The Lord has really been dealing with me about the state of the church at large, and to focus on the church at large we have to look at the individuals who make up the body of Christ. This began a couple months or so ago when the Lord said, “I want to come back for My church, and they aren’t ready!” I wrote about that in a previous article. Just six months before Jesus was born, John the Baptist was born. John began his ministry shortly before Jesus began His, by preaching for men to repent from their sins, and to make straight the path of the Lord, for He was coming soon. Well, He came, just like John said. And He’s coming back soon, just like He said. But will He find His church ready, and more importantly, will He find YOU ready?
I’ve been preaching some hard stuff in meetings lately, not the kind of stuff many Christians want to hear. Most people today want to hear what tickles their ears. They want to hear that they’re ok, and that God winks at their sins. I call it the “Burger King” mentality. You can go to Burger King and have a burger any way you want it, any way at all. So they think they can live any way they want and have God any way they want Him.

I would like to take a moment to bring a word from our Sponsor: REPENT !

When John the Baptist was telling people to repent, it wasn’t because he was wanting to spoil their fun, but rather so they wouldn’t be spending eternity in hell. This morning I awoke with a picture fresh in my mind’s eye, of rocks being poured into a funnel. Of course, none of them were going through. The only way they would go through is if they were broken into small pieces. The Lord was trying to tell me something. Many of us who call ourselves Christians are like rocks. We are unyielding, hardhearted, and selfish. And we aren’t going to make it through the funnel, come time for us to stand before the Lord. So He is calling us to prepare now. And believe me, getting the junk out of our lives is more important than anything else we may currently have on the burner. There are a lot of people who think they will be going to heaven and will wake up to find out they aren’t. Why do I say that? Ever read Matthew 7:22-23?

MAT 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

You see, like many others, they thought how they were living was ok. They talked the talk, even walked the walk some. But when the final cut came down, they didn’t make it. Were they surprised? Obviously! Hence, the title for this article, “Taking Out The Trash”. We all know the coming of Jesus is closer today than it was yesterday. Time is rapidly drawing to a close for each of us. Time waits for no one. And every day that goes by, our spiritual house gathers trash. A little here, a little there, sometimes so slowly it goes unnoticed, until it becomes acceptable to us instead of revolting.
The Lord had me preaching this past week on 1 Corinthians 3:16-17:
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

My beloved friends, the Lord told us that far too many of His children are happy with their “rocks”. They think it’s fine telling their friends about Jesus while sipping on a beer or smoking a cigarette. Or maybe they think it’s ok not telling their friends about Jesus at all. We all have our “rocks”. Maybe it’s gossip, or lust, or love of money, or indulging in things that would make Jesus blush if He went along with us for a day. Whatever it is, it’s time to get serious about your relationship with Jesus right this minute. For a long time God’s children have been living like “anything goes”. You know, the Burger King mentality I’ve been talking about? But now it’s time to get cleaned up and get our house in order.

 As for me, I’m willing to let God put me through his “Rock crusher” until I can flow through the funnel just like fine sand. People who insist on having things “their way” are just not going to be greatly used by God. Only those willing to be purified by Him will be trusted with His power. I want to be someone God can trust. Don’t you? Are you willing to take out the trash and clean your life up for the Lord today? Yes, taking the trash out of your life can be uncomfortable, even downright painful. It means turning off those TV shows that you would be ashamed to have Jesus watch with you. It means kicking the habits….gossiping, smoking, swearing, lying, gambling, porn, drinking, and all that other junk you wouldn’t do if Jesus was standing there looking you in the eye. Do you really thing God gets glory out of all that junk?
It also means, men, love your wife! Treasure her and stop treating her like she’s a piece of property. Women, love and honor your husband. Submit yourself to him as unto the Lord. Husbands, make sure you’re treating your wife like the Lord would, so you are worthy of her submission.
Children, obey your parents and honor them. And stop driving over the speed limit, people. Just because everyone else does it is not an excuse for YOU to do it. Sin is sin, no matter what kind of sin it is, and sin brings death! Remember, you are the temple of the Living God. Start acting like it! Live like today is the day Jesus is coming for you, because who knows? Maybe it is!
Friends, don’t think you have to please me. You don’t. I judge no person, it’s not my job. I remember all too well from whence I came before God so graciously saved me. My job is to help you be all you can for God, to teach, encourage, correct, and serve. But God is a Holy God, and He demands a Holy Temple to abide in.

With all the “God is Love” teaching, we kind of forget about Him being a God of Holiness and Judgment, don’t we? Yeah, we do. And then we wonder why we see no great move of God in our life and in our church. Come on, people! If you are His, guess what? You are His temple. He lives in you. He goes where you go, does what you do, He sees what you spend your time looking at. He hears what you are listening to. Be careful what you’re dragging into your temple. God is very particular about where He puts His name. And remember, He is the one you need to make sure you please. If He is not pleased with you, need I say more?
Nobody wants to take out the trash, but somebody’s gotta do it, right? It might as well be YOU and ME.