Recently, in a devotional, Pastor Cornelius Fon in Cameroon wrote:
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Act 2:41-47 KJV)
“Oh God have mercy upon us the preachers who have turn Your church to something that even You can not recognize. How we have gone very very far from the Church that You ordained. Materialism, egotism, selfish tendencies, worldliness, compromise, and what can I add or leave out… The Church a Body of Love has been transformed to something else. No doubt no power in the church today until preacher go to the devil for powers to do the work of God. What a shame and an insult to You, Most High. Have mercy O God, let your cleansing broom sweep pass making obvious all who are truly Yours and the hirelings. Heavenly Father, we need a renewal and revival in the lives of the preachers so that church now can be The Church.
“Please, fellow preachers and saints of God, we all need to mourn and wail for the misrepresentation we are doing. You in particular may not be involved but search deep in your heart, what have you done about those doing it. Have you cried out like Elijah? We need to mourn for the present day church, repent and allow Jesus to be Lord over His Church. We have to preach against sin, preach holiness and righteousness, preach the grace, in fact we have to preach the Kingdom of God and nothing else. May God help us to be God pleasers and not man pleasers.”
Pastor Cornelius’s devotional brings to mind what I was told of the origins of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California. Pastor Chuck Smith pastored a Four Square Church in the 1960s. The Church’s district office was running a campaign to increase Church membership, to fill the pews, so to speak. Sounds all to familiar, doesn’t it. Now this bothered Pastor Smith, and he sought the Lord Y’shuaJesus about it. He was directed to this same scripture, Act 2:41-47, Pastor Cornelius has directed us to. Particularly, Pastor Smith read verse 47:
And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Well, Pastor Smith believe G-d, and his small church began to swell to the point that the denomination’s office noticed and questioned him. I understand the office was not pleased to hear from Pastor Smith that he didn’t do anything, just trusted that G-d’s word was as good then as it is now. Insubordination for some such heresy. Pastor Smith left the denomination not long afterward.
Now, as then, when the people of G-d begin to trust in the Word of the Lord, things happen, and resistance is met.
Reading Pastor Cornelius’s devotion also brought to mind this passage from Acts:
For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear, some new thing.
It seems always the same. People want to be entertained. In the Church Realm these days, people move from church to church looking for better worship, more “meaningful” preaching, and, yes, something they haven’t heard before, some new thing. We have “Big Box” churches in America gather in seekers to have their ears tickled. Too many of these churches have long, elaborate worship services and never once mention the Name of Jesus. The preaching tells us more about how we can feel good about ourselves than how we must feel about our relationship with Messiah, like that we ought REPENT while we have the opportunity! We need to hear how we can grow and live as Messiah in our modern world, not how we can transform our modern world into our corrupt, fallen image of what it should be.
No longer do I wonder why most Americans don’t seek to be saved; they’ve learned they don’t need salvation, that they’re perfect, god-like already. The only thing I wonder at is why we would bother trying to evangelize a stiff-necked, fallen people living in cities saying they’re building a better world, building a “Purpose Filled” P.E.A.C.E. The city dwellers are like the people of Sodom in the days of Abraham and Lot. It doesn’t surprise me at all that so many American’s are fleeing to what is now known as the “Redoubt” states, comprised of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and a few more. They are fleeing the coming wrath that will be poured out upon all flesh for arrogance in the face of the Almighty G-d. If not for the few, humble servants of the Lord, who live as strangers among the heathen, this wrath would surely have already come upon the Earth.
May the Lord rightly bless His People.