Why Modern Churches Are Carnal
God's Plan For A Scriptural New Testament Church
By J. B. Sparks
Table of Contents
What is the Church?
Traditions in the Church
Names & Titles
Position of the Modern Day Pastor
Church Membership in Today's Churches
Is Tithing for Today?
I have written this book for Christians who wish to know the truth from God's Word concerning His church during the last days. (If you are not a Christian, this book is not meant for you.) God has put on my heart to share with other Christians what His Word says about the church in the last days. He does have a plan for it and I will show it to you from His Word the best I know how. I have tried to be as honest as I can. I have no personal gain from writing this, but rather anticipate being persecuted over it.
If you are saved, then you have the Spirit of Truth abiding in you and He will, according to Jesus, lead you into all truth. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth". John 16:13) Not may guide or might guide, but He will guide you into all truth. Now, this doesn't mean that you will obey the truth. It only means that if you are saved, you will know the truth when it is revealed to you. All I can do is show you from God's Word the truth, and what you do with it, is between you and Him. You may not like it, you may get upset, or you may refuse to submit to the truth, but you will know that it is truth, if you are saved. Why? Because truth is from the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit will bear witness with your spirit that it is truth. I have attempted to omit my feelings and thoughts, thus being as subjective as possible. Whenever one is studying the truth, he must be careful to always use clear verses to build concepts upon. Always use the "verily, verily" verses over the "if" verses. Always use the clear verses over the obscure ones. I have also tried to use everything within the context that it was written in. Lastly, we should make our lives and thinking fit the Word of God rather than making the Word of God fit our lives and our way of thinking. The biggest problem we usually have, is not that we don't understand the Word, but that we don't want to submit to what it says. We try to find ways to get around it, explain it away, or change it's meaning. But, heh, you can't change the truth. Just because you don't like it, or because nobody else believes it that way that does not change what God has said. In this booklet I have attempted to show you what God has said. If God said it, then we ought to believe it just like He said it and then do it. You may find it very unpopular and maybe even offensive, but so was it with Jesus in His day. Most people disagreed and were offended by what He said, but surely, a saved person should not be that way. "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them". Ps. 119:165. If you are saved, then you should love His law (Word), and nothing (in His Word) shall offend you. Now, if you find yourself getting offended, then ask yourself why you are getting offended. "afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended" . Mark 4:17. Why does the Word of God offend you? If you're saved, it shouldn't. Is it because it might cause you some persecution or loss? Or, are you willing to believe His Word no matter what the price?
Everyone knows that today, churches are not what they should be. This comes as no great surprise when we realize that the Bible said it would be this way before the end times. It says that in the last days there would be a great falling away. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first "; 2 Thes 2:3. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come". 2 Tim 3:1. " For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables". 2 Tim 4:3-4. So, before the rapture there will be a great falling away. Falling away from what? From the Truth. From the Word of God. You can see it if you only look around. There seems to be very few churches today that follow the Word of God. Most do their own thing or have entered false doctrine, which forfeits their right to even be considered a Christian church. When major truths, such as repentance and salvation, are forsaken, then these churches become filled with lost members. But, even the true churches today have forsaken the truth to some degree and have been filled with carnal members.
In this paper, I will attempt to explain why today's churches are carnal in the last days according to the Word of God. Furthermore, I also want to point out from Scripture, that God does have a design for a New Testament church, and it applies for our day. If I show you that many of the things about a modern day church are traditional and based on the commandments of men, and that God does have guidelines on how a church should be, would you believe it? If I showed you from Scripture how a New Testament Church ought to be, would you believe God and the Scriptures, or would you say, (1)" Well, that's the way it's always been done down through history, and (2) everybody today does it that way?" Or, you might even say, (3)"Well, I will agree that that was the way the early church was, but today in our modern times, churches have to be different." Then what you are really saying is that God gave guidelines for the early church, but He didn't understand then how things were going to be different today in modern times. But, God does not change. He is the same in the past, today, and will be the same in the future concerning any specific topic. I believe that if He said in His word that churches ought to run a certain way during that time, then they ought to follow the same guidelines today. Has God changed His mind and given us new orders? No, His Word has not changed. Men are the ones who change.
Churches today have more money, resources, programs, and trained people than ever before, but do they have God? Is God moving in the churches today? Are churches having an impact on society today? No. Why? Because they do not follow the Word of God. That is why most churches are carnal today. You say it is because of sin. That's is true, but sinful living is the result of not following God's Word. By the way, when I speak of churches in this study I am not referring to everything out there that has "church" in its name. I am excluding all those that preach a false Christ and false doctrines of salvation.
When I speak of churches, I am speaking of those that assemble themselves together according to the correct doctrine of salvation, by faith through grace, and not of works. But, if you take a good look, you will see that the true churches have been influenced by the false churches. Thus, the true churches are still churches, but they are carnal churches. Why? Because as Israel was always getting into trouble being influenced by the heathen around them, the true churches are being influenced by the wrong ways of the false churches. We are more interested in following man than we are God. We like the honor of man more than the honor of God. But, Jesus said, "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that [cometh] from God only ? John 5:44. How do you get God's honor? Do what He says in His Word. Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to believe whatever God says? Will you believe even if you are the only one? Well, let's see.
Please ask God to help you.
Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths . Lead me in thy truth, and teach me. Ps 25:4-5.
Teach me thy way, O LORD , and lead me in a plain path, Ps 27:11.
Teach me thy way, O LORD ; I will walk in thy truth...Ps 86:11.
Teach me , O LORD , the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it [unto] the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with [my] whole heart. Ps 119:33-34.
Please Note: In this book it may appear that I am picking on a certain denomination, such as the Baptist, but I use them only as an example because having been a member of the Baptist denomination for 27 years, I am more familiar with them than the others. So, my statements are not to be applied only to the Baptist denomination, but to all denominations in general. Furthermore, my opposition is not against the Baptist people or the people of any denomination, but the denominational system itself. (Haven't you heard it said, "we are to love the sinner, but hate the sin?" Well, same analogy here. I love the folks in the denominational system, but hate the system itself, because I believe it to be unscriptural). So, please, do not misunderstand me.
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