Wednesday, August 3, 2022
“For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess” (Acts 19:37 KJV).
Do even the “heathen” attend church? Yes, according to today’s Scripture, they do!
The designation “heathen,” as used in Scripture, refers to anyone who is not in communion with the LORD God, the God of Israel, the God of the Bible. It is often interchangeable with “Gentiles” or “nations” (non-Jews). Yet, the nation Israel blurred this distinction. To wit, the ancient Israelites failed to rid the Promised Land of Gentiles during the time of the Book of Judges. Eventually intermarrying with these Satan worshippers, they adopted the Gentiles’ religions, thereby “heathenizing” or paganizing Judaism (the Law of Moses, the LORD God’s pure religion).
Consider these three passages. “They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them” (Psalm 106:34-36). “And ye shall know that I am the LORD: for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you” (Ezekiel 11:12). “I will do these things unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen, and because thou art polluted with their idols” (Ezekiel 23:30).
Normally, we think of “heathen” people as exclusively those who live in remote regions of the world, have primitive religious views and practices, and have had no exposure whatsoever to any Bible or Gospel of Grace. However, this is a misconception on our part. There are plenty of “heathen” under the false impression they are Christians because they “love Jesus,” “read holy books,” “pray,” and so on. The reason for this is quite simple. As the Jewish people corrupted Judaism with heathenism, so denominationalists have polluted Christianity with heathenism. Unfortunately, almost nobody can distinguish between genuine Christianity and counterfeit Christianity: essentially, anyone who is not a Jew or a Muslim is considered “Christian.” The ancient Israelites had similar difficulty in realizing they had a hybrid religious system (syncretism). We can “mark” and “avoid” the heathen churches and practices only when we know what Christian churches and practices are….