Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Second Reformation


It is no longer a question if there will be a second reformation in Christianity.  There can be no doubt about it:  a second reformation is already well underway.  But unlike the first reformation, spearheaded by the likes of John Knox, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Eurich Zwingli, and Menno Simmons, tracing this reformation to specific historical leaders is a difficult, if not impossible task for the historian to undertake.  And while one could perhaps examine the movements that have influenced this reformation, such as the Pentecostal and Charismatic renewal movements, the underground Church in China, and the like, I believe this reformation would best be likened unto three specks of leaven hidden in a loaf of bread.  It has been a largely unseen movement, but over time, has slowly but surely begun to leaven the whole lump, as it grows every single day.

Why does this second reformation lack much in the way of any visible leadership?  Because this second reformation is concerned with only making one leader visible, and that leader would be Jesus Christ.  For Jesus Christ is the leader of the second reformation.  That’s not to say that there haven’t been and aren’t other leaders in this movement.  For undoubtedly, there certainly have been and are.  But they prefer to go unnamed, unseen, and uncelebrated, for while being like glorious stars in the sky, because of the surpasing  glory of the Sun, discerning their presence becomes difficult at best.  For the philosophy of these leaders has always been, “He must increase, while I must decrease.”  And the more they decrease in visibility, the greater His influence, and the more He becomes seen.

Like the rising of the sun, as with the nature of all reformation, such does not happen instantly, or with one giant blow.   Rather, it happens gracefully, gradually, incrementally, and smoothly, until the sun fully rises, or as in the other analogy, until the leaven consumes the entire lump.  Over time, the present ecclesiastical system that is undergoing reformation will simply collapse upon itself, as an unsustainable model that will be counted as but a forsaken relic of the past.  For His people who have become holy discontent with the present order, who deeply hunger for the fullness of the presence of Christ in the Church, with Him operating unhindered as its true head, will simply find no reason to carry on with the way we’ve operated for centuries, laboring largely in the dark.  For their eyes will be opened to the glory that rises out of the eastern sky, and once seen, they will no longer desire what they knew in the night.

We aren’t there yet.  Many of our brethren, are still living in a place where much darkness abounds.  The reformation is not yet complete.  Be patient.  Don’t attempt to do for the Lord what the Lord is doing in His own timing.  Continue to just wait on Him, and let Him arise.  Teach, exhort, and rebuke much.  But pray even more.  Don’t try to force anything, or to try and take some imaginary shortcut to the reformation.  For if you do that, you will find yourself in a battle without the Lord.  Walk with the Lord in what you do, and love the brethren even as the Lord loves them.  Abound in forgiveness and major in mercy.  For that is how Christ has behaved towards us, so let us have the same attitude towards our brethren who have yet to have their eyes opened to the truths we’ve come to know. 

Don’t forsake assembling yourself together with them, and fellowshipping with them, but rather, spend all the more time with them.  Even if they resist you, and find themselves at odds with you.  Share with them the same fragrance you have smelled.  Lead them to the same waters you have been drinking from.  Model for them what you have come to know.  Be an example to them in all things.  If they slap you on one cheek, offer them the other.  If they curse you, bless them in return.  Don’t pull back from them in pride, but like our Lord, forget yourself, and truly become a servant to them in all things.

For ultimately, the only way for the second reformation to prosper is that it be a movement that doesn’t make much about itself, and what is going on.  Rather, the second reformation will prosper because it makes itself much about Christ, and speaks often of Him.


10 Meditations on Bible College


Reflecting upon my Bible college experience recently, I just thought I’d share with you 10 thoughts about my experience.

  1. Your professor is really “trying to be a blessing,” in spite of the 12 page paper he expects you to write, and the 4 tests he expects you to take.
  2. There is always one guy that knows as much as the professor, and is ready to lecture him to no end.  (I was that guy)
  3. Not everybody at Bible college is there to increase their knowledge of the Lord.  Some are just there to get the piece of paper so they can go be somebody more important in the Church world.  Don’t be those guys.  Make the most of your chance at a Biblical education.  Take nothing for granted.  You have a tremendous opportunity to learn.  Ace every paper and Ace every test.  You are learning things that might make an eternal difference in somebody’s life one day.  Take your studies seriously.
  4. Even if you go to a denominational based Bible college, you will find people there that radically disagree with one another.  Be courageous in your debates, and feel free to disagree, but always remember that those whom you disagree with are not your enemies, but are your brothers and sisters in the Lord.
  5. You will make life long friends at Bible college, some whom though you will seldom see afterwards, will always be a phone call away, and ready to build you up in the Lord.
  6. Bible college people are Church people, and therefore, LOVE food.  Expect to eat much.
  7. Don’t spouse shop at Bible college.  You might meet Mr. or Mrs. Right.  But speaking from experience, you’d probably be better off using eHarmony.com.
  8. You actually read very little of the Bible in Bible college.  Never let French Arrington’s systematic theology become a substitute for the regular, systematic, devotional reading of the Scriptures in your private life.
  9. The Spirit of God can move powerfully even in the classroom.  So, stay sensitive to the leading of the Spirit at all times. I’ve been in classes where all we did was cry out to God, pray for one another, speak in tongues, testify, and even take up a love offering.
  10. Bible college is not the end of your Biblical education.  It’s simply a place to lay a firm foundation.  As important as your Bible college education is, even greater is “the School of Christ” that you will enter once you truly begin to live your life and minister.  Never cease to learn.

I Hate the Sinners’ Prayer


I’m guilty of blasphemy and heresy.  Or at least, that is how it might sound.  Why?  Because I hate the sinners’ prayer.

For about a century or so, it has been the commonly accepted doctrine and practice in Evangelical Christian circles that part of leading people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and sealing the deal with sinners, is to lead them in the famous “sinners’ prayer.”   Though I know of no statistic that says the percentage of Christians that have done this, I would say the vast majority of born-again Christians today at some point were led to “pray that prayer,” and accept Jesus into their heart at a point in time.  This was done either in response to an altar call at a Church service, or through the one on one witnessing of a friend.

But did you know that nowhere in the Bible do we find such a doctrine taught, or such a practice practiced?  If you were to look for the sinners’ prayer in the Scriptures, you could look from cover to cover, and do in depth word searches with the latest computer software, and still find nothing.  Yet in spite of the total absence of teaching on the subject in Scripture, and lack of apostolic precedent, and being only a recent part of Church history, every major book I’ve read on the topic of evangelism today encourages us to lead people into the sinners’ prayer.

Which of course, bothers me greatly.

And truth be told, it’s not the lack of Scriptural, apostolic, or historical precedent that bothers me the most regarding the teaching and practice of the sinners’ prayer. Though, that’s certainly enough to raise a major red flag with me, as it should with any Christian.  Rather, the thing that disturbs me the most about the teaching and practice of the sinners’ prayer, that drives me to the point where it causes me to say that I “hate” it, is all the garbage that has become associated with the sinners’ prayer.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I think it is a perfectly appropriate for a newly converted person, as one of the initial steps they take in their Christian journey, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, is to pray.  I have no beef with that whatsoever, and in fact, would encourage it.  But what I do have a problem with is the exalted significance we as Evangelicals have given to praying that prayer.  Indeed, the prayer has become so exalted that we have led people to believe that means by which they came into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and were made right with Him, is because you prayed a prayer.

And in fact, many people base the personal assurance of their salvation on the fact that once upon a time, they said a prayer and invited Jesus into their hearts.  And that is why they believe they are going to heaven.  All because they prayed a prayer.  Biblically speaking, however, that is heresy, and such a person may in fact be in danger of going to hell.

For we as Evangelical Christians believe that one is not saved because one said the sinners’ prayer.  Rather, we believe we are made right with God and justified on the basis of faith in Christ alone, and not because of anything we have actually done (Ephesians 2:8-9).   I am personally assured of my salvation, not because I prayed a prayer and meant it, but rather, because I actually have faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross and in His resurrection.

If my assurance of salvation is based on the belief that I am saved because once upon a time I said the sinners’ prayer, then I am no different than a Judiazer who says they are saved because they were circumcised and keeps the Law of Moses; nor am I any different than the Roman Catholic who says they are saved because they were water baptized as a child; nor am I any different than somebody who says they are saved because they were confirmed when they were thirteen.  At the end of the day, all of these things are simply the manifestation of the damnable doctrine of a works-based salvation doctrine, of which the sinners’ prayer has become but a contemporary variation of this ancient theme.

So, what do I propose we do in the absence of a sinners’ prayer in our evangelistic tool-box?  I propose instead of making it our goal to lead people to the point that they desire to say the sinners’ prayer, that through the faithful preaching of the word of God and ministry of the Holy Spirit, we try to lead people into an actual saving faith.  We need to preach the gospel so faithfully, radically, and compellingly, that a supernatural revelation is made known to our hearer, so that Jesus Christ seizes and arrests them in the preaching of the gospel, and discloses Himself to them.  The aim of our preaching is to give our hearer an “aha” moment, whereby they actually come to see the light of the gospel, of who Jesus is, and what He has done, so that having their eyes opened, they would believe.

And once we have done all that, and the person has so responded, then I believe it is okay to pray with them.


Church, Inc.


“In Jerusalem Christianity became a religion, in Rome it became a law, in Greece it became a philosophy, in Europe it became a culture, in America it became an enterprise.”  A. W. Tozer

When a company advertises itself, along with the goods and services it offers, it attempts to communicate a certain image of itself to the people they are attempting to market its goods and services to.  This marketing concept is known as “branding.”  Every year, billions upon billions of dollars are spent by companies in an attempt to get you to recognize their brand.  If a company does it well, within seconds of stumbling across such things as a television ad, you will be able to instantly recognize the company, and the goods and services they offer.  For a company that has created an effective brand, certain colors, styles, graphics, and sounds will instantly be associated with everything that company does.

Truth be told, however, branding isn’t something that companies simply undertake.  You and I, every single day of our lives, convey a certain image about ourselves.  Sometimes this is very subtle, sometimes intentional, sometimes unintentional.  But either way, we all convey a certain image to others.

The clothes we wear, our hair cut, and the cologne or perfume we splash on before we go out the door, are all forms of branding that we undergo every single day.  Even the homes we live in, the schools we attend, and the cars we drive convey a certain image about ourselves to others.  And those who wish to market themselves to a certain demographic and be embraced within certain circles ultimately adopt the philosophy of, “dressing for the job you want, not the job you have.”  Therefore, some people will deliberately embrace a certain image in order to fit into certain groups that they would not otherwise fit in very easily because of their image.  Somebody wishing to join the punk rock crowd will not likely dress like a lawyer,  instead, they will dress like a punk rocker.  And likewise, those wishing to become lawyers will not likely dress like somebody from the punk rock crowd, rather, they will dress like a lawyer.  All of this image making that we engage in is branding.

And the Church is likewise, something that is not immune from the issue of branding.  Whether we like it or not, the Church of Jesus Christ will convey a certain image about itself, intentionally or unintentionally.  Some people may not like that, and think it doesn’t sound very spiritual.  But truth be told, that’s simply a reality of life.    As corporations bare an image, and as we bare an image, even so the Church bares an image.  The question isn’t whether we should bare an image or not, rather, the question is, what image should we bare?

Over the years, I have often received mail from Churches in the area, often new, telling me what the vision of their Church is, and the ministries they offer.  But nothing sticks out as strongly as one advertisement I saw a few times.  One Church in the area I live, advertised itself at the local movie theater, right before a movie started.  The ad was catchy, and though it’s been years since I’ve seen it, I still remember it to this day.  The ad had a close up picture of somebody wearing a pair of blue jeans, with a slogan on it saying, “Jeans?  No problem.”  This Church wanted to convey the image to people who might consider attending that they are a Church that is laid back, easy going, and contemporary. Their branding was being relaxed.

I applaud the efforts of these Churches that obviously have a desire to reach out to the community, and make a difference for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God.  I thank God they are not huddled together with the “us four and no more” mentality.  But as much as I applaud their efforts, I am concerned that for all the advertisements, that they are missing the mark in what they do, and that they are engaged in activity that is actually contrary to the Spirit of God, and the image He would have us to convey as a Church.

John the Baptist was a forerunner of Jesus Christ in His first coming.  John saw that the entire purpose of his ministry was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, and to make Him know to Israel.  John the Baptist sought to make no name for himself, but to simply make Christ known.  “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  When you saw John, though you would have seen a man oddly dressed and seemingly out of touch, John wanted you to take one glimpse at him and think of nobody else but Jesus.  For Jesus Christ was the image John was ultimately stamped with.  Jesus Christ was John’s brand.

As John the Baptist was a forerunner of Jesus Christ in His first coming, I believe the Church of Jesus Christ stands in the shoes of John the Baptist as a forerunner of His second coming.  And as Jesus Christ was the only thing John wanted you to see when you saw him, likewise, I believe we as a Church should be a people whose sole brand is also Jesus Christ.  Thus, instead of seeking to make our awesome Churches known, and the wonderful ministries and services we have available, I believe the Lord would be better served in our making Christ known. For if we fail to make the knowledge of Him known as a Church, then we have lost everything, and the entire reason for our being.  In attempting to increase ourselves, we fail to increase Him, and in doing so, become indistinguishable from any other corporation out there today.  Our unique identity is lost, and the Church simply becomes seen as an organization who offers a religious diet to people who like to eat that sort of thing.

Rather than attempting to entice visitors to our Church through the various ministries we have to offer, or because we are some trendy cool religious people with contemporary music and a relevant message, we should only attempt to entice them to come and join us because we have conveyed something of the knowledge of Christ to them in our branding.  Indeed, we must realize that for all of our great ministries, we have nothing to offer this lost and dying world except the one thing that the world does not have, and that is the knowledge of Christ.

This mindset was so deeply embedded into the Church, that it was at Antioch that the disciples of Jesus Christ first began to be called, “Christians.”  They weren’t called Casual Church, Relevant Church, Family Church, House Church, or any of the other thing that we so often wish our Churches would be known for today.  The people of Antioch didn’t look at the Church and say, “Oh man, what a great youth ministry they have!”  Rather, they looked at the Church in Antioch, saw its image, and said, “Christ!”  For the Church there was so consumed with wanting to convey the true knowledge of Jesus Christ to the rest of the world, that when the world did look at them, it noticed that they were a people who made much about Him.

Let us be such a people.  So much so that when we talk about our Church to others, and invite people from the community to visit it, that if the only thing they do is visit our Church website, that something of the knowledge of Christ is conveyed to them in the process.  For we are not looking to offer people our programs and services, rather, we are looking to offer people Christ.  And if Jesus Christ is not enough to entice them to visit us, then they need to realize we have nothing else to offer them but Him.

 


The Greatest Sinner I Know


“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of who I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15, KJV)

If you regularly study the writings of the apostle Paul, you’ll find him say some pretty amazing things. Here, like as many other times before, he does not disappoint. He says some things so bluntly and plainly, we think, “surely to God he doesn’t really mean that.” Often he makes these seemingly random, mother-load sized statements, and simply moves on without so much as offering a simple reflection on what he just said. Though sometimes such proves to be a source of frustration to the student of the Scriptures, in reality, I think I really like that. Instead of looking to dot every “i” and cross every “t,” Paul sometimes simply spoke the word that was on his heart, and figured if you didn’t understand it, that word would eventually do a work in your life, because that word was nothing other than the Lord’s.

Here we have such a statement by Paul. After giving some practical pastoral exhortations to his fellow apostle Timothy, Paul recalls his life before he met the Lord. Specifically, he recalls how he acted out of ignorance and unbelief, and persecuted the Church of the living God. Paul then recalls how the Lord touched him and showed him mercy. Paul then goes onto say that the Lord came into this world to save sinners, of who he is chief.

Such a statement offends many. So much so that some preachers and commentators attempt to explain such a statement away as something Paul was simply saying about his past. And, contextually speaking, I can see how one might arrive at such a conclusion. But his statement about being the chief of sinners is not in the past tense. It is present. And this truth, unfortunately, has caused many preachers and commentators to draw unfortunate conclusions. Paul here, in his present tense confession, is not confessing to continually struggling with besetting sins in his life, or knowingly living with some skeletons in his closet.

Rather, I see it different. Paul’s confession to being the chief of sinners is not simply a statement about his past, nor is he admitting to regularly sinning in his life. Rather, his confession to being the chief of sinners is made by a man whose eyes have seen the Lord, and based on this revelation, has come to understand that he is the greatest sinner he knows. Indeed, for anybody who has truly had a revelation of the holiness of God, one cannot help but see the monster they actually are.

They in fact, become the greatest sinner they know. This knowledge is not based on comparing one’s personal sin record with the sin record of any other person. Rather, this knowledge comes from a personal and experiential knowledge of God, whereby when one gazes upon Him in his holiness, they cannot but help have an Isaiah 6 vision of God and cry out “Woe is me! I am undone!” When one truly sees the Lord high and lifted up, sitting upon His throne, one is not overly aware of who other men are in relation to God. One only sees God, and as a result of seeing God, they see themselves, and the ugly monster they really are. 

Once I stood in Church to testify, “I am the greatest sinner I know.” Have I ever, or am I presently living in gross immorality? No, not at all. Even when I was unsaved, I still lived a relatively good and moral life. I have never killed anybody, done drugs, or slept around. Comparatively speaking, I can think of a lot of other people who have done far worse things than I have ever done. Yet even armed with this knowledge, when I stand before God, I see who the Lord is, and I see who I am and what I am capable of doing.

What I believe Paul ultimately wanted us to see in his statement, is what I have come to see of myself. I am utterly and entirely dependent upon the grace and mercy of God for my salvation. For apart from that precious grace and mercy, in and of myself, I have come to see the depths of my own personal depravity. I have come to see, like the apostle Paul, that I am the greatest sinner I know. Indeed, in me there is no good thing. Only rot and filth. But thank God, the Lord did come to save me, and as a result of His saving me, I can now be a demonstration of His perfect patience, and an example for others to see of God and His saving work. After all, if the Lord could save me, the greatest sinner I know, then He can surely save others.  Indeed, the Lord can do nothing but save sinners.  He can never save saints.


Coming Out of The Church: The Remnant Heresy


There is a movement afoot in Christianity today, and it is one that is gaining some popularity, especially here in North America.  It is not by any means a new movement or feature of Christianity.  Indeed, it is one that has existed for centuries upon centuries, and in fact, pre-dates Christianity and has origins stretching back sometime after the Jews returned (in part) from their Babylonian exile.  The movement may even be older than this.  But whatever the case, it’s popularity has ebbed and flowed over the years depending on a number of factors, and is something that can often be hard to trace because of the grass roots and largely (though not always) unorganized expression this movement takes.

Right now I believe we are seeing a rising tide of Christians who have, for various reasons, deliberately chosen to remove themselves from fellowshipping with any intentionally organized local body of believers.  Generally speaking, the people in this historical movement have felt that the fundamentals and purity of the faith have been lost by the masses.  They don’t believe God is with anything that is going on in the “establishment.”  Thus, being unable to feel at home anywhere, in protest they officially withdraw themselves from a larger assembly of believers, and become wanderers in what they feel is a spiritual wilderness, a wilderness which they have chosen to embrace.

Such individuals picking up on various Biblical themes, consider those like themselves to be part of “a remnant” of believers in the last days, who must “come out” of a corrupt Babylonian church system, and wait upon God to revive a larger work to which they can join themselves.  Until then, they will find themselves content to walk almost entirely alone, except for sporadic fellowship they experience through the internet and various conferences that they travel to.  Many often see themselves as prophetic types of individuals, like an Elijah, who alone is left to take a stand against Ahab and the prophets of Baal.

I must say up front, that I’m very sympathetic to my brethren who are broken-hearted over the state of affairs we see within Christianity today.  I too weep with them.  Things are just not as they are supposed to be.  The gospel that is preached today is often watered down, and has lost its power.  Many act as if righteous and holy living is legalism, and immorality abounds, even amongst those in the ministry.  Truth is fallen in the streets, and many abhorrent theologies are proclaimed.  There are great excesses amongst folks who seek for signs and wonders, yet at the same time, there are people who make no room for the demonstration of the Holy Spirit whatsoever.  In all of these things, it just feels as if Jesus Christ is almost entirely forgotten in the Church, and indeed, at times, it feels like He is never even there.  Thus, I understand why many are leaving.  Everything is just a giant mess.

But at the same time, while being very sympathetic to the legitimate concerns of those in this “remnant” movement, I believe these Christians have perpetuated some falsehoods of their own, and having so focused on the speck of dust in their brothers eye, they have failed to notice the log in their own.  They say that they see, but in such a confession, they only make themselves doubly blind.  And in their refusal to remain in fellowship with an intentionally organized local group of believers, and calling upon others to “come out” and join them in the wilderness, they ultimately embrace the carnal and fleshly attitude of a schismatic, and in doing so, truly meet the qualifications of the Biblical definition of a heretic.

I know, these are strong words.  But I feel compelled to speak in such a way, because I believe the error perpetuated by these individuals, and the intentional division they bring to the body of Christ, to be very great.  Their leaving of the local Church comes from a misreading of what the New Testament Church actually looked like in practice, and their dis-fellowshipping of entire local assemblies is altogether without apostolic precedent whatsoever.

Truth be told, if one truly reads the New Testament as it is actually written, although there are some very strong and vibrant Churches that are found in its pages, the fact of the matter is that the early New Testament Church was often a very messy place, and was far from being the romantic utopia many have falsely imagined it to be.  Although we read of great preaching, great power, and a great manifest Presence, we also read about many great problems.  In fact, almost every single epistle that is found in the New Testament was written to combat and correct many of the great problems that plagued the early Church.  And if we look at things today in light of what we have written in the Scriptures, I believe we will discover the problems we face today are really no different than the problems they faced then.

If you read the New Testament for what it really says, you will find that there were Christians then who are just as caught up in error as Christians are now.  On the pages of the New Testament you will find that the same errors that abounded then also abound now.  Here is just a random sampling of the problems we find in the New Testament Church that we also find today:

  • Sexual immorality and unrighteous living, all being done under the banner of grace.
  • The prosperity gospel, teaching that godliness is a means of gain.
  • Charismatic chaos, along with false apostles, prophets, and teachers.
  • Cessationist tendencies that quenched the gifts of the Spirit in public assembly.
  • Ascetic legalisms of the worst kind.
  • Cold and lifeless Churches.
  • Blatant denials of basic Christian teaching.
  • Denominational factions and hero worship.

This list could go on and on, and many other ills could be multiplied.  Yet for all of these problems that existed in the Church then, never once do we find anybody ever instructed to withdraw their fellowship from an intentionally gathered local assembly of the saints.  Not once.  What instead do we find?  We find the Lord and His apostles instructing the saints to do the hard thing, and work out the difficulties that existed amongst them.  Those in error are encouraged to change, and those who refuse to change, after undergoing Biblical Church discipline, we are encouraged to put out from the Church.  But never once are we encouraged to abandon the deliberate and frequent intentional assembling of ourselves together with others who have been born again.

Indeed, it is my conviction that in light of these truths, that those who run around saying they are the remnant, and refuse to gather themselves together in a local assembly of believers, truth be told, are just as carnal as the Church they lament and weep over.  They are spiritually immature children who refuse to grow up and prefer to have tantrums in their own sand box, which they confuse with a wilderness.  Self-absorbed, and being left largely to themselves, the cancerous ideas that have infected their minds eat them alive, and almost entirely consume them.  Thus, many of them begin to imagine that they are spiritually mature, and maybe even prophetic voices crying in the wilderness.  But truth be told, they are everything except what they imagine themselves to be.

Indeed, far from being spiritually mature and prophetic voices, these individuals have refused to grow up in the Lord by embracing the cross of Jesus Christ in authentic Christian community.  Instead of becoming men who embrace the hard realities of doing life together, they run away from the responsibilities the Lord has placed on them, and the calling Christ truly has on their lives.  Instead of confronting the issues of their day and in their Christian community, they shy away from doing the real work of the Lord, and prefer to make-believe they are prophets.  And because they refuse to embrace this cross of Christian community and undergo death, like many within the “established” Church today, they become just as cold, dead, and powerless in their ministry.  And in the ways of God, death always precedes life, as Passover always precedes Pentecost.

So, running from the call of God on their lives to be intentionally involved in a local Christian community, they withdraw from the saints, and imagine they are one of the few people they know in their city that are actually saved and filled with the Spirit of God.  They withdraw from local fellowship, and take their precious little light and hide it from others, except maybe those on Facebook, blogs, and forums, where they lament about the glory having departed from the Church, and how they long to see revival.  Such are perhaps, some of you.

Truth be told though, if you truly longed to see the glory of God return to the Church, and longed to see revival, you would not forsake the assembling of yourself together with other born again saints in your town.   Instead, you would be actively involved.  And even if there were no genuine born again Christians for you to fellowship with wherever you may live, if you are truly following the Lord with all your heart, and are in right standing with Him, the weight of the New Testament suggests that if the life of God is truly in you, fruit will eventually follow.  So, even if you are the only born again Christian living in a town in America (which seems very unlikely to me), the onus is upon you to establish an authentic Christian community wherever you are at.  If you cannot find any Christians to fellowship with, you must make other Christians to fellowship with.  Simply put, Christians make other Christians, and Christians form local Churches.

Again, I know the words in this essay are perhaps hard to hear.  But, I really feel we live in a crucial time where the truth of these words must be spoken.  Some of what I have said may seem a little over the top, and no doubt, I have employed some hyperbolic language in what I have said.  But these words were spoken in nothing but absolute love, not only for the Lord, but also for my brethren, and those who believe themselves to belong to an out-of-Church remnant.  It is my hope that you will have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart that can receive.  For I believe this to be the word of the Lord.


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