Will bad things happen to God’s people?

Our World has undergone many changes in the last couple of years.  Not only is the United States struggling to keep its economy from crashing, the whole word is in jeopardy.  If you watch the unemployment numbers it is not uncommon for nearly one half million of new unemployment fillings a week.  I don’t know how much people actually get the real news now days, but we are not out of the woods yet.  In fact people in government and in finance are saying we are past the point of no return for our country.  I am sure if you simply ask people you know if they know any unemployed people they would say yes.  The Wall Street Journal had an article several months ago citing that one in five males in America are unemployed between the ages of 22 to 54.  They ended the article by saying the jobs are not coming back.

So what response do we see from the church concerning the hardships, bankruptcies, insolvencies and just plain old hard times.  They say we as God’s people will be blessed.  We can give into our new prosperity.  That we are not part of the world’s economy but on God’s economy.  They way they preach it, not one believer should be part of the one in five unemployed the Wall Street Journal spoke of. 

I constantly hear from ministries how God is going to restore to His people what the devil has stolen.  Nobody wants to say, hold on to the seat of your pants.  They want their churches to remain packed and their coffers to remain full.  This is how they judge the success of their ministries.  And nobody can do these two things if they preach the truth.

Christians constantly talk of how God needs to judge the nations and America.  We are shocked that He has let us go on as long as He has, since we have made Him unwelcome in our public places and debates.  At every opportunity our public officials offend Him and discredit His word.

We Christians are the ones who think we defend His word by preaching what we do.  But it is us who discredit His word, because we will not preach the truth.  We cry out to God to punish the wicked yet say bless me, bless me, bless me.

In context of our country’s current condition, I have actually heard from the mouths of men of God, that God will separate out the righteous from the wicked.  Really, this is not what I see in scripture.

“Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary. Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to her: ‘This is what the LORD says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its scabbard and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked.  Because I am going to cut off the righteous and the wicked, my sword will be unsheathed against everyone from south to north.  Then all people will know that I the LORD have drawn my sword from its scabbard; it will not return again.’  “Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief.[1]

God in His judging of His chosen people punished the righteous with the wicked by the sword.  The righteous died right along with the wicked.  They were encamped around by an army that surrounded the city and let them drink their own urine and far worse as scripture tells us.  They will even eat each other.

I will devastate this city and make it an object of scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds.  I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh during the stress of the siege imposed on them by the enemies who seek their lives.’[2]

We today reject this, we instead preach a positive message.  We want people to be uplifted and encouraged when they leave, not warned.  Not told to repent and seek God.  Somehow we have forgotten that judgment begins with the house of God.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?[3]

Why does judgment begin with the house of God?  We are the ones who have filled our hearts with lust for goods and money.  We pursue pleasure and leisure with our full heart and Godliness is far from us.  We have substituted the gospel with an imposter gospel and replaced the evangelist and apostles with ministers of finance, church CEOs.  The so called prophets will not call the people to repentance, instead they speak only lies to the people that God will not judge but bless them.  The pastors have seen to it that the real full five fold ministry in the church will never be, so they will not have to share what they think is their power and authority.  This is why judgment will begin with the house of God.

Therefore in your midst fathers will eat their children, and children will eat their fathers. I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds.  Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your vile images and detestable practices, I myself will withdraw my favor; I will not look on you with pity or spare you.[4]

Are you righteous?  You will be judged with the rest of the house of God.  You will not keep your place.  You will not be left alone.  You may be carried off to exile, but you will not keep your state.

[1] Ezekiel 21:2-6

[2] Jeremiah 19:8-9

[3] 1 Peter 4:17

[4] Ezekiel 5:10-11