Wilderness Christians: LET’S PLAY CHURCH 1 (Part 7)
Numbers 16:1-7 – “Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the sons of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: and they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown. And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing ALL THE CONGREGATION ARE HOLY, EVERY ONE OF THEM, AND THE LORD IS AMONG THEM: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord? And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face. And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even tomorrow the Lord will show who are His, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto Him: even him whom he hath chosen will be cause to come near unto him. This do; Take ye censers, Korah, and all his company; and put fire therein, and put incense in them before the Lord tomorrow: and it shall be that the man whom the Lord doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi”.
Life in the wilderness becomes very tedious. The carnal Christian often must provide his own self-effort excitement to this soap opera. Yes, the wilderness church is definitely a soap opera. The sins of the flesh are so very obvious – the sins most common and most unique among wilderness Christians. I see these sins so often: gossip, slander, and coveting. I personally experienced them so often in the wilderness.
The wilderness church has more members with the occupation of busybodies than any other occupation. I was quite an experienced busybody while living in the wilderness. Believers would ask for prayer; then I would go to other believers to tell them to pray for these needs also. However, I gossiped about the request. It usually went something like this. “Please pray for Bill. You would not believe the trial he is going through.” Then I would explain, to the exact detail, what the person was going through.
This is gossip. I was a wilderness Christian; and like a wilderness Christian I was extremely bored. So I became a busybody, a very big one. It even sounded so well with one of my names – Bob Bennett the Busybody or Bob Bennett the Blabbermouth. I had betrayed the trust and confidence of my friend. Prayer requests are to remain confidential; they are not to be spread. Details of the request are not even necessary to know. I only needed to say (and should have said) – “Please pray for my friend”. O how dangerous the tongue is!
The second most frequent occupation of a wilderness Christian would probably be a slanderer. When I lived in the wilderness, I constantly slandered other Christians and non-Christians. To summarize, I probably introduced myself like this – “Hi, my name is Bob. I am a member of the Christian Fellowship Church of the Wilderness; and I am a slanderer.” This is basically what I did. I am sure you can easily identify. Are you aware that the only part of our body that basically never tires or ages is the tongue?
How about the sin of coveting? You rarely, if ever, hear about this sin. Many Christians do not even know what the word means. Coveting is basically a desire to possess someone/something that is not rightfully yours. Coveting goes directly to the heart. No wonder it is rarely spoken about; it penetrates the heart and ONLY the Word of God through the Holy Spirit can reveal it. Yes, the Living Word is a double-edged sword. You believe you are the only person aware of your covetousness. However, thank God that our Lord only looks at the motives of the heart. Thank God for His law to show us our true nature without Him.
In the last four years, I have heard only one or two messages on coveting from the pulpit, radio, or television. In Romans 7, Paul amplifies so well the law of God revealing His covetous heart. It is beneficial to read Romans 7 again when you place this book down; the Holy Spirit will reveal its full impact for you. Wilderness Christians are definitely experts at coveting. The flesh certainly does not want its true heart nature revealed.
Recall the accuracy of the words of the Lord through Paul. Romans 8:5-8 – “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you”.
With this background information and lifestyle of the wilderness church, we are now ready for primetime. Yes, the soap opera telecast of the wilderness church is now being played in primetime so the unbelieving world can see the hypocrisy and foolishness. The slanderers, busybodies, and experts on coveting have written the plot “LET’S PLAY CHURCH.”
– to be continued….