Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Do any of the believers quoted below sound familiar? Maybe they’re you (excerpts taken from 5 years ago in the comment section of a video of a sermon by A.W. Tozer entitled “Holy Spirit: Why Some Can’t Receive Him”)?
- WHERE (does one find a Bible believing church)?! I am in NC and I have no problem finding the carnal, socialized churches that promote rainbow teas, hat competitions, and other meaningless functions that people in “church” attend. I am hungry for real prayer meetings and serious study of the word but there is no where for me to find this. The last attempt I ended up at a church where the pastor preached about how many cars she owned. I was so blown away that I couldn’t even get up to leave. I am praying to be lead to the right one.
- My husband and I have the same problem in L.A. There is no lack of churches…we have four within walking distance. For the present, we have Bible study at home with our family and pray that we will be connected with other believers. We don’t want to just ‘warm a pew’ in a building; we want to be where the Lord Himself would have us to be.
- We must come out from among them and be separate. I believe, after much contemplation, prayer and research, that we were and are being directed to come out from among “Churchians,” that are so convinced that God is defined by experiences and so called “movements,” rather than by His Word. Too many have exchanged the authority of God for the authority of merchandisers and entertainers. We have evicted God from His own house and excuse it under the guise of Supernatural Spiritualism. Repent.
I know heads are nodding in assent, now, even as was my own when I first read the excerpts. They represent innumerable others I’ve come across here and there on the Internet–and “in real life”.
I think it’s because we are in the prophetic times we are. See what you think:
… For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death,and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Jesus, Matthew 24:5-14, NIV).
All this is just to say, today: you are not alone, nor am I.
We may have to look a bit harder to find others of “The Remnant” of believers for such things as the full Gospel, classic Judeo-Christian teaching, God as both wholly loving as well as wholly just, and the real Jesus versus a jesus who supposedly conforms to the ideologies, philosophies, political policies, and “theologies” du jour as we are desperately seeking the Jesus who “is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
He still exists.
He’s right here–and where you are, as well.
For the other thing about the real Jesus Christ is that, as He promised, “I will never leave nor forsake you.”
We may just have to look away from the increasing number of brick and mortar churches, these days, subscribing to the above aberrations, to find the real Church, (that has always been), i.e., living, breathing, loving, grieving, learning, growing, falling-down-and-getting-up-again in the power of the Holy Spirit also known as the “temple of the Holy Spirit”–comprised of you. And me. And that one in South Carolina and Los Angeles and Sidney and Canterbury and Beijing and Bangkok…that is to say, all those who are, just now, given our likely prophetic times, inclined to collectively “look up,” more often than not, as our redemption surely draweth very, very nigh.
Don’t you think?
And don’t you worry: we’re out there–and “in you” as well, where, in each and all places, abides the Spirit of God, searching, Himself, for all those who would “worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
As we draw closer to Him, He draws nearer to us. And we, however small our numbers might be, will draw closer to one another as well.
As the Scripture notes, it is of a false gospel to think that “gain equates with Godliness,” though Big Box Churches advertise such gain in bright neons on every street corner and business-model churches market mighty persuasive means to that end.
Meanwhile, standing very near, is One Who lives, love, saves, heals, and delivers, inviting you–and me–closer in even the smallest of fellowships, perhaps even a tiny prayer closet. And, of course, He may also yet be found in a corner of one of the Big Boxes, where even in the midst of some religious extravaganza, nevertheless–and from a hungry heart–one still asks, “But where are YOU, God?” …Which is where it all starts…and continues…
Be assured, God will get you where you need to go for fellowship, be it home, building–or even this modern place called the Internet.
And be sure to bring a Bible.