[This began last week as a short series on working in synergy with Holy Spirit. You may be looking for the four words to help us with that, but we need a bit more introduction before then.]
We need to consider our beliefs about the Church (no, not the building you attend on Sundays… I’m talking about the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, all the blood washed children of God).
There are many who feel that the end times point to a great tribulation and the crippling apostasy of the Church with just a remnant escaping through the Rapture. In this scenario, the Body that Christ died to redeem goes into eternity with eyes downcast and with scarcely a whimper.
I feel sadness for the Father and his plans if the best we can believe for is an escape before gas gets over $7.00 a gallon while the devil is playing kickball with humanity.
One well-known missionary of the early 1800’s, William Carey, from India said this: “We only want men and money to fill this country with the knowledge of Christ…He must reign, till Satan has not an inch of territory.”
To believe in doomsday for the Church is to ignore Scriptures like these:
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and He rules over the nations.” Psalm 22:27-28 NIV When the kings of the earth take counsel together against the Lord (in Psalm 2:2-4) we find God laughing at the futility of them attempting to stop his message of love and redemption!
Jesus promised that even the ‘gates of hell’ could not stop the power of the Gospel. (Matthew 16:18)
Do I believe in a tribulation and tough times ahead of us? Of course – the New Testament is full of predictions of last-days apostasy. We’re to expect wolves disguised at sheep, powerful deceptions that will ‘deceive, if possible, even the elect of God.’ Wickedness will be wide-spread and virulent. Jesus already saw school shootings, rise of militant criminals and terrorist attacks around the world.
But I’m pinning my faith on God’s eternal purposes and paying special attention to any words of instruction He has for my part to play in the world-wide move of God.
And remember, the ‘world-wide move’ for us starts with the people who live next door… or a person needing a word of encouragement in Aisle 6 of the grocery store… or a forgotten friend who pops up in your mind and calls you to prayer.
God wants to partner with you to work alongside His Spirit.