Aug 18, 2008

Living in Laodicea

By Terry James

Russia is flexing its military muscles toward its former Soviet prisoner states, indicating Gog-like thinking rules in the Kremlin. China puts on a smaze mask while it hosts the Olympics, barely cloaking its true intention to become the king of the biblically foretold kings of the East. The European Union incessantly reformulates constitutional matters in an unrelenting effort to become the new Roman order prophesied for the last of the last days. Israel talks false peace with enemies who want only to see the Jewish state obliterated, while the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) carries out exercises that makes the world frown with anxiety over whether the IDF will strike preemptively against Iran–ancient Persia, another of the key players scheduled for an end-times role.

At the same time, Jesus’ first Olivet discourse warning signs of coming tribulation, about the rise of those who will come in His name and deceive many (Matt. 24: 4-5), seems to mark these times as the era of the most despicable of the churches Jesus in His ascended form gave John through prophecy.

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked…” (Rev. 3:14-17).

Signals of the end of the Church Age (Age of Grace) are literally exploding in flash-bulb fashion in this sin-darkened world. Although the Laodicean prophecy is manifest in a more subtle way than the powerful prophetic geopolitical developments outlined above, the ramifications are nonetheless just as profound. The Laodicean effects upon the Body of Christ, the Church, are indeed deleterious.

Jesus foretold an end-times religious system that would be neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. This body of religionists, under the guise of Christianity, will--as the very end of the age approaches--be a system that claims the name of Christ on its facade, but inside the organization is ravening wolves who hold not to doctrine, but to nonbiblical words meant to deceive. Christ’s prophecy, given to John for the Church (those of Christ’s body) alive at the end of the Age of Grace, forewarns of a humanistic organization posing as part of the Church. Those deceivers within the organization consider themselves as more than capable of handling all things of a religious sort. They are–in their own inflated opinions of themselves—“ rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing…” They are like the leaders of the world of geopolitics that have things well in hand, they believe. As a well-known broadcast mogul once stated, they “don’t need anyone to die for [them].”

These self-aggrandized, deluded religionists are, through preaching a social, humanistic gospel, in Christ’s words: "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” They are counterproductive to all the Church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be in this dying, decaying world. The Lord therefore is sickened by them. They make Him want to vomit, is the strong expression Jesus uses here. This summarizes the Laodicean church. Are we in the era of that condemned organization?

An excerpt from the following think-piece lays out, in my view, a most recent way to gauge the answer to the question just posed.

“…At the conclusion of a recent four-day conference at Yale University, more than 150 Christian and Muslim leaders from around the globe announced the first step of the 'Common Word' exchange drafted last November. The Christian representatives included the heads of both the National Association of Evangelicals (Leith Anderson) and the World Evangelical Alliance (Geoff Tunnicliffe). A statement released at the conclusion of the conference explains that ‘the intention behind the Common Word is not to foist the theology of one religions upon another or to attempt conversion.’

According to a Reuters report, participants of the Yale gathering affirmed their support for freedom of religion and mutual respect…”("Evangelicals in 'la-la land' over Muslim agreement," Chad Groening, OneNewsNow, 8/7/2008).

Prophetic scholar/writer Dave Hunt’s close Berean Call ministry associate puts his finger on the Laodicean deception toward which much of the Body of Christ is currently gravitating. The following report sums his conclusions:

“Christian broadcaster and author Tom McMahon says evangelical pastor Rick Warren's belief that the church must take the lead in solving the world's problems of poverty, disease, and war cannot be reconciled with the scriptures.

Pastor Warren will be hosting an interfaith meeting next month with 30 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders ‘to discuss cooperation for the common good of all Americans.’ Warren's P.E.A.C.E. plan mobilizes churches to address global problems. But McMahon, president of The Berean Call ministry, says the popular Christian author is introducing evangelical Christianity to the social gospel that he learned from his mentor, social scientist Peter Drucker…

‘As a Christian, as a biblical Christian, I have real concerns about this because I don't find this in the scriptures,’ McMahon explains. ‘You see, it's true the world has all kinds of problems, but he's working on the symptoms and avoiding the root cause, which is the sin nature of humanity. So how can you work with all kinds of people [who are] called “people of faith,” but it's not biblical faith?’” ("Is Rick Warren ignoring sin in search for 'peace'?" Jim Brown, OneNewsNow, 7/29/2008).

I have lost count of how many people have emailed asking if I know of a church in their area that teaches the Bible in all of its Truth. The Philadelphian church is still on Planet Earth, and it still preaches and teaches Truth. But, the world at large, in loosely speaking of the term “Christianity,” is increasingly drawn into the discernment-debilitating church organization Jesus called “Laodicean.” This is another major signal that we are indeed nearing midnight.