Anglican Morning Devotion for 14 September 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
(Psalms 14:3; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:17-18)
It is not in the nature of God Almighty to ingratiate Himself to His Creatures. He is not one to give false hope or to allow men to perish for lack of warning. Many consider my recent devotions to be negative, and so they are. But negative warnings are the fabric of hope in the very thing that they warn against. It is impossible for a minister of God to dwell on the very positive in a world that is more and more turning its back on its Maker. You will not find an overwhelming measure of ‘positive thinking’ in the Ten Commandments of God. Please remember that eight of the Ten Commandments are negative in nature – overwhelmingly more ‘NOT’S’ than positive statements. The reason is that man’s mind is bent toward evil by his very nature. Curbs of that evil inclination are incorporated – not only in the Moral law of God – but also in His prophetic warnings.
What is positive in the warnings of God concerning ‘the falling away’ of His people from the “Way, the Truth and the Life?’ (John 14:6) Even the negative warnings of God present a great hope in the solution God provides – a return to Holy Living and Holy Obedience. The latter is the solution to the awful effects and impact of the former case of ‘falling away.’
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2) In today’s church, positive thinking precludes God’s more serious warnings and judgments.
Do we believe the purpose of the minister of God is to speak soft words and build up our self-esteem? If we feel that way, we have failed to grasp the dire counsels of God and His warnings against heeding the counsel of our fleshly desires and the voice of the dark angels of our world. There are innumerable cases of pastors who do just that. Need we assent to our own destruction by the delusions of self-righteousness presented by these false prophets? Suppose we removed the monetary reward from these seekers of filthy lucre – would they continue then in their preaching of easy-believism? The thought is almost humorous were it not so many souls being deceived thereby.
The prophet, Jeremiah (and I am not Jeremiah except in name only), began his ministry preaching repentance to the people, but when they would not hear him, his preaching turned to the judgment of God in sending His people into bondage and exile. “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jeremiah 6:16) During a time of so great a ‘falling away’ among our members, should we do less than follow the lead of Jeremiah and his Godly counsel? At a time in which those things that God calls grievous sins such as homosexuality, promiscuity, drug abuse, murders on the streets, abortion, etc. are now called good by the church, should we simply say, “Well, I do not dare be negative in my preaching – I will simply gloss over those grievous sins and the terrible judgment of God that they invoke and preach on positive matters of hope where there can be no hope?”
“To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 11Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. 12And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD. 13For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.” (Jeremiah 6:10-13) It is my duty and sworn obligation to preach judgment where God counsels, and the hope of restoration that those warnings entail.
For those with itching ears to hear a false Gospel, the TV airwaves are filled with those; but the hope of the Gospel is love and obedience of God, and He will heal the land therewith. But no lives were ever changed by a false and carnal Gospel. It is not the world, the Lord condemns for it is already condemned, but the Church and His people in their grievous apostasy from His Word.