“God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!”
Psalms 53:2-3 NLT
This chapter is almost identical to Psalm 14. Psalm 14 has 7 verses. Chapter 53 has 6. The first 4 verses are identical. Both are recognized as being authored by David. The only differences are verses 5 and beyond. The last verse is almost verbatim. The content of these chapters is very clear. David felt surrounded by wickedness and ungodliness. He felt alone in his convictions and his consecrations. The society seemed to be steeped in their sin. As he looked around to find godly people, he found none. Something that must be understood here is this: Synagogue attendance, alone, didn't equate godliness in David's time. Neither does church attendance in our own time. Let me be very clear here. Church attendance is a sound discipline and a God ordained structure that is vital to the health and operation of the body of Christ. I do not advocate churchless Christianity!! Anyone who properly understands the scriptures will have to conclude that the church is God's institution and God's design for His family. The church is the bride of Christ (see Ephesians 5:22-33). You can't say that you love God and then say you hate His church. Saying that would be like saying you think the Groom is handsome and His wife is ugly. Sure, the bride has crawled through beggars dust and wallowed in the muck and mire of sin, but Christ has redeemed her and she is now His!! Aren't you glad?? I sure am!! Now, getting back to the church attendance, alone, aspect. Affiliation alone doesn't equate salvation. Salvation equates acceptation, by God, into His church! Simply sitting on a pew, holding an office, or going through religious motions does not make someone righteous. You can sit on the pew, hold the office, go through the motions and still be ungodly. There are many people, within the church, and without the church that are ungodly. Their words are foul, their business affairs are shady, their actions are out of line with Scriptural principle, they have no conscientiousness of their sin, and no conviction. Corrupt is an operative word for them. Are you a true Bible believing, blood washed, born again, Spirit filled child of God? I didn't ask if you were Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Church of God, Wesleyan, Nazarene, Assembly of God, or any other denomination (or non-denomination). Are you a child of God? Are you truly His? If so, are you letting your life be lived under His Lordship? Your life should evidence the possession of your profession!! Get involved and engaged in a local, Bible believing, teaching, preaching, practicing church. Now, don't go looking for a perfect church because the moment you join it, it will be imperfect! I think you get the point on that one! We are called to tolerate the human imperfections of our brothers and sisters. “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians 4:2 NLT “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 NLT There are no perfect churches, practically. However there are perfect churches, positionally. “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Ephesians 1:4 NLT In Christ, those who are truly His, are made perfect through the blood of the Lamb (see Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:22). That's why we should respond in submissive surrender to His will and way. Don't let the culture around you dictate your practices. Let Jesus dictate them! Live a godly life!! (see I John 2:6). If you were being tried in a court of law for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Rev. Curtis Norris