At the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry He spoke to His disciples to prepare them for His dying on the cross –
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” – John 16:7-11
He first promised to send them the Helper, the Holy Spirit. He said “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” That happened 50 days after His resurrection on Pentecost as the Holy Spirit fell on the believers. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth and He would glorify Jesus. Some time before Jesus had said this to His disciples –
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6
The Holy Spirit is so precious. He is the guide that reveals the truth to us, not some political guru spouting socialistic lies. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus, who alone is the truth. How sad that many, if not most, churches today relegate the Holy Spirit to a minor part of the church service. Instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead their worship, they relegate Him to a man-made liturgy which the people, like automatons, mouth without any real belief. Or they enjoy the sounds of some Hill Song type band and call that worship. Where is the freshness and new life that the Holy Spirit brings? Most church services are as drab as the ecclesiastical robes the preachers wear.
Oh, they may remember to take Communion once a month with no thought as to what the bread represents or to what the wine represents. The bread represents His body that was broken for us but, it also represents us, who are the body God prepared for Christ.
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.” – Heb. 10:5
We are to continue the work Jesus began. That is why He sent the Holy Spirit to us. Not to take a little bread and then go out and continue to live as we did before, caught up in the world and not in Christ.
The wine represents His blood that was shed for our sin, that we would stop sinning! There is life in that blood and it can enable us to overcome the sin that so easily besets us.
‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.'” – Lev. 17:11
We are told in Scripture to do this communion as often as we come together.
“In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” – 1 Cor. 11:25
This is to remind us of the Covenant between us and God that Jesus ratified by His sacrifice. Sadly, most churches do not take it every time they come together or they substitute grape juice for wine, or the Catholic Church forgets the wine altogether only giving it to the priests. What about the people? But, they do remember to take an offering every time they meet! What does this say about what is important to them?
Most of the big churches are ‘seeker friendly’ where only good messages are preached, nothing that would drive sinners away. So the message of repentance from sin and the reality of Hell is avoided. The love of God is emphasized but not His severity.
“Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.” – Rom. 11:22
It is possible for those who once knew God to be “cut off” and “blotted out of the Book of Life”.
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” – Rev. 3:5
There are ‘dead churches’ out there that have names as being alive, such as the Church of Sardis in Revelation. They are preaching a humanistic gospel based on man’s wisdom not on God’s. They are preaching a ‘feel good’ message and have lively worship services. They may even have signs and wonders happening. They are using ‘professional’ preachers and worship leaders that don’t know Jesus.
Then there are churches that do a lot of things right but, they have left “their first love”, such as the Church of Ephesus in Revelation. Jesus said He was sending the Holy
Spirit and He would convict the world of sin because they did not believe in Jesus. They have been caught up in the “bigness” movement doing whatever causes growth in numbers. They are ministering to the people and not to God. They forget that one of the first things the Holy Spirit does is to glorify Jesus.
There are churches that are sold out to the world, allowing all the sexual deviants into the church. They forget that another work of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of righteousness because Jesus has gone to the Father who is seated in righteousness. Nothing unholy or unrighteous is allowed before Him.
And many churches are not teaching about the soon return of Jesus. He is coming as the Judge of all. Satan was judged as Jesus died on the cross as payment for our sin. Satan’s kingdom and all those who surrender to him are going to be judged when Jesus returns. Also, when Jesus returns He is going to send forth His angels to separate the tares from the wheat in His Church. That involves judgement! You may think your sins are hidden but, God sees them and the Holy Spirit exposes them.
It is the reason why Paul writes –
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;“ – Phil. 2:12
Oh, that the Holy Spirit would send us prophets that would point out our sins. Oh, that the fear of the Lord would once more come into our hearts and our churches. Oh, that our church services would once more be about Jesus and not ourselves. Come Holy Spirit and cleanse us that we may be prepared to meet Jesus, our Bridegroom.