The spiritual temperature of the world is hotting up. Every day that passes closes the gap between now and the Lord’s return. It’s impossible to read the prophetic passages about the events at the end of the age, without concluding that the battleground of the ages is being prepared. But at the same time I see a church that is woefully ill-equipped for an imminent war that few seem to want to understand or fight in.
In 2 Corinthians 11:23-29, Paul describes the extensive privations, dangers, persecutions, sufferings and attacks that he had passed through on his pilgrimage of faith. At the end of the chapter he describes how the Governor of Damascus had the city guarded in order to arrest him, but that he was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through their hands.
There was a war on then to stop the Gospel message getting out to the world through the apostolic calling on Paul’s life. And two thousand years later there is a war on to stop the church rising up in faith to contend for the Kingdom of God against the god of this world who, in his last days, is determined to prevent people turning to the Lord for salvation, before the trumpet call of God calls time!
There is a war on for the heart of man, the souls of the lost are being weighed in the balances, and the words of Joshua cry out from the pages of Scripture to the people of God, “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). This is not a time for complacency, it is a time for determination to step out in full and glad surrender to our living Lord for His Kingdom purposes. To fight with everything we are and have to rescue the perishing, and be there for the hurting and the broken as the world’s systems fail to meet their real needs.
Long before Ellel Ministries was founded the Lord showed me prophetically how He desperately needed the church to cease from being a private club for members only, but to be a place of healing for casualties of war; a place of hope for the hurting and hopeless; a place which exists for its non-members or, as C.T.Studd*, the great missionary pioneer described it: “a rescue shop, within a yard of hell.”
I may be old, but God has ignited a fresh fire in my belly and I feel like shouting out to the churches of the world, and their leaders, words from the old hymn: Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will face the foe . . . Who for Him will go? (Mission Praise 769). Salvation and healing have the same objective, they have one and the same meaning. Salvation is the ultimate healing – resurrection from the dead!
In Jesus’s story, (Luke 10:25-37) a man who had fallen into the hands of robbers, was left half-dead by the side of the road. Ignored by both a Priest and a Levite, it was a good Samaritan who became the evangelist who stopped, cared for him and saved him from certain death. We live in an age when millions of people are lying by the road of life. They desperately need to meet the true Healer, the one who will not only care for their needs, and heal their wounds but show them the Way to the Truth and receive Life. Who will go to them with the only message that can transform their lives from the inside out and care for them “at the Inn” until they are healed?
It is time for repentance from our self-sufficiency and to engage in the real war that is being waged for the souls of menand women in these last days. There is a harvest to be reaped for the King and His Kingdom. And, as Psalm 126:6 expresses it so powerfully, “He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.”