Hello, empty church. Today I am taking a little different approach. Rather than some off-the-wall current event inspiring this post, the book of Daniel is the inspiration. After all, the Empty Church doesn’t want to be like some Osteenian megachurch that preaches from People magazine. The future of such temples of apostasy doesn’t look too bright.
Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said to them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not you serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if you be ready that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if you worship not, you shall be cast the same hour into the middle of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.
Daniel 3:13-18 (AKJV)
I’d like to think that on occasion, God speaks to me, if only to tell me that He’s still there and in charge of everything. For what it’s worth, when I read the above scripture today, I felt that God was speaking to me. I’m always reluctant to say that, so if what I’m about to say ends up being incorrect, then obviously I was wrong, and in this case at least, God was not speaking to me. But I don’t think I’m wrong.
Persecution against the American church is underway. When an evil government can compel a Christian couple to pay $135,000 to a couple of lesbians for refusing to bake their “wedding” cake–that’s persecution, albeit only one of its many, many possible incarnations. This persecution will only grow. As a consequence, the true church will very soon be driven underground, but not to worry: there will still be plenty of churches open, even under the antichrist world system. Apostate churches will not only be tolerated, they will also be touted and promoted as they propagate their apostate message and false gospel.
As the apostasy gains momentum, we will see the reversal of good and evil reach absurd proportions. No longer will immorality, greed, and dishonesty be challenged with the threat of eternal hellfire. The only sin that the apostate church will deem worthy of eternal damnation will be the “sin” of intolerance. Homosexuality will not be preached against as a sin worthy of hellfire; intolerance of homosexuality will. “Hateful” preaching (i.e. preaching the truth, preaching against sin, preaching repentance and holiness, etc.) will be preached against. “Hateful” preachers will be shouted down and silenced. Their intolerance will be damned by the apostate ear-ticklers of the megachurches and the feel-good, prosperity television preachers. And if they won’t be silenced, they will be persecuted even more intensely, up to and including martyrdom.
Homosexuality is the image of gold set before Christ’s faithful for worship, and those who will not bend their knee to this idol will be made to suffer. Homosexuality has become the lightning rod that will attract persecution to the true church and divert persecution from the apostate church. There may well be others causes, but this is the master stroke against the church. This is the beginning of tribulations.