I tell you, this isn’t the church that Jesus Christ is coming back to take as his bride. This postmodern, materialistic, flesh-driven institution has grown old and corrupt. And it’s in the throes of death even now.
Many young pastors all over the world sense this. They’re fed up with the old thing, with its bickering and denominational infighting. They want nothing to do with it. They’ve rejected the drive for bigness and notoriety. Instead, they’re turning back to the centrality of Christ, back to seeking God, back to hungering for truth. And they sense a fresh new work in the air.
What is the new thing that God is doing in his church?
“Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isaiah 42:9).
God is about to do a new thing. And this new work will be so glorious, it’s going to cause his people to praise him like never before: “Sing to the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, you that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof” (42:10). God is telling us, “Let all my people worldwide sing my praises. Let me hear a new song from the sailors at sea, from people in every nation, from all the lands of the earth.”
We know that in these last days, Satan is coming down to earth in a fierce rage (see Revelation 12:12). He’s full of great wrath because he knows his time is short. And he’s going to send forth a flood of iniquity on the church. But God declares, “Let my people know the Lion of Judah is coming down, with all the power of heaven. The Redeemer is coming to Zion!”
Don’t think for a minute that God will allow Satan to take control of his church and ravage his children. The gates of hell will not prevail against Christ’s body. And I believe the Lord is on his way to Zion right now to visit his people.
The Church was never birthed to be a subculture, but a counterculture.
Just as he did with Sodom, the Lord is coming to purge. And this time of purging will begin with his church. Right now, the Lord is beginning to burn up the chaff in his house. And he’s going to do a new thing. Scripture tells us, “The Lord will go forward as a mighty man, he will stir up jealousy like a man of war: he will cry, yea, roar; he will prevail against his enemies” (Isaiah 42:13).
Our Lord is in a jealous state over his church right now, and here is his jealous cry: “I have for a long time held my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once” (42:14).
What does this mean? Why would Jesus cry like a woman in travail? The Lord is telling us he’s about to give birth to something new. While Satan is on the rampage, deceiving multitudes, God is telling his people, “A new, holy thing is being birthed under Satan’s nose. This is one church he can’t deceive. It is the prevailing church that’s without spot or wrinkle.”
Up to now, the Lord has been silent. He has restrained his anger while false doctrines, false prophets, and wolves in sheep’s clothing have shipwrecked multitudes in Christ’s body.
“Shepherds have turned my house into a den of iniquity.”
“Materialistic leaders have corrupted my church all over the world with abominable doctrines.”
“I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools…. They will be turned back, they will be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods” (Isaiah 42:15, 17).
This is the new thing God is doing in his church. He’s saying, “I will destroy and devour every ministry that’s of flesh, hype and materialism. And I’m going to raise up shepherds after my own heart, faithful servants who know me. I will destroy all false gospels, and confuse and put to shame every false teacher.
He won’t forsake those millions of sincere people who were deluded by false doctrines. They didn’t know better. And now they’re going to hear His pure gospel. When they do, they’ll repent and be ashamed of the shallow, frivolous gospel that led them astray. He is going to lead them into truth.