I saw an intriguing bumper sticker recently. It was the Christian fish, the universal symbol of the Christian faith, in an obvious state of decay.
My pulse quickened as I walked past the offending bumper. But oddly, I wasn't offended and my heart raced at the realization that the bumper sticker is probably more prophetic than most Christ-followers would admit.
I don't know if you've noticed, but it appears to me that Christendom is coming apart at the seams . . .
Now before you get your knickers in a knot, let me just say that I think the Church, aka the Bride of Christ, is alive and well and doing just fine. But I've come to believe that the institution the world (and many Christians) calls "the church" is a far cry from the true Body of Christ. And, in my opinion, the Lord is shaking the former and refining the latter.
Every week I learn about more churches that are going through meltdowns. Pastors resigning, church splits dividing families, moral failures destroying marriages, doctrinal haggles parting the best of friends. I literally know dozens of people who are unchurched right now because church no longer seems safe to them. They are lost sheep without shepherds, trying to find their way back home.
And I hear a lot of folks blaming Satan for this sad state of affairs, but I disagree. I think the Lord is shaking whatever can be shaken (Heb. 12:26-29) and testing His servant's works with fire: "Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw, each one's work will become clear . . . because it will be revealed by fire. " I Cor. 3:13,14
And there's not an individual or institution that will escape the Refiner's fire. All hearts will be revealed.
I have to say that I am kind of excited about our straw temples getting torched. Once all the smoke clears, maybe the world will be able to finally glimpse the pure and spotless Bride Jesus is coming back for . . .