lament

by Elizabeth de Barros

We are living in funky days. So much pop and fizz, but such little substance. So much talk of grace and signs and wonders, but I’m uncomfortable. There’s something crucial missing. Have we forgotten what the Bible says about His coming wrath? What about the great falling away and the man of lawlessness? Who’s preaching about that stuff? No, I’m not some mad prophet who loves God and thinks He barely tolerates me and hates everybody else. And it’s not that I don’t believe in grace. It’s the very thing I’m saved by. Without it, I’d be toast. Grace is what got me here and I’m deeply grateful. But I’m hurting for the lost gospel. I’m pained by what I see.

Across the board, so many Christians are running blind after power — the other thing being exalted in this hour. Has the message of the cross been so disregarded that it’s now being reduced to a single chasing after signs and wonders, healing and miracles? So much fervor, but it is holy?

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Lately, my fervor has driven me to my knees, mourning for the One who is coming back with his angels to judge the living and the dead. I weep before the One who is high and lifted up and demands things of His own. Things like preaching the Word in holiness and awe. Care and forgiveness. Patience and perseverance. A peculiar people submitted to the Spirit and the fear of the Lord. A people who not only pray, but who will watch with Him. This is what brings revival. A people who cry out in repentance. From Genesis to Revelation, the message has always been one of repentance, but I’m afraid people have been changing what it says in the Book.

But Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your Name and cast out devils?

I’m pained over what He will say to those who have lost the way.

“I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, you evildoers.”

Ouch.

Yes, God is love. But He won’t be mocked. As Charles Spurgeon said, “He who does not believe that God will punish sin, will not believe that he will pardon it through the blood of his Son.” Wow. I’m still resting my mind on that one. And yes, God will have a people, but it will be the ekklesia, the “called out ones.” Just because you go to church does not qualify. Saying you are a Christian is not enough. Your many revelations will not excuse your lack of preparation. Remember, it was the wise virgins who stored up oil and got to go to the banquet. The foolish ones were shut out.

Now I will say a most abrupt and unpopular thing. Not all healings and miracles are of God. That’s important to know. Go read the second letter to the Thessalonians. Amazing. Satan performs a believable counterfeit! But God is not impressed, and neither should we be. No matter if you write books about Him, boast to the masses about your third heaven experience or whip out a shiny business card with the title Apostle or Prophet under your name, God is not impressed. As the famed Brit Simon Cowell has been known to say, “Sorry.”

Signs, wonders, tongues, prophecy — all these will cease. In the end, the Lord is coming back for a remnant, a people who reflect His likeness and were willing to suffer for His Name.

Yes, God is pulling out a remnant, folks. But when I think of the word remnant, I think of two words: fabric and remains. As in a leftover piece of fabric that’s worth saving. Not one that’s stained and tattered, ready for the heap. Instead, I imagine it looking more like a seamless piece of shimmering linen unfurled.

And we know, thanks to John’s revelation, shimmering linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.

Let someone do a study on what God considers to be a righteous act. It might surprise.

However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

-Luke 18:8

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