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Synopsis of The Modern Pharisees
Good and joyful day today to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day the Lord has made. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite, we’re about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. And today’s slice comes from:
Ezekiel 20:19 ‘I am the LORD your God,’ I told them. ‘Follow my laws, pay attention to my instructions, 20 and keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the LORD your God.’ 21 “But their children, too, rebelled against me. They refused to keep my laws and follow my instructions, even though obeying them would have given them life. And they also violated my Sabbath days. So again I threatened to pour out my fury on them in the wilderness. 22 Nevertheless, I withdrew my judgment against them to protect the honor of my name among the nations who had seen my power in bringing them out of Egypt. 23 But I took a solemn oath against them while they were in the wilderness. I vowed I would scatter them among all the nations 24 because they did not obey my laws. They scorned my instructions by violating my Sabbath days and longing for the idols of their ancestors. 25 I gave them over to worthless customs and laws that would not lead to life. 26 I let them pollute themselves with the very gifts I had given them, and I allowed them to give their firstborn children as offerings to their gods – so I might devastate them and show them that I alone am the LORD. 27 “Therefore, son of man, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD: Your ancestors continued to blaspheme and betray me, 28 for when I brought them into the land I had promised them, they offered sacrifices and incense on every high hill and under every green tree they saw! They roused my fury as they offered up sacrifices to their gods.
I want to call out three things in this passage:
First: They scorned my instructions by violating my Sabbath days How are we scorning His Sabbath today? Second: I gave them over to worthless customs and laws that would not lead to life. What are our worthless customs and laws in our Sabbaths? Third: and I allowed them to give their firstborn children as offerings to their gods Could this be considered abortion laws ?
Have we, the church, His church, made or at least accepted wrong choices. We’ll look at these possibilities in today’s message titled: The Modern Pharisees.
The basic conflict between the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of God concerns slavery and freedom. Obedience is important to God, but not just obedience, He wants us to obey for the right reasons…. because we have His heart.
A woman may wear a covering to church as a symbol of her submission to authority. Does wearing the covering make her submissive? It is not submission, but only a symbol of submission. A rebellious woman may also wear a covering and continue being rebellious.
If all God required from man was obedience, He would not have given a choice to Adam and Eve in the Garden. He could have easily programmed man to always obey, but then He would have had only robots. If there was going to be true obedience from the heart, there also had to be the ability to disobey…. there had to be freedom of choice.
What good is worship from someone incapable of doing otherwise. If our typical “worship services” are an indication of the state of our worship, the Lord might have done just as well to program a thousand computers to sing praises to Him. If we’re told when to stand, to sit, what to sing, etc., we may have order, and it may sound good, but is it touching the heart of God? Typical church worship, whether it is Pentecostal, Charismatic, traditional or otherwise is often no more than an attempt to warm up the audience for the main act — the preaching.
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