12 MKJV)
Paul also told the Romans that without preaching there was no salvation. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching? (Romans 10:14 MKJV)
Read this blog carefully. What have we set up in our hearts as an idol between us and the Lord Jesus Christ. What are you unwilling to give up to serve Him?