Have you noticed how more and more believers are pulling out of the church system of today?
This is because the light of God is now shining more intensely on what WE call ‘church’ (which is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from what God calls church). Many people are now clearly seeing the falsehood and hypocrisy that underpin both the foundation and the practice of the church system.
Using the name of Jesus to siphon money from people’s wallets is the LEAST DAMAGE inflicted by the OWNERS of those various churches.
The REAL DAMAGE lies in how they WRECK the destinies of their victims by perverting the Gospel of Christ. For, indeed, by shielding men from the challenging, searing truth of the Gospel, they hinder them from knowing THE TRUTH that God sent from heaven to make men FREE. Free to serve Him in Spirit and Truth.
For long, God tolerated this anomaly in His work on earth. While men slept, the enemy roamed freely in the Gospel field in the world, planting his men (the Gospel merchants) in huge numbers everywhere. But, today, God is turning the tide. With the imminent return of Jesus, God is shining His light afresh in the Gospel field.
And, suddenly, this light is causing men to see more clearly! They are seeing how supposed ‘men of God’ are using the name of Jesus as a smokescreen to EXPLOIT and ABUSE VULNERABLE PEOPLE in various ways. They are seeing the hypocrisy and manipulation that take place on the supposed ‘altar of God’ in the churches. They are seeing the false doctrines flying around – doctrines of men disguised as the doctrines of Christ.
Shocked by what they are seeing, an exodus has started. It started as a trickle. And it is now growing into a steady, gentle stream of men and women that are tired of adhering to the tenets of empty religion!
Just like the rich, young ruler did in Mark 10:17-27, these men and women are running towards Jesus for eternal life. For, now that they can see, they know that religion CANNOT save a man’s soul – however much we attempt to satisfy its rigorous demands.
Now that they have escaped in the exodus, we are seeing a lot of them on social media. Preaching the Gospel in the best way they can. Attempting to point men back to the ancient foundation of the church that has been abandoned. Debating, at times fiercely, New Testament doctrines and precepts with gusto.
Now, let us pause for a second. It is easy to see the remarkable, spiritual work that is going on among this group on social media and THINK that the church of Christ has indeed arrived on earth for the much proclaimed ‘end-time battle’!
But, nothing can be further from the truth!!! The church of God has NOT arrived in that sense. What we see today as A FRUIT of God’s ongoing spiritual work is nothing but A SEED! This seed has a lot of potentials. The potential to become the picture that God has in mind for His TRUE church. But this seed that we see is yet to become that TRUE church in the real sense of the word. It may dry out as a seed, OR it may stay in the right CONDITION on the soil and become a fruit. A TRUE harvest of the Gospel.
Let’s use a great spiritual truth to explain this point in a clearer way. There is a great difference between RUNNING TO JESUS and FOLLOWING JESUS. Please read that sentence again and think about it carefully. If we do this, we’ll see that the two concepts are completely different spiritual experiences!!! And, it is possible to have one without the other! We can again turn to the rich, young ruler to illustrate this point. Mark 10:17 tells us that he indeed RAN TO JESUS – but we all know that he never FOLLOWED HIM eventually! Two separate experiences.
It is exactly in the same way that MOST of the ‘believers’ that have escaped from the church system to RUN TO JESUS will not TRULY FOLLOW HIM!!! Like the wayward children of Israel, they will leave the land of captivity (the church system), but they will NOT enter the Promised Land (in Christ Jesus).
The reason for this is very, very simple. FOLLOWING JESUS is NOT cheap! Followership comes at a very steep price. A steep price that many that run to Jesus will be unwilling/unable to pay. Just in the same way that the rich, young ruler was unable to pay the price AFTER running to Jesus for eternal life.
Here is something interesting. It is the same hurdle that proved too high for the young ruler to scale that will also, in this end-time, confront ALL those that have RUN TO JESUS for eternal life. For it is an unchanging, ‘unbendable’ CONDITION OF DISCIPLESHIP – the test of possession.
This TEST OF POSSESSION is a condition of discipleship that is clearly set forth in Luke 14:33: “So likewise, WHOSOEVER he be of you that FORSAKETH NOT ALL that he hath, he CANNOT be my disciple.” Please note the word ‘CANNOT’ in that verse. It simply means it is impossible!!!
In these days, as a Body, God is going to vigorously challenge the materialism in our hearts in a way that has, perhaps, not been witnessed by any other generation of believers (apart from the early church, as we see in passages like Acts 2:44-45, 4:34-35).
Our sense of MATERIALISM will be challenged to its very core! Our culture of OWNERSHIP will be tested to its hilt! Until this backbone of SELF in our lives is shattered to pieces, so that our TRUST is wholly in God ALONE – as we read in Matthew 6:24-34. A stage of a deep walk of faith with the Lord where we dare not even TAKE THOUGHT for our tomorrow!
As this divine agenda unfolds, many of us may have to sell our houses for the sake of the needy in our midst. Lands may have to be sold. Shares/investments may have to be sold. Lucrative careers may have to go on the altar of serving the people of God (or for wives, serving their family). The Lord may start pointing to ALL the avenues and material possessions that give us SECURITY, HOPE, and PEACE OF MIND in this world.
There is a very good reason behind all these. It is highly likely that ours will be the generation that will herald the glorious return of the Lord (or, at least, pave the way for it). The generation that will have this HUGE PRIVILEGE will also face the HUGE RESPONSIBILITY that goes with that glorious honour. There is quite a lot to say on this so that we can understand why God will NOT compromise an inch on the subject.
As this is a separate issue from the subject of this article, please refer to the link at the bottom of this article. It will lead to another article titled, ‘THIS IS HOW GOD WILL BUILD HIS CHURCH IN THIS ENDTIME – AND IT’S THE ONLY WAY!!!’ That article is highly recommended. It explains why the demand of the Gospel in this end-time is going back to the GOLD STANDARD of the early church.
Sadly, MOST ‘believers’ that have escaped from the church system will NOT be willing to meet the challenge of this GOLD STANDARD. (This explains why Jesus will barely find faith on earth when He returns – Luke 18:8). And, for this reason, such ‘believers’ will LIVE AND DIE in limbo in the wilderness of neither-here-nor-there! They would have left the churches of the Pa Adeboyes of this world (and other ‘men of God’ like him). But there will be NO ENTRY for them into the Kingdom of God that grants access to ONLY those that LOSE their lives so that they can FIND it (Matthew 10:39).
In the dimness of this wilderness, these ‘believers’ will continue to ‘teach’ and ‘minister’ in the name of Christ – probably on social media, or even in physical house fellowships. This will give them a false sense of spirituality! A subtle, arrogant sense of ‘being WOKE’ that confuses spiritual gifts with spiritual fruits! (Only the latter get men into the Kingdom of God, not the former – Matthew 7:21-23!)
There is an EXTRAORDINARY IRONY that these ‘believers’ will be overlooking as they continue to ‘labour’ for God in this way. Here is that irony: from God’s perspective, in what ways are they different from the ‘men of God’ of this world from whom they ‘escaped’?!?!?! Are they not ALL rebels that refuse to DIE so that God’s Christ can TRULY reign in their lives? In this way, are they not EXACTLY the same as the ‘men of God’ they criticise daily on social media? Very ironic!
As we think about that irony, we’ll understand the Bible passage that says “… GOD IS NOT MOCKED…” (Galatians 6:7). To avoid this irony, ‘believers’ that are not TRULY WILLING and READY to give their ALL to FOLLOW Christ in these days should just stay within (or go back to) the adulterous laps of the church system of today! They should stay ‘at home’ in the love of their religious fathers that follow Christ on their own terms. This will make it a case of ‘like father, like son’. For, indeed, the apple does not fall far from the tree!
But, all believers that choose NOT to go back to Egypt, not to go back to their vomit, should prepare their hearts for the EXTRAORDINARILY CHALLENGING DAYS that lie ahead in our quest to follow Jesus Christ! The coming season will be days like we have NEVER experienced before – as heaven works out the demands of THE CROSS in our individual lives.
These words of Jesus offer a fitting end to this exhortation. Please pay close attention to the words: “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man BEGAN TO BUILD and WAS NOT ABLE TO FINISH.” (Luke 14:28-30).
Friends, are we able to finish what we started when we escaped from the church system to run to Jesus? The gate that leads to life is indeed NARROW. And the way is hard indeed! (Matthew 7:14). The good news is that grace, GREAT GRACE, is abundantly available for the FEW that would dare to walk in the lonely path that leads Home.
The love of God is waiting for the humble, penitent hearts.
Amen and Amen.
Thanks for reading, God bless you.
Source: Church Watch in Nigeria.