Summary: How to recognize the true believer in a time of apostacy and compromise.
Scripture is very clear as it describes the apostasy that will befall a great portion of the last days church. Whether inside or out of evangelical circles, many churches have eliminated the preaching of the blood sacrifice, rejected the virgin birth, sinless life, death and physical resurrection of Jesus. They have ordained homosexuals, the divorce rate escalates, alcohol abuse, adultery and fornication go unchallenged from the pulpits.
Others have mutated into little more than social or cultural centers, offering nothing from the throne of God to bring it’s members to the saving power of Jesus Christ. Instead their ministers spout religious philosophy, or use their pulpits to promote political, social or racial biases.
From the late 1980’s until today, ministers have been exposed for every misconduct imaginable. Many, when confronted with their sin, confessed and repented and are well on their way to full restoration. The sad fact is, that for the most part, it took secular investigations to reveal these sins. The majority of church members never even recognized that there was a problem. Several years ago, when Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Islam Nation in America organized his million man march, countless Christian churches opened their doors to this anti-Christ and his message. This man hates Jesus Christ. He literally believes himself to be the messiah. Yet thousands of church men followed this false prophet to Washington, DC. What a slap in the face this was to a holy God. What an indictment against the clergy who had nothing to offer it’s men in response to the seduction of this false religion. Even more troubling is the fact they could not discern this march as nothing more then a recruitment ploy for the Nation of Islam.
As the end of this age approaches and the return of the Lord draws nears, scripture warns us that, "... because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." (Matthew 24:12)
With so many of our churches refusing to take a stand and preach against sin and false doctrine it has caused them to lose the presence of God. They have forfeited His power to overcome the enemy; birthing a generation of cold, dead or at best, nominal Christians.
These groups slumber on with no idea that judgment, if not here already, is just around the corner. And if scripture is correct, it will begin in the house of the Lord.
Who are the Remnant
Pentecostals and charismatics alike love to tell the story of the great outpouring described in Joel chapter two. But many are unaware of the whole picture of the chapter.
It was a time of corruption, open sin and compromise that had overtaken a tremendous portion of the people of God. It started at the top and worked it’s way through the entire body. The Lord, in verses twelve through seventeen instructs His people what must take place before He can move on their behalf.
He tells them to turn to Him with their whole heart, fasting, weeping and mourning. To rend their hearts and not their garments. Sanctify a fast and call a solemn assembly. Sanctify the congregation. Have the priests weep between the porch and the altar, crying out to the Lord to spare the people before they go farther into bondage. In other words - REPENT! In the midst of this corruption, God, in His mercy and grace instructs His people to come back to Him. A people who can be trusted to complete His plan. "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." (Joel 2:32)
The remnant’s cry is that of the apostle Paul’s. "...I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I might win Christ." Several nights a month I had the privilege of working the telephone prayer line for a local Christian television program.
During the two hour program many would call in needing prayer for finances, healing, family and marriage problems. But many nights I received calls from another group of Christians. Their requests were for more of Jesus. They would ask what they could do to have a closer walk with the Lord. Their hearts had been drawn by the Holy Spirit and they desired to know how to walk in holiness and righteousness.
God has always had a people within a people. Whether Caleb and Joshua during the time of Moses. Nehemiah, Daniel and the three Hebrew children during the Babylonian captivity, or the seven thousand who would not bow their knee to Baal. God has a group which stands out above the norm.