When I warned about a new law in California, a lady commented, “the Church is awake and powerful in California.” A brother responded, “Then why is California going to hell in a handbasket?” Ouch.
What I am about to say is a cry—a loving cry for leaders in California to wake up and please consider what I say no matter how painful the facts may be. I know I am speaking out a deep love and burden for my home.
I survey the moral devastation and then hear someone boast that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church in California. I have to ask, if the gates of hell have not prevailed then what on earth is going on? If this isn’t prevailing, I’d hate to see what is. The answer is—as is so often the case—to read the verse again.
Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
I am begging God for this message to get through to my fellow leaders. The first clue lies in the phrase, “I will build.” There are two construction projects going on simultaneously in the church. Men are in charge of one, and Christ is in charge of the other.
That these two branches coexist in the Body of Christ is clear in Jesus’ own words: John 15: 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
Both branches are connected to Him, but only one abides in Him. Both can grow side by side until the appointed time. It is easy to see the difference.
The churches men build don’t stand a chance against Satan, and Satan doesn’t stand a chance against the church Christ is building.
Man made churches avoid the front line. The one Jesus builds draws its life from engaging and defeating the powers of darkness.
The church man builds, refuses to offend. The church Christ builds refuses to be ashamed.
It totally breaks my heart to say this…California is littered with Christian projects built by man, and for man. This explains how immorality spread, even as churches got bigger. It explains why California government is working so hard to ban Christianity.
It makes me weep to have to say this but…Paul levels a stern warning to all who build “for God” by their own design. 1 Corinthians 3:10 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Beloved, there is a terrifying outcome for those who build fake works. They will all stand before God and be judged for their works. 1 Corinthians 3:12 “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
Beloved, the autopsy on California leaves no room for another verdict!
Let everyone who reads this heed this warning! There are disastrous things about building Christian projects by human power that aren’t readily apparent.
For starters, they persecute the true church in a way that is worse than the world does. How? By making Bible preaching offensive—by giving believers an appetite for fast food—by discouraging true pastors who feel foolish for sticking to their convictions—by leaving them feeling betrayed, when you steal their people, and herd them into a faceless crowd, where they no longer have accountability.
I am praying right now that my cry will be understood by leaders. I am travailing for leaders to wake up while there is still time.
But there is an even more hideous fact: Satan may be actually helping you build. He’ll even give you the money. A hundred million dollars is chump change to Lucifer, if it gets him the prize he seeks: a center where thousands can be disarmed and neutralized.
My precious brothers and sisters, what could be a better trophy of hell that an artificial church? It has all the right features but no power. It is the perfect distraction. The devil can freely defile a culture in plain view of the church and she will be powerless, or oblivious to stop it.
If you insist on defending your empire, and you refuse to see how useless it was to stop the destruction of California, then it is already too late.
But I can’t accept that it is too late. I know there are true men and women of God in California. God wanted to give pastors in California something so much more than a big church—He wanted to give them a giant church filled with giants.
Let’s finish the verses about the branches: John 15: 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. That is the church we are talking about and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.