In Search of the
“Last Days Church”
Table of Contents
The purpose of this book is to get you to think about something completely new. If we are living in the “last days,” is it business as usual as far as the church is concerned or does God want to do something more? Let’s forget for a moment everything we know, all of our opinions and predilections, and ask ourselves, does God want to do something different in the end times? Let's take a fresh look at what the Bible says.
For the past two thousand years, Christians have been looking for the ideal “church”. Culture, preference and history have resulted in many different expressions of the church – some genuine and some such horrid mixtures as to hardly be recognizable as “Christian.” Today, debate flourishes as to the best form, organization, programming, way of meeting, etc.
Some like the big formal church, with pomp and circumstance, and a rich history in ritual. Some like the old fashioned hymns and others the choruses or even the “hard rock” of the latest generation. Churches come in all kinds of shapes and sizes from huge cathedrals, to mega-church sprawling compounds, to cute little country churches with steeples, to simple meetings in homes. Church organizations vary from complex hierarchies of Popes, priests, bishops, pastors, senior pastors, youth pastors and so on, to autonomous churches, to little groups with no noticeable organization. Services range from beautiful extravaganzas with eloquent music and messages to simple gatherings in homes.
Theologians down through the centuries have argued for different forms of worship, organization or church government. Every generation seeks to mold the church to their culture and style. Some purists diligently seek the Scriptures to find out what the pattern was for the “early church” and seek to emulate it.
Today in America, once a person becomes a Christian, they either stay in the church they were saved in or they go on a search for the “church” that meets their concept, temperament and needs. Some like strong leadership while others prefer a more democratic/congregational approach. Some look for specific programs, interest groups or youth programs. Some like to be entertained while others like to participate. Some churches have two services – one for the younger tastes and another for the old fogies.
Central city churches tend to
age while suburban churches flourish.
Some Christians stay in a church until they die. Others tend to float from one church to the
next, seeking many things: a pastor with a better message, programs for their
The question isn’t whether the institutional church is good, bad or indifferent. The question isn’t whether there are real brothers and sisters in churches today. Of course there are. Scriptures tell us that there are overcomers in all seven of the churches in Revelation (which more or less encompasses all of them – more on this later). More than likely, you are in one of those seven churches. The question is, will you be able to stay there in the face of a greater falling away and apostasy? Should you be doing something today to be ready for what may happen in the near future?
My prayer is that you will enter into a time of fresh discovery with the Lord in terms of His plan for your life and that this will help you along that road. At least half the Bible deals with “end times” prophesy which culminates in the Book of Revelation which was written to the church. Seven times in Revelation 2 and 3, we hear the same admonition:
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying
to the churches.”
We don’t need our “ears tickled”. We need to be challenged to get out of our comfort zone and ask the hard questions. If the Bible tells us that in the last days, Christians will fall away from the faith, what should we do? What should we do in our relationship with other Christians? With Churches? Does God have something for us that may be different than what we have been doing? What will conditions be like in the last days for the “end times” Christian?
One final thing you all need to know is that I am not telling anyone what to do. You need to hear His voice and do what He tells you to do. Listen to no man, but listen to Him. The stakes are high. Many will be deceived, even the elect. There will be a falling away – not there “may be” a falling away. No, there will be one, and brother will turn against brother and mother against daughter, and they will give up those they love to the religious leaders thinking they are doing God a favor. (Matthew 10:21) These aren’t my words and I’m not making it up!
In the coming chapters we will look at the conditions the “last days" Christian can expect. We will consider the seven letters to the seven churches and then we will look at the issues facing the “last days” Christian and what we can do about it. My desire is that this book will lead you to pray and look to the Lord as to what He would have you do.