Outwardly Religious, Inwardly Bankrupt

We chafe at the idea that we Christians today are behaving in any way like the chosen people of God- the Jews – in the time of Christ. We would never! Self-righteous? Not me! Blinded by pride? Impossible! Reject the Messiah? Not a chance! Yet, on closer inspection, we shudder to discover that the parallels are uncanny. The similarities are fearfully undeniable. History seems to be repeating itself. The warning sirens are blaring right here in America – for those who care to listen…

What are some of the parallels between the Jews in the time of Christ and Christianity in America?

  1. The Jews were looking for a political Messiah to establish their government in order to enforce their own laws. Similarly, the Christian church today is delving heavily into the political arena, openly endorsing candidates, adulterating their purity as nonpolitical entities. Political activism has increased dramatically in the last years to the point where some churches are preaching politics from the pulpit. Tragically, Christians have forgotten that manmade political solutions do not solve the “sinful heart” problem.
  2. The Jews believed that taxes and Roman occupation was their biggest problem when in fact their biggest problem was sin and pride. The Christian church believes that the aggressive agenda of the LGBTQ community and liberal laws are their biggest problem (sure, it is a problem!), but in fact our biggest problem is pride, spiritual blindness , love of pleasure, etc (See 2 Tim 3:1-5) Immorality has descended out of control because the church has failed to love sacrificially and win over the hearts of those who are lost in sin.
  3. Jesus called the Jewish leaders “blind leaders of the blind.” Christians leaders in the end time are misleading many- they claim that God’s Holy 10 Commandment law has been done away with, and this has caused them to lose their spiritual discernment and to embrace false teachings.
  4. The Jewish leaders were materialistic lovers of money. Many Christian leaders today are materialistic, lovers of money. We see this with the rise of the “prosperity gospel,” megachurches, and mega pastors with their mega mansions and multi-million jet airplanes.
  5. The Jewish leaders taught many errors that were “traditions of men,” or manmade teachings with no solid basis in scripture. Christian leaders today are teaching falsehoods that have their origin in manmade tradition, or false interpretations (Sunday, Inmortality of the soul, once saved always saved, etc).
  6. The Jewish leaders taught errors that caused confusion in regard to the first coming of the Messiah. Christian leaders today are teaching errors that is causing confusion in regard to the 2nd coming of the Messiah. (The rapture, literal Israel, etc)
  7. The Jews wanted a strongman, not a “weak” Jesus that would forgive and love His enemies. Today there are many in the church that dismiss helping marginalized peoples as “wokeism.”
  8. Jesus called the Jewish leaders hypocrites, saying one thing but doing another. Christians today, according to the Bible, have “a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.” 2 Tim 3:5

According to the Bible, we can expect that fallen “Christian church” will eventually persecute Jesus’ true followers, just as God’s chosen people persecuted Christ and His followers! In John 16:2 we find: “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service…” This verse not only applies to the time of the Apostles but also to our day. When Paul warns us that in the last days, many in the church would have a “form of godliness but deny its power,” we are warned that church would be outwardly religious, but inwardly bankrupt. Yet, the scary part is that they would not be aware of their condition! Here is Jesus diagnosis to His last day church: “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked- “ (Rev 3:17) Wow, that’s bad! But praise God! Jesus lovingly points us to antidote we desperately need, that we may not be a part of the false last day church! “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. May we humble ourselves and heed Jesus’ warning today!