THE BIG REVEAL: COMING TO A CHURCH NEAR YOU
Imagine the original Pentecost. Imagine the preparation the participants had to go through. The God of the Universe was about to enter their space in an unprecedented manner. Should they not take it seriously?
Most churches don’t. Most ministers don’t. This is just fact. It’s the way it is. It’s the way it’s always been. God is out there somewhere and He has ideas on how to go about things and has even presented all generations since Pentecost with a written record and powerful historical happening as a reference and most Christians pay little or no attention to it.
You think God is concerned about that? How do you feel when you know you have the goods but are not acknowledged as such or welcome? Let’s say you’re really good at something (as most of you are) but next to no one cares about your craft/ability/knowledge or acknowledges it. Imagine, let’s say, a young baseball player who tears it up in high school and has a bright future but for some reason no scouts ever discover the lad or appreciate his talents. Somehow or another he is always under the radar. Let’s say there’s a young woman who has always been wonderfully skilled at art and has many wonderful paintings to her credit but for some reason no one ever notices. These two people have the goods but are effectively invisible.
If we multiply this scenario by some large unknown number we can get a handle on what it’s like to be human in this regard because the given description likely represents untold millions throughout history, especially the further back we go.
Most cultures and societies of the past had a limited understanding of human talent and also no outlets for their expression. Life is usually about survival. Rather than discovering one’s purpose, the higher priority is a tendency toward finding enough to eat and staying alive. For societies that branched out into new fields of endeavor, who showed more appreciation for unacknowledged human talents, say, like the ancient Greeks, additional opportunities arose. They were still limited, of course, and in time gravitated toward greater support for a few to the exclusion of others but at least the door opened wider.
It has only been maybe over the last two centuries or so that greater opportunities have arisen to make allowances for any number of personal giftings and talents. This was based on greater freedom and liberty and those few nations who allowed for freedom and liberty miraculously had a much greater preponderance of new levels of individual expression, inventions, in-depth knowledge on a great many subjects, and even entirely new sciences. Funny how that happened.
Imagine how so many Americans at present make no connection whatsoever between individual liberty and great accomplishments/prosperity. In other words, when the authoritarians, petty tyrants, and world class thieves get off a nation’s back, the people revert once again to living life to the fullest with much joy and peace, a great preponderance of individual accomplishment, and overall prosperity.
This ridiculous turn of events has also happened with regard to Christianity. The Dark Ages began due to evil “Christian” religionists engaging in their version of the following:
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]
The Dark Ages ended because a few brave spiritual giants, notably John Wycliffe in the late 1300s and two centuries later, William Tyndale, decided they would translate the Bible into English and set it free from the prison of Latin. In between those two, Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing press with moveable type. This invention was roughly equivalent to the internet of that day. Biblical knowledge flourished because Bible printing abounded. Christians gained much greater access to the Word of God. Also, literacy increased as did access to historical records. The first few valiant and courageous spiritual pioneers who got it going paid dearly, of course, but later generations were greatly blessed by their priceless efforts.
Later on, when the Lord began adding personal spiritual experiences that matched those of the Early Church it proved the neglected record within the Book of Acts, and consequently, real Christianity came alive. We had a precursor Great Awakening in the 1730s-40s in America that laid the spiritual groundwork for the eventual Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution, and the very creation of this country which proved the Lord was certainly involved. In case you’re wondering, God is always on the side of human freedom. He greatly appreciates it when people think like Him (what are the odds of that?). But notwithstanding the fact that we are all comparative dunces, we can still “think like Him” in general when we apply His attitude toward people. God loves us. He wants us to be free. This is actually the meaning of His Name. His desire that we be free should be obvious with all He has done, but the presence of sin and evil in this world mutes this truth and people either don’t acknowledge Him on purpose or lose sight of Him after childhood.
But the fact remains—God is good. He is great. He is loving. He is powerful. But He is also respectful of our preferences and choices. If people don’t want Him He never forces the issue. He is a gentleman. And for the record, while many people have been rejected and/or treated with indifference to some degree, no one has suffered in this regard as much as the Lord Jesus. Even when He was being led to His death, when so many were jeering and spewing their hatred, He soldiered on in love, looking at the great prize He was about to gain for us all. And it never mattered if only a few would accept His sacrifice on their behalf or if it was only one person. He still would have done it.
After His willingness to give so much, to give everything, why do the majority of those who refer to themselves as Christians refuse to do likewise? Every single Christian should be on his or her face before God pleading with Him for help to be the best he or she can be. We should all be asking for His full Light. We should all want to be real disciples as they were in the beginning. Instead, most want no part of such. They would rather present only a modicum of assent or service and never be inconvenienced. They desire just enough to feel they are okay and no more. Sadly, such Christians find a plurality of “ministers” to help them in their false Christian stance. Such ministers enable their understated rebellion.
Real ministers, however, tell the truth. They point repeatedly and directly to the full teachings of the Lord.
This was the attitude of the original 120 at Pentecost. They gave everything and wanted everything. They refused to settle. Pentecost was the dividing line. Those who crossed that line to the Upper Room experience received all the Lord had for them. These were a mere minority but such is always the case. Spiritually speaking, the “majority” is always wrong. Keep that in mind when trying to figure out why so many churches are dead, dull, and lifeless, or in other words, the very opposite of God and His intentions. There is no or little life in these places because the people there refuse to fully submit to the Lord. Though they have been falsely convinced they are right with God they are actually still uncleansed, still in sin, and still deceived by the evil one. If it were not so they would be filled with the life of the Lord and everyone would know it.
As the current Great Awakening proceeds, there will be a greater distinction between Light and darkness. Just as it is obvious to those who dwell in the light what the darkness is, many more will become aware of this difference. The kid who could play ball will understand that remaining in the wrong place will be a continued detriment to his ability to play. The wonderful young artist who no one appreciates will understand that changing venues will create opportunities. They will leave the dead spaces and venture into the wide open green pastures of freedom and opportunity where their talent can take off and shine. They decide they no longer care about the status quo or saving face, or remaining in a place of societal acceptance though their hearts die within them. They take a chance on God.
This is what the Upper Roomers did. They gave up everything to be in that place. They were rejected by everyone in their lives not there, including family members who didn’t want the truth. They likely lost jobs and professions. Their social standing was gone forever. From henceforth they were known as crazy, strange, weird, and peculiar. The same thing happens when a muted believer leaves the relative darkness and ventures into the fullness of God’s Light. He or she is welcomed with open arms by the Lord and those who dwell there but are castigated by former acquaintances who were only interested in homogenized Christian tradition in opposition to the Lord.
The Big Reveal has arrived. It will increase. Christians on the bubble must make a choice.
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Posted on August 19, 2020, in Current Events and tagged American Churches, Christian Pharisees, Discipleship, Freedom, Liberty, Lord Jesus, Pentecost, The Declaration of Independence, The Great Awakening, Upper Room. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.