The Big Distraction In The Church

 This is a warning to all believers, not to cause them to stumble, but to open eyes to the truth. Let’s begin by  looking at the definition of the word distraction:  A distraction is anything that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else. So what is the big distraction that is keeping us from seeing the truth? For centuries the Devil has used his distractions to keep believers from the truth.  We want to take a look at some of these distractions from the truth of God’s Word. Let’s start with Matthew 7:13-14  “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” 

To be a believer in the Messiah we must walk a very narrow line. But since the death and resurrection of the Messiah the Devil has been creating a narrative of one lie after another to keep people off the straight and narrow path of truth. In our series on the “Sins of the Forefathers” we discuss the changes that were made after the death of the Apostles by creating  a false doctrine, and then changing even the words in the Bible to fit that doctrine. John knew in his day that these people were false teachers as 1 John 2:18 tells us, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”

How do we know them?  For one, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Yeshua tells us in Matthew 7:16-20, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they?  So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  So then, you will know them by their fruits.”

Yeshua wanted the people to realize that to follow Him meant that they would have to let go of many things, for one, the world’s ways. Romans 12:2 tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

James 4:4 says,  “Do you not know that love of the world results in enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

1 John 2:15-17 tells us, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever.”

 We must  even die to ourselves to follow Him. Galatians 5:24-25, “And those who belong to Messiah Yeshua have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” Luke 9:23, “And He said to all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

 1 Peter 1:14-16 says, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,  but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;  because it is written: “ You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

2 Peter 1:4-11 tells us. “Through these (knowledge and power) He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world on account of lust.  Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,  and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they do not make you useless nor unproductive in the true knowledge of our Lord Messiah Yeshua.  For the one who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.  Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choice of you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;  for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and SaviorMessiah Yeshua will be abundantly supplied to you.”

Are we adding to our faith?  We have been told for centuries that the Hebrew Scriptures were considered old and done away with, and only the Apostolic Scriptures were for us today. And yet, Yeshua tells us this in Matthew 5:17, “Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” This Scripture has been wrongly interpreted. In the Hebrew it really means, I have come to teach the Torah correctly and we see that in the following verses of Matthew, Yeshua does add to the Commandments, not subtract. Matthew 5: 18-20 says,  “Therefore, whoever nullifies one of the least of these Commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. ‘For I say to you that unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”’

But our religious leaders are into everything except leading their sheep by the true light of God’s Word. So many are into politics, or social justice, which is politics. God’s Word teaches us how we are to treat each other, so we do not need to protest, but only live by God’s Word, for we are to be the light of the world. All we need to do is  live by example.  Many of our religious leaders tell us that the Commandments are not for us today, and yet, Yeshua tells us if we love Him we will keep His commands. Remember, Yeshua is the Word made flesh, He can not deny who He is. Maybe this is why so many people think that they can live like the world, and still be Christians. Many leaders today do not even believe in what they are preaching, and so this leaves their preaching to be very shallow. According to statistics many Pastors are addicted to pornagraphy and many religious leaders belong to the Masonic Lodge in which they are pledging  their faithfulness to something other than God, who is Creator of all things.

Matthew 7: 21-23 goes on to say,  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.”’

We think that just because we sit in a pew on Sunday that we are good to go. There are many people who sit in  pews, and still are living outside of God’s Word and His will. We think that just because someone uses the name Jesus or heaven or angel that they must be a believer. Many songwriters use these words , but they are not believers. Many other people use these words,  but they are not God’s faithful.  We must not be deceived. The Devil is the father of lies and his goal has been to deceive God’s people. We can not serve two masters. Either we belong to God’s kingdom of light or we belong to the world’s kingdom of darkness. Matthew 7: 24 – 29 says, “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and its collapse was great.” When Yeshua had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching;  for He was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.”

The flood will come as Revelation 12:13-17 tells us, “And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.  But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time, times, and half a time, away from the presence of the serpent.  And the serpent hurled water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon had hurled out of his mouth.  So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

This is the biggest distraction, and that is the pretribulation rapture of the saints. This is a doctrine held mainly by Americans since the 1800’s. I find it amazing that people quote Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Messiah Yeshua.”

When Paul wrote this the 1st Century church was being persecuted, tortured and martyred. We must be prepared for Yeshua tells us this in Matthew 24:42-44, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.  For this reason you must be ready as well; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

Would a covenant keeping God, not keep His covenant with His chosen people, Israel, and yet, they too, suffered over the years, and especially during World War II.  Today, we have believers all over the world who are being persecuted, tortured, and martyred. 1 Peter 4:12-19 says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though something strange were happening to you;  but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Messiah, keep on rejoicing, so that at the revelation of His glory you may also rejoice and be overjoyed.  If you are insulted for the name of Messiah, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, and of God, rests upon you.  Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;  but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.  For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God are to entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.”

A life for the Lord is a narrow road to walk, and preachers today are not preaching holiness, and godliness, and repentance. You are being distracted so that you will not be ready for the Day of the Lord. The parable of the Ten Virgins tells us the true story about those believers who are ready, and those who are not. Matthew 25:1-13, “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom.  Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.  For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take extra oil with them;  but the prudent ones took oil in flasks with their lamps.  Now while the groom was delaying, they all became drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there finally was a shout: ‘Behold, the groom! Come out to meet him.’  Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.  But the foolish virgins said to the prudent ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’  However, the prudent ones answered, ‘No, there most certainly would not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’  But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the groom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.  Yet later, the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’  But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’  Be on the alert then, because you do not know the day nor the hour.”

Twice now we see the door is closed to those believers who thought that they could live like the world and still be saved. You may want to think about it.

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