May 20, 2005


Last December, we all heard about the great and powerful Tsunami that rocked the coasts of India, Sri Lanka, Africa, and many other countries down near the Indian Ocean. Thousands were injured or lost their lives in an instant. The whole earth shook. The devastation is still being talked about. Today I read an article on CNN that this Tsunami Earthquake was the strongest ever recorded and affected the whole planet. Is this the endtime?

There were news broadcasts, inquiries in senate and foreign governments about where were the early warning devices. If they had been in place maybe the loss of life would have been less. Perhaps, but there were also many articles related to the disappearance of birds, even elephants from the areas most affected. Sounds to me like there were warning signs.

In these days of technology, sometimes we overlook the obvious. I also remember hearing that when choppers flew over one island, they were met with a naked man shooting arrows at them to keep them away. It was a primitive place, where they lived on what they knew and didn't want outside influence. And in that place there didn't seem to be as much damage from what we could tell. Not as much littered buildings on the beach, no signs of bodies. Apparently they paid attention to the warning signs they saw.

We hear the reports all the time of global warming, shifts in our ecological balance and as Christians sometimes we ignore those as being of humanistic value or even fodder for the endtime war mongers. We sometimes think of the world as this immoral, ugly place for sinners. We live here too. We are as inept at keeping our world peaceful and clean as anyone else. Don't believe it. Ever get bugged by the lady who presses in front of us at the supermarket and she has more than ten items? Or how about the older man who drives so slow, when we are in such a hurry? Do we get upset?

It is the endtime. There are warning signs everywhere if we pay attention. Wars, well duh, famines, pestilence (thats bugs eating crops), earthquakes in divers places, changes in the enviroment. We can look at the corruption of our politicians, and even those who claim to be religious. And even a new pope? Scary! Yes, I know he doesn't necessarily mean the antichrist is coming soon, but the television shows seem to think so. Oh and I don't want to get started on television. It serves its purpose I suppose, but what is with all this reality junk? Think about it.

In the times of the early persecution of the church, the Roman coliseums were filled to capacity with people watching "Christians" and others no doubt be beaten by gladiators, (hmmm, boxing) and eaten by Lions or being forced to do things against their will. To the victor goes the spoils. Sound like anything you may have seen on TV? Voyeurism? How about now we have cell phones that can take photos and transmit in seconds, to anyone, anyplace? One question. Why?

However, I digress. It does sound very similar to the early church but in a more technological way. We don't have to go anywhere anymore to get our fill of food, entertainment, or even to work. The bible says in the last days "knowledge will be increased."

Get tired of waiting in the fast food line? Does that microwave you bought last year seem to slow to nuke the overcooked prepackaged sodium infused dinner that you got at the local supermarket for a dollar and change? Or how about the length of time it took for this page to load on your high powered pc that you can't live without when mostly what you do is play games or chat. Sound familiar? The bible says in the last days, "for the elects' sake the days shall be shortened."

Shall I go on? Wars, earthquakes, weather patterns, volcanoes. The list could go on and on. Effeminate, trucebreakers, lovers of money, ok now I am being petty right? I mean, things change. Life is different than it used to be. Yes it is. Although the bible does say, "as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the son of man." But party on dude!


(Disclaimer: If you are easily offended, do not read beyond this point, I will make you mad.)

How about we take it to the church. Lets deviate to hem lines. I recently was told by a friend of mine that the former church they attended got a new pastor. Previously, this particular church had all night prayer meetings, four services a week, the pastor was conservative, and no rings were allowed and women were not allowed to wear skirts with slits without sewing them up, and the skirt hem had to be below the knee. Ohmygoodness! The church was holy, and had a reputation for soul winning. A new pastor came in and decided one service a week was enough as the church couldn't afford his salary and the lights, and they had to make a cut somewhere. Oh and also the slits, well, "maybe they aren't so bad." I mean, we live in a progressive era, and contemporary songs, and clothing is easier to come by. Guess where the attendance went. It was great for a couple weeks, but little by little the older people began to drift away, and they took their kids with them.

Now I realize no one likes a pastor who beats his saints over the head, and preaches hellfire every service. And yes sometimes it does appear we are able to reach the "youth" if we get down on their level. However, what does it do over the long term? No one knows. But the bible does say in the last days we will have "preachers having itching ears, preaching what the people want to hear." In the past few years in pentecostal circles we have lost some of what made us who we were. We sing more contemporary songs, we wear nicer clothes, drive fancier cars, live in bigger houses, work more to pay for all these things and miss church more.

Gone are the all night prayer meetings in most places. Gone are the weeks of revival services, anointed music by anoited apostolic musicians who can play the piano, not have to use a karoke sound track. Gone are the burdened for the smaller city with a church that meets in the back of someones converted garage. We watch for the doctors and lawyers, we don't have time for those on welfare, or those barely getting by. We want the rich. Gone is the vision. We are just to busy, and the love of many have waxed cold. Thats bible too.


Jesus said in the last days perilous times would come and that men would become lovers of themself more than lovers of God. We get more wrapped up in the church building program, and the politics of religion than we do in the ministry of the word. I am not saying we need more preaching, but we need more REACHING!

We have gotten to the place where if the songs are not choreographed to match the planned sermon, or if one of the praise singers, or piano player, is missing we feel like God can't move.
God doesn't need a fancy choir. He said to make a joyful noise. It isn't the hours of preparation, but the dedication of the heart. Worship comes not from our intellect but from our soul.

Many churches have the service so timed to be out at a certain time, there isn't even room for God. What happens in your church when there is a tongues going forth? Do you wait for the interpretation or go ahead with your planned announcements? Oh, no! He's rocking the boat.

Absolutlely I am! Jesus gets tired of repetitious worship! No? Read the bible. He called it vain babblings of whited sepulchures. I am not meaning to be angry and mean, but God desires real praise that comes forth from our hearts, not out of some book somewhere. He also requires humbleness of spirit. "A broken and contrite spirit I will not deny."


So what are we to do? There has to be change! The bible says, "when you see these things, look up redemption draweth nigh." There is hope.

I heard a message preached last January about the lost. "When you go after the ones that no one wants you will get the ones everyone wants." So true. Jesus put it another way when he talked about the marriage supper. The master sent out the servants to bring the invited guests to his table. After a while when they didn't show up he sent more servants, and still there were empty seats. One came that had not on the wedding garment, its true. But the wedding garments were laid out, it was easy to find them. The guest refused the garment, and he was made to leave. But then the master sent them out again. "Go into the highways and the byways, bring the halt, the lame, the blind, (those no one wants) that my house may be full."

We used to sing a song "My house is full but my field is empty." So relevant to today isn't it. We wander around not sure what to do with empty pews. Many churches have set aside the scriptures and the way we used to do it in favor of some fancy marketing plan, or program. We work on our building program, talk about how big our church is gonna be some day, when Jesus is standing outside the door to our hearts wondering why we wont let him in?


Yes it is the endtime. Jesus is coming as a thief in the night. He wont have a pre advance marketing campaign on tv and news papers or even the internet. He sent us one before we were even born. He wrote it all down. The Bible! Early warning signs. He told us "go ye into all nations" but he meant go next door and invite a neighbor to church. Also if you notice in the bible, he didn't always speak with thunders and lightnings. He didn't make a lot of noise. Didn't publicize himself. Just went about doing good, and speaking in a still small voice.

SHH! Hear that? Warning Signs! Ready or not here I come!

[Disclaimer: This article is not meant to depict any particular church, pastor, or group. But if you are apostolic or pentecostal, and you feel angry, or offended, or hurt, or discouraged, there is hope. If, it sounds like you or your church, call a fast day, or a good old fashioned round the clock prayer chain. It will make a difference. You can make a difference. Make waves. Elijah did. Paul did. Peter did. Jesus did. God Bless You! Don't lose the vision!]