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(PLAYING CHURCH) SCRIPTURE - MATT. 15:8                                                      MAY, 1996

THIS PEOPLE DRAW NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOUR ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME.

SUBJECT - PLAYING CHURCH !!!

Praise the Lord!!! Glory to God!!! Thank you Jesus!!!. Hallelujah!!! Bless His Holy Name!!! God is Great, and Greatly to be praised!!!

What do all of the above have in common?? If you have guessed that they are all things, that Christians say, you would be absolutely right. However, Christians, are not the only ones that use these phrases. These phrases, are also used by a group of people, that are like some twenty, or larger dollar bills. They are counterfeit. That's right, counterfeit. To the untrained eye, they look genuine. At a glance, they have all of the correct markings. Yet, if you put them under close scrutiny, and you know what to look for, their flaws, are quite evident. Many would say,' then you are talking about hypocrites.' Then I would say, 'no I'm not. For a hypocrite, as far as God is concerned, is a person, that preaches, or claims to believe something, then goes against what he has said.' The people I'm referring to here, don't fit in to that category at all. You see, they don't believe much of anything about God, they just want to make you think that they do. To them, this is nothing but a game. They are, PLAYING CHURCH.

To explain myself further, let me give you some examples. There are people in churches today, that claim to love Jesus. They go to church every Sunday. Some of them even stay all day long. They sing in the choir. They are on the deacon board. They may even be ministers. It is not unusual to have a pastor, that is like them. Anyway, they enjoy hearing about all of the good things that the Lord has in store for them. As mentioned earlier, that is when they really let loose, praising the Lord, running down the aisles, and such. They can really get it on. But, when you start talking about the prerequisites that God says they must follow, i.e. repenting of sin, living a holy and righteous life, and all of the other things that Jesus said you must do, in order to partake in those blessings, then you see a totally different reaction. They don't shout as loud. They seem to start missing church a lot. They begin to murmur and complain about how the preacher needs to get with the 90's. Next thing you know, they are looking for a new church. Why? It is because, as long as the preacher was saying things, that made them feel good, they were there all the time. But, those of you that know the Lord, know that sometimes, we get into situations, or mindsets, that we feel are perfectly acceptable, and God, in all His love and mercy, has to do something to get us back on the right track, lest we continue and perish. So, we accept the chastening that He sends [JOB 5:17-19,PROV. 3:11-12,HEB. 12:5-8]. But, those that are playing games, are what as known as bastards [HEB. 12:8]. And how does God chasten us? Through the preaching of His Word. And that is where the players, can be discovered.

If you will read the passage of scripture, that appears on the letterhead of this tract, from which, the name of this ministry, was taken, you will see that the Word of God, is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. In other words, if you want to know if a person is as loving of God as they say, use the Word on them, and see how they react. We have people that go to church on Sunday, and live like hell, the rest of the week. They gamble. They drink liquor. They are involved in adultery and fornication. You have some that are gay. You have others that follow psychics and astrologers. Others are full of self pride. Still others are in to racial separation, and discrimination. Witchcraft, idolatry, rock music, rap, pornography and such. All of which, God says are

sin, and will lead you to destruction. But, those that play church, see it as judging them, and they don't like it. So they will leave that church, and find one that plays the same games they do.

These churches are not all that hard to find. All you have to do, is look for a church, that is the most popular in the community, and you have found one. Why do I say this??? It is because, the truth of God's Word, is never popular. The truth of God's Word, cuts down to the innermost parts of our being, like a twoedged sword [HEB. 4:12], and most people don't like it. Therefore, they seek a church, that sugar coats God's Word, and overlooks sin. When is the last time your pastor, has addressed any of the things I named above, as sin??? If you can't remember, then you are playing church, or you are in a church, that is playing games. You see, as a minister, called by God, I have to follow what God tells me, and not what is popular to man. God says, 'PREACH THE WORD; BE INSTANT IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WITH ALL LONG SUFFERING AND DOCTRINE [2 TIM. 4:2-5]. If you will read verses [3-4], you will see what those that are playing church have been caught up in.

When talking to other preachers, I tell them, the same thing I was told, and that is, 'if you are preaching the Word of God, as it was meant to be preached, and everybody likes it, you better check yourself and see what is wrong.' There is no way that anybody, that is a sinner, can sit up in a church, and feel comfortable in their sins, when the truth of the Word is being preached. The main thing that sinners need to do, is repent of their sins. And, people are not going to do that, when they are comfortable with what they are doing. One example of people playing church, is found in [1 COR. 5:1-13]. Here is a church, that had a man in it, that was involved sexually with his step-mother, something that the heathens didn't do [vs.1]. And the church knew about it, and even boasted about it [vs. 2]. The apostle Paul, told them, to, what in effect was, cast him out of the church (excommunicate), if you will, so that he might be destroyed physically, before his soul was lost [vs. 5]. And you see, there was also the danger, that if this was allowed to continue, then others in the church, would get involved in other sins, and everybody would be lost (go to hell) [vss. 6-8]. Am I saying you need to physically throw people out of the church, that are sinners? No. If that was the case, then how would anyone get saved? The church is the hospital, if you will, where those that are sick with sin, come to get delivered. However, when the truth is preached, anyone in the congregation, who is there with the wrong motives, will be placed under so heavy a conviction, that they will either repent, or leave. That is what church is supposed to be about. But, that is not what is happening today, in most churches. We have preachers, some of them gay, performing same sex marriages, and giving these people, the idea that God backs this action. Let me tell you up front, THAT IS A LIE FROM THE PIT OF HELL. And these preachers, are in far more a damnable situation, than those that they are leading to believe it is all right. Any preacher, that is doing that, needs to get out of the pulpit, and get in the congregation, and let a true man of God, take over.

It is time that those of you, that are playing church, realize, that Jesus is return-ing soon. And when He comes, He will remove His Church, from the earth, and those of you that are left, won't think about playing games. You will be wishing that you had taken advantage of the truth, while you had the chance. It's not too late to get right. All you have to do, is ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, and to be Lord of your life. A simple prayer from the heart, is all it takes. Say, 'JESUS, I AM SORRY FOR MY SINS. I REALIZE THAT I AM A SINNER, AND I ASK YOU TO COME IN TO MY LIFE, AND SAVE ME. I BELIEVE THAT YOU DIED ON THE CROSS FOR MY SINS, AND THAT GOD RAISED YOU FROM THE DEAD. WITH MY MOUTH, I CONFESS YOU AS LORD OF MY LIFE, FROM THIS DAY FORWARD. HELP ME TO LIVE THE TYPE OF LIFE THAT YOU WANT ME TO LIVE. AMEN.' With that simple prayer, you are now saved. Now begin to study the Bible, and learn just what God says about what Christians should, and should not be doing. One thing you should do, is get water baptized, 'in Jesus' name', and seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But, as of right now, you are saved.

NOTE: NO MORE MESSAGES, UNTIL WE COME BACK IN AUGUST. SEE YOU THEN, IF THE LORD WILL'S
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