Eyes to see, Ears to hear – The Spirit is speaking to the Church 🕊🪔
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? 1 Peter 4:17
Brother Mark Cowan added a new photo to the album: WHAT THE CHURCH NEEDS TO HEAR.
Samson lost his vision, that is the focus of his calling, long before he lost his eyes because of what he allowed to distract him.The Church is facing the same danger today.
>>2 Corinthians 4:3-4. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
>>Proverbs 29:18. Where there is no vision, the people perish..
The Gospel is hid from the perishing because the Church has lost it’s vision. It has become blinded to that which Christ has called them to really see. What is it that has so captivated the modern Church that has blinded her?
These things have B-L-I-N-D-E-D The Church today.
B- BELIEFISM:It does not matter what you believe as long as you are sincere.There has been a modern day falling into the darkness like that of Israel during the time of the judges.
>>Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
Today, people are told that it is alright to believe that you can “ask Jesus into your heart” and you are saved. There is no change of heart or behavior needed.You can believe that you are saved, on your way to Heaven without any conviction of sin or repentance.As long as you were sincere when you repeated the “sinner’s prayer”, you can now live as you see best to live.Telling people that is no different from telling them it is alright to believe in any dead religion or god, because they have not seen their condition as sinners before a Holy God and they remain lost and dead in their sin.
L- LEVITY:Humor or frivolity, especially in the treatment of a serious matter or in a manner lacking due respect.An icebreaker is an opening remark, action, etc., designed to ease tension or relieve formalityIt may be that joke or story that has nothing to do with the message about to be delivered.It may be the action or activity that distracts from the real purpose of the gathering.It is that which preachers, teachers or worship leaders do that has nothing to do with reaching, teaching or worshiping. IT IS IN ESSENCE that which distracts from the realization that all the focus of attention and glory is to God’s and His alone.When we come into the house of worship, it is to worship a Holy, Righteous God that is a Jealous God.Treating Jesus as “one of the guys’ or just a normal joe, offering platitudes, cliche’s and humorous quotes or sentiment when God wants to speak deeply into hearts from His heart blinds to the reality of why we gather.The result is like that of Lot’s sons in law.
>>Genesis 19:14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
The lost perish because they see no reason to take the Gospel seriously.
I- IRREVERENCE:The coming into the place of fellowship or worship with a heart not fully set on the things of God.It seems like a burden instead of a joy.Conversation before and after is on the things of the world.We grudgingly give God our weekly allotment of religious activity and words.Much of what is mentioned in Malachi concerning Israel is true in the modern church today, and it causes a blindness. People will not see the purpose of God, the glory of God nor the work of God in their midst.
>>Malachi 1:6-14. 6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? 7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. 8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts. 9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts. 10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. 12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. 14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
N- NARCISSISM:Extreme selfishness, a craving for admiration, an erotic interest in oneself. a grandiose view of one’s own talents.
>>2 Peter 2:1-3. 1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
>>3 John 9-10. 9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
When the focus is on self, be it for glorification, prominence or prestige, the vision is destroyed from the reason the body of Christ gathers, and the people perish.
>>2 Corinthians 4:6-7. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
D- DISASTER:A sudden event that has catastrophic results.When something like this happens we describe it as being “blindsided”When we are taken unawares we tend to look solely on the circumstances and what we think must be an inevitable result.We often view disaster from the victim’s perspective. and are blinded to anything that God may be saying or doing.One way of being blinded by disaster, especially if it hits close to home, is to either focus our sights on fixing blame or or fixing brokenness. As a result we do not see the opportunities to see the real purpose in a situation. We tend to sidestep the need for or the relevance of the gospel at such times, claiming that people don’t need to hear “that sort of thing” now.Jesus always brought issues of disaster back to the primary purpose of bringing people to The Father.
>>Mark 4:37-40. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
>>Matthew 14:27-31. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?At times we focus on disaster as an overwhelming evil and see nothing of God in it, nor in any solution.>>
>>2 Kings 6:15-17. 15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
>>Luke 13:1-5. 1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
>>Habakkuk 1:2-7, 12-13. 2 O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! 3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. 4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. 5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you. 6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not their’s. 7 They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. 12 Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. 13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?
E- ENTERPRISE:Success, prosperity, prestige, building, tend to blind us from the fact that all we have or have been able to accomplish has been given to us by God,
>>Deuteronomy 8:6-20. 6 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. 7 For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;8 A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; 9 A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.10 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. 11 Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: 12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; 16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; 17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. 18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. 19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.
D- DESTINY:The events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future, believed to be controlled by some hidden, or unknown power.This blinds us to the real vision of Destination.So many are looking to so much false news issues that create fear and uncertainty that they fail to see how God is working all things in the world to fulfill His Word.Others are so caught up with the events of world history that the only thing on their minds is “rapture” getting away from it all.Both of these views by believers blind them to the vision God has for them of destination.
>>1 Corinthians 2:7-16. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
This is wonderful news for the believer, however many tend to forget or not realize that the opposite is also true.Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that hate Him, reject Him or despise Him.The Believers need to get back to searching the scriptures for the true vision that God has for them so that they may make known the true Gospel of Jesus Christ as the power of God unto salvation.
>>Hebrews 12:1-2. 1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,Look full in His wonderful face,And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,In the light of His glory and grace.
>>2 Corinthians 4:1-7. 1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
~Mark Cowan ~