Man is this a crazy wicked time or what? If you've been paying attention at all, you'vehad to see how much our world is changing right? I mean global rioting, school and work place shootings everywhere even at IHOP?? Talk of this War and that War...North Korea to destroy South Korea, Iran to obliterate Israel. Global economies on the verge of collapse. Shariah Law has taken root here in America in 23 states..Yikes. Gross Sin is rampant..I mean GROSS SIN...flesh eating man arrested in Florida, cannibalistic adult film star on a murder spree. As my Pastor has said..Adult Entertainment is "Epidemic" Heck, family time television hour show commercials that would have been considered soft core at a prior time. Racial tensions are stoked, love is waxing cold. Mobs of people attacking one another because of the color of their skin not knowing a thing about the person they are attacking other than they don't like his color?? Or Ethnicity?
What in the world is going on? teenage sex..epidemic, divorce..epidemic, adult entertainment..epidemic, addictions to alcohol and drugs..epidemic, anxiety and fear...epidemic, greed in the heart of man...epidemic, hatred toward Israel and Jews epidemic, Love of Pleasure and Self more than God...Epidemic. You get the point. It's a Perilous time. Think Not? you must be living in a cave or just choosing to hide your head from what's going on at a time Our Lord said to Watch and Pray! For What?
Sadly all of this is not only epidemic in our society...it's Epidemic in our Churches and that is where it's time for the rubber to meet the road.
Seeker Friendly has turned deadly we've compromised ourselves into a corner ...and it shows. Jesus said Take Up your Cross and yet it's the "In thing" to go Cross-less. BUT WAIT, the Word of God says IT's The Power of God unto Salvation hmmmm
Our World is going to Hell, their is NO DOUBT. In fact no matter what I'm about to say is going to change what the Bible has said is going to happen in that regard.
However, God in His sovereignty has a plan and it's a redemptive one and it's one of great Hope but it can't be fulfilled any other way than God's Way. So what would He say to His people as such a wicked and sinful time as this??
RETURN TO ME
Joel 2:“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God? 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; 16 Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes;
Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. 17 Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
OK, so let's just cut to the chase and get real. This is a dire straits moment in time and we all can talk a good "churchy" game but talk is cheap and it's time to get down and gritty. We have drawn near to God with our lips and we have sang the latest and greatest music..but our hearts have been far from Him. If it was just great music He wanted from us we would be in great shape but in Amos we see that's not what He's after.
Amos 5:21 “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. 22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. 23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.
The reason we are in such a mess right now is because we've gone astray. If you don't think so then tell me how in the world has divorce statistics risen in the church to equal if not higher in the world?? (by the way I went through and unwanted divorce 10 years ago and I'm not condemning the over 55% percent of who will read this article who too have been divorced) and how in the world is it that when Christians meet at Bible Conferences in cities across this nation or other nations that the adult viewing in hotels go up? How can we allow the tv and internet and gaming consoles to baby sit our kids and not expect the fruit of rebellion and violence or addiction?? And How in the world is it that that we can meet Sunday after Sunday and blow and go and YET have such little impact upon our culture anymore?? I mean does it look like the Gates of Hell are not prevailing against us right now?? Be Honest!!! We have Mega and Giga Churches growing in numbers but the fruit of their followers render the statistics of the unsaved? Something is rotten in the cotton
So what do we do? We need to seriously stop EVERYTHING and take a good look at where we are and from where we have fallen. There are a million excuses not too, I know I'm guilty bigtime it's 80 outside and the golf course is calling or ballgames, American Idol's on and Colt Dixon's a Christian...but wait It's Monday Night Football oh wait..it's the Season Finale of Survivor or it's this excuse or that excuse "deer season" or whatever BUSY thing that comes at us .but WAKE UP...it's Urgent...Our World around us is going to hell and God's On the Phone and He is telling us to Run ..not walk to a dedicated time of seeking HIM and confessing and turning back to the One who Loves Us and ask for Him to Heal Us!!' This is not a legalistic appeal to guilt us to "do something" but to return to Him who did everything!!
The Goodnews is that is why we were created .. that is His Redemptive Plan and More Goodnews is that it's He that is Calling Us back to Him so He can renew us and work through us to move righteously in this earth while their is still this thing called TIME!! To Go Back to Preaching the Cross! Why? Because it's what life is all about. Christ dying so we could truly live.
But their is a BIG "What if" are we going to nod our heads up and down in agreement OR are we going to take the bull (altar) by the horns and press in and seek Him while He may be found??
Are we ready to repent??
This is an important question not only for you but those you are assigned to. Righteousness still exalts nations and You and I do have direct bearing upon this place we call home. Think Not? then why are we told to be Salt and Light?
In II Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
This famous passage addressed to Israel and it's a promise for them but not only them but us as believers not that we can believe for a Sovereign National Healing but as the Church we are a Holy Nation and WE need to be healed and when the Church is operating as it was created to do...it will be moving in Our Lord's Authority with boldness and victory, overcoming and reaping in the harvest assigned.
Again in this thing called TIME that is why we are still here and that is what it's all about as far are our calling is concerned, but our Calling starts with Him who Called us and we have lost our way and He is calling US back to Himself. Thank God!!!
But in coming back to Him He is also telling us to CHANGE!!!
Ephesians 4:17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
How do we do this? We don't!!! It's the Lord's Battle and we can do NOTHING without Him..and that has been our problem. We have tried to live for Him without Him and that is where it all went wrong. At some point in time it became normal to believe that we were to go and clean ourselves up and fix ourselves and be "christians" without Him and then He would accept us...but what a bunch of Self Righteous mumbo jumbo that is!!
The truth is even on my best day, If I pray a thousand (my will be done) prayers and read the Old Testament three hours and witness to five strangers and buy a meal at a drive through window for the car behind me and then say Lord have I been good enough to earn your blessing and favor He would say..."Filthy Rag!!!" Say What?? Yea, because You did it ...that's not what I want from you or for You...I saved You to Myself. I want You to hang out with Me!! Come Learn of Me. Behold I stand at the door and Knock to they who open I will come in and dine with them and they with Me. I only want you to do what I want You to do when I tell you to do it. My burden is easy and My Yoke is light. Quit striving to be good and instead strive to enter through the Narrow Gate ME!!! Its that calling that we've lost. We've allowed CHURCH to become God and thought if we go to Church and hear sermon's and sing songs about Him and read about Him that we were fulfilling a righteous checklist that allowed for blessing and then tried to fulfill a new law list of do's and don't ...don't drink, don't curse, don't hit the wrong tv channel that you know if you click will take you where you shouldn't go don't lust, don't, don't, don't is the LAW at work invoking sin ...our own will power is not powerful enough to WIN those battles. Just as Jesus cried in the Garden "nevertheless NOT My Will but thy will be done" is the cry that needs be coming from our hearts...We can do NOTHING ...let me say that again ..We can do NOTHING without Him and it's total pride to think otherwise. That is why He tells us "In All Your Ways acknowledge Me" because that is what we were designed to do. He is our Fuel...His Joy is our Strength ..In His Presence is Fullness of Joy and and where His Presence is ..is FREEDOM!!!
Let's PLEASE Get Real ...it's time for a BIG TURN of Events in this land should the Lord tarry and it can come IF ..
We will turn not from Sin but Turn to Him and ask HIM to help us to turn from Sin..(Might sound like semantics but that is a BIG semantic)...HE WILL ANSWER YES!!! HE will Heal He will set free!! IF we turn to HIM!! Lord I wrestle with a love for Chocolate or Chips or Cookies or Adult Addictions...what do I do? Don't buy it at the grocery store, don't type that web address. Lord I am sick of being scared, well "Fear Not I'm with You Always" but Lord I'm wretched..I mean you don't realize how wretched I am "Oh Yes I do, I know your innermost thoughts and it's I who desires Truth on your inward parts" But Lord I've tried so hard, "I Know and how's that been working for you?" "I crash and burn everytime" We cry and scream we moan we complain like fish out of water we flip out and around WE need to be put back into Christ...Let's go back to The Cross and our First Love and never leave. Why oh why if when we are weak He is strong do we ever try to be strong in our own strength??
It's heavy upon my heart to believe for a BIG TURN by many who read this. Not towards a new book or a new doctrine or new "in thing" but a big Turn to a dedicated purposeful setting aside of TIME spent pouring out all that is wrong and hurting and tearing apart of your life in His Healing Presence ...but that is a big "what if"
The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much (IF WE PRAY)
Jesus will dine with you today and tonight and everyday all day long ..(IF YOU OPEN THE DOOR TO HIM)
Righteousness will exalt this HOLY nation (If we Turn back to HIS Righteousness) My House shall be called a House of Prayer (Fellowship with God)
Souls will come to Jesus (IF WE LIFT HIM UP) If I be lifted up I WILL Draw all men unto myself
God does want to speak to the Local Body (If the Pastor will Let Him) one message hot off the altar is worth more than a million googled
This is a Big Deal! Why? Because I believe Jesus is preparing His Bride, He is calling us to Himself before He calls us to Himself. He's coming for a Spotless Bride washed white as snow through His Precious Blood. Our eyes have been on a gazillion of things but He is saying right now "turn Your eyes Upon Jesus look full into His wonderful face and things on this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace"
IF we do that He will meet us right where we are at, and right where we are at is not a pretty place in time right now! But What IF, We heard what He is saying to Us His Church and really did turn to Him??
He who has ears to hear..please HEAR the heart of this message and get alone and PRAY (Turn)
If your a Pastor and your flock hasn't had Prayer at the forefront of your gatherings or ministry ...PRAY (Re-Turn)
It's Time to Seek Our Lord! He has said "IF you seek You Will Find" "What If?"