A Very Serious Matter
I was prayerfully thinking what the situation might be for those who get out of the Lord's will and purpose. The Lord wants a sound Christian church fellowship in all areas, with members working together in unity for its success. The enemy will want to bring it down by dis-unilty. People sabotage the project in order to follow their whims. They must then be out of the Lord's will, even when they say "The Lord told me to leave". A few days later I read an article by Chris Hill that confirmed my perceptions, and the following day a similar article by Jacob Prash. The gist is that if we are not where the Lord wants us to be in order for Him to rescue us (thinking of the rapture) how can He do so? I, therefore, composed the following leaflet to warn believers of the peril they might be putting themselves in.
A letter to my dear Christian friends about - A Very Serious Matter
Dear Christian Friend,
I write this out of my love and concern for you.
In Matthew 7: 13-14 Jesus said: Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it (and went on to warn: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.) How few?
Surveys show that there are still over 70% of people in this country who regard themselves as Christian. They aren’t, of course. The number who would profess to be born-again believers is around only 2%. True, there are some in the nominal churches who have lacked teaching yet have a genuine love for the Lord, but they are likely to be few.
So, what of the 2%, broadly coming under the title evangelical (they may or may not be charismatic)? Are they all going to be with the Lord when He returns? Let us remember that Jesus said: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'
Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers’ (Matthew 7:21-23) This may sound preposterous. What could possibly diminish the number?
Jacob Prasch (Moriel)** in his message “Not even a Minyan” reminds us that not even ten righteous men could be found to prevent the Lord from destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot’s sons-in-law were not in the house where the Lord and His angels were waiting to rescue them. Instead of being “in here” they were out there. Being a type of rapture, Jacob questions whether those who are not “in here” where the Lord wants them will be raptured when He returns. A sober thought indeed. Writing in Sword magazine*, Chris Hill reminds us that a falling away in the end times is prophesied in scripture, and we are certainly experiencing that now.
The falling away takes place on several levels:
1. Failure to continue. Our English language often fails to do justice to the richer Greek language, which has a present continuous tense that English does not have. The oft quoted John 3:16 should read “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever is trusting in Him should not perish, but be having eternal life.” The need to continue is paramount. We cannot be trusting if we are not continuing in His will. No wonder the Apostle Paul urges us to do so. Romans 11:22 reads: Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
2. Getting into false doctrine, in spite of all the New Testament warnings.
3. Giving up meeting with other believers in spite of Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;…
4. Compromising by finding a home in sections of the evangelical church that increasingly are becoming ecumenical and will eventually become part of the end times apostate church Doing this in spite of the sound teaching some have sat under over the years. This is very sad. Ecumenicism is like a giant whirlpool sucking the unwary in; many of whom would at one time have avoided anything ecumenical like the plague. It is not enough to say: “The Lord told me”. He will not go against His own word. As Jacob Prasch has pointed out, as time goes by there are less and less believers to stand up for truth.
5. Moving away from those who do stand for biblical truth. (We are instructed to avoid false doctrine) They are no longer “in here”. Chris Hill says that the context is a falling away from – truth. It seems as though the Lord is shaking His Church at this time - to see who will remain faithful!
I want to use “in here” to represent the place where the Lord is and wants us to be in His will. How can we know this? Well, it is not too difficult if we read our Bibles. It is very clear that God wants a New Testament Church Fellowship in every location, which reaches out to others, with elders teaching and making mature disciples of believers. Can anyone really argue with that? That being the case it requires believers to work together in unity to see God’s purposes brought about. In one of his sermons Chris Hill says that believers love to learn but do not like training, because being disciples involves commitment. It ought also to be very obvious to us that the enemy of souls will hate what God requires and want to destroy it, and that he will do this by promoting disunity.
The vital question is this: Who are those serving, therefore, who show disunity and depart from a sound Bible based church fellowship that is seeking to move on? They are not serving the Lord and His objectives, but clearly - Satan and his purposes! That is horrific. They are no longer “in here” They are making shipwreck of their faith. Hence, the serious warning.
In my experience, these days if a preacher spells out the need for commitment and preaches on the Lordship of Christ he will soon be regarded as hard, legalistic, expecting too much and unloving. People will be offended (We need to remember that Jesus often offended His disciples) This is a risk that those of us with a prophetic preaching/teaching ministry have to take. Is it unloving strongly to warn of danger? Those who need rescuing may not see the need to be rescued unless we spell out the danger they are in. Shouting: “Grab the life-belt and keep hold of it otherwise you will perish! “ might sound unloving. But isn’t it proof that we do love them and are therefore very concerned for them? It would be much easier to leave them to it and just enjoy ourselves– but, surely, that really would be unloving, wouldn't it?
With love in the Lord Jesus
(Aletheia Christian Ministries April 2012)
Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
* SWORD May/June 2012 ** Not even a Minyan Moriel Newsletter April 2012