With soaring vistas over the idyllic coastline, thousands of visitors would flock to its campus to be photographed with this stunning backdrop. The grounds were immaculately manicured gardens, replete with fountains and magnificent artwork. It was not the usual tourist destination. It was a church, nestled in an upper class neighborhood. It was a dream setting for tourists, photographers, and weddings.
The latter event had become so popular that it is now the entire focus of the activities of the church and the primary source of revenue. What about the mission of the Church as declared by Jesus Christ after He was resurrected and ascended to Heaven? What about baptizing believers who confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?
Over the years, the doctrine of this church had drifted into a liberal theology, no longer believing in the inerrancy of the Bible or acknowledging it to be the true Word of God. It declared that Jesus Christ had already returned to earth, not in physical Body but as a spiritual presence. Jesus Christ did not come to redeem us of our sins, but merely to reveal the nature of living a true spiritual life. The final blow was that all people were responsible for their own salvation, depending upon what we chose to love and how we live in this present world.
But you thought your fame and beauty were your own. So you gave yourself as a prostitute to every man who came along. Your beauty was theirs for the asking. You used the lovely things I gave you to make shrines for idols, where you played the prostitute. Unbelievable! How could such a thing ever happen? You took the very jewels and gold and silver ornaments I had given you and made statues of men and worshiped them. This is adultery against me!
Ezekiel 16:15-17 (NLT)
In this disturbing passage, the Prophet Ezekiel declares a harsh judgment by God upon the people of Jerusalem. God had rescued the Jews from certain destruction from their surrounding enemies and made them one of the most powerful and wealthy kingdoms in the ancient world. In spite of these blessings, they soon denied and forgot these spiritual blessings and, instead of acknowledging God’s grace and mercy, exalted their own abilities as the source of their prosperity.
Comprising or denying the Word of God strips any church of the privilege of declaring itself Christian. This church, once a source of sound Biblical teaching, had allowed itself to divert all of its energy to promoting its building as an idol for financial gain. The beautiful vistas, the magnificent sanctuary, the expansive gardens-all of the lovely things God gave to this church to glorify Him and His Creation by bringing souls to saving grace and salvation through Jesus Christ, had become a mockery of what it once believed.
I pray for a revival in this church and for all who have taken for granted the blessings that God has bestowed upon them.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.