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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Clear and Present Danger Facing The American Church (Sleepers Awakened)

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 Clear and Present Danger Facing The American Church (Sleepers Awakened)

The hot topic these days in the media but even in Christian circles is the coming crackdown on religious freedoms, even perhaps to the point of full scale persecution against believers in America. Yes this is a real threat but I seriously wonder if this is the biggest or most serious threat to Christianity in the west? I believe that Government persecution and removal of our rights are in fact “small fry” issues compared to the unseen enemy “giants” that are presently wreaking havoc in the Christian church - seemingly crushing everything in their path!

Over the last 25 years or so I have watched as this present darkness of spiritual forces have systematically slaughtered and brought untold ruin to Christian families, churches and entire movements! There has been a steady decline in the western church and like many of you I have wept as I have lost friends in the fight. Some of my friends who I grew up with have long since abandoned their faith and many of them are now divorced and others have turned to homosexuality. I have even had some tell me that they don’t believe that God really even exists anymore! It has been heart breaking to watch as so many believers (including close family) have slowly drifted away from the Lord to pursue other things.

But it’s not just "regular Christians" - I have also watched as friends who are Pastors and Christian leaders, have turned their backs on the Lord and completely abandoned their faith. Some are now "Success Coaches" chasing money and others have even become "ministers" in the new age movement, opening themselves up to the occult. And then there are the great company of men who were once mighty in God, who served the Lord with pure and un-defiled motives, but they too have become casualties, swept up in the rat race of success, money and fame, all under the guise of "ministry".

THE LAST DAYS FLOOD
This great shaking is really a great flood that has been rising steadily for several decades and is sweeping all away in its path. All except those who cling to the Lord Jesus Christ! The Lord foretold this would happen in Matthew 24, ”…the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. THEREFORE STAY AWAKE!”

WICKED RULERS IN HEAVENLY PLACES
Brother and sisters, our fight is not against earthly governments, nor is it with men who attempt to take away our earthly freedoms, in fact it is not against flesh and blood at all. Our fight, our daily battle is against a vast, dark, unseen spiritual empire which is hell bent on causing as many believers as possible to fall away from the Lord.

This is in fact the greatest and most deadly threat facing Christianity in America and in the west! Just look at what these satanic schemes have accomplished over the last few decades...it is indeed chilling! As we look at these things I am gripped with the sobering thought, “by the grace of God, there but, go I”.

LUKEWARMNESS
For most professing believers in America and in the west, Christ is no longer their "first love", instead He has been replaced by a love for this world or a love for so called “ministry” and even a love for social causes! We have forgotten that the greatest single thing that Christ said we could do was to sit at His feet and listen to His every word. What is it to return to our first love? It is to simply "listen" to the Lord, all the time and obey Him. We will never know what it is to "live" if we do not learn what it means to "listen" to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Many believers today are slowly becoming lukewarm and this in turn gradually brings with it a compromising attitude towards sin. And from this gradual compromise comes a cover up and this is how we become hypocrites. This is what happened in my own life and if it was not for the Lords mercy in waking me from my "sleep", I would probably have died in my sin by now. When we become a hypocrite, our spirituality is nothing more than mere words, and while we appear to be acting out the right part for others to see, we are in fact inwardly cold, lifeless and in many cases utterly filthy!

Where is the religion of the early church at work today in America and the west? Where are those who will stand up and be counted for Christ? Do you see it very much anymore? It is gone! Todays religion is in “form only”, there is no spiritual fruit, no spiritual life and it is completely devoid of spiritual power!

When was the last time that you heard a call to serious prayer and fasting? When was the last time you encountered a company of believers where prayer and fasting was a priority, because they knew that if they didn't seek the Lord they would fall by the wayside and would no longer desire to do His will? It just doesn't happen very much anymore. And for the most part Christians don’t actually even need God anymore, they can live quite well without Him. American society and her abundant resources have become the source of supply and the new god of the lukewarm, last days church.

ICHABOD - "THE GLORY HAS DEPARTED"
Where is the hunger and thirsting after the Lords Kingdom and His righteousness? Where is the burning desire for the Lord to revive His church again? It is nowhere to be found. In its place is a hungering and thirsting for cultural acceptance of our Christian brand, with hardly even a mention of Christ and His call to follow Him wholeheartedly.

Why bring Christ into it anyway if you can simply blow people away using music, money and marketing! These things have completely replaced the gospel and the power of God. And it works...people are flocking to these expressions of “church”. The message is always positive, always telling people how awesome they are, how loved they are, how they are the best looking, most amazing people on the planet and how much Gods wants to bless them. And this is exactly what this narcissist generation wants. This self absorbed, self loving and totally selfish generation is looking for a style of Christianity that panders to...THEM! It’s all about them, just take a look at social media sometime. Me, me, me, me! And modern Christianity is serving up a "me gospel" to them by the gobfulls! But it is all a house of cards...completely and utterly devoid of Gods presence. When you peel away the gifted and charismatic personalities, the bright lights, the music, the business machine and the hype...what you have left is spiritual emptiness...God is not there...He has left the building!

DRY, BITTER & JUDGEMENTAL
On the other hand we have another group of believers who have also drifted from the way, but for different reasons...they have become bitter and judgmental, binding others under a cloud of legalistic condemnation. They focus merely on the outward, rather than on the heart, hating everything that is not just like them! In their minds, no one is good enough and there is absolutely no good work for Christ in existence, outside of their tiny-sterile-sanctioned-little-world. These are the types of believers who will cut you if you do not agree with them (and their doctrines) and they will become divisive and full of rancor over just about anything!

COMPROMISING WITH THE WORLD
The Apostle Paul contrasts the believers life against the unbeliever and says that they are to be so different that it should be like comparing light against darkness, as different as Christ verses the devil (belial). Yet today you find that the average christian has lowered themselves almost to the same standards of the world. The way they dress, the way they talk, what they listen to and what they watch...no different at all! We are no longer the salt and light in this world and the world knows it and is not fooled or one bit interested in the Christ that we claim to be following.

Now, I am not preaching total abstinence from alcohol but I am shocked at how many Christians today have turned to social drinking and could not care less if they are a stumbling block to others. What’s next, social pot smoking? Many believers don’t even blink an eye when it comes to compromise. They approach it with a calculating coldness – thinking nothing of flaunting their "freedom in Christ". And as always it is the young and the weak, the "little ones" who suffer as a result of our so called freedoms!

LOVE OF MONEY
Materialism has replaced Christ as the new god of this age. The love of money practically grips the entire church. Almost nobody lives as Christ has called us to live…”do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

John Wesley had much to say about this and contends that the heathen of third world nations obey this command of Christ while western Christians blatantly ignore it...and he wrote this 250 years ago!!! Perhaps there is no greater and widespread offence against the Lords commands, than the way in which Christians treat money! We can only surmise one thing, that we have become bound to money, we love it…it is truly our god!!!

NO DESIRE FOR SOUL WINNING
And where has all this gotten us? Today, for the most part the average Christian has no passion and no desire to reach the lost, to take the gospel to the nations. Oh, there are plenty who desire to take "mission" trips so we can have a little adventure in our lives and perform a street drama or two, but this doesn't exactly equate to taking the gospel to the nations! In reality there is no desire to reach the lost even in our own back yards, let alone take the gospel to the Unreached People Groups of the world - now numbering almost 3 billion souls!!!

FALSE GOSPELS
To make matters worse, to this lukewarm and apathetic Christianity we have now added new and “better” versions of the gospel that do away with sin, repentance, the atoning work of Christ on the cross and self denial. This is a false gospel that only addresses love, acceptance and tolerance and ignores the reasons why lost would even need to hear the "Good News"...to escape the wrath of God! Yet those who attempt to teach the truth are labeled as “preaching law rather than grace”. Good is now called evil! The clear truth of God’s word is being questioned and maligned on every quarter - to the point that the truth about an eternity in hell, being Gods righteous judgment is apparently no longer in keeping with Gods good character! So let's just rip these things right out of the bible shall we?!!!

NO DEPENDENCE ON THE HOLY SPIRIT
And finally there is the never ceasing battle that seeks to elevate intellectual knowledge ABOUT God while diminishing any and all experience WITH God. The early church believers were given instruction in the gospel and at the same time were encouraged to experience God. In fact, in many cases while the Apostles were yet teaching or praying, the Holy Spirit fell on the hearers...and the people actually EXPERIENCED God!!! Today, these things are pushed into the shadows, overlooked and even called demonic. Yet it is all right there in the bible! To this end, millions of believers have no knowledge or understanding of the gifts and ways of the Holy Spirit. They desperately struggle to live the Christian life in their own strength and continue to fail because they are being wrongfully taught that they are already "filled' with the Holy Spirit the day they first believed. We have become so afraid of the “bathwater” that we have thrown the “baby” right out the window. And the body of Christ is suffering as a result. This is all the work of the enemy!

LORD REVIVE US AGAIN!
These are just a few of the clear and present dangers facing the American church and the church worldwide. Will governments pose a threat against Christianity? Yes probably so, but this will only strengthen the church, not weaken her. The best thing that could happen to the American church is in fact government persecution and the taking away of all our rights and means to live. This will force the church to become truly dependent on the Lord.

My prayer is that the Lord will wake us up if we have succumbed to any of the schemes of the enemy listed above. I pray that our eyes would be opened to see the true state of our lives, that we might seek the Lord for complete renewal and press on towards the upward call of Christ Jesus. Lord, revive us once again!!!

 2014/4/27 23:18
Lysa
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3385
East TN (for now)

 Re: Clear and Present Danger Facing The American Church (Sleepers Awakened)

Quote:
awakened wrote:
Clear and Present Danger Facing The American Church (Sleepers Awakened)


Brother Mark,

I noticed after the title you wrote (Sleepers Awakened), are you Sleepers Awakened on FaceBook? I follow you, if you are!

Ok, about your post, I agree. I was listening to a Derek Prince sermon and it in he was talking about the state of the church (in the 1990’s) and when he preached at churches and he would ask who needed to forgive someone – that 4 out of 5 Christians would raise their hands and how when he would ask who needed deliverance – 3 out of 5 would come up for it. And he asked the Lord about it and the Lord showed him the Book of Joel and how the church had been deliberately and systematically invaded by an army of insects. I was reminded of this infiltration when reading your article and everything you listed was like a different army of insects.

What can we do? A person has to want to be revived.

God bless you,
Lisa


_________________
Lisa

 2014/4/28 9:52Profile
sermonindex
Moderator



Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 36691
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

Oh brother, may many hear this and read this message. God's people are not prepared.


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2014/4/28 10:34Profile









 Re:

Quote:
are you Sleepers Awakened on FaceBook?


Hi sister Lisa,
Yes I created that account a few years ago after the Lord awoke me from a terrible state of lukewarmness and hypocrisy. I recently put the account on hold because I wanted to be sure that my heart was really awake and not in danger of slipping back into hypocrisy. This is the first time I have "blogged" in months and if the Lord leads me I will reopen the facebook page.

However as I read the wonderful contributions on this forum I believe that there are far better qualified writers that can and probably should be writing. Actually I know that some of them are in fact doing this and their works are a great blessing.

Regarding your comments, yes I agree, there seems to one thing after another that has attacked the body of Christ. It does indeed seem like different kinds of enemies. Just when you think that you have gotten the victory on one front, another attack opens up and you have to deal with that as well. It is a fight, a real fight to the death. If we as believers do not take this seriously we will also find that we will be washed away. I hope that this small word will help at least one person realize the danger they are in.

What can we do? We can pray and keep our heart clear, we can leave no stone unturned as we seek the Lord and desire to be a bright light for Him. As we do we can also continue to pray and fast and lift our family before the Lord and never let up on this. We are called as parents to consider our hearts as a garden and keep it weeded at all times. But not only ourselves, we are to do this for our children as well. We must never let down our guard. This is exactly what satan is hoping to find. A family who is lukewarm, unconcerned and with the "front doors" wide open!

 2014/4/28 11:07
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3299
Louisiana

 Re: Clear and Present Danger Facing The American Church (Sleepers Awakened)

Brother Mark,

You are hitting the nail on the head in so many areas, and not only have dealt with the problem, but have giving us the answer to the problem.

We are indeed not waring against flesh and blood. The war is being fought with the principalites and powers that exert their control over regions, and these principalites and powers have been given a legal right to be there. Only through the repentance of the Church, and the prayers of the saints will we witness the victory that our Lord has already won.

"When was the last time that you heard a call to serious prayer and fasting? When was the last time you encountered a company of believers where prayer and fasting was a priority, because they knew that if they didn’t seek the Lord they would fall by the wayside and would no longer desire to do His will? It just doesn’t happen very much anymore. And for the most part Christians don’t actually even need God anymore, they can live quite well without Him. America society and her abundant resources have become the source of supply and the new god of this lukewarm, last days church."


"Where is the hunger and thirsting after the Lords Kingdom and His righteousness? Where is the burning desire for the Lord to revive His church again? It is nowhere to be found. In its place is a hungering and thirsting for cultural acceptance of our Christian brand, with hardly even a mention of Christ and His call."

Amen brother! There are small companies of believers here and there that are rending their hearts and seeking God for true revival. God has always had a remnant that will seek Him with all of their heart.

Mike


_________________
Mike

 2014/4/28 11:10Profile









 Re:

Mark I do nit know if Persecution will bring revival. Or revival will bring persecution. But clearly we do need to wake up. God grant that we do.

Good thought provoking post.

Blaine

 2014/4/28 12:00
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3299
Louisiana

 Re:

"Mark I do nit know if Persecution will bring revival. Or revival will bring persecution. But clearly we do need to wake up. God grant that we do."

Brother Blaine,

It could very well be both of these, because throughout Church history the people of God have sought the Lord during the hard times, and have been apathetic and have gone into spiritual slumber in times of prosperity. On the other hand, when the revival does come, the enemy is going to use every tactic and devise at his disposal to attempt to sidetrack it, and this includes persecution.

Mike


_________________
Mike

 2014/4/28 12:18Profile
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3299
Louisiana

 Re:

"Mark I do nit know if Persecution will bring revival. Or revival will bring persecution. But clearly we do need to wake up. God grant that we do."

Brother Blaine,

It could very well be both of these, because throughout Church history the people of God have sought the Lord during the hard times, and have been apathetic and have gone into spiritual slumber in times of prosperity. On the other hand, when the revival does come, the enemy is going to use every tactic and devise at his disposal to attempt to sidetrack it, and this includes persecution.

Mike


_________________
Mike

 2014/4/28 12:18Profile









 Re: What can we do?

To brother Gregs comment, yes I agree that we are not ready. And I was not intending to make a point about about future readiness but for us to consider the present...where are we at now? How has the enemy made inroads into our lives RIGHT NOW?!!! What good is there in pontificating about hypothetical, future persecution if we cannot even stand now??? It will only be so much harder to stand then...lets not deceive ourselves about this.

Lisa asked, "what can we do"? Again, for each of us there are different things the Lord is putting his finger on, but for us it is in the arena of money and how poorly we live as stewards. To this end we are putting our house on the market in 3 weeks and will be downsizing and getting out of debt. We built this dream house 5 years ago and while we enjoy it, we know it is more than we need and know that it has become a distraction, a stumbling block and an idol in a the way of serving the Lord.

This is just one thing we are doing. But what about you guys? What is God saying to you...please share your heart as you feel comfortable. I think it would be good for people to encourage one another on this thread!

 2014/4/28 14:58









 Re:

Quote:
Amen brother! There are small companies of believers here and there that are rending their hearts and seeking God for true revival. God has always had a remnant that will seek Him with all of their heart.



Yes I agree, some companies are just single brothers or sisters...but we despise not the day of small beginnings. If it were not for SI and GF and ZP conferences I would never have become the richer for meeting some wonderful brother and sisters all over this country.

Maybe its time we had a small company gather down here in Houston:)

 2014/4/28 15:34





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