Return from Your Evil Ways

Zechariah 1:1-6 ESV

In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, saying, “The Lord was very angry with your fathers. Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets cried out, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.’ But they did not hear or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? So they repented and said, ‘As the Lord of hosts purposed to deal with us for our ways and deeds, so has he dealt with us.’”

So, what are some of the evil ways and evil deeds that the Lord is calling for professing Christians today to return from? The big thing the Lord is pointing me to this evening is that many of them are refusing to obey the Word of God and his commandments, which for us are the commandments of God under the New Covenant. For they don’t want restrictions, restraints, nor limitations. They don’t want moral boundaries. They want comfort and enjoyment. They want things easy. And they want things flexible for them to where they can still continue living in sin while claiming heaven as their eternal home.

But the laws of God which we are commanded to obey under the New Covenant are for our protection. They are for our good. They are to keep us safe. And they are to be our fortifications to strengthen us and to protect us from the evil one in our walks of faith. So if we have no moral boundaries and no commands of God we have to follow, and no restrictions, that means we also have no protection against the attacks and the temptations of the enemy of our souls. And this is where many people are today who profess faith in Jesus Christ, living without any boundary lines, and with no moral barriers, so they are wide open to being tempted and drawn into sin.

So, since they don’t want restrictions and moral boundaries and commands of God to have to follow, they have altered the gospel message to make it what they want, and what will fit in with their sinful lifestyles. So they have made the gospel more “user friendly” and less complicated, and much more comfortable and acceptable to human flesh. Thus they are teaching that we can “believe” (not usually biblically defined) in Jesus, have all our sins forgiven (past, present, and future), and have heaven guaranteed us when we die, but without restrictions and regardless of how we live.

So, they want God on their terms, and for him to be according to their image, rather than for them to be according to his likeness. And they want their worship of God to be according to their plans and design, and not according to his. And they want God to be happy with them all the time and to smile on them and to love on them regardless of how they live, and regardless of the fact that they are living in open rebellion and in open defiance of his commands and in deliberate and habitual sin. So they redesign God/Jesus and his gospel to fit how they want to live.

And they have also altered and redesigned “church” to make it more acceptable and comfortable and inviting to human flesh and to the people of the world. For “the church” is the body of Christ which is made up of people who have humbled themselves before God in true repentance (turning from sin) and in obedience to their Lord. And they are those who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer living as slaves to sin but as slaves to God and to his righteousness. And so they are walking in righteousness.

But what these designers have made the church into is not the body of Christ, though some true believers in Jesus are part of their gatherings. Now what they call “church” are mostly businesses of human origin being marketed to the people of the world. And so worship services have been turned into stage productions and entertainment and watered down feel good motivational speeches to attract the world to their gatherings. And their bible is largely these marketing books and authors and schemes and business plans and goals which are of the flesh of man and not of God.

But the real church, the body of Christ, is not a building or a business or beholding to a church denomination or any specific location. And our job is to win the world to genuine faith in Jesus Christ by sharing with them the truth of the gospel that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And the real church is universal, i.e. it is all over the world, and it is a living organism and not an organization. And it is a spiritual temple and house, and not a physical building. And it is made up of people whose lives are surrendered to Christ and not of the people of the world.

And Jesus Christ is head of his church, the bride of Christ, and we are his body, and we are to be his ministers and his representatives on this earth. And we are subject to his commands, and we must obey them. For if we do not obey the commands of our Lord under the New Covenant, but we continue to walk in sin and not in righteousness, then we will also face the wrath of God and we will not inherit eternal life with God, and heaven will not be our eternal destiny. So, if you are still living in sin, I pray you will repent of your sins today and that you will follow Jesus Christ in obedience.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s