I dare say that many Believers in America have formed their view [or opinion] of their God [and their faith] from their denominational experiences. From the beginning of this nation, the Church has played a part in defining how Americans live their lives. It is said that "we are a Christian nation", and I can agree from the standpoint that the Christian God and His tenets and principles were the foundation of our way of life and guiding standards for our form of government.
But I also think the culture and influence of the Church has waned in the 247 ensuing years that America has existed. Yes, we still have mega-churches filled with people, and there are multitudes of faithful Believers who profess their faith, but Sunday attendance does not necessarily result in a Godly nation. Look beyond your immediate family and community ... Our laws no longer uphold God's statutes of the sanctity of life; we see coveting and idol worship abounding; and holiness is no longer seen as a quality worth pursuing in our society. Lawlessness and chaos are growing in intensity, and although we, who proclaim Christ as our Savior, remain steadfast in our hope for all the promises of God, we must not be blind to what Scripture prophesies before Christ's return.
Now, I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not advocating that we stay focused on those End Times forecasts, but neither do I suggest we ignore them. We are not to be defeatist in attitude, nor pessimistic. Yet we are not to be deprived of Biblical truth, nor influenced by "feel good" sermons designed to make us comfortable in our egocentric ways so that we remain blind to the judgment of nations. We must be the "Authentic Church"; the Body of Christ that is willing to die to self [and to die in the physical, if necessary], willing to be spiritual warriors to expand the Kingdom of God and defeat evil on the battlefield.
And, yes, I will admit that makes us a misfit in modern society. But, to be honest, I no longer want to fit in with the world. That doesn't mean that I no longer want to connect with or love others. On the contrary, my desire is even more poignant as I seek to reach the lost and free those in bondage to the Enemy. I want to share the rewards of being a citizen of the Kingdom of God! I want to pull the counterfeit veil off our national identity and reveal just who we've become and point our way back to being a Godly nation whose people stand in opposition to the nations in partnership with Satan's envoys! That isn't the "feel good message" that American Christians have become addicted to, but it is what they need to hear if we are going to please the heart of God.
I remember reading a comment to one of my blog posts in 2016, in which Anonymous wrote me, "... it is becoming more and more clear I have no "place" in my church. I am discouraged from seeking answers beyond the "base or pat " answers that the leadership has determined is the ''right" answer. This is so frustrating. I find that church for me has to be in a blog like yours or in an online forum where people like me are gathering in droves to find some semblance of the truth. What does this say about the condition of the church? I feel guilty about rejecting the church but what if there is nothing there to minister to me?"
At the time, I empathized with that frustration! I sincerely believed then [and even more so now] that Jesus is calling our spirits out of hibernation. For too long, we have been satisfied with what we've been spoon-fed as the "theologically correct" concepts of Creation, Salvation, Grace, and Church. By no means, do I suggest that Pastors have deliberately misled us or contrived to dumb us down. No, Satan has done that! And I want to make it clear that, in no way, do I advocate rejecting the Church. It is still Jesus's Church! Instead, it is my hope that I (we) can enlighten the Body of Christ and stimulate it to return to its designated and divine purpose; the purpose that Jesus commissioned it for -- not the lukewarm representative of His power and glory many church buildings have become. Until, then I believe He has called those with willing hearts and spirits to step outside the current institution and join Him in forming a revitalized Remnant.
And I want to stress that I remain highly optimistic and encouraged, even in what looks like dark times for our nation and the world. That means that I am optimistic as well as realistic. I am not naive enough to think that just because we are America, we will be spared suffering, hard times, or the righteous judgment of our righteous God. But, I also trust in His promises to deliver the truly repentant. What does that mean? ... It means that we must come to God [in honesty and sincerity], acknowledging the unholiness of our sin, and willing to accept His just consequences. Where is the hope in that, you might ask?
Read Hosea 14:4-8 and you will find the blessings and reasons for my optimism. God will heal us of our apostasy and the abandonment of our beliefs. He will love us freely. He will turn away from His just anger against us. He will nourish us and make us flourish once again. He will re-establish us once again with the roots of faith that will withstand the storms that Satan and the world bring against us. He will wash away our ugliness and make us beautiful, so that the rest of the world will marvel at the blessings He has bestowed upon us, and He will be made desirable in their sight. But we must do our part! We must lay down the current state of Christianity in all its compromise and lukewarm appearance, and put on the penitent and contrite spirit, receiving the Grace and Mercy of our God who is ready to receive us and empower us to fulfill our purpose on the earth.
So, while things may look ominous in the moment, it's not too late! Be awake, be aware of the warnings the Word gives us, and be willing to bow your knee to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Be willing to sacrifice self [and its immediate rewards] for the cause of freedom in Christ. Champion His Kingdom on earth and be ready to fight the battle in the spiritual realms. Never lose your hope in Jesus and His promises, and one by one, we can bring this nation back to God, where He is waiting to receive us. The current state of American Christianity doesn't have to be the end of our story. Join me in this new year, and let's write a new chapter!
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