Is there any truth to the idea that man’s churches will one day fail to be effective anymore? (and will fall?)
The first 3 chapters of Revelation show Christ giving a message to the 7 churches (congregations) of the period. Most scholars say this progression of statements also illustrate church history, and that we are now in the age of the church of Laodicea. The churches are lukewarm. They are not “on fire” for God, nor have they grown cold. But are they failing?
Just after the 911 attack on the World Trade Center by the so-called religion of peace, church attendance soared, for obvious reasons. Then the numbers subsided, and now, we’ve seen church closings, mainly due to the bad economy – fewer people are tithing. But some would say the churches are still going strong.
I’m involved in a small way with Voice of the Martyrs. According to them Christian churches are dramatically on the rise around the world - just not in America and Europe.
As you know from the last entry I differentiate the true church from the organized churches of man. In other words, the Body of Christ, as a whole, may not be representative of “organized” religion. I’ve heard at least one Minister remark that perhaps people like me want “disorganized” religion? No, organized religion is fine with me; I just want the organizing to be done by the Holy Spirit, not man! And as always, IMO, many, many saints attend these man-organized churches. Heck! I sometimes attend those churches! Spiritually, I simply see Christ’s church differently than most men.
The Bible does, in fact, support the idea that churches fail to do their job;
Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Mat 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Yes, the verses can apply to churches as well as individuals. Here’s a couple more;
Luke 13:6 He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
Luke 13:7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?'
Luke 13:8 But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.
Luke 13:9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.' "
Rev 3:14 "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:
Rev 3:15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Rev 3:17 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 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
I think you would agree with me. Man’s churches do have false prophets and ravenous wolves; they do not bear fruit other than producing their own wealth, and most are lukewarm - to be vomited out of your mouth!
You want some real-world examples? That’s easy!
- How many churches can you think of that ordain women?
- How many churches ordain homosexuals or lesbians?
- How many churches teach what is expressly forbidden by Holy Writ? (celibacy, for example …)
- How many churches teach the heresies of the Antichrist?
Guess what, with these four simple statements just about ALL Christian churches have been covered ! Here’s a famous quote from H. Grattan Guinness, a famous 19th century theologian, concerning that last point;
“Futurism is literalism, and literalism in the interpretation of symbols is a denial of their symbolic character. It is an abuse and degradation of the prophetic word, and a destruction of it’s influence. It substitutes the imaginary for the real, the grotesque and monstrous for the sober and reasonable”.
BTW, most all modern churches teach Futurism. Futurism is a creation of Francisco Ribera, a Jesuit, to combat the Protestant Reformation. Futurism has no biblical integrity. Yet, most churches (and governments) follow after the Beast and their futurist doctrine! (Note: the Jesuits were created for the sole purpose of turning the churches eyes away from the truth that the Roman papacy is the biblical Antichrist)
… more examples?
- Half of Americans believe U.S. Christians persecuted, But poll shows 1 in 3 Democrats believes such treatment 'necessary'
- State Department Ignores Christian Slaughter
- Navy Chaplains to Officiate Gay Marriages
- Navy Halts Move to Allow Gay Unions by Chaplains
So… back to the discussion; have churches failed? I would say – MOST DEFINITELY! Are governments following the Beast? OH YES THEY ARE!
(remember folks, I’m speaking of institutions here, not individuals)
So what now? If the churches and our governments follow the Antichrist already who do we have left?
… you have the Word of God and the 144,000!
Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
Rev 7:5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
Rev 7:6 of the tribe of Asher … etc.
The 144,000 have been said to represent the 12 Apostles and are a "last days" corollary to them. They represent the last teachers of the true gospel and also earth's last chance to accept Christ. They have not been "defiled by women" (Rev. 14:3-5) meaning they have not been tainted by the teachings of Babylon (a "woman" in biblical symbolism is a church). Now, whether you believe the 144,000 are symbolic or a literal number is up to you. “Israel”, BTW, has no connection to the country in the middle east. It represents the true believers in Christ. (yes, a related study!)
Being a subject unto itself, here is a reference to the 144,000.
The good book states that the churches and man will not be able to listen to or believe in the true Word of God in the last days;
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
Babylon has fallen, has fallen ... come out of her, lest you share in her plagues ...(Rev. Ch. 18)
I believe we are at that point in time. I believe most churches can be called Babylon. I believe most churches (and governments) are followers of the Beast! What about those Christians being persecuted and forming underground churches around the world? They are part of the Body of Christ, in my thinking - and I say, God Bless them!