The term nominal means in name only or far below the actual worth. This term is consistently applied to much of the professing church by those who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. This is because so much of what passes for Christianity is actually a false religious facsimile built upon the rotten tottering foundation of man’s wicked thoughts and impulses, worthless words and godless empty traditions. This perversion of the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints is spread far and wide throughout the globe.
One motivating factor for this nominal abomination is self-love. In 2 Timothy 3:1-9 we are warned about the conditions of this false religion that predominates in the last days. The very first wicked trait in the long list of wicked behavior is self-love. Here is that passage from God’s holy, inspired, infallible, inerrant preserved Word.
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. 2 Timothy 3:1-9
Beloved, there are so many within the visible church who possess these evil attributes, being reprobate as concerns the faith. Notice that love of pleasure supersedes love of God. This is a great and evil wickedness. These churchy individuals are living by the anthem that Paul declared as a life principle if the resurrection of Jesus Christ did not take place and believers are not resurrected.
16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, you faith is futile; you are still in your sins!…32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought beasts at Ephesus, what advantage it is to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” 33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 1 Corinthians 15:16-17 and 32-34
Belief in the resurrection proves knowledge of God because the resurrection of Jesus Christ after He died for our sins, bringing about our eternal and complete justification, is the mainstay of the gospel as declared by the Holy Spirit through Paul in this same chapter of 1 Corinthians.
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you , which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain, but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Those who put pleasure before God do so by the flesh; this is a tactic denial of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of His beloved children. They have a form of godliness but deny its power, the power of the resurrection in the life of the believer through the indwelling of Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, in the heart of the believer through the Holy Spirit who is given to us when we believe. As those who are the specially chosen and loved ones of God, He calls us to live life knowing that we are partakers of Christ’s resurrection and so citizens of heaven. Therefore we can endure any discomfort, privation or persecution that comes from being His children who are thus necessarily the enemies of a godless world system ruled over by the devil, even while being sinners’ friends for their salvation. We lose nothing and gain everything through believing in and following Jesus Christ, our glorious Lord and Savior.
8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead… 17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Philippians 3:8-11 and 17-21
The charade of the “evangelical church” has reached a new low given that there are those who are advocating for a monthly service. In other words, have the “church” meet together just once a month. I read about this aberration on a WordPress blog, Holy Soup, and was somewhat mystified that the author reporting about this proposed experiment didn’t have a problem with it, he thought it a good idea much the same way that Christianity Today reports on all the anti-biblical trends within the visible church without exposing their falsity or giving biblical warning. Then it was equally surprising to me that so many were willing to try this new trend in church attendance based upon their comments, without giving careful consideration to what God’s Word, the Bible has to say about assembling ourselves together.
The man who is proposing monthly services is Jim Henderson from the city of Seattle. When I looked at his blog, it appeared he didn’t have a good grasp on the error that is rushing in to fill the vacuum left by removal of the Word of God from the public religious conscious. This is a quote taken from a post on his blog:
“Silence before God is admirable. Spiritual masters and mystics have turned it into an art form. Books that encourage silence such as Practicing the Presence of God have inspired millions of lives.”
Here Mr. Henderson proves he shouldn’t be taken seriously since he ascribes inspiration to deadly deception written by a Catholic monk. Also, based upon his comments in the post about monthly church attendance on Holy Soup, he never examines the Bible to see if his experiment is a godly one. He drops God’s given title for shepherds, pastors, in favor of a man made term, hosts. My brothers and sisters through faith in Jesus Christ, this sort of nonsense is only going to get worse and worse as we see the Day approaching. We must be ever vigilant about what we read and who we follow. There are many who write blogs who are not careful to follow the Scriptures when writing about Jesus Christ and His church. We must be Bereans and make sure the author and post are anchored in the Word of God so that we don’t get tossed about on the roaring waves of deception and shipwrecked on the shoals of apostasy. As God’s called out ones, called to meet together, let us purpose to meet together with other faithful believers in Jesus Christ as often as possible to worship our Great God and Savior, be encouraged by the truth from the Bible, and love and serve one another. Amen!
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25
13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13
12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.” Matthew 15:12-14
Lord Jesus Christ may we be willing to follow You no matter the cost. May we live by Your Word alone, since man does not live by bread alone but by every Word which proceeds from the mouth of God. May we have and keep a God given hunger for knowing, loving and following You, and feasting upon Your holy truth, the Bible. May we turn away from the empty offerings that come from fallen man. May we meet together for Your praise and glory, and our mutual edification. Amen!