“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.”
Every once in awhile I have the privilege of spending time with someone who has known the same people I have known in the past. It never fails that our conversations go back to reminiscing about people we heard preach in years gone by. A couple of names will come up that causes one of us to ask, “What ever happened to them?” Sadly, the answer is often that they are no longer in the ministry because…
These same conversations lead to talking about churches where we have visited. Some of the churches were once thriving churches; churches where the LORD was doing something mighty. Again, the question is asked, “What is the church doing now?” The answer is either the church is closed down or is barely making it. This leads to the question, “What happened?” The answer always is, because…
I’m afraid there are too many ellipses in the lives of Christians and churches. In the verse above, you can see that even Israel has an ellipses. What once used to be a thriving nation was brought to nothing because they allowed “corrupters” into their nation. Likewise, the stories of Christians and churches that once used to do something great for the LORD are no longer doing anything because of the corrupters they allowed in their lives. The ellipses are the corrupters that lead to the ellipses. Let me show you the three corrupters that will destroy any church or Christian if they are not quickly removed.
The first corrupter is forsaking God. I believe many people don’t intend to forsake God, but something came into their life that caused them to walk away from the LORD. It is just like talking to someone who gets caught up in a conversation with someone else that they walk away from you without notice. You must be careful that sleeping in every morning doesn’t cause you to forsake your time with God in the Scriptures. You must be careful that a job doesn’t cause you to forsake your time with God in church every Sunday and Wednesday. You must be careful that the activities of life don’t take you away from your ministries and service to the LORD. It is so easy to allow the heart to grow cold that the things of the LORD are no longer of interest to you. My friend, when your heart grows cold and your interest for the LORD is no longer there, you need to find out what caused you to forsake Him.
The second corrupter is not dealing with sin. The verse above says, “…they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger…” Unconfessed sin always angers God. God never intended for the Christian life to be a storage unit for sin. God intended for the Christian to quickly confess and forsake sin so they can keep a close relationship with Him. You will find that not dealing with sin procures the anger of the LORD. It is just a little sin here and there that corrupts the Christian’s life to the point that God is angry with them.
The third corrupter is going the wrong direction. The verse above says that they “are gone away backward.” Not dealing with sin always causes the Christian to stop going forward for the LORD. You are going backward in your Christian life when you start dropping what you do for the LORD a little at a time. My friend, don’t let the ellipses become a part of your life. If you’ll deal with these areas immediately, they will never be able to corrupt your walk with the LORD.