From my friend Michael of the Abolitionist Society of Mid-Tennessee, Sumner County:
A statement I heard based on a pre-Tribulation view of eschatology:
"Imagine a world in which all the Christians have disappeared"
Well, let's think this out.
Are we are talking about those who are exposing evil, preaching in public, declaring God's statutes authoritatively, loving God with all their heart, mind, and soul, loving their neighbor as themselves, desiring to build no other kingdom but Christ's kingdom, knowing (and acting like) the temple of God is now our bodies, Christ being the chief cornerstone, and living their lives every day to bring as much glory (in word AND in deed) to Christ alone?
If so, then the world would be an unchecked place of rampant evil where no one could authoritatively rebuke or correct any evil.
Or..... Are we are talking about those who center their lives around a liturgical church "service" where people talk about Jesus, a service where people sing songs about Jesus, a place where one or a few teachers tell people about Jesus, a place that encourages hearing only (oh, I'm sure they teach people to be doers, but do they set the example?), a place where "the essentials of Christian Faith" are mere mental affirmations of certain doctrines, where being a Christian is morally and mentally agreeing with certain fundamental ideas, and where the weightier matters of the law (justice, mercy, and faithfulness) are neglected in the every day lives of the hearers and often the teachers themselves?
If this group of people suddenly disappeared but the previous mentioned people, and the completely "unreligious", remained, the world would know for certain, without any confusion, who the true people of God were. They would hear the true preaching of sin, righteousness, and of judgment. They would hear the message of reconciliation through Christ. They would hear that there is no need to win, no need to fear, no need to worry, no need to doubt, no need to murder, no need to be in disbelief. Why? Because Christ has come and established His kingdom!
They would hear all this without the ability to point to vain empty religion and state "that Christianity? That's what you're offering? You mean that place full of hypocrites? You mean those people who don't obey the very book they say they believe in?"
Christians! Abandon your buildings! Abandon your "services"! Abandon your pulpit! Stand on Christ and Christ alone in unity with one another!
This is not a call to forsake the assembly! This is a call to NOT forsake the assembly, and to NOT neglect justice, and to NOT neglect mercy, and to NOT neglect faithfulness!
This is a call to REPENT of idolatry! This is a call to REPENT of not loving your neighbor but instead loving your church services and buildings! This is a call to REPENT of NOT building HIS kingdom!
This is a call to REPENT towards God and put your faith in Christ!
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
But thou hast fully known my:
manner of life,
which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me."
Do you know these of YOUR religious leader?
"Yea, and ALL that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
(2 Timothy 3:1-7, 10-17 KJV)