What Voice Do You Listen To? The Unbelieving Church?
16 For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.
24 As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. 25 “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes out each day to defy Israel. The king has offered a huge reward to anyone who kills him. He will give that man one of his daughters for a wife, and the man’s entire family will be exempted from paying taxes!”
So far we have heard from Goliath (Satan) and the Philistines (the world system) and now we come to King Saul and the Army of Israel (The unbelieving church and its leaders). You might be surprised at this next entry of King Saul and his army. But do not be, because after I explain it, you will see what I mean.
It is hard to explain this without getting ahead of my message, but when we read the whole story, we read of the faith of David who is the (next voice.). King Saul and his army were Israelites, the same as David. They had the same covenant and could of had the same relationship with God as David had. There was no reason that King Saul or any man in his army, could not have gone down and killed Goliath as did David. The only difference was that David had faith, (a relationship and an experience with God.) This army of Saul who had the same covenant and the same protection as David, did not take this protection and use it as David did. They were simply an army without faith!
We also see this in the New Testament with Jesus when He returned to Nazareth. Jesus had been healing everyone in the region, but when He came to his own people, because of their unbelief He could not do any mighty work.
Mark 6:4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” 5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief.
These were the people of Israel and they had a covenant with God, but because they chose not to believe it, they did without. This is the same principle we now see with Saul and his army. They were filled with fear, doubt and unbelief in their relationship with God and His covenant. The covenant that God would protect them. Today this same problem exists. This same problem that was with Saul and his army and the people of Nazareth, is now permeating the majority of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Since I was a child, I have been involved with religion. I was raised Catholic and then when I was born-again, I joined an independent non-denominational church that later turned into an independent baptist church. After coming to Colorado I have been involved in several other churches. Now I am a Spirit-filled believer in a non denominational charismatic church.
I say all of this, because I want you to know that I have had experience with the things I am going to say. I have been around and am familiar with the body of Christ and with it’s many denominations. This condition of unbelief is a cancer in the body of Christ. We call ourselves believers but do we believe anything that is ours in the New Covenant.
What I have learned through most of my life until now, is that the majority of us who call ourselves “believers” don’t really believe anything that the Bible states about our covenant. Most of the modern day denominations, do not even offer or believe in “Salvation.” Salvation meaning that Jesus died on the cross and paid for all our sins, and this is not from works or baptisms or sacraments. It is a free gift that is offered from God to us for the sin debt we owe to God. God and I are are both asking;
“Why should I let you into heaven and into my eternal glory?”
What would be your answer? I believe, and depending on your religious background you might say; “I do not know! or you might say; I have been baptized and I am a good person!” I belong to this Church or that denomination! I received my sacraments.” Some might even say “I am a good person and I help the poor! I believe I have done more good with my life then bad, but you know I am not perfect and God will understand that!” Then there is my all time favorite: “I will deal with the man upstairs when I get there!” That is going to be a sorry mistake. Those answers will not get you into heaven but a one way ticket to hell. I want to be blunt about this! I do not care what your denomination says, if it is not in line with the Bible it is wrong and you are betting your eternal life on it.
For those of us who have accepted Salvation in faith alone at the cross of Christ, I have learned from my own experience that we get what I call; “saved and stuck” We get born-again and then we sit waiting to die and go to Glory-land. In the meantime we learn all the doctrine we can and try to live moral Christian lives. Every once in awhile we even share the word of God with someone and they give their life to Jesus. We never really use our faith unless we find ourselves in a tragedy or a real bind.
The majority of the body of Christ I have seen do not believe some of the major tenets of the Bible, even though they are plainly written about in the Bible. They reject the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the evidence of speaking in tongues. I have also seen them reject (except for the rare occasion of a miracles), the laying of hand and healing of a person. Many reject the prosperity of God. Many of us are so focused on living a “Christian moral life” that we forget “our faith is more precious then gold – (1 Peter 1:7). For so many of us we end up getting saved, then being baptized, going to church, reading our Bibles and learning doctrine. (Do not get me wrong these are good practices) but the real Christian life is so much more than this. The true Christian life is a victorious life of FAITH. I heard the following in college and it offended me to the max:
Most of you have not used your faith since you received salvation except for rare occasions or tragedy.
When I heard this, I was offended, but it burned in my heart for days. When I seriously gave thought to this, I found out the president of my Bible college was “RIGHT’ about me! The truth was I really did not understand even what real Bible faith meant as Jesus and the Bible described it! I knew the faith verses, but it was all head knowledge. To live the life of faith was foreign to me even after being a Christian for 20 some years and a youth pastor for 18 of them. Yes, like the Israelites and King Saul, I could tell you about God and all the great feats of the past in the Bible but did I did not really experience a faith filled life.
Yes, God has brought me though many things in my life but they were more a white knuckle experience. I just kept saying “this too shall pass.” But if a disease or something deadly did happen I had no clue. I did not know how to use my faith to overcome and wipe out the attacks of the devil. I have seen this same attitude with most believers. We tend to come up with insane unbiblical doctrines from theologians who have no Biblical evidence and then reject what is clearly written in the New Testament in the Bible.
I have been with Christians who say they believe that God gave them a sickness to teach them a lesson. I have sat in funerals where preachers tell the grieving that “God needed your loved one more then we needed them.” The list can go on and on. We have doctrines that reject the baptism of the Holy Spirit, healing, deliverance and protection from God. These are our inherited rights as adopted children of the King of Kings.
The end result is that we forfeit our covenant with God, and the truths we have just talked about become no more then words on the pages of the Bible and have no practical use in our lives. We are like King Saul and his army. We quiver at every roar of the devil and accept whatever he puts on us and then we blame God for the attacks on our lives.
So many of us do not understand the covenant of Salvation and all the benefits that come from being a child in God’s Kingdom. We become victim to every roar of Goliath (the devil) and every trick and temptation that the world offers. We end up like King Saul’s army, frozen and stuck for 40 days and 40 nights as the Giant spat out his empty threats to the Children of God. I believe that if it were not for David, the army of Saul would have stayed in their paralyzed condition indefinitely, just as so many Christians in the Church live their lives today. Next week we will talk about glorious faith-filled life that David had. I hope that excites you.