Apocalyptic Signs... But the Church Continues to Sleep
When you read the book of Jeremiah you have to ask yourself, "How did the people of God become so corrupt?" The only logical answer was false prophecy. The false prophets had a large enthusiastic audience and were very popular because they made the people believe that all was well. In other words their messages were much the same as we hear so often today, "You´re OK. I´m OK. Everything is just ´hunky-dory´."
This unfortunately is what people want to hear. People love to hear the parts of the bible about love and money and the wonderful promises of God. This one-sided, unbalanced and very distorted gospel looks good on the surface but is empty and dead. These false prophets preach peace on their own terms. They call for pluralism and an end to the stigma of sin and promote a tolerance for all that God calls wrong.
I call them the ´fair weather prophets´. They are everywhere and they are giving very sensational and very appealing predictions of peace and prosperity for the coming year regardless of the spiritual condition of a person or nation and whether or not the people obey and serve God. They are promising blessings even if these people are serving their own flesh which screams insatiably after worldly lusts and pleasures.
Ezekiel 22:26 - 30 says, "Her priests have violated my law and profaned my holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from my Sabbaths, so that I (God) am profaned among them. Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey" (KJV) I´ll continue in verse 28 from the Living Bible ... "Your prophets describe false visions and speak false messages they claim are from God, when He hasn´t spoken at all.... I looked in vain for anyone who would build again the wall of righteousness that guards the land."
On the other hand, there are true prophets of God who are blowing a loud trumpet trying to awaken God´s people to their ungodly condition and warn them of the coming judgment, but like the prophet Jeremiah, they are ignored, rejected and persecuted. Jeremiah, who was known as the weeping prophet, tried to show the people their true condition so they could repent just as the letter to the Laodicean church does in the Book of Revelation. It addresses this ´end time´ church of today in North America, which thinks it is ´rich and wealthy and has need of nothing´, but God declares instead saying, "No you are NOT! You are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked and you need to anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see!" (Rev. 3:17)
My case in point -- Very recently a very prominent Christian entertainer who was promoting his book on national television, which was also broadcast worldwide over satellite, proudly stated that he included a picture of himself standing beside one of the former Presidents of the United States. I simply shook my head and wondered WHY he would promote this particular man, who was a very immoral leader, in his new book. (and yes, I HAVE written my own book but I would never put this man´s picture in it until he had at least openly repented before God and before this nation, confessing that he had behaved immorally and was sorry he had set such a disgraceful example to the world of how a leader of a Christian nation behaves)
Are we not, as genuine Christians, supposed to have an effect on the world, rather than let the world have an effect on us, the church? I say genuine because many call themselves Christian but act nothing like the ´Christ´ of the bible, who they profess to serve.
When the people had lost their ability to influence the culture in Nehemiah´s day because of their sin, Nehemiah, who was a great political leader in the Old Testament was so bluntly honest in his ´conviction of sin´ preaching that it led his nation into a religious reformation and a spiritual awakening.
There is a dire urgency for such preaching. Fox news has just reported that scientists have moved the hands of the ´Doomsday Clock´ to five minutes to midnight because of launch readiness of the 27,000 nuclear weapons of the United States and Russia, not to mention the threats posed by Iran and North Korea who are striving forward to nuclear technology.
Other startling news reports state that China has just demonstrated it´s anti-satellite weapon by destroying an aging weather satellite. This is a troubling escalation for the United States because it could foreshadow an anti-satellite arms race because of this escalation in the weaponization of space. Then World Net Daily reported lights ´not of this world´ by Col. Brian Fields, an Air Force pilot who took pictures with a digital camera to document the phenomenon which lasted more than an hour. The Chicago Tribune reported unusual sightings by very credible aviation professionals, working for United Air Lines, who saw an unusual space craft hovering over O´Hare International Airport.
On a lighter scale but just as serious, there is an article about the National Council of Churches becoming financially beholden to secular groups who have very little interest in religion beyond recruiting faith communities to support their favored social and political causes. And just today a report has been published about an incident which uncovered a plot to move 10 to 20 students into the United States on Student Visas who were affiliated with al Qaeda in Iraq. It appears to be the first hard evidence of a plot to attack us here on U.S. soil similar to September 11th.
So, let´s get serious! The days ahead do not look like days of wine and roses. The only thing that is going to spare us and help us to endure these times is a return to the God of the bible. Jeremiah, realized that God was about to execute judgment, but also knew that afterward God would reach out in mercy.
The good news is that when the church rediscovers the ´fear of the Lord´ as Proverbs 9:10 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding´, (KJV) there will be a move of God like this world has never seen!
The church WILL BE shaken from her sleep! An awakening IS coming!