Which Side is the Winning Side
Jesus never gave the
impression that there would be great numbers of followers. In Matthew 5 where he
first began to teach his doctrine, blessing or happiness comes with pain,
suffering and poverty. In the next few chapters he compared his expectations
with the expectations of life. His is more difficult. He refers to quotations of
the law, and exemplifies them with the phrase, “but I say unto you.” The early
period of his ministry was devoted to the discipling of his disciples and the
introduction of his kingdom. As he began to enact miracles and heal, the crowds
began to show up. He fed over 5000 people at least twice as his ministry took
form. He himself knew and said that the multitudes followed not for the doctrine
but for the food. The crowd becomes a mob depending on the inertia. In John 6
where I believe the winds changed, seventy or more disciples walked away shaking
their heads. He asked the twelve if they were going to leave also. The answer
Peter gave in John 6:68, 69 probably had the same source as the one in Matthew
16:16. At any rate the disciples obediently followed him ultimately into the
ultimate setup. Judas sold him out, because he was a traitor. (Not because he
knew something the others didn’t.) The others however saved their own skin when
Jesus was led away.
The witnesses of his resurrection rebounded in
fervor and faith and they multiplied as the Holy Spirit indwelt.
Prior to the persecution complexities the Church at Jerusalem exploded. By the
time Saul came on the scene believers had seen the truth and were willingly
giving their lives for Jesus Christ. As the numbers of believers increased, the
severity of persecution increased. Jesus had warned his followers that because
the world hated him then the world would hate us. That hatred rises in relation
to our fervency for the faith of Jesus Christ. The more Christians do and say
what Jesus said to do and say, the more bold the persecutors react. Jesus left
no doubt that the end times would show the increase of the falling away. Seven
Churches in Revelation 2 & 3 depict the path of Churches to where we find
ourselves swamped in Laodicean Christianity.
This is where we come
to the point of this column.
Any student of the history of
Christianity knows that around the world in the last 2000 years, there has been
revivals and after the revivals slow decay. Great Britain flourished after the
end of the inquisition and as true light flooded that part of the world. The
Gospel was sent virtually to the uttermost part of the earth and was carried to
a new continent where the light took hold and literally developed a new
What happened to the light in Europe? Why did flourishing
Churches begin to dry up and die. Today there are only empty shells of buildings
that once housed congregations of believers. Missionaries are now going back to
the old world and praising the Lord when they are able to purchase one of those
old forts of the faith.
Is it possible that the current bastion of the
faith will also see the decay of the truth. If the Lord tarries, will we have to
watch while evangelism is replaced with a dead gospel. False messages and false
messengers are being turned to by crowds. Feel good religion and a prosperity
gospel is replacing truth.
Those of us who are saying, “to whom
else can we go.” are seen as diehards. Filth saturates our entertainment
industry. Sodomy is being given rights, while family is being degraded and
despised. Abortion is ok now since we need the results for stem cell research.
The anti-Christian religion of Islam is being courted by our country’s
politicians, media and the one world church having no idea that the religion
itself is instigating terrorism throughout the whole world. In all this Christ
is still the winner.