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The Last Days Of The Church VII

 It’s not that God’s hand is short; it’s that men’s hearts are cold. It is one of the signs of the time Jesus warned of, but we deny reality because it does not support our personal vision of the last days and the things we’re hoping to see before the end. We’ve grown so conceited and arrogant in our self-assessment and think so highly of ourselves that many in the Western church have concluded that God can’t be moving in power, nor can His servants be walking in authority if it’s not happening at the local Hillsong affiliate.

If God’s not using me in that manner, then He can’t be using anybody else in the world because why would He if He could use me? Doesn’t He know how great I am? Is He not well versed enough in social media to intuit that if I were to have the gift of healing or prophecy, my outreach could be so much bigger than some member of an underground church in China or some preacher in sub-Saharan Africa? It’s that sort of circular logic that always places the individual in a class by themselves, giving way to hedonism and pride to the point of denying the work and power of the Holy Spirit. Men would rather deny the reality of the power of God than feel slighted that they weren’t being used in such a manner.

They dismiss the reality that in order to have spiritual capital, one must purchase from Christ gold refined in the fire because the notion of feeling the heat of persecution or material lack upon their tender skin is in itself anathema. Never mind that it’s the selfsame thing Jesus admonished the Laodicean church to do; we’ll get a reverse mortgage or a payday loan instead. We’ll get some fog machines and flashing lights, a hipster band that sings quasi-spiritual songs, and a hype man or two, and we’ll circumvent the need for true obedience and faithfulness.

It doesn’t work that way; it never has, and the reason we’re not seeing the manifest power of God in the American church is because the American church has never been through the fire, so it might be refined and purified. It’s not as though people aren’t hungry for the power of God; it’s that they’re not hungry enough to surrender and humble themselves at the foot of the cross in order to experience it. It’s like a child insisting that they’re starving, but they refuse to eat anything other than what they want, and it usually isn’t broccoli.

Men want God on their terms. God wants men on His terms. Men are unwilling to humble themselves, therefore they make do with what’s available while not having to wholly surrender their lives to Him. As long as you can promise the experience without needing to live according to the scripture, so what if it’s momentary and fleeting? So what if it’s just sleight of hand or illusion? They got something out of it, didn’t they? So what if the moment the church lets out, the experience is forgotten, and they return to the world like a dog to its vomit?

Although Jesus outlined what would take place, citing many being deceived and the love of many growing cold, Paul goes into far greater detail about what the church of the last days will look like, enumerating the various symptoms that will have their origins in the same perennial malady. The underlying disease will not be anything new. If we must identify a patient zero, the Laodicean church comes as close to it as we can verify biblically. The conclusion we come to when we delve into the Word and do so objectively is that what was once deemed the exception, the outlier, the oddity, and the cautionary tale will become the norm and standard.

Although the contagion of compromise and lukewarmness has existed since the early church, there will be an unprecedented explosion of faithlessness in the last days, to the point that Paul calls them perilous times. It makes sense in hindsight, as most things do, but taking into account that Paul’s prophetic glimpse into the last days took place at a time when you were either of Christ or weren’t, committed to Him or in full denial, it seemed just as unlikely as much of what Jesus said the world would look like before His return.

In order to understand the significance of a prophecy, you must contextualize it to the time it was given and how odd and strange the things that were prophesied must have seemed to those of that time.

When Paul wrote to Timothy describing the last days, he wasn’t guessing at it or needlessly trying to cause alarm. His message was revelatory concerning something he had no way of knowing when he penned it except through prophetic revelation. What Paul wrote was given by the inspiration of God to serve as a roadmap and a warning for what the spiritual condition of the church would look like during the last days.

When we begin to ponder the intricacies of the gospel, how finitely interlaced the prophecies of the Old and New Testament are, and how many countless words came to pass centuries after they were uttered, we can’t help but be humbled to our core.

Having the assurance that God knows the end from the beginning is also reassuring and a source of strength. It cements our conviction that being in His will, obeying His word, and faithfully following after Him is not misplaced hope or a fruitless endeavor but the only way by which we can navigate the coming days and do so victoriously.

We don’t have to wonder whether God got it right because He’s always gotten it right. There is undeniable evidence of His foreknowledge, providence, and awareness of the minutest of details of man’s history, and the presence of His invisible hand is evident time and again.

Believe God at His word. That’s all you have to do. He’s proven Himself. He’s proven His faithfulness, He’s proven His love, He’s proven His mercy, He’s proven His power, He’s proven His omniscience and omnipotence, all to such an extent that only the willfully blind cannot see His greatness.

And yet, despite all His proofs and demonstrations of divine power, some still choose not to believe. They turn a blind eye to the miracles, the wonders, the very essence of God’s presence in their lives. But for those who have seen His hand at work, who have felt His grace wash over them and make them clean by the power of the blood of Christ, there is no room for doubt. Their faith stands unshaken, anchored in the unyielding truth of His word. And so they continue to walk in His light, guided by the unwavering promise of His presence and protection.

Walking by faith and not by sight is a choice we must make as individuals. Believing what God says in His word about the times we are living in is likewise a choice we make as individuals. Amid uncertainty and chaos, we cling to faith like a lifeline. In the midst of a myriad of voices proffering opinions, we cling to the Word of God as the one and true plumbline.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 10 July 2024 | 9:13 am

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