I was reading an article online yesterday by a Jewish Messianic believer who was writing about the somewhat adverse effect of modern American Christianity in Israel and the concerns he had about where it was heading in Israel. In considering the current declining spiritual state of the American evangelical and Charismatic Church my attention was drawn to the prophet Jeremiah and the backslidden spiritual state of the kingdom of Judah in the years just before the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple in 586 BC.
Now Jeremiah was God’s prophet living in the last days of the kingdom of Judah and God had revealed to him what was coming upon His backslidden people Israel. At that time there were myriads of false prophets in the land prophesying blessing and prosperity and telling the people of God that they would not see the sword or famine and that God would give them peace in Judah. (Jeremiah 14:13) The leaders and people of Judah were trusting in a religious system which was centred on the Temple. (Jeremiah 7:4) Jeremiah could not go along with the popular trends in Jerusalem and Judah. He says; “I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, Nor did I exult. Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone, For You filled me with indignation.” (Jeremiah 15:17)
While praiseathons, celebrations, religious gatherings, all kinds of religious festivals and the sound of great assemblies of worship in the Temple were going on in Jerusalem, Jeremiah was weeping and filled with a great sadness, anguish of soul and with the righteous anger of God because he saw what was coming upon Judah at the hands of the Babylonians. God had been trying to get His people’s attention through His beleaguered and weary prophet but they weren’t listening. Jeremiah saw the devastation that was coming if God’s people did not repent and turn back to Him.
Jeremiah sat alone and did not like to make the pronouncements that needed to be made but God’s hand was upon him and the fire of God’s word burned in on the inside and would not be quenched. Jeremiah could not hold it in. As he speaks; “But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9). As all true prophets of God in scripture, Jeremiah spoke words of God’s judgement for disobedience but also His blessings for obedience.
Let’s be fair about America and its Biblical heritage that made it a great nation. In the past America has produced some very fine men and women of God. Added to this that nation has seen many great revivals and moves of the Spirit of God across the land. Many fine evangelists, Bible teachers and missionaries have come from America and history clearly shows the effect of American believers and Biblical Christianity has had on world evangelism and in many nations. No one doubts the financing of missions and the American Church supporting evangelism and discipleship. Having said this, much of what is coming out of American evangelicalism and charismania today is hyper faith prosperity doctrines perpetrated by the money preachers and Kingdom Now, Kingdom Dominion advocates.
Sadly it seems everyone wants to be like Americans in their style of worship and practice of Christianity. The Christian music industry is like the rock industry and singers and musicians in churches are treated like celebrities or rock stars while the money flows into the coffers of those who promote them. Showmanship and entertainment seems to be the order of the day in many American evangelical and Charismatic circles. Personally speaking I do enjoy much of the gospel music that is sound theologically (mostly hymns to be honest but also some contemporary music) I enjoy watching singers like the Gathers and others who seek to honour the Lord Jesus, but somehow it seems the ‘entertainment fever’ or ‘virus’ is affecting many who have the desire to glorify the Lord through music but are being hijacked by the glitz and the glamour and the ways of the entertainment world. Some church worship services are akin to rock concerts!
The reality for American Christendom is that the ‘Babylonians’ are coming. Today the modern Babylonians is Islam that can trace its roots way back to the Babylon of Nimrod. Islam is already invading the western democracies by stealth through immigration. Some of the people running these ‘praiseathons’ on their television networks are reaping in the money by fleecing God’s flock of their hard earned dollars while promoting false prophets and teachers.
There is much in American Christianity which ‘smacks’ of the last days of Judah before it fell to the Babylonians. God is still calling His people in America to turn back to Him. As Jeremiah the prophet writes; “This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths: Where is the good way? Then walk in it and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it!’” (Jeremiah 6:16) ‘The axe is already laid to the root’ in America but the tree has not as yet fallen. God can send a spiritual revival to America but first the Church by and large needs to be spiritually revived as in the past that saw great sweeping revivals. By and large the American Churches must stop “sitting in the circle of the merrymakers,” get rid of the money hyper faith prosperity teaching and their teachers, the Kingdom Dominion advocates, the ‘have it good in this world’ seeker sensitive, seeker friendly theology and the false prophets telling God’s people that they will not have to suffer tribulation.
America’s ‘peace’ is being shattered by the Corona virus, riots, burning cities, looting and mob violence and greatly affected by the downward spiral of the economy and the enemies arising against them such as China. President Trump has done much for the people of America and what he promises to them he keeps. He has many enemies in Congress and the media. Of course he is not a politician nor is he the one that can save America and make America great again. Only God can spiritually heal and prosper America but do the Americans want this to happen God’s way?
Sadly, and it must be said, that President Trump has surrounded himself with some of the hyper faith ‘big name’ prosperity teachers, one in particular is his spiritual advisor. Now God does raise up kings and deposes them. He is sovereign in this matter. Those whom He has raised up, that act wisely and seek His wisdom and counsel, He will give to them more wisdom and counsel, but if they do not seek Him then He will ultimately remove them. (Daniel 2:20-22) This is why President Trump needs Biblically sound, well-balanced Christian men and women supporting him who know their Bibles and know what it says prophetically. So many of the mega churches see the ones, who are currently in the White House advising President Trump, and this in itself leads many Christians to think that God is on America’s side.
The time is coming when those within wider Christendom who want to stay faithful to God’s Word and follow after His commandments will be rejected and marginalised by those who are so called’ brothers and sisters.’ There will be a faithful remnant of believers, persecuted, rejected, marginalised and looked down upon by an apostate Christendom and by the unsaved.
When Elijah the prophet was hard-pressed by Jezebel and her false prophets he thought he was the only one left because all of his fellow prophets had all been killed. (1 Kings 19:10) The people of Israel were unable to make spiritual progress. However, God showed Elijah that He had reserved 7,000 in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal or kissed the idol. (1 Kings 19:18) Jezebel of course represents the satanic spirit of false religion which was so powerful through her false prophets that even God’s people hovered between two opinions. (1 Kings 18:21) When Elijah turned up, after the raving and the ranting of the false prophets of Baal had been going on for some time, he knew how to bring down the genuine fire of God. (1 Kings 18:38) This will be the character of the last day remnant but they will be hard-pressed, maligned, persecuted and martyred and in many cases rejected by their own spiritually backslidden brethren. (Luke 21:16-18) (Revelation 11:6)
American evangelical and charismatic Christianity needs to change its focus, if not; the writing is on the wall for American Christianity in a nation satiated with political corruption, idolatry, abortion, race discrimination, sodomy, blasphemous movies from Hollywood, witchcraft and hedonistic lifestyles. God is using the Corona virus to adjust people’s priorities so that they might turn to the Lord Jesus, the only one who can save them and save society from its downward plunge into chaos.
With the widespread Corona virus it would seem the beginning of the ‘birth pains’ have started. (Matthew 24:7-8) God is saying to the American Church; “Thus says the LORD your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you for your benefit, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commandments, your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like waves of the sea.” (Isaiah 48:17-18)
But is America listening?