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Friday, May 22nd 2009

2:32 PM

"The Silence Of the Lambs"

By Pastor Bruce Sikes

"I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; Like a flock in the midst of its pasture, they will be noisy with men. (Micah 2:12) 

Through the centuries since Christ first came to us, the mantle of proclaiming the Gospel around the world has been taken up by many different people groups. At first, it was first the Jewish Christians, the Christian Greeks, Egyptians, the peoples of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and the Romans. In the early centuries that followed, the Italians and certainly the French helped carry the mantle. Joining them in the middle ages were the Spanish and Germans, who powerfully promoted the Gospel on into the Renaissance.

What I am speaking of is not the popular secular world view of Church history; scandal, crusades, and controversy. I am speaking of those times when God has used various people groups and some Godly individuals in these groups to proclaim the Gospel through the Holy Spirit. From making language translations of the scriptures so average people could read them, to reformations, revivals and the sending out of tens of thousands of missionaries to distant lands.

Later, during the so called period of "enlightenment", God used the British people in mighty ways and then their offspring, the Americans, to spread His saving message. As a result, countless millions worldwide heard the Gospel message and were brought to Christ.

All of these people groups have had their peaks and valleys in God's service. None....have remained at the peak. This has been true of God's people throughout history, even in the Old and New testaments.

What has happened to the great Christian heroes of the past? Where are the great "people groups" of God today? What happened to the French? What of the Germans? Where is the "new" Martin Luther? Turkey and Egypt are now Muslim. All the famous churches of the New Testament in Asia Minor are gone. Where is England's "Amazing Grace"?

Furthermore, what has become of America's "In God we Trust"? No doubt God has used Godly Americans in powerful ways to further His kingdom, arguably perhaps even more so than any other people group in history. Yet, for America, the age of Billy Graham has passed. As great as the work was during the American Gospel era, we must ask, what has become of the American church in the 21st century?

America, it seems has also waned in its once zealous work of evangelism and revival. Like all people groups of the past, this society rested too long on its laurels - it's Godly accomplishments. And so, a generation has been raised that "...knew not the Lord or what He had done for them..." (Judges 2:10)  A race of lambs have been bred, not for work, but for appearance, show sheep. Bred and trained not to bay and make noise, to remain silent even when wolves approach. The silence of the lambs is deafening.

Today the wolves are not only approaching, they are among us, feeding on us. Our shepherds, save a faithful and obedient few, have neglected or  abandoned their tasks of taking care of the sheep, and instead have become care takers of dying flocks.

Those shepherds who are still fighting off the wolves many times find themselves having to fight other shepherds as well. There are blind shepherds, who have either ignorantly or deliberately allowed the wolves into the flocks of sheep. After all they say, "God loves wolves too, don't you know?" They want no trouble in their flocks. "Peace, peace" they preach, even as their sheep disappear. "Eat your grass and be happy! Remain calm and above all, remain silent. Less talk, more grazing! Perhaps the wolves will ignore you."

Instead of growing wiser and stronger, the lambs have become fat and silent and encouraged to remain so. The cries of the remnant shepherds are heard faintly in the distance, yet the urgency of the warnings are blocked by their own weaknesses and watered down like the Gospel preached by their own blind shepherds. They are a generation bred to graze, ever seeing, ever hearing, but doing nothing. Until the wolf bites them, they will not be moved.

I am convinced, however, that with the help of God's convicting and powerful Holy Spirit, the voice of the Remnant sheep and shepherds will be heard by some, and they will respond to His urgent call. Some are just beginning to cry out warning to the other sheep. Others will lift their heads from the grass, see the wolves and begin to fight them. Some will flee the false safety of the flocks marked for slaughter and leave the false shepherds behind. They will join the fighting flocks of God instead and break the silence of the Lambs.

We are witnessing in our time, the Spirit of God moving worldwide as the mantle of Christ's Gospel is being taken up by people in India, China, the Middle East and elsewhere. It seems that all people groups have had, or, they are now sharing in the task of bearing God's mantle of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I believe the day is now upon us where the mantle has been given to a remnant of people from among all groups, one people group from many. We share one message; proclaiming repentance, revival and evangelism to everyone.

Silent no longer.


For Christ and His Remnant,

Pastor Bruce


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