A Call To Repentance
by Rayola Kelley
I don’t know about you but the speed in which America is being dismantled by our Socialistic Congress and the Marxist that sits in the White House is incredible. Case in point is the health care debate. The health care debate is not about reform because if it was, Congress could easily accomplish such a task. Rather it is about gaining control of the American people. For me spreading our wealth and trying to control our food and health has caused shock, despair and hopelessness. I continually remind myself that my future has never been, nor will it ever be, in this present world. My hope, citizenship and prospects are in the next world to come, not in the present one.
The question is, as citizens of the kingdom of God what must we do to prepare ourselves for what may be coming on the face of this world, as well as being ready for our Blessed Hope? There are those who believe that we will escape devastating times. I hope they are right, but what if we do taste the judgment hanging over this nation? How do we prepare for such a possible event? Do we get our guns? There is one thing I know, guns will not save us; but we must never give them up or our right to bear them. To give up our guns will make us nothing more than sheep that will be easily led to the slaughter as so many were in Europe during World War II. Do we write our congressmen and senators and march in protest to the insanity that is marking this nation’s present state? I think we must let our voices be heard, but in so doing, we must remember worldly governments will never save us; rather, they often are what wicked men will use to betray and oppress us.
Clearly, the world will always offer solutions according to its wicked ways. However, what must we do as strangers and pilgrims in this world? We must do what those who are part of the kingdom of God should naturally do, and that is pray. But, how should we pray? The Bible clearly tells us that in an environment where sin is raging and evil men are ruling, there is only one way to pray and that is from the premise of true repentance.
No doubt some of the readers of this article will be thinking, “What do I have to repent for? I live a decent life, go to church, do good deeds, pay my tithes,” and so forth. Perhaps this is all true, but without true identification with the nation’s sin, repentance will be missing, along with any real power in prayer. Keep in mind Jesus became identified with our sin, and even though Daniel had an excellent spirit, he became identified with the sins of Israel in Daniel 9 so he could intercede on its behalf. Clearly, we must become identified with this nation’s sins to come to a place of true repentance before God. After all, we have the famous Scripture of 2 Chronicles 7:14:”If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn form their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
It is only from true repentance that God is able to forgive and heal. It is also from repentance that we can receive a proper contrast as to our part as the blood-bought Church in this nation’s condition. Let me take a moment to explain a theory I have about the world in which we live. God has always called a people to bring a stark contrast to those of the world. His people have always been called to serve as the light to truth, a clear distinction as to true righteousness, and clearly set apart from, as well as not belonging to, their present age of thinking, doing and being. They are a people with a clear commission and calling to represent the holiness of God in a profane world in order to be living testimonies of His desire to save, reconcile and restore lost men.
It is interesting to study how God ordains and calls a people to Himself. The first people He called to Himself were the Jews. He first called a man, Abraham, then He called his son Isaac, then Isaac’s family, that of Jacob and his descendents, ending with Him calling the nation of Israel out of Egypt (a type of the world) into the Promised Land where the people were to stand as His distinct representatives among the pagan nations.
Let us now consider how God is calling a people unto Himself. He first sent His Son to redeem His people. He has called these people out of the world to be part of His unseen kingdom and His Son’s Body or Church. As a gift to this Body, the Lord has presented His Spirit and Word so that one day His Church will be presented back to Him chaste and unblemished. He also gave this Church a commission to invite others into His kingdom, as well as a calling that identifies them as a heavenly, spiritual Body that does not belong to this world. The question we have to honestly answer as those who claim to be part of this Body in America, do we possess such a distinction?
This brings me back to my theory about God’s people. I believe the spiritual condition of the Church represents the spiritual temperature of a nation. For some nations, the spiritual temperature is a raging fever, pointing to the persecution of the Church. Such a Church is being refined in the fire, as those around them war against the mirror that reveals their evil intents and hatred towards truth.
The spiritual condition of America clearly reveals how the Church has failed to bring a real distinction. It appears as if what we witness as being the professing Church has become nothing more than a system that is worldly in function and fleshly in its worship, methods of operation and activities, making it lukewarm towards the matters of God. Since the professing Church is not clearly defining the boundaries of righteousness and truth, lawlessness abounds in our society, evil rages against those who dare to stand for righteousness, and the fires of persecution are being stirred up as a means to silence any living witness of a holy God.
Clearly, if the spiritual condition of America is reflecting the condition of the visible Church, it is vital to understand the professing Church’s failure to maintain its distinction from the world. By understanding this failure, perhaps it will create a true environment of repentance among God’s people, and bring them to a true state of humility. Let us now consider how the fruits of the lukewarm Church are apparent in an out-of-control society.
Tolerance: The theme of America is tolerance. Such tolerance claims that those who refuse to compromise their resolve concerning righteousness, and come into agreement with the blatant ways of evil are hateful. However, who is hateful? Sin “hides” when righteousness reigns, but it manifests with hatred and vengeance towards righteousness when evil reigns. How could a nation founded on godly principles be arm-wrestled to succumb to a cesspool created by a minority? Perhaps it is because it has become soft on sin in the name of “worldly popularity.”
The Church is the only Body that can bring a clear contrast between the ways of wickedness and the ways of righteousness. However, it appears as if many pulpits have become silent concerning sin in the church, and have miserably failed to oppose the wicked ways of our leaders. In fact, the popular leader and spokesperson of much of Christendom retracted his stand concerning homosexuality. Undoubtedly, he has his reasons as to why he thinks he needs to “get along” with everyone in order to be viewed as tolerant or loving, but he should not be surprised in the end when he is appointed to the same righteous (“intolerant”) judgment as those he wants to “get along” with.
Unholy Alliances: Our nation has made unholy alliances with enemies in the name of peace. We think that by being at peace with angry men who have learned nothing but war, we will be able to live at peace with them. There is even the idea that if we appear to be like them, and refer to ourselves as having the same status or belief as they, they will not see any need to attack us. This is not only showing naivety, but also complete foolishness. These enemies are angry because they are not God, and they war to control and force their personal agenda on the masses. They do not intend to have peace; rather, they will use such foolishness to conquer what they consider as weak-minded and stupid.
What about the visible Church? It has come into an unholy alliance with the world. Its goal is to attract the world; therefore, it has made a quasi-peace with it by instituting worldly methods, practices and ways into the Church. However, in coming into agreement with it, the Church has not only become worldly in attitude, as well as come under the rebellious spirit of the world, but it has made a false agreement “of peace” with the enemy of God, Satan. Satan has and will use the false agreement to come into the Church to rob it of all purity, extinguish all truth, and destroy its righteous testimony.
Worldly Standards: The world views people according to how educated, charismatic, and superior they are in their fields. However, these standards are surface. The most educated often prove to be the most ignorant, the charismatic people prove to be the biggest seducers and liars, and those who are considered superior prove to be arrogant and weak. In summary, these individuals who are often looked up to lack enduring and trustworthy character. They may even see themselves as knowing what is better for the masses, but in reality they couldn’t care less about anyone. Their lack of love and regard for life prevents them from connecting to reality in order to put any identity or individuality on people, allowing them to freely sacrifice the faceless masses in the name of their wicked agendas.
How do many in the visible Church judge those among them? Those with the highest degrees are sought after to fill pulpits, the most charismatic, who often prove to be charlatans and heretical, are often rewarded with the money from large followings, and the spiritual elite consider those who are not part of their particular enlightenment as stupid and worthy of any tragedy that would befall them. Therefore, the Church has been led further and further away from the guiding voice of God (His Spirit), the simplicity of the Gospel, the wisdom and sanity of His Word, and the high calling of His people.
Philosophies: The fundamental philosophy of the world is humanistic. In other words, man has the means to be a solution to every problem that confronts him. This philosophy allows man to operate according to an amoral view that is obtainable, self-serving and convenient. When the world’s philosophy is intellectualized, the result is relativism. Add religious virtue to this philosophy and you end up with a cult that is influenced by an antichrist figurehead and a religious spirit. Spiritualize this philosophy and you end up with the New Age view that is enlightened by an antichrist spirit.
How has the professing Church addressed the philosophies of the world? It has integrated them into its doctrines and practices. Since many who have bought the various lies and presentations of the world do not consider the Bible sufficient for today, the Church has embraced the devil’s counterfeits. Psychology, along with New Age practices such as Positive Confession (mind science) and the latest addition of the many other counterfeits, “Contemplative Prayer” are a few examples of the humanistic philosophies that have been implemented into Christianity. Do any of us have to wonder why the American Church has become powerless, ineffective and weak? Due to these unholy influences, the visible Church is being integrated into this age as a subculture that is conditioned to flow with the rest of the current that is leading us towards the one-world government and religion.
Images: The world is big in presenting images. These images are used to counterfeit, influence or determine our take on reality. For example, Hollywood is nothing but one big image that hides the sin, vanity, and destruction that is behind it. Sadly, many believe that the pseudo glamour of Hollywood represents reality. After all, these Hollywood producers and stars can determine the ending of their movies, and if they die in one, they are able to come back as another character in another film. As a result, it seems as if those who are part of the false glamour of Hollywood have no real connection to what is happening in the world. They do not realize how fragile their world has become because it is based on images that have no substance to stand or withstand when reality does end up slamming them. They face an even greater shock when they cannot rewrite the script, and all of their wealth, influence and prestige is powerless to effect change. Sadly, the Church has become very much like Hollywood. It is all about image. The greatest image is that of success. The false glamour and presentation of TV allows preachers to be phony as they stand behind plastic smiles, professional hairdos, expensive clothes, and the appearance of success. It all sounds so good because people cannot see what is really happening behind the scenes, but all it is, is an image that often hides the house of cards that will quickly succumb to the winds of judgment.
In next month’s article, I will deal with the values to which much of the Church clings. As we will see, it is no different from the world’s value system. However, in God’s eyes such values are idolatrous. Meanwhile, we must consider if the Church needs to repent.
We can admit that there is not much difference between the visible Church in America and the world, and that it is obvious that the world has come into the Church. But, and here comes the “but”—some of you could logic that it is not your fault or mine that the world has come into the Church. However, the world could not come into the Church unless we, as believers, brought it in, failed to stand against it, or reasoned that minor agreements with the world would not hurt anyone.
We, as the American Church, stand guilty for our lukewarm attitude about the world. We have lost our edge of righteousness and our distinct testimony. We stand guilty for silently sitting back while the world invades the hearts and minds of those around us. We stand guilty because we failed to insist on separation from this enemy of God out of love for Him, obedience to His truth, and conviction of what is right. In addition, we failed to bring the convicting light of righteousness in the midst of great sin and arrogance. We simply offered the ways of the world as a solution. As a result, we are about to reap the judgment due us for our indifferent compromise and profane alliance. The end of this judgment will be our drinking from the bitter cup of vanity that will leave us empty and in utter shame and despair.
Are you ready to identify with the sin of this nation? Remember, judgment begins in the house of God. It will separate those who are Christians in name only from those who are truly following their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I, for one, am humbly repenting before the Lord for the sin of the Church and this nation. I am “owning” the sin because it belongs to all of us who have sat back believing that somehow everything will turn out alright because we are Americans.