What do you think about the Church, the blood-bought Bride of Christ, called to be without spot or blemish? Do you have a sense that something might be missing? Does she resemble the early Church that turned the world upside down (or right side up!), and does she love people as Jesus does? Most important, if her Bridegroom were to return right now, would she be ready to receive Him? My prayerful purpose in writing this is for each of us to humbly examine ourselves.
In December 2018, during a time of prayer, I sensed the Lord say: “I’m hitting the reset button. I’m resetting My churches. They have become programmed. They are loyal to leaders, denominations, and ministries, but not to Me. They have lost their focus. I long to cut the strings and bring freedom. There will be fire, but the fire of My holiness. My remnant cannot be bought. They are marked by obedience to Me and My holiness.”
This was directed specifically to the Church. The Lord was calling for His Church to return to her first love and her former ways. We had drifted and were blissfully unaware.
Right before COVID hit, the Lord kept giving me dreams directed at His Church. These dreams were filled with themes of pride, greed, lust, and the idolatry of spiritual leaders, and even of empty altars. I know the Lord was calling for intercession for the Church because the Bride was unprepared. Not only were we unprepared concerning the pandemic, but we were also spiritually unprepared as the Bride of Christ.
When 2020 came, the pandemic exposed the Church. We were not loving one another. Instead, we were divided against and fighting each other over anything and everything. Many abandoned fellowship, even after the restrictions were lifted. We were unrecognizable.
I hadn’t thought much else of what the Lord spoke about the reset, until recently, while enjoying a late dinner with two dear friends. I heard three different stories that grieved my heart about Christians just like us.
First, one friend was waiting for a Christian concert to begin at a church. An elderly man came in and sat down in a row in front of her. He began scrolling nude pictures on his phone. Yes, while sitting in a church. In shock, the woman tapped him, and he put his phone away. Throughout the concert, this same man lifted his hands in worship as if nothing had ever happened.
Second, a friend went to a restaurant on a Sunday. The waiter began to tell her that he and the other staff dreaded serving Christians after church. “They are the worst,” he said. “They are rude, and they don’t tip.” (She humbly apologized for the way he and his coworkers had been treated by Christians.)
Finally, another friend shared that a prominent female minister held a conference in her city. Normally, the minister is bombarded by people afterward, those who want something from her. (My friend, who attended the conference, brought the woman water without expecting anything in return. The woman was moved by that simple act of service, with no motives.)
These were just a few stories, imagine how many more there are like this. These stories reveal the condition of the Bride of Christ. Impure. Rude. Self-seeking. Oblivious.
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT).
As Christians, we bear the name of Christ. We are His representatives. How was Christ represented in those three stories? And before we get extra judgy, as we might tend to do, let’s ask ourselves, “How am I presenting Jesus to those who know me and those who don’t?”
Some may think the things that happen in church are a trivial matter, but this should matter to us because it matters to Jesus.
Seven churches in Asia received letters from the Lord. Six of those churches received both commendation and rebuke, except for the church of Philadelphia.
Ephesus abandoned her first love. Pergamum allowed the teaching of Balaam into her church. Balaam was a soothsayer parading as a prophet. Balaam was a stumbling block to God’s people — when he couldn’t curse them, he enticed them to commit sexual sins. Thyatira was rebuked for letting Jezebel lead people astray into idolatry and sexual immorality. Sardis was guilty of being a great pretender. She had a reputation for being alive, but the Lord said she was dead. Wake up Sardis! Laodicea was the lukewarm church that couldn’t make up her mind if she was in or out for Jesus (see Revelations 2 and 3).
Does any of this sound like modern-day churches? These issues that plagued the first-century churches are present in the Body today. Are we lukewarm? We love Jesus, but we love what the world offers too. Are we doing lip service on Sundays and living fruitless, disobedient lives all the other days? Have we been deceived by Jezebel and her prophets? Have we gone the way of Balaam’s greed, idolatry, and immorality? Have we abandoned our first love? Do we honestly love Jesus and people as we used to?
IFA readers know about the globalist “Great Reset” and draconian plans for our nation and the world. Our attention has been completely drawn to the idea of a reset in connection to governmental tyranny. But what if the Lord wants a reset for His Church so that we repent and return to our first love, becoming the Church in words and deeds?
My son and I love to read the Book of Acts together. When he reads about these wild miracles and stories of 3,000 people saved as a result of one man’s preaching, he says, “I wish I could do that.” I’ve told him, just as I’m telling you, “You can do everything that’s written in that book, because the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, the same Spirit that the disciples received, is in You.”
It’s that simple, but we tend to complicate things by adding our formulas and theories of how the Church should be.
Jesus only said what He heard His Father say, and did what He saw His Father do. The apostles never had programs or formulas, they only did what they saw Jesus do. If we are willing to lay down our ways and notions and do it His way, then we can do it too. We can have the same impact as the early Church.
God wants to “reset” the Church and let the fire of His holiness transform us. Why not let Him have His way?
Please post a comment with your prayer for the Church below.
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IFA contributing writer Gloria Robles is a passionate intercessor with a prophetic voice for today. For more from Gloria, go to Spotify or Anchor and listen to her podcast, Something To Share. Photo Credit: Intercessors for America. Photo Credit: Daniel Tseng on Unsplash.