When Churches Give Us No Hope :: By Edwin Tan

Blessed Hope

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

The time is most certainly at this very moment; the Bible-believing that have been raised on the inerrant Word, and more so, those who hold on vehemently to the Blessed Hope, grapple with the tortuous search for a church that at the very least is accommodating where their faith is concerned.

This process becomes increasingly elusive as the days go by. Service first time and last time before an unpleasant aftertaste. There is a paltry reference to the Living Word save for a convenient smattering of verses that can be quoted fairly out of context as a suit-the-masses theme calls the shots. More the case of pleasing the attendees versus the need for them to be spirituality nourished, if not refreshed. So, they have it that way – loud music amidst a partying mood that is a near-perfect duplicate of a disco; they regard this as worship!

Even the less effervescent churches offer no solace by way of their lopsided treatment of scripture. So much likened to a poorly balanced diet if there is repeated over-emphasis on specific issues like marriage enrichment and courtship at the expense of regard for fundamental truths like Bible prophecy which are relevant for the times. Then there are the churches that appear to follow the Word but, at closer examination, are truly worldly, much in the fashion of a high-society clubhouse.

The examples mentioned above are deemed as mild when compared to churches that incessantly spray their congregations with doctrine that is not from the inerrant Word. So much that those on the receiving end are lacking where spiritual growth matters. It is this blindsiding which undermines the very foundations of their belief system, so much so that a good many train-wreck stories find their roots in this heinous setting.

So, at the end of the day, there are not many – and in some places virtually zero – options if the above said was seriously considered – particularly undeniable if hanging on dearly to the Blessed Hope mattered. Therefore, the ultimate price to pay for sticking to the belief that offers a sure reward could mean toughing it alone. Sounds like the hard road talked about in Matthew 7:14!

Is it worth it, even if it implies some degree of being tossed ignominiously into the sidelines? Definitely the case because that reward which is coming our way is simply not worth throwing away all for the sake of pleasing created beings while dishonoring the Creator. Galatians 1:10 is very clear on this matter:

“For am I seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

From first glance, being a loner for His sake might seem like a tall order, but take note when the focus is examined – it is not flesh with a fallen nature but the mighty Redeemer that is victorious!

It is on this very important note that the following considerations would be of great help to those struggling with this apparent sense of isolation. First of all, those who choose this path are in good hands – the unceasing company of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – whether awake or not! Conversely speaking, none of this Glory shows up in an institution of worship dominated by the flesh.

Jeremiah 33:3 says plainly yet powerfully, “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know.”

You can call on Him anywhere and anytime; not attending church because of adverse circumstances is no disqualifier!

When the above consideration is taken seriously, there is all the more reason to devote a certain amount of time to communion with God. Prayer of a fervent but sincere form should be centerstage in this daily doing. Surprisingly enough, the Lord does not hide things from the person that seeks Him earnestly. As one draws closer to God, he will never be lacking where wisdom, knowledge and understanding come into play.

Fellowship is definitely possible with the help of modern technology. It is not a difficult call finding like- minded people who hold dear to the Blessed Hope by way of cyberspace. So what if you are separated by distance? The common thread that stems from this great hope defies such barriers. Therefore, it is imperative that we of like minds in Christ encourage one another regardless of whatever impediments!

There is also one more possibility: joining an online church from anywhere in the world. Problem is, finding one that sticks to the Blessed Hope and inerrant Word is a bit of a task. One coming to mind is Calvary Chapel Kaneohe – it offers an online service complete with prophecy update – courtesy of Pastor J. D. Farag!

Do hook up with a church that teaches the Blessed Hope if you are fortunate enough to have accessibility. Otherwise, you can log on to the websites mentioned in my previous article titled “You Don’t have to read it,” and do make an effort to get involved in prophecy conferences associated with these websites – live streaming being an almost certainty.

Just want all our brothers and sisters in Christ to hold on fast and not lose the reward that is ‘round the corner.

Yours in Christ,