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Scattered

Dear saints, I trust that the Lord had been blessing and protecting you. In stock market parlance, dispersion is the opposite of accumulation. Same holds true in the kingdom of God. When the saints and Church are becoming a little too comfortable, God will have to shake up the status quo (Haggai 2:6) to accomplish His will.


I’d like for us to look into Acts 8:1-4. This is the record of how the church was persecuted Saul before his conversion to the Apostle Paul. The Church was immensely blessed by the Lord (Acts 2:47) who made it grow rapidly. Unfortunately, even after receiving Power from on High (Acts 2:2-4) the Apostles simply stayed in Jerusalem and wouldn’t reach out to the ends of the world as Christ commanded them (Matthew 28:19-20). They had become comfortable, prosperous (Acts 4:33-35) and were enjoying great success while disregarding the Lord’s great commission. Given those circumstances God Almighty had to shake them up and allow Saul to persecute the Church. The upshot of the chaos that God permitted Satan to unleash was that the scattered saints preached the gospel wherever they went (Acts 8:4) thus fulfilling the Great Commission.


We see God acting in a similar way when He punished the Israelites. Israel became wealthy and prosperous. In its prosperity and comfort Israel forsook the Lord and turned to pagan deities (Jeremiah 2:7-8). God had to punish Israel to shake it out of its complacency and arrogance by bringing a foreign invader against them (Jeremiah 1:14-16). But even in the midst of that turmoil God promised restoration and blessing (Jeremiah 33).


When the Lord Jesus warned the disciples that they would be all be scattered after His crucifixion (Matthew 26:31) they thought that He was out of His mind (Matthew 16:22). They had become comfortable with the Lord taking care of their every need (Luke 22:35) and most likely wanted the status quo. But the Lord had to shake things up so that God’s will could be accomplished (Luke 12:50). The silver lining in our Lord’s dire warning was the promise of future blessing in His resurrected Presence (Matthew 26:32).


Has the church become too prosperous and comfortable for its own good saints? Are we going out on to the highways, the byways and preaching the gospel to the unattractive, the poor and the despised? If not, the Lord may very well have to shake us up again.

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The church in the west is so far away from the Biblical pattern that it is almost unrecognisable. However, there are many Christians who quietly help the lost and give to the poor, including to Christians in India, Pakistan and other places where Christians are persecuted. I do believe that the western church is complacent, as was Laodicea. God will speak. Then He will shake, if the church does not respond. There are some voices that are sounding a warning. Paul Washer is one. Francis Chan is very different, but he also is speaking God's heart.

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