The title of this article is taken from one of my favorite hymns, “Come Thou Fountain of Every Blessing”:
“Here I raise my Ebenezer, Here by Thy great help I’ve come.
And i hope by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God.
He to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.”
Within that simple verse lies the crux of the impasse that the church finds itself today. My heart breaks daily when I see and hear scriptural molestation and murder at the hands of the minstrels and hirelings performing in pulpits on stage every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. First, we were told that we were “little gods” – able to command blessings, influence events by “binding and loosing”, and even controlling God Himself at the whim of our mortal words. We were sold the erroneous claim that we choose to “surrender our lives” to God – again, claiming our own power in the direction of our eternal souls.
Continuing in this misguided philosophy - after we “stopped running” and “surrendered” to Him, we were told that the only way to assuage His Righteous indignation was to pay him…heartily…so that His grace would be upon us, we’d walk in His divine favor, and we’d be spared from all manner of calamity.
The church has perilously wandered away from “the fold of God”, and they don’t even know it. Worse, we have rejected God’s Holy Word and accepted a distorted substitute from the mouths of liars – and God’s judgement is being poured out before our very eyes (emphasis added):
Romans 1:18-25 (New American Standard Bible)
19because (C)that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
20For (D)since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (E)being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
22(G)Professing to be wise, they became fools,
Not only are the hirelings who purport this false gospel fools who profess to be wise, but the sheep (who are proving themselves to really be goats – Matthew 25:31-46) are eagerly joining them in their rejection of the Word of God, and defending the vile hirelings tooth and nail, all the while ignoring the TRUTH of the Gospel they profess to embrace. We might not worship animals and birds (yet), but man-worship is in full effect and expanding at every turn. Sheeple will quote their pimp hireling with far greater fervor than they will the Word of God – IF they quote the Word at all.
All of this is born out of our twisted view of our place in God’s soveriegn plan. When we stray from historical biblical Christianity, we stray from sound doctrine and God’s Word. As a Monergist, I recognize that the Holy Spirit is the ONLY agent who initiated and effected regeneration in me. Apart from the Blood of Christ, there is no good in me (Romans 7:17-19), so how can I – in my natural mind – make a decision to live for Christ and yield to Him?
John Hendryx wrote an article regarding Monergism that neatly explains the working of the Holy Spirit in regeneration (emphasis added):
[...] Monergistic regeneration is a redemptive blessing purchased by Christ for those the Father has given Him (1 Pet 1:3, John 6:37, 39). This grace works independently of any human cooperation and conveys that power into the fallen soul whereby the person who is to be saved is effectually enabled to respond to the gospel call (Acts 2:39, 1 Cor 1:2, 9, 24, Rom 8:30 John 1:13, Acts 13:48). It is that supernatural power of God alone whereby we are granted the spiritual ability and desire to comply with the conditions of the covenant of grace; that is, to apprehend the Redeemer by a living faith, to come up to the terms of salvation, to repent of idols and to love God and the Mediator supremely. The Holy Spirit, in quickening the fallen soul, mercifully illumines the mind and renews the heart, giving God’s elect the capacity and inclination to exercise faith in Jesus Christ (John 6:44, 1 John 5:1). This instantaneous and intensely personal work of God is the means by which the Spirit brings us into living union with Him.
In my not so humble opinion, one of the precipitating events to the downward spiral we see in Christianity today is the denial of the sovereignty and supremacy of God in all things. We have relegated God to the role of both Cosmic Slot Machine and Puppet, all at the same time. By degrading His sovereignty, we elevate our own foolish pride and knowledge, and we begin to tell the potter how we are to be fashioned (Isaiah 29:15-16). This task is made far more simple when we do so from the posture of “little gods” who can “decide” to step away from our sin-sick fate and “come to Jesus”. Of course, this logic makes it easier to vacillate back and forth between sin and holiness because after all, “it is our decision”, right?
I implore you by the power of the Holy Spirit – reject the men and women who puff themselves up as modern day idols. Reject any and all new-age philosophy that equates you with God in power and might. Abhor mockery of God’s Holy Word at the hands of pimps, vipers, wolves, et al. Flee false doctrine and wicked assemblies. Systematically READ GOD’S WORD FOR YOURSELF (page by page) and stop relying on 3rd and 4th hand hack exegesis from impostors. Don’t be afraid to sit on a wooden pew in a small church (full of people who are not the same race as you are) and listen to a preacher who rightly divides the Word just because they don’t entertain you like the minstrels do. Meditate on God’s Word – and buy credible reference material and books that help you dig even deeper for His truth. Learn to hear the Voice of God for yourself so that you don’t run from the arms of a wolf into the clutch of a viper.
Above all, I pray to God through His Precious Son that you would trust in Christ alone for your salvation and your hope, and that you will be built up in Him Who does not dissappoint (1 Peter 2:4-6).
’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise, And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more!
Oh Precious Father, humble us to return to Your fold.