“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”
– 2 Timothy 3:1
The discerning Christian observer will notice something dangerously amiss in today’s Christendom. If he looks further, he will see a heavy cloud drifting slowly but surely upon the land. There is little or nothing to signify that the situation will get better. Except the Lord of Sabaoth have mercy and intervene, thick darkness will surely engulf the land and gross darkness the people. But even though what we have in today’s churches is very sad, very sad indeed, compared to the dangers and disasters ahead, it will be a child’s play.
There has never been a time in history that the Church have had it so bad. Not even during the dark ages or Middle Ages. The enemy have studied us and learnt more of our ways. He no longer brings persecutions nor tribulations like he used to. Long ago he learnt that that only make God’s people more faithful and more fervent. He gets little to no results persecuting faithful Christians. His most potent weapon against the Church has not been material prosperity either. As dangerous as physical prosperity may be to the heavenly-bound pilgrim, that may do a damage to a faithful pilgrim’s witness as he becomes ineffective, but the pilgrim often continues on his onward journey.
But in these days and age, there is a palpable lack of fear of the Holy One even among many who call themselves “men of God” or “women of God”. The name of Christ and His Church are being perverted unlike never before.
It is sad and dangerous to have a pew filled with comfortable sinners; but it is a monumental disaster to have pulpits (especially where the Lord once wrought wonders through faithful men) and Church polity being occupied by men and women who have never been to Calvary. Satan has finally been able to unleash his most potent weapon against the Church. He tried it in the Early Church, when he wanted to plant his emissaries, Ananias and Saphira in the upper echelon of Church leadership. But Peter’s spiritual discernment detected the anomaly and the Holy Spirit expunged the blight away from His people. Simon the Sorcerer claimed to have believed and was joined unto Philip. But he was a fraud who believed the miracles but not the Lord Jesus Christ, the doer of the miracle. He was a mere professor, a tinkling cymbal, an opportunist. Had it not been for Peter who discerned that he was a spiritual fraud who is neck-deep “in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity”, he may have been fully accepted and ended up high in a place of influence amongst the saints.
But today’s churches lack discerning leaders. When a lack of the spiritual gift of discernment and the love of filthy lucre or fame are combined, the result is a monumental disaster. The evil eye of the love of money or fame has finally met with lack of spiritual discernment in today’s “men of God”. O the devil now finally has his way in the visible Church! The eye is evil, therefore the “whole body [is now] full of darkness.”
Satan’s ultimate weapon against the Church has been unleashed. While men slept, while Church leaders who ought to be watching over the sheep of God’s pastures were carried away by the shinning lights of this passing world, the devil crept in and has finally planted his Ananias and Saphiras in large numbers, and they are now powerful and influential men deeply entrenched in the churches. The abomination of desolation is everywhere! Men of the occult, sexual immoral, corrupt and sin-laden are now church leaders with backers deep within the church leadership. Satan has hijacked these men and fixed them up deep in the church polity. Ungodly men, who have a form of godliness but denies its power. Men that have eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin. Ungodly men who turned the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ into lasciviousness.
These are the “spots in our feast of charity”, feeding themselves without fear. These are some of our Sunday school teachers! These are the heads of our Missions! These are the heads of our evangelism units! What terror! They have turned God’s heritage into a business venture. They no longer feed the people with the precious Word of Christ, but rather they foam their own shame preaching error and turning the people’s hearts away from Christ; empty but corrupt vessels. “Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withered, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 12-13. Cursed men, who have run greedily after the error of Balaam for a reward.
Peter prophesied about these vain men: “Through covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words.” 2 Pet 2:3. We see them everywhere, bringing reproach to the name and body of Christ. Some even denied the Lord totally by their works. “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Titus 1:16. These men are everywhere like the soldier ants. They have besieged God’s people all over the place. While they are not limited to Nigeria, this country takes the lion’s share.
It is instructive for the blood-bought and blood-washed believer to notice that one of the recurrent themes in all the Gospels and Epistles is a constant and consistent warnings against false prophets and false brethren. Paul never feared death. When Agabus the true prophet rightly prophesied and warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem, Paul still went not fearing the outcome. But O, how Paul dreads false brethren! How he dreads false prophets! Christ warned us against them. James, John, Peter, Jude, every one of them. They wreck the evilest for they pollute and render ineffective the only instrument responsible for bringing the light of the Gospel to the world. Jude’s only epistle was on this very issue to let us know the danger and the need to ever be vigilant against their onslaughts, and to make sure we not just contend, but contend earnestly for the holy faith.
We will be naïve to expect these Satan’s emissaries to be easy to identify. They have transformed themselves into angels of light; they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. O “beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.” 1 Jn 4:1. Any preacher or pastor or deacon or elder or whoever who do not draw our hearts more fervently to Christ and Him crucified is to be fled and turn away from. It does not matter their spiritual gifts, if their lives, tones and tenor do not radiate and exude Christ and warm Christ into our hearts, we must run away from them. We must never allow manifestation of spiritual gifts to becloud us; when Christ led captivity captive, He gave gifts to men even to the rebellious also. Ps 68:18.
A frightening majority of the visible Church has been hijacked. It has been besieged. The barbarians are now at the gate. Today’s Christendom is an anomaly. This is not what Christ died for. It is neither hot nor cold. This is no longer the house where Christ dwelleth, but a corrupt entity setup by those who only use Christ’s name to defraud and overlord themselves over the unwary pilgrims. O see to it that you are not found among these people for your end will be worse than you can imagine.
We should pray for Christendom, but leave the decision to God whether to redeem it or leave it to her corruption. While we pray to God to please arise and let His enemies be scattered, our personal obligation is to see to ourselves that we remain steadfast in the faith, watching and praying always. “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck”.
O believer, while we should be content with what we have (for He has promised He will never leave us nor forsake us), we must never be complacent with our current stature as a believer; we must continually dig deeper in His love, go higher in Him till “an entrance [is] ministered unto [us] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Pet 1:5-11
Grace and mercy be multiplied to all who love the Lord Jesus.