If end-time judgment is to begin in the house of God, as the Apostle Peter predicted (1 Peter 4:17), is it possible that it has already commenced? According to our Lord, one of the birth pangs signaling the beginning of this fallen world’s end-time sorrows will be pestilences or pandemics (Matthew 24:6-7). The coronavirus pandemic, with its government mandated lockdowns, has, at least to one degree or another, closed America’s contemporary churches. Is it possible that God is behind this, using it to close the doors on our country’s countless church charades? Is God putting a stop to the flesh on parade that we’ve been pretentiously peddling for so long as the body and bride of Christ?
Remember, Jesus warned the church of Ephesus, a church which went through the right motions without the right motive, that He would remove their candlestick if they refused to repent (Revelation 2:5). Is it not entirely possible, then, that Christ is closing the doors of many unrepentant contemporary churches in America? Like the church of Ephesus, many a church in America today has lost its love for Christ, ceased to serve Him for His sake, and convinced itself that church activity, not true affection for Christ, adoration of Christ, or allegiance to Christ, is all Christ requires. Let’s face it, the majority of contemporary churches in America are far more interested in conforming to our culture, for the sake of their growth, than they are in transforming our culture, for the sake of God’s glory.
While multitudes of so-called churches will soon be disappearing from the American landscape, house churches will need to be developed. The true church of Jesus Christ in America will soon be found in houses, not in multi-million dollar edifices. It will be small groups of committed Christians assembling together to encourage and edify one another (Hebrews 10:25), not large crowds gathering for their own entertainment and enjoyment. Gone will be the day of churchgoers hopping from one “church” to another in hopes of finding the one that best serves them. Instead, Christians will meet in secret to escape the surveillance of an antichrist government and for the purpose of encouraging and equipping one another to wholeheartedly serve Christ. Far from being like present-day churchgoers, who come to church to see what the church can do for them, Christians will soon find themselves called upon to be the church and to see what they can do for Christ, even if it means risking everything, like one’s livelihood, liberty, and life, for Christ’s sake.