State of the Church 2015, part 3
Four years ago I assessed the State of the American Church in a multi-part series, writing from my own perspective in my own opinion based on Bible prophesies and warnings. (The links are on the right sidebar, scroll down.) The major themes and issues I wrote about in 2011 were--
- Love among believers growing cold, something we're prophetically warned about,
- Failure to tend our anchor and look at the lighthouse, this translates to too many Christians not believing in the sufficiency of the word, something Hebrews imperatively warns us about,
- Not having a biblical worldview, something the entire Bible repeatedly warns us about,
- Believers including pastors who filled the vacuum of their non-biblical world view with a sinful attractional model, capturing goats instead of sheep, making church a carnal carnival, something Spurgeon predicted,
- Carnality allowing the rise of spiritual abuse, something Jesus condemned in the Pharisees
- The American church is increasingly not a safe place spiritually, something Peter prophesied.
|The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, 1830, Wikipedia|
Four years are not a long time in an adult's life. But in the church's life, these past four years have been like dog years. According to this canine aging scale, a large scale dog's age compared to a 4 year old human would be 34 years old now since I wrote the last State of the Church essay.
It has been a whirlwind of satanic activity and visible decline since the last time I've had an opportunity to prayerfully discern the State of the Church.
The Spirit has grabbed hold of me and is pressing me weightily. A few days ago I'd written two essays, here, and here, about the importance of memorizing scripture because persecution was coming to America and access to religious materials will be restricted. There will be suffering. I am not making a prophetic proclamation derived from direct revelation, I am stating what the scriptures say. (John 16:33, 1 Peter 1:6, 1 Peter 4:7, 1 Peter 4:12, & etc.)
We must memorize scripture and take the word seriously because the day is coming where oppression and persecution in America against Christians will play itself out in real ways. But the memorizing scripture is only the tip of the iceberg of the message I’m burdened to convey. Here is the rest. I’m saying it all at once because it is the time. It's long I'll break it up into several essays as I did the original State of the Church essay.
My heart’s desire is to equip the saints in the word and spark them to Godly action and holy living. I know that is yours too. We all come at it from different angles because we have different gifts. But every Christian has a mandate to boldly proclaim. And teachers are held to even higher standards.
THE BATTLE HAS NOW COME TO US
One of the things that I have observed in spiritual warfare is that events mount up, and there comes a tipping point. After the tipping point is reached, the events toward a particular path accelerate exponentially with rapidly reaching its inevitable outcome. This is of course usually the case in secular events. In spiritual events, especially prophecy, it seems that the set-up takes a long time but then it is fulfilled rapidly. The tipping point dramatically tips.
The particular path we're on that's accelerating so dramatically ends in the Tribulation with the saints overcome. June 26 and the Supreme Court's decision was a major touchstone in the earthly battle for the soul of the church. Most mature Christians understand this.
Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, (Rev 13:7).
That’s where it’s all headed. The church won't be overcome, the Revelation verse is another proof why the rapture will happen prior to the Tribulation because Jesus promised not to have the gates of hell prevail against His church. (Matthew 16:18) If the church hadn't been raptured out prior to the Tribulation then the Matthew verse would be a lie. And God cannot lie. But suffice to say, the prophetic path that is laid out for us is near-obliteration of all saints from the earth.
Now, June 26 was a watershed moment in the church in America. This is easily seen and understood. What is not so well known or understood are the following things:
SATAN'S RELENTLESS HATRED
The relentless aggression and hatred satan and his minions have for Christ's people and His church is something 99.9% of the American saints have no REAL clue as to the depth and evilness of. Oh, people intellectually acknowledge satan’s hatred, saying, "Sure, Jesus said trouble will come..." but they don't believe it deep down. This is partly because satan's hatred of us has been masked and suppressed all these decades and centuries since the first hard persecutions of antiquity, seen bubbling up for a while in the Catholic Church persecution of the true saints in the Middle Ages and once again briefly in the Holocaust, and today in ISIS for example, doing what they are doing to people now in the Middle East. Meanwhile America has been enjoying a First Great Awakening, a Second Great Awakening, a Third Great Awakening, and according to the false prophets, another one is just on the horizon. Less discerning Christians have bought into that lie. In addition, each 'awakening' was less biblical than the last. Some consider that the "Jesus Movement" of the 1960-1980 era was a Fourth Awakening. These movements have lulled us. Why would we need to be awakened if we were consistently and properly zealous for the House of God in the first place?
Satan’s visible hatred for the church in America certainly has not been seen in visible ways as it has elsewhere. It's mostly been hidden and underground, seen in the increase in false teachers, in accepted heresies, in tolerating sin. In America, we have not had physical persecution or limited-to-no access to Christian materials, and we have always had a voice in the public forum thanks to the Constitutional right of religious liberty. A Joel Osteen doesn't seem like judgment to us as much as putting Christians in a cage and drowning them. Therefore we have tended to believe either satan's hatred of Jesus' church isn't as bad as we think or it won't happen here.
Paul saw this hatred in Galatians. He was astounded at the ease with which the false group had come in and polluted the Galatian church. He said that in Galatians 1:6- "I am astonished that you are so quickly..." the Greek word the Spirit used in Paul for ‘astonished’ is thaumazó, wonder at, be amazed (marvel), i.e. awestruck, "wondering very greatly," astonished out of one's senses;.
You get that feeling of Paul's tone in the book. The tone is fervent, long sentences a bit jumbled and hurried, wanting badly to get the words out. Paul was astonished out of his senses. ("See what large letters I am writing with my own hand...")
Note: I’m not talking about satan being more powerful than Jesus. He isn’t. I’m talking about Christians who don’t comprehend the depth of satan’s darkness and weaken themselves with lax battle preparation. You know how John 1:4-5 says in the KJV
"In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."
Well we “lights” don’t comprehend the darkness as deeply as we should. Add to that we are weak in battle because we don’t access the power that is given to us. More on that next.
Satan is like a Godzilla rampage, trampling city after city, stepping on puny humans and leaving carnage behind. That is the battle. It isn't cozy and it isn't clean. Satan fights dirty and he has massive power. For Pete's sake he is god of the earth! (2 Corinthians 4:4). And here are the foolish American Charismatics marching up and down streets in prayer walks, thinking that they are binding satan with their stupid words, and deliverance ministers casting out satan with their tiny actions. It is not so!!
Most Christians in America have a wrong perception at the back of their minds, that somehow we're saf(er) here in the US. That because our nation was founded on biblical principles, somehow we won't get the brunt of what is coming. They think, 'We're in the Bible belt..." or 'We're protected by religious freedom...' or simply 'It won't happen here.'
Well it will. It has started.
State of the Church 2015, part 2 State of the Church 2015, part 3