I haven’t been to church in a while to be honest (I’ve been doing house church instead). The other day as I sat in church, God spoke so clearly to me, “Tesia, the world is going to become a place where no one knows Me. They will have a form of godliness, but lack its power” (2 Tim. 3:5). I felt the reality of that statement so tangibly it made me cry. Normally, in church tears leak out of my eyes in exultant worship and gratitude to God. This time, they were tears of grief. Were I alone, I would have bawled my eyes out. There will come a day where everyone will claim to know Jesus and use all the right words, but no one will really know Him. Really love Him. Truly have the overcoming power of the Holy Spirit living inside of them.
God has been speaking to me lately about purity. There is power in purity. The Gospel literally is God making what is impure, pure. He makes what is unholy, holy. What is unclean, clean. Therefore, we should love, protect and pursue our God given purity, holiness, and righteousness. It is His grace and love for us through the Cross that washes us and makes us pure.
A true sign of a regenerated spirit is purity. A desire for greater purity, holiness, and righteousness in one’s heart and life. When people talk about the forgiveness of God as an excuse for sin they cheapen Grace. People don’t know God. They use all the right words like, “led by the Holy Spirit,” “Jesus saves,” “love of God,” “freedom in Christ,” “pure in heart,” “repentance,” but their lives don’t reflect the fruits of righteousness and repentance. The Devil isn’t afraid of God’s word or Christian terminology (he himself used God’s word to tempt Jesus). He is afraid of the Holy Spirit that comes in behind those words when someone actually repents and believes.
The church is powerless because the church is filled with impurity and unsaved souls. The Gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16). A greater deception than not knowing the truth is thinking you know the truth, and yet are still deceived. What’s worse than not being saved is thinking you know Jesus and are saved, but His Holy Spirit is not living in you. (Which used to be me).
“We see that the Holy Spirit is with many only by his gifts and power, but he has not come to live in them and so they are not truly Christ’s people (Rom. 8:9). Many are made partakers of him in his spiritual gifts who are never made partakers of him in his saving graces (Matt. 7:22,23).” —Apostasy From The Gospel by John Owen.
There will come a day, and indeed it has already come upon us, where no one will truly know God. And by no one, I mean the majority…by a landslide. The majority of Churchgoers and “Christians” will in fact not be Christian at all, but just as unregenerate as the sinner in the street.
As I sat there, hearing about the protection in Christ and ability to weather the storm regardless of what the Devil throws at you (the sermon was about building you house on the rock instead of on sand), I thought it was extremely reminiscent of my church experience growing up. People are told about the promises of God without actually being instructed on how to attain them. They hear about this protection and power in Christ, but never experience it. There are too many Christians who can’t overcome because they are powerless. Why are they powerless? No purity. No conviction of sin. Conviction leads to repentance which leads to greater purification and holiness in a believer’s life. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and PURIFY us from all unrighteousness.” —1 John 1:9
The whole purpose of the parable of The Wise and Foolish Builders is obedience. To put the words Jesus spoke into practice. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock…But everyone who hears these words of mine and DOES NOT put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” Matthew 7:24, 26. In church, that portion of the message was lost. There was no dealing with or calling out of practical sins. No correction or guidance in how to practically obey the words of Jesus.
I just want to say this isn’t a critique of this church or pastor uniquely. Weak and watered-down Christianity is a widespread pandemic. I grew up in it. This is just the example in closest proximity.
Towards the end the pastor did an altar call. Which I don’t know if we can technically call it that as no one was called to the altar. He said, “I don’t want you to feel ashamed. If you know you’ve messed up and you want to make Jesus the foundation of your life, look up at me so I know and I’ll pray for you.” Immediately, I thought, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33. There is power in open confession. Power in humbling yourself before men and with action saying, “I don’t care what people think. I need Jesus.” The church is training into people to be ashamed of Christ at conversion. Training up wimpy and spineless Christians. Powerless Christians. Unregenerate Christians. We are supposed to come boldly to the throne of grace. Come boldly to the front. “For I am NOT ASHAMED of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” —Romans 1:16
What is the power of God in the Gospel? It is the power to save. The power to transform. To heal, redeem, restore, make new. Power to love, to forgive, to set free. To be made new. To be forgiven. To have peace. To resist temptation and overcome sin. The power to OVERCOME sin. As Christians, we are supposed to have the power to put to death the flesh and sin with its evil desires, and be raised with Christ, letting the Holy Spirit reign in our lives (Rom. 6:6,7,11,12).
The Church is weak and powerless because very few Christians have Christ living in them. They know all about Jesus and have tasted the things of God without actually being regenerate—born again. They know all about Jesus in their head and have seen and experienced the Holy Spirit working in their lives, but they have never had the Holy Spirit come and live inside them, transforming their heart. And even fewer who have wisdom and understanding of how to overcome the devil in their own lives, let alone in the lives of others.
There is coming a day, and indeed it is already upon us, where no one will truly know Jesus. It is of the utmost importance that you “examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith; test yourself. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5). Do not be deceived. Know, that you know, that you know, that the Spirit of Christ lives in you. Examine yourself and pursue Truth until you pass the test. Until you know that Christ is in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).