CANADA'S TWELVE MOST WANTED ANSWERS TO PRAYER THE CHURCH
As we pray for the Church in Canada this month we come humbly in repentance knowing that we all need God's mercy. I Peter 4:17 gets our attention:
'For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?' (RSV)
Or as the Message version puts it:
'It's judgment time for Christians. We're first in line. If it starts with us, think what it's going to be like for those who refuse God's Message!
Jesus said in Revelation 3:19 : "Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent."
There are many commendable aspects of the Church all over Canada but we must be desperate for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit of God. Isaiah considered this to be a priority in his day because times were critical.
'Tremble, you women who are at ease, shudder, you complacent ones; strip, and make yourselves bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins ... until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest. Isaiah 32:11-15
As the euphoria of our Olympic gold medals begins to fade we find that there is something more precious than gold! We need the fear of God in our lives in the Church then the manifest presence of the Lord will return.
The template for our repentance is found below in the letters of our Lord Jesus to the Seven Churches. These are all very serious contemporary issues. Ponder the scriptures and cry out for yourself, your congregation and the nation.
Ephesus: RETURN TO FIRST LOVE 2:4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
Smyrna: FAITH NOT FEAR 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Pergamum: IDOLATRY, IMMORALITY, CONTROL 2:14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice immorality. 15 So you also have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. (note: The NT Greek for Nicolaitans indicates a powerful control over people. Jesus wants control of His Church.)
Thyatira: WITCHCRAFT & DECEPTION 2:20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her doings; 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.
Sardis: CHURCH IN A COMA 3:1 'I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead. 2 Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. 3 Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent.
Philadelphia: THE HOUR OF TRIAL 3:10 Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. 11 I am coming soon; hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. Laodicea: BE ZEALOUS AND REPENT! 3:15 "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent.
Yours in Christ for Canada, Pastor David Carson Director, Intercessors For Canada