By Pastor Joe Marzano
I don't know. Maybe it’s just me. Something has gone terribly wrong in the world and the world doesn’t notice. Or may they just don’t care.
I feel like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” Remember when she gets knocked out and the house is spinning and it lands in Oz? She goes out and looks around and realizes that she’s not home. She tells her dog, Toto, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
I feel the same way, but the difference is, I didn’t go anywhere. Everything around me has changed. And in Oz, it looked better than Kansas, but here in America, it’s not looking so good.
I won’t talk about “the good ol’ days” as that just makes me sound old. But whatever happened to the moral fiber of America? Whatever happened to treating others like you want to be treated? Whatever happened to the church? I don’t recognize it anymore.
Paul predicted these times in his second letter to Timothy, chapter 3, verses 1-5. “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
Sounds like America today, doesn’t it? How can our once-great country have fallen so far? Because we, as Christians, have done nothing while the country has kicked God out of schools, kicked God out of the courtroom, and have let politically correct, cowardly preachers continue to preach a weak, non-biblical bible, and Bible-believing Christians remain silent. No more.
We’re not in Kansas anymore. We’re not in Oz. We’re in Babylon.
Many churches will not preach about sin. Sin is not popular. They’ll preach prosperity and divine health, and they will pervert the greatest gift given to man, grace. Jude wrote in his book, verse 4, “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
First, what is grace? R.C. Sproul says, “Grace is the undeserved favor or mercy of God toward us.” But that’s as far as some of the churches go. They say, “God’s grace covers you,” yet will not mention sin or the need to repent and go to the cross to receive grace. Why would preachers not mention this? Money. People get offended by a “sin” message. They won’t come back to church. They won’t drop a twenty in the basket. Multiply that by 50 families and you got a quick $1,000 out of the coffers. Bad business. Goodness, you certainly couldn’t preach of homosexuality being a sin because you would be bigoted and ignorant. Never mind that the Bible clearly states it is wrong, it’s easier to just brush by that part of Scripture, so as not to offend anyone. Church business.
But church business isn’t what a pastor is to be about.
He is to be about the Father’s business, and the Father’s business is to present the whole gospel, including how we are all sinners deserving of eternal banishment in hell, that Jesus is the only way to avoid hell, that if we repent (turn away) from our sins that God will forgive us because of Christ’s death on the cross.
People unfortunately want entertained.
They don’t care about the true Word getting preached, they want plays and programs, get the best light show, huge band, tons of singers, dancers, etc.
But are the “performers” living a lifestyle pleasing to God? Have they come to “worship” or have they come to “perform”? Better yet, do they know Jesus.
The house of the Lord no longer is a place of respectful worship, but it is a place of self-serving entertainment.
That is not the church Christ intended.
I see Christians living together before marriage and their pastor blessing it. I see women in the pulpit and denominations embrace it.
I see pastors performing marriage services between two homosexuals and the church applauds it.
I see “Christians” living as the world does. I see “Christians” say they are pro-life then vote for the most abortion-loving president ever. Twice.
Pardon me while I lick my heels three times and say, “There’s not place like home. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”
Joe Marzano is pastor of Grace in the Wilderness, Shenango Township.