I came across a quote by Leonard Ravenhill that really stirred my spirit:
- “Christianity today is so subnormal that if any Christian began to act like a normal New Testament Christian, he would be considered abnormal.”
It stirred me so much that I have to write this post now. I wanted to take a break and wait until I returned back to the USA from Germany (have to attend a demanding training course for my company), but I feel a real urgency to compose it and post it now.
The crippled Christianity you will find in the average North American church today is nothing compared to the normal Christianity as described in the New Testament. Jesus said that we would do greater works (John 14:12), but we remain powerless.
This becomes of deep concern, because war, that reaches down from the heavenlies, is looming:
- But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. (2 Timothy 3:1 AMP)
Any kind of negativity is forbidden to be spoken from many pulpits. It does not matter if it is truth and that it is rightly dividing the Word of God. Only positive words and motivational speech is allowed. But Jesus told us we are to know the truth and only the truth will set us free (John 8:32). Abraham was reprimanded for not sharing everything about his wife to Abimelech (see Genesis 20). This painted an entirely different picture of who Sarah really was, even though Abraham did not directly lie. The days will soon be upon us when congregants will look at their pastors and say, “Why did you not warn us and prepare us?” Blood will be on theirs hands.
Walk into Joel Osteen’s church then walk into Times Square church. It is like walking into two different worlds. Times Square church preaches the uncompromised Word of God. Oh, you love Joel Osteen’s materials? You think I am a terrible judgmental person? Who am I but a nobody and he is a multi-million dollar very successful Christian writer. Sorry, but the times of playing Christian games is coming to a close. Paul reminds us:
- And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Romans 13:11 KJV)
- Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12 NLT)
Then Jesus reminds us:
- “Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against. ‘Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’ ” (Luke 12:51-53 NLT)
- “Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you.” (John 15:20 NLT)
Missionary Paul Washer reminds us that ‘narrow is the gate’ is his sermon:
I went thru Parris Island and became a United States Marine. Right after I graduated, Congress thought they had to intervene because it had become too brutal. I am glad I went thru what I did because it made me a better soldier. It prepared me for the worst.
I look around me now at so called ‘Christianity’ and I feel a deep sorrow. I can only imagine what Jesus felt like when He cried out over Jerusalem in Luke 13:34. The cancer of preaching the message of ‘becoming a better you’ has become widespread. I appreciate pastors like Gary Wilkerson (David Wilkerson’s son) who are calling Christians to arms (spiritual arms that is). He tells of how many churches do ‘preach the Word’ as they should, but they do not ‘live the Word’. I wonder how many sing on Sunday that they ‘surrender all’, but fail to do so on Monday morning? This is lying to the Lord. Gary Wilkerson shares his heartfelt cry for the Lord’s Church to rise up and His people to be abnormally normal Christians in his last newsletter:
When are people who call themselves ‘Christian’ going to wake up and realize that a ‘Christian’ is someone who has made Jesus Christ the LORD and ruler of their life. That they have died to self. There is no longer ‘becoming a better you’. Very simply, it is not about ‘becoming’ but about ‘total surrender’. Everything we need to know is in the Bible, not a self help book. Oh Christian, wake up! This is the very heart of the Gospel. Please do not try to defend this mentality by saying that when you become a better you, that you actually become a better Christian. The Apostle Paul would say hogwash! Paul is the one who wrote:
- “Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.” (2 Corinthians 11:23-28 NLT)
I came across Watchman Nee’s book ‘The Normal Christian Life’ and I was drawn to the last chapter entitled ‘The Goal of the Gospel’. Here is a quote from that last chapter (14):
What, then, is the secret? Clearly it is this, that in approving Mary’s action at Bethany, the Lord Jesus was laying down one thing as a basis of all service: that you pour out all you have, your very self, unto Him; and if that should be all He allows you to do, that is enough. It is not first of all a question of whether `the poor’ have been helped or not. The first question is: Has the Lord been satisfied?
Here is the PDF of Watchman’s Nee entire book if you want to read it:
Dire days are coming. Even people of the world can feel it. Now is the time to prepare spiritually. Once it hits, it may be too late. Many believe that the time is almost upon us. Days of ease will be gone. We will not be able to ‘play’ Christian any longer. We will have to ‘be’ Christian. Are you ready? Read the following prophecies and then truly examine yourself and see if you are: