In late March I woke with the following phrases in my head: “things are going to change” and “are not going to return to normal”. I shared this and related things with a few friends and the leadership at our local church. Later I posted details on this blog, here.
Earlier I checked the date when I first shared the original “things are going to change” warning with those friends. It was 20th March. I also found that the next day, the 21st was the day on which Australian social distancing rules were introduced, as well as the shutting down of non-essential services, such as bars, pubs, restaurants. Church services were stopped 23rd March onwards.
I am bringing this up again because a few days ago, while in prayer, I heard a warning that greater change is coming and that the church and the majority of Christians aren’t ready for it.
While thinking about this I received clear confirmation of the warning’s validity in a video I watched this morning.* I believe both the warning and the confirmation are valid reflections of what scripture reveals about the times ahead, leading up to the return of the Lord.
Those things are going to happen. The only thing that may be contended is the timing. How close are the predicted Matt 24 events? Even if our current generation is not quite at the Matthew 24 stage, surely it can only be of benefit to act as if the timing of those events were right at our door. In fact that mindset is what Jesus tried to, instill into His followers with several of His parables after His prophetic warnings. (see Matt 24: 36 – 25:13).
Starting to prepare now can only benefit the actual generation that WILL face them – even if it’s not our own. Preparation would be a good legacy to pass on.
One thing that’s been clear to me is that so many in the church are trying to carry on with business as usual. They don’t want to acknowledge the realities of changing times and a changed world. Many oppose and protest against government imposed health related restrictions, crying “persecution” – even though the restrictions have not targeted churches or religious gatherings alone.
Just the suggestion that the inconveniences are “persecution” shows how ill-prepared they would be for REAL hardships, REAL persecution, where at worst lives are at risk, or at best believers are living under the constant threat of imprisonment. And the complete reliance on church buildings and ‘ordained’ ministry makes them extremely vulnerable when attendance of visible church meetings makes them a target; or when those things they are so dependent upon are taken away.
How will they survive without them?
It’s time to start preparing ourselves – and maybe later generations.
* This video is what I saw as confirming the warning I received about coming change and our unpreparedness for it. While some aspects of this talk didn’t resonate with me, I found the majority did. It runs for about 53 minutes and for the most part presents timely instruction.