I was not only amazed by the number of responses to my last Blog article, but also impacted by the remarkable spiritual depth in some of your replies. Thank you for adding such rich contributions to what is a vital discussion for today’s church. I wish I had the capacity to answer each one in detail.
But there is one question I would like to answer. Gail said, “thank you for your recent emails, though I did wonder why they had started to arrive, as I hadn’t received anything from you for a long time.” Yes, it’s true – I hadn’t written anything for quite a long time since I stood down as the International Director of Ellel Ministries in April last year.
And she is right to question why this series of Blogs has started to arrive! The reality is that God is stirring me very deeply at this time and there is an urgency in my spirit to begin to speak out both encouragements and warnings from the Scriptures, by way of preparation for what living in the fellowship of a truly end-times church will be like.
The pre-requisites for living as the ‘called out’ people of God, in what will be the most hostile of spiritual environments could be very, very different from church as most of us now know it. Jesus postulates a telling question when he asks, “When the Son of Man comes will he find faith in the earth?” (Luke 18:8). “At that time” Jesus also said, “many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other” (Matthew 24:10).
So, in this environment, what could church look like?
Jesus will be central. Holy fear of a holy God will be the essential pre-requisite for truly hearing the voice of God, amidst the clamour of a godless world’s voices. David tells us: “The Lord confides in those who fear him” (Psalm 25:14). We will need to really understand the ways and character of God and learn to follow Him. We will need His voice in our hearts to guide us in line with the protocol of the Kingdom.
Real praise and worship from the heart will be the security of its covering. Healing and deliverance will be vital. Knowing who you can really trust will be essential. Knowledge and application of the Word of God will be critical. Understanding spiritual warfare will need to be the norm. Discerning the ways, work and plans of the enemy and avoiding his traps will be a core principle. Church will have to be a 24/7 reality. Long gone will be attending church on a Sunday and attending to yourself Monday to Saturday. I could go on – there is so much more for future blogs to unpack.
I believe we are now in a season of urgent preparation for a church that is largely unaware of and unprepared for the spiritual reality of what Scripture tells us we are going to face. When you look at today’s world you know that the time Jesus warned us of, in Matthew 24, must be very near. Not only is the world at great odds with truth – and especially the One who is THE Truth, but apostasy inside the church will soon bring down the edifices of religion.
And when the enemy has done his bit – what will be left? The people of God who will be the end-time church, standing firm on the unchanging truth of the Gospel, respecting the plumbline of the Word of God and living in the presence and power of the Spirit. It’s to this end that I have started this series of Blogs and I am praying they will be used to help prepare God’s people for whatever lies ahead.