Over the years we have talked a lot about the desolation of the church. A desolate church is a powerless church and unable to stand against its enemies. The abomination that causes desolation has almost destroyed the church due to its rebellion against God’s word. 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. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 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. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.” Daniel said, Daniel 7:21 “As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them,” 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.” Paul said 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. 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. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” Not only has satan been allowed to decimate the church, God has also brought delusion upon the church.

        One of the deceptions of satan and delusion from God is that the church is just as it ought to be and blessed by God and nothing needs to change. This means there is definitely no need to repent and turn from wicked ways but that is the delusion and deception. Jeremiah describes this when he said, Jeremiah 8:6 “I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord. 8 “‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? 9 The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?” Each distinct group in the church continues full steam ahead, totally oblivious that the path they are on is leading to a wide gate, even though Jesus said, Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Each distinct group in the church also believes that they are the way, truth and life. This means you can’t find it if you are not even looking for it. 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.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’” Those are words you do not want to hear, because if you hear them, it is too late.

        Another deception, which is due to the fact that many are handling the word of God incorrectly, like the lying pens of the scribes, is that they will tell you everything is okay, just follow what we teach. Jeremiah 6:13 “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. 14 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. 15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 5:12 “They have lied about the Lord; they said, “He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine. 13 The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them.” Jeremiah would later say to king Zedekiah, Jeremiah 37:19 “Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, ‘The king of Babylon will not attack you or this land’? They will tell you all this desolation will happen at a future point in time, so fear not, meanwhile the church has been decimated and people are dying without ever knowing the truth. This is clearly seen by the lack of power in the church. As the church got further and further away from the truth, each generation still believes what they are being told. Peter’s words still apply today when he said, Acts 2:40 “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 

        They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I admit I do not have a taste for art. I have seen pictures that leave you speechless not because they were so amazing, but because it was hard to believe someone would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for it. I am not really talking about the art world, but a picture of two people I saw awhile back that I felt really sums up how desolate the church really is. The picture I saw was Donald Trump standing alongside House Speaker Mike Johnson who was at Mara logo giving Trump his full support and looking for something in return. I am not going to spend much time talking about Donald Trump, but this picture speaks volumes. Mike Johnson claims to be a Christian and lets his views be known. Donald Trump’s believes himself to be God’s anointed. Yes, God has used men and women, to save His people, in governing like Joseph, Mordecai and Esther and Daniel but this is definitely not that. Now if you have heard Trump speak, you would know that nothing out of his mouth is can be trust as fact, as he constantly lies. Jesus said, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” We also know that satan is so arrogant he will tell you his plans and even warn you of his presence. After talking about what he learned from the interview with Time a writer from the Washington Post said, “Trump keeps warning us about his second term. Are you listening?” He also said, And “don’t say Trump didn’t warn us.” Time fact checked all the lies from the interview as did others and it was mostly lies and distortions. The amazing part is how many Christians think that Trump is actually God’s anointed to save the country and possibly even the world. One writer said, “Happy almost Easter! Hey, speaking of Easter, do you know who apparently views himself as a Jesus Christ–like figure whose current trials and tribulations are not unlike being nailed to the cross? If you guessed “Donald Trump,” you guessed right!” Another said, “they found tens of thousands of mentions calling Trump a martyr. The number more than doubled immediately after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., linked the prosecution of Trump to the persecution of Christ during an interview.” Margorie Taylor Greene is a Christian? Someone had posted a message that Trump really appreciated. One writer said, “On Monday, Mr. Trump claimed that he received a message stating: “It’s ironic that Christ walked through His greatest persecution the very week they are trying to steal your property from you.” “Beautiful, thank you!” Mr. Trump responded, seemingly moved by the message that his $464m fine for decades of financial fraud is on the same level as the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

        So back to the picture. If you ever wondered what the spirit of antichrist looked like, look no further than Trump. This picture represents the church snuggling up with the antichrist. 1 John 2:18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” He claims to support Christians, but he is just using them for their vote. Right now, he is just trying to stay out of prison. He holds up a bible and now is trying to sell them, but the bible is meaningless to him. So, when you see a picture of Mike Johnson with Trump, what you are seeing is the desolation and delusion of the church. But many will see what they think is salvation because of their christian nationalistic views, which is not Christianity. Basically this “is an ideology that is based around the idea that this is a Christian nation, that this was founded as a Christian nation, and, therefore, it should be a Christian nation today and should be so in the future.” That is easy to denounce as we have talked about before. The constitution doesn’t say Christianity but says in the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The United States was never a Christian nation, even though they say in God we trust. As you saw from Mike Johnson, he will do anything, even grovel at the feet of Donald Trump, just to stay in power. Luke tells us satan is always glad to help out with that. 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.” Mr. Johnson did answer as Jesus did. Jesus responded by saying “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” It really is hard to believe that so many in the church believe all of this, but we have to remember that the deception by satan is powerful, as is the delusion from God. 2 Thessalonians 2:11 “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.”  The government is not the church, so they are going to do things that are not in agreement with scripture. As we can see, the Biden administration pushes for things that go against scripture, but they are the government, not the church. Church and politics do not mix, that is unless God puts you in a place of power to actually save His people, not lead them even further form the truth.

        This picture shows just how far the church is from God’s word because the church refuses to obey His word. Because of this, God has allowed satan to decimate the church. Jesus defeated satan already, but satan is not gone. 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.” The church was supposed to continue that work. Many have made the mistake of thinking satan no longer has power over them, but as this picture shows, millions are still being deceived by satan. satan has already been condemned to the eternal fire but he still wants to destroy you. Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” His main goal is to take get you to curse God and take you with him and he has been very successful as millions have fallen for his lies. We were told Revelation 12:9 “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 12 But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Revelation also tells us how to defeat satan. Revelation 12:11 “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” You cannot defeat satan if you are not standing on God’s word. Because most in the church have followed a different Jesus and other gospels, the church does not have the power to continue destroying satan’s work as we were supposed to do. Acts 26:8 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’”

        When Israel and Judah rebelled against God, they were destroyed but there were some survivors because of God’s promise to David, but even the remnant weas taken into captivity. The first to be destroyed was Israel and then the destruction of Judah followed. Jeremiah 50:17 “Israel is a scattered flock that lions have chased away. The first to devour them was the king of Assyria; the last to crush their bones was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.” 1 Kings 17:7 “All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.” 14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God.” The same happened with Judah when Babylon destroyed them. 2 Chronicles 36:15 “The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians.”

        The good news for the desolate church is it is time for our enemies to be defeated. Jeremiah 51:6 “Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the Lord’s vengeance; he will repay her what she deserves. 24 “Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion,” declares the Lord.” God said the same about Assyria. Isaiah 10:12 “When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.” Isaiah 57:14 “And it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” 15 For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. 16 I will not accuse them forever, nor will I always be angry, for then they would faint away because of me— the very people I have created. 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. 18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners, 19 creating praise on their lips. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the Lord. “And I will heal them.” 20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. 21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” Daniel saw the devastation that would come upon the church, but he also saw the desolation would come to an end. Daniel 7:1 “As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. 26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’” Daniel saw that God’s power was greater than satan’s power, so we have hope. Daniel 7:13 “He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

        Jesus said, 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.” Yes, many have been told they are the elect, and nothing can snatch them from the hand of God, except what they haven’t been told is that rebellion against God’s word will lead to their downfall. 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.” This is why it is so important to test the spirits. 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.” When talking about learning from those accounts in the Old Testament, Paul said, 1 Corinthians 10:11 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! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” This is why it is so important to stand firm on the word of God. 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.”

        Although the devastation has been severe, there is still hope if the church returns to God’s word. Isaiah 58:11 “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” Amos 9:11 “In that day “I will restore David’s fallen shelter— I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins— and will rebuild it as it used to be.” If you are following a liar, you will find out that you have been on a path to destruction. Don’t be destroyed with the liar, repent and confess because Proverbs 19:5 “A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free.” Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 26:24 “Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. 25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. 26 Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” Proverbs 6:16 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

        God is about to restore His church so it is important to know if you are part of the remnant or part of the larger group that has been deceived and deluded. The remnant is a small number of survivors. Ask yourself if you are truly following God’s word or the likes of Johnson and Trump. There are many other deceivers out there distorting the word of God, as the church is filled with false teachers and prophets and millions have been led astray, even though Peter said, 2 Peter 3:1 “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.” Making sure of your salvation will be the difference between eternal life or eternal fire. God said Ezekiel 24:13 “‘Now your impurity is lewdness. Because I tried to cleanse you but you would not be cleansed from your impurity, you will not be clean again until my wrath against you has subsided. 14 “‘I the Lord have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign Lord.’” Don’t refuse to be cleansed. Ezekiel 18:30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” Jesus said, Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” It is time; repent and be saved! Some Jews responded but most did not. 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.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation. 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” Actually, that is not very many. Paul would later say, Acts 13:46 “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.” Now the Gentiles do not consider themselves worthy because most in the church refuse to repent.
        It is not too late to save yourself from this corrupt generation. Hebrews 3:7 “So, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” 12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.” Original conviction doesn’t mean the beliefs of your distinct doctrines. If you are holding firm by standing on God’s word, Hebrews 10:35 “do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, but my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”