Serving God in Spirit and Truth
From the time of Cain all the way through till today, man has served God in the wrong way. The reason for this is because man wants to serve or worship God in man’s own chosen way and not God’s way. This is the reason there is so much worldly activity going on in the present day houses of worship; activities designed to attract, entertain, excite, and stir all kinds of human emotions in the name of religion. Local churches and denominations today are in a competition with each other to see who can attract the most people. They somehow think that the church that has the greatest number of people is the most successful, but the truth is God is not impressed with numbers of men. This religious philosophy has caused man to create, build and populate the mega churches of modern times. However, it is not the size of a body of believers that counts, but the truth in worship that is the real factor.
Truth, what does that mean? Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that God desires us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Today, both Spirit and Truth are most often in error in the modern church. Why is that? Why can’t men worship and serve the True God in the true way?
Take a look at yourself, Laodicea! You are so extravagant, ornate and richly built that you think you have finally arrived in religious perfection. But, listen to the description of you by the Lord of Glory. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Revelation 3:17-18
Modern church, have you stopped to examine even your prescription for salvation? How did your attendees become members of the Lord’s Church? Are they truly in the household of faith or are you and they satisfied just to be members of the local assembly? Do you think people become members of the Church because they have “made a decision for Christ”? Did they get in by “accepting Jesus” or were they truly born into the household of faith? A thorough examination of Biblical salvation will reveal much.
First, you will conclude, like Jonah (Jonah 2:9), that “…Salvation is of the LORD” and not of human initiation or origin. Secondly, true salvation is a birthing. Like physical birth, spiritual birth has a Father, a Mother, a gestation period, labor pains, the bringing forth a “new creature in Christ”, and the baby has NOTHING to do with it, except experience what is happening to him or her. And thirdly, the new convert can then give a testimony about what God has done for him, but this erroneous “decision making” salvation produces a testimony and attitude of what the convert has done for God. It is “I” centered and produces such statements as: “I got saved”, “I accepted the Lord”, “I let Jesus into my heart” and on, and on, and on, ad nauseam.
The present day misconception of salvation is shored up by the modern soul winner and minister by using the scripture in Revelation 3:20 where Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with me.” There is even a popular painting of the Wrong Jesus (see article) standing at a door that doesn’t have a door knob, and He is knocking in an attempt to “request” entry. The idea presented is that Jesus cannot open the door to your heart, but that it is up to you to “decide” if and when to “let Him in”. How many times have you been told that the Lord cannot violate your freewill? Please, give me chapter and verse stating that. It is simply not biblical.
A deacon of a local church once made a statement to me as we chatted over a cup of coffee. He said, “You know, God can only do what you let Him do”. That, my friends, is the popular understanding, or should I say gross misunderstanding, of the God of the Bible. The deacon’s statement is typical of the attitude of members of the worldly church today. People see God as too weak as to impose His will on mankind, but must wait on man to “let Him” exercise His will. May I say that if salvation was left up to members of Adam’s fallen race, no one would ever be saved. We had better be most thankful that God has broken through our stubborn, fallen, lost will and began a work in us that will last throughout eternity. In short, if it is up to man there would be no salvation. But, thanks be to God, who by the power of the Holy Spirit, can and does exercise His Sovereign and Holy desires on His children and brings them into his household for time and eternity. Amen!
Lets get back to the popular door knocking painting and verse in Revelation 3:20. This verse has been taken completely out of context and grossly misapplied. The Bible clearly shows Christ knocking on the Laodicean Church door and not on the lost sinner’s heart door. He is inviting true converts to come out of the latter day church of error and have fellowship with Him “in Spirit and in Truth”.
Another tactic of modern religion is to try to excite or appeal to the emotions of a person, especially the tender-hearted young person. An emotionally charged sermon or church service meant to appeal to the feelings and sentiments instead of the Spirit is misdirected. I am not saying these ministers are purposely misleading people, no no. I think they are sincere in what they say and do, but I say they are sincerely wrong. Again, I encourage you to see what the Lord says about salvation in the Word of God.
Here are some scriptural samples of what the Word of God says about True Salvation. As you read these excerpts of scripture, ask yourself whether man with his will and decisions is the initiator of his own salvation or if salvation is the results of what God does in us and for us, working through the Holy Spirit unto quickening, conviction, and salvation. (emphasis mine)
Jesus said: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37
Again He said: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44
“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1:4-6
“(God) Who hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began… 2 Timothy 1:9
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
“Which were born (saved), not of blood (your Mother), nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
There are many more scriptures that I could list that would show without a doubt that God saves us through His will and by His power and not because of our decision-making or our sinful, fallen human will. That hellish doctrine got its beginning several centuries ago in the Roman Catholic Church and has perpetuated itself through the ages to make man the author and initiator of his own salvation. Don’t you see that this Satanic doctrine robs God of His Sovereignty? He alone determines who will be in His household of faith. It is according to His good pleasure and His eternal purpose and will. Anything short of that, or anyone who says otherwise is just not Biblical in their perspective. I personally say that it is the devious work of Satan to pull down God in man’s eyes and make Him less than He is. Remember, Satan is the enemy of your soul and he has had over 2000 years to disrupt and destroy God’s works and Word. He is the author of confusion and lies and this doctrine of self will is one of his chief ploys of deceit.
In closing, let me say that much of the misconception of modern salvation is derived from an over zealous interpretation of the Great Commission. We are commanded to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:15-16 We are not told to make them believe, simply to preach the gospel. Look at Matthew chapter 13 verses 1 through 9 at what Jesus teaches about salvation through the parable of the sower. Notice that the sower’s job is to sow the seeds. He does not pick the ground or place the seed, but just sows, or preaches the Word. Where the seed falls and the results of the seed is not up to the sower of seeds (preacher) but it is up to God. The gospel will fall on deaf ears much of the time but some will hear and believe. That ability is not within the man, but is in the power of God to draw, and save.
We somehow think our job is to “Bring Them In” as the old song says, but that is the office of the Holy Spirit, not ours. You sow the seed, He will make some grow. Those seed that He makes grow will produce good fruit. Those that you make will produce bad fruit. Jesus said: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” Matthew 23:15. This is a very serious matter. The present day church is being filled with illegitimate children instead of true converts. That produces a counterfeit church. Jesus taught extensively about this error all through the 13th chapter of Matthew. Please take the time to read it from a King James Bible. See what Jesus warned us about the Church and especially the latter day Church.
If the Spirit pricks your heart about this matter, seek Him in prayer and ask Him what He would have you do. Wherever He leads is the right place for you.