Isaiah 1:21-23 ESV

“How the faithful city
has become a whore,
she who was full of justice!
Righteousness lodged in her,
but now murderers.
Your silver has become dross,
your best wine mixed with water.
Your princes are rebels
and companions of thieves.
Everyone loves a bribe
and runs after gifts.
They do not bring justice to the fatherless,
and the widow’s cause does not come to them.”

The “faithful city” is a reference to the people of God collectively, which today would be the universal church, and individually would be those who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. But just like in Bible times, not everyone who professed to believe in Jesus was a true believer, so among those who believe in Jesus are also those who make false confessions of Jesus as Savior and as Lord of their lives.

Also, the “faithful city” was in one specific location, so this could be speaking today of the church in America, which is where I live, and which is what I know. But it could also apply to the church in other locations, too. And this doesn’t mean that the whole church is in this condition, either, though I believe the vast majority of it is here in America, living in spiritual adultery against her Lord and Savior, going after the gods of this world.

The evangelical church in America, overall, by all appearances, was once faithful to the Lord, teaching repentance, obedience, submission, holiness, righteousness, moral purity, and godly living. And she also taught the consequences for those who did not follow the path of righteousness but who followed the way of wickedness, instead.

But then little by little she began to change, and she began to prostitute herself to the world in order to have larger congregations, in order to build her earthly kingdoms. And so she altered how church gatherings were conducted in order to attract the world to her gatherings, and she also diluted the gospel message to make it more attractive and appealing to the world and conducive to the cravings of the sinful flesh of humans.

Sin now runs rampant within the gatherings of the church and in the lives of those who gather together supposedly to worship God. For most have bought into a cheap grace gospel which permits the “believer” in Jesus to continue in deliberate and habitual sin against God. For they are teaching that you can “believe” in Jesus, have your sins forgiven, and have heaven guaranteed you, but that you don’t have to obey Jesus’ commands.

Isaiah 1:24-26 ESV

“Therefore the Lord declares,
the Lord of hosts,
the Mighty One of Israel:
‘Ah, I will get relief from my enemies
and avenge myself on my foes.
I will turn my hand against you
and will smelt away your dross as with lye
and remove all your alloy.
And I will restore your judges as at the first,
and your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness,
the faithful city.’”

Right now, one of the things that the Lord is doing is he is exposing the lies that his people (or those professing to be his people) are believing and speaking. He is showing these false teachings for the lies that they are. He is putting his finger on the idolatry, immorality, wickedness, and depravity that is going on within the gatherings of what is called “church” in his name, for he is trying to rescue his people from the lies and to bring them into truth.

God is taking control of this adulterous and idolatrous situation in his church, and he is exposing the wickedness going on within the church, and he is spreading the truth of his gospel message far and wide. And he is doing this through his servants and witnesses who are still holding on to the truth of the gospel and who have not succumb to the lies that are largely being embraced today within the church in the name of “the gospel.”

Through writing and through verbal communications the Lord is getting out his gospel and he is exposing the lies of the cheap grace gospel. He is correcting error, and he is setting things right. And he is letting his people, and those professing to be his people, and all people know that he is still a holy and righteous God who still demands holiness and righteousness of his people, by faith in him, and in his power and strength.

The true gospel says we must deny self, die daily with Christ to sin, and walk in obedience to his commands. We must forsake our former lives of living for sin and self, be changed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and walk in the new life we have been given in Christ Jesus, free from the control of sin and free from slavery to sin so that we can now walk as slaves of God and of his righteousness, empowered by God’s Spirit living within us.

When we believe in Jesus, it is not just so our sins are forgiven and so we can escape the punishment of our sin, and so we can go to heaven when we die. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. So, if you are believing that you can “believe” in Jesus and be guaranteed eternal life with God, but that you can continue in deliberate and habitual sin, then what you are believing is a lie, and there are consequences for that, indeed.

For, if we walk according to the flesh, and we don’t walk according to the Spirit, and if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, we will die in our sins. We won’t have eternal life with God. For, we are all going to reap what we sow, and if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]

Isaiah 1:27-31 ESV

“Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
But rebels and sinners shall be broken together,
and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed.
For they shall be ashamed of the oaks
that you desired;
and you shall blush for the gardens
that you have chosen.
For you shall be like an oak
whose leaf withers,
and like a garden without water.
And the strong shall become tinder,
and his work a spark,
and both of them shall burn together,
with none to quench them.”

There are many people today professing faith in Jesus Christ who are living wicked and immoral lives, and even though they have been told the truth, and the Lord has called them to repentance and to obedient walks of faith in Him, they are ignoring his words, and many are even being defiant and disrespectful in the words that they speak in response to the truth, a disrespect for God which also comes out in their actions and behaviors.

Many of them are attacking the Lord’s servants and messengers, and they are falsely accusing them of things they did not do, and they are making cutting remarks to them to try to silence them, because they don’t want their sins exposed, but they want to continue in their sins and in their rebellion against the Lord. So, they will attack those who are telling them the truth because they don’t want to walk in that truth.

But their impertinence towards Almighty God will cost them their lives. Both the people themselves and their deeds will come under the judgment of Almighty God. If they repent of their sins, and they turn away from them, they will receive eternal life with God. But if they stubbornly refuse to repent, and they continue to hold on to their sins, heaven is not what awaits them, even though it has been promised to them.

So, please, if this is where you are, don’t play around with this. Don’t test fate and think that certainly God will not judge you for your sinful rebellion. He will! There will be a lot of people who will stand before God and call him “Lord” who never honored him as Lord of their lives, and he is going to tell them that he never knew them, and that they are to depart from him, because they are workers of iniquity. Please don’t be one of them!

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

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