LUKEWARM CHRISTIAN

 

The winter of 1777–1778 was bitterly cold, and the success of American independence looked impossible.  Washington’s men were so poorly dressed that some of them froze to death. When he moved the troops, you could see trails of blood left in the snow from those who marched without shoes.

Contrary to the picture most people have of the Revolutionary War, Americans were split right down the middle about whether or not they should be fighting for their freedom from Britain. Many locals would not aid General Washington when he asked for their help, and he had to constantly beg the Continental Congress for money and supplies.

In one instance, some of Washington’s soldiers braved a blizzard and walked for miles to beg a farmer to sell them some of his crops, in order to prevent the army from starving. The farmer refused. He told them the British were willing to pay double what the American soldiers could offer.

I see no difference between those farmers and today’s lukewarm Christians.  I see no difference between today’s compromised preachers and those who would turn away freedom fighters in a snowstorm.

Lukewarm Christian singers and ‘influencers’ refuse to take stands against immorality and perversion because the world rewards them with accolades. “My, what a ‘woke’ Christian you are! You are so intelligent, tolerant, and inclusive.”

Lukewarm Christian, you have no idea the harm you are doing to America.

To be sure, the world rewards you for your silence and for your tacit acceptance of homosexuality. They will flatter you. BUT IT’S A TRAP.  How true were the words of Spurgeon when he said, “It is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout, “Well done” to the Christian man. He may begin to look to his character, and wonder whether he has not been doing wrong, when the unrighteous give him their approbation.” In plain words, Spurgeon is saying, “If the world likes you, there’s something wrong with you.”

Jesus said, “If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember that I told you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…” (John 15:19-20a)

If they hated Jesus, how will they not also hate you? And what on earth are you doing, thinking it is good to be liked by everyone?

It took guts, vision and foresight to oppose English tyranny. Many of the early colonists were simply willing to be dominated in exchange for the comforts of their oppressors.  In the same way, because the world rewards preachers with temporary success, they will abandon their brothers who are risking everything to expose the growing tide of evil in America.

Thomas Paine addressed the folly of those Americans who opened their homes to British soldiers in hopes of rewards after a British victory. He reminded them that those who easily surrendered their homes would be the most dominated if England won.

And what do you suppose you’ll gain, oh lukewarm Christian, by being a friend to leftists? Your reward will be to have the most controlled home in the neighborhood.

This is no time to be silent! It is a time to rage against the dying of the Light! Each day that you remain silent is one day closer to a hellish world for your children and grandchildren.

The Left has not held back a single item in their agenda to remake America. They mean it when they say that our freedoms must be removed in order for their brave new world to be born.

The pathetic heresy sweeping America known as the ‘Daddy-God’ myth that drives your lukewarmness is nowhere to be found in the Word of God. The sad truth is that the Laodicean rebuke is more fitting for America’s modern materialistic church:

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

It all comes down to this: Jesus is trying to get back inside His church in America.  The next verse confirms it:   20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

America is not yet irretrievably lost, but it will not be won by the tepid crop of make-believers that shuttle in and out of our churches. The knock on the door is Jesus.  He wants to talk about your training, over dinner—your golden transformation from tepid faith to fire and glory. He means to make you into Satan’s worst nightmare.

Those shivering freedom fighters at Valley Forge had no idea that a miracle was coming in the Spring that would transform rag tag troops into immortals. Neither can you imagine the mighty army that the Holy Spirit is training, equipping, and empowering to transform America.  Will you join us?

 

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Welcome Back To The War

The Holy Spirit has burned a message into my soul that I cannot contain. I want this message to get into the hands of as many people as possible—people who are on the verge of spiritual shipwreck.  I have never felt as great an urgency to open my heart to you.

Millions have left the church.  Many who were on fire for God, even those who were effective vessels, have fallen and have abandoned their faith in Jesus.  A famous Christian singer announced that he is now an atheist.  Is that shocking? The real shock is that the church is not shocked, because this kind of recanting of faith has now become common.

Millions have left the church.  This is the reality that Christian leaders do not want to talk about.  However, facts do not go away.  And the facts are these: an entire generation has virtually discarded the faith of their parents.

Perhaps you also were among those who were wounded on the battlefield, but did not get up again.  The reasons are as varied as are the people themselves.  It may have been an abusive church.  It may have been an old habit that raged its way back into control.  It may have been a divorce, a false teaching that weakened you, or the gravitational weight of the unbelief and skepticism of this age.

The most common cause is sudden tragedy.  Something horrendous happened that ran you off of your theological map.  You felt that you had no choice but to abandon your faith.  You may be angry with God.  You are not alone.  There are millions in this condition.

Let me be frank, I believe that God is turning your heart back to Him.  And He is also doing this on a massive scale with others.

He has done it before.  Just prior to the fire falling on Mount Carmel, Elijah prayed these words, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (1 Kings 18:37)

The Lord is doing this not only because He loves you, but because He wants to spare America.

“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6)

You are likely a casualty of the lukewarm American church.  Widespread compromise has left her unprotected.  The active ingredient has been left out of preaching—and that ingredient is surrender.  And that is the reason that the power of God to stand against tragedy and evil has never kicked in.

The voice of the Holy Spirit is intensifying as He calls to those who are the fallen, the wounded, and the forgotten.  His wooing is loving and hopeful, but it never disguises the truth.

And the truth is that, in America, entire churches are backslidden!  And it is not unprecedented.  Look at these verses: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:15-20)

Okay. So you may have been caught in the cultural crossfire of the compromised church, or the toxic churcheven the false churchbut why should you lose your soul just to get back at false ministers and sick churches?

This is about you and Jesus.  This is about a destiny that God still keeps for you.  There is one thing that Satan does not want you to remember—it is the one thing that can break the chains of lies and heartbreak.

What Satan does not want you to think about is this: if you brush away the cobwebs of church politics, hypocrites, and unexpected tragedy, you will have to admit that the best days of your life were when you walked with God in fervent commitment.  Those were the days of peace and joy. 

The best days were the days before anybody and anything came between you and Jesus.  You prayed and sensed that no matter what, everything would come out all right.  Even those things that you still had questions about became unimportant, because of your total trust in the character and faithfulness of God!

You have never, before or since, felt anything like His sweet presence.  Those were the best days, and those days can come again.  Jesus is knocking and wants to have dinner with you alone.  “I will sup with him,” Jesus promised.

I admit I am calling forth a divine desperation to come over you.  I want you to break, I want you to yearn to come back home—to return to your best life, your only life.

There is an army rising up, composed of people that Satan thought he had, but is about to lose on a grand scale.

Won’t you turn back to Jesus, and reclaim your first love? Do your first works over again. Then, He will say to you, “Welcome back to the war!”

BREAK THE HEAVINESS

The constant barrage of terrifying headlines and mainstreaming of perversion vexes the child of God.  These verses from Second Peter have never been more relevant than now: “and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment…” 2 Peter 2:7-9

Angry debates, violent rioting, filth paraded in the streets, Christian leaders renouncing their faith, persecution, and constant bad news can drain the sanity from our souls.

Not only this, but we are forced to keep all our enormous frustrations inside of us. While stupidity and wickedness get a megaphone—wisdom and righteousness get duct tape over their mouths.

These are the times that rob inner peace—that bring intense restlessness—that drain all the color and enjoyment from our life.

These are the times Jesus warned us of—and that He gave us direction for.

First He said, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.” – Luke 21:17-19

Talk about mindless hate! Both the liberals and the feminists have incredible bias for Islam and sheer hatred for Christ and Christianity. It is mind-bending.  It makes zero sense.  Yet that is exactly the kind of irrational hatred our Lord predicted. It is weariness to believers who share their faith openly.

Then Jesus said, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.” (Luke 21:34)

The dumbest thing anyone ever said to me was, “When you come to Jesus, your problems are over.”  I never had problems until I met Jesus!  I kept wondering, “Why am I being attacked?  Why am I being shot at from all directions?  Why do I meet stiff resistance every time I try to do something meaningful for Jesus?”

Does this sound familiar? You walk through life, minding your own business and wham!  A co-worker rages at you for no reason. Money evaporates.  Your health fails.  Loved ones abandon God.  Someone makes an irrational defense for wickedness. A confluence of demonic attacks falls on you.  Life has never felt so cruel and unfair.

At the apex of one of these attacks, something happened to me.  A terrifying thought became a glorious thought, “SOMEBODY IS MAD AT JESUS, AND THEY ARE TAKING IT OUT ON ME!”  Suddenly, I felt qualified to fight back. And I felt profoundly honored.

Think about it!  A soldier does not go to war because he has a personal grudge against the enemy.  He didn’t declare war—his nation did.  He is not responsible for the battle plan—the military is.  He is not paying his own way to the war—his government is.

Let’s take a look at the things that are not the soldier’s responsibility:  The training he needs; the weapons he uses; the food and shelter he requires; the assignments he receives—these, and a host of other things, are not his responsibility.

“What soldier ever serves at his own expense?” (1 Cor. 9:7) “…No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Tim. 2:4)

The soldier does not create the organized army.  He does not carry the weight of how the war will be won. If he sits in the foxhole feeling alone and unfairly attacked, it is because he has forgotten who he is and why he is being attacked.  He has taken the battle into his own hands!

But when he remembers that he was recruited—when he recalls that he is not alone, but part of a victorious army, and all he is called to do is obey orders, it changes everything!

When we take the attack personally, we lose hope.  But, when we say, “The battle is not mine, it’s God’s,” we cannot be defeated.  Let’s stay out of things that do not concern us.  Let’s keep our conflict in the hands of God.  We must discern when we are operating in our own strength and by our own wits.

Remembering your attacks are not personal is plainly seen in these verses where Jesus speaks about conditions in the last days:  Luke 21:12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of special persecution, and you will be dragged into synagogues and prisons and before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 But as a result, the Messiah will be widely known and honored.  14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.

newspaper headlines

When they were arrested, it felt personal. When they were dragged to court, it felt personal.  But when they were asked to speak, it became God’s battle and Christ was glorified!  He gave them the words and the courage to speak.  He even told them not to prepare words beforehand.  That means that we are not to devise ways of fighting back.  It means we will get what we need, when we need it.

Paul experienced the same thing: Philippians 1:12 “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel…”

Right now we have a presidential election that embodies everything that is wrong with our nation.  It is a hair-pulling, maddening, terrifying, and draining moment for believers. We must put the battle back in God’s hands and let Him replenish our peace and our joy.

Never forget! We have the best message humanity has ever heard, and the best Book ever written.   We have the best Captain in the universe!  We have the all-powerful Holy Spirit, Who has been sent to aid us.   We have access to power, strategy, and wisdom.  All of this, and more, will direct our fighting.

Is someone mad at Jesus, and are they taking it out on you?  What an honor!  What an opportunity!  Whenever Satan comes at you, let Jesus come at him!

The first time an angel stares at you in heaven with wonder and admiration for your service to Christ, you will know why your trials were worth it all.  The first time you hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” you won’t remember the suffering, the trials, or the battles.

No wonder Paul said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  -Romans 8:18

Hallelujah!  –

Programming

A man of God and his wife, who are dear friends of mine, were placed in an awkward but all too familiar situation recently. They were at a reception with other spiritual leaders when hard liquor was offered to them. They politely refused and slowly excused themselves, trying hard to mask their shock.

That is not the end of it. A “prophet” later confronted them and told them that they were being legalistic for not drinking. He went so far as to say that unless they got in line with the new “revelation of freedom,” their church would not grow.

 This is no longer a case of just saying drinking is okay. Now they are saying you should be drinking if you want to be in the flow. That “flow” is part of a scheme for rapid church growth that compromises many other areas of Christian life—and programs believers to backslide. The Bible predicted this deception…

Isaiah 59:15 says, “So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice.” Some pastors today are attacking church members who seek to be holy…accusing them of a having a religious spirit.

 Have we really come to the point where believers are making themselves a target by pursuing holiness?  The answer is a loud, “YES!” Many churches in America have become mere factories that are churning out converts who are preprogrammed to backslide. And don’t fool yourself, this church growth machine is found even in spirit-filled churches…even in so-called ‘revival’ churches.

 Holiness is now rejected and called a ‘religious spirit.’ Satan rejoices at this, because it has created the greatest display of false success in the history of the church. Many churches are now conveyor belts that attract large numbers of people only to have them rapidly fall off at the end of the belt.

In fact, the ones who fall off may be the fortunate ones, since there is a chance that they will crash and burn and eventually come to their senses in true repentance. But, woe to those who are backslidden and don’t even realize it, because they have been taught the lie that they can never backslide!

 

 The growth we celebrate today is a grand illusion that hides the greatest turnover ratio ever.

Doesn’t this explain why so many believers have been deceived by these false teachings, and have been reclaimed by the enemy? Doesn’t this explain why the church has no authority to push back against the flood of evil in our nation? How can we field an army of warriors when the church is setting them up to fail? Forgive me, but I am about to get passionate!

How can it be that the very vessels chosen of God to equip the saints, have instead conspired to create a system that rewards carnality and shames holiness?

Listen to most sermons today. They give the impression that the church has exhausted herself trying to serve God, or that she has overdone sacrifice—that now she needs vast portions of comfort food.  That’s the way it sounds when ministers keep telling them to relax, and quit trying so hard, because, ‘Daddy is so pleased with them.’

 Even after there’s proof that a congregation has become a listless, flabby, biblically illiterate club of moody consumers—preachers will still heap on them one more message of pampered entitlement.  Forgive me…but it’s kind of like handing a diabetic a case of Snickers bars.

Sundays are too often a celebration of how much God lets you get away with. Pastors are giving sermons full of soothing guarantees that confuse God’s love with His approval.

1 John 5:4 says “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

There are two things to take away from this promise. The first is that a major goal of the child of God is to overcome the world. That goal is largely missing in modern preaching—preaching that sees the world as a kind of ‘friend’ and not as a mortal enemy. (15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. I John 2:15).  Secondly, it shows us the desperately urgent place of faith—faith that overcomes! That is also missing.

 We program failure when it is not clear at the moment of conversion that we must die to our own will, and Christ must become Lord of our existence. That is an ultimatum that cannot be postponed. Without it, you are producing new converts who will have no power to overcome evil. They will have no hope of growing in faith. You are robbing them of the joy of the Lord!

Repentance, spiritual warfare, and the authority of the believer, are all subjects that would protect the child of God and help them stand against the enemy. But these preachers never get around to these truths because they are afraid it will stop the influx of people. Think of that!

Gently suggest the church could go deeper—call for more prayer meetings—voice concern about inappropriately dressed women—tell them you don’t want to party with them, and they will scream, “YOU HAVE A RELIGIOUS SPIRIT!”

What was once normal discipleship is now ‘legalism.’  Anything that dampens their festivities is judgmental. What have we done?  We have unleashed a counterfeit liberty.  These are not the features of a Spirit-led people.  These are the clear symptoms of people with sick souls deceived and careening toward disaster.

 But the final nail in the coffin of this deception is this: It is utterly unnecessary to compromise to get a crowd. Jesus never had trouble getting a crowd. That is why He focused on changing the crowd. Go ahead and boast about growth, but you must do it at the expense of truth—the truth that while churches grow, the nation is dying—and the very people tasked by God to save America are having zero impact!

The greatest gift God can send a church is a holy child of God whose heart is for revival.  A holy child who longs for the fire, glory, and power of God to electrify the church.  Make them your enemy and you have also made an enemy out of God. Woe unto you, if you have ever called holiness a religious spirit.   God bless you, if you love holiness and understand what a treasure it is!  1 Timothy 6: 6 “Now, godliness with contentment is great gain.”

 Thank God that at this critical hour the Holy Spirit is separating to Himself a core of Christians. These are pastors and regular believers who are praying to go deeper into God. They are busy saying to each other, “This sideshow is not God! There is so much more! No way can Satan win if we take our stand on the authority of the cross!”

 He is imbuing them with boldness, wisdom, signs and wonders, and most of all…a blazing passion for holiness!

 “Pursue peace with all people, and pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” – Hebrews 12:14