What’s REALLY Killing Our Churches

God is, in no way, deterred by a virus, a riot, or ‘oppressive legislation’.  In fact, scripture boldly testifies that God’s strength is perfected in our weakness.  His precious and powerful Spirit moves triumphantly through our desperate cries and prayers.  Dependency is a major pillar of faith, so essential that the Lord will cause and/or allow confounding situations and calamities to draw us into His word and prayer.

It is not possible for COVID or any government restrictions to curtail the move of God nor diminish His purposes but He may well be using these to expose the foundation of our faith.  Just what is it built upon?

American churches and spiritual revivals seem to be at a tail end, working hard to pump life into the fading godly reputations.   The ‘smoke has left the temple’ but where is our grief and contrite heart?

All-night prayer meetings and three day fasts humbled and united brethren in godly churches, charging them with great expectations from God.  The Holy Spirit brought direction, the Lord’s purposes became clear.  There was revelation to God’s word.  What happened, seemingly so fast?

We can learn from young King Uzziah….

“As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success….His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful.”   (II Chronicles 26 excerpts)

Gone are those prayer meetings.  Undoable are those fasts.  ICHAOD is juxtaposed upon the billboards yet goes unnoticed.  The Glory of God is replaced with marketing strategists, digital strategists, community interest groups and food giveaways.   No virus is curtailing God’s move and certainly no government – in the most restrictive and oppressive countries the Holy Spirit is mightily gathering souls for God’s Kingdom!

We squandered our ‘spiritual wealth’ – our dependency upon, our intimacy with, our abandon to God – to wade in a spirit of Laodicea.  Neither ‘hot nor cold’, we were ‘wealthy’ and self sufficient until a virus interrupted our church business.

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With enough lawyers, donors and publicity, ‘We Can Do It’, but we’ll be ‘doing it’ without God’s Holy presence.  “The flesh counts for nothing”, Jesus said.  

Can church shut downs or worldly oppression of any kind diminish the longing of the Bride for the Bridegroom?  Won’t it all only quicken our hearts to seek Him and deepen our yearning for His coming?

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.   Rev 19:7

Lord, am I getting ready or am I still clamoring for the temporal things, reaching back for gone seasons and past movements?  I pray that You call us and draw us as Your flock, open Your word to us.  Let the world ‘take away’ as long as You pour in with greater measure!

 

Recognize These Birth Pains?

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Drag Queen Story Hour NYPL – in many other states as well

This above scenario troubles me in several ways. Firstly, while people have the right to live as they choose (within the law) there is grief in seeing a man happily dressed as a woman. Secondly, what could be more disturbing than celebrating this in a public venue of children? The answer – that parents, guardians of the children, are offering up their children to a value system, validating the very morals that offend God, and robbing them of the innocence that could be theirs.

There is no ‘freedom of choice’ when children are prevented from considering the choice to know God and His ways. Parents will undoubtedly shield them from the heart changing stories of Noah, Abraham, King David, the Apostles and our Savior Jesus Himself.  Most children today do not hear of God’s love, so costly and powerful but emotionally feed on stories like Worm Loves Worm, a story depicting same sex marriage.

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Like child sacrifice to Moloch, here spiritual lives are freely given up….

Finally, the logical challenge goes forth, like a warped altar call….

 

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With enthusiastic invite he asks, “Who wants to be a drag queen when they grow up?”

What could be worse than children being indoctrinated with such sexual values? Worse than the parents bringing them to such an ‘altar’?

A silent – or complicit – or unloving church.

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” (Matt 24:12)

When Jesus describes the “birth pains” in the end times before His return, there seems to be a causal relationship between ‘lawlessness’ and the believers’ waning love. Betrayals, persecutions, and apostasy –an increase in wickedness – turns the love of many cold.

Here is the saddest part of the Drag Queen library presentations: most of the church has lost her grief and love for the souls that have no hope without God.

Much of the western church ‘avoids’ persecution or betrayal by ‘hiding in the world’, camouflaged by the same values. Others resist controversy and conflict by avoiding the bold truths that would convict man’s heart toward repentance.  For followers of Christ, the ‘cost’ of proclaiming the truth rises exponentially with wickedness.

There is usually no love found in ‘protesting sin’. It’s hard to find a precedent for it in scripture. But loving that ‘woman at the well’ doesn’t mean ignoring her sin or colluding with her sin. It means having a grieving love for her soul – a love that can’t resist telling her the truth so she might repent.

The ‘silent church’ does not represent the Jesus Christ. The ‘protesting church’ does not represent Jesus either. Worse is the ‘compromising church’ which Jesus warns He will vomit out of His mouth.

These ‘birth pains’ are coming faster and more painful. The devil laughs as men dress as women, men marry men and children are led into sexual and gender confusion. He may even laugh when we protest, boycott or petition these cultural changes. But Satan never laughs at the burdened heart crying out to God for the lost, deceived and confused. The devil isn’t laughing at the pleas and petitions to almighty God to deliver man from captivating sins.

I don’t want to join these ‘story hours’ but neither do I want to ignore them or protest them. I am grieved at the drag queen, the attentive children at his feet, and the deceived parents who usher their children into this arena. But if we focus our eyes on eternity, our view of all this changes.

All may suffer from these ‘birth pains’ described in Matthew 24, the tribulations that precede Christ’s return,  but only those reconciled with God, who ‘endure until the end’ will have the joy of His return. For the unsaved, ‘birth pains’ will not lead to joy of Christ’s arrival but the dread of meeting Him as Judge.

‘Today’ is always the right time to adjust our hearts and minds increasingly to the heart of our Lord. I pray for a heartfelt burden to plead for all those at ‘story time’. I pray that God reminds me frequently to pray for every ‘story teller’, every child in that audience, and every parent that applauds the ways that offend God.

Lord, I pray that you enlarge my heart toward the things that grieve Yours.  Please share Your burden for souls and lead me in prayer.  Let my prayers be aligned with Your will and be fruitful.  I pray for that ‘story teller’, bring him to a place of conviction, raise up a controversy in his heart.  Save him that he may tell Your stories.  Take away the false peace of those parents and pull back the curtain of deception.  Shake the hearts of families with the truth that, without You, there is no peace, there is no order, there is no hope. 

“But he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13

World To God: “DON’T DISTURB OUR CONSCIENCE!”

The below posted brief film gained notoriety as it was recently banned in France. (Perhaps being banned brought it forward to greater limelight than otherwise possible!)

Films and literature are subject to scrutiny and outright ban when governing authorities deem the content to be intolerably offensive – politically, morally, and/or socially. Banning films or literature serves to punctuate the prevailing values and agendas of society.

So why was this film banned in France?

“The court said the video’s depiction of happy Down syndrome children is ‘likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.’ “

(Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442735/dear-future-mom-down-syndrome-anti-abortion-video-ban-france)

In France, 96% of unborn babies found with Down Syndrome are aborted.

From the beginning of time, man embraced the delusion that the freedom to rebel against God somehow empowers us. This ‘freedom’ and heady independence from the ways of God emboldens us to rename immorality and cloak it with glamour and allurement. We boast ‘we are free!’ while in fact there is no greater task master than sin.

Biblical passages, such as Ephesians 2:1-3, describe this present world as under the dominion of Satan,

“..the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient”

In Ephesians and elsewhere, the Apostle Paul declares that ‘rulers’, ‘authorities’ and ‘powers of this dark world’ dominate our culture. There is a progressive course of rebellion, laying foundation to accept and redefine sin, deceiving man into celebrating sin and finally and futilely, raising up standards against the inner conviction of sin.

                       WORLD TO GOD: “DON’T DISTURB OUR CONSCIENCE!”

This is a sobering quest of the last days.  It is the dark zeal that animates parades and entertainment that celebrate offenses against God.  Killing our conscience, that alarm installed by God to warn of danger, consequence and judgment is a futile and desperate denial of Sovereign God.

The final destination of man’s darkened heart, revealed in the fearful coming judgment….

“The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood – idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20-21)

… appears to be an inability to repent in spite of horrific acts of judgment.

Revelation chapter 11 describes ‘two witnesses’, sent by God and endowed with His power. Ordained by God to prophesize and testify for 1,260 days, these two messengers are murdered and their deaths are celebrated by the whole world…. “Don’t disturb our conscience!”                                                

Jesus, the Light of the world, left us here to be the light of the world. Light of the world, not friend to the world. The gulf between light and dark is broadening and fortifying.  Those  Brethren who choose to stand in God’s light, upholding Biblical truths in the power of the Holy Spirit, is shrinking.  We can expect this: the ‘church’ will continue to downward spiral, compromise and apostasy will make nominal Christians enemies of God. As the great ‘falling away’ steadily progresses,  the Body of Christ will be His remnant left in the world.

Our plea to the world has not changed, “Be reconciled to God” (II Corinthians 5:20) Neither has the message of salvation by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, His forgiveness of sins for all who sincerely repent. And steadfast is the promise of the resurrection, new life and life eternal for those who trust and obey. We cannot change, soften, or compromise the message as the darkness aggressively resists.

Our call, from before the world began, also remains. “Stand”, “watch” and “pray”, steadfast in faith wherever we are, believing that He has put ‘the parts of the body exactly where He wants them.’ Be ready with that undying plea to man from heaven. No one knows who around us will hear and receive the Gospel truth and cross over the gulf from death to life.

The celebration of sin, the banning of life and hope, should truly propel us deeper into the word of God and separate us further from the ways of this world. Viewing the world with the heart of Christ should birth in us both discernment and deep grief.

“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19

Let us commit to exalt and honor God. In mercy for our fellow man and in defiance of the wicked one, let seek God each day, speak the truth of the whole gospel of Christ wherever He assigns us.  Let us pray fervently that the Holy Spirit will enable us to  disturb the conscience of those who are perishing, that they may come to their senses and be reconciled to God.