Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Micah 4:7 - I will make the lame a remnant, and the outcast a strong nation; so the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on, even forever.
All the times Israel turned her back on God is incredible. They knew His power. They saw the miracles with their own eyes. They knew the protection He provided. They also knew His judgment when they tended to forget these miraculous circumstances...and in turn, they knew to repent. And repent repeatedly they did!
How could they explain their escape from Egypt's bondage? How their households, by merely applying lamb's blood to the doorposts of their homes, could be spared the wrath that came? How the waters of the Red Sea parted for them and crushed the enemy behind them? How they were clothed and fed when there was nothing available as they wandered the desert for forty years? How God was seen as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of light by night? Miracles.
After all this they still turned from Him. Amazing.
Today Israel still stands. Don't tell me it's not by God's hand they still exist. Their ancient enemies could never kill them all. Hitler couldn't either. They bounce back because they are God's chosen people, the apple of His eye. Despite their worship of idols, unbelief, disobedience...He's not done with them, no matter how bleak Israel's future might look at times. They will survive till the end of the age. And they will know Jesus as their Messiah. Because it is God's will. Hallelujah.
There was a period of some 400 years from the last prophet, Malachi, till the birth of Christ. God was silent; they saw no display of miracles, signs or wonders. I wonder if the silence became deafening in time? I wonder when they first began to notice He was absent?
As followers of Jesus Christ we are, as the Church in general, doing the a similar thing. God returned that we might see Him in the flesh. That again we might see miracles and healing and believe. However, Jesus was a threat to those religious leaders because His message was contrary to theirs and their jobs would be in question and at stake should others believe in Him. He had to be killed.
So the Church (in general) today may be under the same type of judgment. Followers of Christ are under the same judgment. Many in the Church have determined to create their own religious beliefs. They have managed to fall into the same lies as the religious leaders before. Not so much for fear of their jobs but for power and pride. Many have distorted the truth of the Gospel to make it palatable to the public to, as any business would, make money...have the power, create a false sense of security for others as to what needs to be done to receive the Kingdom of heaven. Preach a soft Gospel message.
So, is there a silence today? Sometimes I wonder. We see the world entangled in crime, natural disasters, sins against God's own commandments. Why doesn't He do something? Where is He? He lingers quietly in the wings waiting to pour out His Spirit upon His Church but something needs to take place before then. A return to the one true God by the Church. Repentant hearts for the sins of the Church over the years. For pastors, preachers and priests to realize their own sins of preaching a false message and being divisive through denominations.
We have as a nation and a world turned our backs again on God. And there are many who are working to remove even His name. I'm here to say that try as they might, it will never happen, although the Church is sadly quiet about all of this. There is no real uprising of the Church in defense of the wrongs against her. Evil rises up and gets stronger; somehow they are able to shout louder, stomp their feet longer and show a mean side that intimidates. And the Church is silent.
It is time to repent of our sins that God would return and bring that Holy Spirit power once again. It will happen and it may not be pretty as God tries His Church through fire, purging her. He will expose the corruption, the pride and arrogance, the greed and especially the false teachings.
There is a Church trying desperately to hold on to the true teachings of Christ. It is a remnant church. It is small. Perhaps for now it might be considered lame and an outcast...BUT GOD...will reign over it. God doesn't mind small beginnings. He no doubt prefers it because it's through this that He performs His miracle of empowering the weak, that His glory might be seen. This Church is growing as some people begin to hunger for the truth once again. I'm glad to say that I belong to one of these churches. I see the difference. I see the desire for only the very truth of the Gospel being built into its people, equipping us that we might grow stronger in Him and able to spread the very real truth of His Word to those around us.
I desire to see growth within myself quickly. And although I may not recognize it, it probably is already happening. I pray for revival for all remnant Churches, one that is real and not some conjured up excitement. I pray for the growth of this Church that we might be the workers God desires for us to be for His Kingdom. I pray for the purging of the Church that He might return in His glory to open eyes, heal the sick, bring the miracles that people might see and believe in the one true God, Jesus Christ. Then when it's time, He will return to devour the enemy and set His Church and His people free one last time.
Israel and those who follow Christ, who are obedient to His Word, will be the final remnant. Israel will meet their Messiah and finally believe. Before then churches and people will fall. God will judge. There will be a purging like we've never seen before. The sins of the Church and the people will be uncovered. God is not a respecter of persons. No one, no church, is safe if they are outside the will of God. But if repentance comes, He forgives.
Micah 7:18 - Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.