By Francis Frangipane
The true church is a child in the womb of God; what the Almighty feels affects us. We absorb into our spiritual DNA the great loves of God; His compassion becomes our compassion. However, what God hates we must not be afraid to also hate, for our thoughts and attitudes must exist in yielded surrender to His own.
I am thinking of Ezekiel. As the Lord showed the prophet Israel's sins, six men appeared, one of whom was told "Go through the midst of the city . . . and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst" (Ezek 9:4). It was important to the Lord to identify those who were united to His heart, who cared more about what He thought than finding acceptance in a godless world around them.
Beloved, there is a great, false tolerance in the church today. Instead of the kingdom of God, we serve a "philosophy" called Christianity. We have learned to live with a deceptive compromise that masquerades as a virtue. If we truly possess godly convictions, there will be times we will be labeled offensive or "extreme." I fear that many of us have so adjusted to living in the midst of sin, that we no longer "sigh and groan" over it.
Perhaps we have felt heartache concerning the sin and injustice of our society, but not knowing what to do, we buried our feelings. Today, we barely hear the whisper of what once was the voice of outrage in our hearts. Even when alone before God, we have become silent concerning our vexation about abortion and child abuse; we have learned to quietly accommodate the multi-leveled invasion of immorality into our society; we have accepted with but a whimper the loss of virginity among our youth.
The Lord continued and said, "strike . . . and do not spare" those who do not mourn. And then He warned, "And you shall start from my sanctuary" (Ezekiel 9:5-6).
Dear pastors, as leaders, we must not be afraid to show our heartache and distress concerning sin in our land, even if we seem out of step with our times. I'm thinking of the ordaining of gay bishops in the Episcopal Church. It is one thing to have mercy on homosexuals, to pray for them with the love of Christ. It is another to sanction homosexuality and put perversion in the pulpit. What kind of example is this? The man of God leads not only by word, but his life is a pattern for young and old alike. Without becoming proud or self-righteous, we must lift our voice to God and, in meekness, defend the truth of God's word.
We are at a crossroads in our nation. The true church must show itself loving, but also uncompromising. Even as we bow to help sinners, we must stand to defend the truth. We cannot give up on our nation. There are some who simply have given up and believe the increasing wickedness is a sign the Second Coming is near. Beloved, we don't know when the Lord will return, but even if I knew He were returning tomorrow, I would not use the anticipation of the rapture as an excuse to stop caring about my nation. I tell you, even when the trumpet sounds, as I rise at the command of God, you will hear me pleading for mercy for America!
Jesus said, "Blessed are those who mourn." If the church today isn't a revelation of the heart of Christ in the earth, if it isn't mourning over wickedness and weeping over the suffering masses, it is only because we have positioned ourselves outside the passions of God.
The Lord said to put "a mark" on the foreheads of "those who sigh." The Hebrew word for the "mark" was the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the "tau." Its symbol was that of a cross without the top, similar to our letter "T." This sign was often used in first-century Christianity as the symbol of the cross. Looking at it from God's eternal perspective, it is as though the Lord had said, "Put a cross on the foreheads of those who grieve over sin."
Consider also that the Book of Revelation declares there will come a time prior to the judgments of tribulation, when the Almighty shall again send forth His angels to seal "the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads" (Rev 7:3). This "seal of the living God" on their foreheads shall identify them during the ensuing plagues. Whatever this mark is, whether it is visible or invisible, it shall become a shield of immunity in the days ahead. Because of the similarities between Ezekiel and John's revelation, I am struck with a question: Is the Spirit of God still seeking to identify those who sigh and groan over the injustices, heartaches and abominations of their land?
Dear friends, let us shake off the intoxication of compromise. Too many of us are entertained by things we should weep over. God destroyed the world during Noah's day because of violence, yet we sit before televisions and in theaters amused by violence. The Lord ultimately destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their twisted morality, yet we do nothing to protest similar perversity entering our lands. A simple letter or email to the sponsors of immoral television shows carries great weight in their decisions concerning what they will pay for; a letter to government officials stating you will not vote for anyone who supports legalized homosexuality or the further degradation of our society can, under the blessing of God, begin to sway elected officials.
I am talking about being alive to the feelings of the God in Whom we dwell. Yes, we should be grateful for all He has done, but let us also break the spell of compromise. We can transform our land and God will help us! He does not want us only to react with outrage, but to turn our anger into intercession and godly action. His desire is that we reconnect with the passions of His heart. Ask Him how He feels about the needs in the world around you. If the church indeed is a child in the womb of God, can we open our spirits again to the passions of His heart?
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