I am deeply concerned about the spiritual state of the Church in our times. While there is evidence that God is working in a few places, there is also a general apathy toward the authority of Scripture and the Holy Spirit. The Church is not devoting itself as it did at the beginning (Acts 2:42), neither is it fulfilling its mission of reaching the “ends of the earth” (1:8) with the Gospel.
Paul felt this same concern in his day. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart (to abandon) from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:1–3).
Do we really believe the Spirit can speak “expressly” or “state in clear explicit terms” what our true condition is before God? I fear that we have lost both the desire or the passion to hear Him speak because we do not know to hear what He would say about our condition. If the conditions Paul warned Timothy about were as real as the are stated in the verses above, you can be certain that there are persons today who “depart (to abandon) from the faith.” How this is being done today will be different depending on the area of the world and culture.
If we do not discern these conditions and use God’s Word to address them, it means we are allowing these influences to take residence among us in our churches. These deceiving spirits are intent on weakening the conscience and biblical foundation of believers, particularly leaders who should know the truth. Instead of the Church maturing and fulfilling its mission, we hinder the Spirit from carrying out His purpose in us.
What must we do? REPENT and RETURN TO THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. Ask him to restore our hearts to be able again to hear His voice.
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