Engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lair of Liars:

Infuriated at what he was seeing, a man begins to flip tables over, flinging their contents across the room, grabbing chairs and throwing them with all his strength. Seeing him go after others, people fervently flee for the safety of the outdoors before they happened to catch his eye. One man was interviewed later and asked about what he thought set the man off on his rampage. The escapee said, “A chair flew by my head right as I was rolling out the door and down the steps. I heard him yell something about it being turned into a house for thieves. Funny thing is there was more money on the ground, and probably embedded in the walls, during this man’s rampage than I could imagine; yet no one was trying to steal it! I’m not sure what he was talking about. All I saw was a house of people fleeing for their lives, and a man standing in the middle with fire in his eyes.”

Most of you may recognize the source of this account – Matthew 21:12-13. Those in the temple had taken the house of Jehovah and turned it into a den of thievery. Not a good thing to do, especially when Jehovah comes to dwell with you and sees what you’ve done. The result is what we have recorded for us in the passage referenced in the gospel of Matthew.

There are congregations of people, who will be meeting tomorrow, and they will be talking about how they hope “God shows up” or “The Spirit falls on them”, and I would like to remind them of what happened in Matthew 21:12-13. I do this because, I have experienced congregations who, although they don’t set up tables to rip people off, or to turn God’s house into a “profitable business” (although some do this very thing still); they are committing another abomination every Sunday the meet – lying.

They say they’re meeting together to worship God, yet most spend the beginning moments of the “service” doing everything from marketing Avon, to talking about last night’s game and how it went into triple overtime causing them to stay up late and hoping the preacher is good enough to keep their eyes open. There are even self appointed dress code police to ensure that all are dressed in the “Sunday best”. The service is for them from the outset. They say they’re there to worship God, but they’re really there to get something to help them hang on to what little bit of Christianity the have so they don’t burn in hell. They’re lying. And sadly, most of them don’t even realize it. To them, the money changers, and merchants are suppose to be in the temple.

They stand up and sing songs like, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” With the same intensity as that of an old basset hound lying on the front porch just moving his eyes as he watches the people pass by him, wishing he didn’t have to do that much. The words they are speaking don’t even register in their brains. It’s just “all part of the service”.

After they’re done singing the 1st 2nd and last verses of how Jesus paid it all, they sit down and hear the preacher tell them in a pithy three point alliterated outline, what they need to do be real Christians. They’re practically handed a checklist to live by and promised that if they keep these rules then God will be happy with them and bless them and their children. More lies.

After the “preaching service” an invitation is given where the congregation repeats the lyrics to “Just as I am” as some sort of subliminal hypnotic mantra while the preacher tries to coax people down the isle. Assuring them that their all powerful god desperately wants to save them, so much so that he gave his only son to die and pay for their sins; yet for their sins to be paid for there’s a prayer they must pray (they have to mean it of course). They’re told, once they pray the prayer with the preacher, they’re forever saved because they have uttered the words “Jesus, I’m a sinner, save me” and if the devil ever tries to make them doubt that they’re saved, then they just take him back to the day they prayed that prayer with the preacher. More lies.

There’s more to detail, but I think we get the picture. I’m not saying this is indicative of all churches. I’m saying examine yourselves, ask God to expose anything and to bring you and the congregation you meet with into a true heart of worship and service to HIM.

I fear that if God were visit those churches described above the congregants, while fleeing for the double doors to escape the flying offering plates, would hear Him yell with fire in His eyes, something about them making His house a lair of liars. And sadly many of them would be seen on the nightly news the following evening saying “I’m not sure what He was talking about!”

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