“How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” – 1 Kings 18:21*
January is named after Janus, a two-faced ancient Roman god of beginnings, transitions, time, and chaos. It’s an apt name. Each January we look backward at the past, the good and the bad, and then forward to hopes for the future. Some memories we would rather forget. However, God commands us to remember who he is, what he’s done for us, and what he’s promised to do.
Unfortunately, ‘two-faced’ is an excellent description of mankind, which is perpetually in a state of spiritual and moral chaos. The curse of sin is the “knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17). Thanks to Adam and Eve we’re capable of kindness and cruelty, love and hate, honesty and deception. Sometimes we yearn for God and heaven, at other times for sin and hell. Conversion, a spiritual rebirth, should fundamentally change our nature. The old man, made like Adam, dies as the new man, made like Jesus Christ, is born (1 Corinthians 15:22).
So why is the modern church, the bride of Christ, still two-faced? Why does she compromise on things that matter and remain immobile on things that don’t? Why is she hungry for the things of this world but apathetic toward Christ and his kingdom? Every day, more and more ‘Christians’ are compromising the Word’s authority in relation to abortion, homosexuality, and evolution. They talk, dress, and act like the world too. Playing instead of praying, they shun the cross.
I’m tired of the immodesty, immorality, and worldliness that I see in people who call themselves ‘Christians.’ I’m tired of the heathen music that passes as ‘Christian’ too. People could dress modestly, attend church when the doors are open, renew their minds by reading the Bible and Christian literature, witness, and pray. Instead, they attend discos and ball games or play video games and golf. People could also listen to Gaither Homecoming groups and choirs like Brooklyn Tabernacle. Instead, they listen to ‘Christian’ alternative rock. I want God to unplug the heathen music that has filled some churches, radio stations, iPods, and stores.
People could be so close to God that he’d carry them to heaven, like Enoch and Elijah (Genesis 5:24, 2 Kings 2:11). Instead, they’re so close to this world that they’re living in “wicked and sinful” Sodom, like Lot (Genesis 13:12-13). God made a covenant of faith with Abraham (15:6, 18). But he didn’t make one with Lot. So I think worldly ‘Christians’ haven’t accepted Christ’s covenant through conversion.
Before Lot’s family fled Sodom, two angels told them, “Do not look behind you … lest you be destroyed” (Genesis 19:17). Lot’s wife disobeyed. Two-faced, double-minded, and faithless, she “looked back” and “became a pillar of salt” (19:26). Why did she yearn for her old way of life? Only an apostate or unbeliever would yearn for life in a city filled with homosexuals.
Israel cried out to God to be delivered from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 2:23). However, once God’s people left, all they wanted to do was turn back (14:11-12, 17:3; Numbers 11:5, 14:2-4). Two-faced, double-minded, and faithless, they didn’t set the eyes of their heart on Canaan but on their old way of life in Egypt. For tired and thirsty pilgrims, daily manna (Exodus 16:14-15) and the promise of “milk and honey” (3:8, 13:5) just didn’t measure up to fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic (Numbers 11:5). As a result, only Joshua, Caleb, and people under 20 entered the Promised Land; the rest died in the wilderness (14:29-35).
Spiritually we’re living in “Sodom and Egypt, where … our Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:8). He warns us to flee these ungodly cities so we’ll be spared his righteous judgment on unbelievers: “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins and … receive of her plagues” (18:4). Unfortunately, too many ‘Christians’ are like Lot’s wife and Israel. Two-faced, double-minded, and faithless, they want to turn back. They’re as “unstable as water” (Genesis 49:4), “like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6). In their hearts, they’re “tossed to and fro … with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).
God has “no pleasure” in those who “draw back unto perdition” (Hebrews 10:38-39). If we don’t want to avoid destruction, then we must stop being two-faced, double-minded, and faithless. We must be zealous and repent (Revelation 3:19). Then we must “lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness” and humbly receive the Word of God, “which is able to save our souls” (James 1:21). We must also forsake “friendship with the world” so that we aren’t conformed to it (4:4, Romans 12:2). Instead, we must be transformed into Christ’s image as we renew our minds through the Word (12:2, 2 Corinthians 3:18). Finally, we must set our faces like flint, toward God and heaven (Isaiah 50:7).
I pray this year is hell on earth for the church. Then maybe she’ll stop being afflicted with ‘the curse of Janus’ in her spiritual apathy, worldliness, and compromise. Jesus Christ will return for a pure and holy bride who loves only him. The church isn’t ready yet. I hope this year prepares her.
* All Scriptures are NKJV, unless otherwise noted.