Repentance, Revival, Reform
The 3 "R's" to the Realization of Restoration.
PART 2: REVIVAL
In 1997, I had a profound, spiritual, experience of which sparked an urgent desire to study the scriptures, with a special interest in prophecy and eschatology. Surprised and intrigued by my new, overwhelming, thirst for biblical knowledge, I dove headfirst into God's word. I could write a book about that extremely intensive season. That passion hasn't left me, nor has it faded. In fact, the contrary is true. It was a crushing and convicting experience, but I continued in my aggressive quest. It included and was highlighted by an in-depth, seven year, bible study, designed and facilitated by, what I believe is a God ordained ministry. It's called; Bible Study Fellowship (BSF.)
The sudden change surprised some people, including myself. Through the span of 17 years, to the present day, it has been an exciting, precious, eye opening, heart and soul searching, journey. One that I'm very grateful for. It revived my Christian faith and it comforts my weary soul. I now set my sight, solely, on Jesus. He is the ultimate comforter.
Also, included in my repentance, was and is attending church services and joyfully joining and serving in various ministries. I am now committing myself to basing all of my decisions on His word and not on twisted interpretations, in an attempt to justify sinful behavior. I will add that I have seen nothing taught that isn't backed by scripture, when I attended BSF. The study helped me learn how to recognize false teachings and doctrines. It is the complete biblical truth being studied and is completely centered around Jesus Christ. It's being shared with those who have an ear to hear. I highly recommend that you experience the Holy Spirit moving through this life changing ministry.
God, with His perfect timing, called me out and revealed many things to me, both inside of my heart and my soul, as well as all around me. Truth, that I, even as a believer, was blind to. I was a self deceived, self absorbed, and selfish, backslidden Christian, being mislead and influenced by the wisdom of the world. "Liberalism," is the mindset that I associate it with, in hindsight. It appears especially more progressive in recent years.
This flawed beast has slithered it's way into most, if not all of the major church denominations, according to my observations. It is to such a degree that it resembles a falling away and even a pandemic apostasy, in the making. I sure there are still some denominations that have churches sprinkled around, in which they adhere to sound doctrine and the belief in absolute truths, found in the Bible. There are true Christians, also, whom are peppered throughout the congregations and I'm confident that they are deeply concerned about these issues. I'm not convinced, however, that we should continue to be associating ourselves with the misleading messages and preaching, which is occurring in these churches. They are missing The Way, The Truth and The Life. They are trying to form God into their own image and ideologies.
I am not trying to point out one particular denomination for scrutiny, because they all seem to be getting on the appeasement broadway. There seems to be a common thread running through their mind sets. To use the slogan of a large denomination (only for the purpose of trying to explain my point;) "Open Doors. Open Hearts. Open Minds." On the surface, this concept can appear to be positive, caring, compassionate, loving and even righteous, in practice. That's not true! That conclusion is fully dependant upon what it is that you are open to. Many Churches have opened their doors to false prophets. They have opened their hearts to sinful behavior. They have opened their minds to twisted scriptures and I believe it is a paving of the way for the abomination of desolation. A term expressed by Jesus, in the Gospel according to the apostles; Mathew and Mark. It's breaking my heart and I weep for them. I've wept and my soul grieves, daily, for the good intentioned and innocent souls, being sucked into this darkness, unknowingly. God forgive them.
I will go as far as to suggest that, it may be time to flee from these apostate churches. Consider seeking out a church that shelters it's congregation from unGodly notions, practices and theological mutilations. Reading the Bible will help you identify these evils. Look for a place that houses messengers whom possess the courage and boldness to deliver all of God's word and not just cherry pick the socially and politically safe topics and Bible verses, to explore. Fire and brimstone preaching has it's place and a season for it, as do all other expressions of God's character. We're in a season for rebuking and condemning the doctrines of demons. They are hovering all around us.
Small, non-denominational churches, might be a good place to begin your search, if the church you've been attending is leaving you hungry, at the end of your worship and fellowship time. Maybe, even better, would be to start a bible study and share the breaking of bread and perform the sacrament of holy communion (Eucharist) in your own home. A big benefit, of doing so, is the ability to grow, from a baby Christian, into a mature and wise adult Christian. This could be a blessing, for both the young and the more seasoned Christians, as they pursue their role in the body of Christ. A body that no longer feeds only on milk and honey. According to my research and experience, many ministers offer up "feel good" messages and sometimes they mix it with their misguided agenda. If we come out from this embracing of spiritual famine, maybe all of us can eat meat and be full. Then, we could be equipped and emboldened to speak freely and fearlessly about the issues that are plaguing the churches and society. I've learned that most clergy members do not have the courage, or lack the spiritual insight, to bring up these critical topics, let alone condemning behavior that is clearly adverse to scriptural doctrine.
As for our spiritual shepherds, whom truly believe in the Liberal and Progressive ideology, of which defiles themselves and their flock, I pray even more. Clergy, you, of whom are weak and too afraid to do your job, that of which includes preaching the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, should re-examine your perceived calling. You need to express and reflect all of God's character, not only the ones of beauty, love and nurturing, but the others, as well. He is also a God of conviction, correction, righteous anger and judgement. You should be teaching, with boldness, concerning Jesus' great commission, His purpose and declarations (especially about sin and Hell, since these two topics are under an attempt to be censored and to silence you.) If you can not muster up the courage to do so, then make way for one, whom will feed our brothers and sisters, abundantly, unto everlasting life. It may be better for you on judgement day, to humble yourself in this way. May God bless you and have mercy upon your soul.
Liberal ideology, for the most part, I find difficult to rationalize with an adherence to scripture, without compromising the teachings found in the Bible. It plays on one's conscience, by twisting logic and truth until it looks palatable, justifiable and even good, holy, loving and compassionate, but it is not of (agape) love.
Liberalism, I believe, is the new name for Fascism. Though, it may be in early development, it is particularly dangerous, because it mixes a little truth with lies, sometimes, in such a way, that it sounds good to many whom are not diligently studying their Bible and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I believe Liberalism is dressed up in emotionalism. In some areas it seems to offer a warm and fuzzy solution for soul conflicting issues, that if opposed, are labeled "Controversial," or "Politically Incorrect," "Racism," "Bigotry," etc. It's trying to fill a void with utopianism. We all experience separation from God, when we stray away from Him and His word. Fascism offers a system that controls much of everything, for you. It will secure order, for you. It will offer safety, for you. Through oppression, under a dictator, it will be his order that is the law of the land, for you. "Woe, unto you, whom disagree with my laws," will be his judgemental cry.
The Bible warns us that there is a way that seems right, but leads many people to destruction, or in another word, Hell!
We desperately need the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in order to form healthy and wise interpretations of God's word, where the reader is prompted to meditate upon. Of more importance, most likely, is to recognize the absolute truths, which are not given for the purpose of interpretation, but for believers to store in our hearts. It is given to us to learn of God's holy character and to know and obey His commands.
Once we repent, individually, as well as a nation, if we turn our hearts toward God the Father, we will be poised for Him to do a spiritually, wondrous and a healing work in our land. It could lead us to the greatest revival that the USA and the world has ever experienced. A revival of this magnitude can not be induced by mere hyperbole, feelings, deeds, nor force. It shall only be by God's amazing grace, inspired by the Holy Spirit and in communion with Christ, Jesus and His saints.
Through fasting, praying and through our obedience to God, may our revival begin and may our robes be washed and as white as snow, by the blood of the Lamb! Amen!