Thursday, July 18, 2019
“After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem” (John 5:1 KJV).
Thrice, and only in John’s Gospel Record, we read a unique expression. What is it, and why is it significant?
Friend, you have doubtless seen religious busyness. People are quite active in attending church services, participating in water baptisms, partaking of communion, walking aisles, knocking on doors and “proselytizing,” shaking preachers’ hands, listening to and uttering confessions, reciting prayers, reading denominational literature, singing and dancing, clapping and raising their hands, giving large donations to this group and that group, and so on. It all appears so decent and spiritual. Surely, God is pleased, right? Well, not exactly. How much of all that is done with an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to them? Frankly, very, very, very little!
Romans 14:23 concludes with, “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” This concept is wise Christian advice regardless of the issue. What would God want us to do here or there, in this situation or that? The verse answers it. If we cannot point to a clear verse from the rightly divided Bible, and say on the basis of that verse that we are a taking certain course of action, it is best to reconsider our options. Faith is simply believing God’s Word to you. If that is the definition of “faith”—and it is—then there is actually almost no faith among most so-called “Christians.”
No matter the denomination, the average church member depends too heavily on clergy. It is far easier to let others think for us, and most convenient to say, “Let the preacher study the Bible. He can tell me what it says and what I am supposed to believe.” Hence, doctrinal confusion and Bible illiteracy are so pervasive within Christendom. The preacher is only interested in telling us what the denomination says, what the denomination says the Bible says, and not what the Bible really says. (Many have learned this “the hard way,” shocked to finally realize their denominational leaders withheld a great deal of Bible truth from them!!)
What is passed off as “Christianity” today is often anything but. Likewise, the religion in Israel during Christ’s day was not pure Judaism….