Last Saturday we began examining an interesting prophecy found in Isaiah 32, a warning to complacent women:

"You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say!" (Isa 32:9)

We discovered that the complacent women in this prophecy represent the modern, western church, grown complacent in its comfort and ease of life. Through this prophecy we are reminded that the lost of the world have become the responsibility of the present church, because there will be a time when it is too late.

We are told: "Tremble, you complacent women; shudder, you daughters who feel secure! Strip off your clothes, put sackcloth around your waists. Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vines and for the land of my people, a land overgrown with thorns and briers--yes, mourn for all houses of merriment and for this city of revelry." (Isaiah 32:11-14) In other words, now is the time for us to put off our comfortable complacency, to seek God's mercy, and to go into mourning before Him, pleading for the unsaved!

How long are we to remain in mourning? ". . . Till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest." (Isaiah 32:15) This means that we are to continue pleading with God for the unsaved until the Spirit is poured out from on high, and when this happens, the hearts of the unsaved will be made ready to receive the Good News!

When will this happen?

The Bible actually talks about two outpourings of the Holy Spirit: "He will come to us like the rain, Like the LATTER and FORMER rain to the earth." (Hos 6:3 NKJV); "Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you - The FORMER rain, And the LATTER rain in the first month." (Joel 2:23 NKJV).

These prophecies tell us that there will be two distinct outpourings of the Holy Spirit. I doubt anyone would argue when I say that the first one happened at Pentecost; and we all remember what happened then. That same day, 3000 people became Christians (See Acts 2). A few days later, the number of believers grew to 5000 (See Acts 4), and we are told that in some cases, nearly entire cities gathered at local synagogues to hear the good new of Jesus Christ (See Acts 13:44). Friends, when the Spirit of God was poured out upon believers at Pentecost, the hearts of the unsaved became fertile. When the early church scattered the seed, it grew abundantly!

If Pentecost marked the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit, when will the second happen?

Friends, I believe that we are in the midst of the latter rain of God's Spirit right now. Did you know that every year, 6 million Muslims leave Islam and come to Christianity? SIX MILLION! And many Muslims are seeing dreams and visions of Jesus and are coming into churches explaining that they have already converted and now need a Bible and guidance on how to follow Jesus! In persecuted countries, miracles are abounding! God is moving to touch the untouched [1]! This is NOW, friends! We are LIVING in the days of the latter rain! The ground is becoming fertile as you read these words!

This doesn't mean that we are to stop pleading for the unsaved, for the outpouring of God's Spirit. What's happening in the eastern world could be happening in every corner of this Earth!

But what will happen to those who don't believe?

"Though hail flattens the forest and the city is leveled completely . . ." (Isaiah 32:17b).

What city are we talking about here?

"Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground!'" (Isa 21:9); "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries." (Rev 14:8).

We are talking about Babylon: world politics, religions, governments, policies and beliefs. We're talking about the world as we know it! And when it is destroyed, God doesn't want any of His children to be inside! He admonishes us: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues" (Rev 18:4).

And how will God see anyone who takes to heart this admonition in Isaiah 32? ". . . How blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free." (Isaiah 32:18). If you respond to the call, if you come out of complacency to plead for the unsaved and for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, if you go out and sow seed by witnessing to the unsaved, you are called "blessed"!

Friends, God is crying out to the modern, western church: "Come out of your complacency, for soon the harvest will fail! Don't revel in your security! Instead, plead with God for the unsaved, for the outpouring of His Spirit! Sow your seed by every stream! Come out of her, my people!"

God bless each of you abundantly as you contemplate His words to the churches of today; to YOUR CHURCH and to MINE!

God bless you!

In His love,

Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Author and moderator for the tri-weekly newsletter, The Nugget, and the Scriptural Nuggets website ( www.scripturalnuggets.org), Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org .


[1] Rosenberg, J.C., "Record Number of ex-Muslims Celebrate Christmas This Year - Spiritual Revolution Underway in Middle East". Persecuted Church Collection "SOS" Prayer Alert, 12-23-06. Info@persecutedchurch.com .

(To access the entire "A Message to the Complacent Church" mini-series, please click here.)