Revival: The Division Of Churches.
As I write this blog the weather man is predicting record cold for the area Chicago and the whole Midwest. I am reminded of the words of Jesus when He said you can predict the weather by observation but you cannot observe the coming of the Son of Man. This was the problem at Jesus’ first coming and it is also the problem for second coming. The signs are there but few are looking and anticipating His coming.
I don’t plan to make this message a second coming blog but I do want to state that I believe Jesus’ second coming is within this present age. I was reminded of that this afternoon when Matthew and I used my smart phone to get directions. My phone downloaded the city map and my location in less than thirty seconds. It also charted our location while we moved along city blocks. I told Matthew, “The technology is here for governments to know where you are and prevent you from buying and selling.” The Apostle John saw this two thousand years ago. Today we live in the age when technology has caught up with Scripture. Scripture first and then technology. I am not afraid of this time because I want to live with anticipation of the coming of Jesus. Make sure you are full of the Holy Spirit (oil: ten virgins).
There are two things I would like to focus on about the end times and our present life. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy that in the last days there will be a great apostacy in the church. The church will have the form of Godliness yet deny the power of God. In other words; they will look and act like a church yet they will not know or serve God. This is happening. The second is a promise of the end times and the church. The Apostle Peter said to all the men of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost that in the last days God is going to pour out His Holy Spirit on all flesh.
17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. (NIV)
It appears that at the end of days there is going to be a great division in the church. Many are going to reject the moving of the Holy Spirit and do what is right in their own eyes. The apostate church will reject the Word as inspired revelation of God for man. They look at the Scripture as “ancient” instead of sacred. The “ancient” word does not speak to modern mankind. You will find many churches and preachers that try to modernize this “ancient text.” They may not say this unless pressed. Most will speak about the love of God and never mention the holiness and judgment of God on unholy hypocrites.
There is also a church of people living in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They believe and receive the Word of God as God breathed for today (2 Timothy 3:16). They do not see the Word of God as an “ancient” document but as a “sacred” revelation from God to man. A revelation of two covenants God has made with mankind. The first is the Law of Moses which is fulfilled through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. This is what is called the Old Testament. Now a second and better covenant of grace is given to us through Jesus. This is New Testament between God and man. We live in the covenant so time does not change it. Jesus is coming back for a church that breathes and stands on the Word of God. Is your church standing on the Word of God?
The church that experiences and lives in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is a church of prayer. Throughout the Scripture you see the connection of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring with corporate prayer meetings. Jesus is coming back for a praying church. Is your church a praying church?
In the last days we have a choice. We can have a form of godliness by giving God a portion of your life and then do and think what we want. You can find a church like that. There is also the true and living Church. They are the people who know their God. They know Him through His Son Jesus and live by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. They drink from the river of the Holy Spirit that comes through the word and in prayer. They are partnered with like faith believers as prayer partners.
In these days it is my hope that First Assembly of God will be a church living in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Our bread is the Word of God and our drink is the river of the Holy Spirit in our soul. This church lives and moves and anticipates Jesus coming soon.