O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth….? (Galatians 3:1a NKJV)
I cannot hold back what the Holy Spirit wants me to say. It’s been sugar coated for much too long.
I find it heartbreaking when I see great evangelists or bible teachers start off so well, then after years of faithfully preaching and teaching, they begin to veer off course. What is worse, even though it is evident they have gone off course, their followers still remain more faithful to them than to the Lord Himself. These followers feel if they abandon whoever they support and follow on TV, radio, or the Internet, that they will really be out in the cold because the last thing they want to do is participate in a local fellowship.
Then there are the TV megastar ministers that have peddled false gospels from the very start, whether it was a prosperity gospel or a motivational gospel. Their speech is soothing to the ears and soft on the conscience. Sin is a dirty word lacking in their vocabulary.
In the United States, most individuals rely on the government or Wall Street to be the god over their needs and they rely on themself to be the god over their desires. We really have no idea what hardship or persecution is. Even our poor are not like the poor in most countries. All-in-all most of us enjoy a life of ease. Many Christians in the United States have abandoned the biblical command of supporting their local church and turned to the media to get their spiritual food. Let’s face the truth. It is much easier to watch and listen to someone at your own leisure and in the leisure of your own environment where nothing is required of you. It’s a sterile environment. Being dedicated to a local church can get you downright dirty. You can even get your feelings hurt!
Why so harsh and requiring us to be part of a local fellowship? It all comes down to accountability. We must be accountable. Problem is, most people including today’s Christians do not want to be accountable to anyone. But love, fellowshipping, and accountability all tie together. Observe the following Scripture:
If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters. (1 John 4:20, 21 NLT)
I do not like to be the pin that pops the balloon, but loving your Christian brothers and sisters includes wanting to fellowship with them and to be accountable. If you do not want to fellowship and be accountable to them, then you do not love them. If you do not love them, then you really do not love God.
But the cancer in today’s Christian society in the United States doesn’t stop there. It has spread into the Christians who are part of local churches also. Today’s Christians have itching ears. They have heard the spoken words, but they failed to devour the written Word of God itself:
But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” (Luke 4:4 NKJV)
What’s bad is these so called Christians know all the Christian jargon and know how to blend into today’s Christian world and the secular world at the same time. They never want to say anything controversial and never really take a stand on anything. They bend with the wind. They want to appear loving to all they come into contact with. But at the heart of the matter, they truly do not know the Word of God because they never devoured it. This makes them vulnerable to every false teaching that comes around.
I find so many professing Christians who fail to do things God’s way as laid out in His written Word. They will claim their situation in life is special. They will boast that they have heard from God, even though what they heard disagrees with Scripture. If you try to point to the right way they will call you judgmental. Instead of doing it God’s correct way they want to do it their way.
Most of these nominal Christians can give you the exact time and date they became born again. But somewhere between then and now they became bewitched. Anyone who goes by the name Christian is on a spiritual journey. It’s not just a one time thing. Look what the Scriptures have to say about it:
You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7 NKJV)
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. (I Corinthians 9:24 NKJV)
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV)
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24 NKJV)
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. (Revelation 2:4, 5 NKJV)
Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. (Revelation 3:11 NKJV)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (II Timothy 4:7 NKJV)
My final question for you is this, “When you face death will you be able to proclaim what Paul proclaimed just before his execution in 2 Timothy 4:7, or will you find out in astonishment that you were bewitched?”