When Jesus is no longer the answer.

“I have always been taught that Jesus is the answer.  Be it in Sunday school, or with my parents, Jesus has always been the thing that was meant to be the source of joy and contentment in this life. He was supposed to be my refuge when times were tough and He was meant to bring me peace.  So why do I feel so broken?  Why do I continue to struggle?  The world is caving in on me at every point and there is no peace.  Joy is something that I can never seem to find and worship is just something I pretend to do to keep up appearances to those I love. Is God even there?  Does He see how depressed I have become? Is Jesus really the answer, because I have done the Jesus thing for years and it just doesn’t seem to work anymore. I am getting to the point where I am done with Christianity.  There must be a better way.”

There is someone online today that is in this exact place spiritually.  That person is in pain.  They are in emotional bondage and their faith has not brought them through.  They are ready to completely walk away from the faith because they firmly believe that Jesus is no longer the answer.  Is that you today?  Have you reached such a point of brokenness that your faith has been unable to mend anything at all; that you feel it is time to leave the faith and explore other possibilities to seek out joy?  Or maybe death seems to be the only thing that will free you from this prison of hopelessness.

You have every right to leave and walk away from the church, and nothing that I can say here today can stop or change that.  Yet, if the Holy Spirit is real, maybe He can somehow use this post to guide your next steps.  The evidence has been collected, our experiences have shown us the reality, and the verdict is in.  Christianity just doesn’t work anymore.  And as we look at our friends and families, we see the crumbling of generations of Christians as they walk out of the church and soon walk away from Christ.

I don’t have the power to change your mind, but I can tell you why these things have happened.  What if God has not let you down?  What if His promises are still valid and Jesus is still the answer?  If that is the case, why do so many of us Christians feel hopeless, why can’t we feel the presence of God anymore, and why does it seem like Christianity is dying in front of our eyes? 

The truth is that the scriptures have told us about these days.  They have been prophesied about in detail.  It is the time of the great tribulation.  And just because we don’t get to see the spiritual battle that is taking place, we need to realize that the physical things we see are a result of that spiritual battle.  While it looks like we are in times of peace, the enemy is destroying entire denominations from within.  Do we not realize that 1/3rd of the global church just walked away in 2020? How can that not be linked with what takes place during the end times?

When 33% of the world church dies in one year, we have to see how the scriptures are being fulfilled. Does it not say in Revelation 8, “12 The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way. 13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

I would love to say that Christianity in the world is going to have this amazing revival where everything quickly turns around and we all feel the joy of Christ again.  But that may not be the will of God.  Listen to this carefully.  This entire world is going to be destroyed and remade when the Lord returns.  And before He returns, the fullness of the worlds sin must be ripe for destruction.  In the most honest way I can say it, what that means is that Christianity is going to look like “the rebellion” in “The Empire Strikes Back”.  Much of what we know as Christianity will be destroyed before our eyes. And it is going to get so much worse before God ends our suffering.  The only hope that scriptures provides, as to the tribulation, is that this period of time will be short. Because if the world were to continue on this path, and Satan allowed to remain in power, no Christian would be able to withstand the deception that is beginning to pull us away from Jesus and His plan of redemption.

Are you about to walk away from Christianity or maybe you already have?  I don’t blame you. Yet no matter how broken Christianity will become before the end, Jesus is still the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  He is the only way to God.  And as we see the destruction of the Church and the chaos growing in the world, He calls us to keep our eyes on Him and not to watch the death growing around us.

Here is the advice I will leave with you (the one ready to walk away from the faith).  First, realize that the organizations we call church are just tools and that Satan will always be able to use earthly tools against us.  Many of us have left the church because we could no longer feel the warmth of the presence of God in the sanctuary or in its people.  Many have seen our churches fight and destroy each other over political and moral arguments.  And many of us leave now because the singing and entertainment is empty of real worship and we are no longer fed by the self-help teachings that have no transformative power in our lives.

Satan has been given the keys to many churches and has replaced Jesus with something else.  What this means is that God has not changed, the church changed.  And the changes the church made has caused the presence of God to leave for God and sin do not mix.  To be blunt, if God calls something an abomination and the church decides to call it holy, who is the God of that Church?  The holy God steps out and allows Satan to remain as he hardens their hearts. And if that is the state of the heart of that church or denomination, how could the peace and joy of Christ ever be in its people?

Secondly, we are the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit.  If we want to be in the presence of God, we can’t allow sin to dwell in our lives.  Isn’t it interesting that the increase of depression has grown identically with social media use?  Is it not easier to lust as we have unlimited access to images on our phones? How much time do we give to growing in our faith compared to the binge watching of our favorite streaming platform? And let’s be honest, have we not compromised what we know is sinful and given it a pass in our lives because of the culture?  How can a holy God operate in such a sinful space?  If we are the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit but the walls of our hearts are decorated with sin, how is it that we are suppose to feel His peace and joy? In all truth, WE CAN’T… 

Jesus is not failing us.  We have just taken our eyes off the prize to look at all the junk around the thrift store.  Could you imagine giving up a large diamond for a used book?  That is what we are doing as we hold so tightly to our entertainment and push off the things that we know would bring us closer to God. God will never leave you or forsake you, but we can walk away from Him.  And if we can’t feel His presence, it means that our hearts are seeking after the wrong things.

Do you want to feel Christ again?  Do you really want His joy?  You can have it today if you want it bad enough and seek it with your everything.  Oh, I make it sound so easy… Yet it is for those who are “all or nothing”.  Take your life, your desires, your politics, and place them off to the side.  With all of your heart take a week to seek out Christ with everything you are.  Read your Bible daily for 30 minutes, pray with no distractions for 30 minutes, and put off anything you feel could be sin or could be separating you from God.  Seek out and find a church that preaches scripture and is not focused on entertainment.  Find a smaller intimate fellowship where you can build relationships with the people and begin to love and be loved by others who seek after God.  And put your phone and technology down.  In reality, just doing that may change your life.  Think about it.  How happy can someone be if they spend half of their day looking at a box?

Jesus has this message for you today: “I see you.  I know your heart.  I am still the answer.  This world and the religion of Christianity will continue to fall as I prepare for my return.  Will you endure what is coming?  Will you confess my Name even as the great denominations fall?  I desire to be with you for all eternity.  Will you (for a brief moment) keep the faith as the fullness of sin’s offense is judged and destroyed forever and ever?  I love you, and I will never leave you.  But you must overcome.  You must keep the faith. You must remain in me.”

If you ever need a safe place to talk about the struggles of your faith, I am here.  God has not left us.  And Jesus is still the answer.  May the presence of God fill you in this moment just so that you know He loves you and that He is with you.  Blessings…