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Sermon: “This Gospel of the Kingdom”October 2, 2022
Jesus said Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” So what happens if this gospel is not being preached? What happens when man goes out into the world and preaches another gospel? The answer is simple as we have seen over two thousand years go by since Jesus and the end has not come. Peter told us 2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” So obviously the church has not done what it ought to have done. The gospel men and women have taken into the world is not the gospel that was supposed to have been preached. The gospel that most have believed is not “this gospel of the kingdom.”
Every so often when scanning the news, I see some interesting articles on religion. This past week I saw one that talked about “Rapture Anxiety.” This article talked about the “growing network of “exvangelicals” who have removed themselves from what they now view as the damaging beliefs of some evangelical, Pentecostal and Baptist churches.” The rapture was described as a “scary campfire story.” They even talked about the trauma caused by the ridiculous movie The Thief in the Night. I have talked about my own ordeal from that movie, a movie that should never have been shown in church because it was basically a horror movie about a doctrine of demons. The article said “It can also lead people to redefine their faith, or abandon it altogether. The number of Americans identifying as Christian has been steadily dropping for years.” That is just one of the many issues causing people to abandon the church. This fear created by this other / false gospel was unnecessary because it is not real, but since it was shown in the church at the time and if you didn’t know better you would then been anxious. I didn’t know at the time, but scripture tells us the truth, so you don’t have to worry about the rapture because it is not going to happen, only in Hollywood and on the bookshelf. But that doesn’t mean you should not be concerned about your future. What you should be worried about is how you are living because Jesus will return, judgement will take place and that will be it. Matthew 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Yes, many have been deceived by false teaching like the rapture and many others. That teaching also includes teaching about the tribulation (already happening) and the millennial kingdom where Jesus comes again to reign on David’s throne. (He already did that) When it comes to the rapture, you have many who believe it, others who don’t and lots who just are not sure. That is the damage done by other gospels / false teaching. The reality is the church is in tribulation and has been decimated and stands desolate due to rebellion and at this point there is only a remnant of the church left. The question is are you going to make it through this desolation / tribulation? Revelation 7:14 “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” To make it through the tribulation you must be following the word of God wholeheartedly. All you have to do is take a look around at what people call the church today and see that following God’s word is not happening. When you look, you will see a powerless group that likes to meet on Sundays to hear old, old stories and have their ears tickled.
For years you have had men and women who say they represent Jesus, going into the world to spreading His gospel. Almost everyone knows the name Billy Graham and possibly the name Oswald J. Smith who started the People’s church in Toronto, Canada. These men spread what they called the gospel globally. On the Billy Graham Evangelist Website it states, “Mr. Graham preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history—nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories—through various meetings, including Mission World and Global Mission. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts.” “Dr. Billy Graham conducted Oswald J. Smith’s memorial service before an overflow audience in The Peoples Church auditorium. Graham eulogized his friend: “The name, Oswald J. Smith, symbolizes worldwide evangelism. Some men are called to minister the gospel in a city, others to a nation; and a few in each century to the whole world. Oswald J. Smith was a prophet to the nations of the world. He will go down in history as the greatest combination pastor, hymn writer, missionary statesman and evangelist of our lime. He was the most remarkable man I have ever met.” These are just a couple examples of men going out into the world to spread the gospel but was it really the gospel they were spreading and what exactly were all these people saved into?
The answer is no they were not preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. They did not correctly handle the word of God. 2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” The answer lies in what they were teaching. They were like minded men when it came to end-time theology, the rapture, tribulation and millennial kingdom. If Graham could call Smith a prophet to the nations, there is the problem. It is on the Graham associations website where you will see the answer to the problem. It states, “Evangelist Billy Graham took Christ literally when He said in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” That sounds good but that is only part of it. The rest of the verses are 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Jesus said these signs will accompany those who believe and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. This missing part is crucial and is not the gospel without it. All you have to do is read Grahams views on miracles, signs and wonders and you will see he did not believe in the gifts of the Spirit. Again, on the website it states his view. “All throughout the Bible, God used miracles to show His power and sovereignty. During Jesus’ time on earth, He used miracles of supernatural healing and provision to reveal that He was the true Messiah, the Son of God. Hebrews 2:4 says, “God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” That verse is true just not how they used it. He also said, “I have no doubt that God does intervene on occasion to heal people without the aid of medicine — but nowhere does the Bible urge us to reject medical treatment.” So in summary miracles in the bible yes, miracles today not so much.
You will find most of the church lean towards this thinking that miracles, signs and wonders were only used to confirm the gospel when Jesus preached it, but this is not the gospel of Jesus Christ simply because Jesus is not dead but alive and He is still our healer. Matthew 8:17 “This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” The gospel, especially today, definitely needs to be confirmed. Yes, what Graham said and what many believe is partially true but at the same time very wrong as this is not the gospel of this kingdom. For these men, power to heal, signs and wonders to astonish can’t happen because they think and taught that the kingdom is coming in the future, but Jesus said the kingdom has already come. The problem we have is that men and women have rejected what scripture actually states to go with their own reasoning, tradition and experiences. Yes, they copped out by saying if God wanted to heal, He would. Yes, God wants to heal, that is why He gave us His Spirit. They reject verses like 1 Corinthians 12:9 “to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers,” because it doesn’t fit with their false theology / doctrines. Today I want to look at what the true gospel is and again it is obvious it is missing just by comparing scripture to the church. What you do see is the abomination that causes desolation.
The problem is that man stopped listening to God’s word and followed other gospels. Following other gods is the same as following other gospels. Deuteronomy 11:26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.” Deuteronomy 32:17 “They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear.” In one form or another many have followed dispensationalism, something that recently appeared but turning away to follow other gospels is not new as Paul summed this up when he said, Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” The problem is as we saw with Graham that millions followed his teaching, but few rejected it. I grew up only hearing how great Billy Graham was. Before you read this next verse know that our battle is not with Ephesians 6:12 “flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Just like the movie, the thief on the night, there should be more opposition to false teaching and teachers, not just agreeing to disagree. Deuteronomy 13:12 “If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in 13 that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), 14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock.” No you can’t kill people. More people should have been looking into the beliefs of the evangelists coming to them. Acts 17:11 “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
What they should have seen was a lack of power as described in scripture, but having said that there are many evangelists who seemed to have power but it was a power not from on High like the false prophet Reinhard Bonnke. In Bonnke’s case the power was demonic as it did not line up with scripture. 2 Timothy 3:3 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” People should have nothing to do with these men and women, but many have fallen for their teaching. Jesus answered and warned us when he said Matthew 24:3 “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” Sadly, most have not been watching. We were also told to test the spirits for this very reason and again most have not tested. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” We test the spirits by knowing the word of God, not the words from man about God as they fit in their doctrines and theology. Every church has modified scripture in one way or another to fit their own distinct beliefs. Jesus made it very clear when He said, John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We were told John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” The whole bible is the word of God and the church must believe it all. We were also told John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 1 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” This means that we must believe what God says in His word, always remembering that the bible is His living word. If we go back to Graham’s website, it says Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. but you will not stop there because Jesus went on to say 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned,” 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe, 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Even though they used scripture to make a point, the points they actually made was about their unbelief and lack of power.
Today’s church is powerless, under delusion and deceived because it refuses to believe God at His word. This unbelief is rebellion which caused the abomination to take over the church. Jesus said Matthew 24:15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” Daniel also warned us Daniel 9:27 “And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Though they may try to build another temple, we are not waiting for a temple to be built; the temple is the body of Christ. Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Again, all you have to do is look at the church and see the desolation and lack of true power. In this same passage in Mark, Jesus rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. As we saw earlier there is only one way, and that way is truth and gives us life. That means there is only one gospel and one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” Ephesians 4:5 “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” 1 Corinthians 8:6 “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” You can’t have denominations all teaching something different about Jesus.
Jesus said Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” The end will come when the true gospel is preached. That means that the church must turn from their wicked ways and return to God’s way. Even though there is only a remnant left, we have hope because God will keep His promise to us. Last night as I took our dog out for his nightly ritual, I looked up from the middle of our yard and saw the moon off in one direction, the big dipper place perfectly between two trees and I think Jupiter off into the south-east. Jeremiah 33:19 “The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 20 “This is what the Lord says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21 then my covenant with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. 22 I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.’” And yes, the sun came up this morning.
Jesus showed us what the gospel of this kingdom was. The first step is to believe the kingdom came. The millennial reign of Jesus where He comes back to take a real throne on earth is a massive deception in the church. Even cults believe that. Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise. Jesus already took the throne of David. Luke 1:31 “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Zechariah said, Luke 1:68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” The shepherds were told Luke 2:10 “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:28 “Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” It is interesting to me that every year Christmas is celebrated but every year people still refuse to believe what they read. Hosea 4:6 “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” To confirm the kingdom was here, Jesus said Luke 11:20 “if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Jesus drove out demons! No, the prophets were not confused with two mountain peaks (false teaching) and no Jesus wasn’t just sort of king now and later would be reign on earth as king. All that is to fit pathetic doctrines and theology that men make up so they can continue the justification of going their own way. The kingdom represented power over the evil one, starting with the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:54 “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus came to destroy the work of satan. 1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” You can’t destroy satan’s work if you are working for him. You work for him when you teach other / false gospels.
The gospels show us the right way. Jesus showed us what the church was to continue to do, and the disciples showed us what the power of Pentecost would look like in the church, if we continued to obey and follow His ways. Because the church has rebelled against God’s word, God has turned His face from us just like He did with Israel. Jesus said Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The problem is most in the church don’t ask what happens if we don’t obey. They just assumed that people like Billy Graham were actually making disciples of all nations. Daniel 8:12 “Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.” Paul said 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” The church has rebelled, and truth has been thrown down. Again, just look at the church and you will see desolation and everyone doing as they see fit.
When the kingdom came with Jesus reigning on David’s thrown, power flowed through Him. Revelation 12:10 “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.” Revelation 11:15“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” That power would destroy the works of satan. When you look at Matthew, Mark and Luke you see the same pattern at the beginning. After Jesus was tempted Luke 4:14 “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Mark 1:11 “And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” 12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”Matthew 4:1 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
At the beginning of Jesus ministry, he called His disciples. This would show that disciples were to carry on the work of Jesus. John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” We will also see they were given the same power and authority. As soon as Jesus started ministering, He did three things; proclaimed the good news, healed the sick and cast out demons. This would be the example the church was supposed to follow. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” Mark 1:22 “The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.” Luke 4:32 “They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. 36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.”
So that makes it pretty clear that preaching the gospel means proclaiming the good news, healing the sick and casting out demons. This is God confirming His word. This is shown over and over again throughout the gospels. Luke 7:18 “John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” 21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Matthew 8:16 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Matthew 9:35 “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” Mark 1:39 “39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.” Luke 8:1 “Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out.” Mark 9:25 “When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
When you look at scripture, you see something totally different than what you see in the church. Men and women all say this is the gospel but at the same time what they are saying is not what Jesus said or did. They all come up with excuses as to why it is different. The problem today is that men and women are saying they serve Jesus and say they are preaching the good news, yet what they are teaching and their lack of power shows that it is not the gospel they are preaching. Millions have been deceived by other gospels and most don’t even know it. When Jesus preached Mark 1:27 “The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” Jesus did not come to fill up buildings but to set people free. The church was supposed to have this same authority and teach what Jesus taught and as we were told Jesus would confirm His word with signs that would follow.
We know that it was not just Jesus who had this power and authority. Jesus gave his disciples that same power and authority to do as He did, but they could not do it without being sent and empowered with the Spirit. Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.” Mark 3:13 “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons.” Notice that they might be with Him. If you are not with Jesus and decide to go your own way, power from on High will not follow. Mark 6:6 “Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.” Luke 10:1 “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you. 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
This was a prelude to Pentecost where the church would be empowered with the Holy Spirit. Moses said, Numbers 11:29 “I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” Exodus 19:5 “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Later Peter said 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Revelation 5:10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Jesus promised that when he left this earth, he would give us the ability to do as He did and not leave us alone. John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth.” Notice we were told to keep His commands, not to make our own versions of it. John 16:7 “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” Today we are missing the Spirit of truth which is why there is so much deception in the church and confusion about the end times.
The Spirit of God came just as Jesus said would happen. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This wasn’t just for a few disciples but for the church. Peter said Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” If we would obey John 14:23 “Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” When God dwells among us, there is power. Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Some of the disciples did as they were commanded to do but not all. 1 Corinthians 15:6 “After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.” Acts 1:5 “In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty).” Then we saw the power of God, fire from heaven fall on the all the disciples just like when the fire fell on the temple. 2 Chronicles 7:1 “When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. 3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, He is good; his love endures forever.” Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Then we saw the disciples go out with power and authority. Acts 3:2 “Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” But the people were astonished just as they would be today. Acts 3:12 “When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.”
This power and authority continued. Acts 4:9 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Acts 5:12 “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” This power would continue. Acts 6:8 “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.” Another man that was selected was Philip. Acts 8:5 “Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” Acts 19:11 “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”
The story of every disciple that went out is not recorded just as every miracle was not recorded. Romans 15:14 “I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15 Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God.” Galatians 3:1 “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” The church is still trying to finish in the flesh.
Now for many who read all these verses here or in scripture, they will find a way not to believe and there are many who will guide them away from the truth, just as many refused to believe when Jesus stood right in front of them, but if you truly search God’s word and seek, you will find His truth. Sadly, the church we know is not the church Jesus is the head of. Men and women who have gone out have gone in their own strength and refused to believe what is written in God’s word. They have taught other / false gospels. They have accepted the lies of satan and the doctrines of demons as truth and then have gone around the world proclaiming those lies to whoever will listen. Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” Two things have happened. Some have gone out and there is no authority and power just a lot of talk. That would be the non-charismatic side of the deception. You then have others that have gone out in satan’s power and yes there are signs and wonders that look nothing like scripture. Both have been deceived by worldly success. You can see this power throughout scripture. Luke 4:5 “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” 2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” You still must ask, what have people been saved into? The reality is most have not been saved into what they thought and will only hear depart from me I don’t know you. Luke 13:23 “Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.” Schuller and Graham had a conversation one time where Graham said “Christianity and being a true believer, you know I think there is the body of Christ, which comes from all the Christian groups around the world, or outside the Christian groups, I think everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ whether they are conscious of it or not they are members of the body of Christ. Whether they come from the Muslim world or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they have been called by God.” That is some brutal theology from a global ambassador of the gospel. Schuller responds “(interrupting) Fantastic! I´m so glad to hear you say that. There is a wideness in God´s mercy.” Yes, in their own theology / doctrine but not according to scripture. Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” That is what people were following when they followed these two men. This why God has turned His face from the church.
We saw the glory of God depart at the death of Eli. 1 Samuel 4:21 “She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.” God had told Samuel what would happen. 1 Samuel 3:11 “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.” Ezekiel saw the glory depart from the temple and the glory return. Ezekiel 10:18 “Then the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. 3 The vision I saw was like the vision I had seen when he came to destroy the city and like the visions I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown.” Ezekiel 43:4 “The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east. 5 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” Israel was warned as to what would happen. Deuteronomy 31:16 “And the Lord said to Moses: “You are going to rest with your ancestors, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. 17 And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’ 18 And I will certainly hide my face in that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods.” Isaiah 57:17 “I was enraged by their sinful greed; I punished them, and hid my face in anger, yet they kept on in their willful ways. Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Ezekiel 39:23 “And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword.”
The same has happened to the church because the church did not heed the warnings. 1 Corinthians 10:6 “Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” We were told in Daniel this abomination that causes desolation would happen. Jesus told us it would happen, but the church refused to listen and was deceived. Almost right away man turned away from God’s word and went their own way as they saw fit. Scripture was rewritten and doctrines and theology were formed. Great buildings were built that were supposed to represent the glory of God dwelling among them. How often do you hear what a beautiful building or wasn’t that a beautiful casket? Jesus said Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Whether the church is full or empty, the church has been decimated. Stephen said Acts 7:48 “the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands.” Paul said Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything.” Deuteronomy 31:29“For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.” 2 Kings 22:17 “Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.” Ezekiel 15:7 “I will set my face against them. Although they have come out of the fire, the fire will yet consume them. And when I set my face against them, you will know that I am the Lord. 8 I will make the land desolate because they have been unfaithful, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Isaiah 2:8 “Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.” Jeremiah 25:7 “But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have aroused my anger with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.”
The church we know today is handmade, follows other gods / gospels and is filled with deception and delusion and powerless against our enemy satan. There is no power and the gospel has been turned into an event on Sunday and way to make money for the successful. Paul said 1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” Can you imagine Jesus or Paul confronting these world renown evangelist and preachers? Look at the flashy preacher that got robbed of hundreds of thousands of dollars (on him) while live-streaming his preaching. While that is an extreme example, there are many in the church who are spiritually powerless making millions off the gospel of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:17 “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.” Today everyone has something to sell to for the glory of God. What they don’t have is the true gospel and the power that goes with it. Yes, there are some very humble ministers when it comes to finances, yet they still teach a false gospel. These men and women week after week and day after day and online, teach their own brand of the gospel, meanwhile God has turned His face and these teachers will be accountable for distorting the word of God and leading people astray. 2 Peter 2: 1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” Acts 20:9 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.”2 Corinthians 4:1 “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
We were told that God would confirm His word with signs that would follow. Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Hebrews 2:4 “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” It doesn’t say set them aside for love for all these are done in love. Paul then goes on to say, 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”
Today if you are being taught that the church is where it should be and the gospel is being preached, yet at the same time there is no power and you are being told God no longer confirms His word with power or only some of the gifts are in operation, run away. There is only one option presently and that is to repent, seek and wait for God to turn His face back to the church. Jeremiah 23:16 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ 18 But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? 19 See, the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. 20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. 21 I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.”
The church needs to repent and turn from wicked ways. Then the church needs to seek His kingdom. No, you are not waiting for the millennial kingdom as Jesus already sits on the throne of David. What you are waiting for is God to turn His face back to the church so that once again His disciples can go to the ends of the earth in power and authority. Luke 12:31 “But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” Luke 11:2 ““When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread.4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” At this point don’t worry about life, seek the kingdom of God and wait expectantly for God to turn His face back to us. Daniel 4:32 “Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.” 34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”
Come before God and confess that you will no longer participate in the manmade church. Hosea 14:3 “Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount warhorses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.” And then wait and trust that God will move in power once again just as He said He would. Isaiah 8:17 “I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.” Isaiah 54:8 “In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.” Jesus said Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Jesus showed us what the church would look like when the kingdom comes near, yet man decided to go their own way. Make a decision today to no longer be a disciple of man but to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus was anointed with power we also need to be anointed with authority and power to go and do as Jesus did. That is the only way. After Jesus rose from the dead Matthew 28:16 “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Don’t be those who doubt, but those who believe God’s word to be truth. If you have been deceived do something about it and turn from those wicked ways but don’t keep going down a path to where the dead are. Proverbs 15:24 “The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead.” Proverbs 21:16 “Whoever strays from the path of prudence comes to rest in the company of the dead.” Zechariah 1:2 “The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. 3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty. 4 Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. 5 Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors? “Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’”
None of us should be allowed to survive. Many blame God for everything, but what you should be asking is why would God even allow anyone to live after the way the church has rebelled against Him. Malachi 1:6 “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.14 For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” Thankfully God is merciful and compassionate to the humble, to those who seek Him. Deuteronomy 4:25 “After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.” 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” So be grateful and repent. Take the time to seek God and make sure of what you think to be salvation. Now is the only time you have because after you die is to late. Turning from wicked ways is the only way the kingdom will come near and where you spend your eternity depends on it. Are you following this Jesus and His gospel or a different one? Will you recognize Him when you see Him? Mark 6:53 “When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.” Luke 21:8 Jesus replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.”