Saturday, February 6, 2010
Will the church fail?
I see many "prophetic pictures" in the life and ministry of our Lord, one which may be taken for the church in the end times occurs in the 6th chapter of Mark verse 45-52
Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side to Bethsaida while He dismissed the crowd. And after He had taken leave of them He went into the hills to pray. When evening was come the boat was out on the sea and He was alone on the land. And He saw that they were distressed in rowing for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass them by, but when they saw Him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost and cried out, for they all saw Him and were terrified.
But immediately He spoke to them and said "take heart, it is I, have no fear." And He got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. The disciples were utterly astounded for they did not understand about the loaves and fishes but their hearts were hardened.
That shows me I think a picture of the church in the end days and the coming of the Lord.
The church has failed largely in it's divine mission, and I am not "anti" church, the church is supposed to be all to the world what Christ was to Israel, saviour, healer, deliverer, comforter, divine counsellor. "As My Father hath sent Me into the world so in like manner send I you into the world."
St Paul in giving the prototype of what the assembly is to be in 1st Corinthians likens the assembly and actually calls the church "the body of Christ" and each one in the assembly a member of His body according to the several gifts and abilities endued upon them by the Holy Spirit. Some were to be healers, some deliverers, others workers of miracles, some were to be givers of word of knowledge and wisdom, others prophets.
This is how we see the church operating in Jerusalem in the first few chapters of ACTS.
The body of Christ, doing the same works THROUGH THE CHURCH as He did through His own physical body at Nazareth and in Galilee. We have many asylems with folk in them that might have been delivered, many hospices with folks a'dying who might have been healed.
Look at this "the disciples were utterly astounded for they did not understand about the loaves and fishes but their hearts were hardened." that is strange "out of place" looking word but it isn't out of place. The church has failed to grasp the link between prosperity and abundant provision and the gospel. In Mark:8. 14-22 we get further revelation.
Now they had forgotten to bring bread and they only had one loaf with them in the boat. And He cautioned them saying "take heed of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod" and they discussed it one with another saying "we have no bread." And being aware of it Jesus said to them "why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you yet not percieve? are your hearts hardened? having eyes do you not see? and having ears do you not hear? and do you not remember? when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces di you collect? they said "twelve" And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets of broken pieces did you take up?" and they said to Him "seven" And He said to them "do you not yet understand?"
Then according to Luke the disciples understood that He was referring to the doctrine of the Pharisees [religionists] and the Herodians [politicians] It is not THEIR teaching or way that brings prosperity and abundant provision but THE GOSPEL .
We have thought that it was the politicians who built our hospitals and schools, or some great religious person or movement, nah but they only took the credit for those things, the abundance of provision comes from the gospel and WE have failed to make the link.
It was this lack of understanding through their hardness of heart which caused the disciples to make such poor headway against the wind [spirit] and the seas [nations]
America and Europe wallow in prosperity and abundant provision while nations yet unreached languish in utter poverty and desperation. The church has utterly failed India. Those billions of precious souls.
I do not believe in the coming trial of persecution [and it IS coming friends] the church will fail, but only because the Lord will get us through, every blood bought one will be saved.
Israel was beloved and chosen as the church is but Israel failed in his mission, I believe the church also in large measure has failed.