July 6

Ezekiel 5-8, Psalm 33

Most people describe themselves as middle of the road. Their stance is not overly polarizing on any issue and they get along with everyone else who is middle of the road. What should concern everyone is that Jesus only described two roads not three. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Therefore, contrary to popular opinion this very traveled middle road is part of that wide road which leads to hell. This seems unfair and illogical to most people because they are on that road and can't see otherwise. We are surrounded by people who are good spouses and good parents and are decent people. They take their kids to soccer, carpool with others, coach baseball, go to church on occasion, might even participate for a cause or participate in a march. These same individuals might have a "harmless" statue of Buddha in their living room for decoration. Their bookshelves might be lined with various "New Age " books giving "good" advice on a multitude of topics which are anything but the advice given by God in His Word. Many practice yoga, even certain churches will offer it now. Yet yoga is not some innocent exercise routine , but part of the Hindu religion which has everything to do with the central god in their pantheon.

As we read of the judgment which is being prophesied against the nation of Judah, the mistake that we often make is to believe that they were these awful people doing one horrible act after another. But these people very much resembled the good people that we are surrounded by today. They went to religious services, took good care of their children and were good spouses. God issues His decree in Ezekiel 5:6-8, "She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.' Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, have not walked in My statutes nor kept My judgments, nor even done according to the judgments of the nations that are all around you'-therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Indeed I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations." Even their worship seemed true, until Ezekiel was told in 8:6-8, "Furthermore He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, to make Me go far away from My sanctuary? Now turn again, you will see greater abominations." So He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, there was a hole in the wall. Then He said to me, "Son of man, dig into the wall"; and when I dug into the wall, there was a door."

Everyone looks "good" on the surface. They are "good" neighbors and "good" citizens. They keep their lawns neat and their houses clean, etc. They and their children fit in well in the neighborhood participating in various activities. But as Ezekiel did above and actually saw what was going on behind closed doors and even worse in their minds, the people were anything but "good". We live in a world filled with moral relativism. We are in no position to judge others, but God, who sees things in terms of absolutes, knows what is good and bad, and He alone is in the position to judge and mete out the punishment. How many of our family members, friends and neighbors are being lulled into complacency sizing themselves up compared to others and believing the lie that they are "good" in God's eyes. Just as in Ezekiel's day, many will be shocked to realize that the middle road was indeed the wrong road. They will believe that they don't deserve the judgment they are receiving. But may we who are on the narrow road warn those on the middle road while there is still time.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster