When the Church is sifted at the end of this age, what will remain will be a smaller, yet more powerful band of believers who live in allegiance to unedited, Apostolic truth as given in Scripture, coupled with an abiding in the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. The visible church is wide today. As the end of the age continues to come about, the width will shrink but the depth will increase. I am totally convinced that we will see this, and it will not take a lengthy amount of time to occur before our eyes. This change will take place in the American Church as a result of the catalyst of opposition against biblical Christianity. Trouble for us will breed triumph in us.
Persecution against biblically loyal Christianity will serve to separate the true Church from those who are living on some level as casual professors of faith in Jesus Christ. Those who cling to the traditions of men, which are sourced in the adding to & removing from Scripture, will find that what they prioritized as the substance of their relationship with Jesus Christ will not be sufficient for them to endure what is hurled at them as this age comes to a close. Traditionalists will likely outlast by only a narrow margin those who attached themselves to trendy, americanized, secularized Christianity which was based upon a self-help, feel good message. This cost-you-nothing portrayal of Christianity smiles with a silky-smooth mouth yet has no actual teeth of Truth – it is a biteless belief system. Denominational traditions will be proven as having no enduring power; when persecution hits a region nobody asks if one is a Presbyterian or Pentecostal, Baptist or Brethren, a Mennonite or a Methodist – we find out quickly that our unity is found in Christ himself, and our hope is secured through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Additionally, modern trends which are enthroned in baseless church-growth movements will not be able to survive even the first hour of unbridled persecution against the people of God. Any and all who seek shelter in these two inadequate cisterns of traditions and trends will crumble when fierce opposition is unleashed against believers in our nation. In case you are wondering, Scripture indeed says that violent opposition against Christians everywhere on the planet will be unleashed at the end of this age. We are seeing the labor pains of this occurring now and the full delivery will not be stopped. If it failed to come to pass as God has promised and as the Son of God precisely prophesied, then God could not be God and Jesus could not be Lord. Yet we need not worry: purifying fire will come.
In the end, those who are truly born of God will endure and overcome – this is the testimony of inspired biblical prophecy. These overcomers are the same people who are currently convinced about the claims of Christ upon their lives, and those who will later become convinced as they surrender to the unseen King. If they do not posses proper convictions presently, then it is unlikely that they will have those necessary convictions when the stakes for remaining loyal to Jesus are dramatically raised in America. The coming events against the followers of Jesus will facilitate a purified and powerful Church which operates upon the same two pillars as the first century Church: the Word of God and the manifest power of the Holy Spirit. Everything else will be forcefully taken away or easily abandoned, leaving us only these two enduring essentials. I recommend for all of us not to wait until persecution truly begins to hit the American Church before we abandon ourselves to these two pillars. Nothing less than the empowering Holy Spirit and the everlasting truth of God’s Word will suffice.
And nothing more than these two things is necessary.