An Abomination! ... ? Print E-mail

What is an “abomination?” One should know for sure, because the “abominable,” is named in that bone-chilling verse that lists the eternally lost, who; “…shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:7).

Our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to the world to merely start a new religion. He did not come to give humankind another option. He came to, “…destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8). “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

God’s grand plan was for man, made in His image to partner with him and rule over the earth. He gave mankind dominion. Satan deceived the first family; sin and death ruled thereafter. The scriptures decree how that nothing less than divine intervention, the Lamb of God, could redeem man from his fallen state. Thus, the incarnation, the life, ministry and sacrificial death of Jesus was mandated. He gloriously resurrected, ascended into heaven, sent back his Holy Spirit, founded His church, saved the obedient, empowered them, and will finally return and take them to that Holy City, carefully crafted and prepared for His beloved who believe and obey.

Sadly, the narrative does not end there. There are millions upon millions who do not “believe and obey,” either because they do not know or chose to willfully disobey. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (II Corinthians 4:3). For this reason our Lord has commanded us, not suggested, but commanded, that we be his witnesses. He has chosen that declaring this Gospel to every creature is the only hope to save the lost. Notice, the unconverted are called “lost,” not unfortunate, not disadvantaged, but, “lost.” Make no mistake about this, the political correct ministry of the end-time may call transgression against God’s word, only a “mistake,” it is still sin; and, “… the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

“Someone asked ‘Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved?’ It is more a question with me whether we, who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not heard, can we be saved.” - Charles Spurgeon

For those who have fallen into the error of easy grace, who accuse zealous revivalists of being too judgmental of the world’s lifestyle and values; to say that those who are desperate to warn the lost of their future without God, is like accusing the passerby who notices a house on fire and screams for the inhabitants therein to awaken and save themselves, of disturbing their good nights sleep and sweet dreams.

“Many pastors criticize me for taking the Gospel so seriously. But, do they really think that on Judgment Day, Christ will chastise me, saying, ‘Leonard, you took me too seriously’?” - Leonard Ravenhill

Even more sadly, there are those who having heard the truth, reject it outright, some even become bitter enemies of the Gospel. There are others who embrace the Gospel, and then unwittingly become enemies working from within. It is the latter who are more in danger of becoming the “abominable” than any other. In my 45 years of ministry I have seen the atheist, homosexual, adulterer, murderer, thief, liar, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, witch, satanist, come to salvation. There is one category that never makes it. There is a sin that goes too far, and finally, God calls them the “abominable.” Those who have become an “abomination.”

In 1985, my passport had expired, I had no plans for international travel, I was comfortable. Subsequent to a personal consecration, the Lord spoke to me, saying that He would send me throughout America and around the world, and everywhere that I went, I was to tell the people; “…pray until you pray through, and to revive the fear of the Lord!” Playing church is dangerous. Prayerless, powerless people who play church always result in discord!

It is very evident that God detests the enemy that works from within. Note, as much as He despises adultery, murder, thievery, homosexuality, He never said He would vomit them out of His mouth. That violent reaction is reserved for the luke-warm, “So then because thou art luke-warm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16). For someone who knows better, and to be indifferent, is so vile and traitorous that it sickens the Great Physician; thus, they are spewed out of His mouth. To know the truth and to not share it; to have knowledge of the end-time, and ignore it, to not take seriously the commands of the Lord to be His witnesses, and to be fruitful, is enough to make God vomit. For someone within the brotherhood of the body of Christ, to be so divisive, to disrupt spiritual progress, to confuse the flock, to hinder the mission of Christ’s church, to distract the man of God, and give room to the devil is, an “abomination.”

The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, wrote: “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him…he that soweth discord among the brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

How vile is the discord sower? According to the Word of God, it compares to the sin, described by the law-giver Moses, who said not once, but twice: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). “If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…” (Leviticus 22:13).

Judges 19:23-24, records the reaction of a godly old man who rather than give up his male guest to a homosexual mob, offered his daughter instead. Why would any man who loved his daughter give here over to rape? It is hard to imagine the mental anguish he suffered. The only explanation is, that he, knowing how a Holy God considered homosexuality an abomination, could under no circumstances let such a thing happen under his roof. The old man said, “do not this folly…so vile a thing.”

Just how vile is the discord sower? The Apostle Paul was very poignant in his comparison when writing to the Romans. The parallels are striking.

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet” (Romans 1:26-27).

This present generation has witnessed the meteoric rise of homosexuality, even the unseemly union of women marrying women, and men marrying men, with an accompanying explosion of AIDS/HIV, worldwide, millions upon millions have perished, and the plague continues! Can anybody connect the dots? It was prophesied to come to pass, “receiving in themselves that recompence of their error.” Be sure that God will judge the “abominable.”

It cannot be any more plain how God despises sexual perversion, and it cannot be any more plain that He places discord in the same category. Just follow the narrative in Romans the first chapter, how that perversion and discord go hand in hand, and are both equally despicable.

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:28-32).

The Christian says, “I would never do those things, but, they take pleasure in spending hours upon hours, week after week, watching those who do, on TV, in the theater, or sitting at home reading a book. On the same level are those who tolerate the discord sower and the scornful because they are relatives or friends. One might say, “I would never do such a thing,” but, their tolerance enables the strife carrier, and gives them a vote of confidence.

There are multiplicities of Christians who decry the sin of homosexuality from their pulpits and personal ministries. There is no shortage of Christian activists who protest homosexual marriage, who boycott sponsors who promote the gay lifestyle; who at the same time are themselves involved in behavior that is described by the same word, “abomination.” Let me plain about it; carnal, unclean and immoral sexual activity between members of the same sex, is no more nasty in the eyes of God than the one who creates “discord and division:” covetousness, maliciousness, envy, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, back-biters, despiteful, inventors of evil things, implacable, and unmerciful; how can these be excused in God’s church, the body of Christ, “…purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

How can anyone not see that carnal immorality and discord are like Siamese twins connected at the heart? Abomination should be marked and avoided like the plague. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).

Why such drastic measures to mark and avoid them? Please note the following points.

First: Discord destroys the unity of the church, it is a cancer to the body of Christ, it rots the apple of His eye. The church has stood for centuries against every force the devil has thrown against it. Jesus promised Peter that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the church. The first church in Acts did exploits, signs and wonders, because they were in one mind and one accord. The first problem in the church was Ananias and Sapphira lying to the man of God, Apostle Peter, which he equated to lying to the Holy Ghost. Classic church discord always involves a lie somewhere! The Lord made an example of this disruptive couple and each in their own time were struck dead on the spot! If indeed, the book of Acts is our pattern for God’s church, Ananias and Sapphira must be remembered!

Note the emphasis that the word of God places upon unity. On that historic day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost fell upon those who diligently sought the promise of God; verse 46, chapter 2, cannot be under estimated. “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.”

The Old Testament prophet Amos asked, “Can two walk together, except they agree?” (Amos 3:3) The wisdom of Solomon declared, “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease” (Proverbs 22:10). Our Lord Jesus taught, “…if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done…” (Matthew 18:19). The brother of Jesus declared, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16). Paul, the most prolific writer in the New Testament wrote, “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (I Corinthians 14:33). David, the man after God’s own heart, said, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Psalms 1:1).

“Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…” (I Samuel 15:23). Is it possible that a witch covens exist in our assemblies? According to the Bible, if we tolerate rebellion amongst us, it is as witchcraft. Stubbornness is a hallmark of discord, and equals the fatal twin sins of iniquity and idolatry! And we wonder why revival tarries, after we have proclaimed the truth, fasted and prayed? The cursed thing must be removed! As sure as the wedges of gold that Achan hid away invited the disfavor of God and hindered the people, discord is an enemy of revival.

“Your doctrine can be as straight as a gun barrel, and just as empty.” - Leonard Ravenhill

Second: Discord brings down the morale of the church. God inhabits the praise of His people. Worship is vertical, one on one with God. I can worship God by myself anywhere, anytime. Praise is horizontal, I need others to praise with me, it is corporate, it is the body of Christ in unison; it is a dress rehearsal, preparing us to fit into our rightful places in His body. We enter to praise and leave to serve.

Anyone who has been around church long, knows about depressed services; when in spite of the praise leader’s best efforts to take us to the throne of God, nothing works, heaviness prevails; when that happens you can be sure, somebody has been talking, conspiring; feelings are hurt, suspicions aroused. How can we focus on God in an atmosphere like that? How can the preacher deliver the Word of God, when the Holy Spirit is grieved? The Holy Ghost does not move freely when bad attitudes thrive among the people of God.

I have preached with communist agents in the audience; with angry Muslims and Hindus glaring at me. During my first visit to the Philippines in 1985, I was stoned at the conclusion of one of my first messages. None of these things hindered the anointing nor fruitful results. I can speak of first hand experience, it is nearly impossible to minister when discord and division prevail in the church. Stephen preached a masterpiece, all the while unbelievers were ready to gnash upon him with their teeth, and stone him to death. Discord among the believers is another subject; it binds the service. The Apostle Paul warned in his long list of instructions to the church at Thessalonica, “Quench not the Spirit” (I Thessalonians 5:19). Evidently it is possible to quench the Spirit, or else Paul would never have given the warning.

Third: Discord, irreparably damages the new convert, the babes in Christ, the young in the Lord. It hardens the hearts of the children of the church by the bad example it sets. Our Lord Jesus said, “It were better for him that a millstone be hanged about his neck, and he be cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke 17:2). It is strange how a church will go to great lengths to reach the unsaved, to develop programs to win young people, and then ruin them after they are converted. The new convert is like clay, ready to be molded into a vessel of glory or shame. New converts must be mentored to be prayer warriors, witnesses, faithful to God, servants in all things spiritual. How often some disgruntled and bitter so-called saint, who should know better, takes them under their wing and shares their doubts, suspicions, and cynicisms, thus creating clones of themselves, and perpetuating faith-killing skepticism in the church. Discord becomes a generational curse coursing down through the church year after year, like an open sewer, spilling into a once pure stream, all the while people wonder, “what happened to the good old days, where has revival gone?”

Fourth: Discord kills the ministry. One may protest, does it really cause the preacher to stop breathing and die physically? Yes, sometimes, but not always; but it does kill the influence of the ministry. It takes valuable time to constantly put out the little fires; the scripture declares that the “little foxes spoil the vine.” Ultimately, discord targets leadership and their families. More often than not, the wounds never heal! Discord distracts from prayer time, soul winning efforts, study time, sermon preparation. If the shepherd is smitten, “…the sheep of the flock shall be scattered” (Matthew 26:31).

In my 45 years of ministry, I have had the privilege of preaching this Gospel across the USA and around the world. During this time I have met the finest people on earth, men and women who minister the Word of God, who serve His Church. Without exception everyone of them will tell you that their greatest trials have come from within. The prophet Zecharaiah foretold the ministry and suffering of Jesus; “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends” (Zechariah 13:6).

Little wonder David was called a man after God’s own heart; he so respected authority and divine order, that he would not touch backslidden Saul for fear of offending the Lord. He never doubted the admonition of God, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm” (I Chronicles 16:22).

Paul taught that God placed in the church the “five-fold ministry” for the perfecting of the saints unto ministry. Discord, invariably gets around to attacking leadership. How can God appointed leadership perfect, train and equip the laity to fulfill their destiny in the midst of discord, distrust, and debate? How can someone be right with God and out of sorts with divine authority? Paul taught that our Lord placed “governments” in the church. “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues” (I Corinthians 12:28). Godly church government, order, and submission to the same is as much a part of the overall plan of God for His church as prayer, healings, and the rest of our doctrinal heritage.

Again and again the author of Hebrews emphasized divine order. “Remember them which have the rule over you…” ( Hebrews 13:7). “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17). “Salute all them that have the rule over you…” (Hebrews 13:24). Discord invalidates these plainly stated biblical instructions.

I have often wondered how Esau, Saul, Judas, and others who became hopelessly lost, reached the point where God gave up on them? What bridges did they burn, how many stoplights did they run through, to get to the point, where God’s Spirit departed from them, and they found it impossible to get back to Him? What was their roadmap to “abomination?” Each defied divine order and authority. Their actions brought turmoil to the plan of God. Left to their own devices, each played into the scheme of the devil to spoil God’s redemptive plan for mankind.

Today, there is no plan B. The church built upon the rock, Christ Jesus, and given the keys to open sin’s prison door, is the only plan upon earth for lost souls to be set free and be saved. For anyone, inside or outside the church, to participate in Satan’s program to disrupt the the sowing, cultivating and harvesting of eternal souls is an abomination! In the governments of this world, it is called “high-treason.”

II Chronicles 7:14, is one of the most challenging verses in the Bible; “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” What is more wicked that knowing to do good and not doing it; to continue to be luke-warm when God says it makes him sick; to be a part of, or tolerate discord when our Lord calls it an abomination?

Those who observed the first church from the outside were impressed how much they loved one another; “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (I John 3:16). Note how closely fundamental doctrine and love for the brethren, not discord, are linked together.

How many noble soul-winning programs, well intended and designed to promote the Gospel worldwide, have been thwarted by political infighting within Apostolic organizations? How many churches have been split, ministries destroyed, homes broken, souls lost, because of discord within the local assemblies? The people of God should purpose; ministry and laity alike, to never again draw their verbal swords against one another, but, to reserve their battle-readiness against the gates of hell.

With our eyes fully focused upon Bible prophecy, expecting the fulfillment of end-time scriptures, we must reach our destiny to be fruitful, and usher in revival. This is impossible when discord and division prevail. Every minister of the Gospel and every church member who to this point have striven with others to win their points and have their own way at all costs, must repent, love each other and seek common ground. There is a cause greater than our having our own way. His ways are above our ways. James said; “Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

Let me conclude by borrowing a worn, yet so accurate cliché. Revival is “not rocket science,” it is simply a matter of doing the right thing. It is right to be in “one mind and one accord.” It is right to do it God’s way. Church growth is like planting a garden, knowing that the laws of nature will cause it to be fruitful. Under the simple laws of nature when the ground is broken, the seed is sown, the seed is watered, the garden tended to, the sun shines upon it, and harvest follows. Such is the Kingdom God; the seed planted in good ground will produce fruit. Discord, strife and division at any point along the way, is as destructive as drought, insects, and storms are to a garden.

“And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9).

Bishop Samuel Smith

 
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