Sunday, June 13, 2010
THE GREAT PLAGUE COMING
THE GREAT PLAGUE COMING
©2010 Narrowgate Publishing
There is a great plague coming, and this terrible day will be such as the Christian church has never seen since its inception on the Day of Pentecost. The churches who claim Christ around the world in most countries will experience a spiritual famine of epic proportions.
“Hear this, you elders; listen all you who live in the land.
Has anything like this ever happened in your days
or in the days of your forefathers?
…wail because of the new wine,
for it has been snatched from your lips.”
This famine will come from the hand of God, not from the hand of God’s enemies. This famine will strip pretence and falsehood away, destroying all that is not of the Lord God Himself, all that is not of Christ, and leaving only the bare ground, drying up the land spiritually, and preparing the remnant of those who cling to Christ through it all for His Coming.
This famine, represented in Joel by the locust army, will destroy the earthly wealth and privileges of Christians who have represented themselves as holy and spiritual because of their wealth. Suddenly, they will have nothing, will be nothing, and only those truly called by God will survive.
Even the crops that appear to have been grown by God will be devastated, eaten by the swarm of insects God sends. The so-called leaders in the churches will despair, and grieve for their former wealth and glory. Those who’ve placed their faith in the outward prosperity of the churches and the forms of religion will lose all their joy, and anything not of Christ will prove to be a lie.
“Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine growers;
Grieve for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest
of the field is destroyed. The vine is dried up
and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm
and the apple tree---all the trees of the field---are dried up.
Surely the joy of mankind is withered away.”
But God, always merciful and loving, not wishing any to perish, will allow repentance for the great sins of His people, and a turning back to Him. In this time of great fruitlessness and despair, some will mourn, gathering with others who truly seek Christ to call upon the Lord.
This will be a time when the large herds of pampered, weak and helpless church people will mill around without leadership, unsure and afraid, and many will fall away even from the tenuous faith they had.
“Has not the food been cut off from our very eyes—
joy and gladness from the house of our God?
…How the cattle moan! The herds mill about because they have no pasture,
even the flocks of sheep are suffering.”
God has called watchmen on the walls of His City to proclaim this day. They will blow the trumpet and sound the alarm. There are those doing this now, and the call is becoming more urgent every day. (Joel 2:1)
The Day of the Lord is not talked about among believers today in most churches. It is not an easy subject for them, as it is not pleasant, and doesn’t make the sheep feel good when they hear about it. So most leaders will ignore it, content to keep their herds and flocks in the easy pastures, and not train them to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ for the hardships ahead.
But the fire comes, and it will devour all not of Christ.
The plague will take many forms.
The plague will be the blackness and darkness of a society brewing sin, drinking the cup of evil, and luring many away with beads and baubles. The plague will be the sadness of loss, with fortunes and security being stolen away by circumstance. The plague will be the worries and cares of this life that choke out the seed of God. The plague will be the comforts of church that disappear, and suddenly the looming hand of persecution and hate threatening status, wealth and position.
“The Lord thunders at the head of His army;
His forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey His command.
The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful.
Who can endure it?”
Yes, contrary to the easy, smooth life with growing prosperity weakly proclaimed from our pulpits, the day of the Lord in this case will be a day of mourning for many who claim the name “Christian”. For the Lord is coming with His disciplines, His mighty army of plague, that will severely test His people.
Yet there is hope! Hope for those who hear the trumpet, who choose Christ, and not religion. Hope for the faithful who will heed the call.
“Blow the trumpet in
, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Zion
Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders,
gather the children, those nursing at the breast…
Let the priests, who minister before the Lord,
weep between the temple porch and the altar.”
Our hope is in the Lord alone, and in our sincere repentance of our sins, which are too many to count. The terrible plague of the Lord may be turned back if we do this.
Our churches and its leaders are infested with hidden sins. Our claim to Christ is, for many, in name only. The Lord God is fed up with our self-focused disobedience to the simple commands of the Lord Jesus, and the complete disregard of His people for one another. He is demanding repentance, and a full return to the “full message of this new life” (Acts 5:20) which is in Christ alone, not in all our man-made religious trappings.
There is no more time for self.
Those who turn to Christ must give up self, and follow Him on the
If we turn and repent, then God will send His Spirit, and the power of Jesus’ resurrection among us as He did when His Spirit first descended upon the early disciples on the Day of Pentecost. Peter, on that day, speaking by the Holy Spirit, called those who would listen out from their evil generation.
“With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them,
‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’”
As Peter called out then from the terrace of the upper room where the disciples were meeting, so I call today. Save yourselves from this corrupt and evil generation, which has compromised and crept into every facet of the churches with its ungodliness and false teaching.
If we repent, the Lord will give us the promised life Christ came to bestow on those who not only claim His Name but obey Him. He will pour out His Spirit upon old and young, and “everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.” (Joel 2:32 and Acts 2:21)
There is a plague coming such as the churches have never seen. The day of the Lord is, for many, going to joyless, dark and full of fear.
But for those who repent, and call others to the same repentance—for those who call upon the Name of the Lord in sincerity and sorrow for the many sins we have committed—for those who have the courage to stand and proclaim the true Word of God in the face of lukewarm, easy, churchy, comfortable falsehood—those will experience the power and love and grace of Christ. Those will find Christ to be their light in darkness, and strength in suffering, and they will stand firm through all the trials and tribulations to be with Him when He comes to claim His own.
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