Spiritual death comes from a lack of seeking God. Those who dare to not seek out The LORD’s face and His glory will not live. God issues a stern warning in Amos that we should take heed to.
It is of upmost importance that we seek God and live! In these last days (and we certainly are in the last days!) we must be careful to not become burdened with the cares of this life; we must be careful to seek out the glories of Jesus Christ in the scriptures: this is our life, this is, in fact, eternal life. For our Blessed Messiah has told us,
"And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." [Jn 17:3]
God tells of a time where Israel is forsaken upon her land. Israel is in the land and forsaken, there is no one to help her. The LORD tells us in that time there will be a very small remnant. We read,
"Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel. The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up. For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel." [Amo 5:1-3]
Just as the pattern has been in history, God forsees the future when there is only a remnant left. Jerusalem, the center of Jewish worship, has fallen, forsaken upon her land and there is no one to raise her up. She is desolate. But there remains a faithful remnant. It is here where we can find our application.
We, as the church, dare not boast to be Israel. For Jesus says, “…I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” [Rev 2:9] But we can posit this: that there is indeed a remnant of believers, and the remedies that The LORD puts forth to an Israeli remnant can also apply to the Bride of Christ.
Though the Church is most certainly not Israel, there is a parallel. For we know that in the last days, before Jesus gathers His church, there will “…come a falling away first.” [2 Thess 2:3] and Paul tells Timothy, “now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” [1 Tim 4:1]
Paul explains further to Timothy in his second letter. He says,
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unpious/ungodly/profane, devoid of familial/natural love, implacable, false accusers, without self-control/discipline/restraint, savage/fierce, despisers of what is good, traitors, reckless/impulsive, having been puffed up, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." [2 Tim 3:1-5] "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables." [2 Tim 4:3-4]
So we see indeed that there will be a falling away and also that a remnant will remain. There will be those who, despite the trends around them, endure to the end.
In contrast to what Amos says “the virgin of Israel is fallen,” we are not to fall, not to be corrupted by this world; we are to remain pure. As Paul wishes for the Corinthians, “…I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” [2 Cor 11:2] We are to be, like the Shulamite, who Solomon spoke of, saying she was pure, undefiled. Among the many concubines and virgins, none surpassed her purity and he chose her. This is a glorious picture of us and our Groom, Jesus. Solomon says,
"There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her." [Song 6:8-9]
So in these last days we are to remain pure. We not only need to be pure, but the root of that is loving good and hating evil. God points this out to us in the end of Amos 5. He says,
"Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph." [Amo 5:14-15]
But that isn’t all. In our remaining pure, we must seek Jesus! Continuing on in Amos we read,
"For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought. Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel." [Amo 5:4-6]
SEEK THE LORD AND LIVE! The remnant of Israel is exhorted to seek The LORD and live, and so too are we. Though the former glorious religious center is forsaken due to judgment, seek The LORD and live; continue to live! There is no other way.
Churches are closing down, Christians are leaving the faith, the world is increasing in ungodliness, and wickedness abounds. But we are not to lose hope. We are not to give in. We are to endure. We are to seek The LORD and live!
We are not to seek after the places of idolatrous worship. Amos mentions Bethel and Gilgal. These were once places of great worship, but had been corrupted through idolatry. We are not to follow after the mainstream religious practices of today. Many of those have turned astray, neglecting the pure and simple devotion of Christ as Paul warns. No, but according to The LORD’s word through Jeremiah, “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls…”
God speaks to those today who are going astray, who are following worldly traditions/practices,
"Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth, seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: that strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress." [Amo 5:7-9]
In these last days seek to be pure. Seek the old paths laid out in God’s word, hating evil but loving good. Seek Jesus Christ and live, because the alternative to life is death.