If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I’ve been warning that there are times coming that are going to be out of our comfort zone. So, I ask, when it comes down to the wire, will we stand? Will we take up our cross and walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ? Or will we slink away into the darkness, unwilling to pay the price for following the Prince of Peace?
What is the Church doing to prepare people to stand in the times to come? Rather little it seems, as I cast my eye around the Internet and in the real world. False words of comfort are being given, rather than true words of hope. There are lights shining in the darkness, but so often they appear an exception to the rule.
I seem to find myself observing two worlds within the Church, both of which preach the false words of comfort. With one of my hats on, I view the prophetic sources on the web. Predominantly, they seem to be skewed towards the pre-tribulationist eschatological viewpoint. Now, I’m no expert on these things, however I do observe the convenience of a theory that allows us to live in comfort now, and be whisked away at the first hint of trouble. Is this what the Bible really says? I am mindful of John 16 v33:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We, as Christians, are overcomers – not escapers. So often it seems that God will transform a situation rather than remove us from it. Was pre-tribulationism not the same theory that worked ultimately to weaken faith in China ahead of the persecution in the Boxer rebellion? In what is our trust? Sometimes in these prophetic circles it appears that there is more trust in the comfort of the rapture, rather than in the hope of Jesus Christ.
I don’t want to argue eschatological theories – but I will debate the fruit, and the fruit of pre-tribulationism appears to be words of comfort that sit well with our ears.
Then we come to my other world, that of the inclusive church. The church that has abolished sin, and hence the need for a saviour. A faith where Jesus is just a way, a metaphor and an example – and no more true than another way. The church that confirms us ‘just as we are’ – and leaves us that way.
It seems that so many cannot be bothered to live for this gutted faith, therefore can we imagine that any would die for it – a relativistic faith where all truths are held to be equal?
What do we have here but false shepherds doing their best to undermine foundations, leaving behind them a creaking shed, so that when the waves come in and the wind blows the whole rotten edifice will crash down.
I will submit to you that though the world is different, the fruit is the same – words of comfort that itching ears long to hear. Come to us, and have your sins blessed!
Do I make you despondent? Ah then, let me give you the good news.
The Gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church! God is not mocked. Even now, there are those who are called.
Called to stand.
Called to be lighthouses, called to be lifeboats, called to provide safe harbour, and guide people to refuge.
Called to those who will otherwise be wrecked on the rocks, or founder on the storms of the sea of relativity. Those who have no anchor and see no need of one.
He still cares for us. Do we care for Him? Will we stand? If there is one thing I will say, and say again and again in the hope that even one person will hear, it is this: to stand, stand on the Rock of Ages, the only place that will prove firm footing in the times to come. He is calling you, calling me, not to look to the things of the world but to stand in Him and to be found only, only in Him, the source of life and light itself.
May Christ in our hearts be like the light of Eärendil – a light for us in dark places, when all other lights go out.
This then the cry. Prepare! Stand! May you live and move in the light of the Rock of Ages.