We in this country are in a time of judgment. The terrible wild fires that have burned in the West have burned specifically because of God's anger over homosexuality and because of the homosexual's swagger and insistence that their evil is good. Woe unto those who call evil good, and good evil. "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18). In Isaiah 66:15,16 God promises to visit with fire, tornado, and sword. We have already seen the sword in an unprecedented way with the 9-11 attack, and we will see more. We have seen record fires, and we will see more. However, not only will we see sword and fires due to record drought, but we are about to see an increase in tornadoes.
We in the church are in a time of judgment. I believe that since the mid 90's, God in his mercy has visited or is visiting every church in this country that He knew would open to Him the door if He knocked. He told us that "some He would visit for blessing, and some for judgment." Some would experience God and want God, while others would encounter the true Jesus of the Bible, and would, like the religious people of "His day", reject Him because He didn't fit with the Jesus of their imagination.
I personally witnessed God come to two churches, knocked on the door, and the leadership opened the door and He came in, staying until they asked Him to leave or grieved Him away. Church after church in this country experienced a time of renewal, a time of light, a time of mercy. Church after church can look back and say, "We had revival for this long, back in such and such year." I've heard it stated very matter-of-factly with kind of a blank stare and a sort of fatalistic attitude as though it was just meant to end, rather than showing sorrow or pain that the Lord Jesus Himself had been rejected. Light had come. Jesus had come to make sons of light. He said, "Walk while you have the light that you may become sons of light." He came that He might bring us into the purpose of the light which is to make sons of light, that we might have light within ourselves when the darkness comes. Well, the darkness is here. Judgment is here.
In John chapter 12, some Gentiles came to the disciples requesting that they might see Jesus. This marked the beginning of an end. This marked, and Jesus foreshadowed, the end of an age for the people to whom He had come as the light of the world: the Jewish people. Soon the light of God would be put out over an entire people as He turned his attention toward the Gentile and the end of an age would leave a few Jews here and a few there with only the light that they had from within. For those over whom the light of God had gone out, the answer to their plea for a little oil would for ever be, "No, go to those who buy and get your own, lest I not have enough for me." In other words, if you don't have your own light now, it's too late because I can't give you what's mine. The end of an age had come. The end of the time of grace for a whole generation had come. The light over a whole people was about to be put out, and since that time there has been no major visitation of God to the Jewish people.
Jesus said in John 12:31 "Now is the judgment of this world..." Now is the time for the storm. Now is the time for those that have light to be separated from those who don't, so walk while you have the light that you may become sons of light, that when the light is put out, you'll be able to see. Become sons of light so that when the darkness comes, you won't be lost.
In that same discourse, Jesus began speaking of what kind of death he would die, and we read the following: "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, an angel spake to him" (John 12:27-29 KJV).
You see, some who stood by heard thunder. Others heard an angel. However, the Apostle John that recorded these words for us heard a voice from heaven. Judgment has come. The storm is here but in the storm that's all around us many only hear the thunder. Like animals, they instinctively hear the rumblings of danger or feel the shakings that cause fear, but can't with any intelligence define the source of these shakings. They see terrorism, fires, floods, economic upheaval.
Then there are those who don't just hear the thunder of the storm but they hear an angel speaking. In other words, they have ears to hear God's servants, and when His servants speak, they can hear and recognize that what they are hearing is the true interpretation of the events around them, but they still don't have light from within. They still don't hear the voice of God directly, as do those who have light from within: the sons of light. Some said it thundered, some heard only a messenger, but a few heard the voice of God.
John 12:35, 36 says, "Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them."
Jesus came to church after church in this country and said, "Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you." He said, "While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." And then He "departed, and did hide Himself from them." A dear man of God always says that when Jesus comes to a church it's like an Earthquake; everyone knows it, but when He leaves very few know it. Only the sons of light know it. When He departs and hides Himself, too often the church goes on as though nothing has changed. You'll still hear many of them speak of how the revival is continuing. All of the zeal is there, the pomp and ceremony, and the music and dancing. Fanaticism increases, and the fruit rots from the inside out until the latent sin begins to putrefy and swell, bursting the skin and oozing out for all to see. Many are staggered by this and stumble and fall and turn away from the idea of revival because it only seems to fail in the end.
Is revival at fault? No, Jesus said to believe in the light that you may become sons of light. If these had light from within, they would have known when the light was rejected and would have seen Jesus depart and hide Himself. Now, not having light from within, they are disillusioned or shipwrecked. Some will go into further fanaticism and sin, some into legalism and the knowledge that puffs up, and some back to Egypt. Revival is not the culprit. Going on as though the light were still there after He has left is the culprit.
For those that go back to Egypt (the world), God says, "Behold, I am watching over them for harm and not for good, and all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will meet their end by the sword and by famine until they are completely gone" (Jer. 44:27). We are about to enter a terrible time for the backslider.
Listen, you sons of light! Even God's judgments are for your good. There's no need to fear. He says of you in Jeremiah 24:6, "I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up."
In this same chapter, God shows Jeremiah a basket of good figs and a basket of rotten figs. God tells Jeremiah in verse 5, "Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans.'" The King James Version and the Amplified version both say, "...whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good." God's judgments are dark and terrible for the bad fruit, but for the sons of light, His judgments are actually for their good.
If you are one of the sons of the light, you needn't fear His judgments at all. If you aren't, the hour is late, the night is at hand, and darkness is over the whole land. There may yet be time to buy oil. Wake up! Wake up! Go to them that sell and buy!
"Consecrate a fast,
Proclaim a solemn assembly;
Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land
To the house of the Lord your God,
And cry out to the Lord.
Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
And it will come as destruction from the Almighty.
Has not food been cut off before our eyes,
Gladness and joy from the house of our God?
The seeds shrivel under their clods;
The storehouses are desolate,
The barns are torn down,
For the grain is dried up.
How the beasts groan!
The herds of cattle wander aimlessly
Because there is no pasture for them;
Even the flocks of sheep suffer.
To Thee, O Lord, I cry;
For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness,
And the flame has burned up all the trees of the field.
Even the beasts of the field pant for Thee;
For the water brooks are dried up,
And fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
"Blow a trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm on My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
For the day of the Lord is coming;
Surely it is near,
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness..." (Joel 1:14-2:2).