Don’t move the ancient boundary!

March 3, 2008 at 10:50 am | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
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From the time that God created the heavens and the earth, He created boundaries. When He gathered the water on earth into one place and called it the Seas, He set its boundary. When He created Adam and his wife and told them to subdue the earth, He set their boundaries. God has always done things with boundaries. God Himself is not bound by anything, but His creation functions within the boundaries that He created. He also set the boundaries for His people.

When God made a covenant with Abraham and the torch and oven passed through the middle of the sacrifices, God gave Abraham the boundary that He had set for the nation that would come from his descendants. God set those boundaries so that His people would be provided for and would have a place of their own to glorify Him in the midst of the pagan nations. Those descendants, however, decided to change the boundaries and lost much in the process.

In the book of Proverbs, Solomon says, “do not move the ancient boundary which your fathers have set” (Prov. 22:28). He repeats this same warning in Proverbs 23:10. Unfortunately, the boundary was moved and it was changed, and it’s being changed again today as Israel is slowly being divided. As a result of this, the Jews are being forcefully relieved of something that was promised to them by God, and they’re allowing it to happen.

The same thing is happening in the modern church. We have lost so much because the boundaries have been moved. Today, they are being moved at an alarming rate and the landscape of Christianity is changing at a pace that is almost hard to follow.  There are new “movements” coming out almost once a month. There are new and “innovative” ways to look at Christianity advertised on radio and television stations. And all of these things are moving the ancient boundary that God has set for Christians.

Originally, God had set the boundaries for the Jews to be much larger than even they saw when they entered the Promised Land. In Genesis 15:8, God gives Abraham the boundaries of the land that He promises in the covenant:

On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates

God had promised Abraham and his descendants from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates River in what is now Iraq! They were to have the entire Arabian Peninsula! Instead, they ended up receiving only a small portion of that area that God had promised them. They lost a lot of what God had provided for them for a few reasons.

The first reason was disobedience. The Israelites were commanded to eradicate the people in the land (if you look at God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15 you’ll see why). They were to do this so that they would not allow the pagan practices and idols to distract them and turn them away from God. Instead of doing this, they made treaties and bargains with the peoples of the land and, in time, those people ended up leading Israel away from God time and again.

The second reason that Israel lost much of what God had provided for them was because of sin. Israel often ended up doing what was right in its own eyes. The people chased after other Gods; they offered their children in fire to Molech, they built altars in the high places to false gods, and they built Asherah poles. Israel sinned against the commandments of the Lord and God judged them for it.

The third reason Israel lost much of what God had promised them is because they forgot the covenant that He made with them. They didn’t keep the covenant fresh in their minds and so they lost what was supposed to be theirs. The Jews claimed ancestry through Abraham, and rightfully so, but they forgot the covenant that God had made with and through Abraham. In forgetting the covenant, they forgot their God and went their own way.

These same things are going on in the modern church! They are running rampant through the churches of America and Great Britain especially. In these two countries, Christianity is losing adherents. Many younger people are leaving the church for other things because the Christianity that is portrayed to them by professing “believers” has much style and pizzazz but no substance.

In the modern church, there is much disobedience and sin. Many in the church live in sin throughout the week and then come on Sunday to lift their hands and “worship” the God they supposedly serve. They willfully do wrong and have no remorse or shame for what they’re doing, not only through the sin that they’re committing, but also the reflection of God that they are sharing with others! Fornication, premarital sex, and adultery run amok in the church and it’s considered the norm. Pastors are challenging their single members to abstain from having sex when it’s something that they should already be doing! Gossip, lying, and pride are controlling many churches and making the members fearful of trusting in their leadership. Self-righteousness and arrogance have caused many of those who preach from the pulpit on Sundays to proclaim their own version of the gospel and make the proclamation of the truth a place for editorial comments on the lives of the congregants. Vanity and shallow self-centeredness drives many of the churches to build the biggest buildings with the nicest looking landscaping and then fill them with cutting edge sound systems and musical equipment (because to do less could cause you to have less attendees than the church down the street!).

The modern church has also forgotten the covenant that God has made with them. When Christ came to earth, died on the cross, and rose again the third day; He instituted a new covenant. It was one based on faith in Him alone. It required repentance of sin and faith in Him as the only One that could save our souls. In making this new covenant, He gave us the opportunity to be reconciled to God, but it would cost us something. We would have to give up the old way of living. We would have to turn our backs on the sins that we so readily enjoyed and live a life of holiness and righteousness. In doing so, we would be lights to the dark world and salt in the blandness of deprived humanity. Instead, the modern church has become just as deprived as the world we are supposed to be reaching. In fact, it is more deprived than the world because it has the answer and chooses to ignore it! We have fooled ourselves into thinking that we are somehow different than the world because we say the name of Jesus, even though we are living in the same sins that will send “nonbelievers” to hell. We have built a fragile façade of religious porcelain that reflects the image that we want others to see, but if they were to break through the shell they would find darkness just as deep and unholy as is in those who have no pretensions of professing Christianity.

Like Israel, the modern church has turned its back on God and decided to do what is right in its own eyes. We have forsaken the Holy One who came to die in our place and followed the false gods of man. We put on programs and reinterpret scripture to our liking. We impose a skewed sense of holiness and morality upon those in our churches and dangle the promises of life, wealth, health, and happiness like a carrot that the congregation can see and smell but will never reach. We forsake the truth the way God wrote it for a watered down version of the “gospel lite” that will allow those in our pews and cushy chairs to feel comfortable in their sins and they go hurtling straight towards hell (because we don’t want to hurt their feelings or judge them, but we’ll allow them to go to hell without a second thought). We get all “airy” and spiritual about the truth found in the gospel, even though it’s been written for the common man to use in his everyday life in everyday situations. We have leaders that can spew out orations lasting for hours, but cannot live out the truth found in a single verse of scripture.

And yet, when we stop being self-centered for a few minutes, we actually wonder why people are leaving our churches and why our countries seem to be facing dire straits. We can’t understand why our congregations are dwindling and our coffers are bare because we’re truly blind to what’s going on. And to be honest, many of us don’t care. We go and get our two to four hours of spirituality in and that’s all that matters. We might help out on an occasional ministry event. And deep down, the truth is, we know why people are leaving. We know why they are frustrated with “church as usual” and why they are looking for something else. And if we cared a little more, we might try and do something about it.

The church today is in dire need of people who are willing to take a serious and honest look at scripture, compare it to their lives, and then actually change to be more in line with what God said. We need people who don’t want things their way, even if that means getting rebuked by God or having Him completely tear apart everything that we feel comfortable about. We need people who are not only going to be obedient to the Word of God, but are going to live it out on a daily basis and be a living sacrifice and an honest reflection of who Christ is to the world. This is necessary if our cities, states, and our nation are to be spared from the wrath of God that will come as a result of the sin and disobedience that we’ve been living in.

What will you choose to do?


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  1. Good analysis of todays churches. One also needs to review the history of how Protestants have been misled throughout history since the Roman Empire, how the Sabbath was changed to Sunday worship, how the name of Yahweh and Yahoshua (Jesus) was changed, how all believers unknowingly have abandoned the original intent of the 10 commandments and commit these sins daily by deceptive ignorance without excuse. True worship has been lost by the ages of sinful convenience and the customs and commandments of men.

  2. Jerry,

    Thanks for the input! I agree that many people have drifted away from what the gospel really is and what it says. While there are some things that can be discussed and are not necessarily considered essential, it’s all important!

    I don’t know that many people (at least in the church) commit sin without knowing what it is. I am under the impression that many don’t care…

    Thanks again for the input!

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