The Church (Part 4: The Whole Truth)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.
2 Timothy 4:3 (NKJV)
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)
You shall not add to the Word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
Deuteronomy 4:2 (NKJV)
'Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?' For centuries our courts required this oath before a witness testified. Today our courts have softened not only the oath but also the penalty for false witness.
Should our churches be doing the same? 'For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ' (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Commandment #9 says, 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor' (Exodus 20:16). Keep in mind that false witness is anything less than the whole truth.
Has the push for profit driven the American church into modifying the Word of God to be more attractive to the world? To boost attendance? To compete with other churches? Are we not one church?
For disciples of Christ, every marketplace should become a ministry. But should every church become a marketplace? Jesus gave us a heated no! 'Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!' (John 2:16).
With notable exclusions (such as my own pastor), I believe the church has attempted to modify the whole truth of Jesus Christ--to conform it to this world. Self-appointed preachers have cut and edited His Word more severely than the worst reporters in tabloid journalism.
The result? 'My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge' (Hosea 4:6). God's response? 'Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.'
Our necessary response? 'Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope' (Zechariah 9:12). Our Stronghold is God. It is the Word of God. It is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us God.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Church series.