by | Aug 12, 2018 | Christianity Today | 19 comments

How dare you punish a heart for wanting purity?  How can it be that vessels chosen to uplift the righteous and equip the saints instead conspired to create a system that rewards carnality and shames holiness.
Let’s be honest.   It’s not as if the modern church is exhausting itself on devotion and sacrifice.  But you’d sure think so by the way some ministers keep telling them to relax, and quit trying so hard, because Daddy is so pleased with them.
Even when a congregation is a listless, flabby, biblically illiterate, club of moody consumers—preachers will heap on them yet one more message of pampered entitlement.  Kind of like handing a diabetic a case of Snickers bars.
It has gotten so bad that Sundays are a celebration of how much God lets you get away with.
They seem so easy going.  And why wouldn’t they be, after all the soothing guarantees of God’s unconditional approval. But don’t be fooled.  All that veneer of serenity explodes when they come into contact with holiness.  They must attack it on sight.

Gently suggest the church could go deeper—call for more prayer meetings—voice concern about inappropriately dressed women—tell them you don’t want to party with them, and they will scream, “YOU HAVE A RELIGIOUS SPIRIT!”
What was once normal discipleship, is now legalistic.  Anything that dampens their festivities is judgmental.
What have we done?  We have unleashed a counterfeit liberty.  These are not the features of a Spirit-led people.  These are the clear symptoms of people with sick souls deceived, and careening toward disaster.
Here is a chilling scripture that speaks to the evil that is twisting the church.  Isaiah 59:15 says, “So truth fails, And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him That there was no justice.”
The greatest gift God can send a church is a holy child of God.  Their heart is revival.  They want the fire, glory and power of God to electrify the church.  Make them your enemy and you have also made an enemy out of God.
Woe is you if you have ever called holiness a religious spirit.   God bless you if you love holiness and understand what a treasure it is.  “1 Timothy 6: 6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.”


  1. Roger Culwell

    Big amen brother, you know what I have wrote, and it’s all been about trying to get people closer to God, but they hate me with a passion, this is the less see how much sin we can get by with generation, and some are in there 60’s, the hippie generation of the church peace love man God except’s every thing today, funny my bible say’s NO SIN WILL ENTER IN, AND THOSE WHO ENDURE TILL THE END SHALL BE SAVED, not those who played there there sin game’s along the way, we have strayed so far from the truth, Sermon central rejected my message’s on TELL THE CHURCH THERE NOT READY, AND THE CHURCH HAS POWER OVER THE ENEMY, in fact they only excepted three lighter one’s and rejected about 8. I Gues making sure the church is ready when Jesus come’s is no concern to them, but again my bible say’s with out Holiness no man will see God. Be Blessed Brother, keep preaching it.

    • Sheilah

      Amen! We see the Church of Laodicea in full manifestation (Rev. 3). They are not hungry for more of God but are craving love and acceptance in their lukewarm state. It is going to be interesting to see how the Lord will deal with this situation.

  2. spiritoflifeministriesinternational

    Thank you for being obedient and sharing God’s heart. It would be our sincere desire to have you minister at our Church when you are able! Helen Sanders Sr. Pastor Spirit of Life Ministries International Sebring, FL (863) 214-5434

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. James

    Wow you are right on point.

  4. John Cayor

    I like reading your stuff. Honest and stimulating, sometimes profound. But this article starts our with no context at all. Perhaps the title is supposed to do that, but I cannot even understand what the title means. . .

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Sandra Douglas

    Amen and amen to this sobering message to wake up and shake off the real deception of churchiosity that tolerates the accusing real religious spirits that puff up….relying on their own self righteousness to dominate and demean those who truly walk in humility as Holy Spirit led vessels of honor …..yes there is a deception in our midst of “counterfeit liberty” that
    Can superimpose itself onto the placated pew warmer… and you have delivered a fair warning about that lurking intrusion of …twisting and tweaking of the Word of Truth ….thank you for that “caution sign” that causes
    Us to examine our own hearts …..lest our fire become quenched by not persevering in that pursuit of Holiness only retained by keeping our lamps filled with oil that we become lamplighters in dark places as believer priests …following Jesus to the uttermost ….that His Love overflows …
    And flows-over those He puts in front of us ….in our path ….to fulfill each of our ministry missions as yielded vessels ….clothed in humility for the
    Kingdoms’ sake …..never disgracing the Grace of God ….

  6. Sandra Douglas

    So poignant and refreshingly needed

    Sent from my iPhone


  7. Sheilah

    The counterfeit liberty is there because of the hyper-grace message. We took a class at a previous church we attended and the follow up to the class was going to be on how it is impossible to sin! Needless to say, we did not attend the follow up class and departed from that church. It was a Four Square church so it was very disappointing. It was all about the gifts but definitely not focused on sin or holiness.

  8. Rose

    thank you for remaining sensitive to the Holy Spirit and the blood-bought brethren.

  9. Mark Stripling, Ransomed Ministries

    When in the true presence of the Holy Spirit, with a heart filled with gratitude for salvation, to have been delivered from bondage and addictions to sin, the natural spiritual reaction should be to flee the sin that held us captive and to “cleave” to their Holy God. The cold hearts who get their fill of God with a one hour dose on Sunday morning only are a sad testimony that alter fires have grown cold, and a Laodicean age is upon us. One pastor I know even said it is legalistic to expect people to return for a Sunday night service. My wife led worship in a church of 500 for 16 years, and they had alter services on Sunday nights that sometimes lasted until 9 pm. People were saved, changed, healed, filled, delivered, and once had the fire department called by a passer by who saw a Holy Fire above the church and they thought the building was burning!! God give us revival!

  10. Steve Snyder

    I totally agree! God is saying this to the church today! Holiness and repentance work together…
    As a pastor I write a weekly article for our bulletin.
    Here is today’s:

    What is Repentance?
    In the dictionary it says:
    Repent is to feel or express sincere regret or remorse
    about one’s wrongdoing or sin.

    Regret or remorse is a heartfelt way of looking at something “wrong.”
    It is an inner feeling originating in our conscience placed in us
    by the Lord through the Holy Spirit.
    Jesus in John 16:8 when speaking of the Holy Spirit said:
    “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin,
    and of righteousness, and of judgment.
    In other words it is GOD who declares “right from wrong.”
    Repentance also includes positive action!
    The Holy Spirit empowers us to respond in a godly way to things
    that are declared “not right” in His word.
    But, before anyone can change a major lifestyle
    there must first exist a real NEED for change.
    We must have a deep conviction that something is wrong
    and CHANGE MUST occur at all costs.
    When drawn into the light, darkness is left behind.
    When the Father draws us to Jesus, who is the pure light of the
    world, a turning back to darkness will cause deep regret having
    once seen the light and tasted God’s goodness.
    True repentance keeps us from returning to the pit!
    Without repentance we will perish in the deep darkness that covers the ungodly.
    In Isaiah 60 God proclaims:
    Arise, shine; For your light has come!
    And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
    For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
    And deep darkness the people…

    God wants none to perish.
    He wants us ALL to come to repentance with a pure heart.
    He is coming back soon looking for all who have repented and come to Jesus.

    • Rose

      All of these responses are very good, but this one really said it all. Thank you for the explanation of meaning of repentance, a lot of people need that explained to them. There are so many people that are so full of excused for why they cant stop the sin they are in because God loves them and knows their hearts, as you probably know what it says in Jeremiah that the heart is wicked and deceiving to our own selves.

  11. Carolina

    Thank You Mario for your honesty. Those who belong to God The Father, Jesus Christ The King, and have His Holy Spirit, could not agree with calling a desire for more sanctification which encourages holiness… a religious spirit?! You are right Mario, tagging someones desire for MORE holiness as religiosity doesn’t have any relationship. Holy Spirit witnessed to me a couple months ago, the causation of this problem, I hope this helps;

  12. John Garber

    Separaration plus dedication brings a visitation

  13. Mary Hinkle

    So true!!!!

  14. Noreen Greenwood

    I am so being drawn to go deeper in my life of faith in CHRIST JESUS. I heard and thank you for your words forged in HOLY GHOST FIRE. Please pray I can go even if it’s alone. I desire to let go of the “rope” let’s say.

  15. Rose

    The Father said that He will give us the desires of our hearts, this is your desire He will grant it to you, blessings, Rose

  16. Tammy Lindsey

    Thank you for staying true to GOD. Thank you for not tickling our ears . Thank you for getting us ready.

  17. Jim Harman

    Loved your message and all the comments. Like Steve Snyder, I believe the Lord is returning very soon. Most of the church is in for a big surprise since the Ultra-grace movement has swept though many churches today. The Church of Laodicea is not the one you would want to be in when Jesus comes.

    Please visit our website to learn more about being ready when the Lord returns. The Apostle Peter was addressing Christians when he said: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9).

    God wants people to come to repentance TODAY, tomorrow may be too late!

    God bless,

    Jim Harman



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