Monday, March 5, 2012

THE CHURCH OF FORGIVENESS ONLY

Isaiah 4 opens with a concise and tragic description of what I call “the church of forgiveness only.”

“And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach” (Isaiah 4:1).

I believe we are living in the last days and this chapter in Isaiah is one of the clearest prophecies about how the church will look just prior to the coming of the Lord.

The seven would-be brides Isaiah mentions are clearly a type of many in the last-days church. They are seeking to lay hold of one man, whom I take to be Christ. Yet these brides are not interested in loving Him. On the contrary, they have only one thing on their minds—the removal of reproach! “We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach” (verse 1).

The number seven is used in regard to these brides to remind us that in every church there are such people. They attempt to “take hold of one man”—Christ—only to get relief from the guilt and condemnation of their sin. They do not want intimacy with Him. They want nothing more than forgiveness, to have the reproach of sin removed. I call this “the church of forgiveness only.”

These self-centered, would-be brides have no desire to submit to the authority of a husband. They do not want to know His heart and they do not care about His concerns.

Out of intimacy with Jesus we receive discernment, direction, a knowing of what is right and wrong—and what is holy and pure. Intimacy with Christ gives us a firmness wherein we are not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. Stay close to Him so that you will have discernment about the foolishness going on around us.