To be displeased with God is evil and sinful, and yet this number grows larger every year.
The Old Testament character, Naaman, has often been referenced to represent people who
trust more in their own thoughts than in God’s thoughts. Naaman was a great and honorable man,
but he had the dreaded disease of leprosy (2 Kings 5:1). Elisha, prophet of God, sent
word to Naaman with instructions for the cure of his leprosy (v. 10). The remedy was
clear and easy to understand. The message from God: “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times,
and thy flesh shall come again unto thee, and thou shalt be clean.” Naaman was displeased
both with the messenger sent by the prophet and the method of the cure. Instead of obeying
God’s instructions, Naaman gave his opinion as to how and where the healing
should take place. The text reads, “But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold,
I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of Jehovah his God,
and wave his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the
rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be
clean? So he turned and went away in a rage” (vss. 11-12).
The “behold, I thought” mentality (v. 11) that leads to men wondering why a substitute for God’s specific commands will not be just as productive (v. 12) is alive and well today. Many people give lip-service to the Bible while ignoring the Scriptures and faithfully following their own opinion, religious creed, or family tradition. The principle and truth taught in both Old and New Testaments cannot be stated often enough. God said to Israel, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of Jehovah your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:12). In closing out the words of the New Covenant, the Lord warned, “I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19). In words that are clear, simple, and easy to understand, the Lord declares one will lose access to the tree of life and the holy city who adds to or takes from the inspired Scriptures!
There are many churches today who are displeased with the Bible verse that says, “let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law” (1 Corinthians 14:34). They also reject 1 Timothy 2:12 which states: “But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression” (1 Timothy 2:12-14). It has nothing to do with intellect, ability, or inferiority. God gave His reasons for women not having a leadership role over men in the church, but many today are displeased with God and are of the same mindset as was Naaman!
Numerous churches today are displeased with the Lord adding those who are saved to His church (Acts 2:47) and thus think they should vote on people for church membership. Listen carefully to this revealing quote:
"It is most likely that in the Apostolic age when there was but 'one Lord, one faith, and one baptism,' and no differing denominations existed, the baptism of a convert by that very act constituted him a member of the church, and at once endowed him with all the rights and privileges of full membership. In that sense, 'baptism was the door into the church.' Now it is different; and while the churches are desirous of receiving members they are wary and cautious that they do not receive unworthy persons. The churches therefore have candidates come before them, make their statement, give their “experience, and then their reception is decided by a vote of the members" [The Standard Manual for Baptist Churches, Edward T. Hiscox, p. 22].
Can you believe such a statement? It is admitted at one time there were no denominations and the act of baptism put one into the church. “Now it is different” – says who? Where does God reveal a plan of salvation that is different from the one revealed during the apostolic age? Where is the Scripture that describes candidates giving their experience and their reception being decided by a vote of the current members? Why has baptism changed from being “the door into the church?” Easy answer! Men became displeased with the Lord’s church and the Lord’s plan for salvation and worship. The Baptists follow Naaman – not the Lord! They reason, “Behold, we think now it is different. Denominations are now needed, and candidates for membership must give their experience and have their reception decided by a vote of the members.”
Yes, many churches are displeased with God! It will not, however, change His inspired Word (John 12:48).