W R Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
At ease in Zion is bringing many nations under the influence of the ungodly with little being offered towards opposing the enormity of the problem. There is a gigantic reach forward with tentacles of success towards acceptance of what was previously unacceptable; with ungodly agenda overriding that which was once considered norm.
Scripture reveals: Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief (notable persons) of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came (Amos 6:1). It was noted that they trusted in uncertain riches, consuming them with lust, thoughtless about their future state, never having gained any sight of sin, or sense of danger.
The city of Samaria, built on a mountain, a strong fortified city, thought themselves to be safe; confident in their own strength, wealth, and might. We are living in a time that those who are at ease in Zion have no concern towards the overflowing rush of ungodliness that is sweeping many lands; taking the very breath of righteousness and holiness away from the church, indulging in worldliness with all its attributes and allurements.
Those who are at ease in Zion become satisfied with sensual pleasures, storing up the treasures of this world, being at ease towards the future, becoming complacent, with little regard towards opposing the onrush of ungodly activity.
It was noted that we are living in a very permissive day when the religious world is so tolerant to most any and all kinds of standards and lifestyles. This permissiveness and tolerance is the result of a self-willed and carnal minded society.
As a result of such tolerance and permissiveness, there are many churches, and even dominations, which have altered their teachings, their standards, and even their interpretations of the Scriptures to please, to comply with, and accommodate this permissive and tolerant society. Very few people this day hold to their heart's convictions. They change to blend in with their environment.
Those words have become even more meaningful today; as we see many at ease in Zion, blinded by the onrush of ungodly activity that is consuming many lands.
It was noted that if God were to take the Holy Ghost (that of His Spirit) away from the church today, 95 percent of what we are doing would continue and no one would know the difference. If God had taken away the Holy Ghost from the early church, 95 percent of what they were doing would have ceased and everybody would have known the difference.
The church, in many cases, is tempted to pursue social status rather than sanctification (that of being set apart); financial security rather than sacrifice, prestige rather than the presence of God, and respectability rather than the moving of God's Spirit.
Sometime prior to his death, General Booth of the Salvation Army, uttered this significant prophecy: I consider that the chief dangers that confront the coming century will be Religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without God; Forgiveness without regeneration; Morality without God; and Heaven without Hell.
This is happening as we see an influx of contentment rather than concern; with many becoming at ease in Zion, desensitized towards what is happening. It is as a cancer that is not detected until it has overcome the health of an individual.
There is a new generation of believers, and leadership in many instances, that see no need for walking away from the cultural drift of the church; but rather embrace what is perceived as beneficial to the church; through adopting the ways of the world.
It was noted that the prophet Jeremiah enraged the people; he challenged their social and moral behavior. He held his ground and was not afraid to give unpopular criticism. Has the church become of such a nature that there are no more Jeremiah's sounding the alarm?
Is the traditional church slowing dying out as modernized churches offer secular entertainment, words that tickle the ear rather than telling people what they need to hear; to awaken them from being at ease in Zion? A motivational speaker will never replace a Spirit-filled man of God proclaiming God's Unadulterated (Pure) Word!
Scripture reveals: Moses said to the children (sons) of Gad and to the children (sons) of Reuben, shall your brethren go to war, and shall you set here (Numbers 32:6)? It was noted it was not reasonable that while their brethren (other tribes of Israel) engaged in a war with its enemies, that those of Gad and Reuben, remain at ease.
One cannot be at ease in Zion, in their own little patch of the world, with little concern for others that are in conflict elsewhere; in need of physical or spiritual support. Moses was pointing out the need of unity of all the tribes of Israel, in whatever situation they found themselves in; as the Church needs to be concerned about the state of the Church worldwide.
Being at ease in Zion has brought about sweeping changes that are not for the better. Scripture reveals: Seeing you know these things before (beforehand), beware, lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:17-18).
An anonymous quote: Do not take a fence down before you know the reason why it was put up? Many today are attempting to tear down the fence of the righteousness of God; towards acceptance of ungodly ways, without first seeing why the need for such was placed there in the first place. There is an inroad towards acceptance of worldly guidelines that is not of God; but of man, with tolerance becoming the norm of the day!
It was noted that things which once would have shocked Christians are now commonplace. There is much that does not disturb the church like it once did. Many Christians have been lulled into believing that all is well. There may be small victories, a revival here, a church doing a good work, but where is the moral outrage necessary to petition God for a new reformation or another great awakening?
Those words should awaken those at ease in Zion; as those in the day of Moses, when he called for an awakening and action among His people! Holy Ghost revivals need to revive those who have fallen asleep in Zion. Re-commitment needs to take place where it is now sorely lacking!
Scripture reveals: His soul shall dwell at ease (in goodness); and his seed shall inherit the earth (Psalm 25:13). It was noted: Enjoying spiritual blessings in Christ, in whom one dwells in faith; and where he has peace and safety amidst all troubles and afflictions; with godliness and contentment, is great gain.
Those who tread in the same steps and fear the Lord; shall inherit the new heavens and earth, wherein will dwell only righteous persons, for a thousand year reign, and afterwards the ultimate glory of all eternity.
Scripture reveals: The Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation (Psalm 132:13). It was noted that the seat of his majesty, over which he has set his Son as King; and all this from the love he bears for Zion, which is in a figurative sense, His church; whom he has chosen to privileges, to grace and glory, and service and honor.
Heaven is the habitation of his holiness and glory; His desire to His church and people; His heart is set upon them, and dwelling among them; they being built up an habitation for God through the Spirit of God.
The prophet Isaiah cried out: Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat of the good of the land: but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword (destruction); for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it (Isaiah 1:18-20). Those words indicate a need to come together, by repenting and turning to God, after having been at ease in Zion. The prophet Isaiah reminded the people that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who will turn to him.
Scripture reveals: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
But if you turn away, and forsake my statutes and commandments, which I have given you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck you up by the roots out of my land which I have given you; and this house which I have sanctified (set apart) in my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all nations (2 Chronicles 7:19-20).
It was noted that while this promise was originally given to King Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. This is a high expression of God's loving readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people. These words attest to the fact that being at ease in Zion has necessitated a wake up call for the church; to those who have walked away from the umbrella of God's provision and protection.
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