Editors Note: There is a booklet out from the Eternal Church of God in Billings, Montana called Evidence for ERAS. This is the concluding chapter of that booklet which gives a powerful call for Repentance in this Laodicean ERA of the Church. You can read the entire booklet here.
A Call to Repentance
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. ~ Revelation 3:19 ~
Pogo was the central character of a long-running comic strip. In 1971, author Walt Kelly published a famous cartoon relating the state of our environment. In this, he unmistakably captured the predicament that the Church finds itself in today. In the final scene, Pogo sits on the edge of a vastly polluted forest. He is saddened and confused at the sea of rubbish that has been generated. As the realization of what caused this calamity sets in, the caption reads:
Perhaps the enemy has always been us. We may have recklessly ignored the debris our sins generate as we continue polluting our lives. From childhood, it is been our nature to justify our actions and ignore the need to clean up spiritually. Sometimes we willingly distance ourselves from God to lessen the pain of our conscience (Heb. 10:22).
We are living in a very dangerous age. We need to know what spirit is affecting us. Therefore, this knowledge of Church eras is of enormous value.
It is time to wake up! Christ is coming quickly (Rev. 22:7), and we must realize that we are living in the last era of God’s Church (Mat. 24:34). Right now our King and future Husband is knocking at the door of our minds and hearts. He wants us to rise from our self-righteous complacency and answer His call (Sol. 5:2; Rev. 3:20). He desires that we live our lives in Him, and He in us (John 15:4). He wants us to develop and grow so that we will become the absolute best we can be.
In that light, it is our hope that we will consider the evidence God has provided us in His word and throughout documents of history. We need to understand that these seven letters to the churches are prophetic and written to God’s people living during seven eras in time. We must anoint our eyes with salve so we can see the error of our ways—realize that we are the last era—and we desperately need to repent!
Now that we have the evidence, we can be confident of this important truth. All of God’s people are living during the Laodicean era. We have been given the proof, and we need to realize what this means to each of us.
We exist among those Christ spoke of saying they have a form of Godliness but deny His power (2Tim. 3). Many act as if it is too difficult to change, or we don’t really believe that the Messiah has the power to transform our character. As a result, many are letting down. We seem to think that, because we cannot overcome every temptation, there is little reason to increase our efforts. We have come to feel that we are basically good enough, and that Christ will accept us as we are.
Admit the truth! We don’t fear the Almighty God the way we should! Many have become those who Jesus prophesied of and believe things are continuing as they always have, and that Christ has delayed His return (2Pet. 3:4; Mat. 24:48). We no longer hold a vivid picture in our mind of God’s wrath. Preaching about the day of the Lord is being pushed aside in many of the churches. Sermons have become weak and often only deal with tangential issues (Heb. 5:12-14). They don’t encourage real change and, as a result, we have been lulled into a spiritual slumber. The return of Christ is no longer the powerful and profound reality that it once was, and it seems we don’t deeply revere God and fear His correction that is soon to come.
If we remain doubtful that this final letter to Laodecia was written to us, if we close our eyes to Christ’s reproof and turn our heads to the insurmountable evidence for eras, if we choose to ignore Jesus’ rebuke, then consider the following prophetic scenario written to us:
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:22-23).
Vast numbers of God’s people believe this statement is directed towards those who merely profess Christ. They believe this situation will play out only for members of false churches—people who are not called at this time. However, the people in this prophecy are convinced that they are true Christians. They performed works in His name, but they did not patiently keep His word. Christ’s warning is directed to those who are called!
Like the rich young man who professed that he had kept God’s commandments, many of us believe that we keep them, but we truly don’t observe them in their spirit and intent—the way God desires. We are half-hearted in our effort to do God’s will. Christ’s prophecy is speaking to people God has called, but didn’t make it.
Consider that, even though the Scriptures contain words that can benefit everyone, the Bible was not written to the vast majority of humankind. God, through his printed Word, is speaking to those who are called; not those of the world! For this reason, the very next verses state:
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it (Matthew 7:24-27).
Hear His words! These verses make it obvious Christ’s admonition is directed primarily to those who are called. God is not trying to save everyone at this time. Now is not the only day of salvation! He is speaking directly to us! Therefore, we need to heed His warning.
Every piece of evidence declares that we are living in the last days. We are the last era of the New Testament and we reflect the characteristics of the final era of the Old Covenant—those of the Pharisees.
Knowing this, we need to ask ourselves a vital question. How much have we been affected by the spirit of Laodecia? Has it blurred our perception of right and wrong? Has it watered down our faith and our commitment to God? Have we allowed ourselves to partake of ungodly entertainment? Have we redirected our goals to that of attaining status or possessions? Have we accepted some Protestant teachings as acceptable worship of God? Have our personal opinions and inferences become the standard by which we live, instead of God’s Word?
Are we zealous about our life, our career, our congregation, and not zealous for the holiness that God wants us to practice and what He wants us to become? Are we filled with self satisfaction, and do we justify sin in our lives? Are we covetous—always wanting more? Are we allowing habits and traditions to take precedence over God’s will and His divine commandments? Are we concerned about how we look on the outside and close our eyes to what is going on inside? How do we feel toward our brethren throughout the Church of God? Are we resentful? Do we feel superior to others?
We need to take an honest, unrelenting inventory of our values and standards! If we are sincere, we will admit that elements of Laodicea linger within each one of us. We must change and not give in to the infectious spirit of our age, but carefully and consistently seek out the truth found in God’s Word.
If we do, our righteousness can, and will, exceed that of the Pharisees. We will please the great God as we continue to maintain and build our relationship with Him. Then, when the tribulation comes, He will protect us from it. And, when Christ returns, we will be transformed—welcomed into the glorious Kingdom of our Father. At that time, our Betrothed will personally deliver the message every true Christian longs to hear. “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mat. 25:23).