Ezekiel 2:4-7 "For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ 5 As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 “And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 7 You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious."
To the brothers and sisters in all the churches in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth; In 2005, the Lord himself again extended a strong invitation to all of us to participate in the outpouring of revival, for the sake of countless souls who are perishing all around us. Most have refused. The invitation was repeated and instead of humbling, accepting His orders and wishes, many have grown in arrogance, and pride, preferring to move in the ways of man instead of the ways of God.
Israel was severely judged over and over again, because they misused, abused, and neglected the needs of the poor and powerless; children, women, widows, and the homeless. The guilt is not upon unbelievers but on us, His body. We are responsible.
Why? To whom much is given much is required. We are the light in the world and we are the salt. We, as the church, have forsaken, proudly, the commandments of the living God.
While it is true that we are to be there for each other and minister to one another, this should be for the purpose of the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry – reaching the lost. Instead, many have turned the preaching of the gospel into a mockery of the gospel (cheap grace, prosperity gospel, false gospel, comedy gospel including the telling of inappropriate jokes instead of clearly presenting, uncorrupted, God’s life giving truth, etc).
Many leaders, instead of focusing on the Father’s business, are building their own denominations, empires, and names for themselves, and truly making the Father’s house into a den of thieves. God revealed to me that denominations are devices of the devil to separate the body of Christ. God has only one bride, one body, and even Paul said, let there be no divisions among you. Every time you put a label on yourself, other than follower of and ambassador for Jesus, you may unintentionally be bringing division, and that is wrong.
Lately, whenever you go to a church, you find a marketplace of goods for sale. What do we mean? For example, most churches have concession stands, selling coffee, snacks and more. They have stores which sell books, DVDs, mugs, and other Christian materials. All being sold at a considerable profit. Add to this, the many events put on by churches selling admission at unattainable prices for many people. Musicians, preachers would come and “minister” to the needs of people, charging fees selling their preaching materials, and CDs with songs.
We truly, in this age, again, have turned the house of the Lord into a marketplace. No different that the world, it is business as usual in the churches. Even the preachers are for sale. Name the price and they will come, “true servants of the Lord”, not cheap though. To have those highly esteemed leaders to come and minister, you either have to have the right connections or a very fat wallet. Shame on them. I wonder what Jesus would say about such practices.
Pastors, instead of relying on the Holy spirit, either get their sermons on the Internet or right it down a year in advance. In effect, there is no power, no manifestations, no salvations, no healings, no deliverance, no casting out of demons, just smart, very knowledgeable and dry exhortations of mans wisdom.
You say, we need the funds, but God says, “without faith, you cannot please Me”. You say, everything costs, God says trust me, rely on me, seek first the kingdom of God, and these things will be given to you, because God is our provider. You say, “worthy is a worker of his wages”, and that is true, but not through manipulation, or extortion. Have you heard, “Freely you have received, freely give”? Or that it is more blessed to give that to receive? I believe that if Jesus would come, like He did two thousand years ago, he would break the pulpits in half, and start whipping all His beloved children, for their own sake.
Perhaps Jesus would say, “Not only have you turned my Father’s house into a den of thieves, but also, you have turned the pulpits into a vehicle for your own glory.”
We have been told to hold fast to sound doctrine. We are not to go to the left or the right. We are not to embrace the ways of the Nicolaitans, or to tolerate the sins of Jezebel. We are living in a time of Laodicea. The lukewarm church makes God sick. When you and I, are not about his business, souls – fighting for them, going to the highways and byways, wherever the Spirit will lead us, with the good news of His salvation, are we not lukewarm, living for ourselves?
When we overlook the needs of even our own, let alone the needs of unbelievers, the broken hearted, the down trodden, those in need, when we ignore them and say that it is their own fault they suffer the way they do, we break the heart of our Lord and trample under foot His precious blood. We are eager to separate ourselves from the will of God, when either difficulties come, or others around us are not doing the things we want them to do. If it is not our way, it has to be the highway. Have we not read, one can take his thousand, but two their ten thousand. Or, that there is power in unity. Instead of overlooking our small, and insignificant, differences and focus on Jesus, we choose to go our own ways.
Foolishness! Childish behaviors, we want to act like big leaders, but instead, we act like five year olds, fighting for our little toy on the playground.
We are living in a land of prosperity, and instead of being truly grateful, because everything is a gift from God, there is bragging over abundance – big buildings, granite counter tops, big projects, big ministries, etc. Your heart has become arrogant and prideful. You say with your lips, thank you Jesus, but your hearts are saying, our own hands, our own wisdom and abilities have made all of this, we did it. Just like God said in His word, My people honor me with their mouths but their hearts are far from me.
Our buildings, that God graciously gave us, lie unused the vast majority of the time. God wants them to be used for service, not for shows. The obligation of the church, not an option for the church, is to take care of the poor, widows, orphans, and those who have no voice. Instead of idolizing buildings, with clean carpets and polished chairs, treating them better than human beings, we should open them to all, including the poor, providing food, shelter, and safety to those who desperately need it.
Just think, if every church in Calgary would reach out to those in need, in a real and tangible way, demonstrating the love of Christ, healing the broken hearted, and truly ministering to them, how many would be saved, for now and for eternity? Would we not today, see lived out, the book of Acts church, were many were being added to those who believe, daily, and where great apostles didn’t wave their status like a flag, but realized their call to lead in service through humility, even if it meant serving tables.
Do we not, in our churches/buildings, hear the cry of those dying on our streets – two homeless people die every week on our streets, in Calgary. It is a shame, and this shame is upon the Church. You may say, this is not our mandate, it’s the governments job. Rubbish! Nonsense! It is Jesus’ commandment to us, to take care of them. We are under obligation. Again, it’s not an option!
You may say, that giving hampers at Christmas or easter is, in fact, fulfilling that command. Wake up, sleepy Christians. Having a few cans and a few sets of clothes, in a few rooms for the needy is not solving the problem, but merely patching it. And of course, what good is that gift, without the preaching of the plain and simple message of the gospel, which will literally grant them eternal life. First comes the gospel, with tangible manifestations of the love of the Living God.
There are those who are being persecuted, right here in Canada, not just in Africa, not just in the middle east. Yet, even when average people, just reading from the Bible on sidewalks are fined or arrested, the church is silent. When ministries are denied freedoms which God ordained and which are enshrined in Canada’s constitution, there is no loud cry from the body of Christ for justice. Preachers are dragged before courts, for preaching the gospel, like common criminals, the church is still. When Bibles are confiscated in our own cities, not in remote corners out of the sight of all, but in plain view in front of thousands, there is a deafening silence that cries out for those who would stand. When families all around us are being kicked out from the body of Christ merely for preaching outside buildings, nobody cares or takes notice. Apathy and indifference has plagued our congregations and our lives.
Do you really think that God is well pleased? He is sick and tired of hands being lifted to Him, when they should also be extended to one another. When our focus is services and meetings and prayer rallies, patting each other on the back and saying what a good person you are, how does this align with Christ? Christ was all about souls, bringing glory to, and obeying the will of the Father. It is about Him, not about you.
In Revelation, God commended the churches that stood against sin, are we doing this. If Christ was to return today, how many of our parishioners would make it, and would the lamp stand of our churches be taken away? God gave us a model for church discipline. Let’s use it.
The nature of God is unchangeable, so hear now what is about to happen to the City of Calgary, unless we all as one voice will cry before the Living God, truly humbling ourselves and stop living for our own benefit.
This is what God says, “Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not prosper because you have forsaken the Lord, He has forsaken you.” 2 Chronicles 24: 20
God spoke to us through different prophets and also directly into our own hearts, violence will spread through our streets. Famine, famine, famine. God repeated the word famine three times. Starvation. People will literally be killing other people for food. There will be extended power outages and lack of water. There will be terrible storms, and people will be without heat. The god of mammon is going to be struck down. Many pastors will either be removed from their positions or kicked out, because of lack of funding, or because they were speaking of prosperity instead of repentance and holiness and because the wrath of God fell without proper warning from these “great leaders”.
There will be great fear, and hopelessness. Many will turn away from God, but also many will come to Him because they will be humbled. What’s happened, is that God has given many over to their pride and arrogance, for repeatedly refusing to partake in His true work.
Many may think that this judgment is God’s fault. But the truth is that Calgarian’s have embraced evil things, placing nude statues in the middle of the city, placing statues of other god’s in the zoo, embracing homosexuality, divorce, adultery, fornication, greed and constantly murdering innocent children. When people instead of calling on the mercy of the Living God are calling upon strange spirits, and foreign gods, they opened our city up to the demonic, practically begging the hand of God to correct our wickedness. When tarot card readers, fortune tellers, and witchcraft are treated with respect and without any opposition from the church, what do you expect? Did you think that God would turn a blind eye to the indifference of His church in these matters? Never! God judgment is in motion, and the consequences have already begun.
Let’s all of us as one body, get on our faces on the ground and cry out for His mercy, with true repentance, for it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God, and dreadful is the day of the Lord. Take it or leave it, this is our advice. As always God has said, “If my people, who are called by my name will but humble themselves, and pray, and will turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from on high and I will heal their land”. Now is the time to get right with God, be good stewards, retire debts, correct wrongs, and be wise in the Lord, for time is short. We feel that 2012 is an important year in the Lord’s timing, many difficult times are coming ahead. This is a time of Joseph. Be wise, and like he, be ready, prepared.
So next time you stand behind a pulpit, please remember, life and death is in the power of your tongue, and that God will make us all accountable for every word, and every deed.
Ezekiel 3:8-9 – “…I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them though they are a rebellious house.”
We all should repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.