THE CHURCH SLEPT
“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” [Matthew 25:5-6]
1. Church is Christ’s army of militant Saints.
Church was established on the Rock of prophetic revelation of God in Christ, as it is written: “… Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God…for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven…and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” [Matthew 16:16-18] The strategic objective of the Church is to occupy the earth and raise a bountiful harvest of brides in readiness for the return of Jesus Christ. The Lord presented a detailed battle plan to His troops, empowered His Church and charged them, saying: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” [Acts 1:8] The power to occupy and be fruitful on earth was granted on critical condition that the Church; “…Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” [Mark 16:15] Expectedly, legitimacy of Church is tied to the instruction to “go into all the world”. The power of the Holy Ghost is activated with signs when the command is obeyed, as the Bible says: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” [Mark 16:17] Please note, “signs shall follow” meaning the Church is alive and empowered as long as it is on the “go” agenda.
2. The Church slumbered.
Church was born in a blaze of glory, saving souls from city to city and; “…from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” [Acts 20: 20-21] After the apostles went to be with the Lord, vain theologies of “rest and “static growth” crept into the fold, as foretold: “…after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” [Acts 20:29-30] After many years of waiting for the Lord to return the Church slumbered as “grievous wolves”, teaching “gain as godliness”, brought the Church to “rest” from her many battles [1 Timothy 6:5] The Church slipped into the error of Israel in the wilderness where the; “…people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron…and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” [Exodus 32: 3-4] The Church slunk into deep slumber when it stopped going for souls and “sat” to gather gold from the flock in tabernacles of bricks and glass. God sent men in every age to revive the Church, but as soon as they were gone, false preachers lured the people to slumber in religious sects and factions.
3. The Church slept.
Pentecostal revivals of 1940s, stretching to 1960s briefly revived and empowered the Church. By the 1970s, the revival was stifled by bickering and; “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness…” [1 Timothy 6:5] As the fire went out, the flocks developed “itching ears” and as foretold would not; “…endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” [2 Timothy 4:3-4] “Itching ears” soon worsened to deafness and Church went from slumber to deep sleep. The sleeping Church is immune to the love of Truth and ensnared in strong delusion, as it is written: “…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” [2 Thessalonians 2:10-11] Beloved, be not deceived by growing number of parishes and membership explosion, the Church is fast asleep and this generation unmistakably fulfills prophecy, as the Bible says: “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept” [Matthew 25:5] The sleeping Church is rich and increased with goods but naked and wretched before God. Thus says the Lord: “Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” [Revelation 3:17]
4. The “midnight cry” is the final call.
The Church is fast asleep but the “friends” of the Bridegroom are awake to herald His Coming with the “midnight cry”, as the Bible says: “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps” [Matthew 25:6-7] The “friends” of the Bridegroom did not slumber but kept sleep away by knowledge and revelation of prophetic agenda, as it is written: “…I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” [John 15:15] The “midnight cry” is the sharp sickle of the reaper that separates wheat from chaff and wise virgins from foolish virgins. I testify that the “midnight cry” is ringing, loud and clear, in all nations. The Church is stirring to life and the “virgins” are stepping out with their lamps but not all are ready, and when the bridegroom came; “…they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut” [Matthew 25:10] The difference between wise and foolish virgins is “readiness” to be with the Lord. Wise virgins are willing, prepared and ready to lose this world to be with the Lord. Foolish virgins are religious but unduly attached to the present world. Brethren, this is the “midnight cry”; “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” [Hebrews 12:1]
5. Awake and prepare to meet the Lord.
Beloved, now is the time to awake out of slumber. The season of the Gentile Church is fast running out and the Lord shall descend; “…from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” [1 Thessalonians 4:16] I charge you to awake to the urgency of the season, step out of the sleeping Church and prepare to meet the Lord. Whereas you may not have to leave your local parish, you must by all means break the yokes of doctrinal and spiritual slumber and be made ready in the liberty of the Son of God. I witness that this is the “midnight cry” and; “…it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” [Romans 13:11] Let him that has ears listen and take heed to what the Spirit is saying to the Church, as it is written: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” [Revelation 18:4]