Not my words, but the words of Jesus: “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3,5)
Everything in the western church and in churches around the world who have copied Willow Creek, Saddleback or Hillsong radiates love and blessing. “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” is the message of hope, relief from pain, provision for expenses, all the health and wealth that comes from living a godly life consistent with Biblical principles. And up to a point, this happens.
But sometimes I wonder if we are actually applying Biblical principles that we have “cherry-picked” and avoided those that do not make good upbeat Hillsong tunes.
Jesus talked to the crowd around Him who were calling His attention to some Galileans who Pilate had insulted by mixing their blood with their sacrifices. Some zealots had recently rebelled against Rome and tried to reestablish Jewish rulership in Jerusalem. When the rebellion failed, Pilate showed Rome was still in charge by desecrating their sacrifices that had been made to Yahweh by adding the zealots’ blood.
But then Jesus expanded the despair of His listeners by suggesting not just human evil but even circumstantial evil: “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?” (Luke 13:4)
His point was that bad things are going to happen, and unless your heart is in tune with the Creator of the universe, you will not understand the events that are coming.
Isaiah was a godly prophet and served Yahweh faithfully. Yet, when he “saw the LORD high and lifted up” he cried out, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” (Isaiah 6:5) Then the angel “helped” him by giving him third degree burns on his mouth.
It is not enough to sit back and condemn the unrighteous of our generation: those perverts, those abortionists, those transgenders, those hateful people, those ballot liars, those gamblers, those drunkards, those people who don’t use their blinkers to change lanes.
We must look beyond our own viewpoints and silos of righteousness and realize we are as much a part of the problems of our society as those with whom we disagree, because our hearts… my heart… has not been in tune with Father’s heart. “I am a man of unclean lips.” Not the other guy, not the protestor, not the deceived. ME!
Until we see the LORD, high and lifted up, we will not be able to speak to our generation of His ways and compassion. Unless we repent, we will all likewise perish.
May The God Who Is have mercy on us all.
yours and His,