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April 13, 2020

 

Major Repairs Underway

My Dear Friend,

     As the present COVID-19 crisis continues, our minds are turning naturally to the "Why, Lord?" question. Here are some thoughts which may help us. I believe major repairs are underway.

     When our automobile engines are not running well, we take them to mechanics who, after diagnostic tests, dissemble them, repair them, and then reassemble them. Then our vehicles perform as designed.

     When older homes are in ill repair, renovators sometimes buy them. Three steps then follow. First, the previous residents vacate the premises. Second, the building is gutted, rewired, replumbed, and redecorated. Third, it is then reoccupied and used as the renovators designed.

     When Israel's temple wasn't being used properly, but was filled with abominable idols, God's prophets first called for repentance. When their efforts failed, God took drastic measures, sending the Babylonians to utterly dismantle His temple. Seventy years after this disassembly, God released Israel's remnant to begin reassembling their temple. They then resumed worship as He designed it - idol free!

     Apparently, God has something like this in mind for us. Previous to this crisis the American church has been, generally speaking, Laodicean in spirit: lukewarm, self-centered, blind, boastful, self-sufficient, and materialistically rich but spiritually poor. Blunt though they are, these are the facts (Revelation 3:18).

     Too many preachers have been motivated by collections rather than convictions. Too many congregants have demanded something pleasing instead of something true. Too often we've conformed to this world rather than God's Word. Too often we've aimed to please sinners instead of our Savior. Too many of our houses of prayer have become houses of programs.

     The faithful pastors, teachers, and prophets speaking out about all this have been generally rejected and their voices silenced. So God now is stepping in. A major disassembly is underway. The master Carpenter is renovating His house. The temple Designer is purging His holy place of idols. Our spiritual engines are being overhauled. Why?

     The "engine" of our Christian life - a heart that's utterly devoted to Jesus, passionately loves His Word, and is willing to follow Him even if it means suffering - has not been running as designed. Our "houses" - the local bodies of believers created to be inhabited by the Spirit, fruit, and gifts of the Living God (Ephesians 2:19-22) - have fallen into spiritual disrepair. Our central "temple" - the corporate body of Christ, the holy shrine where God alone is to be worshiped and no other trusted in or loved in His stead - has become filled with idols: covetousness, pride, pleasure, lusts of the flesh, consumer goods, nationalism, and that great, modern-day Baal, Self!

     When this extended break ends, and it will, things will be different. Exactly how I dare not presume to say conclusively. But here are some likely changes.

     We will "do church" differently - not to satisfy a religious habit but to have a real, life-sustaining encounter with God. Pastors and teachers will minister with a different aim - not to build religious organizations, increase numbers, or receive compliments for themselves but to cleanse and prepare a bride for Jesus. Believers will come for different reasons - not to spectate but to participate, to give God His due worship, receive directions and corrections from Him, and change to His liking. Preaching and prophecy will be different - messages will no more be what we want to hear but what we need to hear. We will gather in a different spirit - not casually but seriously, not with joviality but with holy focus, realizing our very lives depend on the bread of the Word, watering of the Spirit, time in God's presence, and fellowship of other believers we receive there.

     Whatever changes occur, they will not be our ways reinvented but New Testament ways revived in these last days. The Spirit will lead the way, the Son will again be the Head, the church will be His body, and the Father will again be well pleased. But one question looms: Will you, will I, be ready?

     That depends on how we use this time. Let us use it well. Let every pastor seek God's face as never before - not just in prayer and worship but hungrily searching His Word. Let every congregant search his (or her) life as never before - testing his spirit, motives, and ways by God's Word daily just as earnestly as millions are receiving testing daily for COVID-19.

     Now that I've preached, let me prophesy. Please give your full attention: not every pastor, not every believer, not every assembly, not every denomination will receive the major divine repairs currently underway. But many will! This present disassembly will be followed by a major reassembly.

     Many hearts will emerge from this correction running well, as designed, refilled with hot devotion to Jesus and a fresh refilling of the oil of His Spirit. Many local houses of God will be successfully replumbed with God's Word, rewired with His power, redecorated with the beauty of Christ's nature, and repopulated with hungry-hearted, truly worshiping, eagerly serving disciples of Christ. And the central temple of God - the corporate body of Christ - will be purged of the rival gods that have long grieved the Spirit and re-indwelt by the glory of the Lord. Before the church leaves this world, "They shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God" upon us, in us, and through us (Isaiah 35:2). This is coming. Believe it. Get ready.

Repairing, and preparing, for the coming glory,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645