Just when I think my head is going to explode if I read about one more law or one more offering, I come across this!
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'I am the LORD your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.
(Leviticus 18:1-5 NIV)
I don't Think I am going to be able to fit this in to my sermon Sunday, but it is a great passage that is begging for a sermon!
How much better off would the church be if we just would just listen to God and take Him at His word!?! We get into trouble in our personal lives because we think we can do just as the world does even though God has warned against it and we get into trouble as a church because we try to think like the world and copy their success instead of seeking out the mind of God!
It is heart breaking to see how carnal and worldly the church is. Is it because we have ignored the simple command of God found in passages like this? This isn't hard to understand - it's not Revelation! It's God saying, "You're going to be in the world, but don't do as they do. Be careful to follow what I have said. Remember - I am the LORD your GOD!" It's as simple as that. Any 3rd grader could exegete those verses.
God tells them to remember that He is the one who will cause them to succeed or fail - not the world, and then He lays this on them:
"Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD."
This means that the man (or church) who obeys the laws will be blessed by them. That's how it works. There isn't a go around on this one. If we do as the world does we will fail. Sure, we have nice buildings now, and sophisticated outreach programs to get people to attend our services, but are we too sophisticated for simple faith and simple obedience? Then, maybe, we are too sophisticated for Jesus.