The Emerging of the End Time Church
.... “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.".(Matthew 25:1-5)
.... To investigate a potentially complex subject, it is often beneficial to approach it chronologically; and by including those companion prophecies along the way we may see the whole sequence unfolding, and understand how those pieces fit together. This becomes easier when those prophecies can be matched to an historical fulfillment, which many of them now can be. In fact, almost all of the groundwork for the end time church has already been laid and the rest is not far behind us.
.... The end time church springs from the church of our own recent past, whose role has been socially and historically vital, yet in spiritual terms the Lord Himself would describe them as being ‘asleep’ (Think early-to-mid twentieth century). And during those long years of spiritual slumber, the seeds of destruction were quietly sown (Matthew 13:25; 25:5). As the time of the end drew near, a hostile, imposter religion sprang forth from those seeds to grow along side of true believers as an unfruitful counterfeit to their beliefs. Thus, Jesus would find them both in the world together at His coming (Matthew 13:30).
.... Nevertheless, it is too simplistic to say that the two mind sets of the end time would emerge in the church simultaneously. The ‘foolish’ side of the church would actually appear on the scene first (think mid-to-late twentieth century), and the ‘wise’ would follow much later, as a very late arrival indeed (think twenty-first century). This means that the sleepy church would be alone in the beginning, in the latter half of the twentieth century, in facing a challenge it was ill prepared for.
.... Now, when the Lord Himself describes the church as being ‘asleep’ we must understand that it was not very effective in His eyes. Their ministry was largely unfruitful as well. A vacuum was formed that reached throughout the western world, and a new type of soulish 'ministry' emerged in it's place through the ascendence of a subtle, subjective, theoretical new form of earthly wisdom.
.... As the sleepy church came into contact with this new wisdom, many years ago, it was too sluggish and lazy to regognize the challenge and compete with it. So instead, it went to the opposite extreme and began to ‘Christianize’ it, adopting it for its own use as a strong new friend to Christianity. But in reality it was a usurper.
.... "By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber."
.... "They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them."
(Galatians 4:17) .
.... As the 'wise' side of the church begins to take root and grow, in the early twenty-first century, they will find the ‘foolish’ side already at its zenith. This growth had to occur before the ‘wise’ Christians could be established and mount a sufficient challenge, for the prophecy of the great falling away could not otherwise have been fulfilled. For a major part of the 'wise' calling and identity is:
.... ". . . that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ . . ."
.... Through this scenario, we should think about the things that are destined to remain and those that must pass away. The sleepy church of our recent past will disappear entirely, being absorbed into one of the two end time mindsets or the other, for better or for worse. Therefore, anything we are doing now that does not look like them is a waste of our time. It is doomed to be superceded; and the things we are doing foolishly, through worldly wisdom, will perish in the end. For only those that are focused on Jesus are destined to remain and bring forth fruit to eternal life:
.... "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
.... We will discuss the individual elements of this scenario in greater detail in future postings, and in our next two posting we will name the false basis of wisdom that the ‘foolish virgins’ have followed.