And if we know the word of God we know how late the hour is. Paul said that we are children of the Light and will not be surprised as we see the Day approaching. (1 Thess 5:4.) The writer of Hebrews said that we should not stop assembling together, we should do it all the more as we see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25). Not as we believe the day is approaching. Not as we pray that the day might be approaching. As we SEE the day approaching.
Knowing the lateness of the hour ties in with this verse: "For where your treasure is, there your heart shall be also." (Matthew 6:21). Is our treasure Jesus? Or is it this world? At this late hour are we part of a Laodicean church? Jesus had charges against that church-
‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see." (Rev 3:15-18).
|The Worship of Mammon, E. DeMorgan, 1909|
Or are we the church at Philadelphia, where Jesus said we "have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." ?
That is the main problem with the global church body today, but especially UK, Canada, Australia and US. We deny Jesus. Oh, sure, a name of Jesus is preached from pulpits, if they even dare to call it a pulpit, some just call it a podium, but it is from a different Gospel and it refers to a different Jesus. THE Jesus of the bible is denied again and again.
Over 120 years ago Charles Haddon Spurgeon predicted, "A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats." Oh, how right he was.
|Mammon, George Frederic Watts, 1884|
Oh how right he is. Are pastors, teachers, and leaders teaching biblical discernment? A few. Praise them, and thank you Lord for raising up the pastors and teachers who are. But they are increasingly few...Grant Jeffrey is home with the Lord now, as is David Wilkerson, Adrian Rogers, and others. I see few discerning elders on the near horizon to take their place. And increasingly, the ones who are still teaching and preaching biblical discernment are not listened to. I wonder what the fallout has been for Pastor James Murphy up in Johnson City.
Thus, today, instead of the norm in our bible-believing churches being the Prince of Preachers warning 120 years ago about the coming clown parade,
We get the clowns:
|Ed Young and wife, preaching about sex |
for 24 hours from a bed on his church roof
|'Bishop' Charles Ellis prays for the future of the|
American auto industry
with three hybrid cars as the backdrop during
a special sermon called "A Hybrid Hope" 2008
Just because a person says they come in the name of Christ, they may not. Just because they are popular or long-lasting, doesn't mean they get a pass on whether they should be examined. The Bereans were called noble for examining the scriptures to see if they lined up with what Paul said. And Paul loved it.
Here are some discernment resources:
A Call For Discernment Part 1
A Call for Discernment Part 2
A Call for Discernment Part 3
The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies
A Call for Discernment, Jay Adams
Discernment is a Commandment
Discernment in the Church
Discernment and the Watchman
The best Resource of all is the Holy Spirit! And the bible itself.
Brethren, the hour is late. The watchword of the day is not our pits or self or confidence or release or seed or seeker. Repentance is the watchword, because after that, comes wrath.