Here are four major tripping points that are causing the Body of Christ to misread and misrespond to what the Spirit is doing in the Church in 2020.
1. The first is that many many Christians have no applied theology of “Biblical judgement”. They believe God won’t judge anyone, or any group/nation until the end of the age. This runs entirely contrary to the plenary witness of Scripture – old and new testaments. God’s judgements (Psalm 19; John 16:8; 1 Peter 4:17) are the way He reproves, rebukes, disciplines, warns and rewards His people collectively (Revelation 2 – 3) as they are being conformed to the image of His Son. This will happen in an intensified way in the minutes before Jesus returns. (Matthew 24; Mark 13)
2. The second is that many American evangelicals ardently believe the Lord is judging our nation in this hour. Although that day will come, in 2020 it’s not America that’s God’s focal point. It’s the Church. It’s His daughters and sons that the Lord has brought into His crucible in an intensified way over these last several months.I don’t believe the Lord is telling us anything new about our godless nation. This is His Word to America: “Repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ!” (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4) This is the same general Word He’s been giving to us as a nation of people since before 1607, 1776, 1865 and beyond 2001.
3. The Word the Lord IS amplifying in this year (especially) is His Word to the Church; His Son’s bride. He reproves the American Church because He loves us. (Hebrews 12:5-9) He chastens us because the pressure causes our hearts to adjust our ways to amplify His Son’s glory and apply His holiness (Hebrews 12:10) to our lives. Judgement must begin with the household of God (1 Peter 4:17) so that the “ungodly and the sinners” (1 Peter 4:18) in our nation know how to respond and trust the Creator they have not known.
4. One of the things the Lord is emphasizing is our uncircumspect quest for political dominion. It’s become a false god to us. Consider how many prayer rallies we’ve had over this last 6 months. By my count we’ve had at least 27 different nation-wide prayer calls for America since April. 27+ rallies to pray for our nation – not the Church. (There is a difference.) I am glad to pray for our nation, but the major emphasis of everyone of these calls has been to rally millions of evangelicals to appeal to the eternal God to change the course of the political dominion of America. Never mind the fact that this type of intercession is almost completely foreign to the New Testament Church. Consider what HASN’T been the priority that’s brought us together in these assemblies:
a.) We haven’t been moved to assemble ourselves together because the Church in America has massively failed to make disciples in our nation over the last 40 years. We aren’t rallying to fast and pray because millions of our neighbors are going to hell on our watch.
b.) We aren’t weeping between the porch and the altar because, week-in and week-out the presence of the Lord is largely absent from our meetings.
c.) We aren’t crying out to God because the Church exists with very little power to cast out demons and lay hands on the sick.
No. The prevailing reason for these many prayer gatherings is because we fear the loss of civil political control; a power that Jesus never called us to pursue, nor promised that we should expect to have. In fact, in the couple of places where political dominion is extended to Jesus and the apostles it is resoundingly repudiated as out of kilter with the way of our transcendent King. Simply put, our adulterous pursuit is a desperately “crooked path” that as the Lord returns with ascending glory, He WILL straighten within His Bride. (Isaiah 40:3-5)
May the Lord be exalted as we faithfully respond to His judgements in this coming year, beloved. He is worthy to be magnified.
JSB • December, 2020