Articles

A Message for the Church
 

 21 November 2009
By Rev. Michael Carl

Anyone who’s been following the news and who’s also been watching
Christian television or regularly visiting Christian ministry web
sites has likely heard that our experts say we’re entering a period of
turmoil.

Bankruptcies and bailouts in the financial sector, a rescue passage
for America’s “big three” auto-makers, bankruptcies in the insurance
and retail sectors coupled with an increased threat of terrorism have
prompted an unprecedented number of experts, preachers and prophets to
forecast the coming downturn.

The politicians are forecasting at minimum a recession. Some
political leaders say a depression bigger and longer than the Great
Depression is on the way.

Forecasters and economists even say the nation will see food riots.
Some political leaders upset at the turn of events forecast a second
shooting war for America’s independence.

Preachers from evangelical and Catholic circles say that the United
States and the rest of the West is entering a time of judgment—an
upheaval the likes no one alive has ever seen.

Regardless of the forecasts, there is a sound reason for why we should
expect the United States to be entering a time of judgment.

Make no mistake, if we are, it’s not because we’ve elected Barack
Obama or because we elected either Bush or Clinton. In fact, the
coming judgment isn’t because of which party holds a majority of seats
in Congress or occupies the White House.

We’re not entering a time of judgment because we don’t allocate enough
money for child daycare. We’re not falling under the Lord’s decrees
because we don’t spend enough on agricultural subsidies or because of
the war in Iraq.

If the nation is entering a time of judgment, it’s because we’ve
slaughtered about 50-million of our babies since 1973. If we’re
entering a time of judgment, it’s because of the filth and the
perversion that fills our nation’s airwaves, satellite transmissions
and flows through our internet lines in cyberspace.

The judgment is because our society is saturated with sex, violence
and corruption. The Lord will send judgment because of profane-laden
diatribes in our movies, music and literature.

The Lord will send judgment because we permit the exploitation of our
poor through games of chance. The Lord will send judgment for our
substance abuse and our tolerance of immorality. It’s because
nationally we’ve failed to take a stand for righteousness.

If we’re entering a time of judgment, it’s because one hundred years
ago our seminaries began to turn out graduates who no longer believed
the Bible as the Word of God and who denied the bodily resurrection of
Christ.

Our pulpits have preached a Gospel of self-fulfillment and self-
exploration. Our pulpits began to preach a “me-first” Gospel and
denied the way of the cross. We’ve become inwardly looking, self-
satisfied and content with our Christian
world.

If we’re entering a time of judgment, it’s because the church stopped
being concerned about righteousness and began being concerned with
what the world thinks of us. If the church believes it can make peace
with the world, the church is living a lie and denying the Words of
Christ.

If we’re entering a time of judgment it’s because the church in
America has become immune to sin. We no longer talk about it; we no
longer denounce it. We issue invitations for “salvation” that no
longer call for repentance.

Make no mistake, God has never been ambiguous about sin. From Moses
in the wilderness to Ananias and Sapphira, God has shown us that He
hates sin and what it does to His precious children. Why do we
tolerate it in the church?

If we’re entering a time of judgment, it’s because our pulpits and
pews no longer have a heart to win the lost or to “go into all the
world.”

The church’s marching order from Christ Himself is to “make
disciples”, not to make watered-down converts who know nothing of the
power of the cross to transform lives.

The church was never intended to find its place in the world; the
church was to be about the business of transforming the world through
the cleansing tide of the pure, spotless blood that flowed from
Christ’s outstretched arms.

The church’s mission is to preach repentance, death to self and a
resurrected life, not a life of ease and self-actualisation.

The answer to the warnings of coming destruction isn’t to join a
commune or a political party. The answer is for the true body of
Christ—His holy remnant—to come out and live an in-your-face level of
discipleship and holiness. The answer is to be on our knees pleading
before the throne of grace for a fresh move of God’s Spirit to touch
our thirsty land. The church should be on its collective
knees asking for the Spirit’s power to live a holy life.

Two weeks ago, I had a dream in which I was to do a joint worship
service with one of the former pastors of the church where I am
pastor. I was puzzled by this dream because the other pastor in the
dream is dead.

When I arrived for the service, I walked to the platform and stood
among the choir members for this service.

Yet, for the duration of the dream, the inclination in my heart was to
walk away from the crowd and the service. I felt led to leave the
room in which the service was to be held.

I was following a sense of direction to come out from among them.

After puzzling on it and praying about it, the message was clear. I
was being called to come out from the dead. I was being called to
come away from the dead institutional church of American
Protestantism. I was called to come out of dead works and the watered
down, weak church as usual.

I was called to come out and be separate from the compromised, weak,
and ineffective American “social club” religiosity.

The message is also clear for the rest of America’s true, born again
believers. We’re called to come out and be separate from those who
play church. We’re called to live as the church triumphant, but also
the church militant. We’re called to live under the shadow of
Christ’s cross and to truly learn what it means to drink from His
cup.

We’re called to proclaim and live the Gospel an uncompromisingly
redeemed life before the world. We’re called to no longer play games
and to tolerate weak teaching that advocates a watered down Gospel.

We’re called to call sin, sin. We’re called to tell people that if
they don’t repent of their evil deeds they will perish and go to a
Christ-less eternity. We’re called to warn people about hell and to
powerfully and uncompromisingly tell them about the love of God in
Christ Jesus our Lord.

We’re called to unapologetically teach Christ and Him crucified, dead,
and risen.

We’re called to a life of death to self and a life of taking up our
cross and following Him without apology.

This is the only answer for a nation that is on the brink of
judgment.


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