Introduction (repeated in parts 1-4)
The portion of the Church (those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives) that currently exists in the industrial nations such as the U.S., Canada, France and other parts of Europe, has become a dysfunctional, mere shadow of the first century Church. Over the past few months, the Lord has taken me on a “Tour” of sick and dying denominational churches where, in my opinion, there is either open rebellion, or a subtle form of what I will call a “beguiling” rebellion against His direct and delegated authority and where there is also open denial of His power. When I say, “beguiling”, I mean that, although the individuals in the church are sincere and honest Christians, yet they have been deceived by the tempter (Satan), just like Eve herself was deceived when she partook of the forbidden fruit.
Would Eve have described her act of rebellion as “rebellious”? No. But just as Eve rebelled in partaking of the forbidden fruit, so, too, do I believe that churches in the West are also rebelling against what God has ordained for his church. Thus it is, that, based on the word of God, I can say that, even though churches may be sincere, and even walking in the light to a certain extent, yet there is much rebellion going on, whether open or not. Simply put, the church in the west, to a large extent, is currently in rebellion, but so deceived is she, that there are not many that would care to admit this fact, or take ownership of it, or realize that they themselves are in fact, in rebellion. This has led to a huge and devastating darkness that has now covered our lands, to the extent that many churches now proclaim “light” as “darkness” and “darkness” as “light”. This is deception. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)
God has shown me the darkness and sickness in His children and how they are handing their families and their inheritance over to the enemy (Satan) in ever-increasing numbers. He has also shown me four important steps that will lead the Church back into His authority, into His power and into the light.
Coming out of rebellion – Step 1
Through the Holy Spirit, as part of the sanctification process, the Lord often brings certain sinful behaviors to our attention. The proper response is to acknowledge the conviction that is brought against us by the Holy Spirit, and to earnestly seek to correct our behavior. In some cases it may take a while for us to be completely free of the behavior but the key is that we are repentant and remain focused on the necessity to change. Sanctification is a continuous process. I have not reached perfection and I don’t know anyone here on earth that has. Throughout the growth and purification process, the Lord continues to fellowship with us because He knows our heart and that we are fighting the flesh and attempting to be obedient to His will.
A serious problem arises when the Holy Spirit convicts us of a sin pattern and we fail to respond to that conviction. We have been provided with the knowledge of the “next step” in our spiritual growth and sanctification but, even though we want to do what is right, we often chose to rebel against the Father’s authority. A sinful behavior pattern has the ability to turn into full-fledged rebellion when we ignore that knowledge and conviction. An act of sin now becomes an attitude of rebellion. In time, that rebellion can grow until our hearts become so dimmed to the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us, as believers, that we cease to even realize that God is there. The consequence is that God is “put out” of our lives. A continual grieving of the Holy Spirit like this, may, in fact, lead to a premature death, the Bible warns. Although it will not lead us to hell – if we are true believers – an unrepentant child is a bad testimony. And if an unrepentant child makes it his firm intention not to listen to God or to obey his commands, then that child may well leave this earth early.
I know several people who have reached that state of being in rebellion but they were totally unaware of the fact until I pointed it out to them. They realized that God had not been present in their lives for some time and that their faith had started to erode but they had long ago forgotten the trigger that caused it. It is as though the enemy had stolen the memory from them. Their spiritual growth had stopped and relationship with the Lord had been all but destroyed.
We must all be aware that Spirit convicted sin can eventually turn to rebellion if we continue to ignore that conviction. If you have not been communing with the Lord and your love for Him has grown cold, your faith has eroded and you are becoming more involved in worldly things, you too may be in rebellion. If you suspect that this is so, you must repent, and pray for forgiveness. If you think you need help, you may also wish to seek godly counsel. Ask a friend. Ask a pastor. Or you can even write me if you want to, as long as you get out of your rebellion! There’s too much at stake and your future is too valuable not to do anything and not to take a risk at finding a solution to your problem. In the end, repentance is the solution to the problem. But if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it! Your future is at stake. And God’s kingdom needs your unwavering commitment to him and his purposes for your life! And no matter what you have done, what sinful acts you have engaged in, remember that God is gracious and willing to forgive you! It is never too late! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” John says (1 John 1:9).
You are reading part 1 of a four part series. Stay tuned for part 2, tomorrow.