DARKNESS BEFORE THE DAWN

It is with a heavy heart and yet a deep sense of optimism in the greatness of our glorious God that I write this page. The things I have to say come from a deep conviction in my soul. These things are NOT to 'run people down' or for myself to 'appear superior' for I am definitely  not, but my observations are taken from a biblical point of view.

Society changes all the time according to the spririt of the age but Christians cannot modify what God has said and dare not suggest that He was wrong or behind the times as if He is a God who can be taken by surprise. He is Eternal, Immutable and all knowing so it's untrue to say that He must change with the times. I have many friends and aquaintances that would profoundly disagree with me. That fact doesn't alter my regard for them and acknowledge their choice to live and believe as they want. They do not have to answer to me - but we all will have to answer to God. The One Who will judge all men's hearts is waiting at the end of the road for us all.

For too long we Christians have been silent and our silence has been to blame for our situation. The Church is the salt of the Earth ...a light on a hill to show the world the way of God...after all didn't our Lord ask of the Father to give Him the Nations (psalm 2) and then didn't the Son send us into the world with His presence and His authority (in heaven and on earth) not only to simply preach the gospel but to teach all Nations ( Matt 28:18-20). 

You see our Christ is Lord and is reversing the effects of the fall and stopping men believing a lie and He is turning hearts to Him and He does this through the instrumentality of His empowered Church driven by the Spirit and proclaiming without fear His Word.

Our failure has allowed the enemy and his hoards to take control. For they are totally committed to evil and will not rest until everyone is under their sway.   

My heart is heavy because I see Christ’s Church, His beautiful Bride systematically dismantling all her biblical foundations and replacing them with 'baptised' humanistic ideas.

ICHABOD

'Then she named the child ICHABOD saying 'The Glory has departed from Israel'..."

For the last 150 or so years a slow insipid decline in the Church matched with an increase in humanism, atheism and other evils. When truth stands still then error increases. Christian theology has gradually departed from believing in a Sovereign God and the doctrines that built the Church to an insipid Arminian ‘easy believism’ that exalts man as the centre of things. 

This has resulted in a worship that is more interested in the vehicle than the Object and has produced what I would call ‘Music Hall’ hymns centered around the believer’s subjective personal experience and a worship that tries to ‘entertain God’ and not really worship Him. We have ditched old hymns and God’s hymn book - the Psalms and are all the worse for it 

Witness, or what we now call ‘evangelism’ or something that is ‘done’ as a ‘thing’ and needs to be organised and usually costs a lot of money (as opposed to ‘witness’ which is more biblical and something that is daily expressed). This ‘evangelism’ has slowly become something that goes on in a ‘Gospel meeting’ where the unconverted are supposedly, but rarely, brought in. 

We have lost our ‘day to day witness’ and have become in the main incapable of telling someone about Christ, so we remain silent and the world wins...but if we daily spoke of Christ and led people to the cross and truly witnessed and ‘gossiped’ the Gospel then the Church would grow and it wouldn’t cost a penny...except maybe the cost of a coffee and a bun!

It breaks my heart and causes me pain to say these things, but we need to face up our situation today. 

Ministry too has suffered, few pastors seem to be facing up to these things and expository sermons are rare and real passion is even rarer! The result is that congregations are not fed, challenged, encouraged and broken down under the Word of God. The unconverted that attend are not taught and encountering the God of heaven. The fire has almost gone out we are in danger of Ichabod being written over our doorway. This breaks my heart. Where are the Elijahs of God? Where are the preachers with passion and the Presence of God in their preaching stirring the people into action. But sadly much preaching is just to keep Christians happy and content.

I am sorry to seem so negative, and I know there are pockets of believers/fellowships where the true fire still burns and I am convinced that with the wind of the Spirit He can fan the smoldering flame in every believer into a raging fire. And I am convinced that the darkest hour is just before the dawn and in scripture God’s blessing has come upon those believers who are faithful and living in the darkest of times. 

THE DARKNESS

'The leech has two daughters 'give give' they cry Proverbs 30:15

The society in which we live had a great deliverance in the last war but since then we have abused our freedom and society has become self indulgent and self interested. This has led to incredible strains and stresses in society and our families. In fact we are not free but bound surrounded by daily stress & pressure brought on by ourselves.

Laws have gone through our government making divorce the norm and easy to achieve. sex has been glorified and now no holds are barred. Television has gradually become more and more violent and sex in any form is commonplace coming into our Living rooms daily. This has corrupted young people and spread ungodly practices which are now throughout our country. 

Discipline in families and schools is frowned up and children are encourage to be ‘free thinkers’ so they lack any clear guidance or standards that promote well being and Godliness. Sexual practices and sex before marriage is seen as ‘norm’.  Instead of teaching a child in the way they should go, they are in the main left to ‘decide’ for themselves. Christian teachers are greatly exercised as to the way forward. Now teenage pregnancy is common place....Marriage is now between man and man and woman and woman,..all this is spoken of in the Scriptures, but of course no one believes the Scriptures anymore and anyone expressing a Christian point of view is seen as a 'Dinasaur' and a bigot or homophobic of not moving with the times or 'unloving' etc.....oh do I need to go on...you know the score.

Our society legally murders children as they cower in the womb trying to escape the attempts to kill them. There is blood on our hands like the worship of Molach in the Old Testamen as we destroy our unwanted children in his hands because they do not fit into 'our lifestyle'. Our problem is that we have lost objectivity and have sunk into a mire of subjectvity where majority rules and satan, who is the ruler of the spirit of the age simply has to adjust that spirit and everyone follows after it.

We have opened our doors to people from many Nations and races, and although God tells us to welcome the alien and stranger but He tells us not to allow them to establish spiritual strongholds amongst us and turn us away from worship of the One true Living God...but this is happening as I write this. We have stood by and said nothing to defend our Christian heritage. 

God will judge our Nation and is already doing so. This is scary to say the least. This cannot go on much longer, as one well known Christian once said ‘ if God doesn’t judge this generation then He will have to apologise Sodom and Gomorra’. A text that so scares me is in Psalm 2.

'Why do the Nations rage and the people plot a vain thing?. The Kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together AGAINST THE LORD & AGAINST HIS ANNOINTED saying..........LET US BREAK THEIR BONDS IN PIECES AND CAST AWAY THEIR CORDS FROM US..'

The wrath of God is revealed in heaven against all forms of ungodliness says Paul in Romans 1. 

THE DAWN

'Against YOU and YOU alone, have I sinned and done this evil in YOUR sight' Psalm 51:4

Now all this is depressing if we concentrate on the negatives..but this is not a time for despair but a time to look to our God, Who rules supreme and see that in fact the fields are ripe and ready for harvest. Seize the time! We have been made for this hour.

For too long 'pessimillenism' has been preached that the Church will get weaker and weaker and her only hope is the Lord's Parousia to save us and get us out of the mess we have contributed to. We preach defeat then that is what we have. Is this what the Great Commission means? I have sat under such depressing ministry and been told that we shouldn't try to polish the brass on a sinking ship and all we can hope for is the Lord's return for all is lost. The running sore of dispensationism has cost the Bride of Christ dear over these last 150 years or so.

What is needed is for YOU, loved by the Lord, to STAND UP and plead for the spirit of repentence and God’s forgiveness and stand in the gap between God and this Nation and go on the offensive. We have His Word, His power, His presence. It all began with 11 men in an upper room and spread to all the world. It began as a mustard seed and grew into a tree.   

Let us seek the Lord of the Church the Lord Jesus Christ and count all things as rubbish compared to Him. Our fate is in part in our hands. Many Churches have ‘sell by’ dates if they continue as they are but we can change things. We can become what we are - Christians, followers of Christ and His servants. We can learn once again to love one another and realise that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Yes it is dark - yes we have failed Him, but His love is greater than our sin. He cannot love us any more than He does and He cannot love us any less. His kind providence has caused you and I to be here, alive at this moment. This is our moment God has led us to be here and where the Will of God leads us the Grace of God will always keep us

Remember these scriptures

If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned’ (Jeremiah 18:7).

 

‘if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).