Category Archives: Christian Sermons

continue from part 1

How has the ancient landmark of Christian been removed or being removed?

The church is the chief Christian society which was established by Jesus Christ Himself, and it has some functions to perform which are inferred from the book of Isaiah. Five principal functions can be noted from the passage;

  1. To preach good tidings to the poor;
  2. To heal the brokenhearted,
  3. To proclaim liberty to the captives,
  4. To open the prison to those who are bound;
  5. To comfort all who mourn” (Is. 61:1&2)

These five functions can also be grouped under two words, deliverance and restoration. In another dimension it means the church’s function is to deliver and restore the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, the prisoners and the mourners. It is the gospel, the word of God that has the power to do this; it is the word of God that can save anyone from sin and its power, or any of the distresses mentioned above: Also, the word restores a believer back to God.. Hence, Psalm 107:20 says

“He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions”

However, has the church lived up to satisfy these functions? What is noticed in the churches today shows that, some ancient landmarks of Christianity have been either, removed, moved or in the process of being removed. How?

Departure from established standards set in the scripture

There is no confusion about the Bible for those who study it under the unction of the Holy Spirit. From Genesis to Revelation, it is a complete word of God from which we cannot take away or add to it. Any alteration or adulteration of the word will render it ineffective. We are to strictly obey what it says. It is no light thing to tamper with God’s word, the set standard and the principle it sets for us. We must not change them or remove them in any way (Rev. 22:18-19).

What is noticed in our churches today is distortion of the word of God by false teachers and preachers. They have shifted or removed from the foundation and fundamental principles of apostolic doctrine. They practice selective obedience to only those parts that will justify their hidden motives. They condemned the law, but they don’t condemn the tithe; they preached grace, but they don’t mention sins: they have compromised the truth for unrighteous gain; mega and micro church for lucre.

Acceptance of evil and evil practices in the church

As previously stated that the function of the church is to deliver souls from sin and distress, and restore them to God. Has the church lived up to these responsibilities? The performances of the seven churches of Asia discussed in the book of Revelation 1&2 can be likened to the present day churches; only one out of seven churches today are living up to the apostolic doctrine that was handed down to us. There are few living churches; there are lukewarm churches; and there several dead churches in the world today.

Instead for the church to perform the function of deliverance and restoration of the proselytes; not much was done. Many were indeed preached to, but were not delivered; many were admitted in the Christian fold, but they did not change from their old behavior. Rather than being cleansed, sanctified and rid of their old behavior, they were encouraged to continue in their sin and waywardness under the guise they are under grace. Many continue to eschew evil and sin and failed to repent because the church accepted and justify their former state before their conversion.

False teachers and ministers removing ancient landmarks

“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom. 16:17-18).

Christians ought to study the word of God diligently so that they will not be mislead by many false Teachers who removed the landmark of the old and had created that which was not biblically supported. They are mere tradition called liberty to associate with the tradition of this present age; they are not from God.

Most tradition of men created as landmark for Christianity in this present day does not absorb the fear of God; the results are evident in the series of evil seen in our society today. Streets flowing with blood; child abuse; terrorism within and without; insecurity all over; divorce among Christians; rebellion of ungodly social movements: all these and more are caused because of the landmark of Christianity that has been removed.

The landmark of God’s established marriage order

In the beginning God established marriage order, He created man and woman primarily for two major reasons: 1) for reproduction; and 2) to love. It is disheartening, unreasonable and despicable the way the world is influencing the church to embrace and adopt same sex marriage in the church of God. The church should influence the world, not the opposite.

Legalizing same sex marriage is an example of the landmark of marriage that is being removed.

Is it not the church that supposed to tell the world the right thing to do? Does nature not show us that opposite sex have their different functions? Does nature not revealed the structure of opposite sex vividly? Why did the church descends so low to submit to the dictates of the world; It is shameful that some churches are supporting this movement; it is also shameful that many men of God cannot speak out against this because of the fear of not being accepted or avoiding the focus of media attention in the society.

The bible states

“Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is given to covetousness;
And from the prophet even to the priest,
Everyone deals falsely…

Thus says the Lord:

“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls (Jer. 6: 13&16)

 

 

Read part 3, continuation of this article.

 

By Lawrence Abitogun


“Do not remove the ancient landmark

Which your fathers have set” (Pro. 22:28).

When I wanted to buy a plot of land to build my house in the government reserve area (GRA), I went to the ministry of Lands and Housing to get one. One thing interesting was how the layout plan of the whole GRA land has been laid out, lane by lane and plot by plot. Those lands that have been sold were marked out by the corners pillar with numbers (Landmark). Those that have not been sold have been properly laid out but not with pillar numbers.

Why the corners pillar numbers? It is to identify real estate boundaries and lines; it is to prevent people from crossing over their land boundaries into others’.

It is the tendency of evil people to take advantage of the weakness of others. If a land owner did not mark out properly the boundaries of his/her landed property, a cheater or a thief would remove the landmark by a foot or more to his/her own advantage.

When it comes to the landmark of Christianity, there are ancient landmarks which we must not remove, but maintain. they are,

  • The commandments delivered through Moses have their own landmarks;
  • The proclamations of the prophets have their own landmarks.
  • To confirm the law and the prophets, our Lord Jesus gave the gospel without opposing the law and the prophets; thus, setting the clearer landmarks
  • Finally, the apostolic faith which was delivered to the saints by the Lord Jesus, empowered by the Holy Ghost, has its own landmark.

We must be careful not to alter or distort these landmarks; however, we must maintain them; they are the word of God; the truth. They set the foundation for true worship, teaching, doctrine and godly practices.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2Tim. 3:16-17).

It infers that all Scripture (The word of God as written in the Bible) is the landmark for Christianity which is given by inspiration of God to our spiritual fathers and is set i.e. put together to profit us (Christians)  in this end time.

Christianity in this twenty-first century is shifting gradually away from the ancient landmark that has been laid down by our faith fathers; landmarks that were given through the word of God. These landmarks are now set on the edge of being removed totally. Removing the landmark could result in (1) shrinking up the real church – reducing the numbers of faithful Christians; or, (2) make some so-called churches a dumping ground – getting fuller with unsaved souls.

Apostle Paul predicted the removing of the landmark of the truth (the word of God) when he was admonishing Timothy,

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2Tim. 4:2-4).

There is the shifting and/or a removing of some landmarks of sound teaching in most of the new breed and orthodox churches in this modern day to doctrine fashioned according to the rudiment of men. Sound teaching is essential for spiritual growth and maturity, because it is rooted and established in the scripture – the word of God; however, not many believers want to hear it.

Psychology ministers understand this and they took advantage of it to preach what their audience wants to hear and what makes them feel good. What is it that makes them feel good?

  • Anything that will make them avoid the truth;
  • Anything that will not make mention of sin;
  • Anything that can justify their concealed motive;
  • Anything that will justify their engagement in the customs of the day – good or bad; and
  • Others

The ancient landmark of Christianity is found and rooted in the word of God as written in the Holy Bible, e.g. KJV Bible; not altered or adulterated as seen in most rewritten versions today. As Christians we need to be faithful to the landmarks God has revealed to us in the Holy Bible, and not to turn aside to fables which are very common today among the ministers of the word.

How has the ancient landmark been removed or is being removed?

 

Read part 2 of this article.

 

Lawrence


“So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”
And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD. (Gen.13:8-13)
Background
With love and accommodating nature of Abram (Abraham), he acted with kindness in order to avoid conflict between his nephew’s and his herdsmen: Because, through God’s blessing upon Abraham, Lot had shared in his uncle’s prosperity. Because both of them have become prosperous, their togetherness seems not to be working right for them, this situation created dispute among their herdsmen.
Abram gave Lot his nephew the choice to choose first, the scripture states,

“So Abram said to Lot …Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left”.

Abram showed lack of selfishness, believing that God is able to bless wherever is left for him.
Lot covetously chose before his uncle, Abraham, the green pastured land, and left the dry land for his uncle; not knowing what is beyond the watered land he had chosen. According to an adage, ‘what comes after six is more than seven’; unknowingly, Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, a land that was destined for destruction. (Gen. 13:5-13)
Many people today think that everything that shines is gold, not knowing that many perishable materials are being overlaid with gold. Our judgment on physical things may be wrong if not viewed from spiritual perspective. We should not be too impressed by merely looking at a thing or envy those who have made it or fret about the rich; not all those who are rich acquired their wealth righteously. Therefore, do not envy them or go their way, many of their ways are destined for destruction.

What to know about Sodom

Sodom was the twin sister city of Gomorrah; both cities were mentioned in the book of Genesis. These two cities along with other three – Admah, Zeboim and Bela were supposed to have been situated on the Jordan plain in the southern region of the land of Canaan. It was a land that was well watered, the scripture states, “that it was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD”.
Divine judgment by God came upon the five cities. Sodom and her neighbors except one, Bela (Zoar) were completely consumed by fire and brimstone because of their wickedness. Sodom and Gomorrah has since then become synonymous with impenitent sin. They have been used as metaphors for vice and homosexuality.
Sins of Sodom
The sin of Sodom is viewed in two perspectives, Physical sin of homosexuality, and non physical sin related to cultural importance of hospitality. The scripture states
And the LORD said,

“Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” (Gen 18:20-21)
In this passage, two offenses are recorded against Sodom:
1. there is an outcry against Sodom
2. the sin of Sodom is very grave
At this juncture of the Lord’s meeting with Abraham, His intention was to go and verify whether this outcry against Sodom is true or not. This allegation against Sodom turned out to be true, the allegations were demonstrated against the angels when they arrived at Sodom just as they were alleged; the Bible recorded this in Genesis chapter 19.When the two angels got to Sodom, Lot welcomed them into his house, a generous act of hospitality toward men he recognized as special guests on his part. What happened next? The scripture states,

“Now before they (the two angels in the house of Lot) lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.” (Gen 19:4-5)
Lot pleaded to protect the angels from being abused by the unruly mob of the men of Sodom; even to the extent of offering his two virgin daughters instead of the angels. But the men of Sodom were adamant and bent on knowing the angels carnally; this is a grave offense; this is homosexuality; an act that was forbidding by God. The men of Sodom were homosexual; this is evident when they disregard the available women; even after they were struck with blindness (Gen. 19:6-11).
Furthermore, other books of the Bible pointed to the sin of Sodom. 2Peter 2:7-10 described the men of Sodom as unprincipled; therefore, they are unruly and corrupt people who despised authority. Ezekiel defines the sin of Sodom as, pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness. Amos 4:1-11described Sodom as oppressing the poor and crushing the needy. Jeremiah compared the sin of Jerusalem to that of Sodom as adultery, lying and strengthening the hands of evil doers. What more evidence do we need to proof the sin of Sodom had caused an outcry unto the Lord.
Collation of the sins of Sodom
1. lack of hospitality
2. lack of compassion
3. treating visitors in sadistic manner
4. violation of hospitality as well as violence
5. the sodomites tried to rape angels
6. engagement in homosexuality
7. they lived ungodly (2Peter 2:6)
8. gross immorality and going after strange flesh (jude7)
9. pride,
Summing up these sins, the sin of Sodom is grave, ungodly, lawless and sensual conduct of unprincipled men. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of many things; however, the principal among them is the sin of homosexuality.
Ignorance is no excuse
My concern for writing this article is not actually for the reason that Lot did not respect Abraham, his uncle; but that one should not make choice based just on mere outlook; but through divine directive. “Not all that glitters are gold”. We should not allow greediness or first appearance to dictate the final decision on our choice.
Was Lot ignorant of Sodom to have pitched his tent toward her; a corrupt and wicked city? If at all he was ignorant of it, after he had gotten there and found out of her wickedness; in reality of all the wickedness perpetrated by the men of Sodom, and for Lot, having known of the waywardness and perversion of the men of Sodom; why did he remained in the city? Why did he prefer to stay among them if not that something astonished him about the life style of the city? Why should a child of God prefer to stay among people or in an environment that will influence him/her negatively?
The Lord being merciful, He could have destroyed the city of Sodom and Gomorrah without telling Abraham and Lot. But because He is a merciful God, His angels grabbed Lot and his family and brought them out forcefully to safety (Gen. 19:16). If not for God’s mercy, Lot and his family would have perished with the people of Sodom. In spite of the mercy, Lot’s wife was lost because she could not take her eyes off the world around Sodom; she looked back, defying the angel’s command. The scripture states,
“But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
The scripture states again,
“Evil company corrupts good habits” (1Cor. 15:33).
It is Important for all Christians not to take any decision without applying discerning spirit for guidance. Knowledge alone does not make a person wiser; the fear of God must accompany it – do not leave God out of your decision.
The scripture states,
The fear of the Lord leads to life and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil (Pro. 19:23).
The choice Lot made without minding what comes after is evident in the result of the evil that visited him after he had settled in Sodom. The success or end result of anything or action can only be accurately known if we commit our way to the spirit of God to guide us.
There are situations in life that we need to make a choice; this moment calls for caution; we must be careful about the choice we make. Our choice should not be based on high profile, face value or popularity of the choice. However, we need to apply a discerning spirit and commit our way unto the Lord to help us choose.
The choice of watered land sent Lot to pitch his tent toward Sodom. He was living big in the city because he was one of the elders. The end of living a high life turns to living a low life – from living in the city to living in the cave; and from living in the cave to living in the mountain. A decision that is not divinely guided can send someone into desolation and isolation.
It is dangerous to pitch toward Sodom
What do I mean? Why is it dangerous to pitch one’s tent toward Sodom and then settle down there? We know the background of Sodom and what it stands for; and we know what happens to Lot for choosing to live in a city that was ravaged by wickedness: that is the result – destruction. The following are among the many ways we pitch our tent toward Sodom:
• Do things that we know to be wrong;
• Rashly take a decision without thought
• Deliberately decide to follow a path that we know can lead to destruction
• choosing a carrier of profession we are not good at because of money and popularity
• Ignoring a good advise that works contrary to ones destructive concluded choice
• We chose a wrong person as spouse because of high profile or appearance
• We go into wrong business because it is gold mine for some people
• We like city life without minding the evil and crime that occurs frequently or time consuming to get our way around there.
• Deliberately rush into something to deprive others from having access
• Willfully remain in a situation because of the unrighteous enjoyment derived from it
• Sometime allow flesh to preside over their spirit – a minister of God working outside his/her calling – “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;” (Jude:6)
• For selfish reason, we do not consider others
• We live ungodly to fit the norms of the day with the aim of being recognized
• We fill we have to sell ourselves to be accepted by the society
• We join crowd to get power to oppress or to avoid being oppressed
• We lived among wicked people because we are ashamed to be identified with Christ
• Because of unrighteous gains we pervert justice
• Because of idleness, we engaged in all sorts of immorality to fill the wasted time
• Because of intolerance, many lack hospitality and thus become violent
Should I continue to give more examples? “A word is enough for a wise”. As children of God, this is just to open our eyes to the many ways Christians pitch their tent toward Sodom. That is, we take decision or make choice without divine directive; the end of that choice can be destructive. Peradventure we took a wrong choice and we realized later that our choice was wrong; we need to do what is necessary to avoid being destroyed.
Sodom represents any choice (undertaking, business, life style, aspiration, pursuit etc) we don’t know much about or what we know later to be a way or place of destruction. If we deliberately follow it or settled there, what is going to be our fate? Will the gracious God that spares the life of Lot and his two daughters spare us? Can we have a second chance? Sodom is the way to destruction; likewise, deliberate sinning is a way to destruction.
The scripture states,
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Rom. 6:1)
The conclusion of this article is your choice.

To be continued

By Lawrence Abitogun

 

 






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