When we read the word of God; really study it, digging in and searching the Scriptures to discern God’s heart, sometimes we can be surprised what we find. As we study the Old Testament, written to Israel, we learn much about the expectations, righteousness, holiness, patience, and rightful judgement of the Living God.
Let’s take a look at Malachi 2. This final book of the Old Testament, is spoken to a spiritually lukewarm Israel. The priesthood, was corrupt and the teachers of the Word of God no longer taught truth, only teaching the bits and pieces they liked; unfaithfulness (immorality) in marriage had become commonplace, as had divorce; God’s chosen people were intermarrying with non-believers; and the nation was not obeying God’s call to social justice. In other words, the nation showed a form of “Godliness” by claiming their Jewish faith, but in the playing out of that faith, they were sadly lacking. While this little prophetic book is definitely written to the people of Israel, it is highly applicable in the lives of Jesus followers today. We are also called to be holy, Christ like, pure, and set apart.
God judged Israel for their spiritual sins, and I believe God is judging the church in America because of our spiritual sin.
Today’s spiritual leaders often preach only to please their audience, and fill the pews, avoiding passages on holiness, purity and righteous living altogether. This is the same sin of the spiritual leaders which led to unholy, fleshly living in Israel, which caused God’s judgement to fall. Read the chapter below and tell me this is not so.
And yet in verse 13 we see the people of Israel weeping and desiring God to bless them and restore their relationship with Him. Yet God will not do it, because He knows they are living in wickedness, harboring sin in their lives.
I believe the church today is harboring MUCH sin. As a whole, our pastors do not speak the hard prophetic truth we need to hear. I am thankful for the few who still do (mine included) but an honest assessment of the state of church leadership in American – and global church for that matter – shows a dismal lack of respect for the Word of God as truth, and a dire lack of preaching accountability to the God we claim to serve. The collective church names God as Lord, but demonstrates in their lives that they prefer to sit on the throne of their hearts.
Nowhere is this so boldly evidenced as in recent studies showing that at least half the evangelical men, and a large portion of evangelical women are actively consuming pornography. This means that the church is helping to finance the immense sex slave industry. It means that the church is largely living in sexual immorality, in outright defiance to God! The fact that the Bible clearly says no sexually immoral person will enter Heaven seems to be a fact people either don’t believe, or are so morally numb they have become blind to.
I do not see a single sin that was happening in Malachi’s day that is not rampant in our modern church, which leads me to an important discernment: If God judged Israel for these sins, He will judge the modern church.
Malachi 2 ESV
The Lord Rebukes the Priests
“And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.”
Judah Profaned the Covenant
Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts!
And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
The Messenger of the Lord
You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”
The Bible tells us that God appoints all rulers and authorities.
President Obama has led our nation away from the Living God, at break-neck speed. With the stroke of his pen he has mandated much sin. I think many in the church recognized his presidency as being a judgement from God on our nation.
But now God is allowing Donald Trump to rear his arrogant, Godless, immoral, self-serving head, perhaps to demonstrate clearly to those who still have discernment in the church that it is not just liberals in our country that are morally sick. Our entire nation, much of the “church” included, is spiritually and morally bankrupt and terminally ill! It is no longer just the liberal minded citizens who God allowed to participate in bringing an unrighteous man to power. In case there was question about the pure condition of many in the Republican Party, God brought Donald Trump to show the true condition of many conservatives’ hearts. Yes, I know that many Republicans never claimed to be Christians; a measurable percentage of them, however, are self-professing Christians, and an astonishingly large amount of those are to blame for Trump making rapid headway on his way to the presidency. How can any true Christ follower get behind a man who has publicly defended abortion rights, bragged boldly about his sexual immorality, divorced twice, demeaned humans of other nationalities as well as females, mocked the disabled, demonstrated vast arrogance (which remember, comes before a fall), and generally mocked God when he said he has never had a reason to apologize to God. They can’t. And yet many in our land who say they worship Jesus have. And it’s all leading up to judgement. Judgement of the church, first and foremost, judgement on what was once a nation built on Biblical principles, and judgement on a very fallen, rebellious world, which stands in opposition to the One who created them.
It is time – past time, in fact – for repentance to begin with the church. When we individually stand before the throne of God one day, we will not be able to claim ignorance. While many spiritual leaders are leading the flock of God astray, God still has His faithful who He is calling to be His voice in our world. And we still own the Bible. The average American home owns 3. It is high time we dust it off, devour it, agree with God, and turn from our sins to the One who is willing to forgive.
Church, the world is waiting for you to lead the way to repentance at the foot of the cross. Be different. Be set apart. And don’t fall for the lies and wiles of the enemy of our souls.