There have been many Christian laborers among the church that have continued to promote prayer and achieve great heights in prevailing prayer. A long line of praying men and women have graced the 2000 years of church history. From Christ example of praying to Pauls' epitaph, 'behold, he prayeth'; to such likes as George Mueller, Hudson Taylor, R A Torrey, Praying John Hyde, Rees Howell and Amy Carmichael, we have seen the lasting impression of men and women that prevailed with God.
Here is what God pronounces to a people that sin continually:
(This is just in Jeremiah 15. I know there are so many more that we could extract from.)
Jeremiah 15:1, "Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth. v. 2 And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the Lord; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity. v. 3 And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the Lord: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy. v. 4 And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh. . .v. 6 Thou hast forsaken Me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out My hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. v. 7 And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land: I will bereave them of children, I will destroy My people, since they return not from their ways. . .v. 9 She that hath borne seven languisheth: she hath given up the ghost; her sun is gone down while it was ye today: she hath been ashamed and confounded: and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, saith the Lord."
If God did this to His Own people Israel and Judah, and God changes not (He is immutable) then He can surely do it to us. We are guilty before the Lord as a nation, as families, as communities, and as individuals. The church, who should know better, has not done better. 'To him who knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.'
Read over these again for the wrath of God is gone out against us.
God cannot lie. And if He says, He will do this or that; then you and I know the surety that it will be done. It is just a matter of time, of when God will do it. It may not be today, or tomorrow, but it will be done! If this does not provoke fear in the church, then there is something tragically wrong with our mindset of knowing Who God is and what He is capable of doing. This is not to be played or toyed with, it is life and death, it is eternity for lost souls. It is our future for our children and grandchildren. Let us rise up and seek His face, humble ourselves and pray with a spirit of urgency.
Look at what God has said He will do to this wicked people:
--I will appoint 4 kinds of judgment;
--I will remove them;
--I will stretch out My hand against them;
--I will fan the flames of wrath;
--I will bereave them of their children;
--I will destroy My people; not the lost, but His Own (that's the church today) That's you and I, dear brother and sister. And why? Because where much is given, much is required. We are accountable for this generation and day.
--I will deliver them to the sword (death);
Seven 'I will's' that is our destruction and death. Yes, you can rejoice that we will someday be removed from all this. We will be eternally home with the Lord after all this. But what about all the other millions, upon billions of souls without a saving knowledge facing God's wrath. If it was never, and is never God's desire that the wicked should perish, then why should we be so willing to see them exited off this earth into an eternal hell. The wicked shall be judged, the sinner condemned, the wrath of God unleashed upon such as practice evil. Yet, it is the decisive will of God to unleash His wrath on His Own people who allowed and caused such sin to be named among us.
The church is found guilty for neglecting and failing the Lord. God cannot fail. Oh, how He pleads and waits for some soul to seek Him. How He desires for men to live holy before Him. Does He find it today? Is there righteous among us? Where is holiness among God's people?
'Is there any balm in Gilead?'
A two fold action is before us:
1. Why is God going to bring these 'I will's' upon us? Because of our sin. The first action then must be to identify the sin. The days of casually confessing and pleading for forgiveness of sin is gone. There must be a true spiritual work of repentance, of confession and deep anguish over the depths of sin we have cause and allowed.
--let us identify the sin; according to God's Word, speak the sin; its name, its works, its lingering effects;
--let us find full and complete repentance; no longer to confess it and then return to it; complete renunciation of it and abandonment of it;
2. What should be our response? 'It is time to seek the Lord' as His people. The wrath of God abides upon us and all that we know. Any given moment may be ours or their last. They are not ready for eternity. We must seek the Lord for His mercy, continued longsuffering. Oh, how longsuffering He has been with us. In this passage of Scripture of Jeremiah, He says, "I am weary with repenting". God has repented of destroying over and over, and now we are approaching that line of crossing over, where God says, 'No more. Let the wrath fall.' An immediate call to humble ourselves, pray and seek Him for forgiveness is needful.
What happens if we don't? The above responses will delay and extend our time of mercy. But if no action is taken, and things continue, 'as is'. Then we will meet with God's 'I will's' sooner than we ever dreamed. This destruction is imminent! We have done everything we can to provoke God. He has repented; He has restrained; He will forbear no longer. And because there is blindness to our condition and these truths revealed right in Scripture before us, these things will happen and shock people that they came to pass. Many will even say, 'Why is this happening?' The weather judgments, family tragedies are happening right now. People look around and say, 'what is this? why is this happening?' but there is no voice from the church to declare the whole counsel and revelation of God. Satan spreads his countering lies through science and media control to keep people from knowing the full extent of Who is doing this and why it is happening. Satan's last desire is for men to be faced with their sin and punishment. For knows God is merciful and gracious, longsuffering and He knows God's desire to 'seek and save that which is lost'.
Oh, brethren, we cannot withstand these 'I will's'. It is will be our death, the death of our loved ones, and all that we know as life. Unless there be a voice from the church to respond to these things, they shall happen soon.
PRAY - HUMBLE OURSELVES BEFORE HIM - CONFESS - REPENT - OBEY - and then. . .
'I will hide your sins, I will pardon your iniquity, I will cleanse you, I will forgive you, I will restore you, I will return unto you when you return unto Me.'
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon