Continued from Part 1…
I have watched several more days of news and if I ever get time to put a bunch of them together, some may be amazed at the convergence of things that the world is beginning to experience. As I went to bed last night, I was reading a book like I usually do. I usually only last a few minutes until I find myself reading the same sentence 17 times and realize that I might as well turn the light out and give in to my body’s demand for sleep.
I had no sooner fallen asleep and I was woken up once again with a start by the Lord God. He put the words, “Wake Up Call” into my mind. That’s all He said, but since I know I might forget the incident by morning—or at least the exact words that God stuck into my brain, I made myself peel out of my nice warm bed and go write these exact words down. As far as I’m concerned, God doesn’t do this kind of thing unless something is up. It also coincides with something that God told David Wilkerson not long ago when God told him that it was going to take a real shocking events to wake people up. Even then, I believe that there will only be some that will listen. Others will just ignore it and go back to their slumber—or rebellion to God, whichever it may be.
If God is saying that it is time for a “wake-up” call, then He has a very good reason for it. The question we need to ask is why would there need to be a “wake-up” call at all? Are we not Christians? Don’t we live in a Christian nation where there are churches in every city and town? Does America not send Christian missionaries all over the world? Do we not have a multitude of Christian colleges and universities as well as seminaries? Does our government not allow for an exemption from the military by offering a “student of divinity” classification? Don’t we have the lion’s share of mega-churches in the world? Yes, yes, and yes! The only problem is, this is not the whole story.
America as the strongest, wealthiest, most blessed nation in the history of the world. The US tops the world in other classifications too. It is the largest exporter of pornographic materials in the world. America is responsible for the deaths of at least 60 million or so abortions, including those included in the totally inhumane and brutal late term abortions. That does not include the millions of abortions that America helps to fund overseas through a variety of programs.
America didn’t invent homosexuality, nor has it been responsible for introducing immorality to the rest of the world, but it has played a major part in sharing its societal revolution all over. Regardless of what much of our biased media may say, America is still looked up to all around the globe—or was, anyway. Through Hollywood’s influence as well as our educational system, the bulk the Godly principles that defined this nation at one time have relentlessly been attacked and marginalized as old fashioned, out of date, and not applicable today. We fell for it, just like Adam and Eve fell for the line that the Serpent fed them about the fruit they were not suppose to eat, much less even get close to. The condition of much of our American society being in a state of decline is one thing. For those of us that are honest and have some decent values in our lives, we have no problem admitting that we live in a hedonistic and self-absorbed society. But how much of that has carried into the church? We too easily say that society has had little effect on the church, but we are fooled—just like the frog in a frying pan that doesn’t notice that the water is getting hotter and hotter until it is dead.
This is what has happened to the church and it didn’t even know it. This is especially true since the 60’s. At first the church was resistant to the drastic changes seen coming into the mainstream of American life—particularly with the young, but it didn’t take long until the liberated and free society began to corrode the foundation of the pure Biblical message to the world. It’s impossible to cover all of the things that happened to “church” and how it represented the Biblical message to the world, but a few things need to be pointed out here and now because of the disastrous effect the compromise of the church is having today. Please bear with me…
There are three major things that the Lord has spoken to me about here in the last few days. These are things that He has woken me up about during the night, and I consider it a privilege that He has been speaking to me. WHY would the God of all creation choose to wake this insignificant, flawed human being?? I don’t know, but I won’t chance missing something He is asking of me. Would you? I am only going to get to the first one in this post.
- Broken and Leaking Cisterns
Most people are quite satisfied in how they view the status of the church today. Most people are also quite happy with their own personal religious experience. I however am convinced that we are not at all in good condition spiritually. Many Christian people use the phrase, “I have a peace about that”, rather loosely. It makes for a good cop out. The grace of God is a great and generous gift, and I don’t want to take away from it, but we dare not miss the other side of the coin that keeps the Christian life in true balance.
It is so very important to recognize where the limits are with our freedom. The late Paul Harvey was known for the phrase, “And NOW for the rest of the story…” That is what I hope to show in this post—the rest of the story…
Jeremiah 2:13 it says this: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
The western church has become fooled in the last 30 years or so. What is assumed to be a sign of the blessing of the Lord or His Presence, has often been nothing of the kind—but it looks good, smells good, and feels good. It seems that with every correction or deeper understanding of God’s Word that the Spirit of God gives, the pendulum inevitably is swung too far via man’s misuse or distortion of what God has said. This has happened in many areas including healing, financial provision, or deliverance. There are of course many more.
I’ve spent much time comparing what church and people’s general Christian experience was like a in the 19th century as contrasted to the 20th and 21st century. I realize all churches are different, as are individual Christians, but there is a vast difference. Was there sin then? Of course! Did people commit the same despicable acts then as one reads about so much today? Yes! But, people spoke reverently about the “Good Book”. They honored people that had the nerve to try and lead people to a deeper walk with God. Society itself, for the most part, had its ethical limits that it never wanted to cross. Think about the TV shows during the early times when one could only get black & white pictures. What was it that we watched? We watched programs like “Little House on the Prairie”, the newest antics of the little curly Shirley Temple, Bonanza, My three sons, and a whole slew of other good clean shows. Then compare those with what we watch today?
I can’t help but think that if someone died in the 50’s and then came back now, they would be horrified at what is shown on the TV screen—and during prime time, much less in our movie theaters! I’m not surprised that the world around us is falling for all this stuff, but why the church? We have so many Scriptures that speak of being “imitators” of our Father in Heaven! We are to be representatives of Jesus who went through the horror of making Salvation available to us. What scares me is that with most Christian people today, the depth and true meaning of that brutal sacrifice has almost totally been lost! We have no concept of the cost of our freedom! As a result, we insult God with our attitudes and actions—even as Christians! Please think about that for a few minute. We really do insult God with much of our lives. The words in this post don’t even express it to the fullness that they need to folks. Please pray for the Lord to show you how to correct this. Don’t worry about others in your church, and don’t bother wasting time criticizing your pastor or the televangelist that you like to pick on the most! IT HAS TO BE YOU AND GOD, AND JUST YOU AND GOD!!
So…back to those cracked, broken and leaking cisterns…
At the time of Jeremiah’s writing, the southern kingdom of Israel had stopped pursuing God. The northern kingdom was more corrupt yet and was in much worse shape. Yet, the southern kingdom of Israel was discarding the covenant they had made with God and replacing it with anything and everything that “felt or looked” like it would take its place. They had left the Fountain of Water behind and replace it with the same brackish water that every nation around them used.
Think a minute: Isn’t that exactly what the United States of America is doing? We are blending the pure gospel of the Cross with nearly every religion from around the globe. Some find it offensive for Christians to claim exclusiveness with the claims that they make. I won’t go into detail, but we claim that there is no other way to God than through the crucified and risen Lord Jesus. He says so Himself and we need to make the decision whether we are going to be His followers, come hell or high-water, so to speak. We claim that Jesus Christ not only was murdered on the cross, but that He actually rose from the dead and lives today. That requires another decision. We also claim that He was born of a literal virgin! Another decision on whether we believe it or not. Not only do we believe in His miraculous virgin birth, but we also claim that He is returning—not as a lowly suffering Messiah, but as the All-Powerful KING of Kings and LORD of Lords! We accept the fact that He is going to rule the entire earth as a Monarch, ruling with a rod of iron, from the literal city of Jerusalem—and we will rule at His side as immortal beings who have been found worthy of His rewards for service throughout this lifetime. Much more could be said, and there are other beliefs just as important, but that is a sample of a much larger picture.
America was built on these beliefs and covenanted with God to uphold its end of the agreement, just like God would hold up His end of the bargain. He did, and we did as well—for a time. America has now shirked their end of the covenant; in fact has been for decades now. The consequences of this are now beating our doors down. Self-made attempts and schemes always fail because only God can quench our spiritual thirst. Broken vessels never hold water! Take some time and look at these Scriptures: Isaiah 55:1-2, John 7:37, 38; John 410-14.
I couldn’t help but think how the “broken vessel” principle relates to churches. I don’t feel any guilt in touching on this because I know very well that I made plenty of these mistakes through the years. I had to learn to listen to the direction of the Spirit of God, just like I’m urging others to do.
This statement may offend quite a few, but if the shoe fits one must wear it! How many churches offer the world “leaking vessels”? I’m pretty incensed at times with all the attempts we make as children of the Sovereign God, to mimic the world so that we can tempt them into our churches! We copy what the world does to such an extent that many can’t tell the difference! WHY? I’m not saying that all programs are wrong, and some things out of the ordinary, as far as traditional church doings are wrong, but there is a limit. I’m not a legalist by any means, but I’m sure that the line that we draw is not the same one that God draws between the world and the church.
I’m pretty sure that the reason why we go through so many gyrations in our attempts to tantalize and draw people into our “tent” is because we don’t have anything else that is working. That is worth some deep contemplation—if you have the nerve. When looking through history, what is it that has always drawn the crowds together—at least when talking about a church setting? It has always been the Spirit of God drawing people to hear powerful preaching, and then seeing God in action, performing miracles that are genuine, verifiable, and not the production of phony religious programming.
It all has to be the real deal!! How many televangelists have been asked to produce even just ONE miracle that has indisputable proof—and not one could be verified or proven? That’s inexcusable and an affront to the Great KING we serve!
How many churches have decided that they need to “ease up” on their fanatical hanging onto doctrinal issues in the Bible in order to be more “seeker friendly”, or more politically correct in their approach? Today, church after church is joining a large movement to blend Christianity with Islam! You haven’t heard about it? It is called “Chrislam”. This movement is being pushed by some very powerful and influential Christian leaders, and is spreading like wildfire. This one thing shows how powerful the apostasy of this last age is. It is fooling some of the Christian leaders that are looked up to by millions all over the world.
We laugh at, and ridicule the Jewish people because of how they fell and accepted the damnable heresies of their surrounding enemies into their own lives and religious traditions. Isn’t that exactly what we are doing? The worldwide Christian church wants to bring all the major religions of the world together into one basket. That’s exactly what Satan wants. It’s his plan and mankind is blind enough to accept and support it—to his own eternal loss.
Before I end this post at a point where I can continue with Part 3, I would like to make a couple observations or so. These are important and should not be ignored. I have been making a point of the fact that the western Christian church has a tendency to be way too lax in its walk with God and the way it shows its commitment. I have made it clear that I am a strong believer in God’s grace, and what it is able to do for us. It’s HUGE, and not to be underestimated. Yet, I’ve also said there is a balance, and how we walk out the balance shows how much value we put on what God has done for us.
When we look at people that follow pagan religions, it is not hard to see the commitment that these people show to their beliefs. They will do anything, even to the point of death. Question: Is that the case with you? Think about the grueling rituals that many people go through in order to meet the demands of their “god”. How many of them even are expected to sacrifice some of their children. Obedience to the demands of their belief system is never questioned.
Then there is you and I! We find it hard to give God His seventh day. We even complain if the service on Sunday morning is a bit too long because we have other things to do that are apparently more important—or at least not as boring! People in many religions memorize hours of writings that have to do with their beliefs. We excuse ourselves by saying that we have a bad memory and so would like a pass. Many religions require great financial sacrifices of their followers, and it doesn’t matter how poor they are! We complain that the offering basket comes by every Sunday.
I’m afraid the state of the church in the western world, for at least a large percentage of the folks, is pretty sad. So…what are we going to do about it? We must act today; not tomorrow, but today. If the Scripture says that we should pray that we are counted worthy to “escape all these things” and stand in front of the Son of Man instead, we don’t have any time to waste in getting to where we belong spiritually. We are out of time, folks. I hope you caught this. WE ARE OUT OF TIME! How much time do we have to become the “church without spot or wrinkle”? NOT MUCH!
I’m not advocating becoming legalistic and starting to do a whole lot of phony religious works. I’m talking about becoming humble enough before God to bow our knee, acknowledge our sinful condition, and ask His forgiveness. This acknowledges the horrendous price that was paid by God, just to set man free—those that are humble enough to do so. Many—in fact, most won’t lower themselves.
Not long ago I wrote a post telling of the record breaking year that 2010 was. I also warned that 2011 will top it. We are facing multiple mega-quakes this year—some right here in the US, I believe. We have the biggest and most violent storms on the way we’ve ever seen. There will be unprecedented geophysical events never recorded. We will see political and international upheavals. The world economy is going to crash, not to mention the US. We are watching international alignments changing. War will become a major world event this year. Israel will also find itself alone, but God will intervene and Israel will survive. America within the next two years may not.
You probably think that I’m off my rocker by now. Well, I hope I’m wrong enough that you can tell me later how nuts these comments are—or were. I don’t think you’ll have the chance to do so.
Let me also leave this warning with you, as it is true: God is sending a WAKE UP CALL. It’ll probably come in multiples in time, and it will come very soon! God’s people need not fear, just keep their seatbelts on and get as desperate for God as Jacob was! God did a special work for him—and spared his life as well.
So, what do we do?? Get as desperate for God as Jacob did in Genesis 32. Read it and do just that!!…Our God is a Consuming Fire, but HE TAKES CARE OF HIS OWN!!
To Be Continued with Part 3