Friday, May 30, 2014

The Nations Roar, But God's Kingdom Triumphs

In his sermon on "Scriptural Christianity" John Wesley said,
But shall we not see greater things than these? Yea, greater than have been yet from the beginning of the world? Can Satan cause the truth of God to fail? Or his promises to be of none effect? If not, the time will come when Christianity will prevail over all, and cover the earth. Let us stand a little, and survey this strange sight, a Christian world.
Yet worldwide many of those who call themselves the church today love God with their mouth but love the world in deed.  How do we know this? Just look at the evidence:
  • They seek influence with the world.
  • They follow the world's dress.
  • They imitate the world's music.
  • They say little commandments of God don't matter as long as we have faith.
  • They desire power rather than Christ, and neglect prayer unless it's thought to bring power.
  • They rarely read the Word alone, yet pride themselves in knowing so much about God.
  • They fight with the world and with other Christians.
  • Sacrifice is more important than obedience.
  • Size, a following, and an impressive appearance is more important than obedience.
  • Others' feelings are more important than truth.
  • Fitting in with others takes priority over pleasing God.
  • Clout is more important than prayer.
But Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 11:6-12, and Romans 11:25-26 show a far different reality for the church on earth. Some people would call this the millennium.  Regarding these verses Wesley preached,
Against hope believe in hope. It is your Father's good pleasure yet to renew the face of the earth. Surely all these things shall come to an end, and the inhabitants of the earth shall learn righteousness. "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they know war any more." "The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains;" and all the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of our God. "They shall not" then "hurt or destroy in all his holy mountain."
Imagine such a worldwide event which God could use to cause the current state of the church to change. Is an unholy, worldly church as we see it today God's plan for the church? What will it take to cause us to pray just for the sake of being with God? For the world to appear detestable to the church? To desire the Word of God alone? To crave to be hidden in Christ rather than noticed? To deliver so many from proud and contentious hearts? To unitedly cry out to God as a church worldwide, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus?" What would cause such united, contrite, earnest prayer as to bring a worldwide revival and usher in the kingdom of God on earth?

I answer those questions with more questions.

What always caused God's people in the Old Testament to cry out to God and be saved, healed from their backsliddings, and then wholeheartedly serve God and begin to prosper? 

Calamities sent by God and affliction at the hand of the heathens, which then caused a renewed fear of God and a return to obedience of the Word of God.

Why did the Spirit baptized church have such explosive growth in the first centuries after Pentecost? The church then spread into all of the known world. 

God used the preaching of Christ and nearly unceasing tremendous persecution, first by the Jews and then by the Romans.

Why did the Reformation have such explosive growth? 

God used the demand for the Word of God and the Inquisition, which meant much persecution.

Why did the Methodists have such Explosive growth? 

God used their radical sacrifice, demand for a return to the purity of the early church as recorded by the Word, and persecution.

What did God use to cause the success of the early Holiness Movement?

Radical self sacrifice and obedience to the Word, the preaching of heart purity and holy living, and reproach and affliction by the rest of the worldly church.

What did God use to cause marvelous growth of the church in China in the last generation?


What is God using to cause a revival in parts of Muslim Africa today?

Persecution.  And God's church worldwide has been praying for decades for revival.

Throughout the history of the church God uses Calamity and Persecution to advance His kingdom. And this always results a greater love of Christ as demonstrated by obedience to His Word and holy living.

God has a remnant around the world are praying fervently for God's kingdom to come to hearts.  The more the church is afflicted, the more earnestly we will pray.  And this will bring to pass even greater spiritual wonders.  
So what will God use to bring about His promise of Holiness Unto The Lord throughout the whole earth?   I believe that God will use such calamities, yea mighty calamities such as never seen before, to take away many tares. And God will use persecution such as never seen before as to purge away dross from the gold.
In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.  And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning." (Isaiah 4:2-4)
And Holiness Unto The Lord shall fill the earth.  What an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will be, of which Pentecost was only the beginning and a foretaste of a much larger ending.
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. (James 5:7)   
He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth... (Psalm 72:6 etc.) 
And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come.  The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts. (Haggai 2:7a, 9)
John Fletcher wrote, "The time certainly is drawing near when universal peace shall bless the earth: when distracted Europe, superstitious Asia, Blind Africa, and America shall more abundantly see the salvation of our God." He also wrote, The coming of Christ is near, even at the door when he will establish his kingdom. He is now sweeping the earth, to plant it with righteousness and true holiness."

Francis Asbury wrote, "We will not give up the cause -- we will not abandon the world to infidels."

Peter Cartwright, in 1856 wrote,
Nothing but the principles of the Bible can save our happy nation or world, and every friend of religion ought to spread the Bible to the utmost of his power and means. Then let us look for the happy end of the universal spread of truth, when all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Nathanael Burwash said that John Wesley's conception of the coming of Christ meant:
the extension of Christ's spiritual kingdom in the hearts of men by individual conversion such as was taking place in his own day. This he expected to go on in still greater power till the world should be regenerated by the saving power of the Gospel which was doing its work in his own time.
Even though different Christians will disagree over when Jesus Christ will be visibly seen on the earth -- whether before this reign of righteousness or at the end of such, we do know that he shall not fail nor be discouraged until he makes Holiness Unto The Lord to fill the earth.
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
And the LORD shall be king over all the earth:
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.  In that day shall there be upon the bells of the houses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD: Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts... (Zechariah 14:1, 9a, 16, 20a, 21a)
But remember, before the living stone which the builders rejected becomes a mountain and fills the whole earth, the rest of the kingdoms of earth have to fall.  And this will likely be a time of great tribulation.   And many will continue to deny Christ.  But happily God will preserve a righteous remnant.  And, pure in heart, look up for your redemption draweth nigh. While waiting on God in your secret chamber, God can hide you and keep you in this terrible time.  (Isaiah 26:20-21)  The nations and empires of the world will shake and crumble, and the stone formed without hands will become a mountain and fill the earth.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to he house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:2-4)
As Wesley put it, this is the "latter day glory" -- that which grows brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. This is "the Grand Pentecost" fully coming, when "all Israel shall be saved and fullness of the Gentiles shall come."

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!  


All Scripture taken from the King James Version.

1 comment:

Sherry L Dickinson said...

This post is encouraging and causes hope for a better day to spring up in my heart. Love, Mom

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