*OUT OF CHURCH CHRISTIANS*
MARK 1:9-13 "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him."
Andrew Strom."Why are tens of thousands of devoted Christians leaving the churches? Is it a 'movement'? What is causing this world-wide phenomenon?"
So I ask those who are "in church" not to belittle what is happening in the lives of some whom God has 'called out' for a time, just as I would ask that they not belittle you. There is much truth in the concept of God using the Wilderness not so much to get people "out of the system", but rather to "get the system out of people". We have got to un-learn many of our old 'Christendom' habits for this coming Revival, so as not to repeat them. The coming Revival cannot be caught up in conventional "churchianity" as we know it. For this would ruin it, as it has ruined many Revivals down the ages. Thus, 'un-learning' is one very important reason why I believe God has taken so many people out of Christendom for awhile, into the Wilderness. It is preparation for the coming Revival, which will be very different from now (but also very practical - just like the early church).
Andrew went on to say that quite a number of those who wrote to him had seen too many double-standards in the church - preaching one thing and doing another. After awhile it had affected their very desire to be there. They did not want to leave but over time it all got too much:
Robert Burnell insists that there are two revivals now in progress. The first consists of rapid church growth, remarkable buildings and dramatic Madison Avenue projects. The second one is underway across the desert somewhere, with almost none of the trappings of 'successful religion.' There, dying men and women are being set free from sin and disease by the Power of God. One is a revival of the flesh. The other is from the Spirit of the Living God. To be involved in the second, it is imperative that you flee from the first. You must escape from Christendom.
OUT BUT NOT DOWN
Whether ministers want to address this topic or not makes no difference to the reality that millions are leaving the traditional church systems. The question now must be who is behind this exodus and how can we stop its progress? Christians are told that they need to be in a church or else they won't grow in their faith in Christ - right? If the Devil is behind all this back sliding then maybe we should come together to stop this from continuing - could it be that more prayer is the answer? Perhaps God is the driving force behind this phenomenon, and if that’s the case would it not seem plausible that all things work together for the good even in this instance?
WHAT IS THE REASON OR IS THERE ONE
There are many believers who stay in their local church in spite of the errors in teachings and misconduct in leadership, for the sake of maintaining their friendships. Their friends in church are more important than the sermons that are spoken to them from the pulpit. All well and good until the ‘Message’ becomes toxic with double standards and man made errors that must be adhered to at all costs, over and above the Truth. The way to deal with toxicity is through ‘coming out from’ and ‘touch not the unclean thing’. This way is called the ‘Wilderness’ which I believe the Spirit of God is driving some of his saints into – just as the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into for 40 days and nights to be tested to see if there was any remaining toxicity in His mind which was the residue passed down from the first Adam who ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He passed the test by speaking the Word only and came out strengthened and ready to be about ‘His Father’s business’.
I watched a program on TV recently about people who ate toxic fruit and vegetables in countries like Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. They all seemed to know how to detoxify the various fruits indigenous to their regions through the traditions passed down from generation to generation. They were meticulous not to swerve from the way passed down to them from their grandparents, knowing that if they were taking short cuts in preparing the fruits and vegetables for consumption they could get violently sick and even die. Well the analogy I am endeavouring to bring out regarding toxic fruit is that the method used was to wash the fruit in running water for days on end. Water in the biblical sense is symbolised by the ‘Word’. By the washing of the word outside the camp of the religious system we eventually become clean from various elements that are hazardous to our spiritual health.
Five points to keep in mind in these times
of revolution and One must have.
1. We must return to the pure faith or the Way that Christ ordained for us to follow. Which is follow Me.
2. We must examine our life or true self by the Light of the Word.
3. Recognizing that we are temporary residents in this world.
4. Repentance and transparency are our habitual delights.
5. Absolute commitment to the cause of Christ. We must be willing to lay down our life for Christ knowing that you are not your own but are bought with a price.
We must LOVE AND NOT JUDGE the brethren whether they are in or out of the religious system. LOVE not the world but always LOVE the people in it with a God kind of long suffering LOVE as they know not what they do, but we do - SO LET OUR LIGHT SO SHINE ON THEM that they may come to repentance and be saved. All have sinned, so all have the right to the free gift offered willingly by the Father of Lights. God did not qualify his LOVE to only certain sinners but to all. Thieves, adulterers, homosexuals and heterosexual all are eligible for God’s Grace.
CD11-06 - The complete message is available on CD - click here
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