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The State of the Church

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  • The State of the Church

    The State of the Church, by Pietro Arnese

    "...Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes,
    will He find (the) faith on the earth?"

    Luke 18:8

    This hypothetical question that the Lord Jesus Christ made to His disciples has always puzzled me, having been raised on a "Faith Church". Why was the Lord displaying such a "negative" attitude? Did He not have any confidence in the people and in the "movement" He was founding?

    The answer to my questions came a few years ago, after I unsubscribed to the "Faith Movement" and began to look at things from a different angle. At that point, I realized that the Lord was instead displaying profound prophetic wisdom in foreseeing the condition of His Church prior to His Return.

    While to some, the Church today may appear to be in power and glory, in reality she is quite miserable, apostasying and seemingly proud of it. In these last years, very disturbing doctrines and practices have infiltrated the Church, and in many cases have displaced or outright replaced the sound doctrine once taught.

    Why is this happening and why the Church at large is not aware or doesn't seem to care, or even attacks those who point these things out isn't really a mystery.

    Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart
    from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines
    of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy,
    having their own conscience
    seared with a hot iron.
    1Tim. 4:1,2

    While this is the key to understand that these events "must take place" as it is written, it is disconcerting to discover that they are happening before our eyes. Most mainline Christian denominations have been dead for years, - (some for centuries) - retaining only an outward appearance of religiosity. The real problem lies though, within the Evangelical and Pentecostal groups, which were maybe the only front line "troops" serving the Lord, with missionary zeal, courage and uncompromising stance. Sadly the bright hopes have dimmed or vanished altogether. Oh yes, there are those who are still making big plans, like "taking Christian TV to the whole world", and for what purpose, may I ask? Television is probably the most subtle enemy of Christians, and "Christian TV" is it even more so, since it fosters upon trusting and unsuspecting viewers all kinds of deviant behavior and false doctrines, under the Christian cover. "Christian TV" has become just plain showbiz and a moneymaking machine for its owners. (This editor knows what he is talking about, having worked for the self-billed "largest Christian Television network."

    There is something drastically wrong when Christians need to be continually entertained. In recent years, a whole new industry has arisen just to provide "Christian entertainment", and as all businesses must continuously dish out new products to satisfy its voracious public's never-ending appetite. When our teenagers' only idea of service to the Lord is to play in a "Christian rock band," something is wrong. When believers need psychologists and psychiatrists instead of taking their problems in prayer to the Lord or to their pastors, something is wrong. When believers need carnal manifestations and do "carpet time" instead of prayer time or going out witnessing, something is wrong.

    Christians have become the most irresponsible group of people on earth, in light of the grace that God has poured upon them. Many are going so way out that their faith in Christ is in shambles, or has changed into something warped and strange which has no connection at all to the "original," or it has completely disappeared.

    "The" Apostasy is going on and that doesn't seem to bother many. The return of the Lord Jesus Christ is not being thought and proclaimed any longer, with some notable exceptions. "Christians" feel at home in this world, and do not show interest in the coming Kingdom of God. They are living in artificial paradises of their own making but they are in for a shocking awakening. The Words of the Lord come to mind:

    Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
    Matt. 7:13,14

    So, certainly these things must come to pass, and the love of many will grow cold, but does it have to happen
    to you?