I woke up at 3am with a tummy ache and decided to read my Bible (ok, my phone Bible app lol). I read 1st, 2nd and 3rd John and was impressed by the personal and relatable message in each of the letters. They were written in obvious love, but had encouragement AND admonishment in them. The truth was written. I started thinking about the state of the church and the world currently and how we could use letters like this. Oddly enough, we HAVE these letters in a bound Book! Duh. But many aren’t even using the Book.
I was thinking about how many churches have been preaching fluffy, self-esteem, follow your dreams, everyone’s going to heaven sermons for years (I know this because I have been to many throughout the country and they were – except for a few – preaching this way)and how my pastor has had it on his heart lately that the “sword is falling.”
This seems harsh to those who may not understand, and I have at times not understood and asked God to stay His hand, give more time, etc. But this morning as I thought about the church and the world as we are seeing it, I had a thought: We are in a threshing season. I believe God in His great mercy and love is using all those churches who have preached feel-good, seeker-friendly messages. I believe they brought in the masses. Although were not really preaching truth and the enemy meant that for evil, God is going to use it for good if they will listen and heed His call.
I believe as my pastor said, that the sword is falling. I believe God is calling leaders of the church(es) to become that sword, or in the same way, a threshing sledge. I believe pastors and even your run-of-the-mill (get it? Threshing? Mill? We’re on a roll here)- believers are the sledge/board and the Word is the double-edged rock/teeth in the sledge (google threshing sledge and you’ll know what I mean). We are called to go into the world and make disciples. We can’t do this without the sword of the spirit which is the Word – a double edged sword (Hebrews 4:12)- working in our own lives.
A threshing sledge is a big board with sharp rocks imbedded in it. The thresher will stand on the board which is flat on one side and a donkey/mule/ox will pull them around on it in circles or back and forth along the wheat stalks that have been harvested. The rocks will bruise the wheat and separate the grain from the stalks (or chaff which later will be burned or blown away by the wind).
I believe the church is being called to become that threshing sledge with double-edged rock. Now, when the truth is spoken in entirety and without fluff, division is going to happen. It will be too harsh for some, will seem judgemental, and will be difficult to deal with. Many will leave the church, many will turn their back on you if you choose to speak the truth unapologetically (even in love). Let them go. Do not get caught up in mourning their leaving. Insults may come, slander may abound, alienation may happen. Stand your ground.
This threshing now is needed. Here’s why: Someday we will all stand before God and give an account for everything we’ve done – good, bad or idle – and none of us will be counted innocent no matter how much good we have done. There is none righteous, not even one. That being said, there will be those who say on that day, “But, God, I cast out demons in your name,” or, “I healed the sick in your name,” or, “I spoke your words,” or, “I prayed sometimes,” or “I helped people all my life.” And still God will say, “I never knew you,” because they never knew the Son – Jesus. To know Him is to love Him and to love Him is to follow His commands. If that’s not you or if that’s not me, then when the day comes to stand before Him, you or I will be separated as the chaff (the fluffy part that has no place with the grain). We will then be separated for eternity from God and be in pain and lonely despair and anguish forever.
Don’t wait and see if that will be you. Let the threshing come now and be found with the grain. The threshing that is happening now is His mercy. The sword that is falling now is His love. It’s God calling us and asking, “Are you for me or against me? There is no inbetween, no lukewarm, no “God and I have an understanding.”
Are you for or against? When the time comes that we all are measured and determined to be grain or chaff in the end, there will be no chance to “get right” or make your excuses. Take the time now to decide where you stand. If you’re not sure, pick up a Bible and read it (1st John and James are great to start with). Measure YOURSELF against it (we are called to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling) and get right NOW. Yes, God is loving and wants everyone to get to be with Him forever, but He also is a just God who cannot allow injustice, sin or darkness into His Presence. Seek God while He may still be found. Choose life today while you still have the chance. Now is the day of salvation. The threshing is happening, the sword is falling, and love is calling. Be the grain, take your stand, answer the call.
Is 41: 15
(Taken from my Facebook page, Posted October, 2018)