Monday, February 10, 2014

Unless a seed dies.. Death and new Birth

The book of Ecclesiastics  has a passage in it.   Chapter 3 Verse 2
"A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest".

It talks in the context about phases.  Timing.  Everything has it's time.

Jesus talked about the necessity of death for birth to come.
 "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels--a plentiful harvest of new lives". John 12:24

I know the context, but the meaning is true beyond what Jesus was talking about, His death and Resurrection.

Pastor Phil Ressler once said something that stunned me. It was immediately true, but it had significance beyond my thinking.   He said that the Church he was serving wouldn't always be there, that he wouldn't always be the Pastor, that the USA wouldn't always be a nation.  That kingdoms and nations rise and fall.  And so do institutions.  He was preaching on the impermanence of our temporal existence.

Contrast that to our belief in the past.  A nostalgia trap that all of us fall into.  I fall into it all the time. Good old days. Back in the day.  Remember when.  It's not unusual as we get older.  We live in the past.  It's not bad, and there is a reason, we can measure where we are in comparison to where we came from.  Age (of which I am becoming very acquainted) has a way of amplifying the past.  Yet even age demonstrates a passing of years that eventually leads to death.  So far almost 100% of us will die. 

Where this becomes problematic is when we begin to worship the past. Long for the past.  Mourn for the past.  You can't go back, you can only prepare for the days to come.  Unfortunately for many people the days to come will be hard because of the past... there will be change and all change is felt as a loss, even if there is gain.

There are things, institutions, situations, that are going to die.  They will be mourned.  Father will say, "forget what lies behind, press on toward the high calling to which I have called you".

Moves of God, Denominations, Churches, New Ideas, Revivals, Outpourings have charms and wonder that causes those so involved to long for those good days.  If I rehearsed them here many of you might say, "YES" I remember those days.  I have old quartet records. I have the full Maranatha Scripture Songs set.  I was part of the tail end of the Jesus Movement.  I remember the PTL early days.  I Loved the outpouring of Laughter that came. Toronto, Pensacola and Lakeland were wonderful.  I remember the moving communion services we used to have.  Lots of memories... but they are ghosts of the past.  My past.  Maybe some of yours. Living there is meaningless.

The prime duty of the People of God is to figure out what God is doing and cooperate with him.  I have his word on this.  Behold (He said) I do a new thing.

I have been excited to be part of the New Apostolic Reformation.  Apostles Prophets and full five fold.  Deliverance.  The Prophetic. It's wonderful... but that will someday be past.... history.

Father's intention is to not allow this generation to be lost.  And right now it is being lost.  MOST young people and in particular most politically liberal young people NEVER EVER darken a church door and won't.  I don't care what you do or don't do.  They are not coming.  If they are liberal in their social and political viewpoints and if they are between the ages of 18-34 they are never going to be reached for the Kingdom using what was.  

The church as you knew it is old, dying and about to fall off the edge of the earth.  The people we thought might be the next generation aren't there.  Think of that, we have a whole generation of people half of which consider themselves politically liberal and socially tolerant (think same sex marriage and pro abortion).  They voted for the Current President with great enthusiasm.

The fact is they are spiritually adrift and what is more important is, they know it.  They need something.  They toy with atheism, but it doesn't satisfy.  The God shaped hole is still there.  They have tried all the pleasures of man... and are still empty.  

Sin has taken a terrible toll.  They are lost.  They are empty.  They know something is wrong.  Yet, the seed they need must die and be born again.  We have to put to death the useless instruments we used in the past.  They not only no longer work, they are no longer effective even at a minimal level.

Sure you can build a church but the vast majority of your members will simply be uprooted and replanted in your fellowship.   IF were are going to have true awakening.  True revival.  We are going to need to have something new.  I hear Father's heart.  He wants us to forget what lies behind.  He is calling the Church higher.  I know it.  I can hear the drumbeat.

Being born again is not just for the lost, it is also for those who have lost their way in doing what Jesus instructed us to do.  Make disciples.

Here's what must be done.  Begin to question everything we ever did.  There is only one eternal truth and that is the Word of God and He who is... dwelling among us.  Denominations, moves, nations, currencies, people, leaders, books, music will all pass away... but HIS Word will go on .... FOREVER.

I listened while driving home from a meeting last night to a radio station I almost never listen to.  WMBI.  The moody christian radio station in our area.  I won't identify the speakers.  I listened to two of them, until I couldn't any more.  Both men are well known radio preachers.  While what they were preaching was OK (if unmoving) I only heard a death rattle.  Those days are gone forever.  We already are seeing the death of Christian TV.  

What is about to come will be so new, so stirring, such a departure such that people will question if it is of God.  Is it Biblical. That is always the question.  This next new move will be hated by many.  It will signal the death of what they were doing.  What they pinned their hopes on.  I stopped at a huge church building near my home.  It was built as an outreach center to a city near us.  HUGE.  It will seat 2500 on the main floor.  On a main highway.  Parking for 500 cars.  Their average attendance is 120.  They are about to lose the building.  It will either remain vacant or some other church will buy it... and maybe they make it or maybe they don't.  It all depends on getting in line with what God is about to do... and cooperating with him.

It is death.  IF that leader is wise, he will step back, take stock of what he has done and  figure out where God is headed now.  He will not that any are lost.  Will we cooperate with him and become the MOVE or will we curse the light because we love the darkness in which we remain.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was a wonderful Exhortation ! :)