THE "NICE CHURCH"
I recently asked a powerful man of God, Apostle Roy Castro, what he thought of the modern church? What his opinion is of where he thinks we are today? He mentioned the church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelations....
If you recall, this is the same church that Jesus rebuked, for being LUKEWARM! This man is in his seventies and has started numerous churches, still travels extensively preaching the gospel, and has an anointing that brings healing and deliverance to those in attendance. So, his' opinion carries a lot of weight with me, as it should to anyone else who knows this man's ministry and integrity.
I received a message from God a while back, that came to me as more of a "conversation with Jesus" than that of a vision or dream... I share it with you in the hope that it may stir you to examine your own walk with God, and also to see if the church you are in is hot, cold, or lukewarm? That is a question, that all of us should ask ourselves if we want to be where God wants us to grow.
REV. 3:18-19 To the Church in Laodicea
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
THE "NICE CHURCH"
One day, I was conversing with God... I don't remember what sparked the topic that came up, but I think God initiated it and here is what I remember of that discussion, with me mostly listening to God as He shared these things with me. It went something like this:
Michael? Yes Lord. I want to talk to you about this "Nice Thing". What do You mean by Nice Thing? I mean this obsession, this preoccupation by so many in my church who are really into this "nice thing". People today, want to live in a nice country, and have a nice job, they want to live in a nice neighborhood, in a nice home. And, they want to go to a nice church, and have nice pastor, who preaches nice sermons. They want to have a nice time in church, and when they are finished with having a nice time there, than it's off to enjoy a nice meal, and have a nice day... Michael, what people are after is a "nice life".
Wow! Those weren't the exact words, but they are very close to what I heard God speak to my spirit... it shook me to the core of my being. I mean on it's face, having a nice anything, isn't really bad - is it? Wanting a nice sermon, a nice church service, and - well, the idea of "nice" being a bad thing, that never entered my mind. But, spoken to me as it was - from the soft voice of the Holy Spirit to my inner man, now - that's a different thing entirely. So, I asked the Lord for clarification, and He spoke to me these words, at least as best as I can recall them:
Michael, I did not come to give people a "nice life", I did not die and raise from the dead to make things "nice" for those following me. This attitude, and mindset are not of me - it is fleshly, and borne of a earthly and carnal/sensual mind... This "nice thing" has swept through much of much church, and is like a veil over the spiritual eyes of my people. It has many people in a stupor, and living lives that are not dead to sin, or dead to this fallen world.
In a word, being comfortable, cozy, and blessed has come to be more important than "taking up one's cross, denying oneself, and following me". Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
That was the basically the point of this short, yet piercing message God gave to me for this generation. I share it with you knowing that it may shake some of us from being lethargic and spiritually asleep.
Jesus does not leave the Laodicean church without a prescription for remedying/curing this spiritual sickness of "being lukewarm"; he commands them, and us if the shoe fits - TO REPENT. Jesus longs to be the fire in our hearts, the passion of our lives...
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I believe that many of the churches today are spiritually in a deep, deep slumber. Little or no passion for God, the Bible, or the things of Jesus Christ that He loves, namely "lost souls". When our lives and our churches become more like "country clubs" for pampered and spoiled Christians looking for their next "blessing" - WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE!!!
It is not for me to say who or who isn't on fire for God, or what person or church is "lukewarm", but I do know we should at the very least, examine ourselves regularly, in light of God's word to see if we are "burning brightly" for Jesus? I pray, you - me, all of us who name the name of Jesus, who claim to be Christians and followers of Christ - look closely to see what our spiritual temperature is.
Here are few things that will give you an idea of where you are in that regard. Do I pray? Do I fellowship regularly with God's people? Do I give my time and money to God, and to His' work - to those who labor for Him? Do I spend time in regular bible study? Do I have a set time of devotion to and with God? Do I witness my faith in Christ to other when I have opportunity?
These are just a few of the basic things that should be "earmarks" of a passionate and fired up disciple of Jesus. Let's go out and let the fire and passion of Jesus in our lives, homes, and churches/families be evident to all near and far.
Blessings to all/michael/FOOL4CHRIST
Write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I love God, people, and all of God's creation. For me there is always something or someone to write about...