These are my notes from the message I preached December 30 at my church. We had a watchnight service where 15 or so men preached and I was blessed with the opportunity to preach. I hope that as you read through this, that it is a blessing to you.
The Harlot of Contemporary Christianity
Proverbs 7:6-10 “For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.”
Proverbs is one of my favorite books to read and to study. There is so much truth packed into every single verse of this book. If you are a young person, Proverbs is for you. If you are a single person, Proverbs is for you. If you are a middle aged person, Proverbs is for you. If you are an elderly saint of God, Proverbs is for you. Proverbs has something in it for every person at every stage of life.
I have been studying and going through Proverbs 7 quite a bit lately. I have heard many lessons in Bible class and sermons in church on this passage. The warnings that have been given about going the way of the harlot and the destruction that follows. I have heard illustrations about this chapter and I have even seen it play out in the lives of people I know.
Today, I want to take a look at this chapter in a different way. When I see the word ‘harlot’ here, I take in a literal sense in that a woman is out to destroy a man. But I also take it in that the term ‘harlot’ could also mean sin, any sin. A sin that distracts you from serving the Lord. A sin that gets you off the track of living righteously for the Lord.
Satan knows what sin easily besets you. He will dress it up in a way that will seduce. He will do whatever he can to get you to fall into that sin and destroy your life.
But today, I want to look at this term ‘harlot’ and compare it to contemporary Christianity. No, I am not going to get into the prophecy of the Great Whore found in the Book of Revelation.
In this day and age, we are see a falling away from the old-fashioned, Biblical way of church and Christianity to this way of contemporary church and living for God (a term that I use loosely in this sentence.)
I looked up the definition of contemporary and it means, marked by characteristics of the present period. Which means that contemporary Christians are always changing with the times…
I then noticed the synonyms: current, designer, hot, mod, modern, new, new-fashioned, newfangled, present-day, ultramodern, up-to-date, up-to-the-minute…
And then the antonyms: antiquated, archaic, dated, fusty, musty, oldfangled, old-fashioned, old-time, out-of-date…
You can look at the church we belong to and see where it lines up.
I want to preface this sermon by saying that I DO NOT think that everyone in a contemporary church is bad, I do think that the message and the way of life that they preach is somewhat contrary to the Word of God and we have to be on guard with this issue.
Before I get into the meat of the message, I want to make some comparisons between the harlot and contemporary Christianity.
Vs. 11 “(She is loud and stubborn:…” Loud music, bands, concert type feel can be found in contemporary churches.
Vs. 12 “Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) Contemporary, non-denominational churches are popping up everywhere.
Vs. 13-18 “So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.” When I read these verses, I think of how contemporary, non-denominational churches have no boundaries of separation when adding new church members.
Vs. 19-20 “For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.” When I read this, I think of the goodman, as Jesus Christ. Jesus is nowhere near the contemporary church. And one day, He is coming back!
Vs. 21 “With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.” Contemporary, non-denominational churches will tell you what you want to hear, they will have fair and flattering speech that makes you feel good.
Vs. 27 “Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” The gospel that is preached in these churches is that of ‘give your life to Christ.’ We know that we can’t give anything to be saved, we have to receive what He has done for us. This gospel is deceiving people and because of it, people will end up in Hell because their salvation was based on their acts and works and not on Christ.
I have seen many people who serving the Lord, attending a good, old-fashioned, KJB only, independent, Baptist church who leave and go to some non-denominational feel good church. They were enticed by the lack of standards, the feel good preaching. And we are seeing it more and more as the return of Christ approaches.
Paul states in II Timothy 2:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” People do not like sound doctrine because it points out their failures in their relationship with God. They want somebody who will just tell them that God loves them no matter what…which is true. But they also want someone to NEVER tell them that sin is wrong, that living a worldly lifestyle all week is wrong!
Back to Proverbs 7. Solomon was warning his son about the harlot here and the destruction that will follow if you go her way.
Vs. 10 “And, behold, there met him a woman with attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.”
I want to look at the attire of the harlot of contemporary christianity as the main subject of this message. The word attire means clothes. The harlot has a certain dress that makes her stand out and be classified as a harlot.
Without going into all the details, we can all probably give a good description of what a harlot wears or doesn’t wear. Ladies, be careful and modest in what you wear so that no one can ever mistake you for someone that can be classified as a harlot. Men, we have it a little bit easier in what we wear and following the dress standards God has given us, but we to should dress in a way that pleases God and brings honour and glory to Him. Especially in this day and age when they are attacking the male and female genders.
When I think of the attire of contemporary Christianity and what seduces people away from God and attracts them to this so-called Christianity, I think of a couple things.
1. The Attire of Casual Christianity.
Casual (adjective) means relaxed and unconcerned, not regular or permanent. Causal (noun) means a person who does something irregularly.
We have to many Christians who just want to be casual Christians. Christians when they want to be Christians. Christians when it fits their lifestyle or needs at that moment.
This type of christianity is filling the non-denominational and contemporary churches and it is starting to creep in the Independent Baptist churches!
The people that fill the seats of the CC are unconcerned about whether they are living for God or not, they are just checking the box that helps them think they are a good person.
Casual Christians are the ones who are easily blown away, they aren’t permanent, they aren’t in this fight for the long haul.
I found this interesting when I was looking at the definition for casual, when it states that it is a person who does something irregularly.
Church attendance is irregular.
Bible reading is irregular.
Prayer is irregular.
Witnessing is irregular.
Living for God is irregular.
All signs of a casual Christian. And you can find many people like this in the CC. Because this type of Christianity is accepted and welcomed in those churches.
Many people are being seduced and enticed by this way of Christianity. Hey sir! Hey mam! Don’t go that way! You may think that being a casual Christian is easy now, but how is it affecting your children! Parents wonder why their kids don’t turn out for the Lord and sometimes (not all the time) it could be that the parents decided to be casual Christians, only making church and the things of God a priority when it fit their schedule or benefitted them.
Don’t go the way of casual christianity! You will miss out on the blessings of God for your life!
2. The Attire of Compromising Christianity.
Compromise means to accept standards that are lower than is desirable.
You probably already know where I am going with this point, but the lack of standards in these “churches” amaze me. There is no separation between the godly and ungodly.
This type of christianity is running rampant today, not just in these new-age churches but also in the old-fashioned, independent Baptist churches.
People everywhere are compromising their standards! Why? To bring more people to church, to not offend anyone. Well let me say this, I am offended! I am offended that we as Bible-believing Christians are more worried and what people think of us than what God thinks of us. I am offended that we as Christians have no backbone to stand for what the Bible says, for what we should believe! I am offended when I see people drop their dress standards, their music standards.
What happened to being different, to standing out. The Bible says we are peculiar people, why are we trying to fit in.
In these non-denominational churches, you can compromise everything you have been taught, everything you once believed in so that you can fit in.
You can stop standing for what’s right. You can stop fighting for the truth. You don’t have to do anything that makes you different from the world, because we want you to be you. Compromising is okay with us as long as you are comfortable.
Don’t be swayed by the world as they tell you to compromise! All the devil needs is just an inch and before you know it, you won’t look like, talk like or even act like a Christian anymore. All because at one point, you decided to compromise a standard here or there to fit in with some worldly crowd.
We have to be careful and be on guard. The devil would love nothing more than to seduce us with contemporary christianity. He would love to get us to leave the old paths of serving God.
Satan would love to get us be casual in our service to Christ, because he knows over time, our service will become less and less until it is non-existent.
Satan wants to get us to compromise our beliefs, because when we do, we are turning our back on what God has commanded us to do. We are telling God, that we know how to control our life better than He does.
Just like Solomon warned his son about the harlot and told him of the dangers that waited at the end of her path, we need to be warned about contemporary christianity and that we shouldn’t be enticed by it.
If you choose to go the way of the harlot of contemporary Christianity, don’t be surprised when you look at your kids and your grandkids and see no resemblance of God or any type of Christianity.
You cannot go the way of the harlot and expect not to have any destruction in your life. Sin will always get you, some way, somehow, it will destroy your life.