Anyone who’s been following the news and who’s also been watching Christian television or regularly visiting Christian ministry web sites has likely heard that our experts say we’re entering a period of turmoil.
Bankruptcies and bailouts in the financial sector, a rescue passage for America’s “big three” auto-makers, bankruptcies in the insurance and retail sectors coupled with an increased threat of terrorism have prompted an unprecedented number of experts, preachers and prophets to forecast the coming downturn.
The politicians are forecasting at minimum a recession. Some political leaders say a depression bigger and longer than the Great Depression is on the way.
Forecasters and economists even say the nation will see food riots. Some political leaders upset at the turn of events forecast a second shooting war for America’s independence.
Preachers a ministers from evangelical and Catholic circles say that the United States and the rest of the West is entering a time of judgment—an upheaval the likes no one alive has ever seen.
Regardless of the forecasts, the United States may be entering a time of judgment. If we are, it’s not because we’ve elected Barack Obama. If we’re entering a time of judgment, it’s not because we elected George W. Bush for two terms, nor is it because we elected Clinton twice.
In fact, the coming judgment isn’t because of which party holds a majority of seats in Congress or occupies the White House.
We’re not entering a time of judgment because we don’t allocate enough money for child daycare. We’re not falling under the Lord’s decrees because we don’t spend enough on agricultural subsidies or because of the war in Iraq.
If the nation is entering a time of judgment, it’s because we’ve slaughtered about 50-million of our babies since 1973. If we’re entering a time of judgment, it’s because of the filth and the perversion that fills our nation’s airwaves, satellite transmissions and flows through our internet lines in cyberspace.
The Lord will send judgment because of profane-laden diatribes in our movies, music and literature. The Lord will send judgment because we permit the exploitation of our poor through games of chance. It’s because nationally we’ve failed to take a stand for righteousness.
If we’re entering a time of judgment, it’s because one hundred years ago our seminaries began to turn out graduates who no longer believed the Bible as the Word of God.
It’s because the seminaries began denying the bodily resurrection of Christ. It’s because our pulpits grew cold and indifferent to the truth and began preaching a Gospel of accommodation.
Our pulpits have preached a Gospel of self-fulfillment and self-exploration. Our pulpits began to preach a “me-first” Gospel and denied the way of the cross.
If we’re entering a time of judgment it’s because the church in America has grown lethargic, fat, happy and satisfied with the status quo.
If we’re entering a time of judgment, it’s because our pulpits and pews no longer have a heart to win the lost or to “go into all the world.” If we’re entering a time of judgment, it’s because the church stopped being concerned about righteousness and began being concerned with what the world thinks of us.
It’s nothing short of denying the Words of Christ and living lie if the church ever believed, or still believes, that the church can make peace with the world.
The church’s marching order from Christ Himself is to “make disciples”, not to make watered down converts who know nothing of the power of the cross and Christ’s death-defying gift of self sacrifice. The church wasn’t to be about the business of trying to find its place in the world, the church’s purpose was and is to transform the world through the Holy Spirit’s power and through the cleansing tide of the pure, spotless blood that flowed from Christ’s outstretched arms.
The church’s mission is to preach repentance, death to self and a resurrected life, not a life of ease and self-actualisation.
The answer to the warnings of coming destruction isn’t to join a commune or a political party. The answer is for the true body of Christ—His holy remnant—to come out and live an in-your-face level of discipleship and holiness. The answer is to be on our knees pleading before the throne of grace for the power to live a holy life before the world.
Two weeks ago, I had a dream in which I was to do a joint worship service with one of the former pastors of the church where I am pastor. I was puzzled by this dream because the other pastor in the dream is dead.
When I arrived for the service, I walked to the platform and stood among the choir members for this service.
Yet, for the duration of the dream, the inclination in my heart was to walk away from the crowd and the service. I felt led to leave the room in which the service was to be held.
I was following a sense of direction to come out from among them.
After puzzling on it and praying about it, the message was clear. I was being called to come out from the dead. I was being called to come away from the dead institutional church of American Protestantism. I was called to come out of dead works and the watered down, weak church as usual.
I was called to come out and be separate from the compromised, weak, and ineffective American “social club” religiosity.
The message is also clear for the rest of America’s true, born again believers. We’re called to come out and be separate from those who play church. We’re called to live as the church triumphant, but also the church militant. We’re called to live under the shadow of Christ’s cross and to truly learn what it means to drink from His cup.
We’re called to proclaim and live the Gospel before the world in an uncompromising way. We’re called to no longer play games and to tolerate weak teaching that advocates a version of Christianity that calls for a watered down Gospel.
We’re called to call sin, sin. We’re called to tell people that if they don’t repent of their evil deeds they will perish and go to a Christ-less eternity. We’re called to warn people about hell and to powerfully and uncompromisingly tell them about the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We’re called to unapologetically teach Christ and Him crucified, dead, and risen.
We’re called to a life of death to self and a life of taking up our cross and following Him without apology.
This is the only answer for a nation that is on the brink of judgment.