Meridian Star

Religion

April 19, 2014

The Sleeping Church

MERIDIAN —     Isaiah said, “For the Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep. He has shut your eyes, the prophets; He has covered your heads, the seers.” (29:10)

    

Sadly, a large percentage of the professing church today is deaf and blind. By that I mean, they have been deceived by false teachers who claim there are no prophets who hear from God or who speak for God; there are no seers who receive divine revelation (usually by dreams or visions).

    Instead, we have replaced the Speaking God with a deficient theology that says, “Yes, God used to speak, but He doesn’t do it anymore today.” How very sad. We have been robbed.

    So now we substitute stale religion for a vital relationship; a stoic creed for a living voice; and yet we say that we believe the Book. But in our deeds we deny the Author of the Book His rightful place as the communicating head of the people of God. We read about what God used to do … but somehow, He changed. Really? Or could it be that we have changed?

    I was quizzing a new friend recently about his faith in Christ. He had been raised Lutheran, known for its solid “salvation by faith” belief. But as a Lutheran, he never became saved. He knew about the Lord but he did not personally know the Lord. I asked him, “Why not?” He said, “Because I never heard a salvation message and so I never had the chance.”

    Later, a friend invited him to visit an Assembly of God church. There, seeing the power of God, he was saved. What was the difference? It was this: the presence of God, the hunger of the people, and the Word preached.

    This story could be repeated a thousand times and the background could be Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, you name it. I am convinced that the majority of church folks have never been born again.

    They attend the meetings; they are familiar with the rituals and the creeds; they assume everything is okay; but they have never met the Lord themselves and consequently they are alienated from the life of God.

    Jesus said to a religious ruler, “You must be born of the Spirit.” (Read John 3:1-8) So being religious isn’t enough: we need to be alive toward God. This experience happened to me as a child. Since that day, I have never been without the presence of God. The Bible came alive to me! Later as a young teen, I received another blessing from God, the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

    John the Baptist said this about Jesus, “This is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.” (John 1:33) Jesus dispenses more!

    When we are first born again, we become a child of God. Salvation begins in our lives. Christ enters our heart and gives us a new motivation, to live for God. Later, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a precious gift from Jesus to help us. This added dimension gives us power to pray (both in our known language and in a heavenly language), more power to witness, and can release wonderful “grace-lets” of power, those supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 12, 13, 14)

    Have you ever seen a miracle? I have seen many. Because I am around “activated Christians,” I see numerous miracles. Ordinary people sought God, believed His Word, and worked with Him to see blind eyes opened, cripples walk, and amazing words of knowledge or profound prophecies spoken.

    I know God is not dead and I know Jesus Christ is just the same today as He was yesterday. (Hebrews 13:8)

    It is my personal conviction that before Jesus returns for the church, He will once again reveal Himself in power within the church. The Last Great Revival is soon to begin. In that time, the devil won’t stand a chance as God acts in power, for our Lord is mighty to save. That is my hope for the church, for America, and for the world.

Ron Wood is a writer, pastor, and former Meridianite. Contact him by email at wood.stone.ron@gmail.com.

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