Now, we come to one of the major reasons why we are in the Ministry. The knowledge of end time prophetic events is very good, but could be unprofitable if the people do not know how to get themselves ready to escape the catastrophic destruction that is inevitably headed our way. The hearts of men fail when they sense imminent dangers without being prepared to escape it. In these series, you would be equipped with expository teaching on how to get ready.
The Church of God these days has so many wrong notions about the return of Jesus Christ. One of those notions is that, what is required to go in the translation (popularly called rapture) is holiness. Such wrong assumptions are the reasons why the coming of Jesus Christ would overtake the Church like a thief in the night. In this study we would present Scriptures to correct some wrong assumptions. One of those teaching is titled, Holiness Not Enough!
The preparation for the return of Jesus Christ would not require some mysterious revelations, or some special knowledge reserved for select few. It would be a collection of instructions already given in the Scriptures though we might not have paid attention to them. The coming of Jesus Christ will follow a prophetic pattern already given in the Scriptures.
Jesus Christ clearly stated some of these patterns, and some others you would have to deduce by the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ compared the time of His return to;
the days of Noah – Matt.24:37
the days of Lot – Luke 17:28-29
In these series we are going to do in depth expository studies on these and other prophetic parallels.
The general state of the Church at this time was described in some scriptures which include;
Rev.17 – Refer to our article titled, “Babylon the Great Coming into View”.
Rev.18 – Refer to our article title, “Religion of the People”.
Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation:
15“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
20“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
22“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
It was the rebuke of Jesus Christ to the Church at Laodicea, a prophetic type of the Laodicean Church Age, which is the last Gentile Church Age. Typical of the Church in Laodicea, the Church of God today has these characteristics:
Lukewarm - neither fervently holding God’s Word nor denying it. They neither stake their lives and wellbeing for the sake of the gospel nor do they deny that they know God. The Holy Spirit called it indifference in verse 19.
Materially rich and proud - some ministers have private jets, some have universities, hospitals, and investments in stocks and real estates, and the last thing they would ever want to hear is godly correction.
Possess gifts of the Holy Spirit yet unaware that they are spiritually bankrupt. Wretched, miserable, poor, blind, naked! Devoid of genuine, perseverance faith; ignorant of the Scriptures though reading it every day, and unholy, unseparated from the world.
Twisted definition of wealth and prosperity.
Twisted definition of holiness and righteousness
The God of the Church was locked outside the Church (v.20). This verse has been used in evangelistic ministrations to invite the unbelievers to open their hearts for Jesus to come in, which of course is not a bad application, but the real admonition was given to a local assembly (the Church at Laodicea), which indicates that, it applies to a local Church first and foremost, then to individuals. This is a time when God has no place in the Church! ‘Christians’ prefer to worship in churches where the Pastor would make them happy and not sober, even if it is at the expense of the truth.
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4They will reject the truth and chase after myths.”
Do you know how the Church at end time got to the state of being wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked? It was by 2Tim.4:3-4. These are days when Church folks are willingly ignorant. They know what the Bible says but deliberately choose to believe something else. They evade every confrontation with Biblical instructions. They give negative characterizations to preachers who teach and preach Biblical instructions. They would rather prefer to hear something good and comforting! These are days when preachers preach what congregation wants to hear, not necessarily what God is saying. The ear begins to control the mouth; the Church begins to increase in size and wealth, and the result is the birth of spiritual wretches!
The average Christian would be far from being ready for translation and that is the inspiration for this urgent call to prepare for the return of Jesus Christ.
One active step in this preparation is to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit. We would begin this series therefore, with the topic, Listening to the Holy Spirit.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” (Rev.3:22).
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“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father..." (John 14:12).