Matthew 21: 43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you<sup class="crossreference" value="(X)”> and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”

     Jesus said this to the elders and chief priests of the temple.   They had confronted Him earlier demanding to know by what authority He was teaching in the temple.  Jesus responded with a question they declined to answer and so He declined to answer their question regarding His authority.  He then followed up with two parables about hearing and rejecting the true authority of God.  The chief priests and elders hated Jesus for what He preached.  They sought to kill Him.

     Matthew Henry in considering this passage of scripture (Matthew 21:33-46) writes; “. . . what is spoken to convict them  [the chief priests and elders], is spoken to caution all that enjoy the privileges of the outward church. As men treat God’s people, they would treat Christ himself, if he were with them. How can we, if faithful to his cause, expect a favourable reception from a wicked world, or from ungodly professors of Christianity!”  The Pharisees where keen to protect their place in the world and the worldly structures that made their privilege possible; “If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” (John 11:48)
    
     Martin Luther King nailed the self-satisfied status quo supporting church of our day with the following prophesy; “So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent—and often even vocal—sanction of things as they are. But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust”  This has come to pass.

     Ross Douthat writing about the decline of the American mainline churches observes: “This decline is the latest chapter in a story dating to the 1960s. The trends unleashed in that era — not only the sexual revolution, but also consumerism and materialism, multiculturalism and relativism — threw all of American Christianity into crisis, and ushered in decades of debate over how to keep the nation’s churches relevant and vital.”  Ungodly professors of Christianity such as Bishop Spong; “during his career, he dismissed almost every element of traditional Christian faith as so much superstition ” (Ross Douthat) and the many lessor minions of Gospel deniers have undone much of the church today.

     This weekend I visited a small little known assembly of Christians in rural Ontario where a layman gave a simple message that confronted three great lies this secular world and its ‘ungodly professors of Christianity’ preach.  The layman’s message was simple: 1) we are all sinners in need of salvation, 2)  Only Jesus can heal us and 3) Jesus will wash us clean and heal our sin if we will be obedient to His Word.   In one short message given with no fanfare or vestments of office this layman shared the Gospel with complete disregard for the world’s opinions. 

     The world and it’s liberal preachers would have us believe that we are OK and Jesus just makes us better.  Liberal preaching seeks to convince us that there are many ways to God.  The unholy false gospel message says you can do it on your own if your nice enough, work hard enough and don’t go overboard for any weird ideas about Jesus.  This garbage was not preached in this simple little assembly blessed with young people, babies and children.  People had come to hear the True Gospel and they heard it.  Thank you Jesus!

     Even though I wasn’t at my ‘home’ church I knew I was at home in this plain little meeting house.   I’ve left the mainline church many years ago.  I searched for a place that His Kingdom was preached.  I found it because I searched for it.  I rejoice that other little churches are failhful and that God does reward the faithful where ever they may be found.  As I entered I saw written large and plain across the front, His Word:  “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

     Praise the Lord!

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