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What Will God's Church Look Like From Now Until Christ's Appearing?

What Will God's Church Look Like From Now Until Christ's Appearing?

1/8/2017

What will God's church look like from now until Christ's appearing?

Every year, many churches and ministries lay out a vision for the new gregorian calendar. Ministers proclaim many things such as a year of favor, blessing, and prosperity.

If we study to shew ourselves approved unto God, then we understand the truth that there is nothing new under the sun, and God's servants must be about our Father's business. That business is saving souls, and this includes making disciples of Christ, in all cities and all nations. For Jesus said in Luke 19:10, "For the Son of man is come to SEEK and to SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST."

Jesus did not come to teach his disciples to learn about the prosperity or blessings of this life, for Jesus came to teach us about living the resurrected life, for He says in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me", and I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (John 11:25)

Paul reminded the Saints in Colosse (Colossians 3:1), "IF YOU THEN BE RISEN WITH CHRIST, SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE, WHERE CHRIST SITS on the right hand of God."

Paul exhorted the saints in Philippi (Philippians 3:15-21), "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, AS MANY AS BE PERFECT, BE THUS MINDED: and if in any thing you be otherwise minded, GOD SHALL REVEAL THIS UNTO YOU.

Nevertheless, WHERETO WE HAVE ALREADY ATTAINED, let us WALK BY THE SAME RULE, LET US MIND THE SAME THING. Brethren, be followers together of me, and MARK THEM which walk so as you have us for an example. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: WHOSE END IS DESTRUCTION, WHOSE gOD IS THEIR BELLY, and WHOSE GLORY IS IN THEIR SHAME, WHO MIND EARTHLY THINGS.)

For OUR CONVERSATION is in heaven; from whence also WE LOOK FOR THE SAVIOUR, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to SUBDUE ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF."

When God's ministers from the pulpit are not warning the saints to live watchful for Jesus, CONTINUALLY preparing them for HEAVEN, while winning as many souls as possible, you have a church who is mindful of earthly things and not ready for Jesus. The results are devastating! Consider ANY CHURCH that is not preparing people for heaven, but preparing them for earth.

We read about this in Luke 14:15-34: Jesus tells us about the Parable of the Banquet.

15When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the ONE WHO WILL EAT AT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” 16Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.

18 “But THEY ALL ALIKE BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSES. The first said, ‘I HAVE JUST BOUGHT A FIELD, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

19 “Another said, ‘I have I HAVE JUST BOUGHT FIVE YOKE OF OXEN, and Iʼm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20 “Still another said, ‘I JUST GOT MARRIED, so I canʼt come.’

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house BECAME ANGRY and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and BRING IN THE POOR, THE CRIPPLED, THE BLIND, AND THE LAME.

22 “ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and COMPEL THEM TO COME IN, SO THAT MY HOUSE WILL BE FULL.

24I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ ”

25LARE CROUDS WERE TRAVELING WITH JESUS, and turning to them he said: 26“IF ANYONE COMES TO ME and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, EVEN THEIR OWN LIFE—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27And WHOEVER DOES NOT CARRY THEIR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME cannot be my disciple. (NOTICE, JESUS IS LOOKING FOR DISCIPLES, NOT LARGE CROWDS.)

AS GOD'S MINISTERS, WHAT ARE WE BUILDING? READ ON...

28 “Suppose ONE OF YOU wants to build a tower. Wonʼt you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30saying, ‘This person began to build and wasnʼt able to finish.’

WE ARE WAGING WAR AGAINST THE POWERS OF DARKNESS...

31 “Or suppose a king is about to GO TO WAR against another king. Wonʼt he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, THOSE OF YOU WHO DO NOT GIVE UP EVERYTHING YOU HAVE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLES.

34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “WHOEVER HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET THEM HEAR.”

Notice again, Jesus admonishes each individual to have ears to hear. Those who were buying things and interested more in the things of this life were not ready for Jesus, not counted worthy to escape all these things that would be coming on the earth (Luke 21:36; 2 Thessalonians 1:11). Likewise, as God's ministers Jesus is telling us about building God's Kingdom, not a name for ourselves. We are giving up all the things of this life to be HIS DISCIPLES, not the disciples of mainstream Christendom. Jesus said, "many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord", but he will say depart from Me workers of iniquity (Matthew 7:23)

Also, notice that Jesus commanded His servant to out the highways and byways to get the poor, lame, blind, and mame. These are people who never set foot in a church and didn't even learn about the "benefits" of being in Christ. These were people who were compelled to believe and be saved, so God's banquet hall in heaven would be filled. All the while, all 3 people Jesus called from within the church walls were left out of the Banquet.

Moreover, seeking and saving the lost was the entire focus of Jesus life when He came to the earth, even on his way to the cross, and it IS and has always been Jesus great commission to ALL His ministers of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers who are making full proof of our ministry, as well as to all the rest of His saints who are Christ's body in the earth, to as many as would believe in His name.

Paul, an Apostle of God, called of Christ, knowing the critical importance of great commission to preach the gospel to every creature and make disciple of all nations, admonished the church of God in Corinth not to take this grace of God, their eternal salvation in vain and reaching the lost, for many are going the way of destruction. Our time and attention must be given to pray and be Christ's witnesses in the earth, for he says in 2 Corinthians 6:1-3;

"We then, as workers together with Him (Christ), beseech you also that you receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he says, I have heard you in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured you: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the DAY OF SALVATION.)"

Therefore, as Christ's people, disciples, and followers, we ought not to be seeking another 'acceptable time' for us to 'benefit' in Christ, lest we be found like the 3 people Jesus called to His banquet who were left on the earth during a time of tribulation.

Paul continues in 2 Corinthians 6:3-12 to say, "Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God,

In much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich [in faith]; as HAVING NOTHING, and YET POSSESSING ALL THINGS. O Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. You are not straitened in us, but you are straitened in your own bowels."

Like all our apostolic spiritual ancestors in Christ, we count not our lives dear to ourselves. We are a heavenly people seeking for a heavenly city, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:14-16). And we as God's ministers are not AS MANY who corrupt the word of God (2 Cor 2:17), nor handling the word of God deceitfully (2 Cor 4:2), for the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Rather, "we renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. "

Therefore, we must come out from among the gentile nations of this world who seek the wealth, prosperity, and lavish lifestyle of this world, with the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, and God will receive us as sons and daughters (1 John 2:16; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

One final word of exhortation about seeking the "abundant life" many from pulpits today teach and preach. God is not mocked. What a man sows, that he also reaps (Galatians 6:7), but consider the end of city of Babylon, the destruction of God coming upon those who are rich, from Revelation Chapter 14:

1And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3For ALL NATIONS have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the MERCHANTS OF THE EARTH WAXED RICH THROUGH THE ABUNDANCE OF HER DELICACIES.

4And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE, AND BE NOT PARTAKER OF HER SINS, THAT YOU RECEIVE NOT OF HER PLAGUES. 5For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 6Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

7How much she hath GLORIFIED HERSELF, and LIVE DELICIOUSLY, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she says in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 8Therefore shall her plagues come in ONE DAY, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

9And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and LIVE DELICIOUSLY with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in ONE HOUR is your judgment come. 11And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for NO MAN BUYS HER MERCHANDISE ANY MORE:

12The MERCHANDISE of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble. 13And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. 14And the FRUITS YOUR SOUL LUSTED AFTER after are departed from you, and ALL THINGS WHICH WERE DAINTY AND GOODLY ARE DEPARTED from you, and you shall FIND THEM NO MORE AT ALL.

15The merchants of these things, which were MADE RICH BY HER, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 16And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! 17For in one hour SO GREAT RICHES IS COME TO NOUGHT. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 18And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

19And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were MADE RICH all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in ONE HOUR IS SHE MADE DESOLATE. 20REJOICE OVER HER, YOU HEAVEN, and YOU HOLY APOSTLES AND PROPHETS; for God hath avenged you on her.

21And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. 22And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in you; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; 23And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the VOICE OF THE BRIDEGROOM AND BRIDE shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the GREAT MEN OF THE EARTH; FOR BY YOUR SORCERIES WERE ALL NATIONS DECEIVED. 24 AND IN HER WAS FOUND THE BLOOD OF PROPHETS, AND OF SAINTS, AND OF ALL THAT WERE SLAIN UPON THE EARTH.

Selah.

To learn more about the truth and error of living and teaching the abundant life in Christ, please listen to the podcast of "Are We Living and Preaching the True Abundant Life in Christ?" http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/are-we-living-and-preaching-the-true-abundant-life-in-christ-part-1_71287


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