The Perfect Church
As you know this is the final issue of the CSM Newsletter and as such I want to offer our readers my observations regarding the church in America, our beloved but spiritually sick country and our official relationship with Israel. God has not given me extra-biblical revelations of any kind, but these are areas of interest to me and my views are simply based upon my observations. It is true that every prophecy teacher’s end-time scenarios have some problematic aspects and mine are no different, so what follows is simply the way I presently see things. It could all change over night.
What we know for sure is that the church will never be defeated by the forces of evil. Period. But that is not to say the church is not being influenced by the corrupt world in which she exists. The church in Acts 15, the one at Corinth and five of the seven churches of Revelation show very clearly that the corporate body of believers is not always a perfect entity whose affairs are always pleasing to our Lord. The purity of the church we see in Ephesians 5 is not due to inherent holiness, but is due to our Lord’s holiness. The righteousness that God sees in us corporately and individually is His own righteousness which is imputed to us.
Because the church is made of fallible humans it cannot, on its own, be perfect. And this is the chink in her armor that Satan exploits. Roots of bitterness spring up quickly with devastating consequences. Many congregations have been, and will continue to be fractured and thus without widespread communal influence. This is often due to petty jealousies, disagreements and stubborn pride which is the most destructive weapon in his arsenal. So if a person is looking for a perfect, or even a near perfect congregation they may cease their efforts. There is no such thing. God knows that and so should we.
In addition to the above generalities, there are some specific things that should be noted.
First: The only mantra we hear from modern “seeker” Christians is that a church is all about meeting their needs. There is something to be said for that, but what we never hear about is the need for members to spiritually mature in order to bring something to the table themselves. To always be fed but to never exercise results in weak, lazy and complacent members whether the context is the human body or the Lord’s body. Typical of such groups is that their people are referred to as the audience instead of members of the congregation.
Second: Many churches have lost sight of the great commission to go and make disciples, and have thus become civic groups beneficial to social, business and other secular concerns. So, when a congregation no longer satisfies those expectations people move on to ones that do. Often that is the defining difference between givers and takers.
Third: Though there is no such thing as the “social gospel” this term has become part of the Christian lexicon. To help people is a Christian’s duty, but never at the expense of subsidizing an entitlement mentality. Once the social gospel is accepted it is only a short step to becoming politically partisan. At that point what God has said is skewed or is flat-out rejected, and what is socially or politically expedient becomes a churches’ driving force.
Regarding the sickly moral conscience of our nation, it seems quite evident that we have gone beyond the point of no return. In the late 1960s an industrial radiography instructor described for his class the deadly power of a 10 curie source of the radioactive isotope Iridium 192. He said that a man could hold it in his hand for a certain span of time, put it down and walk away a dead man and there was absolutely nothing anyone could do to stop his death. The message was clear: not only does a lethal dose of radiation not always kill immediately, it is equally true that once it has been reached it cannot be undone. In my opinion this very clearly illustrates America’s moral situation.
In the 19th Century America allowed itself to be influenced by the religion of humanism and what I call its foundational primer entitled, “On the Origen of Species” by Charles Darwin. This was the toe-hold Satan was looking for in the young nation and he exploits it with a vengeance even today. People point to our national acceptance of the homosexual agenda, our encouragement of the entitlement mentality, our rejection of absolutes, our narcissism, materialism and hedonism and say these things constitute our nation’s downfall. They do not. These are the consequences of our national downfall; it just took a little while to get to the place where these are practiced without shame and remorse.
There will be no return to anything even resembling national godliness. Today godliness is publicly denigrated at the least and abhorred at the worst by our national conscience. Barack Obama’s presidency accurately reflects the deep-seated hostility of our nation toward anything involving godliness. I say that because his infamous description of Midwestern conservative voters as those who “cling to guns or religion…” in April of 2008 was made when he was a candidate. America knew what he stood for, and America elected him anyway. Twice.
Some Christians are pointing to President Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a victory for righteousness. Don’t bet the farm on it. Though some things are much better, Mr. Trump’s election victory is no signal that the national conscience of America is regaining a sensitivity to moral issues. Yes, our nation needs economic growth, military strength and border security, but we see no concurrent strengthening of our national moral fiber.
Some Christians say we only have to wait for it to come. I do not relish being a stick-in-the-mud, but that is not going to happen because the fatal toxin of humanism has saturated every tissue in our national body, and people in general like it. Government sponsored public education of America’s children has been, and will continue to be the point of the spear for this Satanic deception. If your children are in a good public education system with a board that embraces Judeo-Christian principles you may thank God for it. But be warned; it will soon crumble under the weight of this despicable religion, and there is no stopping it because the very heart of government is terminally ill.
Consider just one example of our moral sickness. In August of 1996 the Brookings Institute published a report entitled, “An Analysis of Out-Of-Wedlock Births in the United States” (brookings.edu/research/an-analysis-of-out-of-wedlock-births-in-the-united-states). In that report the authors put statistical numbers to what most everyone already knew. They wrote, “Since 1970, out-of-wedlock birth rates have soared. In 1965, 24 percent of black infants and 3.1 percent of white infants were born to single mothers. By 1990 the rates had risen to 64 percent for black infants, 18 percent for whites. Every year about one million more children are born into fatherless families.”
The report said that the disappearance of shot-gun weddings from our culture was a reason for these illegitimate births. Without getting into the pros and cons of such weddings, we can accurately conclude that the reason for this disappearance is American society’s acceptance of a gutter level moral standard combined with its rejection of familial responsibilities. That is just one of the fatal consequences of Darwinism/humanism. If you teach children that they descended from a lower life-form they will grow up to have the conscience of a lower life-form. And that was over 20 years ago!
If a moral awakening is in the future of the U.S. it will happen only through the unapologetic preaching of the Bible and the unreserved acceptance of that teaching. And the only people who believe that is going to happen are post-millennialists, and the last 100 years of history has poured cold water on that view. Further, the apostle Paul told Timothy things will get much worse in the last days, not better.
Still, we are not to cease interceding for our country because the patience of God means salvation for some. Abraham pleaded for Sodom to the point of awkward embarrassment before God, and He did not rebuke him for it. So we pray.
So, what about our national relationship with Israel? Work on this newsletter began some time prior to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and it is good that it happened prior to its publication so the event could be mentioned. Several presidents have promised to do this, but President Trump is the only one to actually make the move to do it. In my opinion fear and intimidation have made others ignore their campaign promises, and they used political/diplomatic speak to give frame to their excuses. Say what you will say about Mr. Trump, but such fear and intimidation do not concern him; at least up until now they have not. But, what about the near future?
Scripture is very clear that in the last days Israel will have no allies. In the near future the one they thought they could trust (Antichrist) will betray them and bring a tribulation upon the Jews that far surpasses anything they have experienced in their 4000 year history. Prior to that time they may have some degree of allied relationships with a few nations, perhaps particularly after the Psalm 83 war. I suspect America may continue to be one of those nations, but it will not last. I think even before the mid-point of the tribulation, when Antichrist sets himself up as God in the 3rd Temple, any allied relationship a nation will have with Israel will be superficial at best with only a minor diplomatic crisis needed for total estrangement. Antichrist will see that this happens.
One of two major scenarios may soon play out for our country that will impact its relationship with Israel. The first is God’s judgment upon America happening prior to the rapture. If this happens it is probable that our country will be reduced to some kind of secondary status with a European conglomeration of nations taking prominence in global affairs. No one knows what form this judgment may take, but it has been discussed several times in these pages. If this happens our country may well draw in to itself in an effort to preserve whatever might remain. In such a case our relationship with Israel will no longer command the emphasis it commands today. Our attitude will be, “We have enough problems of our own; let Israel look out for itself.” That will be a giant step in the direction of Zechariah 14:2.
The second scenario is the rapture happening prior to God’s judgment of our country, which has also been mentioned in these pages. When it happens there will be great pandemonium because of those suddenly missing without a trace. Not only will there be panic among families, but there will be panic in the halls of government, finance, the military, etc. Chains of command will not simply be broken, but in many cases there will be large gaps between the creators and managers of private and government goods and services, their distributors and their users. For obvious reasons Israel will not get much attention from the U.S.
In either case the U.S. will be in a struggle for simple stability, and perhaps even for survival. At the rapture there will be fewer people taken in pagan and communist countries simply because Christianity is very rare, and in some cases virtually non-existent in their populations and especially in their top echelons of government. Once they see the U.S. in chaos with serious gaps in its command and control authority they just might feel it is time to strike. Does anyone really have to wonder if China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Iran’s Ali Khamenei, or North Korea’s Kim Jung Un would consider such a golden opportunity? Those men know such an attack would cost them, but if they would ever be willing to roll the dice in such a war with the U.S. then would be the time. If this happens it will happen quickly.
Bible prophecy does not even give a hint at any role the U.S. will play in global events post-rapture. What we do know with certainty is that the U.S will be among those nations which will eventually stand against Israel, and even then there is no indication of a dominant, or even an important U.S role. Remember, it is Jerusalem that is the center of God’s world, not Washington. Further, even when other nations and cities are mentioned in scripture it is always in context of their relationship with Israel and the Jews. The Bible is a Jewish book about the Jewish people, their Jewish city of Jerusalem and their Jewish Messiah. It is not a book centered on the western world.
Mr. Trump, or somebody, will be the American president in those post-rapture tribulation days, and it will not matter that he was an ally of Israel in December 2017. When these things happen nothing that has happened in the past will influence what will happen then. It is painful to say it, but America will suffer greatly. With each sunrise basic survival will be shrill and excruciating like the electrical charge that results from biting aluminum foil between dental fillings, only this will be unrelenting. Political decisions will turn on a dime and the landscape of human existence will be in a constant state of instability with the only sure thing being that things are getting worse with no hope in sight.
But we are Christians so we do not fret about the future. We take confidence in the fact that Jesus could return for us at any moment. Should God judge our country before that moment we still do not agonize over what might happen. We simply make our plans to do what we can with what we have in order to protect and provide for our families and those who can’t help themselves.
Though these end time scenarios are highly speculative, they are not impossibilities. But, no matter at what point God judges our nation, we know that the church will not enter the tribulation period that is soon coming upon the entire world. This means we do not look for Antichrist. We look for Jesus Christ. DLM