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The Last Days Of The Church V

 Dependence upon God in every area of life is not an option for the believer; it is a necessity. I can’t trust God in some things and not others; I have to trust Him in all things in perpetuity. If I withhold trust from Him regarding anything, I’m insinuating that there is something He cannot do when He declares there is nothing He cannot do. This is not a trivial matter; it is an existential one. It’s not just those who say, ‘I am rich and have need of nothing’ that stirs God’s righteous anger, but anyone who points to anything other than Jesus as their justification, sanctification, or salvation.

The list is long and has varied throughout the ages, but there have been countless ideas, doctrines, and teachings attempting to usurp the preeminence of Christ and replace Him with something other. There may be more than one way to skin a cat, although I couldn’t begin to piece together why someone would know that, but there is only one way to the Father, and that is through Christ Jesus. He is the way that is discovered in truth, which leads to life. Absent Christ, we have neither truth nor life, and whatever way we might be walking in, if it’s not Jesus, it is a way that will lead to destruction.

Some men trust in traditions, others in their own righteousness, and others still in their pedigree or title, but everyone falls short of the mark if Jesus is not the cornerstone of their hope and faith. For the Laodiceans, it was wealth. That was the thing they put their trust in more than Jesus, and He would have none of it.

The third, and perhaps most tragic thing of all, and something that is commonplace in the contemporary church, is that the Laodiceans were blind to their own decrepitude. They beat their chests and boasted in their possessions but did not know that they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. In their own eyes, they were righteous. In their own eyes, they were, as a 90’s prosperity preacher put it, the apple of God’s eye, yet in reality, they were far from it.

But how could this be? Jesus did not deny their claim that they were rich in material wealth, but spiritually, they were poor. He did not deny that they were finely attired since they produced tunics made of one piece of cloth, akin to what Jesus wore, but of black wool, which was all the rage in those days. But He still saw them as naked because they were not clothed in righteousness.

Although they were self-titled visionaries, with their multi-campus concept and the glorious buildings they’d erected, Jesus saw them as blind because they did not look beyond the present to the kingdom to come.

What men see and how they weigh a matter is different than what God sees and how He judges. He told us as much in Isaiah when He said, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” Rather than desire to see as God sees and pursue His ways, the Laodiceans had convinced themselves that they were perfectly fine in their spiritual condition, so much so that although all evidence pointed to the contrary, they were still peacocking to the rest of the world.

To think oneself rich and in need of nothing but in reality to be wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked can’t just be the result of missing a minor detail somewhere, but rather the result of a prolonged, consistent, and complete self-delusion to which they’d acquiesced. It’s akin to a porcine fellow that begins to wheeze from the three steps it takes him to traverse the distance from his couch to the kitchen, believing himself an acrobat. They believed themselves spiritually superior, yet they had a hard road to row just to get back to a minimum standard.

It’s an all-too-common malady in many contemporary churches as well. While we declare to one and all that we are spiritual super-soldiers, warriors in the truest sense, we have a hard climb just to get back to the bare minimum, the plumb line, the standard that God lays out in His word. Being born again, being renewed of mind, denying ourselves, picking up our crosses and following after Him are not things reserved for the spiritual elite but the basic requirement for the lowliest of privates fresh off the bus starting their basic training. It’s passing the physical and being accepted into God’s army, not graduating from BUDS with honors.

Upon reading the letter to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans in its entirety, one notices a point of transition wherein Christ is no longer addressing the entire body but rather individuals within that body whose underlying desire is still to follow after Him. Not only is this telling, but it also highlights the truth that our faith is not collective but rather an individual endeavor.

Revelation 3:19-22, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

The message of rebuke was for the entire church, but the message of repentance, reconciliation, and fellowship with Christ was an individual offer. If anyone hears His voice and opens the door, then He will reciprocate and establish fellowship.

No man or woman is beyond repentance. Christ Himself commands that we be zealous and repent, but repentance is something that man must initiate, having acknowledged their need to be restored and reconciled. God will not force repentance upon anyone. He stands at the door and knocks. If anyone hears His voice and opens the door, He will make their heart His home and be an ever-present help in times of trouble.

What makes a church body pleasing in the sight of God is established in His word. The way is set, it is clear, and it allows for no detours or variations. The uncomfortable question we must contend with is whether or not the modern-day church resembles something pleasing to God or something He would vomit out of His mouth. In order to understand what the spiritual condition of the last days of the church will look like, this is the question we must answer and do so honestly.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Posted on 8 July 2024 | 11:14 am

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