Many of our present-day prophetic voices have been prophesying, preaching, teaching, interceding, and writing about the Church crossing over into a third great awakening.
A new era or epoch of time in which the governmental, legislative authority of the Ecclesia upon God’s shoulders begins to manifest in the world. To govern with the power and authority, and “greater works” Jesus said the Church would demonstrate.
I, like they, believe we have begun as we witness the Church being reshaped and reformed, and breaking out of “boxes,” buildings, and religious structures of the past. Taking the Kingdom of God into all the world, and into all aspects of society as a lifestyle.
However, most of us did not anticipate a crisis such as COVID-19 to help propel us forward.
I am not saying that this “crossing-over virus” (which I am referring to it as) is from God. God is all about life and He is life. Therefore, He hates death, dying, sickness, and disease. These things are outcomes of humanity which were set into motion in the Garden of Eden.
God’s original intent, however, for humanity was for the everlasting breath He breathed inside us to be housed in bodies exempt from sickness and death. To live on an earth which would never decay. But because sin activates more sin it sets more evil forces into motion within a people, a nation, and the world at large.
So in part, what we are witnessing and experiencing with COVID-19 is one of the many far reaching outcomes of sin.
The Result of Sin’s Activation
There are specific types of sins discussed in the Bible which render different kinds of consequences. But at the end of the day they all result in physical and spiritual death of some kind (Rom 6:23). Let’s take a brief and practical look at how a few of these sins look in our present day culture. Adultery, fornication, and other sexually perverse sins are sins against our own bodies (1 Cor 6:18). But when such acts are brought into church it becomes sin against the entire body of Christ as well because we are His body.
The results are damaged souls, broken homes, shattered lives, diseased bodies, and a dysfunctional church and society.
They release a literal state of sickness, disease, and death upon the earth under our feet.
Sins such as murder and other forms of violence, and witchcraft and rebellion, continue to rob the earth and its inhabitants of the peaceful paradise God created.
You may have no experience at all with these types of sins. But what about disobedience, unforgiveness, pride, anger, lying, gossiping, foul communication, or causing disunity among friends? Many of us can quote scriptures about what the Bible says about these things and more. But how often are we using the scriptures to do war with our own sins?
Let’s speak on the mouth for example since it is a problem so common to us all. We use our mouths to say the things which do not edify people or their circumstances, nor do we edify ourselves and our own circumstances. We allow our negative thoughts to rule us and run rampant when Scripture clearly tells us to put a watch over our mouths, and to take our thoughts captive (Ps 141:3, 2 Cor 10:5).
Where we would be quick to condemn or deal with murder or adultery, we let the other “little foxes” have free reign. But all these sinful “viruses” carry a cause and effect type of activation with them.
We see an example of the activation of sin in James 3:6-7 in which the writer describes the tongue in this way: “And the tongue is a fire! It can be compared to the sum total of wickedness and is the most dangerous part of our human body. It corrupts the entire body and is a flame!” (TPT).
The Mutation of Sin
James 3:16 says where envy and strife are found you will see every evil work.
In this single verse we can see how these seemingly “small” individual, personal and often hidden offenses set precedence for “bigger,” more detrimental sins. These sins go on to infect our homes, our churches, our societies, and even our nations.
At a national level we see nations who have made gods out of money (mammon), entertainment and pleasure (hedonism), body image (pride and narcissism), knowledge (earthy, sensual, devilish wisdom), carved images and worshiping creation. All these can be summed up in a word—idolatry.
Where these gods are ruling nations, injustices of every kind are being inflicted upon the people and the earth. Perpetually fueling the cycle of sin. Simply because sin was not dealt with at its inception.
As a consequence the world will continue to grapple with the forces of darkness like this crossing-over virus masquerading as COVID-19 and more. We will continue to see and experience the adverse effects of this ever changing viral mutation called sin in this world.
We are so quick to be appalled at sin “X” (take your pick) or declare “this is the most shameful sin we are dealing with in the land!” When we have allowed sin to go unchecked in our own land.
We have convinced ourselves that one sin is “not as bad” as another.
For many of us it has been months, I dare say, even years since we have repented of the things that as baby Christians we would never have allowed.
But just as there are no victimless crimes. There are no victimless sins.
Sin on both an individual and societal level, micro and macro level result in a counterculture which is in direct opposition to God’s original intent. A culture which, whether we choose to admit it or not, we have all contributed to with our blatant and closet sins. James 1:15 puts it this way: “Then, when lust [of every kind] has conceived it brings forth sin: And sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. The small infectious seed we allowed to take root gave birth to a fully diseased and dying forest that didn’t stop at our tree.
Stopping the Mutation
How do we stop this mutation in our churches so that we can be the Ecclesia, and completely cross over into the new?
We have already discussed dealing with our personal sins. But secondly, we can no longer tolerate sin in the Body of Christ. Let me be clear here. I am not talking about the temptations and struggles we all face with sin. Nor I am even talking about a type of missing the mark or moral failure any of us can fall victim to, and then rise back up again.
I am talking about blatant, perpetual, unrepentant sin—a sin cycle.
If you are a part of a church which is tolerating sin to be practiced for months, even years at a time, and especially from the pulpit. Or covering up, tolerating, and making excuses for the sins.
Don’t walk away. Run! Run and cut every tie.
Including the theological twisted truths used by such leaders to brand the minds of God’s people. They operate out of a seared conscious, and the pride of Leviathan. They convince their flock to abandon the fear of the Lord and tolerate outright heresy.
Their ungodly words and deeds block their own entrance into heaven as well as their followers. These hypocrites will even travel the mission field making converts only to make them twice the sons of hell that they themselves are (see Matt 23:13-15).
We can no longer let the voice of any man or woman, from whatever platform supersede the voice of our God-conscience nor the voice of Scripture.
God is going to bring a “screeching halt” to just going to church Sunday after Sunday for the sake of going to church. He is going to put an end to these ungodly, unmerited loyalties to leaders and denominations.
On the other hand, some of us fear other denominations and other religions more than we fear sin or even God. We take pride in calling ourselves “nondenominational” or not a part of the so-called “religious system.”
But if you are a part of a church that allows sin to run rampant that is a religion.
No matter how much biblical truth they dole out amidst their transgressions. This is outright mixture. And it is dangerous. It is dangerous to be a part of a church that consumes biblical truths alongside sin. Even if you yourself are not sinning.
Remember we discussed earlier how there are sins against our own bodies. But when those sins are brought into the church they become sins against the entire Body of Christ.
Those who blatantly and habitually practice sin in church dishonor the temple of their own bodies, and they dishonor your temple as well. Like Jonah, they heap God’s judgment upon themselves, and everyone else on the ship (see Jonah 1:1-16). They have either no regard or no understanding of the damnation they are heaping upon their brothers and sisters by not discerning them as the Lord’s body.
Such practices in a church can result in literal infirmity and death upon its members.
Look with eyes of the Spirit at what the book of Corinthians says about consuming the bread of Christ among the Body of Christ, mingled with sin.
‘Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner [both literally and symbolically because the act is a prophetic proclamation and testimony of the Lord’s death until His return (1Cor 11:26)] will be guilty of sinning against the blood and body of the Lord. . . . For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep [died] . . . Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf . . . You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s Table and the table of demons.’ (1 Cor 11:27, 29; 10:17, 21 NIV).
Our church culture may or may not be one of carved images. But the sin we come into agreement with (ours and other people’s) is idolatrous just the same. It takes us out of agreement with the Lord’s body and God Himself.
Sin cannot be worshipped away, prayed away or any other number of godly and sincere offerings given to the Lord.
The only remedy for sin is the kind of repentance that leads us to the blood of Jesus, and turns us away from our sins.
When the plumbline is dropped, sin in the camp leaves us all falling short. Especially if we have condoned it. Therefore we must throw sin from the ship or the “infectious part of the lump” will spread prevent many from crossing over.
Repent, Dethrone, and Cleave
Finally, in this current world crisis we are calling COVID-19 (and many other crises unfolding before us) we must make repentance a lifestyle.
We must dethrone sin in all its forms. Including sin as a religion.
Not just the so-called “big ones.” I’m referring also to the “little ones,” the ones which “aren’t so bad,” the repetitive ones, the every so often ones, the “only when I’m really angry” ones, the justified ones, the hidden and ignored ones. And yes, even the “little sinful religious imps” we cling to that keep us stuck in the past.
We are to hate everything that is evil and cleave to what is good (Rom 12:9).
We cannot continue to live off of “yesteryear’s” anointing, “yesteryear’s” move or “yesteryear’s” word which has long since faded away. Like manna it was good for yesterday but today it has worms in it.
The Lord is creating streams in unlikely places. He is doing a new thing. Can we perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19).
This crossing-over virus Satan wants to use to kill us all. But Almighty God wants to use the blood of Jesus as the antidote to annihilate sin’s genetic process and save us all. That is, if we are willing.
We should not view this crossing over crisis as some kind of apocalyptic event in which Christians get to point their fingers at the world and say “we told you so.”
Scripture has told us all so.
Let’s not disengage by way of fear, escapism, or religious arrogance. Allow this crossing-over virus/crisis to cause all of us (especially believers) to examine our hearts,
homes, and our churches. To “do business with God” so that we can “do business for God” in the rest of the world.
Let us raise our faith expectation to see the Church in its finest hour yet. To see a mass harvest of souls, prodigals coming home, miracles, signs and wonders, personal and corporate restoration, and compensation for all that has be stolen from us.