Worldliness is at the Gates!

Worldliness is at the Gates!

Isaiah would prophesy to a people who were ever hearing, but never understanding; ever seeing, but never perceiving. Their hearts were calloused, their ears dull, and their eyes were closed.

They say to Isaiah and the other prophets: “See no more visions! Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” They were more interested in a lie than the truth — as along as the lie was one they wanted to hear.

A rebellious people want to believe a lie. Isaiah’s message to his nation was that their continued rebellion against God would be the ruin of the nation. Sin would not only destroy their personal lives, it would destroy their country. Sin brings judgment — always, inevitably. Isaiah was warning them about what was going to happen if they did not turn from their sin and turn back to God, but they did not want to hear it. It was negative talk. They did not want to hear about God’s judgment; they wanted to hear about God’s love and blessing.

They wanted Isaiah to build up their self-esteem. They wanted him to discuss pleasantries and recite poems. It is hard to understand why people would prefer destruction over hearing and believing the truth. Why would people prefer disaster to the truth? Because this is the essence of rebellion: “I am going to do it my way even if it kills me.” Illusions make people feel comfortable and secure; truth makes them uneasy. When people reject the significance of morality and truth, they are uncomfortable and seek to create their own significance — even if it is a lie.

But even though the rebellious want to believe a lie, they also want to dodge the consequences. The people of Isaiah’s day did not want to follow God, but they also did not want there to be any consequences for their rebellious behavior. They wanted to rebel, but they did not want there to be any punishment. They wanted to believe a lie, and at the same time they wanted it to be true. They wanted to do all the wrong things and experience only good things. They wanted to be irresponsible and yet not have anything go wrong.

A jury awarded a record $145 billion settlement from the tobacco companies to a group of smokers in Florida. A $145 billion dollar reward for people who willing walked into a store and bought a legal product which clearly said on its label: “Warning: The surgeon general has determined that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health.” No one forced them to smoke. They did it of their own free will and willingly gave up good money, knowing that they were jeopardizing their health. They wanted to smoke and be healthy too. Where is the personal responsibility in all of that?

In ancient China, the people desired security from the barbaric, invading hordes to the north. To get this protection, they built the Great Wall of China. It’s 30 feet high, 18 feet thick, and more than 1500 miles long! The Chinese goal was to build an absolutely impenetrable defense too high to climb over, too thick to break down, and too long to go around. But during the first hundred years of the wall’s existence China was successfully invaded three times. It wasn’t the wall’s fault. During all three invasions, the barbaric hordes never climbed over the wall, broke it down, or went around it; they simply bribed a gatekeeper and then marched right in through an open door. When a nation tries to avoid God they leave an open door because they have nothing on which to base their values.

When a church loses its values it is not safe not matter how secure it appears to be. Once hell bribes the “gatekeepers” the entire assembly is brought to ruin. Lowering standards and allowing the ways of worldliness to slip through the gates of the church will doom its inhabitants. Woe to the gatekeepers that fail to keep the gates! The watchman that fails to watch and warn! The blood of the many shall be on his hands! Watchman–guard the gates!! —

Leave a Reply