PART 1: IS THERE REALLY A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE 21ST CENTURY CHURCH AND THE WORLD?
I greet you in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior. May the Holy Spirit guide and empower you as you read, in Jesus Name. Amen.
Before you proceed, kindly note that this article is strictly for the Stewards of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, I am going to say it the way it is because I am assuming that you are a steward who has the Holy Spirit.
For the purpose of this article, I have defined the characteristics of the following: a Steward of the Kingdom, a Christian, the “Fall Away Church,” the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and the American Empire.
A STEWARD OF THE KINGDOM: A Christian who has made a radical (TOTAL) commitment to follow Jesus no matter the cost. She is not bothered by what the world and even other Christians think; she is only concerned about the affairs of the Kingdom of God. Her daily life is guided by the Holy Spirit. Though she lives in the world, she knows that she is not part of it.
A CHRISTIAN: There are all types of Christians (Born again, Orthodox, Evangelical, Pentecostal, etc.) in the 21st century. Some of them may have confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior. But generally, most of them do not know what it really means to be a Christian. They see Christianity as a means to get things like health and wealth from God. They abhor cross-centered messages but love motivational messages and merry-making atmosphere in their churches. For them, their church leaders are like gods.
THE “FALL AWAY CHURCH”: The “Fall Away Church” comprises those churches where the Holy Spirit is not present in their services and activities. Though they claim they are for Christ, and may have biblical sounding names, in reality they are working against God’s Kingdom interests because of their false testimonies.
THE CHURCH OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ comprise those churches that have made Christ their Head in truth and who by their actions show that the Holy Spirit is directing their activities. All their messages center on Christ and they endeavor to take their members always to the cross in every service or activity.
THE AMERICAN EMPIRE: The Western world under the leadership of the United States of America (US).
2. HAS THE 21ST CENTURY CHURCH LEFT ITS FIRST LOVE?
If God sent one of His angels to earth today, what do you think this heavenly visitor will write in his report?
I tell you what I believe will form part of that report:
- It was very difficult to find those whose first love, and therefore loyalty is to God.
- There are many churches with Christian-sounding names. However, all I saw was darkness in many of them when I entered to worship.
- Those who ought to be servants to their brothers and sisters were lords over them instead. Not only did these lords love titles so much, they loved the adulation from their followers. Many took offense if addressed as ‘Brother’ or ‘Sister.’
- Not content with sinning against God, they teach their followers to sin also. So many strange doctrines, and hardly any cross-centered messages and many of their followers unaware of the difference. Many wander aimlessly from church to church seeking food for their souls. Others stay with the hope that the promised blessings seen in the extravagant lifestyles of their leaders will also reach them.
- Visits to churches with giant billboards advertising their pastor’s prophetic gifts and so many other exploits confirmed those pastors were no different from the seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19:4). In addition to their claims being spurious, many of those pastors had no anointing. More worrisome was the fact that some were actually working for the kingdom of darkness.
- During one of the Sunday services, I overheard one of the congregants praying: “Give me money, Oh God. You said in your word, whoever asks shall receive. So I am asking now for wealth to use to advance the Kingdom of God, in Jesus name, I pray.” Another was praying, “I love sister… Please God makes her see me and fall in love with me. Lord, I will serve you all the days of my life if you can make this happen.” Yet, another was praying to God to help him win his state’s gubernatorial elections. On and on it went, always about God doing something for them so that they can do something for God. For them, their relationship with God is based on quid pro quo!
- When I visited some of the homes of Christians, I was at a loss because there was no difference in behavior between theirs and those of non-Christians. In some cases, I found the latter to be more honest.
- On visits to earthly potentates (kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers, etc), I observed that some were actually Christians (at least in the name). But their policies and lifestyles were no different from their non-Christian counterparts.
- Merchants are releasing newer and better gadgets (cell phones, TVs, handheld computers called tablets, etc) almost daily and human beings are loving every one of them. Taking ‘Selfie’ is now the norm. Narcissism has been elevated to great heights. Thus distracted by numerous gadgets, most Christians do not have time for spiritual reflection. Even those that do have time have difficulty separating the wheat from the chaff and the noise from the music. There are no teachers. Everyone has an opinion and everyone is right in their own eyes.
In summary, there were no distinguishing characteristics between those who say they are Christians and those who are not. Most human beings, irrespective of their beliefs are only looking out for what they term number one (self). One can say that Christians and non-Christians have no time for God and the things of God. Many of those who go to church are more interested in seeing what God can do for them. Most of the Christian leaders are like the Kings, prophets and priests of Judah at the time of Jeremiah. They are leading their flock astray just as those priests and prophets mislead the inhabitants of Judah.
Because they lack understanding, having been fed on diets of lies, half-truths and some truths, most 21st century Christians are very afraid of persecution. It is their love for the things of the world that has made them to buy into the biblically unsubstantiated teaching that Christ would rapture them before the emergence of the antichrist. I have always wondered why they can’t see that because of lukewarmness–neither hot nor cold–the compromised church will be spewed into the tribulation period just as foretold in the Book of Revelation.
And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked–(Rev 3:14-17).
The Lord’s words ‘I will vomit you out of My mouth’ is prophetic. Churches that have replaced its Lord with lords (church leaders adulated by their congregations as gods) can only be spewed out by its Lord into the tribulation period where the antichrist will hold sway. Many will be tested and those who successfully resist the Antichrist (refusal to take the mark of the beast) will be ushered into the presence of the Lord.
3. WORLD AFFAIRS VERSUS KINGDOM AFFAIRS
Following the declaration of the Republican nominee as the president-elect of the US on November 9, 2016, cries of millions of disappointed persons and cheers of millions of happy ones reverberated around the world. Those crying had hoped the US would elect its first female president in its history while those celebrating were happy that their candidate had won. Outside of the US, the loudest cheers came out of Russia.
What the world did not know was that both those crying and those rejoicing were suffering from the aftereffects of the “Kool-Aid” served them by the Republican and Democratic parties (the two major parties in the US).
The pundits were all over the place: Many advanced several reasons for the monumental loss of the Democratic candidate, and of course the genius of the Republican candidate (even if many of the power brokers in his party had distanced themselves from him for several reasons). While there were disagreements depending on where pundits’ loyalty lay, all agreed that the polls had been wrong.
Pundits are usually partisan; they rarely agree on anything. But in this instance, they all agreed that the polls were wrong. Yet, most of the pollsters had good records in the preceding three presidential elections. Though polls are snapshots in time and the only poll that counts is the one on election day, no one considered the fact those polls could have been right, i.e., the eventual loser was actually going to win but for divine intervention.
No group (church, ministry, denomination) should claim that this divine intervention was the result of its prayers. Such a claim would make God partisan and detract from the sovereignty of God. From the foundation of the world, God knew who would be the 45th president of the United States of America, which spiritually speaking is the Revived Roman Empire. God overruled all human efforts and projections for two reasons: fulfillment of Kingdom objectives and to show the proud (those persons who think they are too smart like political pundits, pollsters, campaign organizers, the presidential candidates, the US President, etc) that He is indeed God.
For the discerning, that result was a signal that the world order, where the American Empire was the greatest power on earth, had ended and that a realignment of nations had just begun. In this new realigned world, the American Empire will be competing for the same space with a revived Russian and an emboldened Chinese empires. The descent into chaos has just begun; this writer foretold the realignment of nations in his book, Countdown to Eternity, published in 2007. (The reader can download a copy of the book for free from www.worldevangel.com). How long this chaos will last is unknowable; however, one thing is certain, the world as we know it has ended.
4. SADNESS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Christians were among those crying and those rejoicing as the projection was made on who would be the 45th president of the US. There was no difference between the reactions of Christians with that of those in the world. In fact, Christians were the most emotive.
I have two questions for those US Christians:
- How often have you cried at the ungodliness pervading the world–a world speeding into extinction carrying many souls (lives) into Christ-less eternity?
- Have you ever put as much energy into the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom to a dying world as you have had to do during the just concluded US elections?
There was sadness in the Kingdom of God, not because of who won but on the unruly utterances of many Christian leaders during the electioneering campaigns. Those that ought to be praying for their nation were more inclined to take partisanship to new levels. A divided America became even more divided as well known Christian leaders kept quiet in the midst of the din of hate, racism and ethnic jingoism echoing from the mouth of one of the candidates.
Stewards of the Kingdom ought to know the following:
- Stewards of the Kingdom had no business taking sides in the US elections. Equally, they had no business canvassing vigorously for either the “Brexiteers” or the “non-Brexiteers” in the referendum on whether Britain should or should not remain in the European Union. Christians can be excused because they don’t know any better but not stewards of the Kingdom.
- It is wrong to join hands with people of other religions (Muslims, Hindus, Animists, etc.) to pray to God; which God will one be praying to since many of those groups do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that His is the only name given under heaven by which human beings are saved (Acts 4:12).
- God hates mixtures.
- No 21st-century country is truly Christian. One evidence–there is no country with laws making the reading of the Bible compulsory in schools?
- It is hypocritical of the world to make a huge deal about social justice when God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is not receiving His own justice. Those who clamor the most for their justice are the first to deny God His justice–the right to be worshiped, obeyed, and revered by all of His creation.
TO BE CONTINUED