Sunday, June 19, 2011

End Times- Church Age –Part 2

            I've painted a picture of the first six churches warned in Revelation 2:1-3:13, very definite periods and events as revealed in light of history. The final church period warned is Laodicea. I was especially impressed with this period because I see the evidences clear in our own time.

The Church of Laodicea  represents the modern era (1658- Today). Since the reformation and the spiritual awakening, the church hasn't gained a sense of self or purpose. A surge of denominations and doctrines came into being, threatening once again the life of the Church. False prophets and false teachers have emerged in greater numbers. Not one denomination holds to the entire teaching of the New Testament, instead picks and chooses which doctrines they agree with. 

The Lord said plainly that he wished this church was either hot or cold, but they are neither. Because of this condition, he warned He would “spit them out of his mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).  This is the condition of the church today. They will not stand up for the truth of the gospel. Desiring a gospel that doesn’t offend anyone.

 The Word of God is supposed to offend! You can’t save yourself! If you're not convicted by something that is said, then you are in trouble. Your conscience is dead and you can't receive anything from God. The Lord is constantly speaking correction, encouragement and strength. We need to stay motivated. We're not perfect in all our ways-we need our Shepherd to have His way in us. (Proverbs 3:7-12)

The greatest tragedy of this time in church history is the ignorance of those who claim to be followers of Christ. We've built grand cathedrals, magnificent worship halls, and amazing worship music. Hallowed buildings filled every Sunday with weak servants. Money is flowing into all kinds of programs, but there is no heart for God. Very few believers search the scriptures or pursue the things of God. 

Many conflicting teachings have left many Christians confused, struggling to fulfill the mission of the church.  Jesus said, “The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done [heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, and advance the Kingdom], and even greater, because I go to be with the Father” (John 14:12 paraphrased). Further instructions are found in Mark 16:15-20, Luke 24:47-49. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the source of power through faith in what Jesus said.

If there were a way for the gates of hell to prevail against the church, it would be through ignorance of the power the Holy Spirit. That is exactly how Satan is destroying the body of Christ. Very few teachers acknowledge and instruct about the authority of the believer. The Holy Spirit has not been given proper respect as God, but revered more as an essence or a ghost.

People are afraid or ignorant of the gifts and speaking in tongues, because Satan has caused fear and unbelief to rise up, effectively stripping the believers of this powerful gift. People don’t believe in other gifts of healing, casting out demons or raising the dead and those that do, are treated as frauds and charlatans.

The power of the church [body of Christ] has always been through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The power is the evidence of the truth of God. Some teach the lie that all power from the Holy Spirit passed away with the Apostles, Satan would like for you to believe that.

For so many years, the church as a whole misunderstood this power, therefore has systematically devalued the importance. These are the very weapons the church needs to defeat Satan and his crew. As long as Satan can keep us in doubt and unbelief, he will continue effectively dismantle the church. 

Most Christians stand around hoping and praying for the Lord to intervene. He has already given us everything for success through the blessing of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:19-22) We need to pursue the Lord faithfully and start believing in our authority through the Holy Spirit!

In the centuries past, there may have been an excuse for false doctrines deceiving the body. Scriptures were not available to everyone, but today there are enough Bibles in print, that every house in the world could contain at least hundred copies! And very few open and read it. The church is filled with a bunch of “pew warmers” hoping that God is giving them a gold star for their attendance that day.

This is the last church Jesus mentioned.  The promise of during this period the Lord will signal the next event, known as the rapture [caught up, snatched away], this will usher in the Great Tribulation. I hope you agree- we're witnessing  the final wake up call--time is short. 

I will continue this series with the rapture, sharing what I have discovered the Bible says about this event. There are many schools of thought; three of the most popular views are a Pre-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation and Post Tribulation rapture. I hope you will enjoy my take on this eminent event.

“Keep a constant watch. And pray that, if possible you may escape these horrors and stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36)

“If you want me to protect you, learn to believe what I say” (Isaiah 7:9).

Copyright©2011 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

* dates for church periods are from “The story of the Christian Church” by Jesse Lyman Hurlbur-Zondervan Publishing 1970


Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

One constant in this time of divergence, is God's promise never to leave or foresake us. He also promised Peter the gates of hell would not prevail against The Church. Through all of the upheavel, The Church will survive. I do agree, we must do all within our power to keep the tenents of Christianity flowing. Every morning my first action is to read scripture and then other related devotions, offering prayer for His intentions. My life, this world and everything in it are in His hands....great discussion points.

Terrie said...

Thank you- Isn't that an amazing truth-with everything the body of Christ has endured through the centuries, His promise remains-anyone who calls upon the Lord will be saved. He has never left us or forsaken us- but longs for us to faithfully pursue him will all our hearts-that is where our life begins!

Blessings and favor always!!