When plague replaces prosperity

When the Almighty withholds the rains or commands some other calamity, such as a plague, we are quick to blame the wicked darklings for bringing down the Lord’s punishment.

Yet 2 Chronicles 7:14 explains v.13 very differently: “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

So many church people take the Lord’s name in vain. We throw away his gifts of time, talent, and treasure on pagan pursuits, instead of pursuing Kingdom justice and making disciples. We “enjoy” what we call “worship,” rather than fall on our faces in awe before the Majestic One. Mountains and mice tremble at his greatness, while mankind gathers once a week for a concert and stand-up routine.

Is God unjust to grow weary of such insults? Do we even recognize the wickedness of choosing our own “good” lives, instead of walking in the ways he has chosen for us? When plague comes before him and fever follows in his steps, when the vines are bare and our barns empty (Habakkuk 3), will we turn from our wickedness and give him the honor he deserves? Or will we blame confused souls who walk in darkness and look to mortal kings for deliverance?

Now is the time for confession and repentance. Today is the day of salvation. Multitudes wait in the valley of decision. What will God’s people do?

Posted in Judgment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take the Good News to your temple

The religious elites jailed the apostles for telling the truth about Jesus at the Temple.

But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out. Then he told them, “Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!” (Acts 5:19-20 NLT)

The apostles weren’t sent into the city streets, though the Good News certainly was needed there. The angel sent them to the Temple, where the Kingdom of God had been pushed aside to maintain the interests of an institution struggling to survive.

In the apostle’s era, the message of life for apostate Israel was “Jesus is the Messiah.” (v.42) God had sent his long-promised Anointed One, and the elites roused the rabble to murder him. The Kingdom could not be allowed to interfere with preserving the status quo.

In our apostate age, the message of life also needs to be proclaimed in our temples — perhaps even more than in the streets. Church people vastly outnumber disciples. The majority of people in our temples are church people living the empty life. They need to hear the message of abundant life disciples experience as they live in the Kingdom.

Our worst disobedience to the Lord is our failure to make disciples. If we were making disciples, obedience to the other commands of Christ would fall into place.

Our religious elites market programs in a desperate attempt to stave off decline and rebuild the status quo. Disciples must go to the temple and give church people the message of life.

Make disciples.

Posted in revival | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment