This commentary is originally dated December 8, 2008 and since Red is briefly out of town he thought it would be a great opportunity to share it with you all again.  He has recorded the podcast to go with this article and you can find that below or on the iTunes store.


Pray for him and Robbin as they travel and he will be back with the news headlines later this week as per usual.


Wishing you every blessing,


Mary

—–
December 8, 2008
So
what lies ahead for the church of Jesus Christ? This is a question of
great concern to believers all over the world. As world conditions
worsen everywhere, many are wondering, “Is the Holy Spirit going to
revive the church before Jesus’ return? Will the Lord’s Body leave this
world with a whimper, or a shout?”

The
New Testament is jam-packed with predictions of many falling away in
the last days. Matthew 7:15 says that many false prophets will come like
wolves in sheep’s clothing, bringing powerful false teaching that
deceive, if possible, even the elect of God. (Matthew 24:24). Wickedness
will abound, causing once-hot believers to lose their first love.
Matthew 24:12 says, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of
most will grow cold.”

Jesus
prophesied these very things. As overwhelming sin and iniquity floods
the earth, He asks, “When the son of man comes, will He find faith on
the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
If
we stop and think about it for a moment, we realize that Jesus knew
everything we would be witnessing today — from horrifying terrorist
attacks, to the rise of militant homosexuality, to millions of lives
being taken by abortionists, and on and on. And in the midst of all this
He asks if we will continue to believe. Though things grow worse? Will
we lose our confidence when things don’t go as we thought they would?
Or — will we continue to trust in Him?
Remember
that Jesus knows all about terrorist threats, and wars and rumors of
wars. His word warns that the heathen will rage (Acts 4:25 KJV). He
knows that secular powers will grow stronger and try to outlaw His
church.
The
Bible says this about it all; “The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His
annointed, saying, ‘Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away
their cords from us.'” (Psalm 2:2-3 NKJV). In short, they want to cast
away all moral standards and very foundations of which the Church was
built upon.
What
does God say about these earthly powers and demon influenced people?
“He who sits in the Heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in
derision. (Psalm 2:4 NKJV) No matter how bad it looks, everything
remains under God’s control.
Let’s
thank God for His word from the Psalms. More and more we hear reports
about secularism wiping out the church in Europe, of Islam being the
fastest growing religions in the world, of homosexuals overtaking or
splitting entire denominations, of Christ’s church growing so weak it no
longer has any impact on society. Yet, in Matthew 16:18 God’s word
says, “On Christ the Rock God will build His church, and the gates of
Hell shall not prevail against it.” Remember this! Nothing from the
depths of Hell can hope to destroy Christ’s church. His eye is always on
His flock and through everything He warns Satan not to touch His
bride. Isaiah 54:15 says, “Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not
because of me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.”
See what God says here? He says that the enemy will come against us, but He will NOT succeed!
For
a time, God will allow the devil to play his vile games, but it won’t
have any impact on God’s last-day plan for His people. Glory to the
Lord, His church cannot and will not be destroyed!
We
do see in these trying times the church suffering from the onslaught
of the enemy. So much so in some cases that it has created a separation
from God.
Where
do we see this separation today? I see it most obviously in
compromised mainline churches. All the unauthorized changes over these
past 2,000 years have all but destroyed the original foundations of
which Christ’s church was built upon. But also I see it in the soft
pedaled gospel of Post Modern churches (seeker friendly, etc.).
It
is evident that there has been a separation from God’s manifest
presence. It has happened just as Jesus and Paul prophesied: many have
become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God…having a form of
religion with no power….despising the gospel of their
fathers….tearing down old moral landmarks….changing God’s infallible
Word to suit the times… (Reference 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and 4:3-4.)
I
challenge any and all of you to go to any city, from church to church
of every evangelical persuasion — try to find one where you recognize
the awesome presence of Jesus, where you encounter His heart-melting
connection. When the Lord is truly present, you recognize it, whether in
the singing, the preaching, or the fellowship. Something stirs your
soul, and it produces an awe and reverence. In my experience, this is
rarely found.
So
what can we do about it? To start with, we need to stop being part of
the problem and start rejoicing in the knowledge of our Lord’s constant
and unwavering love. We need to stop “going through the motions”. We
need to stop being lukewarm and become, as Pastor Dave Benson says, “hot
coals’. If enough of us do this, it will make a difference in our
Lord’s church. It’s the least we can do. After all, Christ died for it.
Quoting
David Wilkerson, “The nails that pierced Jesus’ hands and feet were
fashioned on the devil’s anvil. The sword that pierced His side was
forged in that smith shop of Hell. But the blood that poured forth from
His body has never lost its power.”
In
closing, we know that tough times are upon us and will continue to
increase for a time as like birth pains (Matthew 24). But let’s remember
what Jesus said in Luke 21:28, “When these things come to pass, then
look up, and lift up your heads: for your redemption draweth nigh.”
Brothers
and sisters, the day is coming when the whole world will see Jesus!
The apostle John envisioned “A great multitude, which no man could
number, of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, stood
before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and
palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying ‘Salvation to
our God which sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.’ (Revelation
7:9-10)
Until next time,
Red

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