Someone recently asked me what I see for America and the church's future. Right now, I am seeing the beginning and mushrooming of an evolution of sorts concerning both the nation and the church. Not everything is as it appears.
Here's a powerful word from the Spirit of God that I've shared before:
Do not look at the TV and larger media ministries to try to understand what I am doing in my body today. They have a part to play, but they are the visible to the eye veneer of the body that people see. Those who are carnal and immature see the outward appearance and are impressed, thinking that these are the height of ministry and where the Spirit is concentrating today. But they are mistaken.
See what I see, many small churches and ministries investing in relationships, walking in love, pouring their lives into each other; this is where the Spirit is moving today. There is a revolution taking place in my body, a revolution of relationships, discipleship, and love. This will affect whole communities and economies." —John Fenn, Church Without Walls International
I believe God is giving the church, and subsequently the nation, a few more years of grace before a new season dawns. The church will remain under divine discipline until then as God awaits an earnest and heart-felt response. He is separating the wheat from the chaff. There must be a greater distinction between the world, the false and worldly church and the true disciples of Jesus through the work of the cross. Both His severity and kindness are manifesting simultaneously (Rom. 11:22) as people choose whom they will serve. A large segment of the church is being upbraided for her worldly ways and worldly thinking and her departure from the real faith.
God is preparing an underground church and a loving, consecrated people against a time of trouble and harvest yet to come. This is a necessary work, and more importantly, a manifestation of God's mercy to the masses, because when the church is judged and cleansed, that is when we have the greatest impact on the world. Conversely, when there is lack of judgment in the church, it means a widespread judgment to the masses and mercy reserved for only a small righteous remnant.
"For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God, and if it begins first with us, what shall the end be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And 'If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Pet. 4:17-18).
As a nation, America will either rise from its spiritual deadness or become a byword. Although I believe God is using President Trump in amazing ways, he is not the savior of this nation. Let us not be foolish and misplace our trust. A demonic assault has been unleashed in our land, and it is manifesting in an irrational hatred toward everything that is pure, holy and right.
Let's not stop watching and praying because we now have a new conservative Supreme Court judge, and the nation seems to be on an economic upswing. Don't be fooled. There are many enemies of America and the church who are lurking in darkness and want nothing more than the death and destruction of the Christian values and liberties we hold dear. It is the biggest hurdle to globalism, humanism and a one-world order.
Many of God's People Are Yawning
Seducing spirits are speaking lies, and doctrines of demons are rampant. Perilous times keep intensifying. Hurricanes, floods and fires rage, and volcanoes are on the brink of eruption. The frequency of the earth's tremors and quakes is accelerating, too, as creation groans, but still so many seem unfazed. In spite of all these disasters the real spirit of repentance is rare these days. What will it take to wake us up?
"My people are yawning at My intentions and will," says the Lord.
There are still too many hirelings, misguided pastors and ministers who are engaged in drinking, dealing with various forms of immorality, entangled in materialism or flirting with some other darling lust. Some are bored in their callings and lack true communion with God. The absence of the presence of God is glaring in many places, and sheep are starving for the true word of life. Holiness has been replaced by hype. Appearance has been exalted over anointing.
Conversely and generally speaking, it's also been very encouraging to witness struggling pastors of numerically smaller churches who are laboring in obscurity, pressing into God in the Spirit and taking an uncompromising stand for the Lord—while others are growing increasingly discouraged and compromising for growth, or they're just giving up and quitting. Meanwhile, pastors of mega-churches who have a platform and means to make an impact on their community and nation have grown comfortable and self-congratulatory in their false success.
We need so much fire and holiness in the pulpits of America right now, but all we seem to be getting is smoke and noise as men are caught up in their own self-importance and image. We have some of the largest churches we've ever had in the history of our nation and yet the greatest departure from the true faith. What a paradox! Many professing Christians don't read their Bibles any more, but only trust in what their favorite elevated preacher says.
And so the moral landslide continues and antichrist legislation keeps forcing its hand in our land while our more visible superstar preachers and slick televangelists boast of their empty paper exploits while reveling in their creature comforts and raking in their millions.
I weep at the deception of it all and the many preachers who are actual enemies of the cross of Christ and bound for destruction and perdition.
Where is the tangible fruit?
Where are the testimonies from these celebrity ministers of massive repentance resulting in genuine conversions of lasting fruit, mighty baptisms of the Holy Spirit and notable deliverances from those who have death-gripping addictions? Instead, most of American Christianity glorifies the hype of noisy conferences, emotionally stimulating popcorn services and hipster preachers who never speak of sin, true holiness and repentance. God has only a faithful remnant who are seeing beyond the surface and who hear the rumblings of a massive change and shaking that is coming.
It's all a numbers game that some of these mega ministries and churches are playing, and it's the money that seems to matter most to these men with mega egos. I'm sure a few of them actually love people, but most of them really have no ground strategy. The small guy that's making a marked difference at a grass roots level is not esteemed nor fully supported.
I know many of my former students and friends who have such a strong anointing to impact our culture, but many in the body of Christ are duped into supporting the popularity of elevated ministries who teach, teach, teach, but can never provide a quantitative account of transformed lives. They have millions of dollars in support but little fruit to show for it. It's time to address this farce and inequality and reevaluate our giving and direct it toward those who are most worthy.
I know of sacrificial missionaries who work in gospel-starved areas among the unreached, ministries who are saving young victims of sex trafficking, those who are building hospitals for the sick and elderly and orphanages for the fatherless, and Christian organizations who support the persecuted church and families of martyrs. Most of these ministries operate on such a minimal budget in comparison to others with multimillion-dollar budgets who teach those who've already been taught. Let's be honest with ourselves. We are a teaching-saturated culture with minimal tangible fruit.
And what are we teaching? A sugar-coated, feel-good word that keeps the church self-centered, anemic and ineffective while thinking they are in revival. The power of redemption has been removed from the gospel, and our nation is paying for it. I'm afraid the fake love and tolerance gospel has come home to roost.
Sound the Alarm
Do I sound like an alarmist? Perhaps, but a loud alarm is necessary to wake up the sleepy, yawning church.
The book of Revelation is alarming to me when I read of the death, destruction and judgment of the nations. The Bible is not all peace and happiness, but full of warnings and casualties. And such an alarm must be sounded in this hour if we are going to give birth to real change.
History remembers mighty moves of God, not megachurches and mega-ministries who are not known in hell. Are there any great mega churches and mega ministries? Perhaps a few, but not many. I'm afraid most of them have only added to the deception, providing an appearance of false success—a facade to hide all that's wrong with the American church with most having no impact on the culture of sin.
May God's underground church arise in America.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has authored several books with an emphasis on helping to restore the true spirit of Christianity in the Church today, including his latest book, Passing on The Move of God to The Next Generation. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook and @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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